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Does Rogaine Work?
) is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication approved to regrow hair on the top of the scalp in people with male or female pattern hair loss. Rogaine's effectiveness has been studied in clinical trials. Looking at the results of these trials can help answer the question of whether Rogaine actually works.
Understanding Clinical Trials
Clinical studies have looked at the effectiveness of Rogaine in both men and women. In these trials, one group of people received Rogaine, while another group received a placebo (a liquid that did not contain the active ingredient).
Rogaine Clinical Trials in Men
Men with male pattern baldness were given either Rogaine or a placebo to use twice daily for four months. At the end of the four months, the researchers evaluated how well the men's hair regrew. The men in the study also reported how well they thought their hair regrew.
After four months of treatment, only 8 percent of men using Rogaine had regrown enough hair to be considered noticeable to the researchers, compared to 4 percent of men using the placebo. Another 26 percent of men using Rogaine had minimal hair growth (some hair was present but it was barely noticeable), compared to 16 percent of men using the placebo.
The men in the study seemed more likely to report hair growth than the researchers. At the end of the four-month period, 26 percent of men using Rogaine reported noticeable hair growth, compared to 11 percent of those using placebo.
After the initial four months of treatment, the men using Rogaine continued to use the medication for an additional eight months. More men responded to Rogaine with the longer duration of use. The researchers reported that 30 percent of men had significant hair growth, while 48 percent of men self-reported significant hair regrowth.