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Rogaine®

While not typically a severe medical condition, hair loss can pose a significant cosmetic problem for men and women alike, affecting their appearance and their self-confidence. The problem is a common one that affects more than half of all men by the age of 50. While fewer women experience hair loss, when they do, it can be even more detrimental to their self-esteem. Fortunately, both men and women have options for hair restoration treatments today. The Maas Clinic features a variety of procedures and medications, including Rogaine, that can work alone or synergistically to restore a patient’s hair, appearance and self-confidence.

Causes of Hair Loss

The origins of hair loss in both men and women might include:

Hormones

Male hormones known as androgens are the culprit in many cases of hair loss in both men and women. Androgenetic alopecia, also referred to as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, occurs when these hormones start to shrink some of the hair follicles. As the follicles get smaller, the hair inside gets finer until the follicle can no longer produce hair at all.

Genetics

The genes from both the mother and the father may influence the child. The genetic component means that if you have a family history of hair loss on either side of the family, you may be more likely to lose some of your hair as well.

Stressful Events

Childbirth is a beautiful time, but it can also be a stressful one. The stress of the event coupled with hormonal changes can lead to hair loss during and after pregnancy. Fortunately, hair generally grows back once the baby is born. Other types of stress, such as a loss, divorce or move, can also lead to what is usually temporary hair loss.

Illness or Injury

Some underlying illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, can lead to hair loss. Once the condition is properly addressed, the hair may grow back in some situations. Injuries to the scalp, such as burns, can also affect the ability of the follicles to grow hair. In these cases, the loss may be permanent if the damage to the follicles cannot be reversed.

Medications

The medications used in chemotherapy often lead to hair loss. Most individuals find that once the chemo is stopped, hair growth will resume over time. Other medications can also lead to hair loss, including some drugs used to treat high blood pressure and oral contraceptives.

Dr. Maas will want to determine the reason behind the hair loss before recommending a treatment. In some instances, a change in medication or treatment of an underlying condition may be necessary. In other situations, treatment using medication or surgical procedures may be the best path to stop hair loss and even regrow hair in some cases.

The Science behind Rogaine’s Success

Minoxidil, known under the brand name Rogaine, is designed to treat androgenetic alopecia. The topical medication penetrates the outer surface of the scalp to stimulate the follicles to produce hair once again. The formulation also increases protein levels to extend the growth phase of the hair cycle, further enhancing results.

Rogaine has an extensive track record of both safety and efficacy in the U.S. The medication was first used in an oral form to treat high blood pressure. However, physicians noticed that one of the side effects was hair growth in various areas of the body. This finding led to the development of a topical form of the medication that could be applied to the scalp directly to stimulate hair growth.

The FDA first approved the two-percent solution in 1988 as a treatment for male pattern baldness. In 1992, the same concentration was approved for women. The FDA approved an extra strength formulation (five percent) in 1997 for men who did not achieve satisfactory results with the standard formulation. Since then, the product line has expanded to foam solutions that make for easier application and an extra-strength version of the medication for women.

Best Candidates for Rogaine

People experiencing hair loss may consider Rogaine if they have not seen the results they want using finasteride alone. These two medications are often done simultaneously to maximize results. Minoxidil is sold over-the-counter, so you don’t need a prescription to start using it. However, it is best to consult with Dr. Maas before beginning this regimen, since he can let you know whether the medication might produce the desired results for you. Studies have shown Rogaine helps stop hair loss in the majority of patients that use it, and a smaller number might also experience hair regrowth after a period.

Treatment, Results and Possible Side Effects

To reap the full benefits of Rogaine, the medication must be applied twice daily. Fewer treatments will result in minimal results. When used as directed, patients should begin to see changes within four to six months. It is important to note that because minoxidil does not alter the hormones that cause the hair loss, the treatment must be continued to maintain positive results. If you stop using Rogaine, your hair loss will eventually resume.

There are some side effects associated with Rogaine, which are not typically dangerous. These include skin irritation or unwanted facial or body hair. Allergic reactions may be possible, but they are very rare. In most cases, side effects subside if you stop taking the medication.

If you are in search of effective methods of hair restoration, there are many tools in the arsenal today. Contact The Maas Clinic at 415-567-7000 to find out if Rogaine is an appropriate option for you.

It is never too late, To be what you might have been.- George Eliot