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Minoxidil 2%: Everything You Need To Know
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Updated on March 28, 2024

Minoxidil is proven to help restore hair stemming from several hair loss conditions, from telogen effluvium to alopecia areata to androgenetic alopecia [1-3]. But are you using the right Minoxidil strength to get the best hair growth results?

Minoxidil 2% is a relatively low-concentration formula that can help tackle hair loss and encourage new hair growth. In this part of our article series on Minoxidil strengths, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Minoxidil 2%: what it is, how quickly it works, and where to get Minoxidil 2%.

Table of Contents

What is Minoxidil 2%?

Minoxidil 2% is the lowest commercially available concentration of topical Minoxidil. Though it’s often sold as the optimum Minoxidil formula for women, it’s also effective for treating male pattern baldness [4].

What is 2% Minoxidil

Minoxidil 2% means the solution includes 2% of the active ingredient, Minoxidil. Every 100ml of liquid contains 2g of Minoxidil.

Minoxidil 2% is only available as a topical formula. Oral Minoxidil is measured in mg rather than % concentrations. Unlike topical Minoxidil, oral Minoxidil isn’t available over-the-counter and hasn’t been approved to treat hair loss, so you’ll need to speak to a doctor or specialist if you want to try the oral version.

Does Minoxidil 2% work?

Yes, Minoxidil 2% can help restore your hair [3-4]. Even at lower concentrations, Minoxidil acts as a vasodilator, opening blood vessels beneath the scalp to stimulate blood and nutrient flow to the follicles. Minoxidil also activates potassium channels, which stimulates cell proliferation in the hair follicles.

However, research shows that the Minoxidil 2% formula is generally less effective than Minoxidil 5% [4-5]. Other studies have found Minoxidil 2% to be approximately as effective as rosemary oil for treating genetic hair loss (male or female pattern hair loss) [6].

Yes, Minoxidil 2% can work for women [3]. These images show the impact of using Minoxidil for female pattern hair loss at baseline (a, e), after 2 months (b, f), after 4 months (c, g), and after 6 months (d, h) [7]:

Before and after photos of patient using 2% Minoxidil

Minoxidil 2% is often recommended for women because there’s a lower risk of developing hypertrichosis (i.e. excessive body hair in unwanted areas, such as the face) [3].

As a result, Minoxidil 2% is often marketed towards women, particularly in the branded Regaine For Women version of Minoxidil.

How fast does Minoxidil 2% work?

One study found that Minoxidil 2% took just four months to stimulate hair regrowth in 37% of men [8].

However, Minoxidil 2% doesn’t usually work as quickly as higher Minoxidil concentrations [5]. You’re more likely to see results the longer you use this formula.

Side effects of Minoxidil 2%

Minoxidil 2% generally has fewer, milder side effects than higher concentrations of Minoxidil. Known side effects include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Itchiness (pruritus)

While other concentrations may cause excessive body hair growth, using the 2% formula can reduce this risk [9].

Where to get Minoxidil 2%

Minoxidil 2% is available over the counter from high street pharmacies or online pharmacies.

You can buy Minoxidil 2% as a branded solution, Regaine For Women. It’s also available as a generic formula. These are also often geared towards women, but they are generally suitable for anyone regardless of gender. If you’re unsure if Minoxidil 2% is suitable for you, speak to a GP or hair loss specialist.

How to apply Minoxidil 2%

Minoxidil 2% comes as a foam or a solution. Follow the instructions in the box, or take a look at our guide for applying Minoxidil.

Minoxidil 2% vs 5%

Minoxidil 2% and Minoxidil 5% are the two most common Minoxidil concentrations. Here’s how they compare:
Minoxidil 2% Minoxidil 5%
Suitability Recommended for women Recommended for men
Types of hair loss Approved for androgenetic alopecia. Off-label use for, alopecia areata [10], traction alopecia [11], frontal fibrosing alopecia [9], telogen effluvium, and certain other hair loss conditions [9]. Approved for androgenetic alopecia. Off-label use for, alopecia areata [12], beard hair loss, chemotherapy-induced alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia, telogen effluvium, and certain other hair loss conditions [9].
Side effects Skin irritation, itchiness (lower levels than Minoxidil 5% and Minoxidil 10%) Skin irritation, itchiness, allergic contact dermatitis, hypertrichosis
Effectiveness 26% of men report moderate to dense hair regrowth after four months of use [8] 45% more hair growth than Minoxidil 2% after 48 weeks of use [5]

Should I use Minoxidil 2% for hair loss?

Minoxidil 2% is generally safe for most hair loss patients to use. As the lowest-strength commercially available Minoxidil formula, it has fewer side effects than other concentrations, while also offering substantial hair improvements. That’s why it’s one of the most recommended first-line hair loss treatments, especially for women.

For a tailored hair loss treatment plan, book a free consultation with our award-winning team of hair loss specialists. They can advise you on the most appropriate Minoxidil strength for your hair loss, plus recommend alternative or complementary treatments to boost your results.

Minoxidil 2%: Everything You Need To Know, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael May (FRCS)Updated on March 28, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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