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Treatment Information

Table of contents

Patient Reviews: How Regaine Has Made a Difference

What is Regaine?

Regaine is a hair loss treatment which is used to treat male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia. Regaine for Men is available as a solution or foam. The treatment is massaged directly onto the scalp.

Regaine for Men is available as a 5% solution or 5% foam and is applied twice daily to treat hair loss.

Regaine for Women is available as a 2% solution, which is applied twice daily, and a 5% foam, which is applied once a day.

Before you buy Regaine online, it's important to speak to your doctor about hair loss treatments. They will be able to assess your scalp and determine the most suitable treatment for you, depending on the kind of hair loss you are experiencing and the cause of your hair loss.

You can also discuss hair loss treatments with one of our online doctors via email. From your online Prescription Doctor account, go to "My Account" and then "Messages". There, you can send a message directly to our doctor in confidence.

A brief history of Regaine for hair loss

The active ingredient, minoxidil, was found to be a strong vasodilator when it was developed in the 50’s by the Upjohn Company (now a subsidiary of Pfizer).

In a similar vein to how Viagra came to be, Minoxidil was originally used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), but was found to cause a side effect which helped a common problem afflicting men. Rather than causing erections, however, Minoxidil was found to cause excessive hair growth.

The side effect became well-known, and some doctors started prescribing minoxidil off-label to treat male pattern baldness in the 80s. Meanwhile, two parties - Kahn & Grant, and Upjohn & Chidsey - fought for patents to use Minoxidil as a treatment for hair loss.

Since it’s approval for hair loss in 1988, minoxidil is sold around the world as a hair loss treatment under a variety of different brand names, including Regaine in the UK.

Where can I buy Regaine hair loss treatment?

Here in the UK, you can buy Regaine for male pattern baldness over-the-counter or online from our trusted UK pharmacy without the need of a prescription.

When you buy Regaine hair loss treatment through Prescription Doctor, our online pharmacy will ensure the item is packaged discreetly, guaranteeing your privacy. We utilise a fast next-day courier service so that you can get your treatment as soon as possible.

How does Regaine (minoxidil) work to treat hair loss?

The active ingredient of Regaine is a vasodilator called minoxidil.

Minoxidil helps to widen blood vessels, allowing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to travel more efficiently around the body.

While the exact mechanism isn't understood, it is believed that the increase of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles in the scalp stimulates hair growth. By applying it directly to the scalp, it is thought that it dilates localised blood vessels. This isolates the effects to the scalp and hair follicles.

By supplying the hair follicles with nutrients and oxygen, it is believed to affect the hair growth cycle.

Hair grows and sheds in cycle which has 4 phases.

During the Anagen phase (growth phase), the hair follicle is provided with a blood supply. This blood supply delivers nutrients and oxygen, which are needed for the hair to grow. The Anagen phase can last between 2 and 6 years.

The second phase is called the Catagen phase (transition phase), during which the base of the hair detaches from the blood vessel within the hair follicle. This stage lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

Once detached, the hair follicle enters the 3rd stage known as the Telogen phase (resting phase). The hair follicle shrinks and a new hair begins growing underneath. The Telogen phase can last for 3 to 5 months.

Finally, the hair reaches the Exogen phase (shedding phase). Strands of hair die and falls out, allowing a new hair strand to grow and replace it. The cycle begins again as the new hair enters the Anagen phase.

While Regaine can promote hair growth, resulting in a thicker head of hair, it doesn't stop hair loss.

During your first few weeks of using Regaine, you may notice an exponential loss of hair. This is because Regaine causes hairs in the Telogen phase to shed, forcing hair follicles to enter the Anagen phase once more. Additionally, Regaine prolongs the Anagen phase, allowing hairs to grow for a longer time.

How do I apply Regaine for hair loss?

Regaine is applied directly to the scalp (top of the head) twice daily. You should apply it once in the morning and once in the evening.

Make sure your hair is completely dry before applying Regaine.

Do not use Regaine more than stated in the accompanying leaflet. If you or someone else uses too much of this medicine, seek immediate medical attention.

Always wash your hands before and after applying Regaine. If you do not thoroughly wash your hands after using Regaine, you may accidentally apply Regaine to other parts of the body, which can result in undesired hair growth on areas other than the scalp.

Specific instructions on how to apply Regaine can be found in the patient information leaflet supplied with the medicine.

Regaine Foam

To open the container, rotate the cap until the two arrows are aligned and pull the cap off.

Hold the can upside down and dispense 1 gram of the foam, which is about the same as half a cap full of foam. The foam may melt on warm hands. If this happens, rinse your hands under cold water for a minute before dispensing the foam to your hand.

Using your fingers, gently massage the foam or solution into the affected areas of the scalp.

Once you have finished using Regaine Foam, replace the cap and store it out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Regaine Solution

Open the spray bottle by pressing down on the child-resistant cap and turn to unscrew it.

Remove the cap and put it aside.

Insert the spray applicator into the bottle and screw it on tightly. The solution comes with 2 types of applicators - a standard spray top (which is useful for applying the solution over a large area) and an extended spray tip (which is useful for more focused application to small areas).

Aim the nozzle of the spray bottle at the area you wish to apply the spray and press the pump once to dispense the medicine.

Using your fingers, spread the solution over the affected areas.

Repeat the process up to 5 times. A total of 6 sprays will provide 1g of minoxidil.

When you have finished applying the solution, remove the spray applicator and replace it with the child resistant cap. Store Regaine out of sight and reach from children and pets.

What should I do if I use too much Regaine?

If you use more Regaine than you should, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Using more Regaine will not treat your hair loss any faster or more effectively, but can increase your risk of side effects.

If you are unsure how much Regaine you should use to treat hair loss, consult the patient information leaflet (PIL) enclosed with your medicine.

What should I do if I forget to use it when I should?

If you forget to use Regaine when you should, skip the missed dose and continue to use Regaine as you normally would.

Do not use more Regaine, or use Regaine more frequently, to make up for the missed dose. Using more Regaine than you should will not treat your hair loss faster but may increase your risk of side effects.

Regaine side effects and cautions

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the side effects listed in the patient information leaflet (PIL) which is supplied with your medicine.

The respective leaflets are listed below:

Regaine for Men Extra Strength Foam Patient Information Leaflet (PIL).

Regaine for Men Extra Strength Solution Patient Information Leaflet (PIL)

Who should not use Regaine?

Regaine is not suitable for everyone. If you are unsure whether Regaine is safe for you, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Do not use Regaine if you:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are under the age of 18 or over the age of 49
  • are using creams, lotions or ointments to treat a scalp condition
  • have a shaved scalp
  • have any conditions which affect your scalp, such as psoriasis
  • have ever had a bad reaction to minoxidil or any of the other excipients
  • have hair loss caused by drug treatment
  • have high blood pressure, even if it’s not being treated
  • have total baldness (alopecia totalis) or have lost all of your body hair

Women should not use Regaine for Men.

Men should not use Regaine for Women.

Who should seek advice before using Regaine for hair loss?

Speak to your doctor or a pharmacist before using Regaine if you:

  • are unsure whether your scalp is healthy and normal
  • suffer from heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, angina, chest pain, or problems with your circulation
  • are taking any other medicines - especially vasodilators, such as hydrazaline.

Regaine is available as a foam and a solution. If you are unsure which formulation is most suitable for you, speak to a pharmacist for advice.

Side effects of Regaine

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, though not everybody gets them. Remaining aware of changes and effects is important while using Regaine for male pattern baldness.

Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Headache

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Itching or dermatitis
  • Undesired hair growth elsewhere on the body

Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):

  • Nausea

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Regaine, including a complete list of side effects, can be found in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience any side effects after using Regaine, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.


Do not use Regaine if you are allergic or have had any previous reaction to Minoxidil or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs of an allergic reaction after using Regaine, stop using it and seek emergency medical attention. Go straight to your nearest accident and emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you as this can help doctors treating you.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightness and pain
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red and watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not use Regaine for Women if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Regaine for Men is not suitable for women.

For further information about Regaine for hair loss, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Other safety information

Please inform our medical team of all medicines you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your doctor, or bought over the counter, as well as health and herbal supplements.

Warning: Regaine is extremely flammable. Keep away from heat, flames and other sources of ignition. Do not expose to temperatures exceeding 50°C.

Do not use Regaine past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the specified month. For example, “EXP: 03/2025” refers to the 31st of March 2025.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste as this can harm the environment. Take any unwanted or expired medicine to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of them safely on your behalf.

Always store Regaine out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.

Frequently asked questions

What results can I expect from using Regaine?

New hair which grows as a result of Regaine may begin soft and thin. Over time, the hairs should strengthen and become similar to your other hair.

What should I do if I accidentally get Regaine in my eyes?

If you accidentally get Regaine Foam or Regaine Solution in your eyes, rinse your eyes with water immediately. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.

Can I drink alcohol while using Regaine for hair loss?

You can drink alcohol while using Regaine. Avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week, as per the governments guidelines.

Will Regaine affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Regaine can cause dizziness or low blood pressure. If these effects occur, avoid driving or operating machinery until you feel safe to do so.

How long does Regaine take to work for hair loss?

In studies, improvements in hair growth were seen in as little as 8 weeks, though it may take up to 16 weeks before changes become noticeable. It is important to understand that Regaine does not completely stop hair loss, though it can slow the shedding of hair and extend the growth cycle of hair.

Can Regaine cause hair loss?

You may notice hair loss increases during the first 2 to 6 weeks of using Regaine.

How long does a bottle of Regaine last?

According to the manufacturer, one bottle or can of Regaine should last about 30 days. If you find you are using more Regaine for hair loss than you should, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

If you run out of Regaine and wish to order more, simply login to your Prescription Doctor account and go to "My Orders". From there, find the order you wish to order again and select the blue button labelled "reorder".

How long should I take Regaine for to treat male pattern baldness?

You should continue to use Regaine for as long as you want the effects to last. Stopping Regaine will cause your hair loss to continue at the rate prior to treatment.

Is Minoxidil the same as Finasteride for hair loss?

No, minoxidil is not the same as Finasteride (sold under the brand name Propecia). Finasteride inhibits an enzyme, which breaks down an androgenic hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Minoxidil, on the other hand, causes blood vessels to widen and promotes blood flow to the hair follicles. If you are unsure which hair loss treatment most suitable for you, speak to your doctor.

Can women use Minoxidil?

Yes, minoxidil is safe for women. Regaine have a product specifically formulated for women aptly called Regaine for Women.

Regaine for Women is available as a 5% foam, which is applied to the scalp once daily, and a 2% solution, which is applied to the scalp twice a day.

Can I dye my hair while using Regaine?

Regaine can be used on dyed hair, and hair dye can be used while you are using Regaine. However, you should inform your hair stylist that you are using Regaine and request them to be gentle when washing and rinsing your hair. When combing, use a comb with spaced, rounded teeth.

How long does a bottle or can of Regaine last?

When using the recommended dosage, a single bottle or can of Regaine should last for 30 days (one month). Regaine needs to be used for a long time in order to be effective. When you are running low, you should plan on renewing your treatment.

Our online service makes it quick and easy for you to re-order Regaine when you need it. Simply login to your Prescription Doctor account, go to "my orders" and select the blue button labelled "reorder" to place a new order.

Can I use other hair products, such as styling gels and hair spray?

It is generally safe to use styling gels and hair spray to style your hair while using Regaine. However, you should avoid any products which contain petrolatum (petroleum jelly). You should apply Regaine to dry hair before applying other styling products.

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Regaine
  • Manufacturer: McNeil Products Ltd.
  • Active Ingredient(s): Minoxidil
  • Administration: Topical
  • Presentation: Foam, Solution
  • Available Strength: 5% w/w foam, 5% w/v Solution, 2% w/v solution (for women)
  • Exemption: GSL
  • Dosage: Use as directed in the leaflet
  • Description: Regaine is a hair loss treatment which slows the rate of hair loss and promotes hair growth.
  • Drug Class: Vasodilator
  • Alcohol Consumption: No influence
  • When Pregnant: Do not use Regaine for Women if you are pregnant. Speak to your doctor for further information.
  • When Breastfeeding: Do not use Regaine for Women if you are breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for further information.
  • Price: 29 GBP
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Click here to view the Regaine - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored & Reviewed By

Adil Bhaloda

Adil Bhaloda

Adil provides governance for the online services, overseeing prescription dispensation in line with UK pharmacy standards.

Published on: 19/01/2021 Reviewed on: 13/03/2024

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