Minoxidil and Stemoxydine for Hair Growth

Minoxidil vs Stemoxydine for hair growth

written by Matt Dominance

If you are new to my website, make sure you read Medical Disclaimer before you continue reading this article.

Commonalities of Stemoxydine 5% and Minoxidil 5%

  • Availability over-the-counter in most countries
  • Hair growth stimulants 
  • Don´t affect hormones e.g DHT, Testosterone or enzymes (5-alpha reductase)
  • Affect hair follicle growth cycle 
  • Only effective as long as you use them continuously 
  • Mechanism of hair growth stimulation is likely to be more complex and hasn´t been fully established yet
Minoxidil vs Stemoxydine for hair growth

How Stemoxydine is different from Minoxidil?

  • Doesn´t come in a foam version (liquid only)
  • Available as Serioxyl (Loreal) or Cerafill
  • Comes in a 90ml bottle
  • 3-month supply is slightly more expensive than 3-month supply of Minoxidil
  • Shortens the Kenogen phase (phase of inactivity between the old Telogen and new Anagen hair follicle phase)
  • Doesn´t affect the Anagen phase at all
  • Not FDA approved for treating androgenetic alopecia
  • Patented and developed by Loreal
  • Most of the clinical data on Stemoxydine comes from Loreal (company bias)
  • Dries quicker than liquid Minoxidil
  • Grows less hair than Minoxidil (less effective)
  • Side effect profile is milder compared to Minoxidil

How Minoxidil is different from Stemoxydine?

Minoxidil 5% from Kirkland
  • Comes in liquid and foam version
  • Available by dozens of brands (due to expired patent)
  • Comes in a 60ml bottle
  • 3-month supply is cheaper than 3-month supply of Stemoxydine 
  • Prolongs the Anagen phase and shortens Telogen phase
  • Causes premature shock loss (during the first months of use)
  • Clinical data on Minoxidil comes from various sources (low company bias)
  • FDA approved for treating androgenetic alopecia
  • The liquid version takes longer to dry compared to Stemoxydine
  • Grows more hair than Stemoxydine (more effective)
  • Side effect profile of Minoxidil can be higher as it is known for being an anti-hypertensive vasodilator (in its oral form e.g Loniten)
  • Minoxidil tends to irritate the scalp more compared to Stemoxydine, because of Propylene Glycol 

Hair Follicle Growth Phase

Below you can see the different mechanisms of actions between Minoxidil and Stemoxydine.

Minoxidil vs Stemoxydine Hair Growth Cycle

Minoxidil helps the hair follicle to stay in the Anagen (growing) phase while Stemoxydine helps it to return back to the Anagen phase after Telogen phase has been completed.

Telogen phase can never be avoided and belongs to a natural regeneration process of the hair follicle.

Patients with androgenetic alopecia may have suboptimal hair follicle growth cycle.

It means that hair follicles may not always pass to the Anagen phase right after the Telogen phase has been completed.

As a result of that, the hair follicle can get stuck in the Kenogen phase and its return to the Anagen phase may be delayed.

Kenogen phase can be further divided into Exogen, when the hair falls out, and Neogen, when the new hair and follicle are developing.


Minoxidil and Stemoxydine are both topical stimulants for more hair growth.

Their efficacy will depend on the stage and severity of patient´s hair loss.

They should be seen as complements. By using both patients can achieve synergistic effects.

Minoxidil is superior to Stemoxydine in terms of efficacy and scientific evidence.

Stemoxydine and Minoxidil can be purchased as over-the-counter medications and cost about the same. 

Minoxidil is FDA approved for treating hair loss while Stemoxydine is not.