Medically reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 3/02/2021
If you’re seeing more hair in the shower drain than you used to, you’re probably trying to find a way to stop the momentum before there’s more hair in the drain than on your head. And you’ve probably heard that minoxidil could help in the fight.
Minoxidil (the common form of Rogaine®) is a well-known medication for reducing and even reversing the effects of hair loss and hair thinning by jumpstarting the hair regrowth process in follicles.
But before you go running off to clear shelves of the stuff, you should understand a few things about what you’re buying—and where it’s safe to purchase it.
Minoxidil has been found effective in regrowing and stimulating the growth of certain hair follicles. It is not a cure for baldness, but it does offer effective treatment for thinning hair, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments.
Studies show that, over a 48 week period, use of minoxidil results in increased thickness and up to 18 percent higher total hair count.
Though entirely bald patients might see few results, minoxidil is an effective treatment for thinning and thinner hair, and can help you achieve the appearance of thicker, stronger hair over time with regular use.
Minoxidil comes in two forms: a topical application, which is typically available over the counter, and as an oral prescription you’ll need to get from a healthcare professional.
In its topical form, Minoxidil has been available as an over-the-counter medication since the ‘90s. Topical minoxidil is available in a couple of concentrations, (2% and 5%), neither of which require a prescription.
Doctors may also prescribe oral minoxidil (which is not available over the counter) for a variety of reasons, including adverse reactions to the topical version.
Topical versions of minoxidil are 100 percent available online—in fact, we have them, as you probably knew already. Hims 5 Percent Topical is an effective option. Used as directed twice a day, it can stimulate hair growth, and can do so up to 45 percent more effectively than 2 percent formulations.
Related read: minoxidil cost
Regardless of whether you can buy minoxidil online, you should still consult a health care professional before beginning any regimen of treatment for hair loss.
They may advise you of a different course of treatment, or suggest additional treatments that can be safely and effectively used in conjunction with options like minoxidil.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, the best and first thing you can do for yourself is learn more about what’s going on.
Want to learn more about male pattern baldness? Our guides to DHT and male hair loss, what you should know about using finasteride and how minoxidil and finasteride can work together to stop hair loss cover the treatment aspects of male pattern baldness in more detail.