There are all-natural alternatives to Rogaine that work wonders for your hair. Though Rogaine is the leading commercial brand in combatting hair loss and promoting hair regrowth, a wide array of botanical products can compete with the medicated formulation. This article will discuss the best Minoxidil and Rogaine alternatives that provide the same results.
What is Rogaine?
Rogaine is an FDA-approved pharmaceutical topical treatment that is used to treat hair loss. Its active ingredient is Minoxidil, an antihypertension medication found to be an effective hair loss treatment.
Besides Minoxidil, Rogaine contains several inactive ingredients that stabilize and prolong the medication’s life.
Butane, Butylated hydroxytoluene, Cetyl alcohol, Citric acid, Glycerin, Isobutane, Lactic acid, Polysorbate 60, Propane, Purified water, SD alcohol 40-B, Stearyl alcohol
Hydrocarbons like Butane are usually used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as aerosol propellants. Acids like citric acid serve as preservatives and stabilize the active ingredients due to their antioxidant properties. And alcohols like cetyl alcohol keep oil and water mixtures intact. Polysorbate 60, on the other hand, improves the overall texture of the Minoxidil solution foam by emulsifying and solubilizing the ingredients.
As you can see, these inactive ingredients are mild and may not cause adverse side effects. So why are people avoiding Rogaine and Minoxidil products? Below we’ll discuss how Minoxidil is produced, how it works, and its possible risks.
Is Minoxidil Natural?
Like the other Rogaine ingredients, Minoxidil is a synthetic drug with a molecular formula of C9H15N5O. It is taken orally to lower blood pressure. For hair loss concerns, you can buy it in 2 forms: foam or a topical solution. These Minoxidil forms are effective in treating hair loss, but the foam formula is gentler and more suitable for people with allergies.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
Minoxidil works in 4 ways to regrow hair. First, as an antihypertensive, it reduces blood pressure and relaxes your scalp’s blood vessels. This action helps prevent the miniaturization of hair follicles and promotes and stimulates new hair growth. In addition, it prolongs the anagen phase (hair growth stage) by shortening your hair’s telogen phase (resting stage)—this action mechanism results in stronger and longer hair strands after several weeks.
Minoxidil is a very potent medication, so Rogaine only contains 5% Minoxidil. Doctors and specialists widely recommend it as it has been proven to treat medical conditions like male-pattern baldness and alopecia.
Minoxidil/Rogaine Negative Side Effects
As mentioned above, Minoxidil is a potent solution, so it’s only available as a topical medication. In addition, most products infused with Minoxidil are available in two concentrations, 1%, and 5%. A 5% concentration was more effective but caused more side effects, including scalp irritation and allergies.
Another side effect of using Rogaine is further hair loss. As the product shortens the telogen phase and makes your hair follicles enter the anagen phase prematurely, most patients experience hair shedding weeks after using the product. That’s why specialists recommend using the product for 8 weeks minimum to see results. Although temporary, this can be problematic to people who are always out of the house and can’t go out with balding patches.
But speaking of Rogaine, here are other reported possible side effects of using this product:
- Hair Color and Texture change
- Unwanted facial hair growth
- Swelling (Hands and Feet) or Weight Gain
- Chest pain
- Light-headed feeling
Rogaine is also not recommended for people with heart disease or who are pregnant.
Is there a Natural Alternative to Minoxidil?
These negative Minoxidil and Rogaine side effects may cause others to think twice before buying the product. Luckily, there are a lot of natural Minoxidil alternatives that our ancestors have used to treat hair loss and boost hair growth. Natural ingredients block DHT formation and promote nutrient and hormonal balance. They also stimulate blood circulation just like Minoxidil does and stimulate new hair growth.
Finding the best natural products can be difficult; in this article, I will only discuss natural products that are clinically proven to help hair loss. These Natural Minoxidil or Natural Rogaine-like ingredients and products work the same as the synthetic ones and provide the same results without adverse side effects.
Benefits of All-Natural Hair Regrowth Products
The benefits of using natural hair regrowth products would be having a non-toxic effect on your hair, healthy hair regrowth, cruelty-free formulation, and multi-use for skin and other body parts.
1. Non-Toxic – because it is composed of all-natural ingredients, no chemical additives will harm your hair.
2. Cruelty-free – most all-natural hair regrowth products are never tested on animals or contain animal ingredients.
3. Healthy hair regrowth – The best thing about these natural Rogaine alternatives is that they promote hair growth by supplementing your body with nutrients that help build stronger and healthier hair.
4. Multi-Use – what nature can offer is beneficial not just to one body part but to multiple body parts, such as skin. In the case of hair regrowth essential oils, they can be topically applied on the skin or taken orally for gut improvement.
What Are the Best Minoxidil or Rogaine Alternatives?
Several best natural alternatives to Rogaine harness the power of nature to regrow your hair. And if budget is also an issue, these rogaine alternatives are significantly cheaper than other Minoxidil shampoo products. Below, we’ve categorized these minoxidil alternatives into four types.
1. Natural Alternatives to Minoxidil
Other natural/plant-based active ingredients can prevent further hair loss and promote new hair growth. They work almost the same as Rogaine and Minoxidil, minus the side effects. Here are the most common natural ingredients that you can find in most hair loss products today.
Caffeine acts like natural Minoxidil as it also increases blood flow on your scalp, and energizes hair follicles, thus promoting new hair growth. In addition, caffeine blocks DHT and strengthens the scalp’s barrier function. This helps not only in preventing further hair loss but also in growing healthier and thicker hair strands. These are the reasons why caffeinated shampoos like Plantur 39 shampoo and Ultrax Labs Hair Surge are very popular today.
Just like coffee, tea extracts also contain small amounts of caffeine. But what makes tea extracts much better are the other antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals present in them. Studies have shown that polyphenolic compounds in tea extracts can stimulate hair growth ex vivo and in vivo.
If you’re interested in hair loss products with tea extracts, check out our review of the Actiiv Shampoo.
2. Natural Oils
Our ancestors have used herbal oils for centuries to promote healthier skin and grow longer healthier, and softer hair. Below we’ll give you the top 3 herbal oils for hair growth and why they are good minoxidil natural alternatives.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seeds aren’t only nutritious snacks packed with minerals, including zinc. Taking pumpkin seeds orally can indirectly help hair loss, as zinc deficiency also causes hair loss.
In addition, pumpkin seed oils contain phytosterols, a compound similar in structure to cholesterol. Phytosterols are anti-androgenic; they block the formation of DHT, one of the leading causes of hair loss for men and women.
Is it safe to take pumpkin seed oil?
If you’re taking it orally, you better consult your doctor to get the best dosage and brands. However, applying pumpkin seed oil topically is generally safe.
How much pumpkin seed oil should I take per day?
The recommended oral intake of the pumpkin seed oil is 1-2 1000mg capsules thrice daily.
Often used as food and medicine, this essential oil is a sweet treat for hair growers looking for the perfect natural fragrance slash oil to apply on the hair. Often associated with a woodsy scent, this is frequently used in aromatherapy.
It is commonly used for reducing pain and inflammation with its natural healing properties. But when it comes to hair care, it doesn’t disappoint. Men and women alike can use rosemary oil as one of the alternatives to Rogaine because it stimulates proper scalp circulation and increases hair growth.
In a 2014 study, Rosemary oil was found to have similar effects as Minoxidil, a compound present in Rogaine. It was then discovered that it delivered twice the results as Minoxidil, promoting hair growth while eliminating itchy scalp.
So how can you use Rosemary oil to prevent hair loss or grow new hair? Below we’ll show you tips on how to make your oil blend.
Saw Palmetto Oil
Last but not least is Saw Palmetto Oil or Serenoa repens. This medicinal oil is extracted from Saw Palmetto Berries, which are native to the southeast coast of North America. Saw Palmetto is famous for treating androgenetic alopecia and helping PCOS, thyroid, and renal issues. So, how does it work as a topical minoxidil natural alternative for Hair Loss?
The purified extract of Saw Palmetto contains many nutrients, including fatty acids and antioxidants like carotenoids, caprylic acid, and beta-sitosterol. These antioxidants are anti-androgenic and function like Finasteride. They help block 5aR or DHT formation, which results in less hair loss and boosts hair growth.
As you may have read above, Saw Palmetto is also one of the main ingredients of natural hair supplements. Combined with these supplements, you can use the Saw Palmetto oil to target balding or thinning areas of your hair to maximize the effects.
Does saw palmetto oil regrow hair?
According to several studies, Saw Palmetto is an effective treatment for AGA or hair loss. In fact, in one study, topical application of Saw Palmetto as lotion or shampoo for 3 months increased hair density and reduced sebum.
Overproduction of sebum causes dandruff and, in extreme cases, hair loss. It has been observed that adding Saw Palmetto to Ketoconazole products increases its efficacy as well.
DIY Rogaine Recipe
It is important to know that essential oils like Rosemary shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin/scalp because they are very potent. You must dilute it in carrier oils like Pumpkin Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, or Avocado Oil. You can add fragrance oils like Rose, Lavender, and Chamomile Oil to make your concoction more aromatic. The ratio when mixing natural oils is 1 part essential oil: 4 parts carrier oil.
Here’s a sample mixture you can use:
- 1tbsp Jojoba Oil
- 1tbsp Argan Oil
- 1tbsp Pumpkin Seed Oil
- 1tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
- 1tbsp Rosemary Oil
Stir the oils and put them in a small bottle. Apply it to your thinning or balding spot once or twice daily.
3. Natural Supplements
The natural supplements we’ll list below contain some of the most potent natural ingredients to combat hair loss.
Folexin is one of the leading supplements for hair loss today and another great Rogaine alternative to avoid adverse side effects. This FDA-approved product is packed with the best nutrients and natural ingredients that don’t only prevent further hair thinning but also promote the growth of healthy hair.
Some of its ingredients are Saw Palmetto and Nettle Root, which help block the production of DHT in the body. DHT is responsible for the shrinkage of hair follicles, which leads to hair shedding and hair loss. In addition to that, it also contains Biotin, Fo-Ti, and Bamboo extract that doesn’t only stimulate the growth of new hair follicles but also keep hair strong and healthier.
Read our in-depth review of Folexin Hair Supplement: Does This Product Really Work?
- Supports your hair’s natural growth process
- Supports thick, strong, healthy hair
- High-quality ingredients, third party tested
- No prescription needed
- Natural ingredients, 3rd party tested
- +10 000 satisfied customers
Nutrafol by Nutraceutical Wellness
Recommended by over 1,500 doctors to help patients combat hair loss, Nutrafol offers different products specifically formulated for men, women, and menopausal women. These Nutrafol products are created by doctors and clinically proven to help regrow hair stronger and healthier.
When it comes to ingredients, it also contains the same natural ingredients like Saw Palmetto for DHT reduction and Vitamins for hair growth support. The only difference is that it contains a patented Synergen Complex and Nutrafol-Blend with a unique blend of scientifically proven natural products to support hair health. These premium natural ingredients include Marine Collagen, Ashwagandha Root Extract Hyaluronic Acid, Japanese Knotweed Root, and many more.
Nutrafol offers specific products for different types of hair and needs. Learn more about these products in our Nutrafol Hair Products review.
Nutrafol Hair Products
4. Alternative to Rogaine: Light Therapy
If you want a more powerful alternative to Rogaine or Minoxidil, then LLLT or Low-Level Light Therapy is the best solution. Like Minoxidil, LLLT stimulates hair growth by prolonging the anagen phase, decreasing the telogen phase, and inhibiting the catagen phase. In addition to that, LLLT supercharges your hair follicle to produce stronger and healthier hair.
LLLT has been proven safe and effective in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth as early as 4 weeks. The only issue with laser therapy is its price. Each treatment can cost between $200 to $1000, depending on your condition or the clinic. Luckily, there are a lot of laser products you can use at home. There are laser caps, laser bands, and laser combs that are much cheaper but still effective.
FAQs About Minoxidil & Rogaine Alternatives
Are Rogaine and Minoxidil the same?
Minoxidil is the generic name of Rogaine. That’s why essentially, Rogaine is the same as Minoxidil. But Rogaine, like other branded drugs, includes additional ingredients to make their products much more effective than the generic drug.
Does your hair become dependent on Rogaine?
Rogaine supports hair growth by stimulating blood flow on the scalp. If you don’t have alopecia or other hair-related diseases, your body will rely on Rogaine to increase blood circulation on your scalp. This may cause dependency if you haven’t treated the leading cause of hair loss.
Where is Minoxidil found Naturally?
Minoxidil is a synthetic pharmaceutical drug produced in labs using inorganic compounds. But you can find natural minoxidil alternatives that work the same way for treating hair loss. These natural ingredients include caffeine, tea extracts, rosemary oil, saw palmetto oil, and nettle root.
Is there a Cheaper Alternative to Rogaine?
1 Rogaine bottle costs around $30, depending on the seller and the shipping fees. It is generally affordable compared to natural supplements like Folexin, Nutrafol, and Valotin. But natural oils like Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin Seed, and Rosemary Oil are much cheaper than Rogaine. Other herbal oil like Rosemary can also be made easily and free at home if you want the most affordable option.
Is Rogaine worth it?
Rogaine is one of the 2 clinically proven and FDA-Approved medications for treating hair loss. Compared to surgery or laser treatments, it is super affordable, costing only $50 for a 3-month supply. In addition, the Rogaine products on Amazon are rated 4 out of 5 by over 20,000 users. That’s why I believe trying it first to see if you’re allergic to the ingredients and if it works for you is worth a shot.
Is Rogaine vegan?
According to the label, Rogaine only contains Minoxidil, alcohol, and other synthetic compounds and doesn’t contain any animal ingredients. But the company hasn’t claimed that its products are not tested on animals. And most FDA-approved drugs require animal testing to prove the product’s efficacy and safety.
What Is the Natural Equivalent of Minoxidil?
Caffeine, tea extracts, and natural oils like saw palmetto and rosemary oil are the best natural minoxidil alternatives. Just like Rogaine/minoxidil, they stimulate blood flow on your scalp to promote hair growth. Although they don’t interact with the hair growth phase, they block DHT to prevent further hair loss. They also contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that promote healthier and stronger hair growth.
What are the Best Supplement Alternatives to Rogaine?
Hair Growth supplements and products like Folexin, Valotin, and Nutrafol are great alternatives to Rogaine. They are formulated with natural ingredients, vitamins, and minerals that help support hair growth, minus the most common side effects.
Are There Natural Alternatives to Rogaine?
There are a lot of clinically-proven effective natural alternatives to Rogaine and Minoxidil. Caffeine and Tea Tree Extracts, Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin seed oil, and rosemary oil. You can use these as Minoxidil or Rogaine substitute if you’re allergic to this medicine or if Minoxidil doesn’t work for you.
What is better than Rogaine or Minoxidil?
Other than Minoxidil, the only FDA-approved medication for hair loss is Finasteride. A randomized comparative study found that topical application of Minoxidil and oral supplementation of Finasteride are both effective but have no significant difference. Both have adverse side effects that disappear after the end of treatment.
What Can I Use Instead of Minoxidil or Rogaine?
There are a lot of hair loss products formulated with Minoxidil, but aside from Rogaine, Finasteride is the only one with FDA approval. Some caffeinated shampoos have been proven to help hair grow, like Plantur 39 and Ultrax Hair Labs Caffeine Shampoo.
Some supplements contain Saw Palmetto – a DHT-blocking natural ingredient that prevents hair loss – like Folexin and Valotin. You can use natural oils like Rosemary Oil and Pumpkin Seed Oil, both powerful DHT blockers, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatories.
What’s a powerful minoxidil alternative for hair growth?
If you want instant results, Low-Level Light Therapy is another clinically proven hair growth treatment that is also safe. Although it produces positive results as early as 1 month, the main issue with light therapy is its price. But if budget is an issue, you can get the much cheaper versions like the laser caps by Hairmax and Kiierr.
Regrow Your Hair the Healthier Way
There are many reasons why people prefer natural alternatives to Rogaine over hair growth products with Minoxidil. If you’re sensitive and have allergies using a Rogaine alternative like the ones I mentioned in this article may seem like a wiser choice.
In addition to that, make sure that you address the main reason for your hair loss. Consult your dermatologist and get yourself tested for nutrient levels and possible deficiencies.
Stress has long been linked to hair loss. See if reducing stress by going on vacation, reducing workload, or meditating helps manage your hair loss.
Finally, as the hair growth state takes 100 days, make sure that you try these natural products for 3-4 months before giving up or trying another one. Make sure to incorporate these tips to maximize your hair growth.
Gen is a Master Stylist in Tampa, Florida who specializes in extremely thin hair and hair loss care. Working with hundreds of clients with hair loss/thinning concerns allowed her to recognize products and routines that can cause damage. She has discovered what hair products work and what doesn’t and shares all of this info to the readers of Union of Barber. When she’s not writing, you can find Gen hiking or at home with her army of cats!