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Why Does Minoxidil Make My Scalp Itch and What Can Be Done?


One of the most common complaints of minoxidil users is “why does it make my scalp itchy?” There are several reasons why minoxidil may cause itchy scalps.

  1. For one, minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means it enlarges the blood vessels in the scalp. The increased blood flow may cause the scalp to become more sensitive, leading to an itchy feeling. This is thought to be the mechanism by which minoxidil increases hair growth.

 While increased blood flow can provide more nutrients to an area of the body and increase healing, it can also be associated with redness, irritation, and warmth. While the itching associated with minoxidil may be uncomfortable, it is generally considered a sign that the product is working.

  1. Another reason why minoxidil can cause your scalp to become itchy is not because of minoxidil itself but because of the ingredients that are included with it. Most formulations of minoxidil have alcohol and propylene glycol which can cause irritation. While alcohol evaporates quickly and helps to reduce the feeling of “wetness” in your scalp, it can remove the moisture in the scalp and irritate the skin. Alcohol can also disrupt the natural microbial balance in your scalp.

Propylene glycol is another commonly used ingredient in formulations containing minoxidil.  It absorbs water and prevents freezing of minoxidil formulations. It is known to be a skin irritant and can cause allergic contact dermatitis in a small number of people.1

If you experience itching after using minoxidil, it is important to stop using the product and consult a doctor to determine if you are having an allergic reaction. Itching is generally a minor side effect of minoxidil, and it should subside within a few days of use. It could also be a sign that the product is working If the itching persists, it is important to talk to a doctor to determine if the product is causing an allergic reaction or if there is another underlying cause of the itching.

For these reasons we have chosen to formulate HairOmega Serum (both the foaming as well as the dropper formulations) with a lower percentage of minoxidil (2 vs 5%) and to use a water-based formulation free of alcohol and propylene glycol. This product is available in our store at the following link.