The use of minoxidil was originally intended as a high blood pressure medication.
However its unintended side effect was to grow hair. Its been used as a hair loss growth preparation since 1993 and is FDA approved for use only on the vertex or crown of the head. Embryologically the vertex is of a different nature then the front of the head and the medication can penetrate that area more readily.
Rogaine is the brand name for minoxidil. The resulting hair growth is "vellus hair" that is easily lost after stopping the medication. Only hair transplants are permanent and last a lifetime. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the area by vasodilating the blood vessels and therefore prolongs the life of the hair follicles.
We use minoxidil to coincide with the growth of the hair transplant, beginning a month after a hair transplant procedure. Minoxidil used as "fertilizer"; once the hair transplant is established and is growing there is no need for its use.
Some people are allergic to minoxidil, experiencing some redness which stops when use is discontinued.
For more information, see this article on Minoxidil.
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