Many men are faced with the stress of losing their hair and often turn to products such as Rogaine to treat their condition. It is important to realise that there is no miracle cure and any product claiming to thicken the hair on your head won't work instantly. Frustration may set in when results seem slow. But rest assured, it is a matter of having some patience with products like Rogaine.
Before we explore how long Rogaine takes to work, it's important to address a few other questions.
Why do men lose their hair?
It is strongly believed that hair loss is hereditary and caused by a genetic disposition. As men age, certain scalp follicles begin a process known as miniaturization or progressive shrinking. As a result, the hair's growing cycle becomes shorter and shorter and the resting phase increases. Eventually there may be no growth whatsoever.
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What is Rogaine and how does it work?
Before it was ever used to thicken or regrow hair, Rogaine was a treatment for high blood pressure. Hair growth was merely a welcome side-effect.
It is unknown exactly how Rogaine works, but it is believed that it enlarges the follicles and reverses the miniaturization process, which in turn lengthens the growing phase and produces healthier, thicker hair. With more follicles in growth phase at the same time, the coverage of the scalp is improved.
Originally the topical solution was administered by prescription only. Nowadays it is readily available over the counter at most chemists and is actually a stronger solution than the original.
Minoxidil is Rogaine's main active ingredient and is still the only FDA approved medicine for the growth of hair. Rogaine is available for men and women in a foam and a solution. The solution is dispensed through an applicator, whereas the foam is massaged into the scalp.
How do you apply Rogaine?
For the best chance of results, ensure you are applying Rogaine correctly. The liquid version of the product (or topical solution) is applied via a dropper. Fill the dropper to the 1ml mark and apply directly to the scalp. Wash your hands thoroughly and let your hair dry fully before styling with other products such as wax, gel, mouse or hairspray.
If you are using the foam, the process is slightly different. There is no dropper. Instead, squirt half a capful of foam into your hands and massage it deeply into the scalp, ensuring you concentrate on the thinnest areas. As with the liquid, wash your hands and allow your hair to dry thoroughly before using other products.
Both the topical solution and the foam should be applied twice a day, morning and night.
What should I do to give Rogaine the best chance of being effective?
Before we answer the question 'How long does Rogaine take to work?' it is necessary to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance of it working at all. This is fairly simple if you follow these guidelines.
- Use a shampoo that cleanses the scalp and a light conditioner. Although it hash't been proven to increase the effects of Rogaine, it is recommended that you use Progaine shampoo to maximise thickening of the hair.
- Protect your scalp from the sun with sunblock or a hat.
- Apply Rogaine and wait for your hair to dry before applying any other styling products.
- Rogaine works best when applied to completely dry hair.
- You can blow-dry your hair after applying Rogaine but use your hair dryer on a low setting.
- Hereditary hair loss does not go away and it is necessary to use Rogaine continuously to benefit from results. The best way to think of it is as part of your daily routine like showering in the morning.
- If you stop using Rogaine it is likely that you will lose your newly grown hair within 3 to 4 months.
- If you miss a dose or two there is no need to panic. It won't affect your long-term regrowth.
- Don't use Rogaine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Don't use other hair growing medication in conjunction with Rogaine - use it on its own for the best results.
- Never apply Rogaine to skin that is irritated or sun burnt.
So finally, how long does Rogaine take to work?
If you follow the guidelines and the manufacturer's instructions you can expect to see results from using Rogaine after around 4 months. This is entirely dependent on the correct application of the product. Remember, it must be applied twice a day, directly to your scalp. If you fail to see a noticeable change after this time, consult your doctor.
The first regrowth you see after the four-month period is unlikely to be really full and thick. Again it is important to be patient. The length of time Rogaine takes to work in full may be longer than four months. The first hair you see regrowing is likely to be soft and downy. Eventually, with continued use, the hair will grow to look like the rest of the hair on your head.
According to Rogaine's website, in a clinical study it was found that 85% of men experienced regrowth of hair in 16 weeks. The same test carried out on women (who can also use Rogaine if they are experiencing hair loss), showed that it was effective on 60% in 32 weeks.
During the first few weeks of use, it is perfectly normal for you to shed more hair from your head than before. This is a positive sign that the product is working and occurs as the new hair pushes the old dead hair out. This happens because the follicles have been stimulated to grow hair at a faster rate. This is a temporary side effect and should cease to continue after a couple of weeks. If it does carry on in the long term, it is best to consult your doctor.
There is also a small possibility of a mild skin irritation, but this is more common among women users.
Rogaine is not effective for everyone. If you experience no results after 6 months, discontinue use.
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Other articles that may be of interest:
Prevent or Disguise a Receding Hairline
Best Haircuts for a Receding Hairline
Vitamins to Help Hair Growth
Does Biotin for Hair Loss Work?
How to Regrow Hair Naturally