9 Alternatives to Minoxidil That Work

In the field of hair loss prevention and restoration, Minoxidil is a widely-known treatment, but it isn’t the only treatment. In fact, there are a slew of other options, like oral Finasteride and Microchanneling or Microneedling that may be better options. . 

You see,, despite all the positive press and popularity of Minoxidil, it doesn’t work for everyone. The drug may not deliver the results you want, and the topical form factor might be inconvenient for daily use. 

We know that everyone has a different set of genetics and preferences for hair, so we’ve put together a list of nine Minoxidil alternatives that may do the trick. These suggestions are widespread, low-risk, and worth trying. Let’s get started. 

1. Essential Oils

You might be familiar with essential oils as a nice way to freshen up your home with a diffuser, but did you know that these plant-based essences are also highly effective hair loss preventers, on par with Minoxidil?

These essential oils come directly from the earth and not a laboratory, making them more appealing for those living the organic life. There are also dozens of powerful oils to choose from, each with its own benefits to discover. When it comes to stopping hair loss, rosemary, peppermint, and pumpkin seed are considered the best. 

To utilize these essential oils, avoid direct application and instead use an intermediary “carrier oil” like castor or coconut to dilute the liquid. It may also help to warm the solution and clean your hair before applying. Just once or twice a week is plenty compared to Minoxidil which requires a twice-daily application. 

2. Hair Growth Shampoos

Thousands of hair growth shampoos and conditioners have been produced over the years, each with a specific purpose and set of active ingredients.

Every product offers something different, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all issue. For example, a shampoo with tea-tree and peppermint oils can help cleanse and stimulate blood flow, while a product featuring zinc, biotin, and keratin could be better for thickening hair you already have. 

Just make sure to follow the exact instructions on the bottle when using a specialized shampoo of any kind because you don’t want to improvise and risk wasting the product. 

You’ll have many products to choose from, so don’t fill up your shower with a dozen different bottles. Instead, target the main issue and decide which product best suits your needs at the moment. This could save you time and ultimately yield the best results for the money. 

3. Oral Supplements

We’ve already hinted at a few key ingredients that help promote hair growth without medication. Collagen, biotin, and keratin are the “big three” natural supplements you should add to your list, and don’t forget to skip your daily multivitamin to give your hair the best chance of growing. 

Of course, dozens of other ingredients may unlock your hair’s potential, and it may be a matter of trial and error to discover the winning combo. This is due to factors like genetics, environment, nutritional deficiencies, and more.

In other words, you won’t be able to identify the missing piece to the puzzle until you experience the results firsthand. We suggest you test out various supplements one by one, rather than taking a bunch at once. 

When it comes time to replenish your supplements, you’ll know which ones are worth the money and which ones to leave behind. 

4. Scalp Massage

You may be shocked to find out just how much of a difference that scalp massage can make when stimulating hair growth. This technique has been used for centuries to dilate blood vessels in the scalp without the use of a vasodilator. 

Basically, you’re mimicking the effects of Minoxidil by massaging the scalp and systematically activating the blood vessels. This can be done by taking a few extra minutes in the shower to rub in your shampoo or using a massaging tool to hit more angles.

Keep in mind that scalp massage is more effective at helping to keep your current hair and likely won’t stimulate the regrowth of hair that’s already lost. You also don’t want to over-massage your hair if you’re in the process of shedding since this may do more harm than good.

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5. Microchanneling

The next level up from scalp massage is a category of treatments known as microneedling, which has been practiced in salons and clinics for many years. The technique utilizes tiny punctures to spark the release of healthy hormones and enzymes in the skin, which has a range of positive benefits once healed. 

These methods have been applied to the skin of the face, hair on the scalp, and even other areas of the body like loose skin from fat loss and cellulite.

There’s no doubt that microderm techniques work, but which one is the most effective for rejuvenating hair? Based on recent clinical trials and client satisfaction rates, we’ve found that microchanneling yields the best results of all methods, offering more precision and consistency than any DIY approach. 

Microchanneling takes the fundamentals of derma rolling and modernizes the technology for a professional, clinical technique. The result is precise, microscopic punctures that are evenly spaced and deliver far better results. The method pairs perfectly with Minoxidil and other topical solutions so that you can maximize the efficacy of your current routine. 

6. Low-Level Laser Therapy

While it may sound like a risky new treatment that costs a fortune, low-level laser therapy is among the most affordable and cost-effective new methods for hair restoration available.

This method uses low-intensity photons projected into the scalp’s cells using a red-light lamp, helmet, or tanning-bed-style contraption. These photons activate the energetic components of the cells — mitochondria — and may potentially promote growth in dormant follicle units. 

Furthermore, LLLT has numerous other benefits for the body, including acne reduction, anti-aging effects, mood enhancement, and more. If you can find a way to incorporate this into your routine, we recommend it even if you aren’t concerned about hair loss at the moment.

7. Acupuncture

This method is one of the oldest in the book, but with millions of practitioners worldwide, it’s probably worth trying for hair loss. Acupuncture is highly specialized, of course, and you may want to work your way up to the advanced level.

We’re not certain whether acupuncture solves hair loss directly, but there is reason to believe that other systems of the body are related to balding. It’s not out of the question that fixing other health conditions via acupuncture is one roundabout way to help your hair grow or put yourself at an advantage for hair restoration. 

It’s usually a love-or-hate thing with acupuncture, so give it a try if you’re game.

8. Biotin Hair Serum

Serums are in a separate category from oils and shampoos, and you can add them in very small doses throughout the day to great effect. For instance, a biotin-based serum can be a great addition to your Minoxidil session if you want to add some extra nutrients to your solution. 

Other serums may include a range of vitamins, nutrients, and organic compounds that serve as a topical supplement for your hair. 

Keep an eye out for ingredients like enzymes, peptides, and energizing oils that make your hair look and feel great. 

9. Finasteride

The last entry on our list happens to be Minoxidil’s biggest rival in the world of hair loss and the only other FDA-approved drug for this purpose. Finasteride is a once-daily oral tablet that works by counteracting the formation of DHT, a byproduct of testosterone breakdown. This medication could be helpful with your existing hair, but not with your hair loss and regrowth efforts. 

It’s not that we’ve saved the best for last, but rather that Finasteride is a more serious medication that requires a prescription and isn’t recommended for everyone. For example, women and young men shouldn’t take Finasteride because of its interaction with hormones. 

For those looking to take the all-natural route, Finasteride won’t make the cut. However, it’s a must-try for men in need of another medical boost to their hair restoration routine.

Not Satisfied With Minoxidil? You’ve Got Options

This list of Minoxidil alternatives should give you plenty of hair loss remedies to try and see which ones stick. 

Don’t forget that you should give a treatment some time — at least a month or two — before you determine whether it’s effective or not. Most importantly, team up with proven hair restoration professionals, like our staff at Jae Pak MD Medical so that you’re always on the cutting edge of this fast-moving field. 

Sources: 

Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue | PMC

Essential Oils Explained | Science Direct

Finasteride (Oral Route) Description and Brand Names | Mayo Clinic

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