There are many types of minoxidil on the market these days, but which is the best for you? This can be tricky to answer, as everyone's body is different and will respond to products differently. In this post, we'll explore some of the most popular types of minoxidil and discuss how they work.
This will help you understand the best type of minoxidil for your needs, you can decide which minoxidil is best for you to use in your quest to regain fuller hair. Minoxidil was initially used as an oral pharmaceutical formulation for hypertension but it later developed into a famous topical treatment of hair loss in both men and women. You may use minoxidil foam or minoxidil solution in different concentrations (2% minoxidil and 5% minoxidil) based on the recommendations of your healthcare provider. Minoxidil works by first converting into minoxidil sulfate in the scalp following its application. The active form of minoxidil than acts on the stimulating hair follicles to prolong the anagen phase and also causes vasodilation of the arteries that provide oxygen and nutrients to the scalp. There are various forms of topical minoxidil available with different concentrations and formulations. You can refer to our list to decide which one to opt for combating hair loss and stimulating hair growth.
Minoxidil was initially used as an oral pharmaceutical formulation for hypertension but it later developed into a famous topical treatment of hair loss in both men and women. You may use minoxidil foam or minoxidil solution in different concentrations (2% minoxidil and 5% minoxidil) based on the recommendations of your healthcare provider.
Minoxidil works by first converting into minoxidil sulfate in the scalp following its application. The active form of minoxidil than acts on the stimulating hair follicles to prolong the anagen phase and also causes vasodilation of the arteries that provide oxygen and nutrients to the scalp.
There are various forms of topical minoxidil available with different concentrations and formulations. You can refer to our list to decide which one to opt for combating hair loss and stimulating hair growth.
12 minoxidil brands, which minoxidil is best?
You should consult your doctor to discuss which concentration of minoxidil is suitable for you. You shall also discuss the possible drug interactions and minoxidil side effects if you taking any medications. Minoxidil has some known side effects after stopping, too.
When in doubt, opt for minoxidil alternatives.
Here are our picks of the best minoxidils:
Best known: Rogaine
Rogaine is the brand name for minoxidil, a topical solution used to treat hair loss. It was first introduced in the 1980s as a treatment for high blood pressure, but it was found to have the side effect of promoting hair growth. Rogaine is available over the counter in 2% and 5% minoxidil solutions.
Best availability: Kirkland
Kirkland is the private label brand of minoxidil that Costco sells. It is available in 2% and 5% minoxidil solutions. The product also retails on Amazon. Kirkland Minoxidil topical solution comes with a child-resistant dropper applicator for easy and efficient application on the scalp.
Best multi-ingredient: Lipogaine
Lipogaine is a brand of minoxidil solution that contains 5% minoxidil and is available over the counter. It also has other ingredients that help with hair loss, such as biotin and saw palmetto. It also contains a proprietary herb blend that helps block DHT by inhibiting the enzyme 5α reductase. This works for crown hair thinning.
Best value: Equate
Equate is the Walmart brand of minoxidil. It is available in 2% and 5% minoxidil solutions. Equate Hair Regrowth Treatment also comes in the form of 5% topical aerosol foam that has easier scalp application. In contrast to other products, Equate Hair Regrowth Treatment is effective for hair loss at the vertex only.
Best oral minoxidil: DrFormulas Hairomega
DrFormulas Hairomega is a supplement containing 3% minoxidil and other ingredients that help with hair loss. It is available without a prescription.
Best spray applicator: Regenepure
Regenepure is a brand of minoxidil solution that contains 5% minoxidil and is available over the counter.
Best unscented: Nioxin
Nioxin is a line of hair care products that include shampoos, conditioners, and scalp treatments. It is said to help with hair loss and thinning hair.
Best at Walmart: GoodSense
GoodSense is the Walmart brand of minoxidil. It is available in 2% and 5% minoxidil solutions.
Best for minoxidil and finasteride: Keeps
Keeps is a subscription service that provides minoxidil and finasteride treatments, and other hair loss treatments.
- Hims is a subscription service that provides minoxidil solutions, finasteride pills, and other hair loss treatments.
- Roman is a subscription service that provides minoxidil solutions and other hair loss treatments.
- ReGEN is a brand of minoxidil solution that contains 5% minoxidil and is available over the counter.
What is minoxidil?
Minoxidil was initially developed as a treatment for high blood pressure as it is a potent peripheral vasodilator substance. However, researchers found that it had the interesting side effect of causing hair growth, so the FDA eventually approved it for use as a topical treatment for hair loss.
It is a topical treatment that has proven to be effective for both male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss.
Read this: Does Minoxidil Work On Frontal Baldness?
The topical minoxidil solution can be used in the form of either minoxidil solution or minoxidil foam. In contrast to minoxidil solution, minoxidil foam is a newer formulation that dries up quickly and does not cause excessive irritation of the scalp. The available dosage includes 2% topical minoxidil and 5% topical minoxidil.
How does minoxidil work?
Minoxidil is commonly used to treat androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern hair loss). By increasing blood flow to the scalp, minoxidil encourages hair growth and helps thicken existing hairs.
Additionally, minoxidil increases the size of blood vessels in the scalp, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. This supports the growth of healthier, thicker hairs. In addition, minoxidil has been shown to increase the length of the active phase of hair growth, resulting in longer, fuller hairs.
Minoxidil performs these functions by stimulating the potassium channels present in the hair follicles and in the vascular smooth muscle. In addition to increasing the length of the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, it shortens the telogen phase which causes the hair follicle to progress into the anagen phase prematurely.
The action of minoxidil on the hair follicles is attributed to its active component known as minoxidil sulfate. The conversion of minoxidil to minoxidil sulfate is mediated by an enzyme present in the hair follicles. This enzyme is known as sulfotransferase.
Minoxidil is most effective when combined with another hair loss treatment, such as finasteride. Finasteride inhibits the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that shrinks hair follicles and leads to hair thinning. Combining these two treatments can maximize hair growth and achieve fuller, thicker hairs.
Foam vs solution: the differences
If you're like most people, the word "minoxidil" probably doesn't mean much to you. However, if you're struggling with hair loss, it's worth taking a closer look at this medication. Minoxidil comes in two forms: foam and solution. Both the formulations are applied directly to the scalp and effectively slow down hair loss and promote new hair growth.
However, there are some critical differences between the two products. Foam minoxidil is relatively light and easy to apply, and it dries quickly. Solution minoxidil is more liquid-y and can be a bit messier to apply. In terms of efficacy, there is evidence to suggest that solution minoxidil is more effective than foam minoxidil.
However, both products are generally well-tolerated and safe for most people. If you're considering using minoxidil for treating hair loss, talk to your doctor about which form is right for you. You shall also discuss whether to use 2% topical minoxidil or 5% topical minoxidil on your scalp.
Side effects of minoxidil
The oral form of liquid minoxidil is more likely to cause side effects, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. In contrast, topical minoxidil is generally well tolerated among users. However, it can cause localized side effects including itching, redness, and scalp irritation.
In rare cases, minoxidil can cause more severe side effects, such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, fainting, and swelling of the hands and feet. If you experience these side effects, you should immediately stop taking minoxidil and seek medical attention.
How to use minoxidil?
The topical form of minoxidil is applied to the scalp twice daily, while the oral form is taken as a pill once daily. Minoxidil stimulate hair growth and preventing further hair loss. It is most effective when combined with other hair loss treatments, such as finasteride.
Minoxidil is a safe and effective treatment for hair loss, but it can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects include scalp irritation, dryness, and flaking. You should contact your doctor if you experience any of these side effects. Nevertheless, minoxidil is a valuable tool in the fight against hair loss, and it can help you keep your head above water.
How to get the best results from minoxidil?
Getting the best results from minoxidil requires a commitment to using it properly and consistently. Here are some tips for getting the most out of minoxidil for female pattern baldness, hair shedding, and receding hairline:
- Use it correctly and follow the instructions on the package
- Apply twice a day, every day, for best results
- Use it in combination with other hair growth products, such as finasteride, for maximum effect
- Be prepared to wait 3-6 months before you notice any hair growth results
- Consider supplementing minoxidil with lifestyle changes, like a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management.
- Be patient—results can vary depending on the severity of your condition.
These tips will help ensure that you get the best possible results from minoxidil. Remember, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your hair loss treatment, it’s important to seek professional medical advice. With the right approach, you can turn back the clock and enjoy a full head of hair.
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Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, Volume 13, 2777–2786. https://doi.org/10.2147/dddt.s214907
Badri T, Nessel TA, Kumar D D. Minoxidil. [Updated 2021 Dec 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/