What's New in the World of Hair Research? Minoxidil.


5 % Minoxidil Foam vs. 2 % Minoxidil Solution

Minoxidil 2 % topical solution is approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women.   It is typically used twice daily. Although Minoxidil 5 % is formally approved for use only in men, it may also be recommended for women in some situations. 

Researchers from Germany and the United States set out to compare if once daily use of 5 % topical minoxidil foam formulation was just as good as twice daily 2 % minoxidil solution.

To test this, 113 women with androgenetic alopecia randomonly assigned to receive wither 5 % minoxidil foam (once daily) or 2 % minoxidil solution (twice daily) over a period of 24 weeks.

After 24 weeks of the study, researchers showed that once daily 5 % minoxidil foam was just as good as twice daily 2 % minoxidil solution.  Both formulations were able to increase hair counts and hair thickness in a similar proportion of women.  Women in the study actually preferred the 5 % foam over the solution reported that the foam was less likely to interfere with hair styling and less like to cause itch and dandruff. 

Reference:  Blume-Peytavi et al. 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.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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