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rogaine vs roman minoxidil header
Healy Jones

Roman vs Rogaine: Which Has the Best Topical Hair Loss Treatment?

How does good old-fashioned Rogaine compare to the new hair loss company Roman? Is “Ro” pushing snake oil, or does its medicine really work? What’s the difference in price? Does it make sense to purchase online as a subscription? When it comes to hair loss treatments, men typically have a lot of questions. Read this post to learn all about Roman’s men’s hair loss products and how they stack up against more familiar household names like Rogaine.


Going bald is now optional . . . almost.


It’s true that an abundance of products on the market now make balding a very treatable condition. That’s great news given how many men hair loss impacts. According to the American Hair Loss Association (yes, there is such a thing!) approximately 85% of men have significant hair loss by the age of 50. Yes, you read that right. Almost 85%! Most NBA players don’t make free throws that frequently. If you’re still young and starting to experience hair loss, know that you’re not alone, with many seeing hair thinning in their twenties (like me, by the way).

Today’s men actually have legitimate treatments to try to slow or moderately reverse hair loss. Rogaine and Roman’s active ingredient is one of them, and it’s been approved by the FDA for treating hair loss. Many men can actually use this medicine to halt their hair thinning! And the best time to start, according to researchers, is as soon as you can, so that you can preserve as many of your beautiful locks as you can.

That being said, Rogaine and Ro have different takes on how to attack normal hair loss.


Rogaine vs. Roman: Which is Better?


The active ingredient offered by both Rogaine and Roman is Minoxidil. Again, this is a drug approved by the FDA to combat thinning hair (actually, it was the first ever approved.) Originally it was a treatment for high blood pressure – but researchers discovered that when taken orally it actually promoted hair growth, and not always in the places you’d expect or want. When Minoxidil was tested by application directly to the scalp, it actually promoted hair growth in many men — this time in the right place, on the head! Several studies have shown it to work; for example, one showed that 74% of men had improved hair density after four months of use.


There is a major difference between Roman’s solution and Rogaine’s – that’s the addition of a second drug. Roman offers a second FDA approved drug, Finasteride (the non-generic version of this is Propecia®). Finasteride is also effective in many men, and most important for men comparing Roman to Rogaine, is the ability to get a prescription and purchase Finasteride and Minoxidil together from a doctor. Studies have shown that using the two treatments together lead to better results than those who only used Minoxidil (Rogaine). For those of you who like to read clinical studies, “At week 24, the combined solution of finasteride and minoxidil was significantly superior to minoxidil alone in improvements of hair density, hair diameter and global photographic assessment (all P < 0.05).” That means, for most people in the study, combining the two treatments was better.


This chart summarizes the major differences between Roman and Rogaine:

rogaine vs roman: minoxidil price comparison

Minoxidil Comparison: Rogaine vs Roman

How to purchase


– In Pharmacy


Price$42.74 for 3 months$32 for 3 months
Shipping CostFree with PrimeFree
Subscription AvailableYesYes
Prescription RequiredNoNo
Topical Minoxidil DropsYesYes
Topical Minoxidil FoamYesNo
Most Common Side EffectScalp IrritationScalp Irritation
Ingredients (Minoxidil Drops)Minoxidil 5%
Propylene Glycol
Purified water

Minoxidil 5%
AlcoholPropylene Glycol

Purified water

Other Hair Loss Products (non-minoxidil)Finasteride (Propecia®)


Are there any differences between Minoxidil by Roman and Rogaine?


The good news is that Minoxidil is a well studied drug that has minor, and well understood, side effects. And you can walk right into a drug store and purchase it, or get it online for places like Amazon. No prescription required.


Both brands of Minoxidil, Roman and Rogaine, are going to have the same side effects, since they have the same active ingredients in the same concentrations. In terms of side effects, the most common is minor skin irritation on your head. Basically, it can make your scalp itchy. (I have had this sometimes in the winter when the air is very dry, so I switch to an anti-dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders). Like most medicines, there are a bunch of other side effects listed (dizziness, headache, acne, facial swelling / hair growth, etc.), but they are really, really rare. Minoxidil is considered one of the safest hair loss treatments on the market today.


A big difference between Rogaine and Roman is that Rogaine comes in both a foam and liquid formula. You apply the foam by putting it in your hand and rubbing it in, as you might rub in a hair mousse (hello 1985), and the liquid comes with a dropper. Roman only offers the dropper formula, so if you really prefer the foam then it’s not the ideal solution.


I’ve tried both the foam and the liquid version of Rogaine, and prefer the liquid. For whatever reason, I didn’t love how the foam got all over my fingers; I felt that applying the liquid directly to my scalp let me get more of the medicine onto my head. To be 100% clear, that’s just my personal opinion. It’s not backed by any medical research.


Let’s breakdown the two different types of Minoxidil, since it’s a big part of the difference between what Roman and Rogaine offer.


Liquid Drops

  • Brands available
    • Rogaine
    • Roman
    • Hims (a Roman competitor you may have already heard of)
    • Keeps (another competitor that should be on your radar)
  • Where to get it
  • When to apply
    • Twice a day, usually in the morning and evening
  • How to use
    • Make sure your hair is not wet
    • Expose the scalp where the hair loss is happening
    • The bottle comes with a dropper, use it to measure 1 milliliter
    • Drop the liquid onto your head, carefully using the dropper to squirt out a bit in each area you want to treat
    • Use your hands to rub in the medicine (I recommend closing the cap on the bottle first; I’ve knocked over the bottle before at this step – not cool)
    • Let everything dry a bit and then style your hair as usual
  • Time until you start to notice an improvement
    • 3 – 6 months



  • Brands available
    • Rogaine only
  • Where to get it
  • When to apply
    • Twice a day, usually in the morning and evening
  • How to use
    • Make sure your hair is not wet
    • Expose the skin on your scalp where you want to apply the treatment, so part your hair near your balding area
    • Spray a cap-sized amount of foam into your hand (this is the part I didn’t like so much)
    • Apply to your scalp in the balding area that you exposed, gently rubbing it in
    • Finally, you can comb or style your hair as usual
  • Time until you start to notice an improvement
    • 3 – 6 months

Where should you buy your Minoxidil?

As we mentioned earlier, you can just walk into your pharmacy and purchase Rogaine. So why would you get it online? First of all, no one is buying stuff in stores anymore… But more importantly, getting it online is probably easier, cheaper and less embarrassing.


Easier: I was once buying Rogaine in the store, and of course it was behind those anti-shoplifting glass sliding doors. So I had to hit the button, and the person who came by had to get on the loudspeaker and say “I need the keys to the hair loss cabinet.” That wasn’t embarrassing at all… the balding guy in his twenties needs help getting his medication, great. Online you don’t have to deal with that at all.


Ok, maybe that was in the embarrassing category.


Cheaper: I recently saw Rogaine at my local CVS for about $53 for a 3 month supply, so $17.66 a month. This price is pretty similar all over the country and in most major pharmacies. You might see it a bit cheaper, or a bit more, but you aren’t going to get to the price you see online. All the online options, Amazon, Hims, Keeps, or my preferred brand,  Roman, are cheaper. Let’s break down the cost of getting Minoxidil online.



Comparing Minoxidil Prices from Roman and Rogaine

Rogaine vs Roman Comparison Chart

Rogaine vs Roman: Minoxidil Provider Price Comparison



Solution5% Minoxidil Drops5% Minoxidil Drops
Price of a subscription$42.74 for 3 months$32 for 3 months
Subscription price per month$14.25 per month$10.67 per month
Price of a single package$44.99 for a 3 month package$15 per month
ShippingFree with PrimeFree

The real reason to buy Minoxidil online

But the best reason to pick a provider like Roman (or Hims) over Rogaine is because these online providers offer a licensed physician “virtual” doctor visit. That means you can easily be prescribed and add Finasteride to your treatment regimen – without having to deal with your insurance, or even leave your couch. And, as we mentioned earlier, combining Finasteride with Minoxidil is currently the best way known to medicine to prevent hair loss and regrow what you’ve lost. Note that these medicines are intended for use by men, not women, due to side effects that are not good for women who may be pregnant.

Having tested the online visits with several of these online providers, I can attest to how easy it is for an otherwise healthy person to get a prescription. Here is a basic breakdown of how it works:

  1. Depending on the site, you either select the problem that you’re having or the treatment that you’d like.
  2. Enter basic contact info, so they know who you are and where to send your medicine.
  3. Agree to a free, or very low cost, doctor visit (no insurance involved, you are just using your credit card).
  4. There are a series of health questions, basically about when you started noticing that you were losing hair, and where on your head you are losing your hair, plus some basic medical history questions. All pretty straight-forward..
  5. Using the camera on your computer or phone, snap some some photos of your head. They need to see your scalp area where you’re losing hair.
  6. They are also going to ask you to share a photo of your drivers license to verify your identity.
  7. That’s the doctor’s visit! A physician then reviews what you submitted, and that’s it.
  8. Expect the doctor to follow-up over email asking if you have questions and or want to learn more about your treatment options.

So, the real reason to use an online provider like Roman is convenience and access to both drugs designed to fight your receding hairline: minoxidil and finasteride.

What are some of the top alternatives to Rogaine?


Ok, we’ve already listed what we consider one of the leading alternatives to Rogaine branded Minoxidil – Roman. But there are other options if you are looking for topical hair loss drugs. Here they are:

  • Keeps – another great online option, Keeps offers Minoxidil and Finasteride. 
  • Kirkland brand Minoxidil – the famous Costco brand is of course available at Costco, but you can also find people selling it on Amazon.
  • Hims – this popular online telemedicine brand not only has the Fin + Minoxidil bundle, but also now has a topical Finasteride Minoxidil spray – so you don’t to take any pills.

So which do we recommend: Rogaine or Roman?


We recommend if you’re a healthy male to check Roman, that will get you both the active ingredient in Rogaine (Minoxidil) as well as Finasteride. The combination of these two treatments seems to yield the best results for most men. Plus you can get your first month of treatment for FREE. Just click below to get started:


Speaking of discounts, we have a newsletter that covers all the latest offerings. Subscribe below to stay in the loop:

The other players in the space are Keeps and Hims. Learn how Roman compares to both in our deep dive on all three — roman vs hims vs keeps — or click below to enjoy another free month of treatment, this time from Keeps.

Reviews of DTC Hair Loss Brands

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