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Minoxidil 10%: Everything You Need To Know
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Updated on March 26, 2024

Minoxidil 10% is a type of topical Minoxidil solution that many people consider to tackle their hair loss. As one of the strongest commercially available Minoxidil formulas, you might think Minoxidil 10% will give you the best chance of hair regrowth.

But is this the case?

In this article, you’ll find out how effective Minoxidil 10% is for tackling thinning hair. We’ll compare it to lower Minoxidil concentrations to find the most effective solution and explore the side effects of this high-strength formula.

Table of Contents
bottle of Minoxidil 10%

What is Minoxidil 10%?

Like all topical Minoxidil formulas, Minoxidil 10% is a hair loss treatment that helps prolong the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle [1]. That means your hair follicles continue to produce hair for longer, before eventually entering the telogen (shedding) stage of the natural hair growth cycle.

hair growth cycle

Minoxidil 10% is formulated with 10g of the active ingredient Minoxidil in every 100ml of liquid. It promotes hair growth by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp. This stimulates more blood flow to the hair follicles, bringing the essential nutrients and oxygen required for hair regrowth.

Is Minoxidil 10% FDA-approved?

Unlike Minoxidil 2% and Minoxidil 5%, Minoxidil 10% is not approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) or MHRA (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) for treating androgenetic alopecia.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Minoxidil 10% isn’t effective or safe. It just means there isn’t enough evidence for these agencies to recommend its use yet. However, there are still some commercially available 10% Minoxidil formulas.

Is Minoxidil 10% more effective than lower strengths?

Because there’s a higher concentration of the active ingredient in Minoxidil 10% than in Minoxidil 2% or 5%, you might expect it to be more effective for treating hair loss than lower-strength topical Minoxidil formulas. But research suggests this isn’t the case.

In the only comparison of Minoxidil 10% and Minoxidil 5% to date, researchers found that Minoxidil 5% was moderately superior to Minoxidil 10% for increasing hair regrowth in men with male pattern baldness [2]. It was more effective at improving average hair count in both the crown and frontal regions of the scalp after 36 weeks.

Before and after 10% Minoxidil results in male androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) patients
Before and after 10% Minoxidil results in male pattern baldness patients

However, another study found that a solution containing 10% Minoxidil sulphate could stimulate hair growth in women with female pattern hair loss who hadn’t responded to Minoxidil 5% treatment [3].

These results may be due to the fact this solution contained Minoxidil sulphate, an activated metabolite of Minoxidil, rather than Minoxidil base.

Side effects of Minoxidil 10%

The side effects of Minoxidil 10% tend to be worse than those of Minoxidil 5% (which are, in turn, more substantial than for Minoxidil 2%) [4].

One study noted that participants experienced more psychosocial stress after using a Minoxidil 10% compared with Minoxidil 5%, due to heightened Minoxidil hair shedding (temporary hair loss) and skin irritation [2]. Other noted side effects include skin redness and folliculitis [4].

If you’re concerned about Minoxidil side effects, it’s best to stick with a lower concentration. You could also try a proven Minoxidil alternative such as Nanoxidil, caffeine shampoo, or rosemary oil for hair loss.

Is Minoxidil 10% suitable for women?

While research suggests Minoxidil 10% may be an effective way to treat women’s hair loss if it hasn’t responded to 5% treatment, women should exercise caution with high-strength topical Minoxidil formulas.

Even Minoxidil 5% can cause hypertrichosis (excessive body or facial hair growth) in women. So while more research is needed to establish the safety of 10% Minoxidil for women, it’s generally recommended that female patients stick to lower concentrations to avoid substantial side effects.

How often should I use Minoxidil 10%?

As Minoxidil 10% isn’t approved for use, there’s no official guidance on how often you should use it. Most sellers recommend using it twice a day, morning and evening, like other Minoxidil products.

Do you need a prescription for Minoxidil 10%?

You don’t always need a prescription for Minoxidil 10%. You can buy it from some online retailers, though it is less widely available than 2% and 5% topical Minoxidil solutions.

Some clinics do require a prescription to purchase Minoxidil 10%, especially if it’s combined with other ingredients. Getting a product on prescription ensures it’s suitable and likely to work for you, so it’s best to go down this route and get a prescription from a hair loss clinic.

Should I use Minoxidil 10% for hair loss?

In general, you should start with a lower-strength version of topical Minoxidil to treat hair loss, such as Minoxidil 5% or even 2%. Women, in particular, are advised to use lower strengths to avoid side effects like facial hair growth.

If your hair hasn’t responded to Minoxidil 5% treatment, Minoxidil 10% may seem like the natural next step. However other effective non-surgical hair loss treatments have more evidence to back up their use, such as laser hair loss treatments, Finasteride, and Dutasteride.

To find the right hair loss treatment plan, consider booking a consultation with a hair loss specialist. For women, we can run advanced diagnostic tests to confirm the cause of your hair loss and establish an effective treatment plan. For men, we’ll assess the extent and rate of your hair loss to recommend the right solutions to not only promote hair regrowth but also to prevent further hair loss.

Book a consultation with the Wimpole Clinic to learn more about the most effective hair loss treatments.

Minoxidil 10%: Everything You Need To Know, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael May (FRCS)Updated on March 26, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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