Minoxidil vs. Nanoxidil: The Difference Between Them

Daniel Bishop
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Minoxidil vs. Nanoxidil: The scientific difference

Minoxidil and Nanoxidil are the most popular brands of hair growth treatments extracted from plants. Nanoxidil was made as a more advanced version of Minoxidil. Nanoxidil is a lotion that has many minoxidil benefits and is easier to apply as compared to Minoxidil.

Minoxidil is available in 2% and 5% concentration. It is a salt based solution that needs to be injected right under the skin. It is a treatment for hair loss in men and there is mounting evidence that it is also effective in women. There have been many positive Minoxidil results for women using the 5% solution.

Nanoxidil is a lotion that needs to be applied on the scalp with a roller. If you are worried about applying Minoxidil on your scalp then you will find Nanoxidil to be much easier to use. It is a lotion that you can just roll onto your scalp. There is no need to dilute it with any kind of water or the use of droppers.

Minoxidil: The original

Minoxidil is manufactured by Upjohn, and it’s the oldest brand, it has been marketed for hair loss for over 30 years. It is used for treatment of male- and female-pattern hair loss. Minoxidil acts as a vasodilator (expands pores in the hair follicles) and inhibits the function of 5-alpha reductase. Minoxidil can be obtained without a prescription and can be purchased over the counter. It is available as a topical ointment and a solution for use in a dropper bottle or auto-spray.

Minoxidil is available in 5%, 10% and 15% strengths. Minoxidil is applied twice a day, typically in the morning and at night. The 5% solution is applied to the balding areas of the scalp, and the higher-strength solutions are applied only to the areas where there is still visible hair. It usually takes up to three months before a patient notices improved hair regrowth. It may take up to 9-12 months of regular application for satisfactory results.

Minoxidil is generally effective and has very little side effects and no long-term side effects.

How it works

Minoxidil was the first drug to be clinically proved as an agent to grow hair. It was originally used to treat high blood pressure. It went against all expectations and turned out to be an effective hair growth agent.

Nanoxidil is an improved version of Minoxidil – an antihypertensive vasodilator medication. It was first used for topical application to treat hair loss and increase blood flow to the follicles. It selectively targets hair follicles to deliver more oxygen to the hair roots and thus achieves the follicular mechanisms from which new hair growth results.

Minoxidil’s results

Minoxidil belongs to the class of drugs called vasodilators. It widens the hair follicles and allows more blood to enter the follicles, stimulating the production of new hair. It moves the thickened layer of the skin, and thus makes the hairs visible again. Minoxidil is available under the brand names Reynal or Kirkland in the USA, Rogaine or Kirkland in Canada, and Regaine or Minoxidil in the UK.

Minoxidil is often recommended as a first line treatment for male pattern baldness, that’s why you may see a lot of commercials for it.

However, it’s effectiveness in females can vary. Recent research indicates that it may be effective for women, but it’s not as effective as in men. In fact, a placebo works better in women than minoxidil for hair growth. This drug is also known for causing side effects, including a tingling or burning sensation in some people, itching, and possibly potassium deficiency with or without symptoms.

Minoxidil 2% vs. minoxidil 5%.

Minoxidil topical solution (Rogaine) is a hair loss treatment drug used to stimulate the hair follicles in your scalp.

It was originally manufactured by Upjohn and first came to market in the late 1970s. But minoxidil was around before that in a drug to lower blood pressure.

Minoxidil was initially used for hair loss by dermatologists as a last line of defense against alopecia or hair loss.

The drug was successively found to successfully promote hair growth in men and has since been used extensively by men and women experiencing balding.

There are two different types of topical minoxidil: Minoxidil 5% and minoxidil 2%.

What’s the difference between them?

  • The active ingredient is the same, minoxidil.
  • Minoxidil 5 has 5% minoxidil while minoxidil 2 has 2% minoxidil.
  • The difference in concentration doesn’t mean a difference in results. Just like we have to take different amounts of calcium for each age group, adults, children or toddlers, we have to apply different amounts of minoxidil for men and women.
  • So 2% minoxidil is suitable to women because that’s the amount used by dermatologists in women.

4 Types of minoxidil

The most common form of minoxidil is typically used as a treatment for male pattern baldness. It is also used to treat symptoms of those who suffer from alopecia areata. For those who need a more localized treatment than what minoxidil can provide, a lower dosage can be found in a 1% solution. This lower 5% concentration can be found in the cheaper generic brands.

The lowest dose of minoxidil is offered in a 0.25% concentration, which is used for a localized treatment. This is only a treatment for either women with perimenopause hair loss, male pattern hair growth, or those suffering from telogen effluvium. This reduced strength minoxidil comes in a 5 milliliter bottle.

Minoxidil: The bottom line

Minoxidil is a drug used for hypertension. It often comes as a 2% solution included in a product called Rogaine or a 5% solution called Rogaine Extra Strength. It is also sold in a foam form. It is important to note that besides being used for high blood pressure, minoxidil is also used for hair thinning and baldness treatment.

Minoxidil contains propoxphene and it is this ingredient that works as a vasodilator. After application on the scalp, it causes blood vessels in the scalp to relax. This gives them a better ability to pump blood, providing more oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles. They are also less prone to developing hair loss and thinning.

Minoxidil is available in a lot of countries. Even though it is not yet approved for hair regrowth by the FDA, it is still very popular and available for purchase.

There are plenty of anecdotes saying that this drug is a great treatment for hair loss. It is also often used together with the stimulation technique that is used with the device such as the HairMax laser comb. The drug is also used to treat any unwanted side effects of hair loss treatment using the same stimulation technique.

Some precautions for using minoxidil

Minoxidil is only intended for topical use on a specific part of the body. To avoid any serious side effect, it should only be used by the recommendations of a physician. Minoxidil should not be used if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to become pregnant.

To avoid irritation, you should avoid using other medications and products that contain alcohol, menthol, or camphor during treatment with minoxidil. Minoxidil can cause sensitivity or allergic reactions with any other medication so it is best to stop using minoxidil at least 48 hours prior to any scheduled surgery. Minoxidil can also worsen the effects of certain other medications, so talk to a doctor before continuing treatment if you are taking medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

The treatment period with minoxidil is meant to last several months, so it can be difficult to prevent pregnancy during this time. If you are trying to become pregnant, try to stop using minoxidil at least 3 months prior to your expected conception date.

It can be difficult to tell if minoxidil causes an allergic reaction. If you have any rash or other sign of irritation on the area where you applied the medication, discontinue use until you can discuss it with a doctor.

Nanoxidil: The minoxidil alternative

If you have been reading about minoxidil, or Regaine, then you will be familiar with the fact that it targets DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). The DHT is the hormone that causes hair loss in men and Regaine prevents the hair from thinning and hair loss by working on the DHT.

However, the drug was not originally intended to work on hair. It was intended to treat high blood pressure by lowering your cholesterol. This is what it did, however it also created side effects that made people losing hair to the drug.

Now, when you have been using minoxidil, you will have noticed that some people have hair shedding after stopping the drug because minoxidil is also used to get the un-reactive hair follicles active again. But for those who have been using the drug for micro-damage, it can be used for a long time and completely.

What if there are situations where you need to stop minoxidil? This is where nanoxidil comes in. Nanoxidil is a hair-loss supplement that is used as a means for regaining lost hair. But it does not act on the DHT hormones, instead, it acts on the follicle blood vessels. It wakes up the dormant hair follicles, and provides the lost nutrients.

Spectral DNC-N

Ano is the only product that has undergone trials while Minoxidil was never really tested properly, and back in the day users at best were only able to try a homemade batch of the stuff.

As far as manufacturers go, Spectral was founded in 1999 and has concentrated mostly on hair growth/medical hair loss products, and are a familiar name in the hair industry. They make several hair loss products such as Nizoral (1%) shampoo (to prevent and treat dandruff), an anti-androgen massager (w/ 5% minoxidil in it) called Spectral DNC-Nano, an anti-dht shampoos (fin) called Rafaño, along with several other products that are aimed at preventing and treating hair loss.

What is DNC-Nano? Spectral DNC-Nano is the first topical containing 5% minoxidil. Minoxidil is a well known hair loss treatment which is effective, cheap, and easy to get a hold of. It is used as a topical once a day. It works through prolonging cell growth and staying active in the scalp.

Nanoxidil is actually an ingredient which is in the same family as minoxidil, but instead of working through cell growth, it works through cell regeneration and new cell creation.

Nanoxidil: The bottom line

Nanoxidil (also called NEWPIG M-600) is a slightly modified version of minoxidil, a topical anti-hair loss medication. Both are accepted and approved by FDA as effective treatments for hair loss. The primary difference between the two is how long they last in your system. Minoxidil can last up to 4-5 days, where nanoxidil can last as long as 1-2 years.

This long-lasting ability is what makes nanoxidil so special. Nanoxidil will remain active in your body for the entire time you want it to and will continue stimulating hair growth until you discontinue the therapy, unlike minoxidil. You will be able to rely on nanoxidil to speed up hair growth whenever you are in a hair growth phase, without worrying about hair loss returning once it is gone from your body. The other benefit of nanoxidil is that it will not affect any other hormonal activity in your body, which is why hair growth stimulated by nanoxidil is longer and stronger.

Aminexil and stemoxydine

Minoxidil was the very first drug that was introduced in the market for hair growing purposes. This drug was derived from a natural source and was discovered in the 1960’s to promote hair growth in humans. It was first introduced by many doctors and pharmacists under the names: Regaine, Loniten, Loniten Retard, Tev-Rogain, and Derma-Strat. It was later on put under Rogaine for commercial purposes.

It contains an active ingredient of Minoxidil which is a vasodilator that works by relaxing the smaller blood vessels in the scalp. This makes blood flow much improved in the area and thereby increases nutrients to the hair follicles. It also promotes follicle regrowth in some areas of the scalp. The drug once introduced made some changes in the hair loss industry. It was the first drug that promised a solution to hair loss.

However, the characteristic of this drug is that it takes quite a long time to show results. It takes about 4 months before you begin to see any noticeable results, and the improvement had not been so incredible. If one stops taking this drug, the fast growth that had happened will also disappear.

The stages of hair growth

According to the American Hair Loss Association, hair grows in three stages: the anagen, the catagen and the telogen stage. Hair grows in the anagen stage, which lasts 2-6 years. Approximately 85% of hair on your head is in this stage. The telogen stage lasts about two months, as your hair prepares to fall out. Then your hair follicle enters a catagen stage, which lasts about two weeks, as the hair follicle shrinks in preparation for the final stage of growth. Once a hair enters the catagen stage, it does not fall out. At this point, neither nutrition nor hormones play a role in hair growth. This is why a person does not lose any hair after the anagen phase. This is also the time when minoxidil and nanoxidil are effective at helping your hair grow.

During the anagen stage, your hair needs a complex mix of nutrients to stay healthy and strong. Vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and carbohydrates provide the hair with the energy to be flexible. The hair follicle is damaged by stress, poor nutrition, UV radiation and some drugs. Minoxidil and nanoxidil stimulate progenitor, or stem cells in the hair follicle, which aids in promoting the growth of permanent hairs and preventing their premature death or shedding.

Hair follicles are constantly moved around throughout your body, with old hair being replaced by new hair.


This is the first phase in the regeneration and growth process where the hair cells are created. It is also when your hair reaches its peak length.


One of the latest new hair growth building concepts is the catagen implant. It is a special type of hair band that is attached to your real hair. This is pulled gently but securely to your crown, or wherever it is desirable to enhance hair growth. The catagen is made of a special hydro-gel which stimulates cell and hair growth.

This particular design has emerged as the most modernized option among the bunch of new hair growth device. A complete catagen hair implant takes about 2 hours, but it may take more time if you have a bald scalp.

The traditional means of hair growth assistance, which has been successful for decades, used the daily hair movement to stimulate growth. The catagen hair implant has been more effective than this kind by introducing tension that you can feel every time you move your head.


Telogen Effluvium is the medical term for hair fall. This is a normal process that is experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. And more often it happens due to treatment for some other condition.

Telogen Effluvium happens when the hair enters into the resting phase and the hair follicles cease to grow. These hairs are resting, but are not shed. At the same time, a person begins to shed the hairs that are in the anagen (growing) phase. The most visible sign is excessive hair fall.

Hair fall can also affect eyebrows and eyelashes. As a result of hair fall, the hair becomes brittle and dry. Telogen Effluvium can happen to both men and women, but hair fall due to this condition is more common in women.


Minoxidil is a product designed to cure baldness in both the hair and scalp. It has been proven to help people who have a genetic predisposition towards baldness. In rare cases, this genetic mutation is known to occur even when the individual in question has not yet begun the process of going bald. These are the people for whom minoxidil is popular. It has been said to have an impact on the creeping of hair loss in the area of the scalp known to the public as the crown. The product works by infusing energy into the roots of the hair, which causes them to grow.

Minoxidil can be used by both men and women who are concerned about their baldness. It can probably even be used by children whose hair is receding. This product is also useful in fighting the thinning hair that has been caused by stress-related circumstances. Those who suffer from the pain of losing their hair may be helped by the product. There are no harmful side effects to worry about.

Many people have began to use the product, and it has been reported that it has had a positive effect that makes the hair look thicker. The key is to not stop using minoxidil once the hair begins to grow. If proper care is taken, the hair will continue to grow and come out shiny.


Nanoxidil Is The Superior Solution

SUBJECT: Nanoxidil side effects

Information about side effects of minoxidil and nanoxidil.


Studies that have been conducted on the efficacy of topical minoxidil have revealed that it has the capability to work in two primary ways.

According to the study, a 5% dosage was applied twice daily by men and women with androgenetic alopecia over a period of 12 months.

It was found that minoxidil was able to stimulate the growth of hair when applied on the scalp daily. It was effective in promoting hair growth only when applied directly to balding or nearly bald areas. The other findings included the fact that the maximum growth of the hair follicles was observed after 8 months from the start of the study.

Studies have also found that minoxidil is capable of stopping the progression of hair loss. However, the treatment was found to be less effective for revitalizing the hair follicles, which were already in the stages of regression.

Minoxidil is mainly absorbed by the system through the scalp and through the topical application. Hence, it accumulates in the tissues of the hair follicles and is capable of promoting hair growth.