Topical Minoxidil is one of the most popular products for stimulating hair growth. Suitable for men and women, and proven to treat many different types of alopecia, Minoxidil foam and liquid are widely used among hair loss patients.
If you haven’t started using Minoxidil yet, you may be unsure which type of topical Minoxidil is best: Minoxidil foam vs liquid.
Here, we’ll explore the benefits and disadvantages of using Minoxidil foam vs liquid, so you can decide which type of topical Minoxidil is right for you.
There haven’t yet been any clinical studies comparing Minoxidil foam and Minoxidil liquid in hair loss patients, so it’s tricky to know if there’s a clear winner.
However, some animal studies have compared these two types of topical Minoxidil, which may give some insight into their effectiveness.
One such study found that foam and liquid formulations have similar levels of effectiveness for hair loss . Another found that 5% Minoxidil foam increased hair weight by 12.4mg on average, while 5% Minoxidil liquid increased hair weight by 9.27mg .
Another animal study showed that the uptake of 5% Minoxidil foam was five times higher than 5% Minoxidil solution two hours after application .
These findings suggest Minoxidil foam may be very slightly more effective than Minoxidil liquid, although the margins are extremely slim. Ultimately, both types of topical Minoxidil at 5% strength have been shown to improve symptoms of hair loss.
Another study has shown that systemic absorption of Minoxidil 5% foam is around half of that of Minoxidil 5% liquid . Systemic absorption refers to the amount of Minoxidil that reaches organs and tissue beyond the scalp.
Lower systemic absorption usually means there’s a lower risk of systemic side effects, which may be important if you’ve experienced side effects with hair loss treatments before.
Here’s how Minoxidil foam and Minoxidil liquid compare at a glance.
As you can see, the two formulations are very similar in terms of effectiveness and affordability. You’ll pay a slight premium for Minoxidil foam, but you may also see slightly better results.
There’s conflicting evidence for levels of absorption. Some researchers have suggested contact dermatitis triggered by liquid Minoxidil use may lead to better absorption .
Other techniques like derma rolling for hair can improve absorption of both types of Minoxidil.
No matter which type of topical Minoxidil you use, be careful when applying Minoxidil around cats and dogs. Minoxidil can be highly toxic to pets.
Clinical evidence suggests the results of Minoxidil foam vs liquid for scalp hair loss are very similar. So how does this translate to visible hair loss control and regrowth?
This 36-year-old female patient used Carexidil, a liquid containing 5% Minoxidil, to tackle her female pattern hair loss . Here are her results after six months of applying this solution twice a day:
A 31-year-old man also saw good results using this same Minoxidil formulation:
By comparison, here are the scalp hair regrowth results for a 32-year-old man before and after six months of 5% Minoxidil foam use :
As you can see, the visual regrowth offered by both types of Minoxidil supports the clinical evidence that Minoxidil foam and liquid are effective hair loss treatments. Learn more about using Minoxidil spray for hair loss.
There aren’t many studies that have investigated the use of Minoxidil for beard growth, so it’s unclear whether Minoxidil foam or liquid is best for treating beard hair loss.
However, Minoxidil works on beards the same way it works on scalp hair: it stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles, increasing the nutrients and oxygen required for healthy hair growth. So it’s likely that both Minoxidil foam and liquid will have similar effects on beard hair loss.
Topical Minoxidil is known to cause certain side effects. These include:
Minoxidil liquid, the original formulation, contains propylene glycol, water, and alcohol. Propylene glycol is said to cause many of the above side effects, which is why foam-based Minoxidil was developed . Minoxidil foam doesn’t contain propylene glycol, so you may see fewer side effects with a foam formulation.
Applying Minoxidil is simple, regardless of which formulation you use. These videos show you how to apply Minoxidil foam and liquid respectively.
Watch: How to apply Minoxidil foam
Watch: How to apply Minoxidil liquid
Gently massage Minoxidil foam across your thinning and balding areas. You don’t need to rub it in vigorously, but you can use your fingertips to get the required coverage across the scalp.
Whether you choose to use Minoxidil foam or liquid, there are ways to maximise your hair loss results:
If you’re not seeing the results you want from Minoxidil, it may be time to speak to a hair loss specialist. Book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic to start your hair restoration journey.
Looking to learn more about Minoxidil foam vs liquid? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Yes, it’s possible to use too much Minoxidil. While overusing topical Minoxidil is unlikely to be dangerous, it may increase your risk of side effects like skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and itchiness.
It won’t take long for Minoxidil foam to absorb into your scalp, providing you’ve used the right amount. It’s recommended that you allow five to ten minutes between Minoxidil application and going to bed, wearing a hat, or applying other products.
Minoxidil usually works best in the early stages of hair loss. If you’ve been bald for some time, you’re less likely to see substantial improvement from Minoxidil foam or liquid alone.
When applying Minoxidil, it’s hard to avoid getting the solution in your hair, regardless of whether you use foam or liquid. Fortunately getting Minoxidil in your hair won’t have any damaging effects, though you may find it makes your hair feel a little oily or greasy.
Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.