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Can You Use Minoxidil on Eyebrows?

Oct 28, 2023
Can You Use Minoxidil on Eyebrows?

Hair loss is common as we age, and eyebrow thinning is also common. Besides getting older, you may have eyebrow thinning from over-grooming, genetics, underlying skin conditions like eczema, or medical conditions such as thyroid disease or autoimmune disorders.1

Minoxidil, brand name Rogaine, is a vasodilator that increases blood flow to the skin. It also increases the growth phase in the hair growth cycle. How it works is not currently known. The longer you can keep your eyebrow hair follicles in the growth cycle, the more likely you are to develop longer, thicker eyebrow hair. But can you use Minoxidil on eyebrows?

Using minoxidil for eyebrow growth is an off-label use because it is only approved to treat male-pattern and female-pattern hair loss. If you use minoxidil for hair loss on your eyebrows, be aware that it can take a few months to work.

Does Minoxidil on Eyebrows Work?

Minoxidil was not designed to treat thinning eyebrow hair (eyebrow hypotrichosis). Researchers have investigated whether it would work for this purpose.

In a 16-week study that enrolled forty patients who applied a 2% Rogaine solution to one of their eyebrows and a placebo solution to the other, researchers noted that two-thirds of the study participants had an increase in eyebrow hair. Most rated the improvement as a slight increase. Six out of the thirty-nine people who completed the study noted a moderate increase in eyebrow hair. Improvement was noticed after minoxidil was used for eight weeks.1

Minoxidil, 1% solution, was also found to be superior to placebo when treating eyebrow thinning. The side effects were mainly skin irritation and burning. Sometimes, study participants developed side effects from both minoxidil and placebo use, suggesting that it was the vehicle used to stabilize minoxidil and not the drug itself that was the problem.2

In another study, participants were screened for any medical cause for eyebrow hair loss. Study participants who were not excluded applied topical minoxidil 3% to one eyebrow and bimatoprost (Latisse) 0.03% to the other for 16 weeks. Minoxidil and bimatoprost were almost equally effective in stimulating eyebrow hair growth.3

In a recent follow-up study, researchers compared the safety and effectiveness of bimatoprost and minoxidil gel formulations. The clinical study enrolled sixty participants who were randomized into three groups: 0.01% bimatoprost, 0.03% bimatoprost, and 2% minoxidil. All three groups had increased eyebrow hair growth, with the groups using the 0.03% solution having the best results.4

minoxidil on eyebrows

Causes of Thinning Eyebrows

Eyebrow hair goes through the same hair cycle as other hair, with about 10% to 15% of follicles in the anagen (growth phase) and 85% to 90% of follicles in the telogen (resting phase). Minoxidil shortens the resting phase and can help with eyebrow hair regrowth.4 Other factors can affect the hair cycle and cause thinning eyebrows, including:

  • Normal aging: The most common cause of eyebrow hair loss is aging. Over time, hair follicles spend more time in the resting phase, leading to shorter and finer hairs. Before attributing your hair loss to normal aging, consider consulting with a dermatologist about the medical causes of hair loss and potential anti-aging treatments that can slow or reverse the aging process.
  • Thyroid disorders: Thyroid hormones regulate growth and metabolism. Too little (hypothyroid) or too much (hyperthyroid) thyroid hormone can affect hair growth. If you have too little thyroid hormone, you may notice a distinctive pattern in your hair loss, with more hair loss in the outer third of your eyebrows.
  • Autoimmune conditions: Your immune system protects you from pathogens, but sometimes, immune cells mistake your body cells and hair follicles for the proteins typically seen on bacteria and other pathogens. In this case, your immune system attacks your hair follicles and causes hair loss. This is called alopecia.
  • Skin conditions: Inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis can cause inflammation and trigger the immune system to attack your hair follicles. Scratching and rubbing irritated skin can also cause hair loss.

How to Use Minoxidil for Eyebrows

Before applying minoxidil to your eyebrows, consult with a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will help you determine whether there is a medical cause for your hair loss. They can also help you decide whether oral or topical minoxidil is the best option for you.

If you do not have an underlying medical condition, your dermatologist may suggest starting with the 2% minoxidil solution. Apply the solution carefully using a cotton swab. Apply daily for the best results. It may take two months or so to see results.

If you are not seeing good results, talk to your doctor to see if you should increase it to the 5% minoxidil solution.

Warnings and Possible Side Effects

Like all medications, minoxidil has side effects. Your medical history and other medications you are taking may also increase your risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about minoxidil side effects.

Be careful to apply minoxidil only to your eyebrows to avoid unwanted hair growth in other areas. Avoid getting any minoxidil in your eyes.

The most common side effects of topical minoxidil are skin-related and include:

  • Scalp itching
  • Scalp scaling
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Changes in hair color or texture
Close up of grooming a woman's eyebrow

According to drugs.com, the following serious side effects may occur:

  • Severe scalp irritation
  • Unwanted excessive facial hair growth
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Rapid weight gain from fluid retention
  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Flushing
  • Vision changes

In a study comparing minoxidil use to a placebo, there was no statistically significant difference in the likelihood of developing side effects. All side effects that were reported in the minoxidil and placebo groups were mild to moderate in severity and resolved within a few days.1

Alternatives to Minoxidil for Eyebrows

Aging is the most common cause of thinning eyebrows. Many people consider hair loss treatments as part of their comprehensive age management plan. Finasteride is another hair-loss treatment that works via a different mechanism. Sometimes, one or the other works better for hair loss. Your doctor may also recommend using both if necessary.

If you experience side effects when using minoxidil or finasteride, your doctor may suggest rosemary oil as an alternative to minoxidil.

Can You Use Minoxidil on Eyebrows?

More Tips for Eyebrow Care

Avoid over- or under-grooming your eyebrows to reduce eyebrow hair loss.

Other tips to improve or retain eyebrow hair growth:

  • Avoid excessive plucking, waxing, and threading, as these procedures can damage your hair follicles over time.
  • Ensure you get plenty of folic acid, biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. If you don’t, consider supplements.
  • Avoid harsh cleaning products and makeup around your eyes and eyebrows.
  • Treat inflammatory skin conditions promptly. Avoid rubbing or itching the sensitive skin around your eyebrows.
  • Gently massage your eyebrows to increase blood flow to your hair follicles.

Minoxidil is an effective treatment for eyebrow hair loss, but it is not the only one. Your dermatologist may recommend other options.


If you’ve been exploring the use of minoxidil for eyebrow enhancement and found this information insightful, you might also be interested in other hair loss solutions. For those looking to address hair thinning on the scalp, you may consider the option to buy finasteride, another approved treatment for hair loss. Finasteride may provide a complementary or alternative approach to your hair care routine. Reach out to Invigor Medical to discuss if finasteride is right for you and learn how you can purchase it safely and conveniently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I put minoxidil on eyebrows?

Applying minoxidil to eyebrows may stimulate hair growth, but it’s important to be cautious as the medication is not specifically formulated for use on eyebrows. Potential side effects include irritation and unwanted hair growth in unintended areas.

Can I use minoxidil on eyebrows?

While some individuals may use hair growth treatments like minoxidil on their eyebrows, it’s essential to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional before doing so. They can provide guidance on safety and potential risks associated with off-label use.

Is minoxidil safe to use on face?

Minoxidil is generally considered safe for use on the scalp, but it’s not recommended for facial use, including eyebrows. Using minoxidil on the face may lead to adverse reactions such as irritation, redness, and unwanted hair growth.

How do you stimulate hair follicles in your eyebrows?

Hair follicles in the eyebrows can be stimulated through various methods, including gentle massage, exfoliation, and applying nourishing oils or serums. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can support overall hair health, including eyebrow growth.

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Can You Use Minoxidil on Eyebrows?

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.


  • Lee S, Tanglertsampan C, Tanchotikul M, Worapunpong N. Minoxidil 2% lotion for eyebrow enhancement: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, spilt-face comparative study. J Dermatol. 2014 Feb;41(2):149-52. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12275. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PMID: 24471459.
  • Worapunpong N, Tanglertsampan C. Treatment of eyebrow hypotricho-sis with 1% minoxidil lotion: a prospective, randomized, double-blind,placebo-controlled trial.J Med Assoc Thai.2017;100(5):574–577
  • Suwanchatchai, W., Tanglertsampan, C., Pengsalae, N. and Makornwattana, M. (2012), Efficacy and safety of bimatoprost 0.03% versus minoxidil 3% in enhancement of eyebrows: A randomized, double-blind, split-face comparative study. The Journal of Dermatology, 39: 865-866.
  • Zaky MS, Hashem OA, Mahfouz SM, Elsaie ML. Comparative study of the efficacy and safety of topical minoxidil 2% versus topical bimatoprost 0.01% versus topical bimatoprost 0.03% in treatment of eyebrow hypotrichosis: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Dermatol Res. 2023 Nov;315(9):2635-2641. doi: 10.1007/s00403-023-02679-2. Epub 2023 Jul 30. PMID: 37517060; PMCID: PMC10514173.


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