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6 Natural Alternatives to Minoxidil That Work

Saturday 25th February 23

hair health ,ingredient science
5+ min read

Minoxidil is a medication widely used for the treatment of male and female-pattern hair loss. While minoxidil has no doubt been a groundbreaking medical leap in the treatment of hair loss and thinning, it can produce a long list of unwanted side effects; including scalp irritation, redness and itching, as well as swelling of the mouth, chest pain and headaches. As a result, scientific groundwork is being laid to discover potential natural, less harsh alternatives to minoxidil in the treatment of hair loss and thinning. Current natural minoxidil alternatives or enhancers include active ingredients such as pumpkin seed extract and retinol, as well as essential oils such as rosemary oil and camellia tea oil.

The MONPURE range is formulated with a range of powerful, high-performance ingredients, which have demonstrated powerful hair growth abilities. These innovative ingredients have also been shown to augment the effectiveness of treatments such as minoxidil, and can be used in tandem to amplify its effects.

Active Ingredients

Pumpkin Seed Extract

One of MONPURE’s hero ingredients, pumpkin seed extract, has been scientifically proven to block the 5-alpha reductase enzyme that produces DHT, a byproduct of testosterone that causes hair thinning. It initially targets the catagen and telogen phases, working to minimise excess shedding. It also boosts the growth of new follicles leaving the telogen phase and entering into a new cycle of the anagen phase. This powerful extract also stimulates follicles, delivers nutrients and boosts circulation to the scalp.

Pumpkin seed extract is rich in many nutrients that benefit scalp and hair health, including Phosphorus, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamins E, A, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and precious essential fatty acids (EFAs).

A recent study conducted in 2021 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology investigated the efficacy of pumpkin seed extract in the treatment of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) compared to minoxidil 5% foam. The study illustrated that pumpkin seed extract is a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid and linoleic acid. Such essential acids are reported to successfully inhibit 5-alpha reductase, and hence, they may contribute to its hair growth potential via their anti-androgen effects.

Those that used pumpkin seed extract had more hair after treatment than at baseline, compared to the placebo group. Hair density increased by 40% in the pumpkin seed extract treated group at 24 weeks. Researchers observed a marked decrease in follicular miniaturisation after treatment, as well as an increase in upright regrowing hairs.


Retinol is widely celebrated as the holy grail of anti-ageing skincare. However, this incredible Vitamin A derivative is often overlooked for its boundless benefits for hair growth. Retinol works to regulate the production of sebum. As sebum is a carrier of DHT, retinol also has an effect on the presence of DHT on the scalp. Although DHT resides in the bloodstream and reaches the hair follicles internally, it is also present externally on the surface of the scalp. Retinol works to remove this sebum build-up, containing DHT, from the scalp and therefore helps minimise excess hormonal hair thinning.

Retinol also increases skin cell renewal, improves scalp condition and compacts the outer layer of the skin called the stratum corneum, allowing other ingredients to effectively penetrate the scalp.

A study investigating the ‘Additive Effects of Minoxidil and Retinol of Human Hair Growth in Vitro’ in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, showed promising results on retinol’s ability to enhance the effects of minoxidil and boost hair growth. The research demonstrated that, when used in conjunction with minoxidil, retinol increased the rate of hair growth by prolonging the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle, playing a role in converting vellus (A.K.A baby hairs) to terminal hairs. This demonstrates that retinol maximises the effects of other hair growth factors, and can be used to induce new hair growth in those with androgenic alopecia. 

Essential Oils

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil has been shown to improve hair thickness and growth due to its ability to promote cellular regeneration and boost blood circulation, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. It also holds powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that foster a healthy dermatological scalp condition, which contributes to healthy hair growth.

Research from the SKINMed Journal of Dermatology for the Clinician showed that rosemary oil was as effective as minoxidil in boosting hair growth among participants with androgenic alopecia. However, unlike minoxidil, rosemary oil did not produce the side effect of an itchy scalp, making it a wonderful natural alternative.

Camellia Tea Oil

Rich in Vitamins A, B, C and E, camellia tea oil delivers an intense hit of nourishment to neglected scalps and dull hair, stimulating hair follicles and enhancing the dermatological condition of the scalp.

Research from the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences revealed  camellia tea oil also demonstrates potential hair growth abilities comparable to the chemical treatment, minoxidil. Camellia tea oil also prevents pollution-induced scalp ageing, and protects against the degradation of collagen and other proteins.

Coffee Arabica Oil

Coffee Arabica Extract (A.K.A Green Coffee Oil) is proven to offset the effects of DHT through shaft elongation and thickening, restoring healthy hair growth. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it also boosts blood circulation to follicles, allowing hair to grow faster and stronger from the root - giving it a thicker and fuller appearance.

A study investigating the effects of coffee arabica extract among women with chemotherapy-induced hair loss from the Journal of Biomedical Science found that this essential oil accelerated hair regrowth over a 3 month period.

Grapefruit Peel Oil

Grapefruit peel oil has been shown to promote hair regrowth in clinical settings. Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin B1 and flavonoids, a chemical that boosts blood circulation. Applied to the scalp, this savvy extract helps stimulate blood flow to the follicles, feeding them essential nutrients and oxygen, leading to thicker and more voluminous hair growth.

The MONPURE range features each and every one of these powerful natural alternatives to minoxidil, with each high-performing ingredient being carefully selected based on a rigorous review of modern scientific literature. Whether used as alternatives to minoxidil entirely, or used in conjunction with the treatment to amplify its effects, the science-led solutions formulated in the MONPURE range wield a triple-layered approach to hair growth, improving the health and prosperity of the scalp, hair follicles and the hair itself.


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