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Topical Minoxidil

By Mosh
Start Growing Hair
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

Topical minoxidil can be an effective treatment in reducing hair loss and increasing hair growth. Seeking proper guidance from a doctor to understand the benefits, usage and side effects of minoxidil for your own unique situation may be beneficial.

Many people with hair loss concerns are looking into the possibility of topical minoxidil as the hair treatment solution they’ve been looking for. Topical minoxidil can help boost hair growth and is actually found to be most effective for people under the age of 40 years.[1]

But although this medication can be bought without a doctor’s prescription at a pharmacy, you can also speak with your doctor about stronger treatments as well as new forms of minoxidil treatment. It’s best to talk to a doctor first before taking topical minoxidil, as it’s not effective or safe for everyone. Finding the right doctor, however, can be a challenge.

At Mosh, we make getting the right support for your hair concerns easier.

We’re a dedicated telehealth platform that connects you with doctors across Australia who have been trained to help men with their hair growth concerns. We work with AHPRA-registered doctors who you can consult for reliable, science-backed advice from the comfort and privacy of your home anywhere in Australia. 
Topical minoxidil can be an effective hair loss treatment, but it may not be best suited for everyone. We’ve answered some common questions related to minoxidil for hair below that may provide you with the answers you seek.

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What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a medication that was initially used to treat high blood pressure, but today, many use it to treat hair loss.

Topical minoxidil is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the treatment of male pattern baldness.[2] According to research, it can be up to 60% effective in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth.[3]

How does minoxidil work?

Further research is needed to understand how exactly minoxidil stimulates hair growth, but it’s said to help reverse the hair loss process by increasing the size of the hair follicles, improving blood flow around the follicles, encouraging follicle movement into the growth phase, and prolonging the growth phase of the hair follicles.[4]

How much does topical minoxidil 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. Topical minoxidil doesn’t result in permanent scalp hair regrowth; it must be used continuously to maintain hair regrowth, if any.[5] 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.

How long does it take for topical minoxidil to work?

Every individual experiences minoxidil differently. Broadly speaking, minoxidil takes roughly 8 weeks of continuous use to start showing results. After 4 months of regular use, you should observe lesser hair loss and more hair growth.[6]

What are the topical minoxidil side effects?

When considering topical minoxidil as a hair regrowth treatment, it’s crucial to be fully aware of the potential side effects. You may experience scalp itching, dryness, flaking, irritation, or burning. Let your doctor know if you experience any of these symptoms while using any minoxidil treatment. 
More severe side effects include weight gain, swelling of the face, difficulty breathing while lying down, rapid heart rate, chest pain, and lightheadedness.[7] You must contact your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Using minoxidil hair products without proper guidance from a doctor can increase your chances of experiencing side effects, so consult a doctor before trying minoxidil or any type of hair loss treatment. 

How much topical minoxidil should I use daily?

The proper dosage for topical minoxidil varies from person to person, but on average, adults need to apply 1 mL of topical minoxidil twice per day.[8] For the best results, follow your doctor’s prescription or the instructions on the product’s label.

If you need more clarification on questions like ‘What is minoxidil’ or ‘How does minoxidil work?’, your Mosh doctor will be happy to answer your questions. The good news is that you can consult with an AHPRA-registered doctor virtually, so you can avoid queuing in traditional clinics and worrying that other patients might overhear confidential information about you.

Getting started with Mosh is easy! Just complete the questionnaire on our platform and  a doctor will get in touch with you, if necessary, to ask further questions. They may also ask about previous hair treatments you've tried, as well as any side effects you may have experienced with them. Your doctor may simply give you advice or recommend a customised treatment plan for you. 

How do I choose the right type of minoxidil for myself?

Topical minoxidil comes in different varieties, such as sprays, creams, and foams. To know which one is most suitable for you, you need to consider the level of minoxidil ingredients present in the product as well as the severity of your hair loss. Consulting a doctor helps because they can assess your unique situation from different angles, improving your chances of getting the right treatment you need. 

It is also available in different strengths. While the common pharmacy strength is 2% and 5%, if you wish to seek a stronger option you should consult a doctor to help you decide one that is most suitable to your individual needs.

Cream vs foam vs spray solution

Topical minoxidil comes in many forms, like foams, creams, and sprays, so you won't run out of options when looking for it. Those who prefer sprays over creams prefer their ease of application and lightweight form. In contrast to minoxidil cream and its other forms, minoxidil spray is applied to the scalp rather than lathered onto the hair. You can rub the solution gently with your fingers. 

Some minoxidil users were experiencing reactions to propylene glycol contained in minoxidil solutions. This led to the development of minoxidil foam, which contains no propylene glycol. There have been no significant studies comparing minoxidil foam and cream; this makes determining which one is the most effective difficult. 

Nevertheless, since the foam tends to have fewer side effects,[9] it has the potential to be more effective over the long term since users will be more likely to stick to the treatment. It can also be easier to apply and less messy than cream.

At Mosh, you will receive personalised medical advice or treatment plan (whichever you need), since your doctor will consider a range of factors to determine the ideal solution for your health situation. As part of the assessment process, your doctor may ask you questions regarding your medical history and the symptoms you may be experiencing. Your doctor may also ask you to supply photos of the problem area.

If your condition requires it, your Mosh doctor may prescribe topical minoxidil. Minoxidil can also be used in conjunction with other treatments that a doctor can prescribe. They may also recommend over-the-counter products or natural alternatives if you’re not ready for a medical pathway just yet. 

We can have it delivered to your doorstep wherever you are in Australia, so you can get started on the treatment as soon as possible. You may also avail of our subscription service if you prefer to have your stocks replenished automatically as needed. If you wish to cancel your subscription for any reason, you may do so without incurring additional charges. 

We’re determined to make sure you walk away satisfied.

What are some known topical minoxidil benefits?

Minoxidil is a medication that can increase oxygen and blood flow to hair follicles. It may stimulate the scalp to produce thicker hair, slow down hair loss, and lengthen the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.[10] But because everyone responds to medication for hair loss differently, it’s best to continually seek advice from your hair loss doctor at Mosh.

The good thing about Mosh hair growth treatments is that they come with ongoing consultations with your doctor. Your doctor can monitor your progress and assess your reaction to the products or treatments you are taking. Additionally, it can help build a rapport with your doctor, which can be beneficial in terms of receiving quality care and feeling more comfortable discussing sensitive matters.

You also get peace of mind knowing that you have someone reliable to turn to with any questions or concerns you may have. As a comprehensive men's health clinic, you are welcome to ask your doctor any health questions besides those related to topical minoxidil, such as weight loss or erectile dysfunction. You may speak to your doctor via phone call, video conference, or text to get answers to your questions. 

Mosh also aims to make mental health support more accessible to everyone. Our doctors are not only highly trained and experienced in addressing mental health concerns, but they are also compassionate and genuinely concerned about you. Know that our doctors will never judge you for any mental health concerns you may have; you can express your thoughts comfortably, like talking to a friend you trust. 

When you’re ready to talk about your health concern – whatever it may be – take the quiz on our platform to get started with Mosh.

10 References



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