Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 6/22/2021
Fact: Male pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, affects an estimated 50 million men in the United States.
Thankfully, there are a number of treatments for male pattern baldness that can help give you fuller hair. One of the most popular is Rogaine®, the active ingredient in which is minoxidil.
So, how much does Rogaine cost? Read on to find out—along with more information on what minoxidil does and how to find out if it's the right hair loss treatment for you.
Hair loss happens for a variety of reasons. Some factors that can cause baldness include genetics, illnesses, stressful life events and side effects from certain medications.
A hormone named dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the culprit behind male pattern baldness.
If you are genetically predisposed to baldness, DHT will bind to receptors in your scalp and cause your hair follicles to restrict.
When this occurs, new hair stops growing and that is what leads to thinning hair or baldness.
Minoxidil is a topical treatment that comes in liquid and foam formulas. This FDA-approved medication doesn’t require a prescription to help with the regrowth of hair.
It comes in two strengths—a 2% concentration and a 5% version. Neither version requires a prescription.
Though the exact way minoxidil works is unknown, it’s believed to work by stimulating hair follicles to enter the anagen (growth) phase.
It also increases blood flow to your scalp, which can stimulate hair growth.
Most importantly, minoxidil works. A 2019 review of minoxidil affirmed that it improved hair growth in both men and women who suffer from pattern hair loss.
Another study found that when used over a 48-week period, minoxidil increased hair thickness and boosted total hair count by 18 percent.
Some users of minoxidil experience a rash or burning sensation where they apply it on their scalp.
A commonly talked about side effect of this topical medication centers on the hair rapidly going through the hair growth cycle and shedding before the anagen phase.
This is a totally normal part of how minoxidil works.
There are a few other side effects, which are less common. They include:
Facial hair growth
Inflammation around the hair roots
Increased hair loss
How much does Rogaine cost? The answer–whether with the brand name version or minoxidil can vary greatly. .
Rogaine is advertised for as high as $45 in some places. On the Rogaine website you can find the 5% solution for just under $30.
These prices tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of pricing. Some websites have it priced out around $20.
Hims offers a 5% topical minoxidil for just $15 a month. You’ll want to use it twice a day to see the best results.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, along with minoxidil, finasteride is an effective treatment for hair thinning or loss.
To understand how finasteride works, it’s useful to refer back to the information on how DHT attaches to receptors in your scalp and causes hair loss.
Finasteride works by preventing testosterone from being converted into DHT, which in turn reduces the amount of DHT in the scalp.
Taking 1mg of finasteride daily has been found to reduce the amount of DHT in the scalp by more than 60 percent.
Finasteride requires a prescription. Through Hims, you can talk to a healthcare professional and determine if finasteride is right for you.
A few more pros of finasteride: When it was investigated as a potential solution for hair loss, researchers discovered that about 83 percent of men who took finasteride during clinical trials stopped losing hair.
Additionally, 66 percent of men experienced hair growth after regularly taking the drug for two years.
While finasteride works great all by itself, it’s even more powerful when used alongside minoxidil.
If you’re dealing with male pattern baldness and longing for a fuller head of hair, there is hope—and it may just come in the form of minoxidil.
Schedule time with a healthcare provider to go over your hair loss and ask if minoxidil could be the right fit for you to encourage hair regrowth.
Another thing to ask: Whether you may benefit from the combination of minoxidil and finasteride.
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