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Minoxidil & Finasteride: Which one is more effective for hair growth?

Minoxidil and finasteride are effective hair growth solutions. Minoxidil or finasteride, picking the right one for you is important.

4 min read
Minoxidil & Finasteride: Which one is more effective for hair growth?
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nidhi Goyal , BDS, FMC (Germany), Reviewed on 25th January 2021

Minoxidil and Finasteride are both hair growth solutions that work differently but very effectively over a period of time.

Minoxidil and finasteride can be difficult to navigate the two.

Picking the right one for you is important.

Let’s find out what the similarities and differences are in this article.

What’s the difference between minoxidil and finasteride?

People often confuse the minoxidil and finasteride and think of minoxidil or rogaine as a DHT blocker.

They even confuse weak hair shedding caused by minoxidil for hair loss caused by finasteride.

Minoxidil is applied directly to your scalp. It regrows hair.

Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a vasodilator. This means that when you apply minoxidil to your scalp, it increases blood circulation and nutrients.

Minoxidil fights male pattern baldness by awakening hair follicles that have become dormant over a period of time.

This helps in growing new hair growth by providing richer nourishment and oxygen.

Minoxidil is effective in regrowing your lost hair, not in controlling hair fall. Minoxidil is not a DHT blocker, it is only a vasodilator.

Finasteride is a DHT blocker. It blocks excess DHT hormones and reduces the hair fall caused by DHT.

Unlike Minoxidil, Finasteride is a DHT blocker that promotes hair growth.

Excess DHT levels shrink your hair follicles and cut them off of oxygen and nourishment thus causing hair loss in men. Prolonged hair fall leads to male pattern baldness.

Finasteride hair growth is a result of blocking excess DHT and controlling DHT induced hair fall. You will know if the finasteride is working if you see finasteride effectiveness over time.

Using finasteride for 1 month is too short a span to win the battle against hair fall. This is why you need to use finasteride over a period of time to see effective hair growth.

Finasteride is the only FDA approved oral DHT blocker.

How do minoxidil and finasteride help treat hair loss?

Minoxidil regrows your hair by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your hair follicles

Minoxidil and finasteride are FDA approved drugs to treat hair loss in men.

What is minoxidil?’ you ask. Also commonly known by the brand name Rogaine, minoxidil is a vasodilator that helps you regrow your lost hair.

Whether it’s minoxidil 2 or minoxidil 5, it’s so effective that it is not just used for a hairier head.

Men around the globe are using minoxidil for a fuller beard as well.

Finasteride hair growth happens through DHT blocking & reduced hair fall

On the other hand, Finasteride is known for its success rates.

Finasteride is effective over time. You will know when finasteride is working for you when you see the finasteride hair growth and reduced hair fall.

Minoxidil or finasteride: which one is more effective?

Minoxidil and finasteride are both effective in their own ways.

Both minoxidil and finasteride cater to different problems – regrowth of hair and managing hair fall respectively.

Minoxidil and finasteride are both effective over a period of time. It’s simple, you need to give your medication to see results.

Minoxidil and finasteride both show hair growth results in 3-4 months.

What forms do minoxidil and finasteride come in?

Minoxidil is available in three forms – lotion, gel, and foam. The minoxidil lotion usually comes with a sprayer and dropper and helps to regrow your lost hair.

Minoxidil use cases:

Minoxidil lotion is recommended and widely available. However, if you have extremely sensitive skin, you can opt to use minoxidil foam.


Finasteride is available in the form of capsules that help reduce the excess DHT levels.

Though topical finasteride can localize DHT reduction in the scalp, it is not FDA approved.

Can you take minoxidil and finasteride together?

Yes. Minoxidil and finasteride can be had together. But this is only upon doctor consultation.

Especially when you see signs of balding, you must consult a doctor and understand the use cases of minoxidil and finasteride.

The chances of you facing side effects of either minoxidil or finasteride will be lower since these drugs will be administered by your doctor.

Minoxidil and finasteride are prescribed to curb hair loss and grow hair faster.

Minoxidil and finasteride side effects

Minoxidil Side effects

Minoxidil side effects range from irritation to an inflamed scalp. Minoxidil can sometimes cause headaches, dizziness, so be sure to do a patch test before you use it.

Finasteride side effects

Studies show that less than 2% of the participants taking finasteride reported sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

Finasteride side effects can be reversed as soon as the user stops taking finasteride.

There are no side effects of finasteride side effects when you stop using it.

Minoxidil and Finasteride: Figuring the right treatment for you

Regrowing your hair especially when you are balding can be extremely overwhelming. Whether to take minoxidil or finasteride or taking both with no side effects can be tricky.

You can take a quick wellness assessment and book a free doctor consultation with Man Matters in order to understand what treatment will actually work for you.