Does minoxidil thicken hair?

Minoxidil is a popular product that’s FDA approved to battle hair loss. It works mainly by growing more, new, healthy hairs.

But does minoxidil thicken hair? Or is it effective simply because it increases the amount of terminal hairs being produced?

These are important questions to understand why minoxidil is so effective at promoting hair growth and to combat progressive hair loss.

To answer briefly already, yes, minoxidil and Rogaine aids to grow more, AND thicker hairs.

Let me explain why using minoxidil for hair thickening and fighting hair loss is a viable therapy.


Does minoxidil thicken existing hair?

Yes, minoxidil will thicken hair.

Minoxidil works primarily because it accomplishes two things:

  • It increases the amount of hairs
  • It thickens the existing hairs

Thus, it can be concluded minoxidil does thicken hair. However, the primary reason why minoxidil improves hair density is because of the increased amount of hair growth that takes place. The thickening of the hairs is just an added, but not insignificant bonus.

Furthermore, topical minoxidil can also cause already existing hair to appear thicker because of the residue that’s left behind.




Does Rogaine thicken hair?

Image of women's rogaine 2% topical solution.

Some people use Rogaine to thicken hair, and not without reason. Because it has been shown that Rogaine does indeed thicken hair.

Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil. And as such, the same rules and guidelines that apply to any generic brand of minoxidil applies to Rogaine as well.

This entails that Rogaine does thicken existing hair, all the while producing more hairs as well.

This means that applying Rogaine is a great way to fight against progressive hair loss.

Does Rogaine thicken fine hair?

Yes, Rogaine thickens fine hair as well.

But fine hair can be a sign, or consequence, of progressive hair loss. Take note that balding is typically easier to fight when starting Rogaine treatment in the early stages of hair loss. Fine hair can be harder to treat if it’s the result of progressive hair loss.

Fine hair will give the illusion of having less hair, and even potentially balding, since there’s less hair density. Of course, this is not always the case, but the decreased hair density can make it seem that way.

Does Rogaine thicken existing hair?

Indeed, Rogaine thickens existing hair as well.

The main mechanism behind the workings of Rogaine is producing more hairs, but it will help increase hair density as well.


Can minoxidil thicken hair? Studies

Minoxidil can thicken hair shafts.

Another study about using topical minoxidil to combat male pattern baldness noted that minoxidil can provide cosmetically satisfying results by thickening the hair of some individuals.

Another study that analyzed the effects of minoxidil noted the following:

A small increase in hair diameter was observed for the minoxidil-containing treatment groups at week 17.

Furthermore, minoxidil can help turn vellus hairs into terminal hairs, which will lead to the thickening of hairs.

Vellus hairs are immature hairs that are light and thin. Terminal hairs are longer, thicker, and darker.


Final note

Using Rogaine to thicken hair, just like any generic brand of minoxidil for that matter, is a viable strategy to combat hair loss. However, even though minoxidil starts working immediately, it typically takes a few weeks to months before you notice that the product is doing its thing.

The thickening of the hair isn’t the main reason why minoxidil is so effective to combat hair loss, but it doesn’t hurt either. Thicker hair does indeed give the appearance of having more hair by increasing hair density.