How to Use Rogaine 5% Liquid Solution | Things to Avoid, Things To Do

How to use Rogaine

I’ll go for the red Rogaine liquid solution – I hear it works better!

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?  Probably not.  But if you’d like to see results more quickly and 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, you give yourself the best chance of a speedier, and more effective, outcome if you keep a few things in mind.  Things to avoid.  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 a screwdriver handle 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.  This is what I use.  Application of the liquid solution is normally 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 2 millilitre (2ml).  Personally, I use half that amount.  Substitute the amount you choose to apply in the recommendations below.

There are essentially two methods to applying Rogaine.  Which you choose will depend on what best fits your routine.

Method 1 (Preferred): Apply 0.5ml twice per day.  Morning and evening.

This is the method I’ve used since I started.  If applied properly, you can cover virtually the same area as if you had applied 1 millilitre each time.

I prefer this method based on a similar theory used in time-release vitamins and drugs.  For my money, 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.  I noticed initial results in double-quick time when I first began using the solution in this way (between 4  – 6 weeks).

Method 2: If you find it too difficult to fit a twice daily application into your routine then you cab apply the 1ml in one go.  Morning or evening, depending on your personal schedule.  Apply at 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 topicals and styling products, using a hair dryer, or having your scalp come into contact with something like a pillow at bedtime.

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 or Little Hair?

Applying Rogaine is not rocket science, however there are good … and better … ways to go about it:

  • Most Minoxidil-based liquid solutions come 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 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 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 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 do your best to avoid missing 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 if at all possible.  Thirty 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 with your routine almost anyone should be able to leave their hair alone for 30 minutes after application.
  • 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 in 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 rules (once you’ve achieved the results you want I hope!).  So, which are sacrosanct?  Which do 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 (if you’re careful) or style your hair with a blow-dryer as little as 15 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.

In Conclusion

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.  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.



  1. Diana nadanyi says

    Do I have to wash my hair every day? I sometimes use concealing products and maybe Rogain will not work if my scalp is not clean.

    • HTTT says

      I’ve heard different theories on this one. The short answer is that you certainly don’t have to wash your hair before applying i.e. there is no stipulation that I’m aware of from the makers of Rogaine (Regaine) that indicates this as a necessary step. Others will say that by washing your hair first you remove dirt and sebum build up that may otherwise interfere with absorption. In my case I do wash my hair everyday although I would suggest every other day might be a good middle ground. Happy to hear other opinions.

  2. narendran says

    I am from India here we use hair oil daily morning .ihow to use regaine here.if oil in my head can I apply this or I should wash my hair before use this

    • HTTT says

      I would recommend applying the oil and the rogaine around 4 hours apart. Ideally use the Rogaine first. It is not cheap and I would personally see it as the primary treatment mechanism. For those reasons alone, best to apply it up front to give it the best chance to work.

  3. Kayla says

    What if you dont get minoxidil all over your scalp? What if you only get it in certain areas? Does it still promote hair growth all over because I know most people can’t get minoxidil spread all over there head evenly

    • HTTT says

      You do need to get coverage over the affected areas for Minoxidil to be effective. That is, the Minoxidil does not have a positive effect on adjacent areas – only on the area to which it was applied. It does take some practice and patience but I find that if I lightly tap the dropper (assuming liquid) over the entire affected area, and then use the end to ‘distribute’ the liquid by pushing it along my scalp in several different directions, I can get the required coverage. As I said, it takes time, buyt I believe it gives you the best chance of keeping the Minoxidil where it needs to act – on your scalp, not on your fingers.

  4. says

    is 1ml for the morning and evening or is it 2ml for the whole day. if the answer is either of the above then hw will u determine 1ml is it 6 drops

    • HTTT says

      2ml for the whole day is the recommended dosage. The dropper typically has a 1ml mark printed on it – so no need to guess.

  5. JC says

    Do you experience have buildup on your scalp after use minoxidil? I do have some buildup on the area that I applied the minoxidil even I shampoo daily. Any suggestion how to remove it. Thank you.

    • HTTT says

      It may depend on the brand and strength you’re using. For the brand and strength I’m on, it clearly states 1ml per day on the label.

  6. Koga says

    I’ve been applying 1ml at morning and 1ml at night, getting a total of 2ml per day. A 2ml daily dosage. Is this correct? You said a 1ml dosage with 0.5 during the morning and night. I just want to be sure that I’m not using too much and I’m using the correct amount.

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