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Hi,

My partner, who's in his late 30s, is (I was going to say "suffering from", but I am not sure if that's the right term) dealing with male pattern baldness. He's been considering the hair loss medication Rogaine and has asked me for my opinion. So I am here to ask for your knowledge and views while I look elsewhere as well. What is the active ingredient in Minoxidil, how does it work to restore hair that was already lost, and what are the side effects involved with this medication? And I guess, how long does it take to see results and for how many people who use it does it actually work?

Thanks!

:)

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Minoxidil IS the active ingredient in Rogaine! It was being studied for other medical issues when scientists discovered that it could help regrow hair. Minoxidil has been around since the 1980s, making it the hair growth medicine that has been on the market for the longest time, as well as the most commonly recommended medication for folks with hair loss. Minoxidil actually reactivates the follicles so hair can grow naturally again, that's how it works.
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Celebrity
464 posts

Hey,

For male pattern baldness, immediate action can improve the chance of long term success, and I don't know of any natural treatments for male pattern baldness that actually work. Rogaine seems to be a great option in this case. It's not actually quite clear how Rogaine works, but I am sure I read that it works within 6 months 80 percent of the time? That is a pretty good success rate, and I would certainly try this medication if I were personally suffering from hair loss. How it works is not so important if you know that it is well tolerated most of the time and it delivers results. 

Rosie

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Health Advisor
561 posts

Rogaine isn't without side effects. Some folks have heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, scalp problems, headaches, flushed skin, the whole lot. That's why I would never recommend Rogaine to folks who just wanna grow more hair, as some people apparently want to do. But for male pattern baldness? Well, I understand that the side effects are temporary so if they are really bad your other half could just stop using Rogaine. It's seems worth a try for people who really hate being bald, and it's rather effective on the whole too. There's nothing to lose except temporary discomfort, which may or may not happen, kwim?

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Celebrity
426 posts
Do you have any information on how many people using Rogaine actually suffer from the bad side effects, though? To put things into perspective, even common medications like tylenol or ibuprofen, which most of us would not think twice about taking if we were feeling under the weather, can cause serious side effects in some people. Because most people, the overwhelming majority, do not suffer from those rare side effects, we do not tend to think about those when we pop a pill for a headache or a fever, or period pains.

Is Rogaine similar, in that most people using Rogaine for hair loss do not have any side effects, or are the side effects quite common?
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Rogaine does "work". Most people who use Rogaine for hair loss will have a good amount of hair restoration. That does not mean that your partner can expect to get all his hair back though, because Rogaine does not perform miracles. Even hair transplants don't really take you back to exactly where you were when you were a child with a full head of hair, so it is important to have realistic expectations from Rogaine before you start using it. Although you don't need a prescription to use Rogaine in most cases, talking your expectations through with your doctor is always a good idea.
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