What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is the generic form of the brand Rogaine, but works very similar when ingested in the body. Minoxidil is a topical medication that is used to treat male pattern hair loss in both men and women. 


Minoxidil (Rogaine) is used to increase blood flow around the body to help lengthen the growing phase of hair follicles, and increase size over time.

Minoxidil is effective to treat hair loss, and may be able to cause hair regrowth, but not common. 

The most common side effects of minoxidil/rogaine are irritation in the scalp in the spot where the medication is most applied towards. 

What is Minoxidil (Rogaine)?

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a hair regrowth treatment that is also widely used to combat male pattern hair loss. In order to understand how this product works, it is best to be educated on the three main stages of growth. Anagen is the initial period in which the hair grows approximately 1cm per month. The longer the hair stays in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow. This phase lasts for 3-7 years. About 85 percent of our hair is in this phase. Catagen is a transitional phase that lasts about 2 weeks. In this phase, the hair shrinks and detaches itself from the follicle. Telogen is the resting phase. The follicles remain dormant for one to four months. 10 to 15 percent of our hair is in this phase of growth at any given time.

How does minoxidil (Rogaine) work?

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a vasodilator, meaning it widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow into areas of the body. Minoxidil applied to the scalp activates the walls of the blood vessels allowing more blood flow to scalp and hair follicles. This induces an early anagen phase when applied to your scalp, in turn, causes the hair follicles to accelerate through the rest of the growth phase. Minoxidil starts showing results after the six months mark with a few or no noticeable changes in the first three months. It is recommended to use this treatment for at least a year to see the actual results of the drug.

How effective is minoxidil (Rogaine)?

There have been many studies that have shown the effectiveness and safety of the product. Though every man will experience different results, in some, it is very effective at regrowing hairs. In a study done in 2004 with a 5% solution of minoxidil, 62% of men experienced no increase of hair loss, while 16% had significant hair growth, and 48% had moderate hair growth. 

Side effects of minoxidil (Rogaine)

A common side effect is changes in the color or texture of your hair.

Some rare side effects are.

  • severe scalp irritation;
  • unwanted growth of facial hair;
  • chest pain, fast heartbeats;
  • swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • headache, dizziness, confusion; or
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

If you notice any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately. Before starting treatment, discuss all your concerns with a doctor.

The best choice for you would depend on your medical condition and your level of patience. The choice of treatment can be determined by a doctor based on medical pre-conditions. Talk to our medical professionals to learn more about your options.