To Rogaine, or not to Rogaine? – Review of Women’s Rogaine Topical Solution & Foam

Minoxidil (Rogaine®): What is it?

Early Minoxidil Pioneer

Minoxidil started out as a treatment for high blood pressure. Physicians using it for patients with high blood pressure noticed that those patients using Minoxidil were growing more hair as a side effect.

The encouraged clinicians went on to developed an application of Minoxidil for people suffering from hair loss, to apply directly to the scalp. Rogaine was first approved for use with women in 1991, and the rest is history!

Does it work? The Science

Rogaine has been the industry-leading product for nearly three decades. Brand longevity spanning decades simply isn’t possible when a product doesn’t work – the market and consumer experience weeds out the crappy products over time.

A 2004 study of 391 women ages 18-49 with female pattern hair loss showed that over 48 weeks of use, 5% minoxidil (Rogaine foam) outperformed  2% minoxidil (Rogaine topical solution), and that the 2% minoxidil significantly outperformed the placebo.

Recent long-term studies on men using minoxidil show substantial results after 5 years of use. While the causes of male and female hair loss are not always the same, there are similarities in cases where the source is hormonal, or a result of stress, illness, or a side effect of medication. Read more about the causes of female hair loss here.

So, in short: yes. The higher dose is best, the 2% dose is better than nothing, and it works in the long-term.

Rogaine is one of the best hair growth products for women on the market today.

Ultimately, to really know if something will help protect your hair and grow new hair FOR YOU, you need to take a look at the science, and read user reviews, or consult well-researched resources like this blog.

If you’re still on board with the product after reviewing the facts, that’s the time to try it out.

Rogaine for Women Reviews

Scouring the web for Rogaine for Women reviews, let’s just say there is no shortage. Reviewer tones vary from ecstatic to regretful.

It’s immediately obvious that women have strong feelings about Rogaine based on their experiences.

What stands out perhaps the most is the surprise from women using Rogaine for a few months, after there’s measurable improvement to the thickness, amount, and strength of their hair.

As always, treatments have the best chance of being effective if they are geared BOTH to the cause of hair loss as well as treatments that promote hair growth.

What this means is that if your hair loss started after a hypothyroid diagnosis, you need to take your thyroid medication AND hair regrowth treatment.  Likewise, if your hair loss was caused by a vitamin deficiency, you have to take your supplements as well as a hair regrowth promoting treatment like Rogaine.

Addressing both the cause of your hair loss as well as the effect, with regrowth agents, is the most comprehensive solution giving you the highest chance of success.


This type of Rogaine, the topical solution, contains the lowest dose of Minoxidil in the entire product line.

To apply, simply measure the dose of the liquid in the marked dropper, drop onto scalp, and massage the liquid into your scalp.

I will note that the topical solution contains propylene glycolan ingredient which some find irritating and may be responsible for the adverse effects related to itching.


The advantages of using the topical solution liquid are:

1) precision in dosing because of the dropper application

2) lower dose of the ingredient Minoxidil for those who are sensitive to it,

3) the lack of “greasy” or “mousy” texture that people observe while using the foam


The disadvantages are exposure to propylene glycol, and the less aggressive dose of the active ingredient, Minoxidil.

For those who don’t know whether they will have a strong reaction to Minoxidil, starting with the lower dose could be the safest choice.

A 2002 study (for male Rogaine users) showed that the 5% minoxidil content was more effective for hair growth than the 2% minoxidil solutions.


This form of Rogaine contains the highest dose of active ingredient in their product line.

To use, simply spray the foam into your palm and then massage into your scalp, once a day, four hours before washing hair.

The foam does not contain propylene glycol.

The main complaint for the foam application is the texture it can leave behind.  Some describe it as sticky or “mousy”, which can make hair (especially longer hair) difficult to style. On the plus side, some say the texture of Rogaine foam gives their hair more body and volume.

What stands out in reviews of women’s Rogaine foam is how shocked women are to see their hair regrow, even after long periods of experiencing thinned hair or bald spots.

For more detailed and comprehensive comparisons of Rogaine and other hair loss products, click here.

Rogaine: The Short List


It works
It’s affordable at just under $10/monthly dose
It’s widely available
Brand longevity & trust
Multiple forms: foam and liquid



Must be used indefinitely to maintain regrowth
Some women find it irritating
Some women find it ineffective
Requires months of patience to see results, because of the natural timing of our hair growth cycles, and because hair, on average, grows only a half an inch a month.

Overall – Rogaine is Worth Trying, and Could Be Your Permanent Solution For Female Hair Loss

Rogaine for women has mostly pros, but a few cons. Not everyone has the same experience, and user experiences vary wildly.  Some women SWEAR by it, and others say it did more harm than good.

In my opinion, part of the problem for the negative experiences could result from the time needed to see a major difference. It’s possible many women don’t have the patience to wait and see if it works. For the rest of the negative experiences, it’s likely that some users have sensitivities to the ingredients; those users should opt for more natural remedies.

Given the social and emotional costs of female hair loss, $10/month and an extra minute in the morning, for the rest of our lives, seems like a small price to pay.  Rogaine, especially Rogaine Foam, gives women a chance to push the reset button after a hairline ravaged by life stress, hormonal chaos, or the genetic short end of the stick. It offers a new start.

Have any experiences using with Rogaine for women, negative or positive? Any questions or comments? Please share your feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading!


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20 thoughts on “To Rogaine, or not to Rogaine? – Review of Women’s Rogaine Topical Solution & Foam”

  • 18
    Tony on March 2, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the info. My GF definitely need this haha. I’ll refer your site to her. Cheers!

    • 19
      Penelope on March 2, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback! I think a lot of women losing their hair think they just have to suffer and deal, but there are products that work and have been out there forever to help. It’s also a bit of a denial thing, because a lot of hair loss patterns are more like overall thinning rather than the big ol’ bald spot on the middle of the head (like for men). Just make sure you suggest it in a positive way! 🙂

  • 20
    shrey on March 2, 2017 Reply

    I have been through a lot of hair fall at the age of 18 and trust me it was so depressing. I have tried rogaine and it works! I have regained most of my hair and have even stopped using it. Although I must admit that it did grow a bit facial hair while I was using it but that eventually went away with time.

    • 21
      Penelope on March 2, 2017 Reply

      Thank you for the feedback, and I’m glad Rogaine worked for you. It must have been hard to deal with hair loss so young. As for the facial hair consequence…well, that’s its own beast. I’m Italian and have dealt with a “moustache” since puberty, and I’ve also noticed a lot of post-menopausal women get facial hair from hormonal shifts…so I guess it was a small price to pay? Awesome that it went away over time.

  • 22
    Xdeem Li on March 2, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for your review of rogaine for women. People forget that hair loss is not just affecting men, and woman have the same issues too. I glad to hear that rogaine actually works and that is pretty affordable at just $10 a month. So if there are woman with hair loss issues, they hopefully will feel better to addressing the problem, cheers.

    • 23
      Penelope on March 2, 2017 Reply

      Thank you for the feedback. It is surprising how affordable Rogaine is, especially since it’s the main solution for so many women’s hair loss. I’ll post a follow-up with my own experiences with Rogaine once enough time has passed to see the results.

  • 24
    Riaz Shah on March 3, 2017 Reply

    Hey Penelope,
    With that much hair growth as a side effect, I wouldn’t even dare to touch Rogaine if I am a woman. But with that much risk, hoping alone won’t increase your chances.

    Is there anything we could do to boost the positive effect of Rogaine whilst reducing the side effect? Speaking of which, is the hair growth permanent though, or does it grow only when we take the meds?

    • 25
      Penelope on March 3, 2017 Reply

      The picture of the excessively hairy person was a joke. Minoxidil was modified to target the scalp only after they discovered it resulted in hair growth.

      That said, the biggest challenge of Rogaine and Minoxidil products is that you do have to use them indefinitely. After a year of good steady regrowth, you can scale back your application from daily to a few times a week. But if you stop altogether, the gains will fall out over the next few hair cycles.

  • 26
    Ellie on March 6, 2017 Reply

    Wow, this sounds really good! A friend of mine is always commenting about hair fall, this might help. Is Minoxidil the technical name for this? Or is there another generic name for it that you know about?

    Just wondering how to search for it in other countries.Thanks for your help!

    • 27
      Penelope on March 6, 2017 Reply

      Minoxidil is the name of the active ingredient. Rogaine is the brand name of the most popular Minoxidil product in the US. There are generic versions available at both Costco and Walmart, but some users say they are more irritating. In the US, generics aren’t required to have identical inactive ingredients as the brand-name product.

      I know Rogaine is also available in Canada, but in Europe only the tincture (not the foam) is available for purchase. I hope that helps. There might be another brand available. I would recommend that your friend google Minoxidil + the name of her country to find product suggestions.

  • 28
    Margaret on March 8, 2017 Reply

    I found this very interesting. A woman’s hair really is her crowning glory. Losing it is, for most women, devastating and having a treatment that helps is a godsend for those women. Is it true that hair loss in a woman is often related to physical or emotional problems such as stress or hormonal disorders?

    • 29
      Penelope on March 8, 2017 Reply

      It is definitely true that stress and hormonal disorders play a role in hair loss. Thyroid disease, which is a hormonal disorder, contributes to hair loss. Women going through menopause as well as pregnant women also can experience hair loss because of the drastic hormonal fluctuations during those times. And our bodies do all kinds of crazy stuff during stress!! What’s nice about living at this time (vs. any other time in history) is that we have medical and chemical tools to help regrow hair.

  • 30
    Robin on March 8, 2017 Reply

    Hey Penelope! I don’t think most people realize that there is quite a population of women who experience hair loss. From way back when, all commercials were strictly dealing with male hair loss. Thank you for sharing your story and your review of Rogaine for women. Hopefully, many women will experience success with usage, as like you said, it varies with each person. Take care…

    • 31
      Penelope on March 8, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback! I agree that most people don’t know that many different women experience hair loss, for many different reasons. One analogy that comes to mind is that most people also don’t know that men get breast cancer! Diseases don’t discriminate, that’s for sure.

  • 32
    achuthan on March 19, 2017 Reply

    I like this topic and it is a very real one as men and women grow older. I must say that your review of this product for hair growth was quite thorough with the pros and cons clearly detailed out.
    I have heard about the side effect of minoxidil but this is the first time I am hearing about this product Rogaine using this side effect to an advantage. From your review, it is clear that it is an innovative product.
    You mentioned about propylene glycol used in this product as a skin irritant. Are you able to get any information on any other health hazards in the long term use of propylene glycol?

    • 33
      Penelope on March 19, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for the great question! I’m no chemist, but propylene glycol is an ingredient commonly found in vaping substances, beauty products, and processed food products. It’s also an ingredient in anti-freeze. It’s “generally recommended as safe” by the USDA, but that’s not the same thing as “completely safe for every person”.
      There haven’t been any human studies on its long term effects – only studies on monkeys and cats. However, it is common for people to have allergic reactions to it, and it’s potentially toxic to the liver and kidneys. For more information, I recommend this site:

  • 34
    Thia on March 24, 2017 Reply

    Haha, this makes me think about a while back when a friend of mine experienced hair loss due to stress. She then also started with some supplements and the new hair grew so rapidly in all directions and made her look like a little chick. Thanks for introducing this product

    • 35
      Penelope on March 24, 2017 Reply

      A little chick, I love it! Thanks for the great comment. I’m sure my readers will be encouraged by that, because little chicks are nothing if not fuzzy and covered in cute hair!

  • 36
    Robin on March 24, 2017 Reply

    Hi Sporkypie
    This is a very detailed review on Rogaine for Women. You bottom line the good and the bad issues quite well. I havent tried the Rogaine yet. I had issues with Keranique and dont think I will try anything else till my itching goes away! One of the cons about them both is that if you quit doing it, you lose the hair. I dont like getting locked in to doing that lol

    • 37
      Penelope on March 24, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, I’m sorry to hear you had a reaction to keranique that’s still ongoing…that’s one I haven’t reviewed or tried yet and will keep that in mind! And yeah, it does seem like all these hair regrowth products are “rigged” in that they must be kept up eventually…but I’d rather do that than have thinned hair.

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