Is minoxidil safe for treatment of female pattern hair loss?

Minoxidil is commonly used by men in order to combat male pattern baldness and in order to grow a beard. But it is also frequently used by women in order to treat female pattern baldness.

That’s why I reviewed what the research has to say about the safety of minoxidil for treatment of female pattern hair loss. Let’s get started.


Minoxidil for treatment of female pattern baldness

Image of a woman suffering from female pattern baldness.

Minoxidil is the only FDA approved drug that can be used to treat female pattern baldness. Both the 2% topical solution, and recently the 5% topical foam solution, are FDA approved to combat hair loss.

So yes, it is safe for both men and women to use topical minoxidil on the scalp to promote hair growth on the head and potentially even reverse the hair loss on the scalp. Even more, minoxidil has shown no negative effects on male and female fertility so far.

What is female pattern hair loss (FPHL)?

Picture describing type I, type II and type III female pattern hair loss.

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a nonscarring, progressive thinning of the hair with a gentle drop-off in the number of hair follicles, particularly in the central, frontal and parietal parts of the scalp. This is caused by a process that’s known as follicular miniaturization or follicular shrinking.

It should be noted that the frontal hairline is often times spared, or the follicular miniaturization is not as bad when compared with male pattern baldness.

What causes female pattern hair loss (FPHL)?

After researching what the science has to say about what causes female pattern hair loss, this is what I found out:

The cause of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is complex and includes multiple factor such as genetics, hormones, inflammation and environmental causes such as a poor diet and poor sleep schedule.

The follow study shows the efficacy of 5% topical minoxidil foam applied once daily for the treatment of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) in multiple phase III clinical trials.

The study noticed a significant change in the target area hair count from baseline compared to the placebo group.

Similar changes in hair count were noted for both the 5% foam and the 2% minoxidil solution, being applied twice daily. Thus, it established a noninferiority of the 5% foam in comparison with the 2% minoxidil solution applied twice daily.



This study shows that the five percent minoxidil foam formula is a viable and safe additional treatment option for ladies with women pattern baldness. However, minoxidil should be kept out of reach from pets since it’s highly toxic to animals!