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Do You Apply Minoxidil To Wet or Dry Hair?

By: Alejandro Buttari |
Do You Apply Minoxidil To Wet or Dry Hair?

Are you losing hair alarmingly fast?

Most of the time, you’ll be able to treat hair loss by making minor changes in your hair care routine and lifestyle choices. Other times, you need to get professional help. If you’re facing permanent hair loss due to genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, reactions to medications, or even as a normal part of aging, your trichologist might recommend minoxidil.


What Is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is the holy grail for individuals battling hair loss due to male pattern baldness. The science-backed medicine can stop a number of hair loss conditions in their tracks. While it’s not clear how it works exactly, it is largely believed that it shortens the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. At the same time, it pushes the “resting” strands into the anagen growth phase and stimulates blood circulation in your scalp, making your hair healthier and thicker.

But that’s not all!

In addition to reversing the miniaturization of hair follicles, there’s also evidence that minoxidil could further increase the size of your hair follicles, eventually leaving you with a thicker, denser mane.


How Do You Use Minoxidil?

Minoxidil, which also goes by the brand name Rogaine, is best applied on dry hair and scalp. Users are advised not to apply more than the recommended dose or to make up for missed doses.

Applying more minoxidil than necessary could:

  • Increase its chances of being absorbed into the skin which could affect the heart and blood vessels
  • Make it difficult to breathe especially when lying down
  • Cause swelling in the face, hands, stomach, and even ankles
  • Cause dizziness and/or lightheadedness
  • Lead to weight gain

If you experience any of these effects, you can report it to your doctor or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now that we’ve got the finer details out of the way, let’s talk about the crux of the matter: how should you apply Minoxidil?

Minoxidil may have been on the market for quite some time, but many people are still unfamiliar with the correct way of applying the topical solution.

It’s time we remedy that.


Wet Vs Dry: The Right Way to Apply Minoxidil

In the absence of explicit guidelines from the FDA, a 2016 study was conducted to see if the topical solution would be more effective on wet or dry hair.

Researchers hypothesized that damp hair might result in minoxidil’s higher penetration since:

  • The diffusion of the drug when applied would be better if the follicle is moist or humid.
  • Humidity can prevent the solution from crystalizing, enabling more thermodynamic activity for a longer span of time and deeper penetration.

Their experiments, which were performed on porcine and rat skin, eventually confirmed these theories.

But there’s a catch. 

Minoxidil is a topical solution, so when it is applied to a wet scalp, there’s a chance that extra moisture in the hair will dilute the solution, resulting in lower efficacy. So, for best results, apply it to a dry or slightly damp scalp (not hair) by:

  1. Filling the dropper with the recommended dosage (1 ml of the 2% or 5% solution).
  2. Part your hair for easy access to the areas where your hair is thinning, then apply the solution using the applicator. Start from the center, then cover the rest of the head according to the doctor’s instructions.
  3. Use your fingers to rub the solution into your scalp.
  4. Once you’ve applied the medicine, wash your fingers with soap and warm water pronto. This removes traces of the drug so you don’t transfer it to areas like your face — which could lead to unwanted facial hair growth.

If you want to style your hair, we suggest you wait at least 30 minutes to allow the product to get absorbed. After half an hour, you can use your usual hair care and hairstyling products. However, don’t use a blow dryer to style your hair as it can affect the efficacy of your treatment.

Finally, remember that while minoxidil is the gold standard treatment for hair loss, you can’t expect overnight results and it doesn’t work on everyone in the same way. So, be patient and consistent — the results will eventually show. If they don’t, you might want to have a chat with your doctor to explore other options.


Wrapping Up

Hair symbolizes individuality and virility, so losing your precious strands can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Luckily, there have been significant breakthroughs in science and technology like minoxidil.

To tackle your hair loss concerns, apply the solution to dry or slightly damp hair. As long as it’s not dripping wet, you’ll be on your way to thicker hair.

DS Laboratories offers science-backed haircare treatments that are carefully formulated and tested for quality and effectiveness. Our wide range of products targets several hair concerns including hair thinning and hair loss.

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.