Rogaine was FDA approved for male pattern hair loss treatment in 1996, and is still a popular hair loss treatment to this day.
You can find Rogaine over the counter at most pharmacies, and it is easy to use with minimal to no side effects in most people.
The medication inside all Rogaine products is called Minoxidil, and that medication is still considered the gold standard for initial attempts at hair restoration in both men and women.
But, does it really work to restore your hair to its former glory?
In this article, we will look at the studies that are out there for Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) and see what benefits are demonstrated in the literature.
While the mechanism behind how Minoxidil (the active ingredient inside Rogaine) has not been fully revealed, we do know that it seems to increase the length of the growth cycle of hair follicles.
Minoxidil used to be used in pill form around the 1970s to help reduce blood pressure by causing the vessels to open up more.
And, while we don’t really use Minoxidil by mouth any longer, this same mechanism - increased blood flow by opening up vessels, could be bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles when applied to the scalp too.
One study looked into figuring out the exact reason behind how Minoxidil increases the growth phase of hair cells and found that Minoxidil can increase the amount of Calcium ions inside cells, which then leads to an up-regulation of an enzyme called ATP-synthase.
Studies have shown that more ATP-synthase leads to more stem cell differentiation, which may be a key factor in how Minoxidil facilitates hair growth.
One study in men divided up 36 participants into 4 groups - 5% Minoxidil, 2% Minoxidil, placebo, or no-treatment.
After 96 weeks, all men had hair weight and hair count measured to observe any differences. Both Minoxidil groups acted similarly, showing a 30% increase in total hair weight as compared to the beginning of treatment.
The placebo and no-treatment groups were similar and did not show any changes from the beginning of treatment as suspected.
However, after stopping Minoxidil therapy, the men’s hair returned to pre-treatment levels after 24 weeks, so treatment does need to continue to maintain hair results.
While Rogaine was originally marketed to men, soon after its success with the male market, studies began attempting to see if Rogaine, and Minoxidil, may also have hair benefits in women.
A study conducted in 381 women aimed to identify a difference in hair count and scalp coverage between applying Minoxidil 2%, Minoxidil 5%, or placebo twice daily for 48 weeks.
After the end of the 48 weeks, researchers discovered that both the Minoxidil 5% and 2% had improvements in hair count and scalp coverage as compared to the placebo group, and that the Minoxidil 5% seemed to produce more hair benefits than the Minoxidil 2%.
However, the Minoxidil 5% did come with more reports of localized minor irritation, itching, or hair growth where it was not wanted.
Does rogaine work? We think so, aside from the over-the-counter Rogaine products, you may be able to find Minoxidil in a combination with hair growth products from compounding pharmacies.
These products from compounding pharmacies have the added benefit of being able to mix in multiple hair-boosting ingredients to help try to achieve a greater effect, and you will need a doctor’s prescription to have them made up.
Strut Women’s Hair Formula is a physician formulated compound meant to target women’s hair loss from all angles by combining Minoxidil with Spironolactone to reduce DHT in the scalp as well as strand-thickening Adenosine.
We also carry a variety of men's hair loss formulations with Minoxidil like topical Finasteride + Minoxidil or topical Dutasteride + Minoxidil.
Schedule an Online Visit with our doctors today to see if a Strut Hair Formula is a good option to help you live your best hair life.