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Hair loss information, advice and news
from the Hair Restoration experts at Bosley.

Minoxidil 101: Everything You Need to Know about Generic Rogaine®

Bosley is committed to providing hair loss solutions for individuals looking for clinically proven results. We offer a variety of different treatment options that can help treat hair loss and promote hair growth. More importantly, however, Bosley’s goal is to find the personalized solution that is right for you.

If you’re looking for a straightforward, FDA-approved, accessible solution, minoxidil may be right for you. However, before you place that first order, read over the following information to get acquainted with this topical treatment. 

What Is Minoxidil and How Does it Work?

Minoxidil is the generic name for the active ingredient in Rogaine. This highly effective, over-the-counter hair loss treatment has been clinically proven to stimulate hair growth in men and women.

When applied topically, minoxidil directly stimulates the follicle, delivering essential nutrients to the scalp’s follicles. This process can lead to denser, healthier hair and can help prevent future hair loss. Minoxidil works by stimulating and prolonging the hair’s anagen growth phase, which can increase the diameter of existing hair follicles and inhibit additional hair loss.

Bosley Minoxidil Phases

Anatomical training poster. Hair growth phase step by step. Stages of the hair growth cycle. Anagen, telogen, catagen. Skin anatomy. Cross section of the skin layers. Medical vector illustration

Can Minoxidil Really Slow Hair Loss?

Yes! Results are typically visible within four months. Minoxidil is particularly effective for men under 40 that have been balding for less than five years because it stimulates growth in miniaturizing follicles. If follicles are “terminally miniaturized,” then minoxidil may not be able to reverse the hair loss. However, minoxidil can still help follicles that are still miniaturizing.

Numerous clinical studies show that minoxidil can reduce hair loss and even promote new hair growth in some cases. German dermatologists conducted a one-year study with 984 men with male pattern baldness. These researchers found that using a 5% minoxidil topical solution reduced hair loss during washing by 50% and 62% of participants noticed a reduction in overall hair loss. Other studies show that supplementing minoxidil with finasteride enhances treatment effectiveness in men.

Can Women Use Minoxidil?

Unlike finasteride, women can use minoxidil—but at a lower concentration than men when using a minoxidil solution. Bosley offers a 2% concentration for women along with a variety of other hair loss alternatives, specifically suited to women.

Bosley has also developed a 5% minoxidil foam, which women can use once daily. Our 5% foam will be available to women (and men) starting in May.

Are There Any Side Effects of Minoxidil?

Very little of topically applied minoxidil is absorbed by the body, meaning that side effects are uncommon.

However, some people may experience itchiness and irritation of the scalp. Additionally, unwanted hair growth can occur in other areas through systemic absorption.

How Do I Use Minoxidil?

If you are utilizing a minoxidil solution, massage your solution directly into the scalp two times per day for optimal results.

Men may use the 5% minoxidil foam twice a day while women should only apply once a day.

Applying minoxidil at least two hours before bedtime allows the scalp to dry fully, which can help prevent minoxidil from being spread to another part of your body as you sleep.

Will Minoxidil Stain My Clothing?                                    

Yes, minoxidil can stain clothing. If staining is a major concern for you, consider switching up your morning routine. Apply minoxidil early and let it dry fully before getting dressed to keep your favorite ballcap or shirt stain-free.

Do I Need to Do Anything Special While Washing and Drying My Hair?

Keep that morning routine the way it is—wash and towel off your hair as you normally would. Once you’ve hopped out of the shower, you can apply minoxidil while your hair is damp, but remember that minoxidil should never be applied while hair is soaking wet.

Can I Use a Hair Dryer with Minoxidil?

Absolutely! For best results, we recommend using your hair dryer’s lowest speed setting and the cold shot button (if your model has one) along with waiting 20 – 30 minutes after application before you start blow drying your hair. Also, point the hair dryer at your hair itself rather than your scalp.

Can I Keep Using My Favorite Styling Products?

We get it—once you find a styling product that gets your hair looking just right, you don’t want to give it up. The good news is that minoxidil works with most styling products. The important thing is to make sure the product is applied to the hair and not your scalp and be sure to apply the minoxidil solution before your styling products. And, remember, you cannot wet your hair for 4 hours after applying minoxidil.

Keep in mind though that minoxidil must be used continuously even after you observe the desired results. If you quit applying minoxidil, hair loss and thinning will return to where you would have been if you had not been using the medication within three months.

Do I Need a Prescription for Minoxidil?

No, topical minoxidil doesn’t require a prescription. The FDA has approved minoxidil as an over-the-counter medication, meaning it is safe and effective when you follow the directions on the label and as directed by your health care professional.

If you’re unsure about whether or not minoxidil is right for you, go to BosleyRx.com for an evaluation and consultation with a medical professional. If you’re ready to try minoxidil now, simply go to the Bosley store to purchase.

You can also visit Bosley to learn about hair transplantation, the only permanent solution to getting your hair back. This technique takes healthy hair from a donor area and implants it where you need it most. If you’re interested in learning more about hair transplant options, schedule your consultation with a Bosley specialist.