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There are few hair loss prevention products out there with solid scientific research backing up their effectiveness. Minoxidil is one of those few. It is also a medication that has proven results in not only helping people keep the hair they still have, but also stimulating new hair growth. If you are serious about taking on hair loss, minoxidil should be a core part of your hair loss prevention regime. In our best minoxidil product reviews section of this article, we are going to examine a few of the best minoxidil deals and a few other interesting topical solutions.
Minoxidil, in combination with Propecia, has been shown to have the best documented results when used consistently.
Top 15 Products Containing Minoxidil
Here is our comparison table of the best minoxidil products. In our review ‘top picks’ section further down the page, we take a closer look at four popular options as well as minoxidil products for women.
|Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution||Minoxidil Liquid||5%||$2.00/Fl Oz (2 Mo Supply)|
|Kirkland Minoxidil Extra Strength||Minoxidil Liquid||5%||$2.60/Fl Oz (3 Mo Supply)|
|MinoxidilMax EssenGen-5 NO PG FAST DRY||Minoxidil Liquid *Propylene Glycol Free||5%||$3.60/Fl Oz (3 Mo Supply)|
|Shapiro MD Minoxidil||Minoxidil Liquid||5%||$4.75/Fl Oz (2 Mo Supply)|
|Kirkland Signature Topical Aerosol||Minoxidil Foam||5%||$5.40/Fl Oz (3 Mo Supply)|
|Rogaine Topical Aerosol||Minoxidil Foam||5%||$6.00/Fl Oz (3 Mo Supply)|
|Rogaine Original Extra Strength||Minoxidil Liquid||5%||$6.30/Fl Oz (3 Mo Supply)|
|Hims Minoxidil Topical Solution||Minoxidil Liquid||5%||$6.50/Fl Oz|
|Lipogaine for Women||Minoxidil Liquid + Azelaic Acid + DHT Blockers||2%||$10.00/Fl Oz|
|Lipogaine for Men||Minoxidil Liquid + Azelaic Acid + DHT Blockers||5%||$12.50/Fl Oz (1 Month Supply)|
|Rogaine for Women||Minoxidil Foam||5%||$15.00/Fl Oz|
|Regenepure Minoxidil Extra Strength Topical Spray for Men||Minoxidil Spray||5%||$15.00/Fl Oz|
|Regenepure Minoxidil Extra Strength Topical Spray for Women||Minoxidil Spray||5%||$15.00/Fl Oz|
|DS Laboratories Spectral DNC-N||Nanoxidil + Azelaic Acid + DHT Blockers||5%||$19.00/Fl Oz|
|Hair Restoration Labs Ultra Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment||Minoxidil Liquid + Azelaic Acid + DHT Blockers||5%||$20.00/Fl Oz (1 Mo Supply)|
Minoxidil for Hair Loss Prevention
Minoxidil falls under the growth stimulates category of hair loss treatment. It is the ingredient that is found in Rogaine and a variety of other hair growth stimulant products. Both men and women who are suffering from pattern baldness can benefit from using minoxidil. In some cases, individuals who regularly use minoxidil will experience significant hair re-growth. The downside is that it must be used indefinitely to retain any regrown hair as well as maintain hair follicles that otherwise would have been lost. It takes approximately 30-60 days after discontinued use for hair loss to return to its normal rate.
Minoxidil has earned its place as part of the “Big 3,” (Propecia + Ketoconazole + Minoxidil) which are three of the most proven and powerful hair loss treatments. When an individual suffering from hair loss combines these three treatments and uses each diligently, they have a very high chance of stopping hair loss in its tracks. In some cases, this regime can even reverse the hair loss miniaturization process and regrow new hair.
How Minoxidil Works
Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator medication, otherwise understood as a drug to reduce high blood pressure. It was discovered that it also promotes new growth and slows or stops hair loss. It is still somewhat of a mystery as to how exactly minoxidil works. Recent studies carried out by L’Oreal suggest that minoxidil works by activating PGHS (prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase-1). Here is some relevant information about minoxidil and its relationship to hair loss.
For a list of studies and clinical research involving minoxidil, visit our Does Rogaine Work page.
- FDA-approved hair loss treatment.
- Helps blood flow to the hair follicles.
- Stimulates and prolongs hair growth cycles.
- Increases hair shaft diameter and follicular size.
- It’s OTC, no prescription required (unlike Propecia).
- Helps prevent further hair loss in 4 out of 5 individuals.
- Shown to have an 85% chance to stimulate new hair regrowth over a 2-year period.
- Results are usually noticeable after about 4-6 months of daily use.
- Requires discipline to incorporate into daily routine.
- Does not work for everyone.
- Non-herbal treatment.
- Stopping treatment will result in hair loss returning to the previous rate.
- Can be cumbersome to apply to the entire hair loss region of the scalp, particularly for individuals that have long and/or thick hair.
- Cost (can get spendy when looking at the long term expense).
One thing to keep in mind is that in many cases people will experience hair shedding within the first 2 weeks of use. This is a good sign and means a new hair growth cycle is beginning. Every hair loss prevention product that is in effect, you will usually go through a period where your hair gets thinner or falls out before it grows back thicker.
Minoxidil Shampoo: Is There Such a Thing?
Wouldn’t it be easy if you could get a dose of minoxidil with your daily shower? Sorry folks, there is no such thing as minoxidil shampoo. Unfortunately, minoxidil cannot be effectively used in shampoo formulations. Furthermore, it takes awhile for minoxidil to absorb in the scalp. One study found that by hour 1, only about half the minoxidil absorption was complete. By hour 4, nearly 75% was absorbed by the scalp. The bottom line is you don’t want to be sitting around in the shower for 4 hours while your minoxidil absorbs! In addition to this information, it makes the case for the fact that you probably shouldn’t be applying a bunch of hair products to your scalp while the minoxidil works its magic. That could certainly interfere with scalp absorption!
Minoxidil Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I have seen products with 2% and 5% minoxidil. Does 5% work better?
A: Products with 5% have been shown in studies to provide better results.
Q: Do foam minoxidil treatments work better than liquid?
A: There is no evidence supporting the claim that one works better than the other. Some evidence suggests foam is less irritating to the scalp. The main difference is the cosmetic result after use.
Q: What are the most common side effects of using minoxidil?
A: Some people may develop an itchy or irritated scalp from regular use. Another common side effect is extra facial hair growth.
Q: Do I have to use minoxidil twice daily?
A: While most manufacturers of minoxidil products include instructions on their label to use twice daily, some recent evidence has suggested one time a day is sufficient. The general consensus is although it works best when used 2x a day, using it once a day will also be effective (and better than not using it at all).
Q: Is there a way to know if minoxidil is working for me?
A: A good sign to look out for is hair shedding within the first 2-3 weeks of use. Obviously, seeing new hair follicles pop up along and in front of your hair line—or on the vertex and top of the scalp—is an excellent sign. New growth typically appears after about 4-6 months of daily use. Although the first new hairs may appear soft and downy, after continued use these hairs will become the same consistency as the other hairs on your scalp. The fastest some people have received noticeable results is approximately two months time. Not everyone responds to minoxidil the same and individual results will vary.
Our Top 5 Best Minoxidil Product Picks
Any of these products would be great buys. Much of it comes down to whether you are looking for just a straight up minoxidil product. If that’s what you’re looking for, we recommend picking up the Rogaine or Kirkland product. If you’re looking for something with a little more — and don’t mind spending a bit more as well — you may want to consider one of the other options.
Lipogaine minoxidil treatments are what we refer to as designer minoxidil. You get the one two punch of minoxidil plus a scatter shot of other ingredients that have been shown to reduce DHT. The thing about straight minoxidil stimulates hair follicles and growth, but is not known to inhibit DHT. Lipogaine is an attempt to provide a comprehensive solution to hair loss. Lipogaine has a unique formula that has a mix of ingredients including a 5% minoxidil concentration.
It also contains their propriety herbal blend “DHT-Blocker.” Lipogaine claims their formula will eliminate 98% of scalp DHT. There have been a few clinical studies done on some of the additional ingredients that support the claim that they do aid in preventing hair loss. While we remain skeptical of herbal and alternative solutions that lack a great deal of data backing them up, these ingredients certainly couldn’t do any harm.
In addition to minoxidil it includes: Main ingredients: minoxidil 5%, proprietary herbal blend DHT blocker, apple polyphenol, biotin, biotinyl-tripeptide, niacin, saw palmetto, vitamin B6 and B12. You’ll pay a premium for all those supplementary ingredients though, this is nearly 2 to 3 times as expensive as a regular minoxidil formula. It is worth a try if you want to get the best hair regrowth. Lipogaine also has a product made exclusively for women.
Much like Lipogaine’s formula, Hair Restoration Labs threw a slew of other ingredients into their product hoping to bolster the results of standalone minoxidil. Along with 5% minoxidil you’ll find green tea extract, pumpkin seed oil, caffeine, cumin seed oil, biotin, azelaic acid, saw palmetto extract, borage extract, and a variety of other hair boosting vitamins. That’s a robust list of natural DHT blockers. Notably, they’ve also included azelaic acid in this formula which does have some promising research behind it. You can read more about azelaic acid here.
One big downside to this Hair Restoration Labs product is the price. It is the most expensive treatment in our comparison table; you’re paying a pretty penny for all those extra ingredients they’ve added. Like other minoxidil products, this formula is applied twice daily to areas of thinning and balding. You want to wait at least 8 hours in between applications. An included dropper comes with the bottle making application easy.
Essengen-5 has the same effective ingredient as Rogaine and Kirkland Liquid Minoxidil. One unique feature Essengen-5 has is that it is free of propylene glycol. Some users are allergic to propylene glycol. For those people, one option is to use minoxidil foam, the other option is to use Minoxidil Max’s Essengen-5 propylene glycol free minoxidil liquid product.
People with long hair may find it is convenient to use liquid minoxidil as it can be directly applied to the roof of the hair, whereas foam tends to get stuck on the hair. Some people also swear by liquid minoxidil and argue that it works better than foam for them. Essengen-5 dries fast and is much less greasy than regular liquid minoxidil. It is worth a try if you are allergic to propylene glycol.
Rogaine is the gold standard in minoxidil products and the most popular brand of minoxidil. They are going to run a little more than your generic versions, but if you’re the type of person that likes to buy brand name only they are the way to go. Upjohn Corporation is the company that first marketed minoxidil under the brand name Rogaine (Regaine in Europe and the Asia-Pacific), until the patent expired in 1996 and a whole slew of other companies came into the picture.
For women, Rogaine makes both a foam and liquid product (just like the two for men) that will help them maintain and regrow hair. Below you’ll find an image of the Women’s Rogaine Foam packaging.
We personally love the Rogaine foam product. For whatever reason, it seems like the easiest minoxidil product to add to our daily hair routine. It acts as a styling gel of sorts. When applied to wet hair it is pretty hassle-free to get a full spread on the entire top of the scalp, vertex, and frontal regions. For those with long and/or thick hair, it is going to be much easier to apply than the liquid. The liquid can be runny and difficult to control when applying.
- Rogaine Foam 1 Month Supply: 2.11 ounces total, Approximate Price Per oz $5.78
- Rogaine Foam 3 Month Supply: 6.33 ounces total, Approximate Price Per oz $7.10
- Rogaine Foam 4 Month Supply: 8.44 ounces total, Approximate Price Per oz $7.68
- Rogaine Liquid 1 Month Supply: 2 ounces total, Approximate Price Per oz $6.25
- Rogaine Liquid 3 Month Supply: 6 ounces total, Approximate Price Per oz $7.57
Kirkland Minoxidil is an excellent bulk option. You can’t beat their price on liquid minoxidil at about $25 bucks for a 6 month supply. It is one of the least expensive choices for those either wanting to give minoxidil a fair trial period as well as those who are continuing treatment and need to buy a large supply. The liquid solution provides a dropper to help with the application process. All of Kirkland’s topical minoxidil solutions are unscented and contain 5% minoxidil.
If you’re looking at creating a large stockpile of minoxidil, Kirkland has you covered. You never know when global Armageddon is going to strike and it’s always a good idea to have a back up supply of this stuff, although you may have bigger problems than hair loss at that point. It is the only company that offers 12 month supply packages of minoxidil. Minoxidil’s shelf life is about 2 years so you don’t need to worry about this stuff going bad either.