Minoxidil: Minoxidil is FDA approved and it is the most widely used ingredient for hair regrowth as of today. It was first used as an oral drug to lower blood pressure. It was soon found to stimulate hair growth in those who took it to lower blood pressure. Rigorous clinical studies have confirmed this “side effect” and its FDA approvals for hair regrowth as topical solutions were granted, which are summarized in the table below.

  • 1979—Oral formulation approved by the FDA for severe hypertension
  • 1988—FDA approval for the 2% solution, with prescription, for hair loss in men with AGA
  • 1992—FDA approval for the 2% solution for hair loss in women
  • 1996—FDA approval for the 2% solution for OTC use in men and women with AGA
  • 1997—FDA approval for the 5% solution for OTC use in men, labeled as “extra strength for men”
  • 2006—FDA approval for the 5% foam (Rogaine®) for OTC use in men


AGA, Androgenetic alopecia; FDA, US Food and Drug Administration; OTC, over the counter.

The effectiveness of minoxidil solution on hair growth is dosage dependent, which is evident by the history of minoxidil products approved by FDA. Read more detailed information on minoxidil here.

FinasterideFinasteride is another FDA approved ingredient for hair loss treatment. Finasteride inhibits enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The accumulation of DHT in the scalp is believed to be responsible for the male pattern hair loss. Inhibition of this enzyme by finasteride reduces the concentration of DHT in scalp and therefore facilitates hair regrowth. Read more detailed information on finasteride here

DutasterideDutasteride works similarly to finasterie by inhibiting enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is more potent than finasteride. It is both a type I and type II 5α reducatase inhibitor (Finasteride is a type II 5α-reductase inhibitor only)

Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in whole grains that studies have shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase in human skin.  Azelaic acid can be found in many prescription acne medications. Azelaic acid is a weaker DHT blocker compared to finasteride. Read this article [Azelaic Acid vs Finasteride, which is better to stop hair loss?] for more detailed information.

ABN complexTM is a proprietary complex developed by the MinoxidilMax team. This complex consists of Adenosine, Biotin and Niacinamide. MinoxidilMax has carefully optimized the ratio of these three ingredients to achieve the maximum benefits. The addition of this complex to Minoxidilmax products makes them not only work for male or female pattern baldness, but also for people with hair loss for other reasons such as nutrient deficiency or stress. 

Retinol: Studies showed that combining minoxidil and retinol works better than minoxidil alone due to the enhanced penetration of minoxidil and improved scalp condition [ Yoo HG et al, "the additive effects of minoxidil and retinol on human hair growth in vitro." Bio Pharm Bull. 2007, 20(1): 21-6].

Caffeine: Studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have shown that not only does caffeine reverse the suppressive effects of Testosterone on the growth of follicle but also it is a very strong stimulator of hair follicle growth [Fisher TW et al, "Effect of Caffeine and Testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro" International Journal of Dermatology, 6(1): 27-35].