Can Rogaine (Minoxidil) Make Hair Loss Worse?
Minoxidil has been a game changer in the realm of hair restoration. In fact, it was the first FDA-approved topical medication for hair growth. Though minoxidil might not sound familiar to you, you’ve probably heard of Rogaine. Minoxidil and Rogaine are actually the same thing, as Rogaine is the brand name for minoxidil. Although Rogaine has been found to effectively treat hair loss, many people have worryingly told us that they see more hair falling out when they start using it. Can Rogaine actually make hair loss worse for some people? Let’s take a look.
What is Rogaine?
Before we get into whether or not Rogaine can actually make your hair loss worse, it’s important to understand what it is. Rogaine is a topical medication that works to regrow hair on your scalp. It most commonly comes in the form of a foam or solution. Once you apply it to the area where you are experiencing hair loss, it begins to work its magic.
So how exactly does it work? Thanks to a combination of hormones, hereditary factors and aging, your hair follicles may get thinner over time. As your hair follicles shrink, your hair’s growing cycle also becomes shorter. This leads to shorter and finer hair growing in during each hair growth cycle, until there may be no growth at all. The minoxidil in Rogaine works to counteract the shrinking of your hair follicles by extending the growth cycle and decreasing the shedding cycle of your hair.
Though the finer details about how minoxidil actually works are not fully understood, we do know that the medication needs to go through an activation process in your body in order to promote hair growth. Enzymes in your body have to convert it into minoxidil sulphate. In studies, this enzyme activity was higher in men who responded to minoxidil compared to those who did not respond. Unfortunately, we can’t test for these enzymes yet.
Can Rogaine Make Your Hair Loss Worse?
Even though the government has approved Rogaine for hair growth, some people experience more hair loss during the first couple of weeks of using the medication than before. What’s the deal? Well, hair shedding when you first start taking Rogaine is actually a sign that it’s working. But don’t worry – it should only last up to four weeks.
When Rogaine boosts hair growth, it pushes out the smaller finer hairs that were ready to shed already. As your thin, fine hairs begin shedding, thicker hairs will soon take their place. It’s important to stick to the plan and continue using Rogaine every day even though it can be nerve racking watching your hair fall out at the beginning. If you stop using Rogaine, any gains you make with your hair will revert to wherever they would be without the medication. With Rogaine, you can combat hair loss. You may begin seeing fuller hair within just four months.
Remember, it takes time to grow your hair naturally. Give Rogaine the time it needs to provide your scalp with thicker and stronger hair.
Does Minoxidil Actually Work?
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Rogaine. The International Society of Hair Restoration (ISHRS) wrote that two studies found that the majority of patients who used 5% minoxidil for treating male pattern-baldness reported decreased hair loss, rapid onset of action in promoting new hair growth and very effective to effective new hair growth results during the treatment time.
At the Limmer Hair Transplant Center in San Antonio, Texas, many of our patients have seen thicker hair growth after using Rogaine. In the picture above, a female patient was very frightened when she began using minoxidil and experienced hair shedding. But, as you can see, she stuck with her routine of using the medication daily and saw her hair mass index go up four points after just two months of treatment!
If you’re losing hair and choose not to do medical therapy, like Rogaine, you will most certainly continue to experience hair loss. Though you might see increased hair shedding when first using Rogaine, it can eventually halt hair loss and promote thicker hair regrowth. Don’t hesitate to contact the Limmer Hair Transplant Center to discuss starting Rogaine today. It’s important to monitor your hair regrowth progress with an experienced hair restoration professional to ensure that Rogaine is working for you.