Does Regaine (Minoxidil) Reverse Hair Loss?


Does Regaine (Minoxidil) Reverse Hair Loss?

John M

John M

Hi, I'm John. About age 30 my hair started receding. After trying lots of products I eventually decided on a hair transplant. And now I have my hair back.

Rating (3.5 out of 5):
Overview: Good for maintaining hair, fairly cheap, easy to use, comes in spray, foam or liquid

What is Regaine?

Regaine (or Rogaine if you’re in the US) is an FDA approved treatment for hereditary hair loss that’s available without a prescription, and is suitable for both men and women. The active ingredient it contains is called Minoxidil. Minoxidil is clinically proven to prevent further hair loss in around 80% cases.

Minoxidil was originally a blood pressure medication, taken orally. In early trails it was noted that patients began growing extra body hair. So it was later adapted into a topical product that can be applied directly to the scalp.

When Minoxidil is absorbed into the scalp it enhances the blood supply to your hair follicles. This prolongs the hair follicle growth phase (Anagen phase), allowing for hairs to grow thicker in diameter. It also causes more hairs to go through the growth phase at the same time. The result is a thicker, fuller looking head of hair.

Minoxidil comes in a variety forms, the most popular being Regain foam. It comes in the standard 2% strength, and in a 5% extra strength option. You apply it directly to your scalp once or twice a day. It’s suitable for both men and women. It has no side effects so you can buy it now without a prescription. And It’s also fairly cost effective.

It’s worth noting that Minoxidil does not inhibit the production of DHT. For more information on DHT take a look here.

How do I use Regaine?

Regaine foam is like a styling mousse. So you can either apply a small amount to your scalp directly, or squeeze it into your palm and then rub it into your scalp. The foam option is definitely easiest form to apply. I found that the liquid option (applied by droplet) would run down my face and the back of my head. The liquid form can be cheaper, but it’s harder to apply.

The directions state that you have to apply Regaine twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. If you want to ensure the best results you should follow the directions. That said studies show that when Minoxidil is applied topically it has a half-life of 22 hours in the skin. It’s a hot debate but some suggest that there isn’t much difference in using the 5% option once a day, compared to using the 2% option twice day. Like this one study carried out on a group of women fighting hair loss. I personally used Regaine once a day and saw some good results.

A 3 month supply of Regaine costs around £45 in the UK, and it’s well worth giving it a try. I find that it lasts longer than 3 months because I only use it once a day. And I actually enjoy using the product. I usually hit the gym on my way home from work. When I get home i’ll shower, partially dry my hair, then apply a small amount all over the top of my scalp. It’s easy adding Regaine to my daily grooming regime.

How long does it take to work?

Everyone responds differently, so I would advise patience when trying a new hair loss product. According to the official Regaine website you may see some shedding around week 2. Shedding is when weak hairs are shed so that stronger hairs can take their place – this is a good sign. By Week 8 you may see some early signs of Regaine working. Any shedding should have stopped by this point. By weeks 12-16 you should see some regrowth. This is the time frame stated on the official Regaine website. However I found that you don’t really see the difference until 6-12 months. Remember I only used the 5% foam once a day! Had I followed the instructions and used the foam twice a day I may have seen a difference sooner.

Top tip! Take pictures the day you start using Regaine (front, back, sides, top). Then take another set of pictures at 3 months in. Then another set at 6 months, then 9, 12 etc. Try to get a friend to take them to get a good angle. This also helps with lighting as you’ll get glare from the flash if you are doing it selfie style. Use a good camera and try to get the same angles each time, so look at the last set before you take the next. This gives you a great record of your progress. I didn’t start doing this straight away so it was hard to accurately track my results.

My experience using Regaine for 12 months…

Before Regaine (LEFT) / Using Regain (RIGHT)

Ok so my photography skills back in 2014 were terrible. These pictures are not the best. The lighting Yes these are terrible images! I still wanted to share them though, and to talk about my experience. You may notice that in the image on the right my hair is darker, and slightly thicker. The flash is also brightly shining on the crown (roughly 9 months in

You’re probably going to jump straight to the pictures below. Before you do there are a few important points to note about my experience with Regaine. When I started using it I was primarily looking to regrow hair in the front at the hairline – Regaine works best in the crown at the back. I was so fixated on the front I wasn’t really tracking the back, so I don’t have that many good quality images from that period – hence my tip about pictures above!

Use in Women

Both the 2% solution and 5% foam formulations of minoxidil are approved for use in women. Women are generally more sensitive to the side effects of minoxidil in decreasing blood pressure (hypotension) and may get light-headed from the medication. Women also have an increased risk of developing allergic skin reactions (contact dermatitis).

An annoying local reaction that women sometimes get from topical minoxidil is the development of facial hair. Although the facial hair slowly resolves when the medication is discontinued, at times the hair may need to be removed. Carefully trying to avoid the medication dripping down onto the temples and forehead seems to reduce, but not totally prevent, this problem. There is a significantly greater incidence of these side effects if the 5% solution is used, especially if applied twice a day.

Rogaine was developed from the oral blood pressure medication minoxidil (Loniten). Minoxidil taken orally has potential serious side effects on the heart and circulatory system and is used only when other blood pressure medications have been unsuccessful.

Top 5 Reasons to go abroad for a Hair Transplant

1. Save at least 60% on the cost

A hair transplant in Europe is at least 60% cheaper than in the UK. And most packages are all inclusive, including your accommodation and airport transfers.

2. Europe has some of the most experienced surgeons in the world

Europe has more clinics, which have been established and running for much longer than clinics in the UK. The price is also lower, making it more accessible for people.

Surgeons in Europe will have carried out hundreds, if not thousands more procedures than UK based surgeons. Because of this some UK clinics will bring in surgeons from Europe to carry out your procedure.

3. Hair restoration clinics in Europe are state or the art

Many facilities in Europe are dedicated hair restoration clinics. They only perform that type of treatment. As such all equipment, facilities, techniques and staff are specialists in hair restoration. 

Hair restoration is only now becoming more popular in the UK, so many UK clinics are general cosmetic facilities that carry out various procedures.

4. Get even more value by making your transplant into a holiday

Europe is such a popular holiday destination for many reasons, the culture, history, sights, cuisine, shopping, great weather, your money goes further, it’s widely English speaking, and it’s just 2 or 3 hours away by plane. 

The list goes on! So why not travel a few days earlier, grab a low cost Airbnb or hotel, take a friend or partner and enjoy the city for a few days before your transplant.

5. Hassle free process

It’s so easy to get an assessment and price. Contact the clinic, arrange an initial consultation in the UK with your surgeon, or do an online consultation by sending a few pictures and answering some basic questions. 

Once you’re happy, pick a date and you’re done! The clinic will send you all the paperwork and itinerary so you know exactly what’s happening. You don’t pay until you go for treatment. 

You just hop on the plane. A transfer car will meet you as you get off the plane and take you to the clinic. It’s such an easy process. Easy!

Top 5 Hair Transplant Tips

1. Know your post-op timeline – The key dates!

  • You need to take the upmost care in the first 7 days
  • You can leave the house after 7 days, but I advise you take at least 2 weeks off work.
  • You won’t be able to wear a hat or exercise for up to 4 weeks after.
  • Around 2 – 4 weeks your new hair will fall out, you’ll look a little red and sore – similar to sunburn.
  • Around 4 months your new hair starts growing and looking good.
  • By 6 months you can’t tell you’ve had a transplant.
You can get a haircut after the first month, or you can keep it short yourself with clippers until it starts to grow back.

2. Pick the right time to schedule your treatment

Good clinics will be busy, so you may have to wait 2 months to get an appointment – this is a good thing. So knowing that and knowing your post-op timeline (above) means you can plan the perfect time around your social or work calendar. 

If you have important social events coming up, particularly if you know you’ll be photographed then you may plan your transplant 6 months in advance, or wait until your calendar is free.

3. Set your expectations

If your hair has receded at the front you’ll want the clinic to draw an expected hairline on your head or on pictures of you as soon as possible. They’ll then also talk about the number of grafts or hairs you’ll need and how thick the result will look. 

The sooner you can establish this, the sooner you’ll know exactly what to expect. A good clinic will also take into consideration a natural looking hair line for your age and your face and head shape. Have an honest conversation and be open to their expert feedback.

4. Knowing what the journey home looks like

There’s no way around it, you’ll have to go out in public to travel home. The worst part is sitting at the airport for 2 hours or so whilst you wait for your plane. 

I found it was best to embrace it. People are nice for the most part and won’t stare, and if one or two do who cares – you will never see those people again! You may even be at the airport with other transplant patients, I wasn’t the only one! 

Take a travel pillow and have someone pick you up if possible, so you can exit swiftly and get back home as soon as possible. It’s natural to be self-conscious, but it’s over fast and well worth it.

Tip! Just take carry-on luggage to keep your check-in and wait time down.

5. Choosing the right clinic

  • Pick somewhere you can travel to and from easily
  • Check their reviews online, not just on their site!
  • Do they have a good quality website and professional looking emails?
  • Can you see actual case studies of previous patients online?
  • Do they have an address? Can you see it on Google street view?
  • Can you meet your surgeon for a consultation beforehand?
  • Do you know someone who’s been there before – first hand opinion is amazing!
John M

John M

Hi, I'm John. About age 30 my hair started receding. After trying lots of products I eventually decided on a hair transplant. And now I have my hair back.

Do you want to keep your hair without surgery? I get it … surgery can be expensive and frightening. Although it’s the most effective solution when things go bad and it helped me, you still experience some discomfort and have to take some time off from work.

Fortunately, researchers in Norway succeeded in stopping hair loss and promoting regrowth in 63.9% of test participants by using fish proteins!

Although not flawless … fish proteins, minerals, and antioxidants have a positive effect on strengthening hair.

Click here to get a 60 day money back guarantee.

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