Hair serum vs minoxidil

If you suffer from hair disorder, you might be confused on whether to buy a product that promises to deal with the issue from a beauty store or consult a doctor on what might be the issue and get a treatment. 

While both the doctor’s prescription and the hair product from the beauty store might actually work. You might be risking more by using the wrong product. 

In this guide, I will try as much as possible to differentiate between a hair serum and Minoxidil which both promise to revive hair disorders. We will get into the benefits of both, their side effects, and how to apply to each. We will then give you a recommendation on which product you should use to deal with your hair disorder. Let’s get started. 

Differences between Hair Serum Minoxidil

Before we get into details in how the two products work, I will give you a table with an overview of what this products are and what they do.

Details Hair serum Minoxidil 
What it isA hair serum is a liquid form of hair products that aims at protecting your hair from environmental factors that damage your hair.Minoxidil is a form of medicine that is prescribed by a doctor to people dealing with hair loss. 
What does it doSilicone that is found in the serum creates a protective layer to your hair strands protecting your hair while enabling hair styling.Minoxidil is applied on your scalp if you are suffering from baldness for men and hair thinning for women. It then revives your lost hair. 
Benefits Aids in hair stylingReduces frizzAdds shine to your hairDefines natural curlsStraightens your hairProtects your hair from heat damageAids in hair growthRepairs damaged hair
Side effects Hair damageHair lossIrritating rashes Hair lossIrritation 
How to apply itApply on wet hairApply on dry scalp
When to use itUse when you want to style your hair and when you want to protect your hair against environmental factors that might damage your hairWhen you are dealing with hair loss or hair thinning 

Since the information provided in the table above does not give you a clear view on how exactly this two products work, I will get into details on what this two products do and how to use them to get the desirable results. 

What is hair serum and what does it do?

Hair serum is a liquid form of hair product formulated using silicone, amino acids, proteins and other ingredients that aim at protecting your hair from environmental factors that might cause damage to your natural hair. 

Silicone that is one of the most component of the hair serum can be both a blessing and a disaster depending on how you use the serum. Read my introduction to hair serum guide to see what am talking about. 

Other than that hair serum are beneficial to your hair. You will learn all about this in this guide. 

What is Minoxidil and what does it do?

Minoxidil is a form of medication that belongs to a group known as vasodilators which are aimed at treating baldness in the front of scalp in adult men. It can also be used by women who suffer from hair thinning and loss of the hair line.

It is not known how minoxidil aid on hair growth but through doctors prescription, you will notice your hair starts to grow in volume over a few months of use. We will discuss some of the dos and the don’ts you should be aware when using minoxidil. 

What are the benefits of using hair serum and what are the side effects?

We have discussed the benefits associated with hair serum in multiple occasions. However, for the sake of this guide, I will give you some of the benefits of using hair serum. 

  • Reduce hair frizz: Silicone present in hair serum creates a protective layer on your hair strands which prevents humidity and water penetrating your hair causing frizz, flyways, and split ends. 
  • Prevents heat damage: If you want to straighten your hair using heat, you should be aware that heat damages your hair. To prevent this from happening, you should go in with hair serum before using heat on your hair. 
  • Defines natural curls: Instead of using gels and other products that might damage your hair, you can use hair serum with moisturizing effect on your hair to define your curls. Once your curls are defined, silicone will then lock in the moisture making your curls last longer. 
  • Makes your hair soft, smooth, and shiny: Due to the protective layer formed on you hair by silicone, you hair won’t tangle. There will be no knots which will make your hair soft and smooth. Hydrolyzed protein will also prevent any flyways and split ends affecting your hair. Silicone also reflects light making your hair appear shinny. 

Aside from this amazing benefits provided by hair serum, using the wrong hair serum and applying hair serum the wrong way will have some consequences. Some of the side effects of hair serum include;

  • Hair loss: Hair serum has some drying effects that might manifest it you don’t moisturize your hair before applying hair serum. If you continue using a hair serum that causes your hair to dry, you might deal with hair loss in the long run.
  • Irritating rashes: There is one rule that you should not apply hair serum on your scalp. Hair serums have some ingredients that are harsh to your skin. If they find a way to access your scalp, you might deal with irritating rashes. 

To avoid dealing with this side effects, use this guide to choose the right hair serum for your hair type. 

What are the benefits of using Minoxidil and what are the side effects?

Although it is not known how Minoxidil aids in hair growth, vasodilators, a group drugs which minoxidil belongs to, aids in regulating blood flow. When the blood is flowing and the pressure regulated, hair will then starts to grow.

Some of the things you will notice after using Minoxidil for months include;

  • Stimulates hair follicles to produce hair again
  • Reduces the rate of hair loss
  • Enables the blood circulation which leads to hair growing again.
  • Results into thicker and dense hair. 
  • Works within four month in women and 2-4 months in men. 
  • Increased the length of hair growth cycle. 

Despite of Minoxidil being proven to work within four months, not following the doctors prescription might lead to some of the .OST serious side effects. Some of these side effects include;

  • Burning sensation
  • Redness and itching 

This side effects are rare if you follow your doctor’s prescription. However, if you notice some fast heart beat, unwanted hair growth, fainting, breathing fast or dizziness, you should stop using the medication immediately and talk to your doctor. 

In rare occasions, minoxidil allergies might happen. You should therefore read the instructions provided on the manual of the medication. Check the ingredients to see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients indicated.

How to apply hair serum?

If you want to avoid the sides effects associated with hair serum, follow this step-by-step guide when applying hair serum. 

  • Wash you hair using a shampoo, rinse it off then go in with a conditioner to soften your hair. 
  • Rinse off your hair with warm water then go in with a moisturizer. 
  • Part your hair in small sections then apply a hair serum from the hair ends to the mid length. 
  • Do not apply hair serum on your scalp and don’t use too much hair serum to prevent the serum from irritating your scalp. 
  • Massage your hair well then go through your hair with a wide toothed comb to ensure your hair is not tangled.
  • You can then style your hair as you please. 

Ensure you have washes your hands with warm water after applying hair serum to prevent any product remaining on your finger tips. 

How to apply Minoxidil?

How to apply Minoxidil

Minoxidil is applied depending on your doctor’s prescription. There is however a general way you can use minoxidil;

  • If you are using the medication, use the applicator to fetch about 20 parts of the medication. 
  • Ensure the are you are applying the medication is clean and dry. 
  • Part your thinned hair into small parts then apply minoxidil on your scalp. 
  • Massage the region you have applied the medication for a few minutes to allow the medication to penetrate your hair cuticles. 

If you are using the foam form of minoxidil;

  • Put at least ½ cup of minoxidil on your hands the apply it on the dried scalp. 
  • Massage the area with the product from a few minutes to allow the product to penetrate your hair cuticles. 
  • Let minoxidil dry before sleeping or using other products. 

Wash your hand thoroughly after using Minoxidil to prevent the medication from reacting with your skin.

Is Minoxidil good for your hair?

Aside from the few side effects associated with the medication, minoxidil has been proven to work if you follow a doctor’s prescription and applied regularly for four straight months. If you stop applying this medication, you hair will stop growing. 

You should however not use Minoxidil if;

  • You are breastfeeding
  • If your over 65 years and above
  • If your are below the age of 16
  • And if you don’t have a doctor’s prescription 

Can you use a hair serum after applying Minoxidil?

You can absolutely use hair serum after applying Minoxidil. This is because minoxidil aims at enhancing hair growth while hair serum will protect your hair from environmental factors that might lead to hair damage and hair loss. 

You should however let minoxidil dry up first before applying hair serum. 

Between hair serum and Minoxidil which is the best for your hair?

Both product are beneficial depending on what you want to achieve. 

If you are dealing with hair loss, you can get a doctor’s prescription to use Minoxidil and then apply hair serum to style your hair. 

Do not stop using minoxidil for 4 months if you want it to work perfectly. However, you can skip a few days without hair serum. 


Choosing the right hair product to deal with hair disorders can be confusion due to the availability of many products in the market that promise to deal with this disorders. 

However, a little research cannot harm you if you want to be sure of the products you are using. 

If you have been confused on whether to use Minoxidil or hair serum for your hair growth, you are in the right place. 

Read the guide above for more information and then subscribe to this page for more beauty hacks. 


  1. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug design, development and therapy, 13, 2777.
  2. Badri, T., Nessel, T. A., & Kumar, D. (2021). Minoxidil. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
  3. Gupta, A. K., Talukder, M., Venkataraman, M., & Bamimore, M. A. (2021). Minoxidil: a comprehensive review. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 1-11.

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