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Home > Articles > Does Rogaine Work on Receding Hairlines?

Does Rogaine Work on Receding Hairlines?


Rogaine® is one of the oldest and most popular hair loss treatments on the market today. This topical solution began as an oral medication used for treating high blood pressure – until patients began to complain that one of the side effects of the medicine was hair growth in areas of the scalp that had previously been bald. Today, topical solutions of Rogaine are prescribed to treat male pattern baldness in men and hair loss and thinning hair in women. But can it also deliver results on thinning or receding hairlines?

How Does Rogaine Work?

No one knows for sure how the active ingredient in Rogaine, Minoxidil, works to treat hair loss. The drug falls into the class of Potassium Channel Openers, which seem to stimulate hair growth. The medication is applied topically to the scalp and left on for a number of hours. Application is twice a day and the medication must be used for the patient’s lifetime or the benefits of the solution could be reversed.

Where Does Rogaine Work?

For many years, doctors believed that Rogaine only worked on hair loss around the vertex of the scalp. The drug is approved by the FDA for this purpose, but not for treating the frontal hair loss that results in a receding hairline. However, a study on Rogaine conducted in 2003 and published in the Dermatology Times found that the topical solution also was effective in treating frontal hair loss. According to the results of the study, more than half the men saw improvement in the frontal scalp area after using five-percent Minoxidil. Patients who used lower concentrations of Minoxidil also saw positive results, but in fewer numbers.

It should be noted that even men who saw hair regrowth with Rogaine use did not typically see new hair around the temple area. This area is considered the most common and natural for hair loss as part of the aging process and does not respond well to any type of hair loss treatment. In fact, most doctors hesitate to perform hair loss procedures around the temple, because it give an unnaturally young look that most men do not find appealing.

Despite the positive results from this study, some doctors may still be hesitant to prescribe rogaine as treatment for a receding hairline due to the fact that it has not been approved by the FDA for this purpose. However, many others are willing to prescribe Rogaine in this capacity, due to studies like this one and anecdotal evidence they have seen in their own patients. In some of these cases, doctors may recommend a combination of Rogaine and the oral hair loss treatment Propecia to ensure patients get the best possible results.

Side Effects of Rogaine

Despite the success that many patients have seen with Rogaine, this topical hair loss treatment is not right for everyone. Some of the possible side effects of Minoxidil include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Itching
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Dry and flaky scalp

The decision to use Rogaine or any hair loss treatment is a personal one that should be made between a patient and doctor. If you are concerned about hair loss in the frontal region of your scalp, or a receding hairline, talk to your doctor or one of our providers at HairLossSpecialists to see if Rogaine is the best treatment choice for you.

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