Does Rogaine for Women Work? – Read this before you buy!

Minoxidil started out as a treatment for high blood pressure.

Physicians used it with their patients with high blood pressure, and noticed that those patients using Minoxidil were growing more hair as a side effect.

The encouraged clinicians went on to developed an application of Minoxidil for people suffering from hair loss, to apply directly to the scalp.

Rogaine was first approved for use with women in 1991, and the rest is history!

Does Rogaine Work? The Science:

Rogaine has been the industry-leading hair loss treatment product for nearly three decades.

Brand longevity spanning decades simply isn’t possible when a product doesn’t work – the market and consumer experience weeds out the crappy products over time. Only the winners prevail.

A 2004 study of 391 women ages 18-49 with female pattern hair loss showed that over 48 weeks of use, 5% minoxidil (Rogaine foam) outperformed 2% minoxidil (Rogaine topical solution).

Also, the 2% minoxidil significantly outperformed the placebo.

A placebo is “fake” medicine – participants think they’re being prescribed and using medicine, but what they get is a sugar pill. Scientific studies often use placebos – it’s an easy way to prove if something works, when comparing “something” to “nothing”.

Recent long-term studies on men using minoxidil show substantial results after 5 years of use.

While the causes of male and female hair loss are not always the same, there are similarities in cases where the source is hormonal, or due to excessive DHT, or a result of stress, illness, or even a side effect of medication or chemotherapy.

Read more about the causes of female hair loss here.

So, in short: yes. Rogaine works. The higher dose is best, but the 2% dose of minoxidil performs better than nothing. Best of all, minoxidil seems to work best in the long-term.

Rogaine is one of the best hair growth products for women on the market today.

Ultimately, to really know if something will help protect your hair and grow new hair FOR YOU, you need to take a look at the science, and read user reviews, or consult well-researched resources like this blog (sorry, couldn’t resist the plug :).

If it still sounds like a good idea after carefully reviewing the facts, that’s the time to try it out.

Rogaine for Women Reviews

Scouring the web for Rogaine for Women reviews, let’s just say there is no shortage of interesting stuff to read. Reviewer tones vary from ecstatic to regretful.

It’s immediately obvious that women have strong feelings about Rogaine based on their experiences.

What stands out perhaps the most is the surprise from women using Rogaine for a few months, after there’s measurable improvement to the thickness, amount, and strength of their hair.

As always, treatments have the best chance of being effective if they are geared BOTH to the cause of hair loss as well as treatments that promote hair growth.

What this means is that if your hair loss started after a hypothyroid diagnosis, you need to take your thyroid medication AND hair regrowth treatment.

Likewise, if your hair loss was caused by a vitamin deficiency, you have to take your supplements as well as a hair regrowth promoting treatment like Rogaine.

Addressing both the cause of your hair loss as well as the effect, with regrowth agents, is the most comprehensive solution giving you the highest chance of success.

 2% Minoxidil Topical Solution – Does It Work?

This type of Rogaine, the topical solution, contains the lowest dose of Minoxidil in the entire product line.

To apply, simply measure the dose of the liquid in the marked dropper, drop onto scalp, and massage the liquid into your scalp.

I will note that the topical solution contains propylene glycolan ingredient which some find irritating and may be responsible for the adverse effects related to itching.

The advantages of using the topical solution Minoxidil liquid are:

1) precision in dosing because of the dropper application

2) lower dose of the ingredient Minoxidil for those who are sensitive to it,

3) the lack of “greasy” or “mousy” texture that people observe while using the foam

The disadvantages of using it are exposure to propylene glycol, and the less aggressive dose of the active ingredient, Minoxidil.

For those who don’t know whether they will have a strong reaction to Minoxidil, starting with the lower dose could be the safest choice.

A 2002 study (for male Rogaine users) showed that the 5% minoxidil content was more effective for hair growth than the 2% minoxidil solutions.

5% Minoxidil Foam – Does Rogaine Foam Work?

This version of Rogaine contains the highest dose of active ingredient in their product line.

To use, it, simply spray the foam into your palm and then massage into your scalp, once a day, four hours before washing hair.

Rogaine foam does not contain propylene glycol.

The main complaint for the foam application is the texture it can leave behind.  Some describe it as sticky or “mousy”, which can make hair (especially longer hair) difficult to style.

On the plus side, some say the texture of Rogaine foam gives their hair more body and volume.

What stands out in reviews of women’s Rogaine foam is how shocked women are to see their hair regrow, even after long periods of experiencing thinned hair or bald spots. It brought weak or dormant follicles back to life.

The Short List

Pros:

  • It works
  • It’s affordable at just under $10/monthly dose
  • It’s widely available
  • Brand longevity & trust
  • Unscented
  • Multiple forms: foam and liquid

Cons:

  • Must be used indefinitely to maintain regrowth
  • Some women find it irritating
  • Some women find it ineffective
  • Must be used consistently – nightly routine required
  • Requires months of patience to see results, because of the natural timing of our hair growth cycles, and because hair, on average, grows only a half an inch a month.

Overall – Rogaine is Worth Trying, and Could Be Your Permanent Solution For Female Hair Loss

Rogaine for women has mostly pros, but a few cons. Not everyone has the same experience, and user experiences vary wildly.

Some women SWEAR by it, and others say it did more harm than good.

In my opinion, part of the cause of the negative experiences could result from the time needed to see a major difference. It’s possible many women don’t have the patience to wait and see if it works.

For the rest of the negative experiences, it’s likely that some users have sensitivities to the ingredients; those users should opt for more natural remedies.

For those concerned about the side effects of Rogaine, or who have experienced negative results or reactions to Minoxidil in the past, I recommend trying Rosemary oil.

Because of the highly personal, social and emotional costs of female hair loss, $10/month and an extra minute in the morning, for the rest of our lives, seems like a small price to pay.

Rogaine, especially Rogaine Foam, gives women a chance to push the reset button after a hairline ravaged by life stress, hormonal chaos, or the genetic short end of the stick. It offers a new start.

Have any experiences using with Rogaine for women, negative or positive? Any questions or comments? Please share your feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading!

46 thoughts on “Does Rogaine for Women Work? – Read this before you buy!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I think a lot of women losing their hair think they just have to suffer and deal, but there are products that work and have been out there forever to help. It’s also a bit of a denial thing, because a lot of hair loss patterns are more like overall thinning rather than the big ol’ bald spot on the middle of the head (like for men). Just make sure you suggest it in a positive way! 🙂

  1. I have been through a lot of hair fall at the age of 18 and trust me it was so depressing. I have tried rogaine and it works! I have regained most of my hair and have even stopped using it. Although I must admit that it did grow a bit facial hair while I was using it but that eventually went away with time.

    • Thank you for the feedback, and I’m glad Rogaine worked for you. It must have been hard to deal with hair loss so young. As for the facial hair consequence…well, that’s its own beast. I’m Italian and have dealt with a “moustache” since puberty, and I’ve also noticed a lot of post-menopausal women get facial hair from hormonal shifts…so I guess it was a small price to pay? Awesome that it went away over time.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your review of rogaine for women. People forget that hair loss is not just affecting men, and woman have the same issues too. I glad to hear that rogaine actually works and that is pretty affordable at just $10 a month. So if there are woman with hair loss issues, they hopefully will feel better to addressing the problem, cheers.

    • Thank you for the feedback. It is surprising how affordable Rogaine is, especially since it’s the main solution for so many women’s hair loss. I’ll post a follow-up with my own experiences with Rogaine once enough time has passed to see the results.

  3. Hey Penelope,
    With that much hair growth as a side effect, I wouldn’t even dare to touch Rogaine if I am a woman. But with that much risk, hoping alone won’t increase your chances.

    Is there anything we could do to boost the positive effect of Rogaine whilst reducing the side effect? Speaking of which, is the hair growth permanent though, or does it grow only when we take the meds?

    • The picture of the excessively hairy person was a joke. Minoxidil was modified to target the scalp only after they discovered it resulted in hair growth.

      That said, the biggest challenge of Rogaine and Minoxidil products is that you do have to use them indefinitely. After a year of good steady regrowth, you can scale back your application from daily to a few times a week. But if you stop altogether, the gains will fall out over the next few hair cycles.

  4. Wow, this sounds really good! A friend of mine is always commenting about hair fall, this might help. Is Minoxidil the technical name for this? Or is there another generic name for it that you know about?

    Just wondering how to search for it in other countries.Thanks for your help!

    • Minoxidil is the name of the active ingredient. Rogaine is the brand name of the most popular Minoxidil product in the US. There are generic versions available at both Costco and Walmart, but some users say they are more irritating. In the US, generics aren’t required to have identical inactive ingredients as the brand-name product.

      I know Rogaine is also available in Canada, but in Europe only the tincture (not the foam) is available for purchase. I hope that helps. There might be another brand available. I would recommend that your friend google Minoxidil + the name of her country to find product suggestions.

  5. I found this very interesting. A woman’s hair really is her crowning glory. Losing it is, for most women, devastating and having a treatment that helps is a godsend for those women. Is it true that hair loss in a woman is often related to physical or emotional problems such as stress or hormonal disorders?

    • It is definitely true that stress and hormonal disorders play a role in hair loss. Thyroid disease, which is a hormonal disorder, contributes to hair loss. Women going through menopause as well as pregnant women also can experience hair loss because of the drastic hormonal fluctuations during those times. And our bodies do all kinds of crazy stuff during stress!! What’s nice about living at this time (vs. any other time in history) is that we have medical and chemical tools to help regrow hair.

  6. Hey Penelope! I don’t think most people realize that there is quite a population of women who experience hair loss. From way back when, all commercials were strictly dealing with male hair loss. Thank you for sharing your story and your review of Rogaine for women. Hopefully, many women will experience success with usage, as like you said, it varies with each person. Take care…

    • Thanks for the feedback! I agree that most people don’t know that many different women experience hair loss, for many different reasons. One analogy that comes to mind is that most people also don’t know that men get breast cancer! Diseases don’t discriminate, that’s for sure.

  7. I like this topic and it is a very real one as men and women grow older. I must say that your review of this product for hair growth was quite thorough with the pros and cons clearly detailed out.
    I have heard about the side effect of minoxidil but this is the first time I am hearing about this product Rogaine using this side effect to an advantage. From your review, it is clear that it is an innovative product.
    You mentioned about propylene glycol used in this product as a skin irritant. Are you able to get any information on any other health hazards in the long term use of propylene glycol?

    • Thanks for the great question! I’m no chemist, but propylene glycol is an ingredient commonly found in vaping substances, beauty products, and processed food products. It’s also an ingredient in anti-freeze. It’s “generally recommended as safe” by the USDA, but that’s not the same thing as “completely safe for every person”.
      There haven’t been any human studies on its long term effects – only studies on monkeys and cats. However, it is common for people to have allergic reactions to it, and it’s potentially toxic to the liver and kidneys. For more information, I recommend this site: https://draxe.com/propylene-glycol/

  8. Haha, this makes me think about a while back when a friend of mine experienced hair loss due to stress. She then also started with some supplements and the new hair grew so rapidly in all directions and made her look like a little chick. Thanks for introducing this product

    • A little chick, I love it! Thanks for the great comment. I’m sure my readers will be encouraged by that, because little chicks are nothing if not fuzzy and covered in cute hair!

  9. Hi Sporkypie
    This is a very detailed review on Rogaine for Women. You bottom line the good and the bad issues quite well. I havent tried the Rogaine yet. I had issues with Keranique and dont think I will try anything else till my itching goes away! One of the cons about them both is that if you quit doing it, you lose the hair. I dont like getting locked in to doing that lol

    • Thanks for the feedback, I’m sorry to hear you had a reaction to keranique that’s still ongoing…that’s one I haven’t reviewed or tried yet and will keep that in mind! And yeah, it does seem like all these hair regrowth products are “rigged” in that they must be kept up eventually…but I’d rather do that than have thinned hair.

  10. HI again! Commenting here since now I’m talking Rogaine 🙂 Have you read any of the anecdotal evidence of people saying it causes premature aging by draining collagen? Also I worry that I’ll roll over onto my pillow at night and start growing (more) hair on my face. I sure don’t need that!

    • Hello hello! I haven’t heard that about Rogaine – the main thing I’ve heard is that once you start, you really can’t stop, and that it also can make hair really greasy. It’s funny that you worry about the face hair!

  11. Well, I’m going to try Rogaine, and, like you suggested elsewhere, throw everything I can at this. Speaking of which, one more question (and then I swear, I’ll stop bugging you – LOL!) I’m thinking of trying Propriden too, but wondering if upping my Biotin to 10,000 mcg is too much, considering that has 2500 mcg in it. Thoughts?

    • I like your comments, keep ’em coming! What I’ve read about super high doses of Biotin is kinda interesting – it’s an experimental treatment for MS. Because of that, I don’t think it’s automatically necessarily “poisonous” for everyone. Of course, blah blah, ask your physician about your specific situation, but here’s another resource with some possible side effects suggested at the bottom.

  12. Ha – thanks! Okay, here’s my plan if you’re interested: go back to taking Viviscal 2x/day since that helped me a year ago, adding Rogaine and Propriden. I’m sticking with Biotin 5000 mcg for now, since the Propriden has 2000 mcg, bringing my daily total to 7000–but I’m trying your recommended Biotin brand. The Ultax shampoo looks great but expensive, ditto Nutrafol, so holding off on those for now. Meanwhile – here’s a coverup tip: Joan Rivers Great Hair Day. It fuzzes up the hairs and also sort of colors your scalp to match. Not perfect, but it helps (along with good old mascara if you can find it in a matching color.) Thanks for the blog and the advice! Nice to find you 🙂

    • I’ve also never heard of the great hair day – is it a thickener like the salt sprays, or actual hair fuzz like infinity hair??? Fascinating!

      My problem of late is of my own doing: I’m kinda addicted to dying (lightening) my hair. Bleach weakens hair, and harms the scalp. SO I go for months saying I’ll wait it out, but then I snap and go get it colored again. I’ve been maintaining my supplements during this time but I know it undoes the progress I get from no-poo and also using the specialty shampoos. THIS TIME I’ll let it go au natural!

  13. It’s not a thickener, just a powder, almost like an eye shadow, but I find it does help. Yeah – I can’t give up the color either. What is the regimen that works for you, of all the ones you’ve reviewed here?

    I’m giving up on the minoxidil already. I woke up with a weird headache, and my heart races a little at night after I put it on. I’m also totally paranoid about it getting anywhere, on my pillow, etc. and then on my face.

    One thing I am doing is sleeping in a satin bonnet, which I was advised to do by a black woman who was shampooing me at the salon one day. It’s not the most attractive look, but it keeps my curls from tangling.

    • Out of everything I’ve tried here, the biotin supplement plus the collagen peptides plus the Ultrax Shampoo has worked the best, but I also really liked the Grow New Hair treatment. Unfortunately I must have developed an allergy to it when I moved to a different climate this spring. Further complications are my resistance to stop dying my hair (which absolutely makes it fall out)…and the extra scalp sensitivity that follows the dye job a good month or two after.

  14. What about the Propriden? Did you find that helped? I just ordered that to try, also the Biotin supplement in 5,000 mcg since the Propriden has 2500. I am going to try try the shampoo but am not sure about washing my hair so often. I will also check out the collagen! That sounds like a good product.

    • I haven’t physically taken Propidren just yet. When I do, I’ll update this review! Many of my reviews are products of research as opposed to experience, although I’ve certainly tried many of these products. This process helps me figure out what’s worth trying in the future…because of the nature of the hair loss and hair cycle beast, products can take weeks to months before you know if they’re actually working. And I always hope to hear from people who’ve tried them, in the comments – more information is always better!

  15. My wife uses this and swears by it, but i will divorce her if she ever turns out like the person in the photo that you put up,hahaha

  16. Very good post. Well, after kids almost every woman experience the hair loss , i am also having this problem and probably left few hairs on my head hahahah joking, but i am seriously thinking about it now and will give it a try. Have a good time.

  17. Hi Penelope, thanks for another great hair growth product review. Rogaine sounds like one of the least expensive options to try. I actually want to try all the things you recommend as my hair is thinning around the front, and I think I’ve learned from your posts that it could be female pattern baldness. It is not bad enough yet to even be noticeable (probably why I haven’t started any treatments yet), but I know I should catch it early. I think I may try the natural way first by trying the rosemary oil. i will do it for a good amount of time, at least 6 months and then I will let you know how well it has worked.

    • Hey Stefanie – thanks for the great comment. Yeah, try Rosemary first for sure, and come back and let us know about your progress! And you are absolutely right that you’ll need to start treating your hairline now while those follicles are still alive but struggling, vs. dead and impossible to resurrect.

  18. Thank you for the information! I have been doing research on hair regrowth and came across minoxidil. Do you know if it is only good for hair regrowth or if it will work on your current follicles and stimulate longer hair growth? I am interested in both, but am looking for something to stimulate other than biotin. Any suggestions?

    • Minoxidil is specifically targeted at new growth, so this is an excellent question. If you want fuller hair for your existing hair, I’d recommend going with a caffeine serum like Ultrax Plush or even Grow Gorgeous Hair Serum Intense. Both of these are super well reviewed to boost volume and hair strength! Finally, start taking a collagen peptide supplement each day (made from bovine hide and bones.) You’ll not only notice better skin and hair, you’ll also probably notice less joint pain!.

    • Hi Richal, thanks for the comment. Rogaine will stimulate new growth from dormant/alive follicles, in areas where you may not see any hair. Rogaine will also strengthen existing follicles and prevent you from losing more hair. If you’re just starting to lose hair, now is the time to get on the Rogaine bandwagon, so you can protect what you have and bring some of it back.

  19. Rogaine has been around for almost along as I have been on this earth but I never put much thought into how much help it could give women. I am glad that it does work because losing your hair, as a woman especially, is very frustrating. I too agree that I think most of the negative reviews come from a lack of patience, that is with most products. Those that hung in there got to see the fruits of their labor. Great article once again!

    • Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. I agree, Rogaine has been around for such a long time, but it does take a good several months to produce results!

  20. Wow Penelope, this product is so amazing and the way you have mentioned every point is great, Some of my friends using this product and are really happy with the results, so it is not just reviews I have seen this product working really amazingly, highly recommended for women who are experiencing hair loss.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Rogaine is the big daddy hair loss product, having been around longer than most and also having the distinction of being FDA approved. Glad to know you’re seeing it work in your life 🙂

  21. Rogaine is really great and effective product. I have seen the results of rogaine for men on some of the people I know so Rogaine for women must be great as well. This product is not very expensive and easy to afford as compared to expensive hair growth treatments that contain harmful chemicals as well. Highly recommended..!!

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