Daily Health

When Should I Apply Rogaine

Rogaine is a powerful topical solution that may help achieve hair regrowth for anyone living with male or female pattern baldness.

As you begin treating your hair loss with Rogaine, it is essential to know when to apply the solution, as well as how frequently to apply it and the correct application method. In general, Rogaine should be used every day, either twice a day for men or once a day for women.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about when and how to apply Rogaine. Plus, we will discuss other key factors to consider, such as how long it takes to see results and how long you should plan on taking Rogaine.  

What is Rogaine and when should you apply it? 

Rogaine is a topical solution for hair loss, aimed specifically at people experiencing androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). It comes in both liquid and foam form and is applied directly to the scalp on the areas where thinning is occurring.  

When it comes to applying Rogaine, it depends on which product you are using. Men’s Rogaine is designed to be used twice a day for best results and the recommended application times are once in the morning and once in the evening. On the other hand, Women’s Rogaine is only intended to be applied once a day, ideally as part of an evening routine.  

How does Rogaine work?

The active ingredient in Rogaine is minoxidil, a prescription drug and vasodilator medications known for its ability to treat both high blood pressure (when taken orally) and hair loss (when applied topically).  

While the exact chemical mechanism that allows minoxidil to treat hair loss and promote regrowth is unknown, it is generally believed that minoxidil increases hair follicles and extends a person’s hair growth phase, according to Healthline.  

Does Rogaine work?

Rogaine can be incredibly helpful when working to regrow your hair, especially if the main cause of your hair loss is androgenetic alopecia.  

In a study by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, German dermatologists observed the effects of a 5% minoxidil solution on 902 eligible male androgenetic alopecia patients. Of these 902 participants, 47.8% rated the solution as effective in promoting hair regrowth. Additionally, 15.9% of participants said the solution was very effective, while 20.6% said it was moderately effective.  

As for the effectiveness of Rogaine for women, peer-reviewed research is more limited — though one study suggests that 5% minoxidil is more effective in treating female pattern hair loss than the 2% version of the topical solution.  

Is Rogaine safe?

Rogaine is generally considered to be a safe medication and is approved for sale by Health Canada.  

However, there are a few side effects to be aware of that can occur with use of Rogaine, including:

  • Scalp irritation
  • Headaches
  • Increased hair shedding
  • Unwanted hair growth on the face or body

Who should not use Rogaine?

Rogaine should generally be avoided if you meet any of the following specifications:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding: Research is limited when it comes to the effects of Rogaine absorption on people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. As a result, it is recommended to avoid Rogaine throughout the duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding.  
  • Your hair loss is sudden and patchy: Sudden and patchy hair loss can be indicative of a more serious issue such as alopecia areata. This condition and other more serious conditions require the attention of a healthcare practitioner and cannot be treated with Rogaine.  
  • Your scalp is irritated: A common side effect of Rogaine is scalp irritation. If your scalp is already irritated, itchy, or infected, you should avoid using Rogaine until it has cleared up. Otherwise, the Rogaine is likely to worsen the irritation.  
  • You have recently altered your hair: Bleaching, dyeing, and other chemical processes can affect your hair and scalp, as well as cause temporary irritation. When using Rogaine, it is best to avoid these styling processes while applying the topical solution.  
  • You do not know the cause of your hair loss: Rogaine is not a catch-all solution for every type of hair loss. If you are unsure of the cause of your thinning hair, consult with a healthcare practitioner first before starting Rogaine or any other hair loss treatment.  

Are there any medications that may interact when I’m using Rogaine?

Like any medication, Rogaine has the potential to interact with other medications a person is on. The two biggest drug interactions with Rogaine include:

  • High blood pressure medications (chlrorthiazide, guanethidine, etc.)
  • Alcohol disorder treatment medications (metronidazole, disulfiram, etc.)  

To ensure you are not at risk of harmful drug interactions when using Rogaine, always disclose your history of past and current medications to a healthcare practitioner.  

Additionally, you can check out Drugs.com — a free online educational resource on prescription drugs. Here, you will find a webpage dedicated entirely to Rogaine and the drugs it interacts with. This site also lists the severity of interactions (minor, moderate, major), as well as listing potential disease interactions.  

When will you see results from Rogaine?

According to Rogaine’s official FAQ page, it can take around 4 months to begin seeing results from Rogaine if the solution is used consistently and correctly.  

One study on the effectiveness of minoxidil found that after 48 weeks of consistent therapy, the results of using 5% topical minoxidil were “significantly superior” to the results of 2% topical minoxidil. Furthermore, the hair count data collected in this study indicates that participants using 5% minoxidil responded to treatment faster than those using 2% minoxidil.  

Another study on the use of a higher dose topical minoxidil (15%) for female pattern baldness revealed that a 12-week treatment with 15% minoxidil resulted in 60% of participants achieving a “clinically significant response” in their total hair counts. This study also notes that a higher dose minoxidil could be a more effective treatment overall for female pattern hair loss.  

However, 15% minoxidil is not currently approved for commercial use or sale, and more research is needed into the use and effects of this higher dose version of the drug.  

When should you apply Rogaine?

There is not a specific time that Rogaine is required to be applied — you can simply apply it whenever it is most convenient for you.

In many cases, a nighttime application is recommended, as this is when you are most likely to be at home and resting. This gives the Rogaine adequate time to dry and absorb as you settle in for the night. For people who apply Rogaine twice a day, once in the morning and once at night are the recommended application times.  

Keep in mind that in order for Rogaine to be most effective, it should be applied to a clean and dry scalp.  

How to apply Rogaine for hair growth

To apply Rogaine for hair growth, there are 5 key steps to follow:

  1. Clean and dry your scalp: Every time before you apply Rogaine, it is crucial to clean and dry your scalp thoroughly. This will help you avoid any irritation, as well as help the Rogaine to absorb properly into your scalp.  
  1. Use the recommended dose: Whenever you use Rogaine, you should always stick to the recommended dosage. For the foam version of Rogaine, a half capful is one dose. For the liquid version, 1 mL is equivalent to one dose.  
  1. Apply the solution to your scalp: Once you have measured out the right amount of Rogaine, you will apply it to the areas of your scalp where your hair is thinning. Generally, this will be on or around the crown of your head.  
  1. Gently rub the solution in: After the Rogaine has been applied to the necessary areas on your scalp, gently rub the solution in. This will help it to dry faster and ensure that the most solution possible is absorbed by the scalp. Make sure to wash your hands after so you do not spread the solution to other parts of your body.  
  2. Repeat this process: Rogaine requires ongoing and consistent use to be most effective. Thus, you must repeat this process every day for the best results.  

How often should you use Rogaine?

Rogaine is intended for consistent and every day use.  

Due to the nature of male and female pattern hair loss, Rogaine is only effective at promoting regrowth during the times it is used. When use of Rogaine is stopped, the hair loss is likely to continue in the same pattern it showed before using the solution.  

According to Rogaine, stopping use of the solution can result in your regrown hair disappearing again over a 3 to 4 month time interval.  

How long should I continue to use Rogaine?

How long you continue using Rogaine is ultimately up to you. If you have androgenetic alopecia, the reality is that you will need to continue using Rogaine long-term to maintain any hair regrowth you achieve during the treatment.  

It is important to think of Rogaine more as a daily medication rather than a temporary treatment. When you begin applying Rogaine, consider how you can fit it into your daily routine and make a habit out of applying it each day.  

What happens if I stop using Rogaine?  

If you stop using Rogaine, the only thing that will happen is that your hair loss may start up again.  

Other than this, there are no major consequences to stopping Rogaine use, such as drug withdrawals or other negative side effects.  

How to store Rogaine

Rogaine is easy to store — just keep it at room temperature and protected from heat and sunlight. Additionally, the Rogaine container should not be punctured, burned, or damaged in any way.  

According to Rogaine, the liquid solution has a shelf life of 3 years while the foam solution has a shelf life of 2 years.  

Key takeaways

For the best results from Rogaine, you should always follow the recommended dose. You can apply Rogaine at any time that is most convenient for you when you have a clean scalp and have time to wait while the Rogaine dries.  

To explore your treatment options, get started with Felix’s online hair loss treatment today.

WRITTEN BY
Felix Team
Updated on:
August 29, 2022
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Tanja Vlahovich
Family Physician, MD, CCFP (EM)
Disclaimer

The views expressed here are those of the author and, as with the rest of the content on Health Guide, are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.

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