Minoxidil has been used for hair loss treatment for several decades. The medication affects follicular cells by enhancing hair growth and reducing hair loss. To date, topical minoxidil is the mainstay treatment for androgenetic alopecia and is used as an off-label treatment for other hair loss conditions.

Finasteride acts by reducing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, thereby inhibiting miniaturization of hair follicles in patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Studies show that topical finasteride appears to have results equivalent to oral finasteride in AGA and has better tolerance.