Topical Finasteride | All You Need To Know
topical finasteride review


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 maximize the effects of 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. 

  topical finasteride vs oral finasteride


 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

Decreased Libido 1.8 1.3
Erectile Dysfunction 1.3 0.7
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.

topical finasteride results



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.







Study 1:

Indian Journal of Dermatology Venereol Leprol. 2009 Jan-Feb;75(1):47-51.

Comparing the therapeutic effects of finasteride gel and tablet in treatment of the androgenetic alopecia.

Hajheydari Z et al.

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.

  • Group I: 15 people were applied 0.1% topical finasteride once daily.
  • Group II: 15 people took oral finasteride (1mg) once daily.
  • Group III: 15 people on placebo.

The study was performed for 6 months. Hair growth and side effects were investigated.

ConclusionThe results of this study showed that the therapeutic effects of both finasteride gel and finasteride tablet were relatively similar to each other.  


Study 2:

The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2016 Jan;54(1):19-27

Pharmacodynamic of P-3074 (finasteride 0.25% topical solution) in subjects with androgenetic alopecia

M Caserini, et al, Switzerland and 2Cross Research S.A., Arzo, USA.

Material0.25% 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.

  • Group I: 6 people were applied P-3074 once in the morning.
  • Group II: 6 people were applied P-3074 twice a day (morning and afternoon)
  • Group III: 6 people took 1 mg finasteride pill once daily. 

The study was performed for one week. The scalp and serum DHT levels were measured daily.

ConclusionFindings show that DHT concentration in the scalp, after 7-day treatment topical finasteride was more reduced (about 40%) than after 1mg oral finasteride administration for the same treatment period.


Study 3:

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 Oct;95(10):1312-6.

Efficacy and safety of 3% minoxidil versus combined 3% minoxidil / 0.1% finasteride in male pattern hair loss: a randomized, double-blind, comparative study.

Tanglertsampan C et al.
Materials:  3% minoxidil solution (MNX) vs  3% minoxidil with 0.1% finasteride solution (MFX)
Subjects and Study: 40 people with Androgenic alopecia (AGA), randomly divided into two groups (20 people in each group). One group was given MNX, and the other was given MFX solution. 
The study lasted for 24 weeks. Hair growth and side effects were examined.
Conclusion: MFX had better hair growth than MNX. There was no increased side effects with MFX compared to MNX.



Submit Your Own Feedback

Bryant's picture


  October 9, 2019 Author

2.5% is way too high. If you use 1 ml of 2.5% finasteride solution, that is 25 mg of finasteride. 

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Bernardo's picture


  August 21, 2019

Topical Finasteride is a very controlled substance in belgium. Thus i Cannot import it from overseas. So I Made my own whilse looking how to get it here. Is it normal that there is a white layer on the bottom of the minoxidil/ Fina solution after i’ll Let the product rest for a night, before pooring it into an other bottle? ( used proscar 5mg, wich i pulverised pretty good into powder ) 

thanks in beforehand,


Bryant's picture


  August 27, 2019 Author

The  undissolved white stuff at the bottom is filler. Please do shake the bottle for least 10 minutes to make sure fin is completely dissolved. 

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samslaterpost_14081's picture


  August 16, 2019

Where do you reccomend I buy Finasteride powder? I have heard that it is far more effective as the pills contain other ingredients so wont be as potent/speard evenly.

Do you have any specific instructions regarding adding a 1mg fin pill compared to the minoxodil? How many pills should i crush down and add for use twice a day?

Thank you for a great article! 

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Mr James's picture

Mr James

  July 31, 2019

Hi There

I cut finasteride pills and add it into a bottle of propylene glycol free minoxidl and for some reason it won't dissolve. I had to end up putting the minoxidil in a small cup and using a spoon to break up the finasteride. I even add a new pill in a small 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar which dissolved it immediately and I poured everything back into my bottle. Unfortunately I can still see extremely small finasteride particles at the bottle of my glass bottle. Is there a reason the finasteride doesn't seem want to dissolve completely? I have put finasteride in water before and it is seems to dissolve almost instantly, which is confusing.

Also any recommendations on how to dissolve it 100%?


Thank you

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Bryant's picture


  July 31, 2019 Author

hi James,

To use finasteride pills,  you really need to pulverize the pills before add it to a minoxidil bottle. You can pulverize the pill by using a spoon to crush it. The pills is mostly made of filler, the inactive ingredients, which includes lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, talc, docusate sodium, yellow ferric oxide, and red ferric oxide.

The "finasteride particles" seen in the glass bottle is unlikely finasteride. It is actually the filler. 

The concern with your process: using vinegar to dissolve the pill and then add the mixture to a minoxidil solution is that the vinegar is an acid, thus it will change the acidity of your minoxidil solution and may compromise its effectiveness.

The best way is to do as what described in this blog.


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ThomasKer's picture


  October 15, 2019

Hello DrHair....If I use a 60ml Minoxidil solution and disolve 6 pulverized Proscar tablets, so that I have 30 servings of 2 ml/1mg servings given I am planning to use 2 ml per day..Will the disolved finasteride remain stable for 30 days?

Bryant's picture


  October 17, 2019 Author

Finasteride in a neutral solution is quite stable. As long as you can bring it into solution, it can be easily stable for one year. 

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ThomasKer's picture


  October 18, 2019

Thanks DrHair for your reply. Is Minoxidil (kirkland) or a 70% Ethanol/30% demineralize water considered a neutral solution?



Bryant's picture


  October 18, 2019 Author

Both are close to neutral . Kirkland minoxidil is okay for this purpose.  However, a mixture of 70% ethanol and 30% water does not have any penetrating solvent like Propylene glycol or glycerin. You need some penetrating solvent to ensure the good absorption of fin.

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Mat's picture


  June 4, 2019

There isnt any topical fin in my country , I am thinking to use it by putting it into loreal serioxl 4-5 ml per 1 mg each day , is this would be effective ? or minox would be better ?


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Bryant's picture


  June 11, 2019 Author

Loreal serioxl is the product line that has stemoxydine , which is believed be not as effective as minoxidil. Thus using a minoxidil solution as vihecle is a better option.

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Ryanrabu's picture


  May 29, 2019

Hello i want to make a home made mixture of finasteride and minoxidil and i wanted to know how to do it. Can i buy finasteride powder and put it into a regular minoxidil bottle and shake it? How effective is this method? Thank you.

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Bryant's picture


  May 29, 2019 Author

The key is to make sure the finasteride powder is fully dissolved. It is soluble in the regular minoxidil soluiton. But it does take time to dissolve it. It is recommend to shake the bottle for 10 minutes.

Assuming the finasteride powder you purchased is in good quality, the effectiveness of home made minoxidil + finasteride solution is described in the blog above.

seansultana2011_12130's picture


  March 23, 2019

How long should I leave this product on scalp? I use the No PG version but may switch to the PG version.

Bryant's picture


  May 1, 2019 Author

It is best to use the product in the evening so you can leave overnight and wash it off in the morning.

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Vaneik's picture


  March 8, 2019

Thanks for the great article! One comment: You recommend dissolving finasteride powder in a minoxidil solution which is fine. However, following your post I did some research and found that standard minoxidil solution (Rogaine) just contains alcohol (30%), propylene glycol (50%) and water as nonactive ingredients. 
So the only "secret"ingredient here that helps to increase uptake of finasteride is propylene glycol which is readily available everywhere and is indeed proven to increase the uptake and thereby efficacy of topical finasteride.

Quote: "You can't just use pure alcohol as the solvent, because it evaporates too faster and you will end up with flakes of finasteride on your scalp that will never be absorbed." So it should be easy to adjust the receipe to include 50% of propylene glycol or just use a minoxidil solution as you recommended.

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Bryant's picture


  May 1, 2019 Author

hi Vaneik, You are right. You can make a solution that has 30% alcohol, 50% propylene glycol and 20% water mixture to dissolve as the solvent. You do not have to dissolve the finasteride powder in a minoxidil solution.

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miles's picture


  November 22, 2019

Can you use any type of alcohol for the soultion or does it need to be a specfic type

Thanks for your help

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Ted555's picture


  November 21, 2017

Finasteride side effects really freaks me out, even though I realize that people are way more likely to post negative reviews.  I wish more guys that have been taking finasteride for like 15 years would post about their expereriences and show their before/afters.  Bummer

overgrown's picture


  November 22, 2017

I had side effects with oral fin. It's been 5 years since I switched to a topical finasteride and I have no issue whatsoever. Cheers

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Odd ES's picture

Odd ES

  July 25, 2020

Hi. Did you get a shedd when you switched to topical. I have a shedd now after about 3-4months after switching from oral to topical. Is this normal should i get back to oral? 

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Mark1987's picture


  November 22, 2017

hi Ted,you are right that people who had sides are more likely to vent than those who are satisfied. If you read the clinical studies, you will see the finasteride side effects are pretty low, typically lower than 2%.

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Jerry's picture


  November 23, 2017

I have used topical finasteride 0.1% for two years. So far so good.

Kevin's picture


  November 16, 2017

I like to have topical finasteride of 0.06%.

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Bryant's picture


  November 16, 2017 Author

Please check the Essengen-6 Plus. It has the right concentration for you.

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kevin's picture


  November 21, 2017

should I use two times a day or once daily?

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Bryant's picture


  August 1, 2019 Author

It is recommneded to use twice daily

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bernd's picture


  April 11, 2020

What you think about... taking 1 mg finasterid oral and the finasterid/minox lotion also...should be more effectiv than the solution by it's own ?

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