Hair loss can be a traumatic experience. A person’s hair plays a big role in their self-image and overall confidence. While hair loss is typically perceived as a male issue, women suffer from it too, and often with a more devastating impact on their psyches.
Treatment of hair loss for women is also more complicated than it is for men and fewer drug companies are rushing to make products to address female pattern baldness. In fact, at this time, there is only one FDA approved treatment for female pattern hair loss, and that is Minoxidil (Rogaine).
Minoxidil has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for hereditary hair loss. It started off as a tablet to treat high blood pressure, but then researchers noticed that it also promoted excessive hair growth in users. With further research, it emerged as a topical solution to stimulate hair growth. Rogaine is the brand name under which this minoxidil is available.
Rogaine for women is used to treat hereditary pattern hair loss among females and is clinically proven to prevent hair loss and promote regrowth of hair.
Female pattern baldness causes hair follicles to become smaller. This reduces the amount of time hair spends in the growth cycle. As part of the normal hair growth cycle, hair that falls out is replaced by new hair. With female pattern baldness, the replacement strands become weaker and thinner because of the smaller follicles.
Women’s Rogaine differs from the men’s version in two main ways. First, it needs to be applied only once a day. Second, it is typically recommended with 2% minoxidil.
Rogaine is believed to increase the size of the inactive follicles, resulting in thicker and stronger hair growth. It also extends the duration of the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. Clinical studies have shown it to regrow hair in 80% of the women who apply it at least once a day over six months. It is important to note that it does not regrow all the hair and the amount of regrowth differs for each individual.
While it does offer some encouraging results, using Rogaine for women can also cause some side effects.
The most common side effect of Rogaine for women is scalp irritation. Users can experience dryness, flakiness or itchiness. This is usually temporary, but if it persists, it is best to stop using it and see a physician.
In some women, Rogaine can also cause unwanted growth of facial hair growth. This would usually happen because of careless application where some drops might trickle down to the face, however, it can occur even if the application is correctly restricted to the scalp. The chances of this happening are greater with the 5% concentration intended for men vs. the 2% concentration.
Another side effect of Rogaine for women is greater hair loss immediately after starting the treatment. This is also normally temporary. Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this medication.
Overall women’s Rogaine is considered a safe and effective way to fight hereditary hair loss and bring back some of your lost crowning glory.