Tag Archive for: Topical

Ask an Expert: Can I Combine Hair Growth Treatments

Combining hair loss treatments with Happy Head can get you the best hair growth results. Try combining your hair loss solutions today.

If you’ve been dealing with hair loss, you may have gone down a research rabbit hole to find treatment options. And, if you’re confused by all of the choices out there, you’re not alone. There are so many! Do you have to choose just one, or can you mix and match different hair growth treatments? Are two or three formulas more effective than one? Are side effects more likely? Since so many customers were asking the same questions, we asked our expert, Dr. Ben Behnam, renowned dermatologist and co-founder of Happy Head hair growth treatments, his opinion. Here’s what he tells patients when they ask, “Can I combine hair growth treatments?”

Your Hair Growth Treatment Options: Oral and Topical

Before we answer frequently asked questions about combining medications, let’s talk about the options out there. First, it’s no secret that there plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) hair loss foams, creams, and supplements are out there. Are they just as good as prescription medications? While many OTC hair loss products include tested and proven ingredients, prescription medications are available in higher doses. For example, Minoxidil is available OTC in 2 and 5 percent liquids and foams. You’ll need a prescription, though, to get higher eight or ten percent topical dosages, 

Then, there’s the oral versus topical debate. Which to use often comes down to personal preference. Topical medications have been proven to be equally as effective as oral medications when used at recommended dosages. 

Since topicals aren’t ingested, systemic side effects aren’t typically an issue. If irritation becomes an issue, cortisone or switching to a liposomal formula should solve the problem. Topicals with a liposomal base release medication into the hair follicles gradually, minimizing potential side effects. People concerned about sexual side effects associated with Finasteride, Dutasteride, and other DHT blockers may prefer topicals. 

People who don’t want to apply liquids or creams a couple of times a day may prefer oral pills. Orals are an easy-to-take, no-mess option. Since they are ingested, however, they can cause systemic side effects. 

Benefits of Combining Topical and Oral Medications for Hair Growth

Let’s circle back to where we started. Can you combine topical and oral medications? The answer is, “yes.” 

Dr. Ben likes to call this technique “sandwiching.” Sandwiching by mixing topical and oral hair loss medications helps attack hair loss from multiple angles. Here’s how it works:

Start With Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a vasodilator. That’s a fancy way to say that it widens your blood vessels, increasing oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors. Topical Minoxidil is absorbed into your skin and penetrates the epidermis to reach the hair follicles. Ingested oral Minoxidil works similarly to topical but can affect other blood vessels in your body, too, since it’s systemic. Both topical and oral Minoxidil affect your hair growth cycle. Minoxidil shortens the resting phase when hair stops growing, falls out, and kicks more hair follicles into the growth phase. The result is less hair loss and longer hair growth. 

So, for the sake of this article, let’s say that you read that 61 to 100 percent of patients with androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss) who took 0.25 to 0.5 milligrams of oral Minoxidil saw significant improvement. (01) And you decide to give oral Minoxidil a try. What else can you use to treat your hair loss?

Add a DHT Blocker

DHT is the villain that causes androgenetic alopecia by attaching to your hair follicle’s receptors and signaling them to shrink. When that happens, the follicles produce thinner and shorter hair strands. Over time, the weak follicles may stop producing hair altogether. Enter DHT blockers. 

DHT blockers are medications that prevent testosterone from converting to a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT for short). The most well-known DHT blockers are Finasteride and Dutasteride. Finasteride selectively inhibits type II 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. Targeting this enzyme can help slow down hair loss. Dutasteride inhibits both type 1 and type II of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. Because it’s more broad spectrum, it can be more effective at reducing DHT levels in some people, especially those who do not get the desired response from Finasteride. 

Finasteride and Dutasteride are both available orally and topically. Since you’ve already decided to take oral Minoxidil and may not want to take too many systemic medications simultaneously, you can choose to use topical Finsteride or Dutasteride simultaneously.

Note: Looking to get an extra boost out of your DHT blocker? As long as your dermatologist is on board, you can use the same oral and topical DHT blocker, including Finasteride and Dutsteride, simultaneously.

Spironolactone is Another Option for Women

Spironolactone is another type of DHT blocker. It stops the effects of the hormone aldotestosterone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It also blocks DHT, which makes it a popular androgenetic alopecia treatment. Oral Spironolactone is usually only prescribed to women since it can cause breast enlargement. Topical is safe and effective for both men and women. Research indicates that Spironolactone’s efficacy improves when combined with Minoxidil. (02) So, if you’re looking for a treatment to pair up with Minoxidil, Sprionlactone may be a good option.   

Creating a Hair Growth Treatment That Works for You

There isn’t one surefire treatment that works across the board for everyone. Hair loss treatments can be combined in many different ways, and it may take some experimenting to see which combo works best for you. Here are some tips that will help you throughout your hair regrowth journey:

  • Start with a personalized treatment plan. A board-certified dermatologist can evaluate your hair loss and recommend the right medications for you. 
  • Track your progress by taking photos around the same time each month. Your regimen can be adjusted as needed.
  • Manage your stress. Hair is sensitive to your overall well-being. Both short-term and chronic stress can affect your tresses. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite song, get a massage, talk to a therapist… do whatever it takes to keep your head in the right place. 
  • Eat well. Your hair gets its nutrients from your body. The better you feed your body, the healthier your hair will be. 
  • Take care of your hair. Use gentle shampoo and conditioner, avoid heat styling, and get regular trims. 

Let’s recap. Not only can hair growth treatments be combined, it’s often recommended. Since the most effective hair loss treatments are only available by prescription, you’ll need to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. Both oral and topical medications are equally as effective. Depending upon your medical history and personal preferences, you may have some flexibility with the type of hair loss medication you choose. Common combinations are Minoxidil with some type of DHT blocker. Oral and topical DHT blockers can often be used at the same time as well. 

If you’re looking for help with your treatment plan, look no further. Happy Head is here to help. Our hair growth specialists, licensed dermatologists located in every state, are available to review your case and make recommendations. You can get customized formulas delivered directly to your front door. Have any questions? Get in touch. We’re here to support you on your hair growth journey. 


(01) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13659-020-00267-9 

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10010138/


Now Available! Groundbreaking Topical Liposomal Finasteride & Minoxidil Formula

If you’ve used prescription topical hair loss medications in the past, you know they pack a punch. The doses are higher than what’s available over the counter, making them that much more effective. But, there’s a catch. Some people find the liquid formula a little tricky to use. Foams stick to hair strands but don’t necessarily make their way to the scalp, which is where the medicine needs to go. And until now, Happy Head’s prescription topicals were only available in liquid formulas applied with a dropper. Effective? Yes. Drip-free? Not exactly. That’s why we’re excited to introduce our groundbreaking topical liposomal Finasteride and Minoxidil formula. 

What’s In It?

Happy Head’s newest formula contains .3 percent Finasteride and eight percent Minoxidil in a liposomal base. The creamy, soothing base penetrates the scalp yet keeps the active ingredients in the top layer of the epidermis. This offers two benefits. First, it allows the medication to reach hair follicles. Secondly, it prevents the medication from moving into the bloodstream and reduces the chances of potential side effects. (01)

How it Works

Happy Head’s topical liposomal Finasteride & Minoxidil formula is for men and women with androgenic alopecia, known outside the medical field as male and female pattern hair loss. Androgenic alopecia occurs when naturally occurring testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and builds up in the scalp. DHT kicks the hair growth cycle into a resting state, where hair stops growing and eventually falls out. When this happens, it’s a game of beat-the-clock to keep the shrinking hair follicles viable so new hair can grow. Liposomal Finasteride and Minoxidil formula targets the scalp directly, blocking DHT, and allowing for thicker, healthier hair. 

Easy, Mess-free Application

Use liposomal Finasteride and Minoxidil as you would apply a hair cream. The formula comes in an airless pump bottle. The simple pump design measures out just the right amount. Pump, apply, and rub it in. Easy peasy. The formula is thick enough so it stays in place. No dripping or running down your face. 

Is Topical Liposomal Hair Loss Treatment for You?

Pills, liquids, creams… when it comes to treatment for your hair loss, you have options. A lot of them. So, how do you decide if our new liposomal treatment is right for you? Here’s a quick rundown:

Oral Hair Loss Medications 

Pros: Both Minoxidil and Finasteride are available in pill forms. They’re easy to take and usually only require low dosages once daily to treat hair loss. 

Cons: Minoxidil increases blood flow to your scalp, while Finasteride is a DHT blocker. Dermatologists typically prescribe both to patients with male or female pattern baldness. That means taking two separate pills. Pills are also absorbed systemically into the bloodstream which means that there’s a higher potential for side effects than topical hair loss medications.


Pros: Available over-the-counter

Cons: Minoxidil foam available without a prescription does not contain Finasteride and is only available in two and five-percent formulas. More difficult to apply than people realize. Just because the foam is on your hair, doesn’t mean it’s reaching your scalp. 


Pros: Easily reaches the scalp and can be customized to include desired percentages of each medication.

Cons: May be difficult to apply since liquids are applied with a dropper and can be runny.

Liposomal Formula

Pros: Creamy formula is easy to apply. It works directly on the scalp and has been found to be effective. (02) To date, no other company has made this particular formula available. 

Cons: More expensive than the other options.

Seeing Results

We’ve known for a while now that topical Finasteride is as effective as oral and is less likely to cause undesirable side effects such as decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. (03) Does the cream formula work as well as the liquid formula, though? Initial studies are promising. When the liposomal formula was tested on a small sample of 30 men and 30 women with androgenic alopecia, the results were favorable, especially among women. Hair count significantly increased for women after six months of treatment. Both groups had a significant increase in anagen hair (new hair in the growth phase) and a decrease in telogen hair (resting state when hair falls out) within one to three months. (04)

Regrow Your Hair in a Year

Patients usually start to see new hair growth in three to six months. Growing hair is a process, though. It can take up to a year to see the full results. After all, according to the Trichological Society, your hair grows about .5 to 1.7 centimeters per month. (05) Not seeing much progress? Your hair is probably growing more than you realize. Taking photos on the same date each month and comparing them over time will give you a more realistic idea of the changes your hair is undergoing. 

Have questions? Ready to place an order? We’ve got you covered. 

First, it’s time for an online consultation. Contact us, and let us know you’re interested in trying our new liposomal formula. One of our board-certified dermatologists will review your medical history and ensure that topical liposomal Finasteride and Minoxidil do the trick for your hair loss. If not, we’ll make other recommendations based on your hair’s condition and needs. 


Now, get this. Renowned dermatologist and Happy Head Co-founder Dr. Ben Behnam is available to answer your questions about hair loss or medications available to regrow your hair. The Q&A session is completely free. Use this link to sign up for Dr. Ben’s Ask Me Anything Series that’s coming up in August. To get an idea of what types of questions people ask and how the sessions work, check out our previous episodes on YouTube. What foods will make your hair healthier and shinier? Are certain shampoos better than others? Tune in and get your questions answered. 



(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070339/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30371981/

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9297965/

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30371981/

(05) https://www.hairscientists.org/hair-and-scalp-conditions/nutrition-and-hair-health