Best Taken: AM or PM Caution: Low blood pressure, swellingBest for: Hair loss in men & women

Useful for hair growth 

Mode of action: Prolongs hair cycleScience Score: *****


What is the science behind Minoxidil for hair loss?

The exact mechanism of action for minoxidil for hair loss isn’t actually clear, it’s believed to work by partially enlarging hair follicles and prolonging the anagen cycle or the growth phase of hair. With more follicles in the growth phase, you’ll see more hair coverage on your scalp. This drug was first used to treat high blood pressure, and it was serendipity that some men & women experience increased hair growth on this medication. 

Can Minoxidil/Rogaine thicken my hair?

Rogaine in both the 2% & 5% minoxidil formulations can eventually result in thicker, denser hair—but it will take up to 6 to 7 months to achieve.  You will have to keep up with the treatment in order to maintain. This solution works best on the vertex & crown areas, less so for the front & temple pattern hair loss.

Who gets the best results from Rogaine / Minoxidil?

Rogaine is applied to the scalp to help grow hair & reduce hair shedding caused by male or female pattern baldness. This is the most common type of hair loss. 

This medication works best in people with hair loss at the vertex of the scalp or for women with general thinning of hair on the top of the scalp. Rogaine isn’t meant for a receding hairline or baldness at the front of your scalp though it can slow it down.  It won’t help people who’ve already gone completely bald. Hence minoxidil is most useful in preventing or slowing down hair loss. 

Telogen effluvium can also be treated with minoxidil, however in most cases hair loss will stabilise. An example of this is postpartum hair shedding. 

Davin’s viewpoint on Rogaine & Minoxidil

Rogaine is one of the first, & still currently is, the most common prescription for male & female pattern hair loss, known as androgenic alopecia. This drug only works in people with a hereditary form of hair loss at the top and back of the scalp. About 60 percent of people in clinical studies had good results. If it does work for you, you likely won’t grow all of your hair back. It also becomes a lifetime obligation if you want to maintain your results. This topical is best combined with oral agents such as finasteride, dutasteride, cyproterone acetate, spironolactone & oral minoxidil. Topically, minoxidil works best as a preventive. 

Disclaimer: my work is procedural. For hair loss disorders, please consult with my colleagues at Cutis Dermatology, Brisbane. 

Join the conversation

Join Dr Davin Lim on Instagram to stay up to date


Enquire now!

Get In Touch

Quick Contact

Dr Lim has unparalleled experience in dermatology. Fill in the form below and he will get back to you with your query
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.