When applying rogaine on my scalp at night, would it be okay to sleep on my back or does that put pressure on the head?

Does it matter if I sleep on the side or on my back? Please let me know.

Doctor Answers 4

Sleeping position is not relevant as minoxidil is absorbed by the hair follicles, but your scalp should be relatively dry

Thank you for your question. You state you are applying Rogaine to your scalp at night, and ask if it matters if you sleep on your back, or on your side because a concern about whether pressure on the head will impact the effectiveness of this treatment.

I can guide you on the management of such things like going to sleep with the various treatments we offer in our practice. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I’m also the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers, which offer a non-surgical treatment we developed for male and female pattern hair loss that has been very successful. We actually have very specific instructions we give our patients regarding head position when you sleep.

What’s very important to understand is the impact of your position of your scalp when you are laying in bed would have on different types of hair loss options. If you’re taking finasteride, a pill that is a DHT blocker you take daily, it’s irrelevant what position you are in because it’s a systemic drug absorbed in your circulation, and goes to the hair follicles via the arteries. With a topical application like minoxidil, whether it’s a liquid or foam, you are applying the material to the scalp with the intention of scalp skin to absorb the active ingredients and affects the hair follicles. That said, I don’t think the position of the scalp makes that much of a difference. As long as the scalp is not that wet right when you go to bed or lay down because you could be at risk wiping away some of the material. As long as your scalp is relatively dry when you go to bed, I don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference.

As an aside, I can mention that we’ve developed a treatment called Hair Regeneration and when we do Hair Regeneration treatment which is a non-surgical solution for thinning hair. We do injections under the skin and in the skin, intradermal as well as subcutaneous. We advise our patients to avoid sleeping on their face because we are concerned about the effect of gravity moving fluid that’s under the scalp towards the front, towards the face. Although that’s not dangerous, it can cause some swelling that is undesirable. We suggest to our patients to actually sleep with their heads slightly elevated, with the thinking behind that is the treatment is done in a way where the head position can have an effect on fluid movement. It doesn’t have an effect on the treatment if the person sleeps on their face, on their side or on the back because it’s not about pressure on scalp - it’s more about what happens inside the scalp.

So again, head position doesn’t specifically have an issue. There are a lot of myths about different issues whether it’s wearing hats or laying on a particular area of the scalp as a cause for hair loss, which are not really relevant, and the same thing applies to the treatment. When it comes to legitimate treatment, then head position should not be an issue. If you’re talking about a treatment like Hair Regeneration or hair transplant, it’s about the management of moving fluid in the early period after the treatment. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.


New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

There is no special way to sleep or position your head if you're applying Rogaine at night.

There is no special way to sleep or position your head if you're applying Rogaine at night.  Just follow the instructions.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Rogaine will absorb and dry quickly once applied to the scalp

You can sleep in any position you like after applying Rogaine at night. Most people will naturally toss and turn during the night so you don't have to sleep any differently after applying Rogaine.

Jennifer Krejci, MD
San Antonio Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Rogaine at night

Once the drug Rogaine (Minoxidil) is applied at night, you can sleep normally in any position that you are used to

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.