This question was posed by a female hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Michael Beehner of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
How does Rogaine (minoxidil) work? I’ve heard it’s an anti-androgen, is this true?
I have been reading and going to meetings for years and have never heard Rogaine (minoxidil) described as an anti-androgen. I think you have mixed it up with Propecia (finasteride). We know that minoxidil is a vasodilator and may increase blood supply in the skin. In fact, some surgeons stop it a few days before hair transplant surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. I don’t, and have never seen bleeding increased with it being used right up to the time of hair restoration surgery. Also, we know minoxidil has an effect on potassium in the cells, but most of its action is relatively unknown, and some have simply described it as a “hair growth factor” for hair, although in reality it is much better at preventing hair loss than in actually growing hair. It probably works best in hair regrowth when used in conjunction with Propecia (finasteride), as it is synergistic with the other medication.
Mike Beehner, M.D.