Struggling to remember to take your finasteride every day? How about applying your minoxidil?

Building new habits is hard. Just ask anyone who’s ever made a New Year’s resolution. But just because it doesn’t come easily doesn’t mean you should give up — especially when it comes to your hairline. Because when you take the treatment as it’s prescribed, it’s far more likely to be effective. In fact, 86% of men who took their treatment regularly saw results.

To help you get into your new daily treatment routine, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite tricks. The best part? They’re all free.

1. Set a daily alarm

You know that free alarm feature on your phone that you use every day to wake up in the morning? Well, you can use that for your hair loss treatments as well. Pro tip: Use a different sound than your usual alarm so your brain starts differentiating the two (and you don’t have that “is it time to wake up” panic that you get when your alarm goes off).

If you like this idea, but the regular ol’ phone alarm doesn’t appeal to you, check out Any.do. It’s a free app that works on both Androids and iPhones and has a great, easy-to-use interface.

2. Put a physical reminder somewhere you’ll see it

Whether it’s making coffee every day, grabbing breakfast out of the fridge, or opening your closet, choose an item you touch every single day and pop a sticky note on there that says “take your finasteride,” or “apply your minoxidil.” or “Keeps” if you’re looking for something a bit more incognito.

It sounds overly simplistic, and that’s because it is. But it’s also likely to work because it’s going to be hard to miss.

3. Attach it to another habit

It’s pretty likely you already have a few grooming habits that you don’t even think about anymore—such as showering or brushing your teeth (we sure hope). Try taking your medication right after one of those habits.

Before long, your brain will start connecting the two and it’ll become second nature. No really, this works! It’s called habit stacking and in an article on his blog, Atomic Habits, author James Clear explains why it’s so effective:

“…the reason habit stacking works so well is that your current habits are already built into your brain. You have patterns and behaviors that have been strengthened over years. By linking your new habits to a cycle that is already built into your brain, you make it more likely that you’ll stick to the new behavior.”

4. Download a habit-building app

There are a ton of free apps out there that use various methods to get you into your new habit. Some are more complex than others and it’s hard to narrow the list down.

So with no further ado, here are our top picks:

  • Habitica: For people who like the idea of gameify-ing their habit
  • Stickk: For people who want to bet on themelves with actual money
  • Chains.cc: For people who want a super-simple concept (if you have an Android, check out HabitHub for a similar experience)

These apps will do all the hard work of keeping you on track. And bonus, if you find one you really like, you can use it to develop all those habits you’ve been putting off trying to build(eating healthy, reading more books, calling your parents more…).

Are you currently using one of these methods? Have another one that should be on the list? Tell us on Twitter.


The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Finasteride is an oral medication used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. It is not for use by women. When used by men, finasteride is generally safe but it can also cause serious side effects, including but not limited to allergic reactions, sexual dysfunction, and high-grade prostate cancer. Most patients find that problems with sexual function resolve when they stop taking the medicine. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.