Minoxidil was developed and subsequently deployed as a drug to combat high blood pressure. It’s subsequent rebranding and reintroduction as a drug to help in the battle against androgenetic alopecia stems from the fact that an increase in hair growth was a common side effect of using the drug.
There is simple clinical evidence that strongly suggests Rogaine does work to improve both MPB and also hair loss in general. A study conducted on men over a period of 16 weeks showed an increase in hair growth for 85% of participants, and in a 48 week study on women 60% showed an increase in hair after 32 weeks.
There are caveats, however. For example, the evidence supporting Rogaine as an effective weapon against hair loss deals fairly specifically with hereditary hair loss over a period of time. Sudden, patchy hair less is likely to have a different root cause and thus the efficacy of Rogaine may be impeached.
You should seek medical advice immediately if you are experience sudden patchy hair loss.
In addition to it not being a cure for all forms of alopecia, there are a large number of side effects that are associated with its use. The most common of these include changes in body hair growth – which could be good or could be bad – mild weight gain – which most of us would like to avoid – and nausea – which is met with near universal dislike.
More serious side effects include hives, sudden, excessive weight gain, pounding heart and changes in hearing and vision. These are very serious, and if you experience them you must seek medical advice immediately. On a lighter note, one of the possible side effects is “excessive hair growth”, something we can’t imagine a huge proportion of Rogaine users complaining about.
Two clinical studies and a fairly terrifying list of side effects don’t tell the full story. If you have used it, do use it or are planning on using it, get involved – help your fellow MPB sufferers. Give us a story.
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