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Finasteride pill (brand name Propecia) is one of the only two FDA approved products for hair loss treatment. Topical finasteride has been explored by many users to lower side effects of finasteride pill. This blog will discuss (1) if the topical finasteride works, (2) whether it has less side effect, (3) the best way to avoid side effects, (4) how to compound topical finasteride yourself, (5) where to buy premade solution, and (6) how to make the best topical finasteride. Other commonly asked questions will also be discussed.
|Table of Content|
|Does topical finasteride work?|
|Topical finasteride side effects|
|How to avoid finasteride side effects?|
|How to make your own topical finasteride?|
|How to make topical finasteride work better?|
|Where to buy topical finasteride?|
|Can I stop taking oral finasteride when using topical one?|
|Before and after results|
|Can women use topical finasteride?|
|Should it be used once or twice a day?|
Does Topical Finasteride Work?
For topical finasteride to work, it needs to be able to lower the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) level in the scalp, meanwhile having minimal impact on the serum DHT level to avoid any side effects.
In the 7th World Congress on Hair Research, a Dutch research group reported the effect of topical and oral administration of finasteride on DHT levels in the scalp and serum. Results showed the topical finasteride not only decreased the DHT level in the scalp, but also in the serum. The good news is that topical finasteride decreases the scalp DHT level more than the oral version does, meanwhile it has far less impact on the serum DHT level than oral finasteride. Therefore, the data supports that topical finasteride works better than oral finasteride in two aspects: a) better hair growth; b) lower chance of side effects.
The results were confirmed by several clinical studies. In 2012, a Thailand group compared the efficacy and safety of the 24 weeks application of 3% minoxidil lotion (MNX) versus a combined 3% minoxidil and 0.1% finasteride lotion (MFX) in men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Results show the MFX group had significantly greater improvement than the MNX group in the amount of hair regrowth, and no side effect was reported (see the details of this study below, study 2).
In 2009, an Iranian group compared the therapeutic effects of topical finasteride gel and tablets in the treatment of male pattern hair loss, and found that the therapeutic effects of both finasteride gel and finasteride tablets were relatively similar to each other ( (see the details of this study below, study 3).
Topical Finasteride Side Effects:
The table below shows the drug-related adverse experiences for oral finasteride 1 mg (Propecia) after one year use in a large clinical study with nearly 2000 participants. This is the data submitted to and reviewed by FDA when Propecia was approved. As shown, the side effects of taking 1mg finasteride daily is slightly higher than the placebo group (read the more detailed finasteride side effects here)
|Ejaculation Disorder (Decreased Volume of Ejaculate)||1.2 (0.8)||0.7 (0.4)|
|Discontinuation due to drug-related sexual adverse experiences||1.2||0.9|
As the aforementioned data suggests the systemic effect of topical finasteride is less than that of oral finasteride. It does not decrease the serum DHT level as much as oral finasteride. DHT is an important sex hormone. Lowering the serum DHT level is believed to be the cause of sexual side effects by finasteride (such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction) . A lot of people including some hair loss professionals believe topical finasteride has zero sexual side effects, which is most likely untrue. Keep in mind that even the placebo could cause side effects as shown in a large clinical study for oral finasteride. But there is little doubt that topical finasteride is safer than oral finasteride.
How to avoid finasteride side effects:
Topical finasteride helps reduce the chance of experiencing side effects. If someone still get unwanted side effects, one can potentially avoid or reduce them by reducing the dosage. A big convenience of topical finasteride is that you can easily change the dosage. There is exactly 1 mg of finasteride in every 1 ml of a 0.1% topical finasteride solution, which means you receive the same amount of finasteride in Propecia if you use 1.0 ml of 0.1% topical finasteride. If that is still too much, one can use 0.5ml (equal to 0.5 mg finasteride ) or even 0.25 ml (equals to 0.25mg finasteride). That can be easily done by measuring a smaller volume with a dropper that comes with the product. Using too little solution may make it difficult to cover the area you want to cover. In that case, you can easily use our PG Solvent to dilute it so you can still use 1 ml but receiving less than 1mg topical fin. On the other hand, when using finasteride pill, one needs to cut the pills to adjust the dosage, which is far less convenient.
How to make topical finasteride 0.1% yourself
If you want to make your own topical finasteride at 0.1 percent to save money, you should be able to do that with the right tools and material. No need to be a scientist to do so. The only tool you need is a scale that is accurate to a 1mg level. All you need to do is to weigh 60 mg of pure finasteride power and pour it into a bottle of 60 ml minoxidil solution, close the bottle and shake it for ten (10) minutes.
The real challenge here is not how to make it, but how to obtain good quality of finasteride material. Some people choose to use 5 mg finasteride pills (Proscar). In this case, you will need to pulverize twelve (12) pills and then put the powder into a bottle of 60 ml minoxidil solution. Shake it very hard for ten (10) minutes. Let the bottle stand still for overnight and pour the clear solution to another bottle for use. The reason why it is recommended to dissolve the powder into a minoxidil solution is that it has right solvent that ensures good absorption of the topical finasteride. You can't use pure alcohol as the solvent, because it evaporates too fast and you will end up with flakes of finasteride on your scalp that will never be absorbed.
With the 0.1% topical solution, you receive 1 mg finasteride if you use the solution once a day. If you use the homemade solution above twice daily, your finasteride dosage is actually 2 mg a day.
How to make topical finasteride work better
To enhance its effectiveness, topical finasteride can be compounded with minoxidil (e.g. Essengen-6 Plus that has 6% minoxidil and 0.05% finasteride).
It can be compounded at a higher concentration of 0.2% (e.g. Essengen-F that has 0.2% finasteride).
It can also be compounded with both retinoic acid and minoxidil (e.g. Maxogen-X that has 7% minoxidil, 0.15% finasteride and 0.025% retinoic acid).
Where to buy topical finasteride?
You wish you could buy topical finasteride products from Amazon or eBay like you shop for any other products. Unfortunately, neither Amazon nor Ebay offers it. The good news is that you can get it from our store with an affordable price. Check it out here.
Can I stop taking the oral pill when a using topical solution?
Yes. You can stop taking the oral finasteride pill (1mg) after switching to 0.1% topical finasteride and you should be able to maintain your results very well.
Topical Finasteride before and after results:
You can view the topical finasteride results from our customers on the testimonial page. We have a lot of customers who enjoyed great success that they didn't experience before using topical finasteride. As one customer writes in his testimonial "I have tried numerous different hair regrowth products, Minoxidilmax's topical finasteride (Dualgen-15 NO PG plus) is the only product that did stop my hair loss and grew my hair back. Topical finasteride may not be for everyone. But if you have tried minoxidil and didn't receive good results, you should definitely try the topical finasteride. It is much more effective than minoxidil alone, and it is more cost effective than taking oral finasteride.". See the testimonial page here.
Can women use topical finasteride?
Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or planning to conceive soon should not use finasteride in any form, either oral or topical.
Should it be used once or twice a day?
It depends. It is recommended to use a 0.05% topical finasteride twice a day and use 0.1% or higher concentration only once a day.
Material: 0.1% topical finasteride vs 1 mg finasteride pill.
Subject and Study: 45 male patients with AGA divided into three groups, 15 in each group.
The study was performed for 6 months. Hair growth and side effects were investigated.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the therapeutic effects of both finasteride gel and finasteride tablet were relatively similar to each other.
The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2016 Jan;54(1):19-27
M Caserini, et al, Switzerland and 2Cross Research S.A., Arzo, USA.
Material: 0.25% topical finasteride on hydroxypropyl-chitosan film, also called P-3074 solution. VS 1 mg finasteride pill
Subject and Study: 18 healthy people divided into three groups, six in each group.
The study was performed for one week. The scalp and serum DHT levels were measured daily.
Conclusion: Findings show that DHT concentration in the scalp, after 7-day treatment topical finasteride was more reduced (about 40%) than after 1 mg oral finasteride administration for the same treatment period.
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 Oct;95(10):1312-6.
Finasteride Side Effects?
Minoxidil For Beard | Does it Work?
KomOctober 4, 2022
I'm looking to reduce my sytemic exposure of finasteride by using a topical solution. I've already purchased the EssenGen-6 Plus. I'm aiming to only use the equivalent of .05mg of finasteride daily. Could you please share how many ml of EssenGen-6 plus I should use daily?
BryantOctober 17, 2022 Author
0.1 ml has 0.05mg of finasteride. If this volume is too small to cover the area, you can dilute it 10 folds by adding 7ml of Essengen-F to 60 ml of Essengen-5 NO PG Fast Dry, you will then get 60 ml solution containing 0.05% finasteride and 5.4% minoxidil. If you use 1 ml of the solution, you get 0.05mg of finasteride.
Rudy AJune 30, 2022
Question for you. I haven never tried such a high percentage of Monoxidil. 15% seems high. Most that is out there is 5% or 6%. Why the 15%? I tried to taking oral Finistride and I did see results, but I thought long term about my health internally so I stopped taking it. The topical seems like something I would consider trying. The top of my head and crown is thinning/balding and I's like to give it another chance. I was looking trying the DualGen-15 NO PG Plus. Particularly because it is intended for advanced hair loss which I think I fall into.
The other product I was considering was EssenGen-6 Plus. It has 6% Monoxidil. What's the major difference besides the monoxidil?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Mr RFebruary 22, 2021
I had to stop using regular Minoxidil and switch to the foam because the alcohol would cause my scalp to break out and itch. So I'm concerned if I got your version w/ the finasteride I'll be get the same problem again. Any recommendations?
chrisFebruary 10, 2021
Hi, my problem is I have top bold head but sides and back good hair wanted to know which product would suit me please
ace_101January 5, 2021
Do you have a product with topical dutasteride? I was not able to find it. Any plans of manking one?
peterDecember 31, 2020
This product is excellent and works. I stopped taking oral and changed to topical with this website. I absolutllly liked and I am on and since stopped oral finasteride and start this minoxidilmax (topical version) non minoxidil content. Highly recommeded. The price should be less for sure. Great webside and very responsable. My suggestion cut the price and we can order more and use more to cover more areas. Thank you for this great website. peter
mr brantleyDecember 31, 2020
Can solution be made with isopropyl alcohol or only with ethanol? Is one better than the other? I will be doing a solution with water and glycerin as the other 2 ingredients.
井夫林October 21, 2020
Hello, I would like to ask a question, for men, is it better to use finasteride or spironolactone?
BryantNovember 5, 2020 Author
Both products can be used by men. Finasteride has advantage in effectiveness, while spironolactone has advantage in safety.
John ShaganOctober 13, 2020
Dear Bryant, I mixed 60mg of finasteride powder with 60ml of minoxidil, shook it really well, and started applying it to my scalp just like when I was doing the minoxidil alone. What I don't understand is what you mean by "Let the bottle stand still for overnight and pour the clear solution to another bottle for use". Do you mean to say that just use the white powder and threw away what remains at the bottom of the 60mg bottle? I would GREATLY appreciate it if you could PLEASE clarify. Thank you in advance for your reply and help. You have done a fabulous job in putting together this article.
BryantNovember 5, 2020 Author
The liquid is what you need to keep. The white power is filler which you should threw away.
John ShaganNovember 16, 2020
Hi Bryant. I just got to see your reply. I thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. Have a great time and stay safe.
Georgio1992September 5, 2020
i crushed the 7 proscar tablets into powder and put them into the regaine 5%, wihtout removing the fillers of the tablets. i Shaked it for 10 minutes but the white stuff still remains at the bottom of my solution.... Do you think that the filler may decrease the absorption of the active ingredients? Cause every time i see the mixed solution, the white stuff still remains at the bottom, but when i shake the solution again it gets away from the bottom of the solution. What do you think about that? Is my solution now ok to be used with the fillers inside? Or it may affect my solution effectiveness?
PaulAugust 16, 2020
I wonder why some hair clinics offer their own topical finasteride, containing 2.5% of finasteride. I understand this equates to 25mg of the oral version. That seems terribly high!
I did notice they offer it as a gel or a lotion, not as a liquid. Maybe the penetration into the scalp, and also into the blood is different this way.
Any toughts about this ?
BryantAugust 16, 2020 Author
hi Paul, It must be because the absorption of such high topical finasterides (such as 2.5% or 1%) is very poor. Most finasteride in such a gel or lotion is not absorbed and it is wasted.
ConquerorJuly 28, 2020
I have just prepared my own topical finasteride, what I'm wondering is that, can I apply a bit of tretionil on my scalp than wait for a while to apply topical solution on it?
Omar rivasJuly 13, 2020
Can I buy one bottle of you 15% Minoxidil and can I add my self the finasteride because I need like two ml a day so I can cover my scalp but can I add the fin my self I want to because you already have mix caffeine Minoxidil and the other hair growth estimulants and I just want 7.5 mg of finasteride per bottle so I can get the minimal efecctive dosage
BryantJuly 20, 2020 Author
Yes. You can do that.
nazBobJuly 1, 2020
Cant get my hands on 5mg finasteride would 30 1mg pills mixed into 60ml 5%Minoxidil with 1ml used twice daily work? or is 30 pills too many to dissove with 60ml MIn? thx
BryantJuly 20, 2020 Author
30 pills are too much for 50 ml of minoxidil solution.
Chris JamesFebruary 21, 2021
Many thanks for these really useful posts although there seems to be part of the thread missing. I have 60ml bottles of Kirkland 5% Minoxidil and lots of 5mg generic Finasteride tablets. Please can you clarify the correct number of 5mg tablets to crush and mix with a 60ml bottle of MInoxidil?
Jason PetersonJune 5, 2020
Thanks for the article. I followed the instructions pretty much to a T except that after shaking for 10 minutes I dipped it quickly in hot water to aid dissolution. Now the morning after I have a fairly large amount of powder resting at the bottom. Is that finasteride that hasn't dissolved or could it be filler since I had to use 60 1 mg pills. If it it finasteride can I do anything to integrate it into the minoxidil?
Edward PJuly 14, 2020
Hello, according to the number of pills you crushed I suppose the concentration is 0.1%. Let me help you out. If I were you, I would buy generic finasteride 5mg tablets and would crush them into a fine powder. You would need just 12 pills of 5mg, that equals 60mg for 60ml of 5% Minoxidil (Lipogaine, Kirkland, Essengen or Rogaine - but no low alcohol formulas or those with glycerin - just the standard stuff - propylene glycol + ethanol + purified water). Well, it would be great to buy pure finasteride but it is very difficult, at least in Europe. You could try buying it from a Chinese seller, but you may have problems with Customs. Now, the problem with DIY topical finasteride is that you need the right tools and procedures to do it right: a stainless steel mortar and pestle to crush the pills into a fine powder (you can also use a plastic bag and a hammer...), for at least 3 minutes; a bottle of 60ml (sorry, I'm European) of Minoxidil 5% (those brands I mentioned). U should pour a small amount of minoxidil into the tar and mix it slowly with the pestle; then add some more minoxidil and keep on mixing; finally you add all the minoxidil, mix it with the pestle and pour it into a glass recipient (preferably one of those used in a lab). Close the recipient and shake it very hard for at least 10 minutes. But it would be better to use a magnetic stirrer and let it mix for 15-30 minutes. Then, let it rest for one or two days. In fact you will find at the bottom of the recipient a white substance (powder from the pill - what you call filler). How do you minimize that? It's hard... but you can use a 70mm Buchner funnel and an appropriate 70 mm lab paper filter to remove a certain amount of that pill filler. It won't disappear completely. U can also use a syringe to remove the solution from the glass recipient and pour it into a new one - just stay away from the bottom where the filler is. You will lose a certain amount of the solution because the filler will be at the bottom. The result is a clearer lotion (56-58ml) that you can use within 30-45 days, once or twice a day for 0.1% and for 0.25% just once a day. My opinion on concentration... the 0,25% is more efficient in stopping hair loss. This is all based on personal experience, everyone is different. I'm just sharing my personal use of Finasteride. I have taken it in pill form before when I was younger - it had some sexual side effects, but it's difficult to be sure if it isn't the nocebo effect. This drug has a terrible reputation nowadays when it comes to one's sexual life. You can reduce the dosage - instead of 1mg you can take 0,5 or 0.2mg, but this drug is funny... it is very powerful in killing DHT at 200ug or 500ug - almost the same as the 1mg dosage. If you have side effects you will probably get it with lower dosages anyway. Topical finasteride is not free from side effects (probably). If it blocks DHT it will have side effects with some people (minority) but hell, it means it is working - you will maintain your hair or maybe regrow some hair (more difficult specially if you have lost the follicule already - in a period of 2-3 years). Final thoughts... I really don't know what's the perfect dosage for topical finasteride... 0,5% maybe good for younger men, or even less, 0,1% is probably more efficient, specially if you have been taking oral finasteride and you want to progressively quit form it - switching to 0.1% topical finasteride could be a good move. The 0,25% concentration seems to stop hair loss more efficently... but it all depends on several things: age, sensitivity to DHT, general health, etc. I believe that for some people it is impossible to have the best of both worlds - a more active sexual life or your hair. I apologize for this long post. I just wanted to give my contribute to the cause.
AndrogenicityMay 3, 2020
I am looking to fight my hair loss using topical finasteride as my first line of defense. However, I wanted to start with a topical dosage equivalent to 0.25 mg oral finasteride. I understand that Essengen-F contains 1 mg per 0.5 mL. For me to use this formulation and achieve my target dosage, I would need to take only 0.5 mL / 4, which is a very very small amount and difficult to use. How would you suggest that I reduce the dosage to my desired amount of 0.25mg, while still having enough solution to apply broadly?
Thanks for your time.
BryantMay 4, 2020 Author
You can use 0.5 ml of Essengen-6 Plus, once daily. It is exactly 0.25 mg a day.
AndrogenicityMay 4, 2020
Thanks for your reply, Bryant. I want to avoid using any minoxidil at the moment, so that's why I asked the question. Unfortunately, Essengen-6 Plus has minoxidil. I've heard of people using serioxyl (stemoxydine) as a vehicle. Could I dilute Essengen-F with that? Any other reccomendations? I do not want minoxidil at all. Thank you!
ioanApril 13, 2020
Thank you for your thourogh advice. What about the delivery method? I anderstand you suggest rubbing it on the skin at the evening and let it be absored until next morning. Are there more efficient and feasible methods? Like solid microneedle (SMN) technique to create micro-channels in the skin and overcoming the skin barrier?
JayJayMarch 8, 2020
Thanks so very much for your kindness to share these instructions, and allow me two questions please:
1) does this also work with „low alcohol” formula of 5% minoxidil solutions? (e.g. QGain)
2) assuming 2x per day use of the 5% minoxidil solution and if we want to achieve daily 1mg of Finasteride: is it correct to achieve a 0.05% solution by dissolving 6 tablets of 5mg Finasteride per 60ml bottle?
BryantMarch 13, 2020 Author
1. Not sure.
JayJayMarch 16, 2020
Many thanks for your response. I’m a little confused about the most effective percentage of topical Finasteride. While the described process of equating to a 1mg tablet would be a 0.05% solution, research claims that 0.25% to be most effective. Why the 5x dosage? Isn’t topical to be more “direct” than oral?
PhantomFebruary 15, 2020
my doctor recommended me minoxidil 5% & Finasteride 0.1% topical solution
its Of 60ml and told me to use 1ml per day
is it good or any side effects will be therein future
finasteride 0,5%February 5, 2020
I'm currently using 0.5% finasteride with 5% minoxidil and I am afraid of gyno (I don't have any signs but I am afraid). Should I switch to 0.1%. Is it much safer or is it the same because of little absorption?
BryantFebruary 7, 2020 Author
I assume your 0.5% topical finasteride is liquid not gel based, correct? If that is case, 0.5% is very high. It is equivalent to 5 mg per day if you use it once a day, or 10 mg if applications a day. For most people, 1 mg per day (0.1% topical, use it once a day) should be sufficient.
christianJanuary 19, 2020
Hey, I crushed some proscar pills today and followed the steps. after the Solution had sat there for a while there was some powder left on the bottom of the bottle. I read that it's just additives in the proscar pills that I don't need to worry about, so I threw them out and only added the clear solution. Was I correct or did I just flush the actual finasteride down the drain?
BryantFebruary 7, 2020 Author
The key is that you really need to pulverize the pill very well and shake the bottle long enough to ensure the fin goes into the solution.
Bar FooJanuary 17, 2020
Is there scientific proof that finasteride actually works when mixed with the kind of liquid that for example Kirkland minoxidil has (alcohol, propylene glycol, purified water). All the recent studies seem to use some special formulation that also include i.e. lipids. Based on various forum discussions, many believe that finasteride will not be absorbed well when just mixed with Kirkland/Rogaine - on the other hand, some say it will go systemic if there is not something to make the release slower.
I would really like to believe it is this easy to make your own topical finasteride (that has as good results as a pill but does not go as much systemic) but it sounds too good to be true and I don't know what to believe anymore. Links to studies proving this would be appreciated!
Do the Minoxidilmax products contain lipids or something else in addition to the standard propylene glycol - alchol - water mixture?
YudhveerJanuary 8, 2020
How does 10% minoxidil and 1 mg dutasteride , broken down into powdered form and mixed together sound to you?
RichardDecember 14, 2019
For a long time I've been using 5% minoxidil sensitive and also 1mg of oral Proscar with small positive results. However this past year I'm seeing no results. I want to try 15% minoxidil with the topical Finasteride and other DHT blockers. I'm hopeful I will start to see results again with this new solution. Do I have to buy 15% No PG and mix in my own Proscar tablets or can I just buy the complete solution with the topical Finasteride already mixed in? Thanks.
BryantDecember 15, 2019 Author
hi Richard, It is best to use the complete solution like Dualgen-15 NO PG Plus, therefore you do not need to use Proscar tablet anymore.
DimaDecember 2, 2019
Can I use dualgen 15 plus in first half of a day , not evening ?
BryantDecember 3, 2019 Author
GADNovember 12, 2019
Hello...I have used minoxidil previously, both the liquid and foam, and my scalp doesn’t tolerate either for more than a few applications. To make my own, what else could I use to mix with the powdered finasteride?
BryantNovember 13, 2019 Author
It means that you are very likely allergic to minoxidil and propylene glycol as well. If you use a solvent free of propylene glycol and minoxidil to dissolve finasteride, you probably will be fine.
GADNovember 13, 2019
Thank you for the reply. Anything you would suggest? Maybe glycerine?
LewisBNovember 11, 2019
Hi there, thanks for this! I have alcohol, propylene glycol and 1mg Finasteride tablets. I can't get the 5mg ones! What do I need to do to make the correct solution? Thanks
BryantNovember 12, 2019 Author
It is very challenging to use 1 mg fin tablets because you will need to use 60 tablets to get 60 days' supply of topical solution.
If you pulverize 60 tablets it will be a big pile of powder, thus you need a lot of solvent to extract fin into solution.
You probably can do something as follows:
1. Make a solution that has 20% proproply glycol, 20% water and 60% alcohol. let's name this solvent as Solvent A.
2. Pulverize 60 tablets and add about 80ml of solvent A and shake it for 10 minutes vigorously.
3. Decant the solution in step 2 to a container.
4. Add 60 ml of solvent A to the residue of step2 and shake it for 10 minutes vigorously.
5. Decant the soltuion in step 4 to the same container as in step 3 and mix it well.
6. Leave the container open to let it evaporate about half of the volume unitl you have about 60 ml left. You can use a fan to blow to expedite the evaporation. What is evaporated is mostly alcohol. Propylene glycol and water are left.
Now you have a solution that is approximately 1 mg /ml in a solution of 40% propylene glycol, 40% water and 30% alcohol.
Stephen1211October 25, 2019
I use Minoxidil Foam currently and don't want to stop using that (have 6 month supply), what other carrier oil/liquid can I use?
BryantNovember 12, 2019 Author
you can certainly continue to use Minoxidil Foam in the morning and add one of the products on this site to your regimen and use it in the evening.
AbdulOctober 1, 2019
How can I up the dosage to 2.5% Finastride in my minoxidil bottle?