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Can I Apply Minoxidil on Wet Hair?

By: Alejandro Buttari |
Can I Apply Minoxidil on Wet Hair?

Are you experiencing hair thinning? Minoxidil may just be your best friend — provided you know how to use it right. Application is quick and easy and it is recommended that you apply it to a dry scalp and hair for the best results.


First, Understand the Right Way to Apply Minoxidil

Minoxidil is an FDA-approved treatment that’s easy to apply.

Its application, however, will be different based on the formulation you use.

If you use a topical solution —

  1. Make sure that your hair and scalp are completely dry.
  2. Fill the dropper with the solution and use it to apply the solution to the affected areas of your scalp starting from the center. Stick to the recommended dosage which will either be 1 milliliter or 20 drops. Do not use more product than that because it will not increase its effectiveness.
  3. Rub the solution onto your scalp.
  4. Once done, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any traces of minoxidil from your hands and prevent unwanted hair growth.

If you use a topical foam —

  1. Make sure that your hair and scalp are completely dry.
  2. Part your hair where it's thinning to make the scalp easily accessible.
  3. Take half a capful of product onto your fingers and massage it onto your scalp.
  4. Once you’ve covered all affected areas, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any traces of minoxidil from your hands.

Do you see a pattern?

In both cases, it is recommended that you ensure that your hair and scalp are completely dry before application. Even if you’re just out of the shower, you must dry your hair with a towel or blow dryer before using the product on your scalp.

Here’s the catch.

Minoxidil can make your hair look and feel greasy. This is why many people feel that applying it to wet hair might give them a brief respite from the problem.

Is this really a good idea? Let’s explore.


What’s the Verdict? Can You Apply Minoxidil on Wet Hair?

Ideally, your hair and scalp should be dry for application, but that’s not always possible for everyone. Luckily, there’s another option. You can apply minoxidil when your hair is slightly damp to make grooming easier.

Using it on damp hair might actually be more effective, as this study hypothesized.

The researchers believed that using minoxidil on damp hair might allow the drug to penetrate more deeply because “the drug diffusion and consequent deposition into the hair follicle may be favored when follicle cast is humid.”

In vitro studies conducted on porcine and rat skin backed their hypothesis. They found that minoxidil application on damp hair prevented drug crystallization and also showed a marked improvement in the effectiveness of the treatment.

However, that’s still no reason to use it on wet hair.

We recommend against using it on very wet hair as it can dilute the minoxidil and affect absorption which might reduce its efficacy. It can also bind to the hair shaft instead of the scalp. As minoxidil needs to be applied to the scalp to work its magic, applying it to wet hair won’t help your hair loss.

So, before using minoxidil, be sure to towel or blow dry your hair. This will ensure that your hair is no longer dripping and your scalp is fairly dry for the best results.


But, What if Applying Minoxidil on Wet Hair Makes Your Hair Greasy?

This is a problem many people — particularly those with curly hair — face.

It’s easy to apply the product on wet hair but it might lose its potency.

Luckily, there is a way you can use minoxidil and still have grease-free hair.

Apply minoxidil only once a day — preferably at night. We recommend that you double the dose and apply it throughout the area where you’re experiencing thinning to get the maximum results possible. Minoxidil must remain on your scalp for at least 4 hours before washing so you should keep it on the following day.

However, if the solution feels too greasy on your hair, feel free to shower in the morning. Keep in mind that minoxidil foam tends to be less messy than minoxidil solution. So, if you don’t plan to squeeze in a shower in the AM, go with foam.

If you have textured hair and are looking to avoid the build-up it may cause, you can consider using compounded oral minoxidil as an alternative to the foam or solution. It will just as effectively target and treat your hair thinning and hair loss concerns.


Wrapping Up

Minoxidil can be applied to slightly damp hair for easy application.

Keep in mind that minoxidil is effective only if used continuously. So, unless you’re experiencing persistent side effects, keep using the medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider to continue reaping its many benefits for your thinning hair.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.