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Rogaine is the brand-name version of minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical drug that can help treat hair loss. However, it can take some time before a person sees any benefits.

We refer to “women,” “men,” or both to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one type or the other. A person should choose the product that best suits their needs.

Rogaine is the brand-name version of minoxidil, and it is available without a prescription.

Learn more about Rogaine.

Researchers originally intended minoxidil to be a treatment for high blood pressure. However, its hair regrowth abilities mean that healthcare professionals recommend it for people with hair loss.

Learn more about minoxidil.

According to the company, Rogaine is the first brand that has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to help hair growth in both males and females.

The company started selling minoxidil hair regrowth products for males in 1988 and launched a product for females in 1992. Currently, the company offers minoxidil in strengths of 2% and 5%, as well as foam and unscented versions.

Rogaine is a topical treatment, which means a person applies it to their scalp.

Researchers have not clearly established how Rogaine works to promote hair growth. However, there is some evidence that minoxidil interacts with the potassium channels in hair follicles and vascular smooth muscles in the arteries, increasing blood flow and hair growth.

Minoxidil shortens the telogen phase and encourages hair to enter the anagen phase, in which the hair begins to regrow. This means people may experience extra hair shedding when they start treatment, but the topical extends the anagen phase, meaning people should see more hair growth.

Learn more about hair growth.

People often notice that their hair becomes longer and thicker when they are using minoxidil than when they were not using it.

When the topical product makes contact with scalp sulfotransferase, it turns into minoxidil sulfate, the active form of the product. Different people have different levels of sulfotransferase activity, which may explain why some people have faster or better results.

However, most people who use minoxidil will not notice much difference until they have undergone treatment for around 8 weeks. People will notice the most improvement in hair growth after 4 months.

All Rogaine hair growth products are available over the counter, which means a person does not need a prescription.

However, people who are experiencing hair loss may wish to contact a healthcare professional for advice on which treatment strategies best suit their needs.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.

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Best solution for women: Women’s Rogaine 2% Minoxidil Solution

The following table compares Rogaine’s products on price, usage, and more.

List priceSizeUsageSafe for
Men’s Foamaround $292.11 oztwice dailycolor-treated and permed hair
Men’s Solutionaround $452 fl oztwice dailycolor-treated and permed hair
Women’s Foamaround $442.11 ozonce dailycolor-treated and permed hair
Women’s Solutionaround $786 fl oztwice dailycolor-treated and permed hair

These products have FDA approval for use in both males and females with hair loss or hair thinning.

According to the FDA, the company’s minoxidil solution for males is suitable for use in people with androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.

The products for females are suitable only for those who experience hair thinning at the top of the scalp due to a genetic hair loss condition, androgenic alopecia. This condition can affect both males and females.

While minoxidil has FDA approval only for androgenic alopecia, there is evidence that it can help promote hair growth in people with the following conditions:

Minoxidil may also be beneficial in people who have received a hair transplant.

However, people with any condition other than androgenic alopecia should contact a healthcare professional to ensure that minoxidil is the right treatment for their circumstances.

There are several reasons people should not use Rogaine.

People who have a history of sensitivity to minoxidil or any of its ingredients, such as propylene glycol, should avoid this product.

People who are under the age of 18 or are pregnant or nursing should not use minoxidil. While researchers do not consider minoxidil disruptive to the growth and development of a fetus, there are rare reports of congenital disabilities.

Additionally, people with the following hair conditions or circumstances should not use this product:

  • no known reason for hair loss
  • no family history of hair loss
  • sudden or patchy hair loss
  • hair loss due to childbirth
  • infected or inflamed scalp

People who currently use medication on their scalp should not use minoxidil.

Two medications are popular alternatives to Rogaine. One is minoxidil, the generic form of Rogaine, and the other is Propecia (finasteride).

Minoxidil has the same active ingredient as Rogaine, so it will work in the same way. However, generic versions are often significantly cheaper than brand-name products.

Propecia, or finasteride, is an oral prescription medication for hair loss. Finasteride works by reducing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. High DHT levels can lead to an increase in hair thinning or hair loss. It can take up to a year for a person to see results.

Because finasteride is a prescription-only medication, it is likely to be more expensive when factoring in the cost of a healthcare professional appointment. However, opting for generic finasteride over branded Propecia can save costs.

Learn more about finasteride and where to buy it.

Home remedies for hair loss

There are several home remedies for hair loss. However, these remedies may not work as well as a medication such as minoxidil or finasteride.

Options include:

Find out more about home remedies for hair regrowth.

Usually, people tolerate Rogaine well. However, it may cause some side effects, such as:

Cyclosporine may increase the risk of hypertrichosis. Baby aspirin may decrease the effectiveness of minoxidil.

Here we answer some common questions about these products.

Will I get all my hair back when using Rogaine?

No, it is unlikely that a person will regain the fullness and coverage they had before experiencing hair loss or thinning.

It can take around 2 months before a person starts to see an improvement, with results peaking within 12 months of starting treatment.

How long until I see results with Rogaine?

People will start to see improvements around 2 months after starting treatment with minoxidil. They will see the most improvement after around 12 months.

What happens if I stop using Rogaine?

Once a person stops using Rogaine or minoxidil, they may notice that their hair thins again.

Does Rogaine actually regrow hair?

Minoxidil, the main ingredient in Rogaine, shortens the telogen phase, which causes hair shedding, and increases the anagen phase, which promotes hair growth.

Clinical studies have found that minoxidil promotes new hair growth and thickens existing hair.

What is the downside to using Rogaine?

Rogaine is more expensive than generic minoxidil.

Additionally, people may experience side effects such as skin irritation, increased hair shedding, and excess hair growth on parts of the body other than the scalp.

Rogaine is a brand-name version of minoxidil. It is an over-the-counter topical solution that can help promote hair growth and prevent further hair thinning or hair loss. Suitable Rogaine products are available for both males and females.

However, people who have hair loss from causes other than androgenic alopecia should contact a healthcare professional to determine whether Rogaine or another treatment is most suitable for their circumstances.