Rogaine Side Effects in Men and Women: Get the Facts!

Learn the truth about Rogaine side effects in men and women: mild, moderate and severe. Then decide whether or not using this drug is the best way to treat your hair loss.

Rogaine (or Regaine in the UK) is the brand name for minoxidil, a drug that's been approved by the FDA for treating androgenetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Its FDA approval was given after trials showed it was capable of producing hair regrowth. But although minoxidil has been scientifically proven to have some positive effect on hair loss, it’s also been scientifically proven to have side effects!

Here are the potential side effects of Rogaine that can affect both men and women – I’ve listed them in what I expect most people would consider to be an increasing order of severity:

Mild Rogaine Side Effects

Scalp spot
  • Inflammation of your hair follicle roots.

  • A dry, flaky, itchy scalp.

  • Spots (acne) developing on your scalp.

  • A numb or tingling sensation in your hands, feet, or face.

  • The very fine (near invisible) vellus hairs on your body could start growing* into mature terminal hairs.

* Whilst such an increase in hair growth might initially sound more like a benefit, you wouldn’t be too impressed if the tiny vellus hairs on your nose or forehead started to sprout out thicker, longer and darker!

And, for women especially, terminal hair growth on your face or body would be extremely undesirable...

Girl shaving her faceModel used for illustrative purposes only.

Moderate Rogaine Side Effects

  • A burning sensation in your scalp.

  • A rash or reddened appearance to your skin may start to form.

  • Breast tenderness.

  • Decrease in libido.

  • Light-headedness (all antihypertensive drugs like minoxidil can cause this through a sudden drop in blood pressure).

  • Swelling - An increase in water retention can cause your face, hands, feet or lower legs to swell up. 

  • An increase in hair loss.

And if you think that’s a lot, there are even more side effects listed further down the page. But first of all…

Given that this website mostly focuses on natural hair loss remedies, you won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t recommend this drug.

Here’s the full set of reasons why I think this, and why I believe it's much better to use a natural approach instead:

1. You’ve just read about the possible mild to moderate side effects that will affect some people (about 4%). So, do you really want to run the risk that you’ll be one of the unlucky ones who suffers a bad reaction?

2. As you've just discovered, Rogaine can make your hair loss worse. Initially at the very least. It sounds bizarre, and it is. Minoxidil is used for treating hair loss, but can shift more hair follicles into the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. So you might start shedding even more hair.

3. The duration that all this extra shedding lasts for can obviously vary from person to person – so you might have to endure weeks of extra hair loss.

4. Whilst the manufacturers will refund any unopened Rogaine product you return to them (minus all your postage costs), there’s no guarantee from them that all this extra hair loss will be replaced with hair regrowth.

5. It often takes months of treatment before you know whether Rogaine works for you, or if it’s been a complete waste of your time, effort and money.

6. If it does work, you'll have to keep using it for life, during which time, any mild or moderate side effects you experience could accumulate and develop into something more serious.

Speaking of which, here are the remaining, and most serious, side effects of Rogaine:

Serious Rogaine Side Effects

Potential Rogaine side effectsModels only used for illustrative purposes.
  • Rapid weight gain.

  • An upset stomach or vomiting.

  • Headaches.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Fainting.

  • Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations.

  • Chest pain (angina).

  • Breathing problems.

Some of the side effects you could suffer from depend on how quickly the drug gets absorbed by your body.

For example, you might overdose from the recommended daily amount. Or you could discover that you have an allergy to minoxidil or one of the other ingredients (which include alcohol and propylene glycol).

Some side effects of Rogaine are more common than others of course. A dry, flaky, itchy scalp being the most likely, and an allergic reaction (which can create some of the more serious side effects) the least.

Obviously it goes without saying that you would need to contact your doctor urgently if you experience any serious symptoms.

This is page 1 of 3.

Read next page? Are Men or Women More Likely to Suffer Rogaine Side Effects?

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