Both 5 % and 2 % minoxidil are available for treating genetic hair loss. The 2 % minoxidil was initially FDA approved in 1988 for male balding and this was followed by approval of the 5 % minoxidil for male pattern hair loss in 1997.
For men, the initial clinical studies showed that 5 % minoxidil was more effective than the 2 % minoxidil. 60 % of men have some benefit from the 5 % compared to just 40 % with the 2 % minoxidil. 23 % of men using the placebo in these studies also had benefit.
For women, clinical studies suggest 5 % and 2 % minoxidil have similar efficacy. The 5 % formulation is now formally FDA approved for use by women.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299