Minoxidil is one of the only two medications FDA-approved for male pattern hair loss, and the only medication FDA-approved for use in female pattern hair loss.
If you are shocked that you are just now hearing about this effective medication that is approved for hair loss in both men and women, you might know it better by its brand name -- Rogaine.
There are a couple of different options for sourcing Minoxidil, and the way you decide to go with may be determined by the strength you want to try, and if you want it combined with other active ingredients for ease of treatment.
Below, we will briefly cover just what Minoxidil is, how it can help with hair loss in men and women, where you can buy it including over-the-counter or prescriptions options, and if you can buy Minoxidil online.
Minoxidil is in the class of medications called vasodilators. This means that it can help dilate your vessels to improve blood flow.
Minoxidil was originally used in tablet form as a blood pressure medication due to this effect. But, after a while, patients, researchers, and doctors were made aware of the potential hair benefits that can develop as well.
Minoxidil is still available in tablet form for blood pressure, although it is not used very often. For hair loss, it is more commonly used in a topical form to be applied to the scalp, whether that be a solution, gel, or foam.
Regular use of Minoxidil over time can help reduce hair losses while stimulating growth in some people, if the hair follicles are still producing hairs. Unfortunately, if you have large bald spots where hair has not sprouted in a while, Minoxidil is unlikely to be able to coax those follicles back into growth. Minoxidil work best during the initial stages of hair changes and signs of thinning.
The exact mechanism behind how Minoxidil can help with hair loss is not fully established, but scientists have a few ideas.
Since Minoxidil is a vasodilator, it can help dilate those vessels in the scalp and those surrounding the hair follicles. This can help improve the local microcirculation leading to better blood flow to the follicles. Minoxidl has also been found to stimulate the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to encourage the growth of even more vasculature surrounding the follicles.
Minoxidil can also stimulate a prostaglandin that is associated with hair growth, inhibit some of the negative effects of androgens (DHT) on the hair follicles, delay the aging of hair follicle matrix cells, and lengthen the time period for the hair growth phase (the anagen phase).
Together, all of these things may mean that using Minoxidil once or twice a day consistently may result in healthier, thicker hair growth of strands that stick around for longer than usual.
However, one thing to note about Minoxidil treatment is that some people may experience a slight shedding event in the first weeks of treatment. This happens because hairs that were currently in a non-growth resting phase of the hair cycle are being nudged into that anagen growth phase. Ultimately, this is good news for long-term hair growth benefits, but it may be startling to some who are unaware of this adjustment period.
Also, children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Minoxidil.
If you are on board and you are ready to give Minoxidil a try, you have a few options based on your hair needs and preferences.
Minoxidil is conveniently available over-the-counter at most drugstores or grocery stores. You can easily find 2% or 5% Minoxidil solutions, or a 5% foam product. While some of these are marketed to men or women separately, the over-the-counter products are actually unisex. In studies, Minoxidil 5% has been found to be superior in terms of increasing hair growth as compared to the 2% strength.
For some people looking to treat their hair loss concerns, a prescription minoxidil may be preferred. The prescription-only compounded Minoxidil products may include higher strengths of Minoxidil than the maximum 5% that you can find over-the-counter. (Our topical hair loss treatments may contain up to 7.5% Minoxidil based on your preferences and your doctor’s opinion.) Prescription products may also combine Minoxidil with other hair loss active ingredients that are prescription-only to help try to maximize your response or make your hair loss regimen easier by combining treatments.
You can easily find Minoxidil over-the-counter options online. Say, if you are placing an online order with a big store like Target or Walmart, you could probably toss in a generic Minoxidil or brand name Rogaine product if you want to try it out.
For the prescription-only Minoxidil options, these are not always available online as you need a prescription from a doctor and you need a compounding pharmacy to mix up the order. However, some telemedicine services (like Strut Health) are able to offer you higher strength minoxidil formulations that can be combined with other hair loss ingredients like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Spironolactone, Tretinoin, or Biotin to try and boost your hair loss treatment results. Our U.S. doctors review your information, approve your order, issue a prescription, and have a U.S. compounding pharmacy ship your order to your door.
At Strut Health we offer customizable prescription Minoxidil formulations for men and women to help you simplify or amplify your hair loss treatment regimen.
Whether you are looking to combine a usual strength Minoxidil treatment (2%-5%) with topical Finasteride, or if you want to try a higher strength of Minoxidil than what you can find over-the-counter (7.5%), our doctors can help you find a formula for you.
You can complete your free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation today to see if prescription Minoxidil formulations are a good fit for you. If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you need adjustments or have questions about your treatment, our team and doctors are available for free and unlimited follow-ups.