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Minoxidil For Women

By Mosh
Start Growing Hair
5 min read
Medically reviewed by:

Key Takeaways

Minoxidil has now become a popular solution to fight hair loss and improve hair growth for both men and women. However, to understand its benefits and appropriate usage , it is integral for you to consult a doctor who can provide recommendations for your unique situation.

Many Australian women can relate to the frustration of combing through their hair only to find that it’s not as thick as it once was. It can be even more frustrating to feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. Some people look for hair loss treatment options – like minoxidil for women – online instead of visiting a clinic because they feel embarrassed or don’t have time to go in person.

Read on to learn more about minoxidil.

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What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is one of the over-the-counter products used for hair growth treatment. It was originally created for males, but topical minoxidil is now one of the most widely accepted treatments for hair loss in both men and women. Studies show that it can increase hair count significantly after using it for 24 weeks, making it a great option for treating female pattern hair loss.[1]

How does minoxidil work?

Scientists are still unsure how minoxidil works exactly in preventing hair thinning. But research suggests that it promotes hair growth by widening blood vessels, allowing more blood and nutrients to reach the hair follicles. By keeping hair in the active growth phase longer (anaphase), minoxidil appears to maintain hair vitality for longer. Minoxidil for women works similarly to how it does for men.[2]

How much does minoxidil cost?

If you're looking at different hair loss treatment options, knowing the cost of minoxidil can help you make an informed decision about which treatment is right for you. It’s also worth noting that minoxidil will not cause permanent hair regrowth; you may have to keep using it to maintain hair growth.[3]

If you are wanting a pharmacy grade treatment, the price of a 180 mL 5% minoxidil solution can be around $79, worth three months of use. If however you would like a doctor prescribed treatment, personalised to your hair loss situation, this can cost from $29 a month.

What are the minoxidil side effects for women?

It’s crucial to know what the potential side effects of minoxidil are so that you can take the necessary precautions if you decide to use it. Some people experience an itchy, dry, scaly, irritated, or burning scalp after applying minoxidil. Others experience more severe symptoms such as fluid retention, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, chest pain, swelling of the face, and lightheadedness.[4]

Proper guidance from a doctor can help you minimise the risk of experiencing side effects from using minoxidil. They can provide you with information on how to take it correctly, monitor you for any potential side effects, and provide prompt advice if necessary.

What is the best minoxidil percentage for women?

A study has demonstrated the efficacy of 5% minoxidil for female pattern hair loss (FPHL) when applied once daily.[5] Products with minoxidil for women come in various forms, including foams, gels, sprays, and creams, and have different percentage levels. However, trying a minoxidil hair growth treatment, or any medication for hair loss like hair growth vitamins, without advice from your hair loss doctor can potentially worsen your condition or put you at risk for other health problems.

How successful is minoxidil for women?

Research suggests that minoxidil for women applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. The FDA initially approved 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women as a result of the research. Today, 5% minoxidil solutions are also available when a stronger solution is needed.[6]

It can be confusing to determine the percentage of minoxidil you need – or if minoxidil is even safe for you to use – without personalised advice from a doctor. 

How often should women use minoxidil for thicker hair?

Dosing instructions for minoxidil for women vary based on the percentage of minoxidil present in a certain product. Common sources suggest that 1 mL of 5% minoxidil solution should be applied daily on the scalp for best results.[7] 

If the minoxidil treatment works on you, you may notice improvements within a few weeks. You may also have to change your dosage as your hair situation improves. 

Since everyone has different situations and traits, it’s best to consult a doctor first and foremost before trying out any treatment. It’s also important to make follow-up appointments with your doctor so they can monitor your progress and adjust your treatment as needed.

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