Minoxidil alternatives for hair growth

Hair loss affects millions of people worldwide and can significantly impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

While minoxidil is a popular and effective treatment for hair loss, it’s essential to be aware of alternative options for those not wanting to hop on minoxidil indefinitely. If you don’t continue using the product, then the hair gains you’ve made will be lost over time.

That’s why I compiled these minoxidil alternatives for hair growth that have gained traction in recent years.




Non-natural minoxidil alternatives for hair growth

  1. Ketoconazole

    One of the non-natural alternatives to minoxidil for hair growth is Ketoconazole.

    Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication that can also help reduce hair loss and improve hair thickness.

    It is available in shampoo form and can be used in conjunction with other treatments. Ketoconazole shampoo is typically used two to three times per week.

  2. Finasteride

    One of the most widely recognized alternatives to minoxidil is finasteride.

    Finasteride is an oral medication that works by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Although topical finasteride does also exist, albeit used less commonly.

    DHT is known to contribute to hair loss in individuals with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride has shown promising results in slowing down hair loss and promoting hair regrowth, particularly in men.

    However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before starting finasteride due to potential side effects.

  3. Dutasteride

    Image of a package of dutasteride.

    Dutasteride is another medication typically used orally that works similarly to finasteride but inhibits multiple types of the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. But again, it’s available in a topical solution.

    It is also prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness but is not FDA-approved for this use.

  1. Laser therapy

    Laser therapy, also commonly called low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or red light therapy, has gained popularity as a non-invasive hair loss treatment option.

    This approach involves the use of specialized devices that emit low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate hair follicles.

    The light energy is believed to promote blood circulation, improve cell metabolism, and awaken dormant hair follicles.

    Laser therapy can be administered through in-office treatments or at home with portable devices. While individual results may vary, many people have reported positive outcomes in terms of hair growth and thickness.

  1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy

    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative treatment option that involves using a patient’s own blood platelets to stimulate hair growth.

    During the procedure, blood is drawn, and the platelet-rich plasma is separated and injected into the scalp. The growth factors present in the plasma are believed to stimulate hair follicles, increase blood supply, and promote new hair growth.

    PRP therapy has gained popularity due to its potential effectiveness and safety. While more research is needed to establish its long-term efficacy, early studies and anecdotal evidence suggest promising results.

  1. Hair transplant surgery

    Image of the different hair growth stages of a man who recently had a hair transplant.

    Hair transplant surgery remains a viable option for individuals with advanced hair loss or those seeking a more permanent solution to combat their hair loss.

    This surgical procedure involves transplanting hair follicles from a donor site to the areas of thinning or baldness. The transplanted follicles continue to grow hair naturally, providing a permanent solution.

    Hair transplant surgery has evolved significantly in recent years, with techniques such as follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) offering more precise and natural-looking results.

  2. Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

    SMP is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that involves tattooing tiny dots on the scalp to simulate the appearance of hair follicles.

    This technique creates an illusion of denser hair and can be particularly effective for individuals with extensive hair loss or those who prefer a buzzed or shaved head look.

    Scalp micropigmentation provides immediate results and requires little maintenance, making it a popular choice for those seeking a cosmetic solution.

  3. Spironolactone

    Spironolactone is an oral medication primarily used as a diuretic but also prescribed off-label for female pattern hair loss.

    It works by reducing the effects of androgens (male hormones) that can contribute to hair loss in women.

    Spironolactone should always be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional.

  4. Oral contraceptives

    Image of oral contraceptives.

    Certain oral contraceptives containing anti-androgenic properties, such as drospirenone or cyproterone acetate, may be prescribed to women with androgenetic alopecia to help reduce hair loss.

    Once again, these medications should always be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional to guarantee the user’s safety.

  5. Corticosteroids

    Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the scalp to help reduce inflammation and suppress the immune response that may contribute to hair loss.

    This treatment is typically used for conditions like alopecia areata or scarring alopecia. Corticosteroids should be administered by a healthcare professional.

  6. Tretinoin

    Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A.

    It’s a topical medication that may help promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and improving the absorption of other topical treatments.

    It is sometimes prescribed in combination with minoxidil for enhanced effectiveness.


Natural minoxidil alternatives for hair growth

  1. Essential oils

    Image of three bottles of essential oils.

    For those seeking natural alternatives, essential oils have emerged as a popular choice.

    Certain essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and cedarwood, have been traditionally used for their potential hair growth-promoting properties.

    These oils are believed to have stimulating effects on the scalp, increase blood circulation, and provide nourishment to the hair follicles.

    While scientific research on essential oils for hair loss is limited, some individuals have reported positive results when incorporating them into their hair care routine.

  2. Saw palmetto

    Saw palmetto is a natural supplement derived from the berries of the Serenoa repens plant.

    It is believed to inhibit the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT, which can contribute to hair loss.

    Some studies suggest that saw palmetto may help slow down hair loss and promote hair growth, particularly in individuals with androgenetic alopecia.

  3. Hair care products with growth-stimulating ingredients

    Many hair care products on the market claim to promote hair growth and thickness.

    These products often contain ingredients like biotin, caffeine, keratin, and various vitamins and minerals that are believed to nourish the scalp and hair follicles.

    While these products may not provide drastic results on their own, they can complement other hair loss treatments and contribute to overall scalp health.

  4. Dietary supplements for hair health

    Image of Nutrafon, a dietary supplement to stimulate hair growth and healthy hair.

    Some dietary supplements are formulated specifically to support hair health and combat hair loss.

    These supplements regularly contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and natural extracts that are believed to nourish hair follicles and promote healthier hair growth.

    Examples of such supplements include collagen, biotin, iron, zinc, and various herbal blends.

  5. Scalp massage

    One of the least invasive and easy-to-use alternatives to minoxidil is massaging the scalp.

    Regularly massaging the scalp can help stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and promote a healthy scalp environment.

    You can use your fingertips or a scalp massager to gently massage the scalp for a few minutes each day.

  6. Eating a balanced diet

    Eating a nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support overall hair health.

    Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fish, may contribute to healthy hair growth.

  7. Stress management

    Image of a stressed woman holding her head while studying.

    Another popular natural alternative to minoxidil for hair growth is limiting mental strain since chronic stress can contribute to hair loss.

    Practicing stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities you enjoy, may help reduce stress levels and promote hair health.

  8. Aloe vera

    Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing and moisturizing properties.

    Some individuals believe that applying aloe vera gel to the scalp can help nourish the hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth.

    However, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness to combat hair loss is limited.

  9. Ginseng

    Image of the plant Ginseng.

    Ginseng is a herb that is often used in traditional medicine.

    It is believed to stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp.

    Ginseng can be consumed as a tea or taken as a supplement.

  10. Pumpkin seed oil

    Pumpkin seed oil contains nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are thought to support hair health.

    Some studies propose that pumpkin seed oil may have a positive effect on hair growth in individuals with androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness).

    It can be applied topically, or consumed as a supplement.

  11. Green tea

    Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been associated with various health benefits.

    Green tea extract may help promote hair growth and inhibit the activity of certain enzymes linked to hair loss.

    It can be consumed as a beverage or applied topically to the scalp.


Final takeaway

While minoxidil is a widely used and effective treatment for hair loss, it’s important to know that alternatives exist. Finasteride, laser therapy, essential oils, PRP therapy, and hair transplant surgery are among the notable options.

Remember that the effectiveness of these alternatives can vary from person to person, and individual results may differ. Generally speaking, the non-natural minoxidil alternatives will be more effective than the natural minoxidil alternatives.

It’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist before starting any new hair loss treatment to ensure that it suits your specific needs and circumstances.