Topical Minoxidil has been a mainstay in the world of hair loss for decades. You may know it better under the brand name, Rogaine, but the active ingredient is Minoxidil.
Recently, there has been increased interest in using oral Minoxidil tablets for hair loss as well. Oral minoxidil is currently not approved for use as a hair loss treatment, but it is FDA-approved for use as a blood-pressure-lowering medication.
As it turns out, both topical Minoxidl and oral Minoxidil can help with hair loss. But, what does that mean for people who want to use Minoxidil to aid in their hair loss treatment efforts? Can oral and topical minoxidil be used together?
Below, we will cover what we know so far about oral and topical minoxidil being used together including how they work, why the side effects differ, which one is better for hair loss, and why some people may want to use them together or separately.
There are case reports and comparison studies of hair loss patients using both topical Minoxidil and oral Minoxidil together, so it’s not out of the question to have someone using both oral and topical Minoxidil at the same time.
One anecdotal case report shares the story of a woman who had hair loss improvements when adding low-dose oral Minoxidil to her current twice-daily topical Minoxidil regimen. However, a small comparison study reported that there was no significant difference between participants that used both topical and oral Minoxidil, and those that used only oral Minoxidil.
So, there is definitely still a need for more studies looking into if using both oral and topical Minoxidil together can be beneficial. And, if so, what strengths and dosing regimens are optimal.
It does appear that whether you take oral Minoxidil or topical Minoxidil, it should still work in the same way for hair loss.
The mechanism behind how Minoxidil helps with hair loss is thought to include improved blood flow to the scalp as well as nudging hair follicles into the growth phase of the hair cycle.
One important difference to keep in mind that exists between oral and topical Minoxidil is that they tend to come along with different side effects.
While the majority of patients using topical or low-dose oral Minoxidil will likely have no side effects, the possibility is still there.
Topical Minoxidil tends to go throughout the whole body less, since it is being applied directly to the scalp. This means you can expect less risk of whole-body side effects from this route. Topical Minoxidil side effects are more likely to include skin irritation, itching, or redness where you apply it.
Oral Minoxidil, on the other hand, is exposing the whole body to the medication more so than topical. This may come along with side effects including dizziness, headache, heart rate changes, fluid retention, puffiness around the eyes, or insomnia, in a small amount of users. It is also important to keep in mind that oral Minoxidil used for hair loss is low-dose, and only a fraction of the amount that can be used for high blood pressure treatment. Using such a low amount additionally helps reduce the risk of negative side effects.
Both routes seem to increase the risk of increased hair growth, even outside of the scalp area, like the face or body.
We don’t quite know yet which route may be better than the other for hair loss treatment.
However, one study looking into women with female pattern hair loss had participants take either 1mg of oral Minoxidil daily, or apply 5% topical Minoxidil once daily, and found that both produced similar hair improvements.
Some people may decide, along with their doctor, to use oral and topical Minoxidil at the same time for a few reasons.
Maybe you are using the topical, but forget to use it all of the time, or the twice-daily optimal usage doesn’t line up with your schedule. Adding on oral Minoxidil may help increase your overall Minoxidil usage to optimize your results.
Other people may already be using topical Minoxidil, but aren’t getting the results they expect and do not want to try other hair loss treatments like Finasteride. In this situation, a doctor may suggest adding on more Minoxidil in oral form.
Or, maybe you have tried using both forms together and liked how it was affecting your hair. But, when you try to take one or the other away, your results decline.
Reasons why you may not want to use both oral and topical Minoxidil together may be that you are already seeing optimal results using just one, and adding on another form of the same medication may be redundant.
Doubling up on Minoxidil may also come along with the risk of increased side effects for some users.
Or, you and your doctor may decide that adding on a different medication that targets DHT, like Finasteride or Dutasteride, may be more beneficial than just adding on another form of Minoxidil.
Talk with your doctor to see if dual Minoxidil therapy makes sense for you.
Here at Strut Health, we offer both oral and topical Minoxidil formulations.
To get started on your Minoxidil hair loss treatment, simply select the product you are considering, fill out a questionnaire and image-based online consultation, and check out.
One of our U.S. doctors will review your goals, images, and information, and issue a prescription for you, if appropriate.
Then, a U.S. compounding pharmacy will put your medication together and ship it to your front door with our fast and free shipping.