5% Minoxidil: Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss

Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Kelly A. Foley, PhD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2014;19(6) 

In This Article

Past Clinical Evidence

In Phase III clinical trials, both the 5% and 2% minoxidil formulations have demonstrated similar efficacy in promoting hair growth in women with hair thinning over the frontoparietal scalp. Lucky et al. conducted a 48-week randomized, doubleblind, placebo controlled trial that assessed target area hair count (TAHC) following twice daily application of 5% minoxidil solution, 2% minoxidil solution, or 5% solution vehicle in women with frontoparietal hair loss that could be accompanied with, or without, frontal hairline recession.[9] Patient and investigator assessments of hair growth and scalp coverage were performed in addition to TAHC. Both the 5% and 2% minoxidil solutions showed significantly higher TAHCs compared to placebo (P < 0.001, Table 1). The investigator assessments followed the same pattern as the TAHC results; however, patient-reported assessment of hair growth was significantly greater in the 5% minoxidil solution group than the 2% minoxidil solution or vehicle groups.[9]

The efficacy of once daily application of 5% minoxidil foam against 2% minoxidil solution in the treatment of frontoparietal hair loss in women was investigated in a randomized, singleblind Phase III trial.[10] Change in non-vellus hair count and width, blind evaluator and patient review of photographs, and patient assessment of product aesthetics and benefits were assessed after 24 weeks of use. Five percent minoxidil foam applied once daily was shown to be noninferior to twice daily 2% minoxidil solution, as measured by change in non-vellus hair count (Table 2) and hair width. Women in the 5% foam group agreed more strongly that treatment did not interfere with grooming routines than did women in the 2% solution group (P = 0.002).[10] In separate studies, both the twice daily use of 5% minoxidil solution and once daily use of 5% minoxidil foam were shown to be noninferior compared to twice daily use of 2% minoxidil solution.