Minoxidil or Rogaine Reviews- from a Dermatologist (Dermatocare's hair product reviews)

Written By Dr Arpita Jain, MD Skin

Last updated: 19/09/18

"Doctor, how does minoxidil work? What are minoxidil side effects? How should I put minoxidil lotion on my scalp? I have been using minoxidil for years; should I stop it now? Can I start using Rogaine without consulting a doctor?" Minoxidil is the best bet for hair loss, may it be diffuse or patterned, and may it be in males or females. But the tragic part is that it does not stop hair loss, but helps in growing your dwindling mane. The hair that has reached the stage of fibrosis have but a little chance of regrowth.

See the list of hair care products that can help in stopping hair fall

How does minoxidil work?

Minoxidil increases the hair growth by the following proposed mechanisms:

  • Minoxidil accelerates the shedding of hair in resting stage (telogen), and initiates a growth of new hair (anagen) in that follicle.  This is the reason that you might experience increased hair fall on using Minoxidil.
  • It increases the duration of growth or anagen stage, so those hairs get longer and thicker on the application of minoxidil.
  • It might increase the blood flow to the area by dilating the blood vessels.


Can I use Minoxidil?

Yes! You can, if your doctor prescribes it for you. Here is the list of indications for Minoxidil:  

  • Male pattern hair loss
  • Female pattern hair loss
  • Diffuse hair loss
  • Chemotherapy-induced hair loss

How should I apply Minoxidil on my scalp?

For maximum benefit, use minoxidil as directed by your physician and also thoroughly read the instruction given on the package. Few tips to maximise the benefit of minoxidil are:

  • Use twice a day: It should be used twice daily for maximum results.
  • Do not exceed 1 ml: Exceeding 1 ml will increase the local and systemic side effects. Always read the instruction on the package insert to find out how to measure 1 ml of solution.
  • Apply on dry hair: The medicine might get diluted on wet hair, and there is increased the chance of trickling down of minoxidil to face or neck. Do not blow dry to accelerate the drying of minoxidil solution.
  • Do not apply on oily hair: The absorption of Minoxidil might decrease on oily scalp.
  • Use on the scalp, not the hair: Make sure the medicine is applied on the scalp so that it seeps into and reaches the hair roots.
  • Start from centre: Apply the minoxidil solution in the centre of the bald area and spread it to its periphery.
  • Do not wash your hair for 3-4 hours: Because after applying for the medicine, it takes this much time to get absorbed.
  • Wash your hands: Wash your hands after using minoxidil to avoid accidental transfer of medication on other body parts.

How long do minoxidil effects last?

According to our experience and various studies, the effect of Minoxidil begins after 3-4 months of regular application of Minoxidil. Most of the patients either loses patience much earlier or do not follow the correct directions, and hence wrongly blame that minoxidil does not help.

I have been using minoxidil for years; can I stop it now?

If you are a patient of Male pattern baldness, you can stop Minoxidil if you no longer wish to have the hair you earned after applying minoxidil. The biggest hurdle to the success story of Minoxidil is that the effect is temporary. The hair growth reaches its maximum in first 1-2 years and then the existing hairs might increase in thickness or length. But once minoxidil is stopped, hair reaches the pre-treatment level in next 3-4 months; no matter you used it for one year or 10 years. The only exception is in cases of diffuse hair loss where the underlying cause have been treated or chemotherapy-related hair loss, where the hair growth persists unless another session of chemotherapy is done.

What are Minoxidil side effects?

Minoxidil is tolerated fairly well; the local side effects can be handled with correct usage while the lotion has to be discontinued in case of systemic side effects:

  • Local side effects: You might experience tingling, burning, redness or irritation on applying Minoxidil. However, most of the patient develops tolerance after continued use.
  • Systemic side effect: A headache is common on using Minoxidil; if persistent the lotion might have to be stopped. Rarely, oedema, low blood pressure, rash, hypersensitivity reaction, etc. can occur.

Can I start using Rogaine without consulting a doctor?

Ideally, a doctors’ consult should be taken before starting the Rogaine, but here is list of precautions you need to be aware of:

  • Do not self-medicate if you are a heart patient.
  • Avoid during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Discontinue use and report to your doctor immediately if you experience any systemic effect including a headache, flushing, dizziness, fatigue, rash, etc.
  • If you are on anti-hypertensive, keep a watch on your blood pressure after starting Rogaine.
  • Do not start if the cause of hair fall is not determined.
  • Do not start if you do not have the patience to stick with treatment for at least a year and remember your hair loss will revert if you stop the medicine at any time.


She is working Aster Medical Dubai and has a keen interest in anti-aging skin care and is an avid blogger. You can read her blogs @ https://drarpitajain.com


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