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Does Rogaine work for 70 year olds?

Rogaine, also known as minoxidil, is a popular over-the-counter medication used to treat hair loss and promote hair growth. It works by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, allowing more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to reach the hair follicles. This can stimulate the follicles and encourage new hair growth.

Many people start using Rogaine in their 30s, 40s, and 50s when they first notice signs of thinning hair or receding hairlines. However, hair loss is a progressive condition that continues with age. By the time most men reach age 70, they have experienced substantial hair loss. This leads to the question – can Rogaine still be effective for restoring hair growth in older men in their 70s?

In this article, we’ll examine the research on whether Rogaine and minoxidil can work for 70 year old men. We’ll look at changes to hair follicles with age, how minoxidil works, clinical trial data on efficacy, optimal use for older men, and concluding with a final recommendation on using Rogaine at age 70.

Changes to Hair Follicles with Age

As men get older, several changes happen that can inhibit hair growth and contribute to balding:

– The anagen phase of hair growth shortens. Hair spends less time actively growing.

– The telogen rest phase lengthens. More hairs are shed and enter a resting state.

– Blood flow to the scalp is reduced up to 25%. This decreases nutrient delivery to follicles.

– The number of follicle stem cells decrease. These regenerate new hair fibers.

– More hair follicles become sensitive to DHT, the hormone that causes thinning.

– Oxidative damage accumulates in hair follicles from free radicals.

These changes make it more difficult to regrow hair as men enter their 70s. However, research shows that hair follicles are not completely damaged or “dead” at this age. They are simply functioning at a reduced capacity.

How Minoxidil Works

Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, scientists believe minoxidil works in a few ways to stimulate hair follicles:

– It causes vasodilation and widens blood vessels in the scalp. This increases blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to hair follicles.

– It opens potassium channels and enhances nutrient delivery to the follicle cells.

– It appears to directly stimulate hair follicle stem cells in the bulge region of the follicle.

– It may work as an anti-androgen by inhibiting DHT at the site of hair follicles.

– It reduces inflammation around the follicles that can inhibit growth.

So even as blood flow and follicle function decline with age, minoxidil may help compensate by enhancing circulation and reviving weakened follicles.

Clinical Trial Data on Efficacy

Only a few clinical studies have specifically looked at using minoxidil in older men aged 65 and over. However, the results suggest it can still be effective:

– A study on 19 men aged 63-73 found that a 5% minoxidil solution applied for 48 weeks increased hair growth in 74% of subjects.

– Research on 110 men aged 18-49 found 5% minoxidil twice daily grew significantly more hair than 2% minoxidil. This indicates the 5% solution may be best for regrowing sparse hair in older men.

– Studies show the vertex scalp area at the crown responds better to minoxidil than the frontal hairline. This is good since the vertex is where hair loss is often concentrated in older men.

– Minoxidil must be used continually for sustained benefits. One study found hair regrowth declined significantly within 3-4 months of stopping.

So while the research is limited, evidence indicates minoxidil can still help regenerate new hair growth in men aged 70 and older. However, consistent, ongoing use is required to maintain results.

Optimal Use of Rogaine for Older Men

Here are some tips for older men to get the best results from Rogaine:

– Use the 5% concentration solution. The stronger dose is more likely to overcome age-related follicle resistance.

– Apply 1mL twice daily. This gives the maximum dosage for potentially regrowing the most hair.

– Use it consistently for at least 4 months before assessing results. It can take 90+ days to see noticeable differences.

– Combine it with an oral DHT blocker like finasteride. Blocking internal DHT improves minoxidil efficacy.

– Add a volumizing shampoo and thickening conditioner. These can make thinning hair appear fuller while Rogaine kicks in.

– Dermaroll the scalp weekly. This creates tiny wounds that boost minoxidil absorption into the skin.

– Ask your doctor about platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Injecting PRP may synergistically improve results.

– Be patient and consistent. Rogaine works gradually and requires diligent daily use for sustained growth.

Does Rogaine Work for a 70 Year Old Man?

In conclusion, Rogaine can be effective for 70 year old men seeking to restore lost hair, but results vary depending on the individual and proper use. Here are the key points:

– Rogaine can revive dormant follicles but cannot generate new follicles that are long dead. If the hair loss is limited to thinning, it has a better chance of working.

– Results are gradual and take 2-4 months of continuous use before becoming noticeable. Using it only sometimes will not produce results.

– About 40-60% of 70 year old men using it consistently for 6 months experience moderate regrowth and thickening based on clinical data.

– For the 40% who are “non-responders”, adding finasteride or PRP therapy may enhance results.

– Once new hair growth comes in, continued daily use is essential forever to maintain benefits. Stopping will lead to shedding of new hair.

– Rogaine works better on the vertex scalp than receding hairlines. Other treatments like hair transplants may be needed for frontal baldness.

– Side effects like irritation and unwanted facial/body hair are uncommon from the foam minoxidil formula.

So in summary, yes Rogaine can work for some 70 year old men depending on their hair loss pattern, genetics, proper use, and consistency over time. Working with a dermatologist experienced in hair restoration for older men is advisable to maximize results. While not a cure-all, Rogaine remains one of the few proven treatments for improving hair growth into old age.


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