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Minoxidil Spray: Uses, Effectiveness, Side Effects
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on March 26, 2024

Minoxidil spray is one of the most accessible and widely used Minoxidil products. Easy to apply and with proven success as a hair loss treatment for women and men, Minoxidil spray is a good first-line solution for many different types of alopecia.

In this article, learn everything you need to know about Minoxidil spray for hair loss, including:

  • How well Minoxidil spray works for hair growth
  • When and how to use Minoxidil spray.
  • Whether Minoxidil spray is the best type of Minoxidil to use.
Table of Contents

What is Minoxidil spray and why should I use it?

Minoxidil spray is a type of topical Minoxidil, a drug that can slow the progression of hair loss and promote regrowth.

Minoxidil spray works by stimulating blood flow to the follicles beneath the area of application. This brings more nutrients and oxygen to the follicles, giving them the energy they need to produce healthy hair.

Minoxidil spray is available over-the-counter. You can buy it online or from a high street pharmacy without a prescription.

Does Minoxidil spray work for hair growth?

Yes, Minoxidil spray is effective and licensed for treating hair loss at concentrations of 2% and 5% [1-3]. It can improve symptoms of male pattern baldness, female pattern hair loss, alopecia areata, and many other hair loss conditions.

Applying 1ml of 2% Minoxidil solution every day improved this patient’s hair loss substantially over six months [3]:

effects of using 2% Minoxidil everyday

Minoxidil spray tends to work best in the early stages of hair loss, so applying it at the first signs of hair thinning or balding is the best approach.

Be careful when using Minoxidil spray around pets, as Minoxidil is toxic to cats and dogs.

What is the success rate of Minoxidil spray?

Spraying a 5% Minoxidil solution on the scalp twice a day can yield great results for hair loss. Research has shown that 5% Minoxidil spray is [4]:

  • Very effective or effective in 63.7% of patients.
  • Moderately effective in 20.6% of patients.
  • Ineffective in just 15.7% of patients.

It also shows that areas affected by hair loss became smaller in 62% of patients.

Is Minoxidil spray better than Minoxidil foam?

Both Minoxidil spray and Minoxidil foam are proven to slow hair loss and promote regrowth. Some people prefer to use a foam formulation of Minoxidil to reduce the risk of side effects.

Minoxidil spray solutions usually contain propylene glycol, a compound responsible for many of the side effects of Minoxidil [5]. Minoxidil foam doesn’t contain propylene glycol, so it may be preferable if you’ve experienced skin irritation from using Minoxidil sprays.

Is Minoxidil spray better than oral Minoxidil?

Research has shown that oral Minoxidil may be slightly superior to Minoxidil spray for the treatment of hair loss [6]. But it also has a much higher risk profile.

The risk of systemic side effects is far higher with oral medication, so unlike Minoxidil spray, oral Minoxidil isn’t usually recommended as a first-line treatment for hair loss.

Should I spray Minoxidil everyday?

Yes. For best results, you’ll need to spray Minoxidil on your balding or thinning areas at least once a day every day.

How many sprays of Minoxidil do I need?

Six sprays of Minoxidil dispense 1ml of solution, which is the recommended amount for a single application. So you should use six sprays across your thinning areas each time.

Your doctor or trichologist might recommend adjusting the number of sprays, in which case you should follow their advice.

How many times should I use Minoxidil spray per day?

Men are usually advised to use Minoxidil spray twice a day for the best chances of regrowth. Women, on the other hand, are often advised to limit applications and use Minoxidil once a day. This reduces the risk of unwanted side effects like facial and body hair growth.

How long does Minoxidil spray take to work?

Initial results from Minoxidil spray are usually visible after around three months if you use it twice a day.

results of using 2% Minoxidil on alopecia areata for 12 weeks

Results for an alopecia areata patient >before and after Minoxidil application of 2% solution for 12 weeks.

It can take longer than this to see sustained, long-term regrowth, so you’re generally advised to use Minoxidil spray continuously for as long as you want to maintain your new hair.

What happens if you use too much Minoxidil spray?

Overusing Minoxidil spray can cause scalp irritation and other side effects, but it’s unlikely to cause significant problems.

Side effects of Minoxidil spray include:

  • Rashes
  • Itchy scalp
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Excessive body or facial hair growth (hypertrichosis)
  • Minoxidil hair shedding

If you use too much Minoxidil spray in a single application, press a damp cloth or sponge to the area to absorb some of the solution.

Can I put Minoxidil in a spray bottle?

If your Minoxidil solution comes in a bottle with a pipette, you may be able to dispense it into a spray bottle if this makes application easier.

You can’t transfer Minoxidil foam to a spray bottle.

How to apply Minoxidil spray to your hair

Watch this video to learn how to apply Minoxidil spray to your hair:

Applying Minoxidil spray needs precision to make sure you’re tackling the right areas. Direct the nozzle towards your receding hairline or balding patches, and use your fingers to gently guide the solution so it covers the required area.

Some sprays include a combination of Minoxidil and Finasteride. These are often effective for treating male and female pattern baldness, and can be applied in a similar way to Minoxidil-only sprays. Follow the instructions on your prescription for more information.

Find the right hair loss treatment for you

Not sure if Minoxidil spray is the best hair loss treatment for you? Speaking to a professional hair loss specialist can help you find the right solution.

This is especially important for women with hair loss, as self-diagnosis is difficult due to the mass of potential contributing factors.

Book a consultation to find out more about the different types of Minoxidil, as well as alternative hair loss treatments.

Minoxidil Spray: Uses, Effectiveness, Side Effects, Wimpole Clinic

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