Minoxidil: Liquid Vs Foam : Which is better?
Minoxidil foam was developed as a result of two main consumer associated issues,
First was the user complaint that the liquid version leaves an undesirable greasy residue on the hair. The foam was developed as a more convenient option for hair styling.
The key difference between minoxidil liquid and foam is that the foam version does not contain propylene glycol. In liquid formulation, propylene glycol helps Minoxidil to penetrate through the surface layers of the skin in order to reach the hair follicles. Propylene glycol, however, is responsible for majority of cases of minoxidil related allergy or irritation. Chances of allergy, scalp dryness and intolerance are lesser in case of foam formulation of minoxidil.
The debate regarding which formulation is superior is still going on as both have some advantages over other.
Advantages of liquid Minoxidil:
It’s cheaper as compared to foam formulation.
Usually comes with a dropper, so you get the exact amount that you need, as opposed to guesstimating with the foam.
The dropper allows you to apply it deeper into the hair more easily. This is very useful if your hair is long. Foam may be lost in hair and never reach scalp.
It may produces slightly better & faster results.
Advantages of foam Minoxidil:
Application of foam minoxidil is easier. It is less messy and does not run like liquid formula.
It causes much less irritation or dryness in scalp, thereby improving compliance for twice daily regimen.
It dries within 5 – 10 minutes compared to around 30 minutes with the liquid. Styling of the hairs and overall aesthetics is much better.
Systemic side effects are much less severe.
In my experience, most often one starts with minoxidil liquid and if there is scalp irritation goes on to foam. However, if cost is not an issue, foam is a better option for men with short to medium length hairstyles. It produces good results without much of the side effects.