We tend to think that skincare and hair care brands and products are developed haphazardly. Nothing could be further from reality. Each serious brand owns and operates its own scientific laboratory, mixing and re-mixing, testing and re-testing, until a product is born with ingredients that enhance health, vibrancy, hydration, youthful shine, and softness.
Each product carries specific benefits such as ultimate moisture, color protection, heat protection, smoothness and manageability, relief from frizz, and even relief from thinning hair. Rogaine is the trade name for a compound that is scientifically proven to successfully address the issue of baldness for 39% of the men that use it.
It is not all that easy to obtain FDA approval for any medication. Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, founded in Kalamazoo, Michigan by William Erastus Upjohn (1853-1932), broke through all the barriers in achieving approval for two of the major uses of its Minoxidil compound: Treatment for both high blood pressure and baldness.
History of Rogaine & Minoxidil
The discovery of Minoxidil for hair regrowth by the Upjohn Laboratory was an accident. In the late 1950’s, scientists at that Lab developed what they thought was a cure for ulcers. However, testing on dogs confirmed that ulcers were not the target of their compound. Persistence being a potent characteristic of scientists, they felt instinctively that they had something real and kept searching. Their work paid off in spades when it became clear that this very same compound proved to be a primary antihypertensive vasodilator. In plain English, they had discovered an oral medication for high blood pressure.
Upon acquiring FDA approval for the substance that they named “Minoxidil”, Upjohn Co. collaborated with the University of Colorado in 1979 to perform clinical studies regarding the treatment of hypertension. Surprise, surprise: The subjects in the clinical trials experienced unexpected hair growth in bald areas of the head, as well as in other areas of their bodies where hair was not exactly welcomed. To address the over-exuberance of hair proliferation, Upjohn developed a topical lotion that could be used exclusively on balding regions.
It did not take physicians long to begin prescribing Minoxidil for the prevention of hair loss, to patients who were becoming bald. Simultaneously, intensive and thorough Upjohn research proved conclusively that 39% of the clinical-trial subjects experienced moderate to dense regrowth of hair on the top of the head. Therefore, Minoxidil is used only for crown hair loss.
Regaine Becomes Rogaine
The FDA caught up with the rest of the world in 1988, and approved Minoxidil for the treatment of baldness in men. Upjohn requested that the trade name Regain be accepted for this medication. However, due to the fact that only 39% were positively affected, the FDA ruled that Regain would be misleading. “Rogaine” was chosen as the alternative trade name. In the UK, it is “Regaine.”
Three years later, Upjohn produced Rogaine for Women. In 1996, Upjohn increased Minoxidil within its formula, from 2% to 5% where it remains today. Two years down the road, the FDA approved the Rogaine 5% formula for over-the-counter sale. Minoxidil is likewise a nonprescription medication in the UK and Germany.
What Are The Side Effects Of Rogaine?
While Rogaine is widely and safely used across the globe, many possible side effects may occur, such as: Rapid and irregular heartbeat; cardiac lesions; burning or irritation of eyes and at treated area; unwanted hair growth elsewhere; exacerbation of hair loss; severe allergic reactions causing bodily swelling, asthma, hives, rash, chest pain, dizziness, fainting, weight gain, other heart problems.
It is thought that the allergies may not be sourced in Minoxidil, but instead may result from one or two of the inactive ingredients within the usual formulation of Minoxidil products: Alcohol or propylene glycol. Scientists in the Pfizer Lab are experimenting with alternate formulas to reduce or eliminate the presence of these two ingredients.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
No one seems to be exactly sure what makes Rogaine tick. However, it is surmised that as a proven vasodilator, by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels Minoxidil facilitates an increase in oxygen, nutrients, and blood flowing into the follicles. After an initial fallout of thin strands, thicker hairs take their place.
In its active form, Minoxidil becomes Minoxidil Sulfate. Researchers believe that the natural activity level of sulfotransferase in hair strands is a predictor of an individual’s response to Minoxidil treatment for hair loss. Rogaine has proven to be most effective for those who have experienced less than five years of thinning hair and who are on the younger end of the age spectrum. Therefore, the smaller the area of baldness, the greater the efficiency of the product.
Proven results of Minoxidil use creating thicker and longer hair:
- Reduces speed of follicle shrinkage.
- Replaces shrunken strands with full-sized follicles.
- Extends growth stage of hair.
For the maintenance of hair regrowth and support of existing strands, Minoxidil must be used indefinitely. Expect hair regrowth to occur within 3 to 6 months of use if you are within the 39% who experience positive results.
Before & After Results With Rogaine: Does Rogaine Work?
I began balding when I was 18. It was a tough reality to accept. My stubbornness and denial caused me to dawdle for four years before I started to take action. My greatest regret in my battle against hair loss was not taking action sooner. Ultimately, preventative measures are far more effective than treating hair loss after it has already occurred. You can slow the process, but it’s a nearly impossible ask to turn back the clock and restore lost hair short of surgical intervention.
Well, at least I found Rogaine eventually. I don’t use the term miraculous lightly, but the effect that Rogaine has had on my hair has been nothing short of just that. My hair loss was occurring in an M shaped pattern, resulting in a severe widows peak. Well, after using Rogaine, it’s looking a lot more like a lowercase ‘m’ than an uppercase ‘M.’ After a couple of weeks of use, my hair began to whittle out which made me nervous, but I stuck to the Rogaine program because that’s exactly what is supposed to happen at first. My hair was simply thinning out in order to make way for my new hair.
After a full month, my new hair began to come in and it exceeded my expectations in every way. I haven’t had hair this thick in over three years, and although I don’t have my full head of hair back or anything close to it, I am confident knowing that I’ve stopped my hair loss in its tracks and preserved a respectable, if not full, head of hair. If you’re looking for a miracle cure that will give you a head of hair thicker and longer than a teenagers, your expectations are simply unrealistic. If you’re looking to slow your hair loss and win back some of what you’ve lost, look no further than Rogaine.
There’s a reason that Rogaine is known as the definitive hair loss treatment for men, and it’s not the marketing. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Try Rogaine and you’ll most likely be more than satisfied with your results, just like tens of millions of men around the world. As long as your expectations are realistic, there is every chance that they will be met and exceeded. There is one small caveat – if you stop using Rogaine, your hair loss will in fact resume. It’s a solution, but one that requires perpetual use in order to maintain lasting effects. However, once you see what Rogaine can do for you, you’ll likely never want to stop.