Minoxidil Shampoo Guide: 7 Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternatives

Is there a Minoxidil shampoo? Does a Minoxidil shampoo work? These are just some of the most frequently asked questions about Minoxidil and Minoxidil shampoos. To help you fully understand if it works, let’s first know what Minoxidil is.

One of the best hair loss treatment options is Minoxidil hair products. Minoxidil is a powerful chemical known for its powerful stimulation of hair regrowth. But Minoxidil doesn’t come in a shampoo form, unlike other hair treatments.

What Is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is popular in hair loss treatments. Minoxidil has been approved for use by the FDA as a vasodilator and a hair treatment product. In the 1950s, Minoxidil was invented to treat hypertension. It did this by dilating blood vessels in the area where it was applied. This increased circulation of blood flow was meant to lower blood pressure. Its use as medicine for high blood pressure was a success, but people who used it began complaining of unwanted hair growth. Even today, scientists aren’t sure why Minoxidil causes this side effect.

Minoxidil has undergone a lot of rigorous testing since it first came out. After it was approved by the FDA as a hair-regrowth product in 1988, countless people began testing it. Their tests yielded two conclusions. First, Minoxidil is very effective. A study in 2011 where over 11,000 men and women used Minoxidil for hair loss returned a staggering 92% success rate. Second, Minoxidil worked best when applied to the vertex. The vertex is a part of the scalp, also known as the crown, and is located at roughly the back part of the top of your head.

How Does Minoxidil Work?

Minoxidil is most often applied as a topical treatment of androgenetic alopecia. When applied to the scalp, its vasodilator properties kick into action. Blood vessels in the area expand, allowing for better blood circulation. The increased blood circulation delivers more resources to your scalp. For hair follicles, this means that they are stimulated to grow hair. This also means that topical minoxidil treatment products need to be used carefully. Applying the chemical to other body parts may result in unwanted hair growth.

It’s theorized that dilating your vessels via Minoxidil extends your hair’s anagen phase. The anagen phase (growth phase) is the initial growth period of hair. During this time, hair is pushed out from its roots. By prolonging the anagen period, your hair may become stronger and thicker.

Minoxidil Shampoo - Hair Growth Cycle

Minoxidil is available in 2% and 5% mixtures, sprays, and foams. Male and female minoxidil products rarely differ in active ingredients and non-minoxidil components. The most significant difference here is the amount of minoxidil present in each solution. Men’s products usually have 5% minoxidil for treating male pattern baldness. Women’s products have a 2% minoxidil content for better control over hair growth.

Many people who use minoxidil products complain that it makes their hair fall out. This is a natural part of your hair’s anagen phase. Minoxidil stimulates your hair follicles to get rid of old, weak hair so that it can grow new, stronger hair. For best results, it should be used continuously.

With Minoxidil, less is more. Lower concentrations of minoxidil in a product can yield better results. Despite this, it isn’t an instant cure for hair loss. Most minoxidil products will start showing results after around 12 weeks of use.

Does Minoxidil Shampoo Work?

Shampooing usually takes around 5-10 mins; Minoxidil, on the other hand, must sit for 4 to 5 hours to be absorbed. Because of the long application period, minoxidil shampoos would be very impractical. If left to sit for only a few minutes and then be washed away afterward, Minoxidil wouldn’t be able to work its magic.

In addition, most shampoos contain sulfate that can cause scalp irritation and damage when left on the scalp for a long time. Soaking your scalp with shampoos with Minoxidil for hours may cause side effects or further hair loss.

Thus, the best way to get the benefits of Minoxidil is to use hair products like hair serum and oils in your hair care routine. The best minoxidil products are meant for direct application to the skin. Minoxidil most often comes as foams, liquids, or sprays. These products allow you to target specific areas in your scalp for hair regrowth. These products must also be massaged into your scalp for optimal results.

Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternatives

If Minoxidil shampoo doesn’t work, what can you buy instead? We’ve found 7 of the best minoxidil shampoo alternatives for hair loss. Check out our review below.

Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative Hair Care Kit

Shapiro MD Regrowth Kit

Women's Regrowth Kit Plus: Shampoo, Conditioner, 2% Minoxidil, Leave-In Foamer. Anti Hair Loss and Thinning Hair Solution for Women, 1 Month

Minoxidil Content: 2%

This complete regrowth kit by Shapiro MD comes with shampoo, conditioner, and a minoxidil leave-in foam. The foam revitalizes your scalp and encourages hair growth. It’s been clinically proven effective in stopping hair loss and thinning in both men and women. All-natural ingredients ensure that your skin remains smooth and clean after use. These ingredients include green tea, saw palmetto berry, and caffeine extract.

These substances block dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is a hormone your body produces that shrinks hair follicles and stops hair growth. The male version of the product comes with a 5% minoxidil foam. The women’s version comes with a 2% minoxidil solution. Aside from this, there are no differences between either of these products. While both of these foams have been proven to work, be sure to get the version suited for your personal use.

View Latest Price


Strongest Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative

Rogaine Topical Solution

Men's Rogaine Extra Strength 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution for Hair Loss & Hair Regrowth, Topical Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men, Unscented Minoxidil Liquid, 3-Month Supply, 3 x 2 fl. oz

Minoxidil Content: 5%

This unscented topical solution is ideal for people on the go. The package comes with a dropper for easy application minoxidil mixture. After application, massage the mixture into your scalp and go about your day. This mixture has been clinically proven to promote hair growth. It’s also safe for dyed or permed hair.

The male and female versions of the product are not interchangeable. The men’s version is also specially made to combat hair thinning. The two versions of the mixtures contain different amounts of Minoxidil. There’s a 5% minoxidil mixture for men and a 2% one for women. Ensure you follow the correct dosage to reduce the risk of side effects.

View Latest Price


Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative for Sensitive Skin

Rogaine Foam

Men's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth, Topical Treatment for Thinning Hair, 3-Month Supply, 2.11 Ounce (Pack of 3)

Minoxidil Content: 5%

This Rogaine foam is meant to be massaged into your scalp, where thinning is most visible. A 5% minoxidil solution ensures results for both men and women. The white foam is mess-free, which is excellent for people on the go. This product is also safe for dyed or permed hair.

However, this product is noted to be a fire hazard. Its heat activation means you should avoid fires or similar heat sources after use. Smoking is also a no-no after using the foam. The high concentration of Minoxidil may also lead to you developing an allergy to it. If in doubt, consult with your doctor.

View Latest Price


Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative with the Best Delivery System

Spectral.UHP Extra Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment

Spectral.UHP 5% Minoxidil Hair Growth Serum for Men by DS Laboratories - Extra Strength Topical Hair Loss Treatment, Supports Hair Growth in the Vertex, Experience Fuller, Thicker Hair, 3 Month Supply (2 fl oz)

Minoxidil Content: 5%

The Spectral.UHP Extra Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment is a 5% minoxidil solution. It’s been tested and approved by dermatologists all over the world. Spectral.UHP has a clinically proven 85% success rate for the treatment of hair loss.

Its unique nanosome encapsulation means that the product lasts longer when applied. Spectral.UHP stimulates potassium flow in the skin for better hair regrowth. Spectral.UHP has been specially formulated to combat male pattern baldness. Spectral.UHP isn’t meant to treat receding hairlines or frontal baldness. If you’re looking to treat those conditions, Spectral.UHP isn’t for you.

View Latest Price


Most Affordable Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative

Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution

Amazon Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution USP, 5 Percent, Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men, Extra Strength, Unscented, 2 Fl Oz (Pack of 6)

Minoxidil Content: 2%

This 2% minoxidil topical treatment solution is designed with women in mind. The Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution comes with a dropper for easy application. It’s straightforward to use – drop a little onto your scalp and massage it. While not as fancy as other products, this minoxidil product has a very high-efficiency rate.

The liquid is noted to be quite watery, however. It’s highly advised not to lie down after using this product. The medicine can trickle down and lead to unwanted hair growth.

View Latest Price


Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternative for Women

Keranique Hair Regrowth Extended Nozzle Sprayer

Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women - 2% Minoxidil for Women Hair Growth & Thickening - Topical Solution Scalp Treatment for Hair Loss & Thinning w/ Precision Spray Applicator - 2 Fl Oz

Minoxidil Content: 2%

The Keranique Hair Regrowth Extended Nozzle Sprayer comes in a small spray. A 2% minoxidil mixture leads to better hair growth for women. The solution encourages blood flow in target areas and works as a hair follicle stimulator. This leads to energized hair follicles and better hair growth.

Best of all, it’s free of other substances that can irritate your scalp. On the other hand, users have noted that it doesn’t dry up or get absorbed, as well as other minoxidil products. This leaves hair looking wet and greasy looking. It doesn’t help to leave the solution on for at least 4 hours. The spray bottle has also been observed to be quite flimsy.

View Latest Price


Now that you know the best minoxidil shampoo alternatives you can buy, here are the side effects you should be aware of before buying one.

What Are The Side Effects of Minoxidil?

When using Minoxidil, it’s crucial to follow the correct dosage. Minoxidil is a potent chemical that can cause harm if misused.

Both topical and oral Minoxidil have their side effects. Their side effects are described as similar to heart failure symptoms. Dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath are among these symptoms. Topical Minoxidil can cause redness and irritation where it’s applied. Minoxidil pills can also cause hair growth everywhere in your body.

Constant use of topical minoxidil products can lead to you developing an allergy. If you begin exhibiting side effects after minoxidil use, consult your doctor.

FAQs about Minoxidil Shampoo

Can I put Minoxidil in my shampoo?

Because it takes around 5 hours for Minoxidil to be absorbed by the skin, adding Minoxidil to your shampoo or washing your hair after the application is a waste of money. If you don’t like the feeling or smell, apply minoxidil products on your scalp before sleep, and rinse it off when you wake up.

What are the possible side effects of Minoxidil shampoo?

Just like any minoxidil product, minoxidil shampoo can cause initial hair loss because it causes your hair to shift to the anagen phase instantly. Minoxidil can also cause mild irritation and allergic reactions in some.

What products can you use instead of Minoxidil shampoo?

The best Minoxidil topical products should stay on your skin for a long time to let the skin absorb Minoxidil. Lotion, foams, and oil serum infused with Minoxidil are some of the best products you should buy instead of shampoo or conditioner.

What’s the best shampoo to use with Minoxidil?

The best shampoos to use along with Minoxidil depend on your medical condition, hair type, or hair problem! There are ketoconazole shampoos for dandruff, clarifying shampoos for build-up, and caffeinated shampoos like Plantur 39 Shampoo that also promote hair growth. Better consult your doctor or derma to find the best shampoos.

Is Minoxidil safe to use?

Minoxidil has potential side effects like dizziness, allergies, swelling, and more. Overuse and long-term use have irreversible damage. That’s why you should buy products your doctor recommends and use them according to the specified directions.

What shampoo has Minoxidil?

There is no minoxidil shampoo available at the time of writing. As Minoxidil takes time to be absorbed by the scalp, incorporating it in shampoos is not viable.

What is the best Minoxidil product?

According to studies, the most potent minoxidil products contain a 5% concentration. But the higher the dose, the higher the risks and the potential side effects. That’s why products containing 2% minoxidil are great alternatives if combined with other natural ingredients that also promote hair growth.

What’s the best shampoo to use with Rogaine foam?

If the goal is to maximize hair growth, many hair growth shampoos are available today. All-Natural Dr. Hempster Anti Hair Loss Shampoo, Caffeinated Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo, Biotin-Infused Nioxin System 2 Shampoo, Actiiv Hair Science Shampoo, DS Laboratories Revita Shampoo are 5 of the best hair loss shampoos you can use with Rogaine foam.

Mel R

Mel is a licensed Chemist in New Jersey who has worked in several cosmetics companies and has years of experience formulating hair care and beauty products. She uses her knowledge in cosmetics to distinguish and find the best products to recommend to Union Of Barber’s readers. When Mel’s not writing, you can find her walking her dogs or cooking and baking at home!