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Rogaine Does Not Work For Me Any More

Rogaine for female hair lossQ:

Dear Dr. Mohebi,

I’m in my sixties and  consulted with you a year ago at your clinic, and had tests done, all normal.   I have had hair loss ever since I was nineteen years old.  The onset  was when I traveled to Europe, and it never stopped until in two cases:

1. With each pregnancy my hair loss almost completely stopped and gained a lot of hair back, but fell out after a few months during the period I was nursing my babies.

2.  About twenty years ago, I saw Dr. XX XX in Beverly Hills who prescribed Rogaine a solution that at the time wasn’t available over the counter.  After six weeks of application, I saw results, and after about four months I gained abundance of hair back, but started itching of scalps, and discontinued it.  When after being out of town for a while, I started seeking help, he had moved away, and couldn’t find that doctor.

For the past ten years or so that Rogaine has been readily available, I attempted using it even at the strength of male 5%, but have had no results.

Hair loss has been in my family, from my grandfather, on mother’s side, to my mother, and to me and now to my children.

My main questions are:

  1. What was in the initial solution of Rogan that worked, and then over the counter ones didn’t work?
  2. What is the latest preventive measures/solutions/hopes for this type of hair loss at least for my children’s generation?

Thank you kindly for your response,

A:

Hair loss medications such as Rogaine work only if you have active hair loss.  The effect is mostly preventative, but since it may make some of the miniaturized hair (finer hair that is in process of balding) thicker, patients may experience some enhancement in their hair bulk only for the first year of its use.

Some women with genetic female patterned hair loss may be good candidates for hair transplant surgery as long as they have protected (Permanent) hair on their donor area on the back and sides of the scalp.  Hair transplant in this group of patients should be done only if they are trying to reinforce a limited area of scalp.  However, a hair transplant is not a good idea if their goal is to increase hair density throughout a large area or entire scalp.

To be able to say what options are out there for your children, they need to be individually evaluated by a good dermatologist or a hair transplant surgeon and treatment options should be tailored to their individual needs.