Is Minoxidil For Hair Loss Over-the-Counter?


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If you’re losing your hair, you’re likely open to trying most things that claim to stop hair loss. Olive oil on your scalp because your Italian grandma said it works? Sure. Hair gummies? Hand ‘em over.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had the absolute pleasure of aimlessly roaming a drugstore, you may wonder, Is minoxidil over-the-counter (OTC)? 

Ahead, we’ll talk about minoxidil dosage, its ingredients and other OTC hair loss treatments to consider.

Do You Need a Prescription for Minoxidil?

First things first: What causes male pattern baldness? Well, hair loss is caused by a number of factors, so it’s hard to distill briefly — but we sense you’re not here for a dissertation, so we’ll keep it short. 

Your body is home to a male steroid hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s responsible for creating male sex organs in utero and, later, doing other distinctly male things like deepening the voice and promoting beard growth.

But DHT is a double-edged sword. It also shortens the hair growth cycle and causes the hair follicles to shrink, known as miniaturization. And that’s where hair treatments come in.

Minoxidil (brand name, Rogaine) is a topical hair loss treatment that works by increasing blood flow to your hair follicles (so it’s a vasodilator) and keeping your hair in a state of active, ongoing growth.

Such sorcery seems like it should be prescription-only, but luckily for you, minoxidil is available over the counter.

However, there’s some confusion on the topic, which may be why you’re here (hi, hello!). 

Topical minoxidil is entirely OTC, but oral minoxidil requires a prescription. Typically, minoxidil tablets are prescribed for heart conditions like hypertension, though studies show they might be effective in treating hair loss as well.

Research suggests that low-dose oral minoxidil is a “well-tolerated” alternative to topical minoxidil. It may be worth asking a dermatologist or another healthcare professional about the oral treatment in the rare event the topical solution causes a reaction.

Topical minoxidil is available in a foam or a liquid, and both are over-the-counter options.

Then there’s the dynamic duo known as topical minoxidil and finasteride spray. This one does require a prescription because finasteride (Propecia) is not over the counter. More on the foam, liquid and spray ahead.

(RelatedFinasteride & Minoxidil: The Most Effective Hair Loss Combo?)

How to Get Minoxidil Over-the-Counter

Buying minoxidil foam or minoxidil liquid solution over the counter is as easy as walking into a pharmacy and pulling it off the shelf.

But if self-checkout or finding a parking spot gives you a feeling of intense dread (we feel ya), you can also order minoxidil online.

The cost of Rogaine and generic minoxidil varies. If you go to the fancy pharmacy with goat milk soap and French beauty products, it’ll probably cost much more than at a chain drugstore.

Minoxidil prices also vary by vendor. We offer generic minoxidil at a cost of $15 per month, which is significantly less than what you’d find at a store (another reason to stay in).

How Minoxidil Works

Since it’s over the counter, knowing how minoxidil works and how to use it is essential. After all, you probably won’t be chatting with a pharmacist (though you can always ask us anything).

The exact way minoxidil works isn’t entirely understood, we’ll tell you what we know.

Studies show that minoxidil shortens the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle (when the hair is at rest), thereby extending the anagen (growth) phase. Your hair grows for a longer time and, therefore, gets longer.

Minoxidil Side Effects

Side effects of minoxidil are generally minimal. They can include scalp irritation, dry or itchy skin, skin flaking or slight burning.

In many cases, adverse reactions aren’t due to minoxidil itself but rather propylene glycol. Researchers think this alcohol is responsible for irritating some minoxidil users.

The foam doesn’t contain this ingredient, so it’s a good option if you’ve had a reaction in the past or have particularly sensitive skin.

(RelatedFDA Approved Hair Growth Products)

Other Ways to Promote Hair Growth

As many as 50 percent of men and women experience androgenetic alopecia.

White patients are most affected by the condition, and Native Americans are least likely to experience baldness. Losing your hair can be anxiety-inducing, but you’re in good company here.

Minoxidil works for a receding hairline or any other area where you see thinning. It’s one of two hair loss treatment options approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

A 2019 meta-analysis found minoxidil to have a “remarkable increase in hair growth” and a decrease in hair loss, especially at the 5% strength. One of the cool things about minoxidil is that it works for different types of hair loss and has few common side effects.

But other products are also effective in the lifelong fight against hair loss (not to be super dramatic or anything). Here are our top recs for products that promote hair growth:


Finasteride is FDA-approved and proven to slow hair loss and stimulate hair growth in men (it’s not approved for female pattern hair loss, though).

Remember our fickle friend DHT? Finasteride can reduce the amount of it in your system, making it a star in the fight against hormonal hair loss.

As noted, finasteride requires a prescription (yep, we got you covered there) and can be used in tandem with topical minoxidil. In fact, a meta-analysis on the efficacy of minoxidil and finasteride found that the combo of oral finasteride and topical minoxidil is more effective than either on its own.

Finasteride-Minoxidil Combo Spray

Topical finasteride and minoxidil are like the Bert and Ernie of the hair world. They’re different, but they jive. Our quick-drying spray contains 3% finasteride and 6% minoxidil — since it contains finasteride, you’ll need a prescription.

Minoxidil and finasteride both work — studies show that topical finasteride decreases hair loss and increases hair count. Minoxidil, on the other hand, dilates blood vessels, which brings blood, nutrients and oxygen to the scalp.

One small study showed that the two combined didn’t cause sexual side effects. This is sometimes a concern when using finasteride.

Volumizing Hair Products

Volumizing shampoo and volumizing conditioner are an easy way to make hair look thicker at the root, giving the appearance of fuller hair.

Our thickening shampoo with saw palmetto is kind of like nature’s finasteride. As with the hair loss medication, saw palmetto is a plant extract that can partially block DHT.

Biotin Supplements

Biotin gummies or supplements may help with hair loss if you have a true deficiency of the vitamin. This is pretty unlikely if you eat a varied diet, but not entirely impossible.

One of the cool things about our gummies is that, in addition to biotin, they contain other essential nutrients for healthy hair, like folic acid, niacin and vitamins D and E.

The Bottom Line: Getting Minoxidil OTC

Minoxidil is effective, has mild side effects and is easy to use, making it one of the best medications on the market for treating hair loss. Topical minoxidil is also OTC, so it’s as easy to get as toothpaste or Advil. Actually, it’s probably even easier because you can buy it here without standing up.

Here are a few things to remember about minoxidil:

  • While it’s over the counter, make sure you buy it from a reputable in-person or online pharmacy.

  • If you have any questions or are wondering if the use of minoxidil is right for your goals (whether that’s new hair growth, retention, hair regrowth or treating thinning hair), seek medical advice from your healthcare provider who can help figure out the right course of action.

  • Want to up the ante? Try a product that combines minoxidil and finasteride for maximum results.

As for where to buy minoxidil, we offer minoxidil solution, minoxidil foam, finasteride and a wide range of other options for treating hair loss online as part of our range of hair loss treatments for men.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

There are so many things that define each decade, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But none of the things we’ve looked back on were quite as polarizing as the hairstyles. From piled-high funky styles to buzzed dos, here are the most popular hairstyles from the decade you were born, spanning from the 40s to the 2000s. 

Wikipedia / Mediafeed

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood women at the time, the victory roll hairstyle featured tight curls pinned toward the face to frame it. Victory rolls were customizable, so you could opt for a single roll or different symmetrical or asymmetrical versions of dual rolls. 

Other popular hairstyles of the decade for women included tight curls, waves, and the pageboy. Women were also big on hair accessories, particularly the snood, which was essentially a crocheted bag used to cradle the hair and keep it in place. Both men and women sported the infamous pompadour during the ’40s. Men were also partial to quiffed hair or short curls and were also prone to just slicking their hair back.

Wikipedia / U.S. Army – Yank, the Army Weekly

Everyone knows the beehive hairstyle, whether you associate it with the ’50s or Amy Winehouse. All you had to do to be cool in the 1950s was pile your hair on top of your head in a conical shape to resemble a beehive. Lots of hairspray was needed for this one.

If your hair wasn’t long enough for the beehive, you might have sported other bouffant hairstyles, a poodle cut, an Italian cut, victory rolls, or even a pixie cut. Men were still into the slicked-back look along with side parts, the pompadour, or — if they were influenced by Elvis later in the decade — a Rockabilly do.

Wikipedia / Warner Bros.

Bouffant (derived from the French verb “bouffer,” which means to puff or fluff up) hair became popular during the 1950s, but dominated in the 1960s thanks to the iconic Jackie Kennedy sporting the style. The puffy, rounded hairdo was especially popular among housewives during the ’60s. 

Women also gravitated toward shorter hairstyles (influenced by Twiggy), including pixie cuts and flipped bobs and, for long hair, bangs. Men styled their hair with everything from the bowl cut and the ducktail cut to shag cuts and styles copying The Beatles.

Public Domain / Wikipedia

During the 1970s, the afro became a symbol of cultural and political expression, particularly within the African American community. The style pushed back against Eurocentric beauty standards and celebrated natural Black hair. Influenced by icons like Angela Davis and the Jackson 5, the afro surged in popularity, crossing racial and cultural boundaries to become a mainstream fashion statement. Its voluminous shape was achieved through techniques like picking, and its prominence spread among both men and women.

Separately, and inspired predominantly by Farrah Fawcett, long, feathered hair was also sought after during the ’70s. 

Wikipedia / GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia

Whether it was crimped, curled, teased, spiked into a giant mohawk, or cut into a towering flattop, the most iconic ’80s dos could all be tied to one main group: big hair. During this decade, freedom of expression was fully embraced and displayed through hair. Styles like Jheri curls were popular thanks to Michael Jackson, and Billy Ray Cyrus spearheaded the popularity of the business in the front, party in the back mullet. The ’80s were eclectic times that reeked of Aqua Net and perms. 

Wikipedia / Allan Light

You didn’t even need to be a fan or viewer of “Friends” to ask your hairdresser to give you “The Rachel” in the ’90s. Everyone knew exactly which version of Jennifer Anniston’s hair you wanted. Layered, framed around the face, and shoulder-length was the style that ruled the decade. Chunky highlights, side bangs, and hair flipped out at the bottom were also wildly popular during the decade. And who could forget chopsticks carefully stuck into buns? All the rage. 

If you were a cool dude during the ’90s, you might have had frosted tips, spiky hair, or cornrows.


All you needed was a few bobby pins and some hairspray to make a pulled-back pouf happen, and every girl in the 2000s was on board. High ponytails and pigtails, choppy layers, and money-piece braids were a go-to as well. 

Skater boy hair/emo boy haircuts that swooped halfway across a guy’s face were also iconic during the 2000s. Who else remembers watching guys shake their heads in slow motion to get the hair out of their eyes like they were playing a role in the “Baywatch” intro? We shudder at the memory. On the opposite end of the spectrum, buzz cuts were prominent, along with faux hawks. 


Featured Image Credit: LightFieldStudios/istockphoto.