Rogaine is a renowned brand which has Minoxidil as its core and main active ingredient. Minoxidil has been around for some years as a solution applied to the scalp to stop or, in some cases, reverse hair loss. Rogaine is a trademark of Upjohn Pharmacia Pty Ltd. The active ingredient of Rogaine is minoxodil, which was originally prescribed in tablet form for the treatment of high blood pressure. As well as reducing blood pressure, it was found to grow hair on the scalp. Unfortunately it also induced hypertrichosis, or hair growth on the face, shoulders, arms and legs of women and on the entire body of men.

While growth of hair on the scalp was seen as an encouraging side-effect, the collateral growth everywhere else was unacceptable. This resulted in the delivery system being changed to a solution applied topically to the localised area where hair growth was desirable. This solution is what is now currently available worldwide over the counter at pharmacies, as a 2 per cent or 5 per cent Rogaine solution. Additional common brand names include Rogaine, Hair A Gain, Regoxidine and others.

Minoxidil Overview

Just as hair fall has become one of the major issues with people these days, so have hair re- growth solutions. Everybody, dry and sundry want to advertise their cures for hair fall and the market is flooded with tonics and medicines and what not, that claim to get your hair back. Some of them even have irreversible side effects that you may not be aware of. But one particular “Minoxidil” has been enjoying relative success in the hair re- growth domain! Let’s try to find out if it really is a solution or just another hair scam.

What is minoxidil?

If you have used Mintop or Rogaine, then you have used minoxidil. It is sold under these names. Chemically it was initially used to reduce blood pressure, but is now sold as an over the counter medication for hair growth or to arrest hair loss. The mechanism through which the medicine promotes hair growth hasn’t fully been understood yet. However that hasn’t stopped people from using it! Medically today minoxidil is sold to aid hair growth. But their effect from person to person will vary.

To sustain hair growth, minoxidil has to be used regularly and continuously. It is required to support existing hair follicles and also for maintaining any new hair growth. But it has shown more promise in younger people with mild to moderate hair loss. You hair could turn darker too.

How does minoxidil help in hair growth?

While there is no confirmed explanation yet, the one that’s doing the rounds is this one. Minoxidil dilates the blood vessels around the hair follicles and that enables more nutrition and oxygen supply to reach them. This stimulates their growth. This also explains why the hair growth reduces once you stop taking minoxidil. This is the theory since minoxidil basically is a vasodilator medication. So this explanation naturally follows.

How to use minoxidil?

You should consult your doctor before you start with this. Apply the oil on affected area of your head twice daily or as directed. You should be able to see results in two weeks time, but only if you are regular. Your scalp should clean and dry for the medication to work best. Also you are not to shampoo or sleep for up to at least two hours after applying the medicine. Minoxidil is a topical medication; hence you will see the effect on that particular area only.

Any side-effects?

Minoxidil Side effects are rather mild and they subside in a couple of days. It may cause drying, flaking, a burning sensation, and itching of the scalp. You can take other medicines to ease the symptom. Ask your doc.

Our verdict

Minoxidil is a medicine well its worth. However even though it does help with hair growth, always consult your doctor before starting on it. It shouldn’t interfere with any other medication that you are on. Also maintain a balanced diet during this time, so that your body has sufficient nutrient to send to the hair follicles.

Minoxidil for Women

Hair is probably a woman’s source of pride! The hair cut, the hair color, the length, the thickness and the shine is all a part of the woman’s personality. As kids your hair was being taken care of by your mom or grand mom maybe, but by now you would have figured out what works and doesn’t work for your hair. So imagine if you start losing hair or if it starts thinning! Many would say that this is an exaggeration, but it’s a life changing event! But there’s ways and means to fix it. And it should start with why the hair loss is happening at all!

Why do women have hair loss?

In women there is no receding hairline in most cases, but hair on the top of the head starts thinning, and overall density of hair decreases. And a lot of this has to do with the life cycle of a hair.

The lifecycle of a hair is quite simple. It grows for two to six years till it reaches the final length and then falls off. And how long or thick your hair is depends upon what’s happening underneath, that is what is happening with the hair’s life cycle. The things that affect it are stress, medication, erratic weight loss schedules, illness, rampant hair treatments or infection and of course heredity! It could even be your thyroid gland acting up or some auto- immune disorder. Let’s just focus on the most common cause for weak hair, and that is hair not receiving enough care. Care doesn’t mean expensive Minoxidil shampoos, oils, spas or conditioners. Care means what kind of diet you have and what kind of lifestyle you have.

The best way to go about keeping your hair is maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise. Also you need to follow this up with some medication that ensures that your hair is getting all the nutrition that it deserves. This is where minoxidil comes in. keep reading to know more.

How does minoxidil help with hair growth?

Minoxidil is the latest wonder drug when it comes to hair regrowth or arresting hair fall. Earlier it was used to deal with high blood pressure and is essentially a vasodilator. That means it relaxes blood vessels so that blood flows easier and without constrictions. This is used as a hair loss solution because it helps with keeping the blood vessels near the hair follicles open, so that they receive more and better nutrition and oxygen. And this in turn contributes to hair growth.

It’s a topical medicine, so apply it on the affected area and don’t wash off before at least two hours of applying it. Ask your doctor for what doses you should take and how you should apply it. There are very minor side effects to minoxidil and they aren’t too severe. Your doc will advise you better with respect to this. Also tell him of any other medication or topical drugs that you may be using.

Minoxidil vs. Biotin: Which one is better?

Hair loss is rather difficult to deal with, especially if you aren’t one to take things quietly. It happens to men, women across ages and sometimes even young teenagers fall prey to hair loss or hair thinning. In mean it is characterized by a receding hair line and in women by the loss of hair density. In either case, it is traumatic. That’s why people are resorting to external means to save hair. The medicine doing the rounds is minoxidil, a hair growing topical hair oil and a natural vitamin, biotin. There are people that vouch for the benefits of each type, and there are people that have tried both and given up. Let’s take a look at these two to decide what will work best for you.

All about minoxidil

Minoxidil is sold as Regoxidine, Mintop or Rogaine. It’s a topical medication that is applied on the affected area. It works best in people that have mild to moderate hair loss and are relatively younger. Earlier it was used to mitigate hypertension and this side effect was deduced by chance. The idea was that it was used to dilate blood vessels so that blood could flow easily through arteries and veins and bring down the blood pressure. Now it is sold as an over the counter medication for hair loss. On applying it to your scalp, blood vessels near the hair follicles open up and have better access to nutrition. This results in hair growth, hair darkening and generally healthy hair. But the thing is that for hair growth you have to continuously keep on using minoxidil regularly. When you stop its usage hair growth also stops and you are back to step one.

Minoxidil has certain side effects like rashes and flaking of the scalp, extreme dryness and swelling where you apply it and itchiness. But these can be mitigated using other medicines and are not too severe in nature.

All about biotin

Biotin is also known as Vitamin h or the hair growing vitamin. It is water soluble B vitamin that is required for cell growth and metabolism functions in the body. It also helps with the production of proteins in the body and hair is made up of keratin which is a kind of protein. It strengthens the hair follicles and ensures that a constant level of nutrition is maintained at their end. Since this is water soluble vitamin a and is produced in our body itself, in excess of the required quantity, there actually are no side effects to this. It will just be excreted in the form of sweat or urine, so no side effects. But in case you are facing biotin deficiency, biotin supplements can fix it. Ask your doctor for the required dosage.

Our verdict

The no side effects feature is where biotin scored over Minoxidil. But results from biotin are a little slower. So you have to pick for yourself, which is it you want, safe or fast?

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Minoxidil work?

We know Minoxidil works, but we are unsure of the exact reasons why it works. We know that Rogaine is a powerful vasodilator, effectively increasing the blood flow to the scalp; however, the positive growth aspects occur irrespective of this. There are many credible theories. It is known that the use of Rogaine holds the hair in the anagen or growing phase longer, warding off the catagen or destruction of the follicle phase.

How effective is Minoxidil for Hair Loss

The best results with Rogaine have been achieved by patients in their twenties with a recent onset of hair loss, and a small area of loss. A cosmetically significant improvement in regrowth occurs in less than 10 per cent of patients. However, a larger percentage have found that with continued use it is possible to stop further loss in the short term. However, in the long term, hair loss generally continues.

How to use Minoxidil for Hair Loss

Rogaine is administered in a liquid form of varying strengths from 2 per cent to 5 per cent. The recommended dosage is twice-daily applications of 1 ml to the areas affected by hair loss. It is available without prescription from pharmacists. Some pharmacists have a generic form available with added tretinoin. The tretinoin acts as a surface irritant, helping the absorption of the Rogaine into the skin.

Side Effects of Minoxidil for Hair Loss

Minoxidil has been shown to cause the following side-effects in some people:

  • Hypertrichosis: Strong hair growth has been seen in the forehead and eyebrow region and in some cases new hair growth on the tip of the nose has been noted.
  • Scalp Irritation & Itching; Inflammation and redness of the scalp, which can be exacerbated by the inclusion of tretinoin in the solution.
  • Irregular Heartbeat; Due to Rogaine’s vasodilating effects, people with heart problems or on blood-pressure medication should consult
    their doctor before using it.

Is it an effective medication like the PRP?

No. The Minoxidil is not as effective as the Finasteride or PRP.

Can both men and women use Minoxidil?


Does it need any prescription?

No. It doesn’t require any prescription like Finasteride does.

Is the trial pack valuable?

No. Using a trial pack will only be a waste of your money, for this medication to work consistant and regular applications are required over a sustained period of time.