Dose-response study of topical minoxidil in male pattern alopecia

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Mar;16(3 Pt 2):673-6. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(87)70086-3.


Fifty-eight men with Hamilton scale type III vertex or type IV male pattern baldness were studied to determine the dose-response activity of low concentrations of topical minoxidil in promoting hair growth. The patients were treated with topical minoxidil at doses of 0.01%, 0.1%, 1%, or 2% or placebo in a randomized double-blind design for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, patients using 0.1%, 1%, and 2% topical minoxidil solutions showed a significantly greater difference in the mean increase of nonvellus hair growth in comparison with those using 0.01% minoxidil or placebo. There was a clear dose-response correlation for the increase of nonvellus hairs in the 0.1%, 1%, and 2% minoxidil treatment groups. There was a statistically significant difference in patient's self-evaluation of overall hair growth and degree of decreased hair shedding in the 1% and 2% minoxidil groups when compared with the other study groups. From this study we conclude that significant increases in nonvellus hair counts occur with 0.1% and greater doses of minoxidil. However, only in patients treated with the 1% and 2% solutions of minoxidil was there clinically perceptible hair growth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage*
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Random Allocation


  • Minoxidil