How come Rogaine does not work on the front of the scalp?

They say it only works on the back of the head. Why is this?

Maybe because if you could use it on the front of your pate you would be able to see its ineffectiveness too easily in the mirror?

Who are “they” who say it only works on the back of the head?

“They” are the manufacturers of the product. Just pick up a box in the drug store and look at it. It tells you that it is ineffective other than on the crown.

Actually…they don’t necessarily state that it won’t work on the front, but that it’s not been tested/developed for that area. Many guys do have some level of success with the front of the scalp

Not to hijack, but in relation – ‘how’ does rogaine work at lall? It’s topical, right? I know a guy who always wears his hair very short, so when it really started noticably thinning (age 30) in ALL areas, he got rogaine. A year later, and his whole head/hair looks like it used to…!

I can answer on what my dermatologist said when I asked about it.

Each hair follicle, he says, is pre-programmed to grow to a certain age, then stop. Rogain works by “tricking” the hair follicle into continuing to grow past that pre-programmed point.

The problem occurs when you use Rogaine for 20 years, then stop. Each hair follicle looks at its little genetic index card and says, “Hey, I was supposed to stop growing 20 years ago!”. Every hair that’s past its prime falls out, virtually at once.

You can go from hairy to bald nearly instantly.

He also told me of the 4-4-40 rule. *If *you’ve been losing your hair for less than 4 years, and *if *the hair loss spot is less than four inches across, and *if *you’re less than 40 years old, then Rogaine is probably a good option for you.

The current favorite hypothesis suggests that intracellular potassium channels in the follicles play an important role in regulating hair growth, and that antihypertensive agents (e.g., minoxidil) increase the exchange of potassium ions through vasodilation, resulting in hypertrichosis. (Minoxidil, of course, has no significant effect on counteracting the two key enzymes implicated in alopecia.)

BTW, efficacy of minoxidil is dose dependent. Some online proprietors sell minoxidil at 12.5 percent strength–roughly 2.5 times the strength of the high-strength formulation and about 5 times stronger than the original. You can also obtain it formulated with 5 percent azelaic acid.

[snatched this from a website. Didn’t snatch the url…]
Minoxidil for Frontal Hair Loss & Receding Hair Lines

According to a Dermatology Times article which portrayed a recent study of minoxidil in the treatment of frontal hair loss, there was clear evidence that showed minoxidil was effective in treating not only the vertex but the frontal scalp region as well.

“Results at 48 weeks (study conclusion) show that visible, photographically evident improvements were seen in the frontal scalp regions of 51 percent of men using 5 percent minoxidil, 42 percent using 2 percent minoxidil, and 13 percent of placebo users. Among these men, moderate to great increases in hair growth were seen in the frontal scalp regions of 19 percent of men using 5 percent minoxidil, 10 percent using 2 percent minoxidil, and 3 percent of placebo users.” - Dermatology Times, 2003

In answer to the OP, there are a couple of leading theories as to why regrowth in frontal hair loss is more difficult to reverse. First is the evident fact that this is where hair loss often begins, meaning that the miniaturization process is further along and more difficult to reverse. Given the start of the art, it’s like trying to restart the heart of a patient who has been flatlined for 10 minutes. The damage is done.

And why is the frontal hair region often affected first? The leading theory suggests this is where a disproportionate number of DHT receptors are located, and/or this area is more sensitive to DHT/5-alpha reductase.

All of this points to the need for prevention. Caught early, there’s no reason why a young man should continue losing his hair, unless he prefers baldness.

Excellent, Carnac.

Carnac, my VP (who I try hard to please…) is taking Propecia, and was asking the same thing about frontal hair. Isn’t the active ingredient the same in the two things, so he could expect that Propecia might have the same benefit to frontal hair loss? Or am I thinking of something else…? Or is there any good evidence, official or not, that Propecia helps front hair at all?

Never mind. I had time to do some looking, and found out they’re not the same. However, there is an interesting study that shows with Propecia that it does seem to be effective at stopping, and slightly reversing frontal loss in some men.

I’d ask your friend’s physician, but would expect few GPs to have indepth knowledge, though a bit-city dermatologist should. When paired with minoxidil, antiandrogens (e.g. propecia/finasteride, spironolactone, avodart, etc.) have been shown to be effective in halting and even reversing (recent) frontal hair loss. They are believed to work by blocking DHT receptors, but understanding into the underlying mechanisms is sketchy.

Avodart, in particular, blocks an amazing 93 percent of DHT. It’s prescribed off label, of course, and many dermatologists balk at prescribing any of these meds to women, regardless of whether they are in their childbearing years. Others, however, will.

Problem is, the very long-term research into side effects just isn’t there. Remember: We’re talking about healthy young men taking antiandrogens for hair loss, possibly for decades–not 60ish men concerned about prostate dysfunction. A recent small study raised linked antiandrogens and the growth of aggressive tumors. Skeptics scoffed. More research is needed.