Already have an account?
Get back to the
Beauty

5 Best Minoxidil Products to Treat Thinning Hair for Women Over 50

Plus, how long it takes to see results when using these products

Tags:

If you’re dealing with thinning hair, you’ve likely heard or been recommended to use minoxidil. And that’s because it really does work to help regrow hair, no matter the cause of hair loss. But if you’ve never used it before and want the 411 on all things minoxidil, you’ve come to the right place. Here, hair experts share everything you need to know like how often to use it, how long it takes to see results and the best minoxidil products. Keep scrolling to learn how simple it is to use minoxidil to achieve a thicker head of hair.

Related: How Does Minoxidil Work? Hair Experts Explain Why It’s the Best Ingredient to Treat Thinning Hair

How to use minoxidil

The key with using minoxidil is that you must be consistent by making it a (very) regular part of your routine. The topical version should be applied directly to areas of hair loss and shedding, up to two times per day, says Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist. (You’ll want to follow the directions on the particular product you pick.) And oral minoxidil — which is available by prescription-only — comes in varying strengths and the frequency of use is either daily or every other day, adds Hill.

Related: 5 Best Products That Work Like Minoxidil to Reverse Hair Loss in Women Over 40

Woman applying one of the best minoxidil products
Getty

The oral version may be a good option for those who either aren’t compliant when it comes to using the topical (more on that in a second), as well as for those who experience unwanted side effects, as it can make your hair tacky and/or cause scalp irritation, points out hair loss expert Jodi LoGerfo, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC.

Related: 11 Best Hair Growth Products for Women Over 50 to Treat Thinning, According to Hair Loss Experts

How long it takes to see results with minoxidil

It’s also important to note that when using minoxidil, you’ll also want to be prepared to be patient. To be fair, this applies when you’re talking about any kind of hair loss treatment, but it truly is the case for minoxidil. You may start to see some results after three months, but it’s really best after six to 12 months and even beyond, says Kseniya Kobets, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Montefiore Advanced Care in New York. The one major caveat? As mentioned above, you have to be consistent and diligent about using, particularly for the topical version, as those beneficial effects will regress if you stop, cautions Dr. LoGerfo.

Related: Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle Can Help Pinpoint Why Your Hair Is Thinning

The best minoxidil products for hair growth

hair product foam
Getty

OTC minoxidil products are available in either 2% of 5% concentrations. The lower strength was originally approved for women because of unwanted side effects that came with higher levels, such as excessive hair growth elsewhere, Dr. LoGerfo points out. “However, now both 2% and 5% are considered safe options for women,” she adds. Dr. Kobets says she recommends that people start with the 5%, as long as they don’t have any issues, such as that unwanted hair growth elsewhere or scalp dryness or irritation.

Related: 11 Best Hair Growth Supplements for Women Over 50 to Reverse Thinning Hair No Matter the Cause

Minoxidil products also typically come in either liquids or foams, says Hill. Ultimately, which you choose is a matter of personal preference and which one you find more cosmetically elegant and easy to work into your haircare routine. When it comes to minoxidil treatments, the active ingredient is the same, it’s just the vehicle that’s different, says Dr. LoGerfo, so it comes down to what you like best and how much money you want to spend, she says. Below, a few options of the best minoxidil products worth trying:

Related: Minoxidil Before and After Transformations — See How 6 Women Reversed Hair Loss

Best overall minoxidill treatment

Kirkland 5% Extra-Strength for Men Minoxidil
Amazon

Kirkland 5% Extra-Strength for Men Minoxidil

Dr. LoGerfo says she likes this choice because it’s affordable and easy to apply. And don’t be thrown off by the name; both men and women can use it, per our the point above. Dr. Kobets agrees, saying that a generic version with a 5% concentration of minoxidil is a great starting point.

Related: How to Use Minoxidil: 4 Hacks That Help the Ingredient Work Better to Reverse Hair Loss

Best 5% minoxidil treatment

hers Hair Regrowth Foam Treatment 5% Minoxidil
hers/Target

hers Hair Regrowth Foam Treatment 5% Minoxidil

Another choice that contains the expert-recommended minoxidil concentration, this only has to be used once a day. It’s also unscented, making it great for anyone with sensitive skin.

Best 2% minoxidil treatment

Rogaine Women’s 2% Minoxidil Solution
Amazon

Rogaine Women’s 2% Minoxidil Solution

For those who may find a 5% version to be too irritating, scaling back to a 2% product is an alternative. This choice, from the brand that first brought minoxidil to market, is a good pick. You get a three-month supply, although it does bear mentioning that this does need to be used twice daily.

Best foam minoxidil

Virtue Flourish Minoxidil Foam
Virtue/Blue Mercury

Virtue Flourish Minoxidil Foam

Lightweight and fast-drying, foams are nice for those who don’t want to feel like their scalp is wet, greasy or tacky after application. This one does all of the above, and contains 5% minoxidil.

Best minoxidil solution

Keeps Minoxidil Solution 5%
Keeps

Keeps Minoxidil Solution 5%

While foam formulations may be more cosmetically elegant, Dr. Kobets calls out that they often contain more alcohol, which can be drying for the scalp. A solution, like this one, is a good alternative. We also like that this one comes via a convenient subscription model ensuring you’ll never run out (because remember, continued use is imperative).


See more expert-backed tips and tricks for thinning hair:

Why Using a Clarifying Shampoo Is Key for Thick, Healthy Hair, Plus the Best Ones To Use

How Laser Hair Therapy Reverses Thinning Hair! Plus the Best at-Home Devices to Use

Pros Share How To Brush Hair To Prevent Breakage and Boost Hair Growth + the Best Brushes To Use

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.