Topical Minoxidil: An Australian Buying Guide
Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved drug to treat hair loss in both men and women.
Is Topical Minoxidil Effective For Hair Loss?
Research has demonstrated the efficacy of minoxidil for male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. Both are also known as androgenic alopecia.
Many men and women with this condition have experienced benefits from minoxidil use.
People below the age of 40 or those who have recently started balding are more likely to find this treatment effective.
Minoxidil cannot help with frontal scalp hair loss. Plus, it is not a permanent cure for baldness. If you stop this treatment, hair loss begins again.
Australian Buying Guide – Topical Minoxidil
Take these factors into account while choosing a suitable minoxidil product for yourself.
Men may use either minoxidil 2% or 5%. Women may opt for the 2% solution or 5% foam. The 5% solution is not yet approved for women.
Minoxidil 10% and 15% have yet to be approved for use in men and women. Some men do use minoxidil 10%. But it’s best to consult your doctor before using these high-strength products.
In general, minoxidil 5% is more effective than minoxidil 2%. Minoxidil 2% is usually reserved for women and those prone to side effects of higher minoxidil concentration.
Foam and liquid minoxidil share similar efficacy at the same concentration. There is no research-based evidence proving that one is more effective than the other.
The liquid formulation may be more likely to trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Liquid minoxidil contains propylene glycol, while foam minoxidil does not. Hence, foam minoxidil may be less likely to cause redness or irritation.
Absorption and texture
Based on personal preference, some men prefer foam over liquid. Foam minoxidil may absorb into the skin faster and is less likely to drip over your scalp or face. Plus, some men feel that liquid minoxidil leaves a greasier look.
Ease of use
The liquid formulation comes with a dropper that allows you to measure the amount of minoxidil needed. The dropper may also make application easier for those with long hair. Foam minoxidil may be more convenient for those with larger spots of baldness.
Some vendors and companies offer online consultations services with doctors before a treatment regimen is recommended. If purchased online, they may help deliver any products right to your doorstep.
Do I Need To See A Doctor To Get Minoxidil?
You can purchase topical minoxidil over-the-counter in Australia, so no prescription is required. It is not necessary to see a doctor before getting topical minoxidil.
However, take note if you:-
- have any medical conditions
- are taking any other medications
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you fall into any of the above, always seek professional advice before commencing any medication, including minoxidil.
Many men use minoxidil in combination with finasteride. Finasteride requires a prescription. Thus, there’s still a pretty high likelihood you’ll be consulting a doctor before starting on any hair loss treatment.
How About Oral Minoxidil?
Oral minoxidil is used for high blood pressure. However, it is sometimes prescribed for hair loss treatment.
Oral minoxidil may be a safe and effective alternative for:-
- those unable to tolerate topical minoxidil (due to side effects or irritation)
- those who have not seen any improvements from topical minoxidil
Oral minoxidil requires a prescription. It’s best to discuss with your doctor if oral minoxidil is suitable and safe for you.
How To Buy Topical Minoxidil In Australia
Topical minoxidil is available from physical pharmacies and stores, online vendors, and various digital platforms.
Topical minoxidil can be purchased directly from online websites and pharmacies without prior consultations or prescriptions. Some companies and pharmacies will have your online purchases delivered to your doorstep.
Getting Oral Treatment For Hair Loss
If you find topical medications a hassle, oral treatment may suit your lifestyle better. Oral medications may also be suitable if topical minoxidil has not been effective for you.
You’ll require a prescription and consultation with a doctor for finasteride and oral minoxidil.
Several companies providing oral hair loss treatment allow the entire process to be done digitally from the comfort of your own home.
The basic outline of this process looks something like this:-
1) Fill in a digital form with your details.
2) Book an online consultation with a doctor (chat, call, video call).
3) View your doctor’s recommendations.
4) If you choose to go ahead with it, there’s usually a deliver-to-your-doorstep option.
Discuss the pros and cons of each option with your doctor. You may not require oral hair loss treatment.