The 7 Best Natural and Drug Alternatives To Minoxidil

Medically reviewed by Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Alternatives to minoxidil - Understanding all the options for a healthy full head of hair without side-effects.

There was a time when thinning hair, pattern baldness, and receding hairlines were unavoidable facts of life. A large percentage of adult men and women had them. The best solution was to wear a hat or get a wig. Or simply accept your "mature" look and get on with life.

That all changed in 1988 when the FDA approved Rogaine, the first commercially available hair growth product containing minoxidil. If we called Rogaine your father's hair growth treatment, we wouldn't be wrong.

Minoxidil has no doubt helped many men and women get the younger-looking head of hair they dreamed of. Yet cold hard statistics tell us a whopping 40% of users get no improvement at all. Of the 6 in 10 who see a change with minoxidil, many experiences less than optimal results.

Turning your head from side to side and squinting into the mirror might reveal some new hair. But nothing to brag to friends about. And not nearly enough to erase that doubting look your spouse keeps giving you.

See the impressive alternative to minoxidil that's getting safe results for men and women worldwide.


Hair loss (alopecia areata) is a health concern that affects both men and women. It is often a symptom or a result of lifestyle factors (i.e. hairstyles, heat or chemical hair treatments, poor diet, stress) or medical conditions (i.e. hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, medical treatments).

With the advancement of science and technology, there are now several solutions and hair loss treatments for pattern baldness.

But many of these solutions are also costly, so most people turn to other more affordable options including natural treatments. One of the familiar and inexpensive hair growth treatments used is minoxidil. But its side effects are, sometimes, too much of a risk.

Minoxidil's long list of side effects


The problem with minoxidil isn't the inability to help ALL its users. The real difficulty is with side effects that range from irritating to troubling to downright life changing.

Some people have gone on record as having swelling of the mouth, fainting, unexplained weight gain, erectile dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and decreased libido.

While serious, these reactions could be considered relatively rare. Much more common are itching, redness, and irritation in the treated area, and unwanted hair growth elsewhere on the body.

Minoxidil causes greater hair loss for some people. Temporary hair loss is a much more common side effect the literature simply refers to as "shedding." Not a great thing when the whole point of using natural hair loss treatments is to grow more hair, not lose what little you have.

Is there a natural alternative to minoxidil?

Current natural minoxidil alternatives are aloe vera, lavender, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, hibiscus, saw palmetto, capsaicin, pumpkin seed oil, reishi mushroom, viola verecunda extract rose petals, and ginseng.

If using dad's hair growth product which has 30 years of known side effects and a spotty track record doesn't get you excited, then it could be well worth your time to consider the current range of a natural minoxidil alternative.

1. Herbal remedies

herbal remedies

First up is the plethora of herb-based supplements, creams, lotions, pills, and oils that are guaranteed to grow a youthful head of hair for both men and women at any age.

It's not hard to find these. They are advertised literally everywhere on Facebook and Amazon. Most focus on a herb or combination of herbs that improve various aspects of health.

Thus rolling back the clock, rejuvenating your body, and ultimately encouraging and stimulating hair growth. Many people feel this herbal, plant-based approach is safer, has none of the side effects, and can produce results. It's a HUGE industry.

After all, most modern medicines have their origins in various plants. Scientists say one of the most profound risks of shrinking the Amazon rainforest is the dramatic decrease in rare plants that can be used for pharmaceuticals and medical breakthroughs.

Amazon is flooded with hair growth products containing Gingko Biloba. It is said to stimulate hair growth by improving blood flow and circulation. Rosemary combined with olive oil does much the same thing. Thus creating a healthier system that MAY grow new hair.

If you feel these methods are a bit akin to searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you're probably right.

Most are white-labelled nutritionals produced overseas containing an amalgam of popular herbs. The more herbs the better with no real evidence that the mighty garden you are ingesting will produce any results.

While they may lead to a more naturally healthy life, they probably won't do much to encourage a fuller head of hair.

Want a careful science-based approach to herbal supplements effective for new hair growth?

Check out this product that is getting real results for both men and women of all ages.

The search for effective, natural growth-specific solution is a challenge for many.

2. Hair growth with Bio-Pixilin®

minoxidil alternative before and after result

Bio-Pixilin® has been getting more attention with its breakthrough natural hair growth properties.

Harnessing the power of stem cells, it's highly effective in nurturing healthier cells that slow hair loss and reduce hair thinning.

All with zero minoxidil and none of the side effects that go with it.

Bio-Pilixin® formula's proof is in impressive user experiences.

In a clinical trial, 97% of users experienced less hair loss within just 150 days. And that's without any harmful side effects.

None of the itching, swelling, irritation and unwanted shedding that's so common with minoxidil-based products currently available.

Researchers at Scandinavian Biolabs painstakingly considered natural ingredients that would work together to create a synergistic formulation.

High-performing ingredients were chosen based on a rigorous review of modern scientific literature. Then third-party tested in a respected laboratory to ensure quality, safety, and effectiveness.

Best of all, Bio-Pilixin® is bringing exciting results for many men and women who cannot use drugstore hair growth products due to medical conditions or medications they are taking.

Still, others are thrilled to finally have effective hair growth without being forced to use minoxidil. When it comes to natural alternatives to minoxidil, our Bio-Pilixin® is one of the most promising to date.

See the full line of Bio-Pilixin® based products that are currently sweeping the world.

There is a formulation for every need. This is a new revolution that is finally bringing safe results.

Here's a testimonial experience from a real Bio-Pilixin® user who is getting impressive results:

This is Niels, a customer who trusted us to help with his mature hairline. The result is sent by Niels, who used our Hair Growth Routine For Men.

Before our solution, Niels had quite a receding hairline (pictured):

hair growth routine for men

He persisted with our Hair Growth Routine for the period we recommended (150 days for optimal, naturally-assisted results).

Look what it did!

hair growth routine for men

After our treatment, Niels experienced consistent hair growth from the same scalp that has been receding for years.

Niels was one of the many success stories from real customers, like you.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Helps cleansing, hydrating and supports reduced hair loss in 3 easy steps.

3. Hair grafting transplant surgery

I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to a hair transplant. The whole idea of going under and waking up in pain has never appealed to me. But surgical hair restoration methods can be successful and rewarding for those who are determined to see results.

Hair grafting is the most common type of transplant surgery. A doctor removes tiny bits of scalp containing healthy hair. Then micro-grafts the hair in thinning or bald areas.

This method goes way back. As a youngster, I remember my boss getting transplant surgery. His head looked like a freshly planted rice patch. But then later he had a full head of healthy, youthful hair.

Still, transplant surgery can be expensive, sometimes unsuccessful, and almost guaranteed to be inconvenient for your schedule and busy life.

4. Finasteride (5-alpha reductase inhibitors)

hair growth routine for men

Finasteride is an alternative, but it's not exactly your best friend, either. It has its own list of side effects AND it does not work for female pattern hair loss.

It is interesting to know how it works. Well, it is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. This enzyme converts testosterone into DHT - the hormone that usually causes male pattern baldness.

It is previously used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Due to its properties of working on the hair follicle and promoting hair growth, it is widely used to treat hair loss and baldness. It blocks the production of such hormones in the body that stops scalp hair production.

Like other medications, it also has side effects in dizziness, postural hypotension, and erectile dysfunction. These side effects are less prominent than minoxidil, which is why oral finasteride is an alternative to minoxidil.

5. Ketoconazole shampoo (antifungal)

Dryness in the scalp and fungal infections are some of the important causes of making one bald. Therefore, we usually prescribe ketoconazole shampoo to those individuals who have hair susceptible to these ailments.

Its effects are not similar to minoxidil in treating hair loss, but some studies showed that using this shampoo can prevent the unnecessary hair fall in individuals. It should also be used before bathing. Gently pour it over the scalp, and don't massage it hard on the scalp. Keep it there for about five to ten minutes, and then wash it with cold water.

6. Biotin

Vitamin B7 is another name for biotin.

Biotin deficiency may lead to hair loss, so it seems logical that supplementing with the vitamin could help those deficient.

Unfortunately, there is no proof that biotin is an effective therapy for hair loss in persons who do not have a biotin deficiency.

7. Zinc

Zinc may help with hair growth, but further study is needed. Topical and oral zinc supplements have both been studied, and zinc supplementation, in particular, has been linked to hair growth.

Other alternatives to minoxidil

5-alpha reductase inhibitors include finasteride and dutasteride

5-alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride and dutasteride are medications that can help treat conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness. These drugs work by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By reducing the amount of DHT in the body, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can help shrink the prostate gland and promote hair growth.

Antiandrogen treatments include spironolactone and estrogen

Antiandrogen treatments such as spironolactone and estrogen are used to block the effects of androgens (male hormones) in the body. These drugs can be helpful for treating conditions such as acne, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), and androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness). Spironolactone works by blocking androgen receptors, while estrogen can help reduce the production of androgens.

Corticosteroids include triamcinolone and clobetasol

Corticosteroids are a class of drugs that have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Triamcinolone and clobetasol are two examples of corticosteroids that are commonly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. These medications work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system, which can help alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling.

Antifungals include ketoconazole and itraconazole

Antifungals like ketoconazole and itraconazole are medications that can be used to treat fungal infections. These drugs work by targeting the cell walls or membranes of fungal cells, which can help kill the fungi and prevent them from spreading. Ketoconazole is often used to treat conditions such as ringworm and dandruff, while itraconazole can be used to treat more severe infections such as histoplasmosis and aspergillosis.

How to pick the best minoxidil alternative?

We are and always will be advocates for natural but science-backed remedies when it comes to hair loss treatment. Nature has provided us with all the necessary ingredients to treat our health concerns.

What is minoxidil?

minoxidil in a tube

Minoxidil (more popularly recognized by its brand name, Rogaine) is a hair loss treatment that promotes hair growth.

It comes in many forms including oral minoxidil, topical minoxidil foam, and topical minoxidil liquid.

Oral minoxidil works on your entire body, so you might also experience hair growth in other areas besides your scalp.

The last two topical solutions are applied directly to the scalp.

It is used to treat both female and male pattern hair loss. It's most effective on adults under 40 years of age whose hair loss is recent.

This solution is meant to be applied usually twice a day or as recommended by a doctor. It should not be used more or less than what is directed. One should not use it on red, swollen, irritated, cut, or infected scalps. Doing so will cause the medication to be absorbed by the body, which poses serious health risks.

Minoxidil does not treat all hair loss concerns such as damaged hair follicles. It will not work on those with no history of hair loss (i.e. unexplained hair loss), those who experience hair fall in patches, or those whose hair loss is caused by another condition (whether lifestyle or medical).

Minoxidil works by increasing flow through blood vessels, which allows your body to regrow hair.

Why do alternatives to minoxidil exist?

As detailed above, minoxidil comes with several possible side effects. The most common side effects include scalp irritation (like burning, stinging, or redness at the application site), hair growth in adjacent areas (such as your forehead), or changes in hair texture or color.

More uncommon and severe side effects are unwanted body and facial hair, dizziness, fast or irregular heartbeat, fainting, chest pain, swelling of hands and/or feet, unusual weight gain, tiredness, and difficulty breathing.

Users should stop applying minoxidil immediately if they experience any of these symptoms.

There is not much research as to how minoxidil combats androgenetic alopecia. It belongs to a classification of drugs called vasodilators, which are used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure.

It will not permanently solve your androgenic alopecia, and it must be used continuously for at least four months to a year before one can notice hair regrowth.

Experts do not advise those under the age of 18 to use this product.

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Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S. is a House Physician in the Medical Unit 3 Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, and deals with hepatic, cardiac, neurological, and dermatological issues daily. He did his MBBS from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad. He believes that a good haircare routine is one where you nourish it naturally. During his free time, he works as a dermatologist for Scandinavian Biolabs.