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Minoxidil for Women – Can I Use More Than 2%?


Name: Mrs Villasante

Question: I was told by a hair specialist at a London hospital to use a 5% minoxidil and not a 2% but there was no mention as to whether or not it was a formula for men or women. What would be the problem if I was to use men’s and why can’t I find 5% for women anyway?

Doctor and female patientAnswer: Minoxidil is a clinically proven hair loss treatment designed for use in both men and women. Although it is available in various strengths, you cannot find a 5% version labelled for women over the counter because this strength was licensed for men only. The 2% concentration is the licensed strength for women. This does not mean that you cannot use minoxidil 5%, it just means that anything higher than 2% requires a prescription. Manufacturers must have this safety net for their over-the-counter products as they cannot monitor a person’s response to the treatment, but doctors and specialists can.

Hair loss in women can be influenced by a variety of factors and should be diagnosed by a hair loss specialist. They, or a doctor, should be able to prescribe a treatment course that would be most suitable – including minoxidil 5% should you require it – and they will monitor you to see how well you respond to the treatment. Additionally you will have immediate access to specialist and medical advice and assistance.

Should you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the centre on 020 7730 6666.

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