Many patients ask about the benefits and risks of using Rogaine. What's the pros and cons with regard to minoxidil? Well, let me try to clear some confusion up for you. First of all, it's topical preparation that's often used twice a day. Because of the half life, you can probably get away with using it once a day topically applied to the scalp. It's not going to grow all of your hair back, so if you're bald and you think you can use that and it's going to grow all of your hair back, that's why people say it's ineffective.
But what it can do is at least freeze frame your hair loss. And again, keep in mind that genetic hair loss is progressive, which means it'll get worse over time. So if we can stop and freeze frame the hair loss and potentially get some regrowth, make the hairs thicker or heavier so that we get a cosmetic or aesthetic change that's positive, it can be very beneficial.
It's important for people to understand that you do have to use the minoxidil consistently. It's got to be used on a regular basis daily. If you don't, what will happen is you'll continually shed because it synchronizes the hair and puts it all in a growth phase. And if you take it irregularly, you're going to constantly be shedding and losing more hair. So it's normal to shed for the first couple of weeks with the medicine. Then it stops, and then you'll see your hair will get thicker and fuller.
The other big concern that people ask about is, "What happens if I stop the minoxidil? I'll lose all my hair." That's the big fear. Well, that's not necessarily true. What happens is, over time, you'll go to where you would have been if you never did anything. But people use this as an excuse not to start the medication, and I think it's wrong. I mean, people wouldn't not brush their teeth because of the fact that if they stop brushing their teeth, all their teeth would fall out. It's the same thing with exercise. If you exercise on a daily basis, you'll stay in shape. If you stop, ultimately, you're going to lose that, you know, muscle tone that you have, but that doesn't mean you should never start it.
These are some of the concerns and the answers that people really need to know factually about Rogaine and minoxidil.