How to use Rogaine 5% Liquid Solution … And, Why Should I Care?
How does one go about maximising crop yield (hair) per millilitre of fertiliser (Rogaine)? Does it really require a dedicated article to answer this question? To be honest, probably not. But if you’d like to see results more quickly, as well as get the biggest bang for your buck, it might be worth reading on.
Whilst you can likely achieve results from simply massaging the solution into the affected area of the scalp on a daily basis, you give yourself the best chance of both a speedier, and more effective, outcome if you can keep a few things in mind. Both things to avoid, and things to do.
Rogaine isn’t cheap, nor are results guaranteed. However, to have the best chance of success in any area it pays to know how to use your tools. Using the handle of a screwdriver to remove a screw is probably not the best approach, for example.
Note: In this article I talk about application of the topical 5% Minoxidil liquid solution, which is what I use. Application of the liquid solution is performed using a standard dropper, provided as part of the bottle. Whilst Rogaine is the most popular product containing Minoxidil (the active hair growth agent in Rogaine), the advice in this article applies to all Minoxidil-based products (personally I use a 5% Minoxidil product from Regenepure). I don’t specifically cover application of Rogaine foam here, although many of the concepts will equally apply.
How to Use Rogaine: Quantity and Timing?
The recommended daily dose of Rogaine is 1 millilitre (1ml). There are essentially two methods to applying this quantity – which you choose will depend on what best fits with your routine.
Method 1 (Preferred): Apply 0.5ml twice per day. Morning and evening.
This is the method I’ve used since I started Minoxidil. If applied properly you can cover virtually the same area as if you had applied 1 millilitre.
I prefer this method based on a similar theory used in time-release vitamins and drugs. It’s my belief that this method provides benefits over a longer period of time by virtue of spaced application and reduced wastage. In short, it avoids potential inability of the scalp to absorb the entire 1ml with maximum efficiency. Like I said, it’s a theory.
If it speaks to you, and you can fit it into your routine, then no harm done. It works for me and I noticed results in double-quick time when I first began using the solution (between 3 – 6 weeks). See the ‘What Worked for Me’ section for details.
Method 2: If you find it too difficult to fit twice daily application into your routine then you can also apply 1ml per day in one go. Morning or evening, depending on your personal schedule, and whichever end of the day best enables you to minimise the ‘things to avoid’ noted below.
In short, you should choose the time of day that balances your routine with the ability to let the solution sit on your scalp without external interference. By external interference I’m referring to actions such as applying additional lotions and potions, using a hair dryer, or having your scalp come into contact with something like a pillow at bedtime.
It will come as no surprise to hear that the basic rule is: the longer you can let the solution sit on a dry scalp without contact or interference, the more you allow for proper penetration.
Whichever method you use, if you’re applying the solution directly after washing your hair, either towel dry as thoroughly as you can or use a hair dryer to ensure the scalp is dry before application.
How to Use Rogaine for Those with Short / Little Hair?
Applying Rogaine is not rocket science, however there are good … and better … ways to go about it:
- In my experience virtually every Minoxidil-based liquid solution comes with a dropper for application. That’s the assumption I’ll make from here on in.
- The dropper enables you to apply the solution directly to the scalp, avoiding the hair. Happily, this is exactly where you want it to go. Your goal is to apply it to the scalp, not the hair.
- If you have little hair remaining on the affected area, or you’ve cropped or shaved your head, then application is simple. Squeeze the dropper bulb lightly to produce drops of liquid (not a stream), moving the dropper quickly over the affected area to improve coverage.
- Massage lightly with your fingers to ensure the affected area is fully covered.
How to Use Rogaine for Those with Longer Hair?
The method I use differs slightly for those with longer hair. That is, for those who possess reasonably dense hair that has not been cropped with a shaver or razor.
The best way I’ve found to apply Rogaine solution for those with longer hair is to literally tap the end of the dropper against your scalp (this technique is demonstrated in the video below). It serves the dual purpose of applying the solution direct to the scalp, as well as enabling you to better spread the solution with less interference from the fingers. Fingers tend to distribute the solution over both the hair and the scalp. We want to reduce the former and maximise the latter.
The above video was produced by Absolique Hair Health Clinic. The technique applies equally to men and women. My intention is that you focus on the method of application rather than the other information provided, such as scalp preparation (scalp cleansing and scalp tonic). I’m not suggesting your ignore this information, however the focus of this article is on how to apply Rogaine liquid solution correctly.
Note: Having never used micro needles I cannot vouch for the advice provided on this procedure.
Once you’ve decided on Your Routine, What Should You Avoid Doing?
- If you’re applying Rogaine twice a day and forget one of the applications, don’t stress. Missing an application occasionally (i.e. every week or two) is not going to make the difference between working and not working. When you’re in maintenance mode this is particularly true. If you are just starting to use the product however, I recommend that you avoid missing an application as far as possible (if for no other reason than peace of mind that you’re giving it every opportunity to work).
- If you’re applying Rogaine once a day and forgot, don’t try to make up for the application you missed the next day. That is, don’t apply 2ml in the next application. It doesn’t work like that. Simply apply 1ml and remind yourself not to miss an application again. You can do it. If keeping your hair is important enough to spend your money and time on, then making a habit of consistently incorporating Rogaine into your routine should be a breeze.
- In the evening, don’t apply the solution and then go straight to bed. This is particularly important if you’ve chosen to apply the whole 1ml. Give it an hour to penetrate the scalp before retiring if at all possible; 30 minutes as a minimum. Do not apply extra (more than 1ml) to compensate for what you estimate you’ll be rubbing off. It doesn’t work that way, either.
- In the morning, as with the evening, try not to let anything contact your scalp for an hour after application e.g. hair dryers, sprays, gels, etc. Particularly if you’re applying the whole 1ml at once. If that’s not possible, give it a minimum of 30 minutes to penetrate. By getting creative about your routine almost anyone should be able to leave their hair alone for 30 minutes after applying Rogaine.
- Don’t wash your hair, get caught unprotected in a downpour, or get excessively sweaty until at least two hours after application. Oh, and don’t forgot to call your mother for her birthday. Yes, there are a lot of don’ts here. See below for a discussion on breaking the rules if this is depressing you.
- Don’t apply Rogaine outside the affected area. I know, I know, this is an obvious one. Why would you waste Rogaine (and money) on healthy hair, right?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Obviously, the more often you skip applications, the less likely the treatment will work for you. If you do keep skipping applications and are wondering why it’s not working, then, um, …. go take a look in the mirror. Look into your eyes, not at your hair, when you do this. I guarantee you’ll find the answer. Yes, it’s you.
How to Use Rogaine: Breaking the Rules
Notwithstanding the important note above, if you’re anything like me you’ll start to break many of the above rules (once you’ve achieved the results you want I hope!). So, which are sacrosanct? Which are the ones I never break?
In short, I break them all at one time or another. The key is to be as religious as possible in following them until you get the results you want. After that, you can maintain your piety … without being fanatical. You’ll eventually develop a sense of what the ‘key do’s, avoids and tolerances’ are for you.
For example, you can miss the odd application. You can lay your head on a pillow or style your hair with a blow-dryer as little as 10 minutes after. Something is generally better than nothing. Provided it’s the exception, and not the rule, you should be able to maintain the results you’ve achieved without sweating the small stuff.
The above advice is intended to augment the directions that will undoubtedly accompany whatever Minoxidil-based brand you’ve chosen to purchase, Rogaine or otherwise. As noted above, I now use the 5% Minoxidil product from Regenepure. You can read the ‘What Hair Loss Treatment Worked for Me: 2016’ section of the website for further information and to assess whether it’s right for you.