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Hair Care

Top 4 Alternatives To Minoxidil Worth Trying

 

Millions of men and women worldwide have to deal with early hair loss or hair thinning. According to the American Hair Loss Association, more than 50% of men start losing their hair in their mid-twenties, and two-thirds already have “bald spots” on their scalp before 35. But for one massive reason, many alternatives to minoxidil are preferred.

While women tend to be less concerned by baldness, a study from Harvard Medical School found that 30% of women are affected by significant hair thinning. Given the damaging impact hair loss can have on our confidence and self-esteem, thousands of men and women are now turning to hair loss treatments to limit hair loss and improve hair density.

This led to the great commercial success of minoxidil: by far, one of the most popular FDA-approved hair loss drugs on the market – commercialized under the name Rogaine.

Unfortunately, while the clinical efficacy of the minoxidil is well established, scientific studies do suggest that it is only effective in 60-70% of people who use it – which means that up to 40% of people who try it don’t see any difference on how their hair looks.

Most importantly, the drug has been shown to cause several side effects, some being quite severe, including dizziness, fainting, swelling, unusual weight gain, irregular heartbeat, erectile dysfunction, or even infertility.

Due to this hair-loss drug’s uncertain efficacy and potential side effects, many people who want to grow more hair on their scalp are now looking into natural alternatives to minoxidil.

The problem is that the market for natural hair loss treatments has been largely unregulated, leading to the proliferation of heavily marketed “natural hair loss treatments” of limited efficacy. There are so many natural alternatives to minoxidil today that it can be hard to distinguish between natural hair loss treatments backed by sound scientific evidence and hair loss marketing fads that promise a lot but deliver little.

This article aims to share with our readers several natural alternatives to minoxidil that are scientifically proven to stimulate hair growth and produce little to no side effects. This review has been conducted in collaboration with several trichologists and dermatologists to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the information presented.

What do you need to know about minoxidil?

finasteride alternatives to minoxidil

While the use of minoxidil has been criticized by many – notably due to its numerous potential side effects – it remains one of the few FDA-approved hair loss drugs that have been clinically shown to reduce hair loss across multiple scientific studies.

For instance, a study found that 5% strength minoxidil used for 16 weeks resulted in over 60% of patients self-reporting an improvement in hair count, relative to a 42% improvement in a placebo group. In addition, the drug was found to increase the rate of hair regrowth and reverse hair loss, especially on the crown of the head.

That being said, several clinical trials have shown that this drug is only effective in 60-70% of people who use it, which means that up to 40% of people who try it don’t see any difference in how their hair looks.

Further, according to the Mayo Clinic, minoxidil is associated with multiple side effects, which can sometimes significantly alter our quality of life. Commonly reported side effects to include: dizziness, fainting, swelling, unusual weight gain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, erectile dysfunction, or even infertility in some cases.

So as it’s the case with many other drugs, minoxidil is not a perfect solution. But it remains a reliable hair loss solution for some people who react well to the molecule’s chemical action and are lucky enough not to deal with its typical side effects.

Why should you choose a natural minoxidil alternative?

finasteride applying on scalp

For the reasons mentioned above, thousands of men and women dealing with hair loss and thinning are looking into natural alternatives to minoxidil to grow their hair back – without having to deal with disturbing side effects.

A “natural” hair loss treatment is composed chiefly of natural active ingredients that promote hair growth without using chemical drugs that may lead to adverse side effects.

We present below the main reasons to choose a natural hair loss solution over minoxidil, according to trichologists.

Reason #1: Natural hair solutions produce minimal to no side effects, unlike minoxidil

Since natural hair loss solutions are mainly composed of all-natural active ingredients, there are no chemical additives that may harm our hair – unlike hair loss drugs that use chemical substances that are likely to irritate our scalp.

Further, the vast majority of natural hair loss treatments currently available on the market – regardless of their efficacy on hair loss – produce little to no side effects because they generally don’t use aggressive chemical substances, only naturally derived ones (such as molecules extracted from plants).

As such, one of the main benefits of natural hair loss treatments is that, unlike minoxidil, they are doubtful to produce any side effects (which doesn’t mean they are all effective). So people who try natural hair loss treatments generally don’t have to worry about experiencing undesirable effects on their bodies.

Reason #2: Some natural hair loss treatments have already shown solid clinical efficacy against hair loss, comparable to minoxidil

While many natural hair loss treatments produce little to no significant benefit when it comes to hair growth, some natural remedies have been clinically proven to reduce the magnitude of hair loss, stimulate the development of new hair, and improve hair density (we’ll present a list of these solutions in a moment).

In fact, some of these solutions use natural compounds that have been shown to be at least as effective as minoxidil in reducing hair loss and boosting growth. For instance, the plant-based compound “Capilia Longa” – a natural molecule that has recently gained significant traction in the scientific community produced 177% hair follicle activity after 48 hours, compared to only 170% for minoxidil.

According to researchers, a higher hair follicle activity “correlates with a faster growth of new hair created” – meaning that the more active our hair follicles, the more hair we grow.
We’ll share more detail about these clinically effective natural hair loss solutions below.

Reason #3: Some natural hair loss treatments provide other “side benefits” that hair-loss drugs don’t

Hair loss drugs like minoxidil tend to be focused on one thing: reducing hair loss. On the other hand, some natural hair loss solutions have been found to provide additional “side benefits” beyond hair loss, including a healthier, cleaner scalp, strong hair fibre, natural hair shine, and a smoother hair texture.

In other words, natural hair loss treatments are not only used by people who want to reduce hair loss: they are also used by men and women who wish for healthier, better-looking hair – whether they’re losing their hair or not.

Bottom line: some natural hair loss solutions are multi-purpose. They can fight hair loss and improve the appearance of the hair.

Now that you know the main benefits of natural hair loss treatments, you may wonder: how to choose a natural solution that is both safe and effective? That’s what we’re about to see.

What to look for in a minoxidil alternative?

aloe vera herbal treatment as minoxidil alternative

Criteria #1: Has to contain active ingredients that are clinically proven to stimulate hair growth

While natural hair loss treatments can seem like a solid alternative to minoxidil, they are not created equal.

Many treatments on the market barely do anything to stimulate hair growth. These “treatments” may improve the appearance of the hair, but they don’t make our hair grow back. Brands that sell these solutions often use aggressive and sometimes deceptive marketing to trick the consumer into thinking that their product can restart hair growth – when it can’t. It’s a largely unregulated industry, so it’s essential to be very careful.

On the other hand, a few natural hair loss treatments have been clinically proven to reduce hair loss and increase hair density based on sound, peer-reviewed scientific studies. So those are the natural treatments you should aim for if you’re interested in a natural alternative to minoxidil.

And it’s not often easy to distinguish between natural hair loss treatments backed by sound scientific evidence and hair loss marketing fads that promise a lot but deliver little. As a rule of thumb, if you see a treatment that makes a lot of big claims on its website (such as “grow your hair back in 30 days or less”) without proving these claims with scientific studies, then we’d advise being on the cautious side.

Only look for natural hair loss treatments that are grounded in science.

Criteria #2: Has to use only 100% natural active ingredients

Active ingredients are the molecules in the treatment that deliver the promised benefits. In this case, active ingredients promote hair growth and reduce hair loss.

To choose natural alternatives to minoxidil that are healthy, safe, and without significant side effects, always make sure that it uses active ingredients that are 100% natural. For example, plant-based compounds, natural vitamins, and herbal extracts are entirely natural. It’s, therefore, good practice to look for these ingredients when choosing a natural alternative to minoxidil.

Criteria #3: No or minimal side effects

Finally, look at the product specifications to see if it produces any significant side effects. High-quality natural hair loss treatments are generally almost free of side effects because they’re made of natural ingredients that are gentle and healthy for the scalp.

As mentioned by several top dermatologists, even the most effective and healthy natural hair loss treatments can cause minor side effects, such as a very mild burning sensation on the scalp. That’s because many of these products use alcohol to “open up” the hair follicles and let the active natural ingredients “do their job” of growing the hair at its root.

So seeing alcohol in the list of ingredients of a natural solution is NOT a red flag. On the contrary: it’s a sign that the product targets the root of the hair follicle, where all the growth is happening.

Products that don’t use alcohol are generally less effective at growing back hair because, without alcohol to “dilate” the hair follicles, active, growth-promoting ingredients can’t get absorbed into our scalp. That’s why most hair loss specialists recommend natural hair loss treatments that use a small dose of alcohol.

Criteria #4: Beware of misleading promises. Only opt for brands with transparent communication.

As you may have seen already, many brands out there are making big claims about how great their hair products are, promising results that sound too good to be true. But, in this raging ocean of marketing mania, it can be challenging to know who to trust.

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid brands making outrageous promises about hair growth, such as “grow your hair back within days”. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Hair growth takes time, and even the highest-quality natural hair loss treatments can’t produce results overnight. Growing new hair on our scalp can realistically take several months. Any product that claims to deliver results faster is likely to use misleading marketing that is not backed by scientific evidence.

Therefore, if you want a quality natural hair loss treatment that naturally stimulates the growth of healthy, dense hair, only opt for ethical and transparent brands in their communication. Look for products that use growth-promoting molecules backed by science and that set realistic expectations about how fast users can see results.

Our Specialized Ranking System

This specialized ranking system follows a unique and comprehensive process in which we measure the value of the products by carefully evaluating the ingredient safety, projected effectiveness, raw score, weight, and customer satisfaction. These factors, combined with the latest studies and clinical trials, make it easy to choose the best natural minoxidil alternatives available on the market, saving you both time and money.

Top 4 Best Natural Alternatives to Minoxidil On The Market Today

After hours of extensive research, considering peer-reviewed scientific studies, combined ratings, and verified online reviews from customers like you, we’ve compiled a list of the top four natural Minoxidil alternatives on the market today.

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

natural alternative to minoxidil hair growth routine

PROS

  • Only contains natural compounds that have been clinically proven to reduce hair loss and stimulate the growth of thicker, stronger hair
  • Active ingredient Capilia Longa is regularly praised as being one of the most effective natural alternatives to minoxidil, based on multiple clinical studies
  • 100% naturally derived with no side effects. Zero additives
  • Transparent communication setting realistic expectations
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • It offers a 150-day money-back guarantee to give people the chance to try it risk-free.
  • Established natural brand trusted by hundreds of happy customers

CONS

  • Can run out of stock quickly
  • It might be seen as relatively expensive for people with modest budgets, but we find the price warranted, given the excellent customer feedback and clinical efficacy of active ingredients.

The Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is an advanced natural hair growth formula created by the Danish natural health company Scandinavian Biolabs. Founded by a team of Danish entrepreneurs, Scandinavian Biolabs has been featured in numerous high-profile health magazines, including GQ, Women’s Health, and Vanity Fair.

This natural hair growth formula uses a powerful and clinically proven natural compound called “Capilia Longa”. Extracted from an Indian named Curcuma Longa, Capilia Long has been found in multiple scientific studies to reduce hair loss and increase hair density naturally by boosting the production of IGF-1 (a hormone responsible for growing hair).

Top hair loss specialists regularly praise it as one of the most potent natural alternatives to minoxidil due to its exceptional hair growth benefits demonstrated in numerous clinical studies.

During a clinical experiment, scientists who measured the effect of Capilia Longa on scalp balding volunteers found that it was able to increase levels of the hair growth hormone IGF-1 by 115% in just 24 hours. In comparison, minoxidil increased IGF-1 by only 91% in 48 hours.

Further studies have shown that Capilia Longa could increase the number of Dermal Papilla cells – a type of cell playing a pivotal role in hair growth, density, and thickness – by nearly 177% after 48 hours (vs 170% for minoxidil).

Finally, when researchers applied this plant-based compound to the scalp of several volunteers losing their hair, they noticed an 89% reduction in hair loss, a 52% increase in hair density, and an average of 13,500 new inches created within 150 days. Unfortunately, few treatments could deliver impressive results in clinical trials (including non-natural therapies).

The scientific team of Scandinavian Biolabs spent months developing a proprietary, 100% natural hair growth formula based on Capilia Longa, called Bio-Prolixin®. Bio-Pilixin® is a 3-step routine that takes just a few daily minutes to promote hair growth and thickness. It’s an all-in-one formula containing a shampoo, conditioner and serum specifically designed to improve hair’s appearance naturally.

The formula’s star ingredient is, of course, Capilia Longa, which is found in all products in the routine in the optimal dosage. But each product of the formula also contains many other scientifically proven ingredients to increase hair density and thickness, improve the shine and smoothness of hair, and reduce hair loss.

This natural alternative to minoxidil is an excellent fit for people who want to grow new hair without the side effects of drugs; it’s also very much used by people who want to improve the appearance and texture of their hair.

Finally, the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine has received hundreds of 5-star reviews from verified customers, with many of them reporting an even greater hair growth efficacy than common hair drugs – without causing the side effects of minoxidil. On top of that, the brand offers a 150-day money-back guarantee on its hair growth routine. That means that users have 150 days to try the routine, judge its efficacy by themselves, and ask for a refund if they’re not happy with the results they see.

Considering all these, Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is placed at our #1 spot.

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2. Folexin

Biotin alternative to minoxidil

PROS

  • Established brand of natural hair loss supplements
  • It contains 100% natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to
    stimulate hair growth
  • Positive customer reviews suggest the product is effective overall
  • No major side effects reported

CONS

  • Doesn’t work for everyone.
  • Many users didn’t see any visible results after over six months of use
  • May cause allergic reactions

Folexin is another excellent alternative to minoxidil and one of the leading natural supplements for hair loss today with minimal side effects. This product contains many natural nutrients and ingredients that have been clinically shown to prevent hair thinning and promote the growth of healthy-looking hair.

Ingredients contained in this natural formula include Saw Palmetto and Nettle Root – which have both been shown to block the production of DHT in the body (a molecule responsible for the shrinkage of hair follicles causing hair loss).

Folexin also contains Biotin (or Vitamin B7): a water-soluble vitamin that has been found to support various processes in the body, including hair growth. It also helps contribute to maintaining healthy skin and nails.

Another key natural ingredient of this natural Folexin formula is folic acid (Vitamin B9), which supports the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells are essential because they ensure a sufficient oxygen supply around the hair follicles. Without enough blood cells, hair follicles start to shrink due to a lack of oxygen, which in turn causes hair loss.

Users reported no significant side effects. That said, we note that the product may contain an allergen as the process and facility where Folexin is made are not allergen-proof. In addition, the natural ingredients contained in the supplement may also cause allergic reactions.

Finally, most users appear to be satisfied with these hair-loss supplements; we’d like to point out that a non-negligible number of users reported seeing no result at all, even after long-time usage. So just like minoxidil, this natural hair loss supplement may not work for everyone (at least it’s natural and doesn’t produce any side effects of minoxidil).

SHOP FOLEXIN HERE >

3. Nutrafol

saw palmetto minoxidil alternative

PROS

  • Uses only evidence-backed ingredients to promote hair growth
  • Showed promising results in 3-6 months in clinical trials
  • A high degree of transparency on the science of each element the company uses in its supplement
  • Not only beneficial for hair loss. It may also improve overall wellness.

CONS

  • Relatively expensive compared to other natural hair loss solutions. The price difference is unwarranted, in our view.
  • According to Amazon reviews, a non-negligible number of users didn’t see any results.

Nutrafol is a well-researched natural hair loss solution. The company only uses evidence-backed ingredients to craft its hair growth supplements.

This natural hair growth supplement uses a synergy complex, a proprietary blend of potent botanical extracts that have been shown to target the root cause of poor hair health. The mix includes saw palmetto, curcumin, Ashwagandha, and marine collagen.

Saw palmetto helps by blocking the production of DHT: a molecule that happens to be one of the leading causes of hair thinning, resulting in permanent hair loss. In addition, Ashwagandha has been shown to keep stress hormones like cortisol in check. High cortisol levels have been associated with a decrease in the hair growth cycle, which tends to result in early hair loss.

The marine collagen contained in this supplement provides proteins and amino acids necessary to produce keratin, which is a key protein our hair is made of. Keratin is very important to keep a robust and durable coat.

Clinical trials have shown promising hair growth results for men within 3 to 6 months, with a noticeable improvement in hair thickness after four months. But, of course, hair growth always takes time, so it’s good to see a company that sets realistic expectations by sharing the results of its studies.

While this product is mainly targeted at stimulating hair growth, it can also improve our overall wellness. It is made to help decrease stress and fatigue, enhance sleep quality, and impact several other factors that may lead to hair loss in men and women.

While most users appear to be generally satisfied with the product, we note that a non-negligible number of users didn’t notice any significant improvements in their scalp – although we’re conscious that no treatment can work for everyone.

Further, suppose the formula is costly compared to other natural hair loss solutions. In that case, a price difference is not justified given the customer feedback (which is good overall but not exceptional), in our view.

SHOP NUTRAFOL HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENTS HERE >

4. Valotin

zinc

PROS

  • Product made by a reputed company with good user feedback
  • 100% natural, entirely based on herbal extracts and vitamins
  • Cheaper than most natural hair loss solutions

CONS

  • Lack of transparency with regards to potential side effects
  • Very short 30-day money-back guarantee. Not enough time to see results as hair growth takes time

Valotin Hair Growth Support is a natural hair loss supplement made by the company VitaPost Balance – a reputed health company that has received much positive feedback from users.

Valotin haircare supplements use herbal extracts and vitamins to help the hair grow and remain healthy. The supplement contains vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts clinically shown to boost healthy hair growth, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Biotin, Folate, Potassium Gluconate, and Magnesium Oxide.

All these organic ingredients have been found to stimulate hair growth at its root by nourishing the hair follicles. Users should take two pills daily – sufficiently apart from other medicines to obtain visible results.

While the supplement doesn’t list any significant side effects, the manufacturer of Valotin does recommend that users talk to their doctor, which may suggest some unknown side effects for certain people. Otherwise, there would be no point in providing this preventive indication.

A key benefit of Valotin is its price – it is relatively cheap compared to other natural hair loss solutions. That being said, we note that it only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is relatively short in hair loss products.

Since it can take at least one or two months to see any visible results with any hair loss treatment, 30 days might not be enough to form a strong opinion on the efficiency of the product. So people may be unable to return it if the supplement doesn’t work for them – which is somewhat disappointing for an otherwise good quality natural hair loss supplement.

SHOP VALOTIN HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENT HERE >

Conclusion

Other natural alternatives to minoxidil include reishi mushrooms, capsaicin, pumpkin seed oil, Viola verecunda extract and saw palmetto.

Read more:

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.D.
Dr. Ahmad Fayyaz Chaudhry earned his MBBS degree from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, in 2020. During graduation, he enrolled himself in the Dermatology Ward DHQ Hospital Faisalabad for all the necessary training required to pass the bachelor's exam and encounter dermatological diseases daily. Currently, he is posted as a House Physician in the Medical Unit 3 Allied Hospital Faisalabad, where he encounters all kinds of hepatic, cardiac, neurological, and dermatological diseases daily.

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