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Unlike Propecia, Rogaine is an over-the-counter hair loss treatment. Also unlike Propecia, Rogaine is a drug that can be used on both men and women. Rogaine is a topical solution with the active ingredient Minoxidil, and is available in 2% solutions for women and 5% solutions for men. The liquid solution is spread over the balding area twice daily and must dry in order to remain effective. The manufacturers of Rogaine have recently released Rogaine foam that was designed for easier application as well as greater absorption of Minoxidil into the scalp.
Rogaine works by revitalizing shrunken hair follicles. Studies have shown that Rogaine can slow hair loss and promote partial regrowth in some (but not all) patients. While Rogaine really does work, scientists are still baffled at exactly how it works. Minoxidil was first developed as a high blood pressure medication and this may explain part of its effectiveness. Rogaine increases blood flow to the areas surrounding bald spots. This blood flow increases follicle size and the growing phase of hair. Some researchers believe Rogaine works by opening potassium channels located in the hair follicle. No matter how it works, Rogaine's results are measurable; however, its effects disappear rapidly after its discontinuation.
It should be noted that both consumers and professionals have reported that Rogaine works better for women than it does for men. This has made Rogaine for Women a popular first option for women with hair loss. Since Rogaine is FDA approved for over-the-counter use, it is much safer than other hair loss options such as Propecia. Rogaine is, however, not without its side effects. Side effects for Rogaine include itchy scalps, acne, and mild to moderate headaches. These Rogaine side effects can be an indication that you're taking too high a dose of Minoxidil. It's also believed that Rogaine's effectiveness diminishes over time, leading doctors to theorize that patients can build up a tolerance to this scalp med after years of use.
Rogaine prices are fairly reasonable and are much less expensive than those of Propecia. Rogaine is typically sold for $25-30 for 60ml (a one month supply). Learn more about Rogaine and other hair restoration options during your free consultation with a hair loss specialist near you.