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The Pros and Cons of Minoxidil

The Pros and Cons of Minoxidil

Do you feel too young to be losing your hair? 80 million Americans are losing their hair. No matter what age you are, it can be frustrating to lose your locks. 

While some can rock the bald look, it’s not for everyone. You've probably heard of Rogaine if you’ve researched hair restoration methods.

Rogaine, also known by the generic drug name, minoxidil, is one of the most popular and safest hair regrowth methods for men and women. If you’re considering Rogaine, Hair Doc, located in Cow Hollow, San Francisco,  is here to tell you the pros and cons of Rogaine so you can decide if it suits your needs.

How it works

Rogaine is used by four million people worldwide. This FDA-approved treatment effectively halts hair loss and can even promote hair growth. Read on to discover how Rogaine works.

95% of hair loss is caused by androgenic alopecia — the hereditary cause of baldness. In men, the hair loss recedes at the temples and moves to an M-shaped pattern before progressing to partial or complete baldness. Women generally see hair start to thin at the top of the head and a widening of their part. 

Experts believe Rogaine works as a vasodilator, a medicine that works by opening and dilating your blood vessels. This topical medication works to enlarge your hair follicles and elongate the growth cycle of hair so you see thicker and more hair on your scalp.

“Prescription formulations by a hair specialist may include finasteride or dutasteride as well as spironolactone to block the aging of the hairs,” Peter Panagotacos, MD explains.

“Minoxidil is a stimulant for hairs to grow thicker and longer but the addition of medications to block DHT makes for a more effective treatment."

Looking at the pros and cons

You probably have a friend or co-worker who uses Rogaine. But what works for one person might not work for you. Hair loss is on a case-by-case basis, so let’s look at the pros and cons to see if it’s a good option for you.

PRO: FDA approved

Approved in 1988 for men and 1991 for women, Rogaine is the only topical hair growth medication that treats hair loss. FDA approval is important because it means the product has passed the necessary safety, efficacy, labeling, and manufacturing standards. 

PRO: Easy to use

Rogaine is very easy to use and can even be bought over the counter. Its suggested use is to apply to your head twice daily — in the morning and night. Here’s how to apply:

Ensure your hair is completely dry, and gently part your hair to expose your scalp. Hold the can upwards and dispense half a cup full of foam for the recommended dose. Rub the foam onto your scalp, particularly massaging areas where you’ve experienced hair loss. 

PRO: Effective

Rogaine is one of the most popular hair restoration treatments known today, and for a good reason — it works. In a clinically controlled study, 84.3% of men deemed minoxidil effective in regrowing hair. You will likely experience greater results if you use topical Rogaine, which includes anti-DHT additives. 

While Rogaine also comes in a medication that can be taken orally, the topical version provides better results while reducing the chance of side effects.

CON: Results take time

Rogaine starts to work immediately after its first application. However, results take time. It can take four months for you to experience noticeable results, with peak results occurring around one year. Most of our patients agree the results are worth the wait. 

CON: Must continue to use


If you stop using Rogaine, your results will go away. Your hair may start falling out again if you stop using the medication for any reason.  When you decide to start Rogaine, you agree to apply it twice a day, indefinitely, to sustain your results. 

The only way to know if Rogaine is a good option for you is by meeting with Dr. Panagotacos or Aaron Chen, MD.  Call 415-907-7354 to schedule your consultation or book online.

Disclaimer: Photos used in this article are models and may or may not have had treatment.

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