The topical hair loss treatment drug Rogaine™, aka 2% / 5% minoxidil, was originally indicated for refractory hypertension. Orally administered minoxidil lowers blood pressure by relaxing vascular smooth muscle through the action of its sulphated metabolite, minoxidil sulphate, as an opener of sarcolemmal potassium adenosine triphosphate (KATP) channels. Its mechanism of action in those affected by pattern hair loss is less well understood – however it is believed to modulate the hair cycle leading to early onset anagen (growing phase). A number of in vitro effects of minoxidil have been described in monocultures of skin and hair follicle cell populations – including stimulation of cell proliferation, inhibition of collagen synthesis, and stimulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VGEF) and prostaglandin synthesis. Some or all of these modulatory events may be relevant to hair growth, but the translation of results observed in cell culture studies to the complex biology of the in vivo hair follicle remains uncertain. Due to its potential risks, maximum strength 5% Rogaine™ is not indicated for use by women.
Interestingly, while also demonstrating efficacy in a number of clinical trials, including placebo-controlled, double blind research (e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12006122) HairGenesis® has never been linked to negative side effects observed with Rogaine™. While not yet tested side by side against Rogaine™, HairGenesis® was recently shown to dramatically outperform the mainstream Rx drug Propecia™ in a series of University of Chicago based hair growth assays: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26990224
Finally, while Rogaine™ is considered a monotherapy, HairGenesis® has been demonstrated to work thru a multi-faceted series of mechanisms, thereby targeting more than one causative pathway linked to pattern hair loss (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19692448). This is highly relevant as common pattern hair loss has been definitively proven to be a complex trait disorder – meaning that there are multiple genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors operative in the onset and progression of the hair loss disease phenotype. Therefore, by targeting multiple triggers, HairGenesis® can arguably be said to be operating far more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, unlike either Rogaine™ or Propecia™, HairGenesis®, in its maximal dosage, has also been show to be extremely safe for women as well as men.