Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss is a growing problem among men and women. Over the years, there have been various treatments that have been developed and one of the most common is Rogaine. Various trials have shown its effectiveness at growing back loss hair. However, doubts have been raised about its effectiveness as the best minoxidil for hair loss. In this article, we shall take a look at the effectiveness of Rogaine as a hair loss treatment.
What is Minoxidil?
First approved in 1988 for treating androgenetic alopecia, minoxidil was originally administered orally for treating high blood pressure. When the manufacturers noticed that there was unexpected hair growth in patients, minoxidil was tested to treat hair loss. When the test was successful, the Food and Drug Administration approved its use for hair loss.
With the patent for Rogaine as the Dht shampoo expired, manufacturers were now able to produce generic variations of minoxidil. The usual formula is 5% concentration with 2% solutions also available. Minoxidil is prescribed in liquid, foam, and spray variation. It is applied to the scalp twice a day in the morning and at night. To get maximum results, it should be left on the scalp for a minimum of 4 hours before being washed out.
How It Works?
Despite its FDA approval, no one is sure about its effectiveness. Science says that the hormone dihydrotestosterone binds hair follicles causing them to shrink. For this reason, DHT reducing drugs such as finasteride can effectively reduce and reverse hair loss. In the case of minoxidil, there is no proven effect on DHT levels.
However, recent discoveries may finally shed light on the mystery that is minoxidil. The paper emphasizes the importance of prostaglandins in hair growth and androgenetic alopecia. The study reveals that activation of prostaglandin may explain the ability of minoxidil in growing hair.
The Effectiveness of Minoxidil
After conducting initial trials, the FDA has reached the conclusion that minoxidil will not work for everyone. There are different strengths, dosages, and administration method with minoxidil. Depending on the dosage, higher concentrations produce better results compared to lower concentrations. While minoxidil has the ability for hair growth, it is unlikely to work at maintaining hair as it does not tackle the root cause which is DHT.
By itself, minoxidil will not prevent DHT from causing the hair follicles to bind and shrink. It does not seem to slow the cumulative damage due to the hormones. However, when combined with medications such as finasteride or dutasteride, it can produce some seriously impressive results. There were instances when patients saw significant and lasting regrowth.