The medication minoxidil is most commonly known as Rogaine. It is often associated with male pattern baldness, but now there is also Rogaine for women. It has been reformulated in multiple different products and targeted to women with hair loss or baldness. If you are a woman who is looking for help with your bald spots, hair loss or thinning, minoxidil may be the solution for you.
Chemical Compounds in Rogaine For Women
Minoxidil was originally used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), but somehow doctors discovered that applying it topically on the scalp created hair growth. Bet you’re wondering how that lab experiment came to be! Minoxidil for women with hair loss works by stimulating growth in the follicles and lengthening the growing phase of the hair growth cycle, but the exact chemical influences are not yet known – they just know it works. Studies have found that minoxidil products such as Rogaine for women actually work better than for men. This is believed to be because male pattern baldness is genetic (inherited from their male family), while female pattern baldness is generally a result of external factors.
Using Rogaine and Minoxidil Safely
Minoxidil is the one hair growth compound that is approved by the FDA for female hair loss. This is important since even though so many other products are on the market, no other topical hair growth solutions are sanctioned by the FDA. It is also important to note that minoxidil for women only comes in 2% concentration, while the male formula is closer to 5%. Note for women: Do not use the male formula thinking “it is the same thing, just different packaging.” This is not true, and can actually cause a lot of problems, so stick with the specific minoxidil or Rogaine for women unless instructed by your physician.
Side Effects of Minoxidil
If you use male strength minoxidil as a woman, you can experience hair growth in places you would not prefer. This includes your face, neck, chest, arms, hands, or anywhere else you might accidentally touch the solution. Even with the 2% strength, you should be very careful with the solution.
Other side effects can include: skin irritation, discoloring of the hair around the area applied, and even allergic reactions. This is mostly because the brand name Rogaine no longer owns the patent. People often buy generic versions that have different chemical compositions. Make sure to read the label of a generic minoxidil product to make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients. Stop use if you experience severe irritation or worsening hair loss.
If you prefer using a product that is full of only natural ingredients, there is an alternative. Nutrafol hair health supplements are natural and contain a combination of ingredients that work together.
Waiting For it to Work
You are probably thinking, “How fast can this stuff work? I need help now!” As with anything, you really need to be patient. Results typically show in about two months, and most studies find that the results “peak” after four to six months. However, it is recommended to be used for a year, to make sure the maximum amount has been applied and also to make sure your body has become used to the new generation of hair. Also keep in mind that for the product to work, you have to follow the directions on the bottle. Apply twice daily, let it air dry, and wash the solution from anywhere you do not want hair to grow! Do not wash your hair for at least four hours. And do not play with or comb the hair excessively until you start to notice hair growth.