Hair loss products have come and gone over the years, but there’s at least one treatment that has stood the test of time: minoxidil. It was originally sold exclusively under the brand Rogaine in the late ’80s, but now there are a handful of modern brands making good use of the hair growth ingredient. Best of all, it’s all the same active ingredient, minoxidil, but you can choose the brand that best meets your other needs, like if you want a hair loss subscription or if you want the cheapest minoxidil possible.
Before we jump into the best minoxidil for men, we reached out to Dr. Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist and expert on hair loss, to answer a few basic questions about the popular hair loss treatment.
How Does Minoxidil Work? Why Should I Consider Using It?
“Incorporating minoxidil into your hair care regimen can help strengthen hair follicles and promote scalp and hair health,” Green said. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating hair loss and available over the counter, minoxidil helps grow hair by tinkering with the growth process of hair follicles. “Minoxidil works by prolonging the growth (anagen) phase of the hair follicles, which slows down or stops hair loss,” Green said. It also acts as a vasodilator to relax blood vessels, improving circulation to the scalp, which strengthens the follicle and promotes hair growth, she added.
Is There a Difference Between Minoxidil Foam and Minoxidil Solutions?
Minoxidil pretty much comes in two forms: a foam and a viscous liquid solution. Green told SPY they’re both equally effective and choosing one or the other comes down to personal preference. However, she noted that the liquid minoxidil contains something the foam does not, propylene glycol, which can cause some skin irritation.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?
Beyond some irritation and sensitivity as your scalp gets used to the minoxidil, there aren’t any prominent known negative side effects, Green said. But you may notice increased hair loss at first as more of your hair transitions through the growth phase.
How Do I Use Minoxidil?
It’s really easy. Whether you get minoxidil foam or solution, all you have to do is apply it to your scalp twice daily. Be sure to massage it into your skin, especially near the crown area where male pattern baldness is most common.
That just about covers the basics. In summary, minoxidil is approved to treat hair loss because it’s known to work with consistent treatment. It will take six to 12 months to see significant results, but the results will come, even as soon as three months in.
Now, knowing all that, let’s check out some of the best minoxidil for men below.
1. Keeps Minoxidil Foam + Keeps Minoxidil Solution
Keeps makes getting minoxidil treatments too easy for you to go on losing hair. Keeps offers a consultation with a dermatologist, but you only need to answer a few quick questions to access the minoxidil. (A formal consultation with a dermatologist is always recommended though.)
Once you get through the questions or consult, getting the minoxidil is as simple as subscribing to receive Keeps Minoxidil Foam or Keeps Minoxidil Solution in shipments of three, six or 12 months. A three-month subscription of the foam will set you back $29.25 while the same for the solution will cost you $19.50.
Keeps is focused on hair loss, so it doesn’t sell other male-interest treatments, but you can also add finasteride (you’ll need a formal consult to get it) and add-ons like Keeps ketoconazole shampoo, Keeps thickening shampoo and Keeps thickening conditioner.
Overall, Keeps will be the best minoxidil for men who just want a fair price and easy access.
2. Happy Head Topical Finasteride & Minoxidil for Hair Loss
When you’re considering the two FDA-approved hair loss treatments, minoxidil and finasteride, it’s important to note a key difference between them. Minoxidil is available over-the-counter, without a prescription, while finasteride must be prescribed. Thanks to the proliferation of telemedicine, online companies like Happy Head make it easy for men to get a prescription for the best minoxidil treatments from home.
Happy Head’s customized formula includes both finasteride and minoxidil, meaning you’ll need a prescription for it. Fortunately, Happy Head makes it easy to consult online with their doctors by answering a questionnaire. Then, Happy Head customizes its formula to your needs.
One additional factor that sets Happy Head apart is that it uses a potent formula with a higher dosage of minoxidil than you get from products like Rogaine. Because of the high dosage, Happy Head is one of the more expensive options on this list, and will set you back $79/month. Still, while most minoxidil products max out at 5%, Happy Head’s products go all the way up to 8% minoxidil, making it one of the most potent hair loss treatments on the market.
3. Hims Minoxifil Foam + Hims Minoxidil Solution
If Keeps is the best minoxidil for men, Hims is a close runner-up for its quality service, if somewhat pricier offerings. The process is similar to that of Keeps, with the option to consult with a medical professional. But you can skip that and head straight to the minoxidil foam or solution for one-time purchases or subscriptions.
The Hims Minoxidil Foam is way more expensive than that of the Keeps, costing $60 for a three-month supply. The Hims Minoxidil Drops cost $15.00 plus processing for a one-time purchase or $15.00 to subscribe for a three-month supply. Clearly, Hims strongly encourages you to subscribe, which will lead to the best results.
Overall, Hims is a great second choice for hair loss. It’s just a little weighed down by all its other offerings, and that also appears to affect the pricing of Hims’ minoxidil. It’s the best minoxidil for men who also want to be able to access Hims’ other treatments and services, like those for sexual or mental health.
4. Rogaine Minoxidil Foam
You can’t go wrong with a classic. This foam minoxidil treatment comes from Rogaine, the brand that started it all, and it’s still a product worth trying. It’s a little on the pricey side ($43 for a 3-month supply), but the brand reliability and foaming formula are worth the extra dough. Apply half a cap full of the stuff twice daily, thoroughly massaging the foam into your hair. (Be sure to wash your hands after too.)
5. Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Treatment
CHEAPEST MINOXIDIL FOR MEN
Kirkland Signature might be best known for giant boxes of nuts at Costco, but it’s also responsible for the cheapest minoxidil for men on the market. It comes highly recommended thanks to a strong 5% minoxidil formula and plenty of happy customers. Luckily, it’s also one of the most affordable treatments at around $31 for a 6-month supply. Use it twice a day, dropping about 1ml onto the top of your head.
6. Roman Minoxidil Solution
For one last solid minoxidil subscription service, Roman is a great option for men who want a one-stop-shop for all things men’s health. You’ll have to click through a few basic questions to access the Roman Minoxidil Solution, but it works similarly to Keeps and Hims. In this case, you’d get a three-month supply for $48.00.
While that’s a little pricier than average, it’s pretty fair considering the rest of the services you can access via Roman. But that’s either a pro or a con depending on your needs, and you’ll be better served by another service if hair loss is your only focus.
Overall, Roman is the best minoxidil for men who are also seeking treatment for other concerns, such as smoking cessation, erectile dysfunction, testosterone support and more.
The Best Hair Loss Subscription Services to Help Keep Your Hairline in Check