I only used the minoxidil once daily, though you can apply it twice—morning and night. I like the drops as opposed to the foam that some brands sell, because the drops don’t compromise your clean hair or styling product. You apply them with an eye-dropper, and massage them in with your finger tips. They absorb quickly and don’t burn or anything, even if they trickle down your face. (The standard bottle should last you a month or more.) You might see minoxidil advertised in two strengths—two percent and five percent. Most men’s brands will sell the five percent formula, as the lighter concentration is recommended for women who experience thinning or shedding.
The oral finasteride is a daily morning pill, which I would take before applying minoxidil. (Just out of habit—it’s not like you have to do them together.) I felt like my libido decreased a little with oral finasteride, but that was my primary complaint. It’s not going to be the case for everyone, so monitor your finasteride use closely; if you find yourself struggling with erectile dysfunction, consult your doctor and stop taking the pills immediately.
And, perhaps most importantly, I have noticed far less hair fall and shedding than in the previous couple of years.
Hims Topical Finasteride + Minoxidil
The two products above offer a terrific baseline solutions for hair loss, but I jumped at the chance to switch over to the brand’s singular compound product, which offers topical versions of both drugs. The main draw here is that you can target the finasteride at the site of the problem, so that it addresses hair loss without circulating widely in your bloodstream; this significantly decreases sexual side effects in those who might experience them with oral finasteride, as studies have proven.
Since I test a ton of different hair loss remedies (but always make sure to have finasteride and minoxidil in rotation), I only used Hims’ topical spray for one year. I loved that it cut out the need for two products, especially the oral finasteride, and noticed a jump in my libido after the fact. It probably took a couple weeks for my body to adjust to the lack of oral finasteride. More important to the topic at hand, though: I noticed no additional hair loss while using the spray. I was worried it might be less effective since it cuts back on the oral finasteride, but not at all: I used it once a day and after a year, my already dense results were just as dense as ever. Consider this my biggest endorsement, then, of all of Hims’ hair loss offerings.
One issue I had though—and this is a nice problem to have—is that I had grown my hair out to a medium length, and my hair had become dense enough that it was hard to target this sprayable solution to the actual scalp. So I would pour it into the minoxidil eye-dropper bottles and apply it like topical minoxidil serum. I doubt the brand would endorse that, but it worked far better for me.
I did have to do some tests to measure how much my prescribed number of sprays equaled in serum application. (Each person’s number of sprays will differ based on the prescription.) So, with this non-brand-endorsed means of delivery, be sure to use the same amount, applied evenly across the dome at the sites of thinning. But on that note, Hims now offers various serum-based hair topicals, too, so maybe my novel idea wasn’t so bad! (And maybe this is the method I would prefer moving forward, though I have yet to try the topical serums.)
Hims Shampoo: A Nice Bonus
I have a friend whose plan for fighting hair loss was just to use Hims’ DHT-blocking shampoo. On the one hand, if you have to pick a shampoo that aids your hair-growth goals, then this one is a great candidate. It has saw palmetto, which as an oral supplement, is known to slow DHT production. But, as a supplement or a shampoo, it’s not going to slow hair loss as effectively as finasteride. Not even close—and especially in the case of shampoo. That’s because shampoo isn’t attacking the problem from the inside, where DHT is produced; instead, the shampoo merely rinses away grime at the surface, which most shampoos will do effectively. Yes, DHT gathers at the base of our hair shafts and suffocates the follicle, but if you want to make a significant change, then you need to eliminate DHT with finasteride, or strengthen the hair with minoxidil in the first place. Saw-palmetto shampoo isn’t your hair loss strategy. It’s a nice bonus, if anything.
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