Does Minoxidil Work For A Receding Hairline?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
Written by Morgan German
Last updated

Minoxidil, like finasteride, has been shown to increase hair development and may assist men with male pattern baldness in restoring “lost” hair.

However, whether or not Minoxidil works on the hairs around the hairline is a topic of dispute on the internet.

We believe you deserve clarity on this. The last thing you'd need right now is extra stress and hassle.

Minoxidil was studied mainly on the top of the scalp and crown to get FDA clearance, leading to the widespread belief that it only acts on these areas.

In this article, we'll give you clarity on the issue and whether it's a good idea to use minoxidil for your receding hairline.


Because the follicles on your hairline are highly similar to those on your scalp or crown, where minoxidil has been shown to work, there's no reason to assume it wouldn't work as a receding hairline therapy.

    Does minoxidil (Rogaine) work for a receding hairline?

    Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow in the region where it's used. When applied to the scalp, it can boost hair density and growth rate.

    In theory, minoxidil (Rogaine) can work on a receding hairline.

    Because the hair follicles in your hairline aren't much different from those on your scalp or crown, you should still get the advantages of minoxidil when you use it there.

    There are also several anecdotal reports of persons with receding hairlines taking minoxidil to improve growth and thickness.

    However, there isn't much scientific evidence on the effects of minoxidil on the hairline right now. As a result, it's preferable to think about minoxidil as a possible advantage rather than a surefire strategy to regenerate your hairline.

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    What is minoxidil, and how does it help you grow your hair?

    minoxidil bottle on a table

    Minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means it dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow to specific body parts.

    Although the specific mechanism of action is unknown, it is hypothesized that when Minoxidil is administered topically in the form of a serum or foam, it interacts with scalp sulfotransferase, converting it to minoxidil sulfate – the active form of Minoxidil.

    It then prematurely shortens your hair's telogen phase (the period when it is resting and begins to fall out) and pushes it into the anagen phase (the growth phase), as well as extending the hair's development period causing it to grow longer and thicker.

    Minoxidil has no known impact on your hormones, unlike finasteride, which works by lowering DHT levels in your system. Minoxidil is best thought of as a topical treatment that can aid hair growth, while finasteride is meant to protect your follicles from DHT.

    One of the most prevalent misunderstandings regarding minoxidil is that it works solely on the scalp and crown. Many individuals believe that using minoxidil to prevent frontal hair loss around the hairline is ineffective.

    Read how to apply minoxidil here.

    Minoxidil's background

    Minoxidil was first created as a hypertension therapy before being produced as a topical version and became a standard hair loss treatment.

    Researchers at Upjohn (the firm that initially developed the drug) devised a topical version to repurpose as a topical hair loss therapy for males suffering from androgenic alopecia after noticing that oral minoxidil caused hair growth a notable adverse effect.

    New drugs must go through a thorough trial and testing procedure to prove that they are safe and effective before being released onto the market.

    In the late 1970s, Upjohn began conducting large-scale clinical trials of minoxidil across the United States, with testing continuing into the 1980s and 1990s. The efficacy portion of this study concentrated on the effects of minoxidil on hair growth around the scalp and crown.

    One research from 1986, for example, looked at the effects of minoxidil on the balding crown. The study found that 53% of individuals had substantial hair growth. In summary, Upjohn discovered that minoxidil was highly efficient but concentrated its research on the crown and frontal scalp.

    The majority of minoxidil research has focused on hair development on the scalp. Another study from 2002, for example, compared the effects of five percent minoxidil vs. two percent minoxidil on hair covering around the scalp.

    Minoxidil was shown to be successful in treating hair loss in the frontal scalp and the vertex in a 2014 research with 16 healthy male volunteers to examine the effects of 5% minoxidil topical foam on various areas of the scalp other than the vertex.

    This data primarily supports the idea that minoxidil only works on the scalp and crown of the head. It's not that minoxidil isn't effective near the hairline (it is), but there hasn't been much research done on the topic so far.

    Who gets the best results from Minoxidil?

    before and after minoxidil

    Minoxidil is a topical medication used on the scalp to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss in men and women with male or female pattern baldness. This is the most prevalent form of hair loss, and it is inherited.

    Minoxidil is most effective in persons who have genetic hair loss at the vertex of the scalp (the area at the rear of the head, just under the crown) or women who have overall hair thinning on the top of the scalp. Rogaine isn't intended to treat a receding hairline or baldness in the front of the head.

    Minoxidil is most effective in people under 40 years old and those who start using it at the first signs of hair loss. It won't help people who've already gone entirely bald.

    Read: How long does Minoxidil take to work?

    Key takeaways

    Minoxidil is a popular and successful therapy that is both backed by science and the FDA, whether you're trying to avoid what your genetics are warning you is coming, or you're already in the throes of hair loss.

    While the specific mechanism of action of minoxidil is uncertain, it is thought that as a vasodilator, it increases blood flow to the regions where it is administered, allowing nutrients to reach the follicles and stimulating growth.

    If you are unsure about the effectiveness of minoxidil, try out naturally-derived, vegan and cruelty-free hair growth routine from Scandinavian Biolabs. We guarantee hair growth within 150 days or money back.

    Or, check out other alternatives to minoxidil.



    Dr Amy Revene M.B.B.S. graduated from the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She is currently working as a General Physician at New Hope Medical Center. Amy has a passion for research and offers her expertise and opinions to help people in their quest to lead healthy, happy lives.