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Minoxidil Topical Solution

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

Key Takeaways

Minoxidil topical solution is a medication which helps treat hair loss. The solution is available in over-the-counter, low concentration options ranging from 2% to 5%, while higher concentrations of 8% to 15% may be available through prescription. However, before starting any treatment, it is essential to consult a doctor to determine its suitability for one's unique health situation.

When it comes to hair loss treatments, a minoxidil topical solution is often discussed.

After all, it’s a fairly discreet treatment for hair loss issues, with quality brands coming in scent-free options and leaving as little residue as possible – ideal for those susceptible to contact irritations from additive ingredients like fragrances.[1] But how do you know if it’s the right option for you and your concerns?

At Mosh, our doctors offer science-backed advice on hair growth concerns. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and our Mosh doctors will take the time to assess your unique health situation and come up with a personalised recommendation when needed.

Let’s talk about the benefits of a minoxidil topical solution and how you can find out if it’s for you.

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What is minoxidil topical solution?

Minoxidil is used to treat hair loss, especially among adults, that is commercially available in the form of lotions, sprays, or foams.[2]

Minoxidil topical solution treatments are typically available over the counter (OTC) and feature low concentrations of the drug. The typical concentrations for OTC minoxidil range from 2% to 5%, while higher concentrations of up to 8% to 15% may be available through a doctor’s prescription.

Minoxidil was originally formulated to treat hypertension, with the common side effect of hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth) being discovered among patients treated with the drug.

How does minoxidil topical solution work?

To use minoxidil solution, strictly follow the indications on the packaging for OTC treatments or your doctor’s instructions for prescription treatments.

Minoxidil helps treat hair loss by encouraging the onset of your hair’s anagen phase, also known as the growth phase. When applied topically on the scalp, minoxidil can improve blood flow, which may nourish the hair follicles and lead to thicker and fuller hair.[3]

How much does minoxidil topical solution cost?

It’s important that you have an estimate of how much you’ll probably spend per month if you decide to use topical minoxidil to know if you can sustain it. 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 topical solution side effects?

Some side effects have been known to occur when using minoxidil topical solution, though typically, the risks are low, and more severe side effects are rare. That being said, here are possible reactions to look out for when treating hair loss with minoxidil:[4]

  • Irritation and redness at the site of application
  • Unusual hair growth outside of topical treatment area
  • Skin dryness and flaking

It is important to note that other side effects may occur that are not listed above. To avoid further complications with your treatment, halt the use of the solution and contact your Mosh doctor immediately.

Similarly, before testing a new hair loss treatment, consult your doctor first in case there are any contraindications to your existing medications or health conditions.

Are there different strengths of minoxidil?

Topical minoxidil products are available in various formulations. The minoxidil solution concentration is typically in the 2% to 5% range.[5]

However, there are stronger solutions with 10% or even 15% minoxidil concentrations.[6] Government regulatory bodies for medical and therapeutic goods like the USA’s FDA[7]or our own TGA,[8] however, have not yet approved concentrations of higher than 5% in minoxidil topical solution products.[9]

Because the 2% and 5% concentration solutions are well-documented to be safe for use, both strengths may be available over the counter. However, there are custom formulations that may require a prescription, such as minoxidil drops, particularly for 5% concentration solutions combined with other medications.[10] Nonetheless, it is still recommended to consult with a doctor before trying a new treatment.

At Mosh, our minoxidil topical solution comes in liquid form and is specially formulated to stimulate the anagen phase of your hair growth cycle. We also offer hair growth vitamins, which contain essential nutrients that encourage the growth of healthy hair follicles, and a shampoo and conditioner line that are compatible with our minoxidil hair growth treatment.

If you’re interested in whether any or all of our hair growth products are suitable for your type of hair loss, get in touch with us at Mosh – our team will organise a consultation for you with one of our doctors, and you can receive advice tailored to your symptoms and background.

How long before I can shampoo my hair after using minoxidil?

Because the average absorption rate of topical minoxidil is 50% for the first hour and 75% over the course of four hours,[11] it is commonly recommended to apply the indicated amount of minoxidil topical solution once during the morning and once during the evening, preferably before you tuck in for the night. Since instructions may differ for your situation, it’s best to consult your doctor about the recommended usage. 

The rule of thumb is to always make sure your scalp or skin is clean and dry before applying a minoxidil topical solution and to wait at least four hours before washing your hair or showering.[12] This way, you’ll get the most coverage for your hair growth treatment and, ideally, better results.

We also encourage you to wash your hair in the morning if you’ve left the solution on your scalp overnight. It’s so that the residual solution that wasn’t absorbed can be washed off, and your scalp is primed for reapplication.

Is it possible to use too much minoxidil topical solution?

It’s always best practice to adhere to the instructions or indications of any treatment, and hair growth treatments are no exception.

Whether undergoing male pattern baldness treatments or trying to address rapid hair fall, your hair treatment is designed and formulated for specific applications or delivery methods. Your doctor can give you detailed instructions about using minoxidil topical solution; follow the dosage tailored to your needs and condition.

Furthermore, always consult your doctor before trying new treatments or making any changes to your plan. At Mosh, we provide ongoing support by giving you unlimited consultations with your doctor when you subscribe to our treatment plan if recommended. That way, you can easily chat or call your doctor if you have any issues, concerns, or questions about your treatment.

Are there alternative treatments to minoxidil?

Mosh offers over-the-counter products that can supplement your minoxidil treatments. Among these are supplemental vitamins, which can help encourage hair growth by nourishing the body with essential nutrients.

As for minoxidil alternatives, there are several options available. There are herbal remedies, like amino acids and zinc, but further research is needed to confirm their efficacy. Medical procedures like hair transplant surgery are another option, but they come with possible complications like scarring and infection.[13]

Another option is to reduce DHT. DHT (short for dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen that greatly contributes to the development of body hair, especially among males. The androgen may also lead to follicle shrinkage, as it interferes with your hair’s growth cycle.[14]

If you’d like to switch from minoxidil to another medication, please consult your doctor first to confirm if it’s medically appropriate for you. They may also recommend alternative or complementary treatments, including but not limited to the options previously mentioned.

Making personal health easier with Mosh

We’re more than just minoxidil topical solution treatments here at Mosh.

Our mission at Mosh is to provide and deliver quality personal health care and counselling online for individuals who value discretion and convenience. Our team of fully licenced and AHPRA-registered doctors and medical specialists brings the doctor’s office to you rather than the other way around.

With the aim of making personal health care treatments more affordable, more accessible, and more regular, Mosh helps people find treatment for various personal health issues, such as a receding hairline, erectile dysfunction, weight issues, and mental health concerns like anxiety or depression. Just fill out our short online questionnaire, and we’ll set up a medical consultation with one of our doctors for the soonest time that works for you.

Your health is your wealth, and like any kind of fortune, we need to invest in it for our benefit. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to reach out for health advice, this is your sign to do it now.

Get in touch with a Mosh doctor today.

          


14 References

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