The best product to combat female pattern balding is Rogaine, according to the Mayo Clinic. This over-the-counter (OTC) hair care treatment is the only FDA-approved remedy for unwanted hair loss in women. However, like any other type of medical treatment, Rogaine carries some risks and also may not work for you.
Rogaine is primarily comprised of the ingredient minoxidil, according to the Mayo Clinic. The formula is available in both 2 percent and 5 percent solutions. You must apply the foam at least twice a day to your thinning mane; “Essence Magazine” notes that women who do not use Rogaine consistently will lose any hair regrowth. Also, Rogaine may not work for you for at least 12 weeks after use; the ideal time to use the treatment is 16 weeks.
Rogaine is not a magic formula, according to the Mayo Clinic. If hair regrowth results from your use of the treatment, the new hair will likely be thinner than your previous tresses. However, you can likely use the new locks to disguise those unwanted bald spots. Also, the topical treatment works best on people younger than 40 and cannot help receding hairlines, according to MedlinePlus. Finally, most users find they must consistently apply Rogaine to maintain that new hair growth.
Potential Side Effects
Topical minoxidil can cause a number of unwanted side effects, some of which are potentially dangerous, according to MedlinePlus. Scalp irritation, itching, burning and flaking are the most common side effects; these do not require medical attention unless the situation becomes severe. However, potential side effects that indeed require prompt medical intervention include weight gain, difficulty breathing, swelling of the ankles, face, hands or stomach, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat and chest pain.
Exclusions and Precautions
Some people cannot safely use Rogaine, especially expectant moms, according to MedlinePlus. Breast-feeding moms also should avoid Rogaine; if you become pregnant while using the treatment, stop immediately and call your doctor.
Also, high blood pressure medications and some vitamins may negatively interact with Rogaine; check with a doctor before trying the treatment if you fall in this category. MedlinePlus also recommends those moms using topical minoxidil limit their exposure to sunlight, as the treatment makes your skin much more sensitive to the sun. Apply sunscreen and wear hats when outside if you cannot avoid exposure to sunlight while using Rogaine.
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