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Rogaine for Men: Does it Really Work and What Makes it Manly?
Dr. Correia (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Correia (GMC)
Updated on May 14, 2024

Rogaine (or Regaine in the UK) is the brand name of the popular hair growth medication Minoxidil. It has two major product ranges: Rogaine (Regaine) for men and for women, as both genders can benefit from this treatment. Minoxidil has a proven effect in stimulating hair growth and reducing hair loss caused by many types of alopecia, such as androgenetic alopecia  (male or female pattern baldness), alopecia areata, or telogen effluvium. That makes 53% of hair loss specialists always or often prescribe it to their patients [1].

Since the active substance in Rogaine for men and women is the same, you may be wondering where the difference lies between the company’s gendered product ranges. The short answer is that Men’s Rogaine topical solution has a 5% Minoxidil concentration, while the women’s counterpart only has 2% Minoxidil. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that there is absolutely no ingredient difference between Men’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Unscented Foam and its female variety. The only things that set them apart are the marketing choices.

Should you find that Rogaine for men is not sufficient to treat your hair shedding, you can choose to enhance its effect by combining it with other hair loss treatments, such as Finasteride, therapies, such as derma rolling for hair growth or natural remedies, like rosemary oil for hair.

Keep reading this article to find out more about:

  • How Rogaine for men works to prevent hair loss
  • The conditions Rogaine for men can effectively treat
  • The differences between Rogaine’s men and women ranges
  • Effective alternatives to Men’s Rogaine for hair loss
Table of Contents
man applying topical Rogaine/Regaine for men

How does Rogaine for men work?

Minoxidil was originally developed to treat high blood pressure, as it is a kind of medication known as a vasodilator – a substance which widens your blood vessels. However, it was soon discovered that it also could promote hair regrowth in patients who used it. So the drug was approved and marketed as a hair loss treatment under the brand name Rogaine (or Regaine in the UK).

Rogaine is a formulation of topical Minoxidil, which can be used as a foam or as a solution. It is applied directly to your scalp and works by dilating its capillaries, allowing for increased blood flow [2]. This ensures that a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients reaches your hair follicles.

Having more resources available to grow new hair, more of your follicles may enter the hair growth phase of the hair growth cycle, resulting in increased hair size and density [3].

hair growth cycle

Does Rogaine for men work for treating hair loss?

A robust body of research has clinically proven that Minoxidil is very effective in stimulating hair regrowth and improving hair loss in the following types of alopecia that can affect men [3][4]:

Here are some before and after Minoxidil photos, to give you a better idea of the kind of effect you can expect after a Rogaine for men treatment:

Before and after eight weeks of using 5% Minoxidil foam twice a day
Before and after eight weeks of using 5% Minoxidil foam twice a day
alopecia areata before and after using Rogaine
Alopecia areata patient before and after 12 weeks of 2% topical Minoxidil

Is Rogaine better than other Minoxidil formulations?

While Rogaine is the most popular Minoxidil formulation, there are also some less expensive generic options available. There has been little research to compare the efficacy of brand vs generic formulas.

However, one 2023 study performed on 417 men with male pattern hair loss revealed no difference between the results of Rogaine 5% Minoxidil foam and a generic 5% Minoxidil foam. Both regrew hair and achieved the same increase in hair density and diameter after 24 weeks of treatment [7].

Can Men’s Rogaine permanently regrow hair?

Since Minoxidil works by opening up your blood vessels, this effect only lasts for as long as you are using the medication. That means Rogaine will only be effective for as long as you are applying it regularly on your scalp. This is common for most types of hair loss treatments. The only exception is hair restoration surgery, as hair transplants are permanent.

Is Rogaine for men safe to use?

Like any medication, Rogaine for men can also have unwanted side effects. Some of the most commonly reported adverse reactions to Minoxidil include [8]:

However, the dosage and administration modes are important when it comes to side effects. Thus, topical Minoxidil, such as Rogaine, is less likely to cause adverse reactions than oral intake, as it does not have a systemic effect. Furthermore, smaller concentrations (2%) can cause fewer and milder side effects than higher ones (5%).

How to apply Rogaine for men?

Men’s Rogaine works best when applied twice a day (1 ml of foam or solution each time) on the problematic areas of your scalp, such as frontal balding, visible temple hair loss or a balding spot on your crown. While it can be applied at any time during the day, some find mornings and evenings most convenient, as they are including this in their matinal or bedtime routines.

However,  if you prefer to use Minoxidil once a day, in a single dose, that is likely safe as well, but you may experience slower hair regrowth.

It’s important to make sure that both the hair and scalp are completely dry before application. Here is a detailed guide on how to apply Minoxidil, for your convenience.

What makes Men’s Rogaine manly?

There are only 2 products in each of Rogaine’s masculine and feminine ranges: a foam and a solution. The Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Unscented foam ingredient list is completely identical for both men and women. The only difference rests in the colour scheme, as the male version is navy blue, while the female one has a bluish-purple hue.

Women's regular strength Regaine solution and Men's Regaine foam

Their price is also the same, however, a 2017 research showed that US resellers charged 40% more for the same quantity of women’s Rogaine than for men’s [9].

However, when it comes to the liquid version of the medication, Rogaine offers a 5% Minoxidil solution to men, it has a less concentrated, only 2% solution of Minoxidil for women. Since research has found that 5% Minoxidil is more effective than the 2% concentration for treating both male and female pattern baldness, so this choice is likely related to gender differences in side effects

While the lower concentration could be due to the desire to minimise adverse effects, studies show that there is a very similar proportion of unwanted side effect reports among genders (48.2% reported by men and 51.8% reported by women), and on average, women were not more exposed to major safety concerns in comparison to men.

One side effect experienced significantly more frequently by women is facial swelling, which represents a minor adverse reaction [8]. However, it also appears that higher concentrations of Minoxidil may cause undesirable hair growth below the hairline if not applied carefully, and this risk is higher in women which could provide an explanation.

So even though the Rogaine website warns that their men’s product range should not be used by women and vice versa, it is likely quite safe to do so, as they are quite similar.

However, regardless of your gender, it is a good idea to get the recommendation of a trichologist before using any hair loss medication, as it may interfere with preexisting conditions or treatments.

Effective treatment enhancers to Rogaine for men

If you would like to make the most out of your Rogaine treatment, you can choose to combine it with one of the following various hair loss treatments and therapies, for enhanced effect:


This medication is the most commonly prescribed for treating male pattern baldness. It works by preventing your body from converting too much testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that can prevent your hair follicles from producing hair. Research shows that Minoxidil combined with Finasteride can produce better effects than either of the two individually [10].

Dermarolling for hair growth

Using Minoxidil and derma roller together has been proven to improve the medication’s absorption and yield better results. That is because dermarolling involves making tiny punctures in your scalp which help topical substances penetrate it more easily, while at the same time triggering your body’s natural healing response [11].

Red light therapy for hair growth

Also known as low-level laser therapy, this treatment involves using beams of red or near-infrared light to boost cell metabolism and increase the amount of energy received by your hair follicles. Since Minoxidil increases blood flow to your hair roots, they combine very well, achieving a superior effect together than each of them separately [12].

Rosemary oil for hair growth

This is one of the best hair growth oils, with proven efficiency in regrowing hair in patients with hereditary hair loss conditions such as androgenetic alopecia. However, research shows that when combined with Minoxidil, it enhances each of their individual effects in treating patchy hair loss from alopecia areata [13].

What if Rogaine for men doesn’t work?

If you have persistent or advanced hair thinning and Rogaine treatment doesn’t seem to improve your noticeable hair loss or hair shedding, it may be time to book a consultation with a trichologist. They will perform all the necessary tests to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to restore your thinning hair to its former glory.

Often, when non-surgical hair restoration treatments fail, the best remaining option is a hair transplant. It is a simple and virtually painless procedure, where you don’t even need to stay in the hospital overnight. The hair transplant surgeon simply harvests some healthy hair follicles from areas where your hair is thick and dense and reimplants them into areas of hair thinning.

The best hair transplant clinics in the UK have a 97-100% success rate and recent technological advances have made it possible to get a hair transplant without anyone knowing. If you find this too good to be true, you can see our results for yourself in our before and after hair transplant gallery.

Rogaine for Men: Does it Really Work and What Makes it Manly?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Correia (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Correia (GMC)Updated on May 14, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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