Many effective products for thinning hair have been developed since the 1980's. Millions of men and women who experience hair loss can now effectively treat this condition in many cases. The first patented medication for hair loss was marketed under the brand name Rogaine. Originally produced to treat high blood pressure, Rogaine showed surprising side effects of stimulating hair growth during clinical testing. It was quickly reformulated and marketed as a hair loss reversal drug and was approved by the FDA as a topical application that helps regrow hair.
that contribute to thinning hair are heredity, hormones, medical
conditions and poor diet. The most common cause of hair loss is
called 'androgenetic alopecia' which is hereditary in origin. Rogaine
only works on this specific type of hair loss. Typically in men it
results in a 'male pattern baldness' which is identified by gradual
hair loss on the top of the head. In women the 'female pattern
baldness' is usually seen as consistent, diffuse hair thinning over
the entire head. Rogaine will only be effective for people whose hair
is thinning because they have androgenetic alopecia. If you'd rather use a product that has less chemicals and more natural ingredients, check out these popular alternatives.
To understand how Rogaine works, it's necessary to know what makes hair grow and what causes hair loss. Active, healthy hair follicles are the key to growing hair. When a person is born, their scalp contains about 100,000 hair follicles. No new follicles are developed during a person's lifetime. Most people have a normal daily hair loss of 50 to 100 hairs. However, when 150 or more hairs are lost daily that indicates hair follicles are becoming dormant and then dying much faster than normal. The active ingredients in Rogaine are different concentrations of a generic drug called minoxidil. In the scalp minoxidil releases nitric acid which acts as a vasodilator and improves blood circulation to hair follicles. This delivers increased levels of oxygen and nutrients which stimulates hair follicles and increases their size to produce longer, thicker hair.
Rogaine products for thinning hair used to require a prescription but can now be purchased over-the-counter. The main difference between various Rogaine products is the concentration of minoxidil they contain and whether they are applied as a liquid or foam. There are no specifically 'Rogaine cream' or 'Rogaine shampoo' products. However, there's a wide variety of generic formulations that contain minoxidil and are sold under different brand names. Rogaine products for women typically contain a 2% solution of minoxidil and come in a liquid formula only. The Womens Rogaine Hair Regrowth Treatment has been on the market for over 20 years and has undergone rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness. However, pregnant and nursing women should not use Rogaine or other minoxidil products. Women should not use concentrations higher than 2% as this may cause facial hair growth. Here's some information about how minoxidil affects women and some candid Rogaine for women reviews. Mens Rogaine products are usually 5% or stronger solutions and can be applied as either a liquid or foam.
Since the Upjohn patent on Rogaine expired, many different companies have developed their own lines of generic minoxidil products for thinning hair. They are called by various names that reflect the percentage of the active ingredient. Minoxidal 5 is a 5% concentration and is basically the same solution as Men's Rogaine Extra Strength. Minoxidil 10 is twice as concentrated and should only be used when recommended by a doctor. Minoxidil 15 is the strongest and requires a minoxidil prescription because it carries a greater risk of unwanted side effects and can irritate skin. In addition to various strengths of minoxidil products you can also buy them in different formulations such as a minoxidil foam or a minoxidil shampoo.
Studies on minoxidil have shown that it can reverse hair loss in many cases but it won't work for everyone. Only people who have hereditary hair loss and exhibit the typical male or female balding pattern should expect improvement. Minoxidil results are best when it's applied soon after the onset of hair loss. Hair follicles that have been dormant for just a short time have a better chance of being reinvigorated. Once treatment has started it must be continued for life to maintain any results gained. If discontinued, hair follicles will relapse to their former state within 1-2 months and all advantages gained will be lost. The side effects of minoxidil, when used correctly, appear to be minimal. Minoxidil reviews from users report mainly mild dandruff and irritated skin.