Minoxidil is a popular option for men wanting to grow fuller beards. Much of the time, they don’t know where they can buy it or which brands are the most reliable for beard growth.
While most brands of minoxidil out there have the same exact ingredients, there are some which should be avoided. Between the brands that share the same ingredients, you don’t have to worry about which is better; each one will work just as well as the next.
If you’re going to start your own journey, you’ve come to the right place. In this article you’ll get a good idea of which brands of minoxidil you can soundly buy and which to avoid at all costs.
This is not an exhaustive list of every brand. If the brand you’re looking at shares the same ingredients as these, you’ll be good to go.
Liquid minox is the cheaper option compared to foam. Many people buy the Kirkland brand because of its low cost.
- Rogaine (known as Regaine in parts of the world)
- Keeps (subscription service)
Active ingredient: Minoxidil 5% w/v
Inactive ingredients: alcohol, propylene glycol, purified water
Foam minox is the more expensive option to buy, but is easier on the skin. It has been becoming a popular option for many men trying to improve their facial hair with minoxidil.
Active ingredient: Minoxidil 5% w/w (without propellant)
Inactive ingredients: butane, butylated hydroxytoluene, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, dehydrated alcohol, isobutane, lactic acid, polysorbate 60, propane, purified water, stearyl alcohol
Also read: Foam or Liquid Minoxidil; Which is Better?
Some locations that stock minoxidil are listed below. In general, pharmacies are the appropriate places to visit if you’re looking for minoxidil locally. In countries like India, pharmacies may make the minoxidil solutions for you, upon request.
Each store will only stock a specific brand of minoxidil. For instance, Costco sells its Kirkland brand minoxidil, whereas Walmart sells Equate and Target sells Up&Up. Rogaine may be sold alongside each store’s brand minoxidil and is almost always the most expensive option.
- CVS Pharmacy
Also read: Side Effects of Minoxidil Usage for Beards
While some of the popular brands above can be found in many countries, including countries in the list below, there are other reputable brands of minoxidil that you can buy.
Be sure to check the ingredients. Even if the brand is reputable, they may have products in their lines that contain DHT blockers, which you do not want. Keep reading this article to learn why.
Argentina: Minoxidil Anagen, Ylox; Austria: Alopexy; Bangladesh: Trugain, Splendora, Xenogrow; Bolivia: Tricoxane; Brazil: Aloxidil, Farmácia de manipulação; Chile: AnagenCassará; Colombia: Pilogan; Egypt: Perfoma; France: Foligain P5 or N5; Germany: Alopexy; India: Mintop Forte, Tugain; Kuwait + UAE: Hairgrow; Mexico: Folcress, Sistema; Netherlands: Foligain P5 or N5; Norway: Recrea Forte; Paraguay: Kanacin; Philippines: Regroe, Isac; Poland: Loxon, Piloxidil; Rwanda: Bailleul; Saudi Arabia: Avogain; Spain: Minoxidil Viñas, Lacovin; Switzerland: Alopexy; Tunisia: Minostyl, Alopexy, Pharmagreb; UK: Regaine; Venezuela: Zitoxil;
See the list above with additional details here:
Additionally, when buying minoxidil online on sites like eBay, you may come across sellers that have individual foam cans or liquid bottles. These are, in general, legitimate.
Make sure to check the seller’s ratings/feedback. It is very rare that people sell counterfeit minoxidil of popular brands. The amount money it takes to make replications of packing and bottles would make it not worth the hassle, as minoxidil is a very affordable drug.
Even when a brand is not listed above and seems like it’s a scam, it is still likely to be legitimate minoxidil. We would not recommend purchasing it, however, as someone making minoxidil at home is not going to have quality control. While it’s likely to be real, it may not be the exact percentage it claims to be, despite the intentions of the individual selling it.
Found a good deal on some minoxidil, but it’s for women? Don’t worry, as long as it’s 5% and is one of the common brands found above, it will have the same ingredients.
The only difference is that women’s minoxidil is advised as a once-per-day application. Because of this, packaging and warnings will differ, but the actual content will be the same as men’s.
Some brands of minoxidil add in DHT blockers, which enhances the anti-balding effects when used on the scalp. Sometimes, the balding becomes so aggressive that minoxidil alone won’t be viable, so DHT blockers are added.
Not all of the reputable brands above are in the clear automatically: some of those brands do have different products in their lines that include DHT blockers. This is why we stress that you should crosscheck the ingredient label with the ingredients listed in the liquid or foam sections of minoxidil above.
Other brands were made purely to add DHT blockers to minoxidil solutions, however. Because it’s unimportant to list these, and there are too many to go through, we’ve only added reputable brands above. Stick with those, crosscheck ingredients, and you’ll be good to go.
One of the biggest culprits is azelaic acid. If you see this in the ingredients of your minoxidil solution, don’t use it. As well, finasteride is going to be one that you want to avoid at all times, although the ingredient tends to be rare in minoxidil solutions. Much of the time, this drug is prescribed for oral ingestion.
Companies have made minoxidil-alternatives such as nanoxidil. These need to be avoided for facial hair use because they were developed specifically for balding of the scalp.
In something like nanoxidil, nearly every ingredient added is a DHT blocker:
- Azelaic Acid
- Copper Peptide-1
Important read: Understanding the Importance of DHT for Health and Beard Growth
*Caffeine is a DHT blocker when applied as a topical. It has been shown to increase DHT when consumed orally, such as in coffee.
Never purchase minoxidil mixtures that are sold as beard balms or oils.
Firstly, minoxidil is not stable in such ingredients. Secondly, minoxidil cannot be marketed for beards in most countries.
For example, in the United States, minoxidil is only allowed to be sold in 2% or 5% liquids or foams and only for the vertex of the scalp. This is because clinical trials have only ever proved growth and safety in the vertex of the scalp.
To be able to market it for anything other than the vertex, clinical trials would need to be held. These are very expensive and time consuming, and likely will never happen. As we know, minoxidil works for a receding hairline and not just the vertex, but companies cannot claim or sell it for that purpose. The same holds true for facial hair, despite many of us knowing that it works for that purpose.
Since minoxidil is already a highly profitable product and is sold over-the-counter in many countries, it is unlikely that anyone will take the time and money just to market it for other uses. Which makes sense, seeing as how thousands of us have used it off-label as it is.
Stick with the brands you know are reputable. If you’re finding good deals on brands that aren’t on the list, just crosscheck the ingredients listed in this article and you’ll be okay if they match up. In fact, check the ingredients regardless of the brand, as even reputable brands like Foligain have products with DHT blockers in their line.
Stay away from DHT blockers, as beards require DHT to grow. Everyone can improve their facial hair, to an extent, by using the right kind of minoxidil.
As always, if you’re beginning a minoxidil beard journey, be sure to read the Minoxidil Beard FAQ on the wiki. That’s the first place you’ll want to start learning, then head back here to the articles section of the site to get into the nitty-gritty of all things beard-related — minoxidil or not.