Minoxidil is a topical medication that comes as a solution or foam. The 2% solution is applied twice daily and the 5% foam is applied once daily.
Advantages to foam may include easier application, less disruption to daily grooming routines, and patients have reported less itching and dandruff with foam use as compared to solution. Minoxidil solution and foam perform similarly in clinical studies, with higher hair counts after 3- and 6 months of use compared to placebo control.
Patient-reported assessments of scalp coverage were also found to be significantly higher with minoxidil use.[1–3]
Minoxidil should be applied for 3-6 months before determining whether noticeable improvement has occurred. While studies demonstrate significant increases in total hair counts, sometimes these results may fall short of patient expectations.
However, minoxidil has been showed to work and is one of the only approved medications for hair loss (the only one for females).
- Blume-Peytavi U, Hillmann K, Dietz E, Canfield D, Garcia Bartels N. A randomized, single-blind trial of 5% minoxidil foam once daily versus 2% minoxidil solution twice daily in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011;65(6):1126–34.e2.
- Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide. A Phase 3 Multi-Center Parallel Design Clinical Trial to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of 5% Minoxidil Foam vs. Vehicle in Females for the Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia), NCT01226459 [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jul 29];Available from: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/results/NCT01226459?term=minoxidil§=X4301256#othr
- 3. Hillmann K, Garcia Bartels N, Kottner J, Stroux A, Canfield D, Blume-Peytavi U. A Single-Centre, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of Minoxidil Topical Foam in Frontotemporal and Vertex Androgenetic Alopecia in Men. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2015;28(5):236–44.