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Oral Minoxidil v Topical: What's the difference?

Oral Minoxidil v Topical: What's the difference?
27 February 2023
2-minute read

Minoxidil is a potent treatment when looking to grow hair back or when aiming to stop losing any further hair. So, when it comes to the method of treating these issues, you’ll likely want to know which is the most effective and best for you.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the main differences between applying the treatment orally or topically. 

What is Topical Minoxidil?

The topical route is applying cream onto the affected area. The scalp would then absorb the cream’s properties through enzymes.

Advantages of Topical Minoxidil

It’s extremely simple to apply and is viewed as less invasive than tablets. Rare bloating and heartbeat side effects potentially occur with the capsules but are less likely to do so with something that hasn’t directly entered your body.

What is Oral Minoxidil?

This is a form of treatment in which you swallow a capsule and a second line of treatment to topical minoxidil. Oral Minoxidil is an off-license treatment for hair loss and viewed as an effective method of treatment because it directly enters the body’s system.

Advantages of Oral Minoxidil

Minoxidil works by expanding your blood vessels to allow nutrients and oxygen in. The sulfotransferase enzyme, found on the scalp and, importantly for Oral Minoxidil to work, is also found in the liver. Because not every man possesses this crucial enzyme on their scalp, Oral Minoxidil works by targeting the enzyme in the liver to produce effective results for hair regrowth.

Aside from the aforementioned effectiveness, some men can’t use the topical substance, occasionally due to reactions to the liquid.

Can you use both Oral and Topical Minoxidil together?

Some people choose to use both methods of treatment together trying to optimise their results, however the medical experts at Sons do not recommend using Oral and Topical Minoxidil together. Oral minoxidil is a second line of treatment to topical minoxidil, and suitable if there are issues with topical minoxidil. Oral Minoxidil will work alone in targeting the enzymes required to regenerate hair growth and because it comes in set dosages, it can be dangerous to double up on your hair loss treatment.

Deciding between Oral and Topical Minoxidil

Taking Oral Minoxidil avoids needing to make sure your hair is totally dry before applying the Topical Minoxidil. While there is a dosage pump on the Topical Minoxidil bottle, some men prefer to have the fixed amount a capsule provides.

If Topical Minoxidil doesn’t work for you or doesn’t agree with you, then Oral Minoxidil is increasingly viewed as an effective alternative to still reap the benefits of Minoxidil without the side effects.

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.