If you’re losing your hair, chances are you’ve heard of finasteride. Perhaps you’ve even taken it orally as a once-daily pill. After all, finasteride is one of just two FDA-approved medicines to treat hair loss (the other is minoxidil aka Rogaine) that have worked for millions of individuals over the last few decades.
It’s understandable why many steer clear of finasteride, given the potential for side effects like erectile dysfunction (ED). Although rare, most individuals don’t want to take any chances. Luckily, studies have shown that topical versions applied directly to the site of thinning (i.e. your scalp) pose a much lower risk of adverse effects.
We’ve conducted extensive research to determine the best topical finasteride products. Read on to learn more about our top picks, including my personal experience trying each brand out, and what Dr. Jonathan Rick, a board-certified dermatologist, has to say about the effectiveness and safety of topical finasteride.
What’s the Best Topical Finasteride Online?
Keeps offers the most bang for your buck with an incredibly affordable 2-in-1 topical starting at just $40 per month.
For anyone looking to use both finasteride AND minoxidil in a single solution, Keeps topical fin comes in an easy-to-apply gel. If you prefer a spray, Hims offers a similarly priced option, just with a different application method and slightly lower concentration of fin.
XYON’s topical finasteride is more expensive, but it’s worth it if ~$100/ month sounds doable. Their innovative SiloxysSystem helps deliver finasteride to follicles throughout the day, rather than all at once, leading to an impressive 10-17x more on the scalp 24 hours after application.
Compare it to Happy Head which offers a similarly priced custom compounded topical solution with more active ingredients, but no slow-release mechanism.
Topical Finasteride Comparison - What's the Best Brand for You?
Unlike finasteride pills which are all essentially indistinguishable 1mg generics, topical finasteride formulations are much more varied and personalized. The right formulation for you often comes down to your preferred concentration of finasteride, as well as the dose of any additional active ingredients (like minoxidil), your preferred application method (gel, spray, cream, etc.), and of course, price. Check out the comparison chart below to compare brands like XYON, Happy Head, Strut, Keeps, and Roman.
What's the Best Topical Finasteride Brand?
(billed $297 quarterly)
|$40 - $60|
(billed $120 quarterly for first 3 months, then $180)
|$45 - 50|
(billed $150 quarterly or $270 bi-annually)
(billed $150 quarterly)
|Free Online Doctor's Visit?||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Active Ingredients||.25% Finasteride|
0.1% Retinoic Acid
|2.5% Finasteride||.25% Finasteride|
|Slow release of Finasteride on Scalp?||❌||✅ SiloxysSystem™ helps deliver finasteride to the scalp throughout the day to maximize its overall absorption and efficacy.||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|Recommended Use||Twice Daily||Once Daily||Once Daily||Twice Daily||Once Daily||Once Daily|
|Where is it Available||All 50 US States||All 50 US States + Canada (minus Quebec)||All 50 US States||All 50 US States + UK||All 50 US States||All 50 US States|
FDA-Approved Hair Loss Drugs
|FDA Approved-dose||1 Mg pill 1x a day||1 ML topical liquid (usually 5%)||❌|
|% of Men Improved in Clinical Trials||~60%||~80%||~60%|
|Where to Get It Online|
My Personal Experience Using Topical Finasteride
Although everyone’s hair loss journey is different, I’m happy to share that my experience with topical finasteride has been amazing. Here’s my story from the very beginning: I first started noticing thinning on my crown at 16. I started with topical minoxidil, then graduated to prescription meds (i.e. oral finasteride) shortly thereafter. I swallowed 1mg pills diligently every morning for 13 years until the ripe age of 29 before switching to topical finasteride.
Why’d I do it? Although I’m lucky that I never experienced any of the negative side effects (ED, low sex drive, etc.) that so many worry about, switching seemed like an easy way to de-risk by preventing unnatural chemicals from entering my blood stream, and I must say, it definitely brought me greater peace of mind.
Immediately upon switching, I noticed no significant difference to my hairline. Six months later, I had all the same hair on my head as before, exactly as hoped. As for side effects, the only ones I’ve felt were, just for the first few days, a subtle tingle on my scalp at the site of application. No pain nor discomfort.
Since switching to topical finateride, I’ve tried several different brands, including Happy Head, XYON, Keeps, Hims, and Strut, mostly just to test different application methods and ingredient combinations/strengths. I personally prefer using a gel or a cream, rather than a spray or liquid. It’s less messy and generally only needs to be done once daily instead of twice via a dropper or spray. Because of this, I prefer to use products from XYON, Keeps, and Strut. However, application method is a personal preference, and I can understand why others may prefer using a dropper or spray.