- Rogaine liquid (available in 2% and 5% concentrations)
- Rogaine foam (available only as 5%)
So how to determine which to use: Rogaine foam versus Liquid Rogaine?
Rogaine Foam Versus Liquid Rogain, The Difference
Rogaine foam is a more recently developed formulation. There are two main reasons for its development:
- One of the complaints about the liquid version was the greasy residue it left on the hair. The foam was developed as a more convenient option for hair styling.
- Another key difference is the fact that this version does not contain propylene glycol. This compound serves to enable Minoxidil to actually penetrate well below the skin’s surface in order to affect the hair follicles. However, it is responsible for over 60% of all cases of Rogaine allergy or irritation in patients that are intolerant of the liquid form of Rogaine. For that reason, there are less instances of intolerance to Rogaine foam on account of irritation or allergy.
Aside from working as a vasodilator to increase blood flow to the scalp, Minoxidil is also believed to lengthen the anagen (growth) phase of the hair life cycle. Therefore, Minoxidil doesn’t just work at the level of the circulatory system.
The liquid version of Rogaine does contain propylene glycol. While this compound can enhance the efficacy of Minoxidil, consumers may want to still be aware that it is considered to be a moderate level toxin according to the Environmental Working Group which rates propylene glycol as a 4 on a scale of 1-10.
Once a Day Usage Versus Twice a Day
Rogaine is by no means a cure for baldness. Rather it is used to manage hair loss by slowing down the rate of shedding. It offers the highest potential for regrowth if it is used during the earliest stages of androgenic alopecia. This is when the hair follicles are just starting to become affected by DHT induced shrinkage. In fact, some studies (e.g. research by Dr. Vera Price of UCSF) actually show that the number and weight associated with Minoxidil hair growth is actually greater compared to Finasteride.
It is typically known that Rogaine needs to be applied twice a day. However, other medical experts concede that using a larger (doubled) quantity once a day, at night can be just as effective.
So men who wish to use the liquid version can simply apply the formula in the evening and wash out the excess residue in the morning.
Enhancing the Effectiveness of Rogaine
Some doctors recommend adjunct medications to help improve the performance of Minoxidil. These include
- Ketoconazole shampoo which is believed to have DHT blocking properties that could be beneficial to hair regrowth in androgenic alopecia
- Topical All-trans retinoic acid (Tretinoin). In this case tretinoin serves to enhance the absorption of minoxidil.
Hair loss sufferers who are interested in using Rogaine may want to also speak to a doctor about these prescription drugs as well.
To learn more about Nizoral shampoo (Ketoconazole), click here