HAIR ∙ 3 minutes read

What if minoxidil doesn't work for me?

By Ashton Sheriff

Minoxidil is one of the most convenient non-prescription hair loss treatments for male pattern baldness. For most men, it only takes a few sprays of minoxidil a day to reverse hair loss at the temples and crown of the head, which is why it’s a popular choice for men with receding hairlines. 

However, if you’ve been using minoxidil for a while and haven't experienced the hair regrowth you expected, then don’t panic. Every person is unique and minoxidil, like many medicines, may be more effective for some people than others. In this article, we outline some practical solutions you can consider if minoxidil hasn’t been working for you, so you can know which steps to encourage hair regrowth in the future.

Solution 1: Be patient 

Hair regrowth is a slow process, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results straight away. In fact, it usually takes 2-4 months of continuous use to notice a reduction in hair loss and the regrowth of new hair when using minoxidil. 

Some people may also experience slight hair loss during the early stages of minoxidil use, which could cause them to think the treatment isn’t working. This is only temporary, and happens because initial treatment causes the hair follicles to move quickly through the growth cycle until they reach the anagen (growth) stage. Once this happens, you should begin to experience hair regrowth within 2-4 months. 

Solution 2: Try a different treatment

Minoxidil isn’t the only hair loss treatment you can use to reduce and reverse hair loss. Finasteride is another popular option because it’s a daily pill that can be taken easily and discreetly. 

Some people experience greater success with finasteride than they do with minoxidil, so if you’ve been taking minoxidil for a while with little results, you can try finasteride instead to help you slow hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth. 

The main reason why finasteride is a good alternative to minoxidil is because it promotes hair regrowth in a unique way. Finasteride helps to reduce hair loss by lowering the levels of DHT in the body (a chemical that, over time, shrinks hair follicles and makes hair appear finer and shorter until the follicles stop producing hair altogether). By reducing the amount of DHT present in the body, finasteride can reduce hair loss and trigger hair regrowth on the parts of the scalp most affected by male pattern baldness.  

Solution 3: Try combining minoxidil with finasteride

Minoxidil and finasteride can also be combined together to create the ultimate two-in-one hair regrowth solution. One study showed that men treated with a topical mixture of minoxidil (5%) and finasteride (0.1%) saw greater hair regrowth and were more satisfied with their hairlines than men who used minoxidil alone.

Minoxidil and finasteride are safe to use together and, as previously mentioned, help to improve scalp coverage in two unique ways - allowing you to tackle your hair loss from every angle. If you’re considering combining minoxidil with finasteride, then we’d recommend choosing our Complete Hair Kit (as it’s cheaper than buying them separately) to encourage the regrowth of thicker, fuller hair. 

Solution 4: Consult a doctor 

If you’ve been using minoxidil for 2-4 months with no success, then you may want to consult a doctor to find out why that might be. There could be an underlying reason why it hasn’t been effective, so it’s best to get professional medical advice if it does not work for you after a few months of continuous use. 

Remember: minoxidil is a treatment for male pattern baldness (MPB). If you’re losing hair for another reason (e.g. because of a hair loss condition other than MPB, chemotherapy, tight hairstyling, etc.) then minoxidil is unlikely to be effective for you. Therefore, it’s important that you talk to a doctor if minoxidil has had no effect on your hair coverage to ensure there is no underlying cause. 

The bottom line

If minoxidil is not working for you, there are a few solutions you can consider. You could try another hair loss treatment like finasteride, or you can combine minoxidil with finasteride to give you an extra boost and help you regrow thicker, fuller hair. If neither of these solutions work, you should speak to a doctor to find out whether your hair loss is being caused by an underlying condition. 

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