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J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Feb 1;18(2):155-160.

The Efficacy of Topical Minoxidil for Non-Scarring Alopecia: A Systematic Review



Topical minoxidil is the first-line therapy for treating both male and female androgenetic alopecia. Currently there are no comprehensive reviews on the clinical efficacy of minoxidil on hair loss.


A literature search was conducted to identify clinically relevant studies regarding the efficacy of topical minoxidil for human subjects for hair loss.


Twenty-three pertinent studies were identified for inclusion in this review. Topical minoxidil has been studied in concentrations ranging from 0.01% to 15% for the treatment of AGA resulting in hair growth ranging from 17% to 70%. Concentrations from 3% to 5% have been used to treat alopecia areata, 2% to treat traction alopecia, and 1% to 5% for congenital hair disorders with varying levels of treatment success. Efficacy varies by ethnic groups, but topical minoxidil has been demonstrated to significantly improve quality of life even in the absence of hair regrowth.


Topical minoxidil is efficacious for the treatment of hair loss due to male and female androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, with case-by-case application for traction alopecia, hair transplantation, and congenital hair disorders. Combination therapies using minoxidil with systemic, topical, and injectable therapies demonstrate increased effectiveness over monotherapies. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(2):155-160.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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