Initially used to treat high blood pressure, minoxidil was the first medication approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness. By applying Rogaine (or a generic version) directly to the scalp twice a day, a man in the early stages of hair loss can often stimulate growth. The American Hair Loss Association points out that results of treatment with minoxidil are limited, but it still endorses using it in combination with other treatments or as an alternative if finasteride doesn't work.
Some treatments in development hold particular promise for women. Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and Columbia University professor of dermatology, is hoping to begin clinical trials in a year or two on a procedure in which she dissects hair-follicle stem cells, grows them in the lab until she has several million, then injects them into the scalp, where, a very small study done with a human skin model has shown, they induce new hairs.
Getting Rapunzel-like strands is no easy feat—ask any girl who’s gobbled down countless biotin pills and vitamin E supplements only to be greeted with the same lackluster strands. There are a lot of factors that contribute to hair growth (or lack thereof), but one of the most overlooked is physical stimulation—as in, massaging the heck out of your scalp. Turns out giving yourself a scalp massage using some key natural ingredients can help your hair grow faster and in turn make your strands look more Blake Lively–esque. Or there’s the whole egg-yolk-mask thing. Or why not try a hot oil castor oil treatment? There are plenty of natural treatments that will give you the hair of your dreams—all you have to do is look to your kitchen for the necessary supplies.
Castor oil is the unsung hero of the hair world—you might even be tempted to ditch your coconut oil for it after reading this. First of all, castor oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties to help combat scalp infections that prevent your hair from growing. Second, it’s filled with omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, proteins, and other nutrients that can penetrate your parched strands and seal your hair shaft to retain moisture. Thirdly, it makes an amazing hot oil treatment—massaging the oil into your roots will help your scalp drink up all of the nutrients and help promote hair growth.
There’s no cure for baldness, but there are ways to hold on to what you've got. The six dermatologists and the clinical studies point to three methods: minoxidil, laser treatments, and prescription finasteride. The key is finding the combination and hair loss regimen that works for you. A doctor is your best bet for that kind of guidance — but we found a few trustworthy products that will work for most people.
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
Alright, review time. Oh boy did this not work for me! I don't want to give this one star just based on it not working for me, I would rather give my story instead. I have always had thin hair. (Thanks Mom and dad!) Two years ago I started taking progesterone (hormones) and my hair started thinning. I stopped after 3 months and My hair continued to thin and never grew back. (Thanks Doc!) Last month I decided to try rogaine after it was recommended by a friend. (Thanks buddy!) That was probably the worst mistake of my life. In two weeks time 50% of my thin hair had fallen out. (I mean every time I would shampoo or brush, handfuls would fall out.) I followed the instructions to a T and prepared myself for the "shed". I had to stop after two weeks when I held a mirror up and could see bald spots in the back. (This isn't good.) After quitting the shedding has continued. (This could stop at any time.) It has now been a three weeks after quitting, and my hair has finally stopped falling out besides the normal hair loss. (Yay!) You can see my scalp through my hair at the top of my head. (Nooo.) The hair that is left up there is hiding bald spots. There isn't a style I can fix my hair into without seeing a bald spot. (Super sad face.) I was slightly depressed going into this about my hair, now I spend all day stressing about other people having to look at it. (I feel like Quasimodo!) So, besides the hair loss my scalp is super itchy, and I now have dandruff. Two things I never really had before. (The story gets even better!) Went to my family doctor. After he had the opportuniy to examine my hair, he said I looked like a chemo patient. (Again, thanks Doc!) I have started taking a vitamin regime of biotin, iron, and a hair-skin-nails pill. I haven't notice any new growth yet. I imagine it will be a while though. To sum up this experience as depressing is an understatement. I have cried many times but that won't bring any hair back unfortunately. (I haven't gone and looked at wigs yet.) To bring this story to an end I would like to say that it didn't work for me personally. If it works for you congratulations!
In our research and our conversations with experts, one name kept popping up repeatedly: Rogaine. As the first topical brand FDA-approved to help regrow hair (all the way back in 1988), Rogaine benefits from more than 20 years of clinical trials and consumer feedback. Rogaine was the first brand to offer a 5 percent minoxidil foam solution when it debuted Men’s Rogaine Unscented Foam in 2006, and virtually every treatment developed since (for both men and women) has been an imitation or derivation of that formula.
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, hair health is tied to two things: kidney energy and the blood, which nourish the hair. The solution: acupuncture and Chinese herbs. While there isn't a lot of hard science to back this up, Maureen Conant, a TCM practitioner at Full Bloom Acupuncture in Seattle, says that she's seen women's hair stop falling out and then gradually regenerate after a few months of weekly treatments.