Hair Metrics Analysis: Minoxidil

Brand Names: Rogaine ®, Theroxidil ®

Minoxidil (Brand Name: Rogaine ® , Theroxidil ® ) is used by both men and women to treat thinning hair or hair loss. Developed originally as an ulcer treatment, and then used to treat hypertension as a vasodilator, its effect on hair growth was discovered by accident, ultimately resulting in a patent in 1986 and approval by the FDA to treat hair loss in men and women a few years later.

Oddly enough, no one completely understands the mechanism of action for minoxidil, though it is thought that it increases blood flow to hair follicles. The correct dosage needs to be applied twice per day, and stopping use will result in continued hair loss, especially for men.

Our Take…

We applaud the effect of this drug to regrow hair, but unfortunately it suffers from some significant limitations. Most men (over 50%) will not experience hair regrowth within 6 months, and that number is higher for men who are over the age of 40, have experienced hair loss for over 5 years, or have significant hair loss or loss that is not centrally located on their scalp. Additionally, some users have reported irritation, itchiness, or redness that occurs on the scalp.

Cost is approximately $40 for a 3 month supply, which is a lot considering it will never give many men the appearance of thick, dense hair they’re looking for. You also need to be committed to using it every day, without breaks, leaving it on the scalp for at least 4 hours each time. So, no swimming or showering after its in, and as it may rub off on the pillow, no sleeping right afterwards either. Perhaps we’re a bit lazy, but this seems like a lot to manage for the hope of some hair.

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