Video: Which Is Better: Rogaine Foam Or Liquid?
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May 4th, 2012

In this audio clip, Dr. Bernstein answers a frequently asked question about different types of the Rogaine topical hair loss medication and their efficacy. Listen to the clip (2 minutes 22 seconds):

Which Is Better Rogaine Foam Or Liquid?

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Here is a transcript of the audio:
Rogaine comes in a number of different forms. It comes in a 5% solution for men, a 2% solution for women and a 5% foam. The original formulation was the 5% solution for men, which has propylene glycol in it. The propylene glycol is what actually allows the medicine to penetrate into the scalp. That's the best vehicle, the most effective way of getting the medication into the follicles. And that's why it was originally designed that way. Many medications have propylene glycol as a base. The problem with propylene glycol is that it is irritating to the scalp in some patients, and some patients actually can have an allergic reactions to it. Also, it is a little bit greasy. So because of that, for women, they put the minoxidil in an alcohol-based solution, so it's going to be a little less effective, but less greasy. Then, a number of years later they came out with men's foam which has no propylene glycol in it. The problem with the foam is that, even though it is aesthetically a little bit nicer, it doesn't really allow the medicine to penetrate quite as well into the scalp. Also, the foam is very hard to get on the scalp, especially if you have a lot of hair. It seems like the foam gets caught up in the hair, where with the liquid, you can separate the hair and get the liquid directly on the scalp. What's interesting is that although Rogaine has been prescribed in the packaging insert to be used twice a day, often people can get the same results if they put it on more liberally just once a day at night. So if you can put it on at night and use the propylene glycol based solution, the 5% men's solution, then you can circumvent the cosmetic problems with it being greasy because you can wash it off in the morning. Most people take showers in the morning. So what we advise most people to do is use the more effective 5% just once a day at night, wash it out in the morning, and then you're done. The other thing is we find that when people use the medication twice a day, it's kind of a nuisance. They kind of just dab it on and you really want to get a good even coat of the entire areas that have the potential to be bald, not just the areas that are thinning a lot. Because the medications work, as you know, as a prevention just as much as regrowing hair back.
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