Hair loss is a tricky problem that affects the personal and professional image, but luckily, there are various treatments that don’t only prevent hair loss, but can also help hair follicles regrow!
One of the most popular treatments for hair loss is finasteride. However, many users reported negative side effects associated with the oral dosage form of the treatment.
To solve this problem, pharmaceutical companies developed topical finasteride in the form of solutions and sprays.
In today’s guide, we’ll help you pick the best topical finasteride by walking you through some of the best options that the market has to offer. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
- Best Overall: Happy Head Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
- Best Value: Hims/Hers Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
- Best Budget Option: Keeps Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil Gel
- Best Gel: Xyon Finasteride Gel
- Best Single-Dose: Strut Topical Finasteride Hair Loss Formula
- Best Foam: Carefirst RX Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
As you can notice, there aren’t many topical finasteride brands on the market. This is because the treatment is still relatively new, especially when compared to topical minoxidil or oral finasteride.
In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at those different brands and what they have to offer, so you can pick the one that suits you the best.
1. Best Overall: Happy Head Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
- Packed with various ingredients that target hair loss
- Comes with free medical consultations and prescriptions
- Available in a Polypropylene Glycol free version for reduced irritation
- The aqueous formula is difficult to apply and can run down your forehead if you’re not careful
Starting off with one of the most effective and overall best combinations that you can find out there. The topical finasteride/minoxidil formula from Happy Head is claimed to restore your hair in 3 to 6 months after consistent use.
This unique formula has the highest concentration of finasteride among most topical competitors, with up to 0.3%. However, Happy Head also offers alternative options with a lower concentration of around 0.25%. Both of them are used twice a day.
In addition to Finasteride, the formula also contains various FDA-approved treatments that massively help with hair loss, such as Minoxidil (8.0%), retinoic acid (0.001%), and hydrocortisone (1.0%).
Keep in mind that these concentrations are maximum levels. However, Happy Head offers customizable concentrations depending on your prescription.
The manufacturer also lists all the inactive ingredients included in the formula, which include Aloe Vera, which helps in reducing inflammation caused by the active ingredients
This solution also contains propylene glycol and ethyl alcohol, although you can also find alternative solutions without them.
The formula is available in the form of an aqueous solution. While this form is a little runny and can be tricky to apply, the liquid comes with a dropper for accurate dosing and application.
Since you’ll need to commit to the treatment for a long time, the Happy Head solution is available in the form of a monthly subscription.
The best part here is that Happy Head also offers free dermatologist consultation along with the subscription, which saves you a lot of money and effort!
2. Best Value: Hims/Hers Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
- Specialized formulas for men and women
- Quick-drying spray for easy application
- Highly affordable price
- Always contains propylene glycol and ethyl alcohol
If you’re looking for a high-quality finasteride spray to apply directly to your scalp, you should consider Hims.
This formula is specifically designed for men, which require higher concentrations of finasteride and minoxidil to be effective.
Yet, the company also has a specialized alternative for females, branded “Hers”, although it still has a relatively high concentration of the ingredients.
What we like about this brand is that it provides an easy solution to hair loss while being highly cost-effective.
Similar to Happy Head, this one is also available in the form of a monthly subscription. However, it’s significantly more affordable, which helps you save a hefty sum in the long run.
Not only that, but the company also offers annual and bi-annual subscription plans that can help you save even more money!
The formula’s active ingredients are up to 0.3% finasteride and 6% minoxidil. However, you can adjust your dosage and medication almost any time.
This one is available in the form of a liquid spray, which is much easier to dose and spread than using liquid droppers. However, once applied, runniness can still be a problem while applying.
Unlike Happy Head, this formula doesn’t contain a soothing agent to reduce irritation caused by the active ingredients.
It also doesn’t come in a skin-sensitive alternative that doesn’t contain propylene glycol and ethyl alcohol, which is one of the main reasons why we picked Happy Head over Hims as the best overall option.
3. Best Budget Option: Keeps Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil Gel
- Ideal for buyers on a strict budget
- Incredibly easy to apply and dries quickly
- Comes with free online medical consultation
- Used only once a day
- Relatively lower concentration of finasteride
One of the main problems with topical finasteride treatments is that they’re quite pricey. Since they’re typically not covered by medical insurance, finding a budget-friendly option is quite essential for commitment, and that’s where Keeps outstands the competition!
This medical formula contains both finasteride at 0.25% and minoxidil at up to 5%. As you can notice, its maximum concentration is rated lower than Happy Head and Hims, but it’s much more affordable than other options on the list.
The hair loss treatment is also available in the form of gel rather than liquid. This solves the messiness problem and makes the application of the treatment much easier, even for a beginner.
Additionally, the gel dries quickly, which makes you capable of applying the treatment at any time without worrying about stains or greasy looks. Another aspect that we really like about this gel formula is that you only need to apply it once a day, making it much easier to use.
Since Keeps is highly affordable, a lot of users tried the formula and showed incredible results. The manufacturer also offers a free online medical consultation, which is a necessary requirement to issue a prescription for the treatment.
Keeps also offers a variety of hair care products that can be used alongside the topical finasteride gel without interactions or reduced effectiveness.
4. Best Gel: Xyon Finasteride Gel
- Powered by SiloxysSystem technology for easier application and accurate spreading
- Designed so that finasteride is minimally absorbed by the body
- Perfect for those who don’t want minoxidil in the formula
- Expensive monthly plan
If you don’t mind spending a little more on a premium product with an excellent formula and advanced features, Xyon Finasteride gel should definitely be on your list.
Unlike other options on the list, this one is the only formula that contains only Finasteride (0.25%) as the main ingredient of the treatment.
This makes it perfect for those who are looking for a complete alternative to minoxidil to avoid its long-term commitment.
Of course, Finasteride alone might not be as effective as when it’s combined with minoxidil. However, this is where cutting-edge formulation technologies like SiloxysSystem come into play.
This one helps topical finasteride to target hair follicles more efficiently to maximize its effect on preventing hair loss while providing a slow-release effect to deliver the treatment all day long.
Meanwhile, it also limits finasteride from absorption into the bloodstream, effectively reducing the unwanted systemic side effects of the treatment.
Similar to most hair loss treatments, Xyon is available in a monthly subscription system that requires medical consultation to issue a prescription for the treatment. You can also pay for the treatment annually, which reduces the month-by-month costs remarkably.
Also, we like that this one comes in the form of a quick-drying gel that you only use once daily, saving you the hassle, mess, and commitment problems common in treatments applied twice daily.
5. Best Single-Dose: Strut Topical Finasteride Hair Loss Formula
- Used only once a day
- Features a highly effective 5-in-1 formula to maximize hair regrowth
- Available as topical dutasteride as well
- Customizable formula and comes with free shipping and medical consultation
- A bit pricey
Another treatment option that can be ideal for targeting hair loss is Strut. This one is formulated as a gel that you rub into the scalp to keep the mess to a minimum. It also extends the effectiveness of the treatment for longer, so you usually need to use it only once a day.
The main ingredient in this formula is finasteride 0.25%. However, it also contains other ingredients that are quite effective when combined with fin for improved hair loss control.
This includes minoxidil (up to 7.5%) and isotretinoin (up to 0.0125%) with fluocinolone (0.01%) and biotin. This unique formula massively improves the effectiveness of the treatment for better results and higher chances of treatment success.
Besides finasteride, Strut is one of the few companies out there that also offers a topical dutasteride gel, which is more potent than finasteride in its oral form, so the same should be applied to topical counterparts.
Another aspect that we really like about Strut Gel is that its inactive ingredients don’t contain irritants like polypropylene glycol, preservatives, parabens, or ethyl alcohol.
Strut’s monthly subscription is very well priced, considering the high-quality formula that it contains and its potent effect while treating hair loss, which makes it a great bang for the buck.
Like other options on the list, this one is available nationwide and comes with free shipping and medical consultation. You can also cancel the treatment anytime you want without extra fees.
6. Best Foam: Carefirst RX Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil
- One of the few options available as a foam
- Compounded treatment that is formulated by experts exactly as prescribed
- Suitable for those who don’t prefer monthly plans.
- Doesn’t offer a free consultation to issue the required prescription for the treatment
Last but not least, if you’re a big fan of foams and find them much easier to handle without making any mess, compounded Finasteride treatments would be the best choice for you.
This formula from Carefirst RX comes in both a topical solution and a foam, which is specifically designed to target hair loss using a formula of finasteride and minoxidil.
Unlike other treatments in the list, this is one of the few options out there that offers topical finasteride without a subscription, which makes it a reliable alternative if you don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription from a specific provider yet.
However, this comes with various disadvantages that you won’t have to go through otherwise. For example, this one doesn’t offer free consultation, so you’ll need to get a prescription for the topical treatment on your own.
Yet, since the formulator is a verified pharmacy, you can rest assured that the treatment is formulated by experts for incredibly accurate treatment.
While buying topical finasteride, there are some aspects that you need to keep in mind to land the right formula and provider for you. Here are a few pointers that can help you make up your mind while choosing.
The components of a topical finasteride formula will vary from one treatment to another. Some companies use only finasteride as an active ingredient while others will include extra ingredients for improved effectiveness.
In most cases, you’ll find finasteride paired with minoxidil specifically. This is because many studies found that this combination provides better results than using finasteride or minoxidil alone for hair loss prevention.
Besides minoxidil, you may also find other ingredients like retinoic acid (tretinoin), hydrocortisone, or biotin, which are proven effective in treating hair loss in combination with other main ingredients.
We highly recommend that you consult a dermatologist or a pharmacist before going for formulas with extra ingredients.
Besides active ingredients, topical finasteride formulas will usually contain other ingredients that are necessary for the formula but without pharmacological effect.
This includes water and other solvents for the main ingredients. The most common inactive ingredients in topical finasteride formulas are propylene glycol and ethyl alcohol.
These ingredients are mainly present in liquid solutions and sprays to limit the messiness of the treatment and provide a quick-drying effect.
Some individuals might be sensitive to these ingredients, which cause skin irritation with continuous use. Some formulas may also contain other harsh ingredients, such as parabens.
In that case, you need to go for alternatives that are free of irritants to help you stay committed to the treatment, which is necessary for its success.
Topical finasteride treatments come in a wide range of dosage forms, such as liquid solutions, foams, gels, and creams.
The choice between these formulas doesn’t have a major effect on the efficacy of the treatment, so they’re usually up to your personal preference.
However, most individuals prefer using gels and creams over foams and liquid solutions because they’re less messy and easy to apply.
Another reason some might find gels superior to liquid solutions is that you typically need to apply them once a day, which greatly improves your commitment to the treatment and increases its success rate.
Depending on the prescription, the daily dose of topical finasteride might vary from one person to another.
The necessary dose is estimated by your dermatologist depending on the severity of the case as well as other factors.
Luckily, most topical finasteride providers on the market will provide customizable doses, ranging from as little as 0.1% to 0.25%. Yet, if you need up to 0.30% Finasteride, you might be limited to certain manufacturers with higher concentrations of the treatment.
This dosage limit also applies to other ingredients that you might be prescribed by the dermatologist, such as minoxidil, which ranges between 5% to 7.5%.
Before making up your mind about the topical finasteride provider that you’re opting for, you should also take a quick look at other users’ experiences.
This is a great way to learn more about the specific advantages and drawbacks of each provider, which helps you pick the ones that perfectly suit your requirements.
It also gives you an overall impression of the formula’s quality and general effectiveness rate of the treatment.
Lastly, you should know that topical finasteride treatments are typically more expensive than other topical hair loss treatments.
Since you’re going to use the treatment for a long time, you have to keep the cost of the treatment in mind while selecting one, as a few extra bucks could greatly add up in the long run.
Choosing a treatment provider heavily depends on the allocated budget, but it should also depend on other aspects related to the treatment, such as the level of ingredient quality provided by the manufacturer and the efficacy reputation of the product.
Besides the product itself, there are other aspects that can greatly improve the cost-effectiveness of the treatment, such as:
- Free medical consultation, saving you the cost of obtaining a prescription for the treatment
- Free shipping and home delivery
- Canceling anytime without extra fees
- Free customization of the treatment dose
Similar to the oral route, topical finasteride works by blocking the 5-alpha reductase enzyme responsible for the production of dihydrotestosterone, which is the hormone that binds to hair follicles, causing the hairs to thin and fall off after adolescence in some people.
According to many studies that compare the two forms, topical finasteride can be as effective as oral finasteride for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
However, topical finasteride is a much safer method to use in the treatment because it reduces the rate of systemic side effects greatly, such as sexual dysfunction and gynecomastia.
With that being said, local side effects such as topical finasteride irritation and itching can still be common while using finasteride.
In most cases, topical finasteride treatments will be available in the form of a monthly subscription plan, which can vary in cost from as little as $40 per month to around $100+ per month.
However, many companies offer remarkable discounts when you pick an annual subscription, which brings down the month-by-month costs to as little as $25 to $30 per month.
You can definitely use topical finasteride with minoxidil. In fact, many studies found that combining the two treatments can provide better results than using either of them individually.
With that being said, you should still consult your dermatologist or pharmacist before combining the treatments yourself to assess their efficacy and prevent overlapping doses. This is because most topical finasteride formulas already contain minoxidil.
Topical finasteride is highly effective for the treatment of hair loss. However, like other hair-related treatments, it might take a while before positive results start to show, so you have to be patient and committed to the treatment.
Ideally, it takes anywhere between 4 to 6 months before the treatment shows results. This period can increase or decrease from one patient to another depending on various factors.
Most topical finasteride formulas out there are available as monthly subscriptions. However, some pharmacies can offer compounded finasteride as a single-purchase option, such as Carefirst RX Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil.
There you have it! With this comprehensive guide, you should be able to pick the best topical finasteride to suit your needs.
As you can see, topical finasteride is an excellent alternative if you’re targeting hair loss and want to avoid the side effects of oral finasteride.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation of the overall best option, we highly recommend the Happy Head Topical Finasteride/Minoxidil formula because it’s simple, easy to use, and not very expensive.