'Why is my hair shedding like crazy?'
'Can rogaine cause more hair loss?'
'Increase hair loss after 1 month of using Minoxidil- why?'
These questions are frequently posed by those who start with their minoxidil regimen.
Men use Minoxidil to reduce hair loss due to male pattern baldness and hair thickness-related issues. They may experience significant hair shedding as a side effect.
Yes, This can be a bothersome side effect, especially as you're taking the medication to grow new hair.
In many cases, men will see some further loss of hair during the first week or two of application. There is a good reason for this.
Don't panic! It's perfectly normal.
We'll go into more detail below, but initial minoxidil shedding signifies that the Minoxidil is working!
GOOD NEWS: In fact, many of those who experience worse shedding tends to have better results in new hair growth in the long term.
What is Minoxidil Shedding?
Minoxidil shedding is when men experience increased hair loss after using Minoxidil. This minoxidil shedding is expected as the weak hair strands that do not have enough nutrition and oxygen fall out.
While this may most certainly spark a sense of anxiety, it is a normal process as the Minoxidil starts to alter how your scalp produces hair.
Remember, Minoxidil does not directly treat the cause of hair loss or male pattern baldness. Instead, it acts as a catalyst to improve hair growth and inspire your hair follicles to start producing new strands.
What causes Minoxidil Shedding?
The short answer is that when you use Minoxidil or rogaine, the treatment acts as a catalyst that accelerates the process in which your thinning hair falls out.
Why? So it can make way for your new, healthier hair.
All that increased hair loss is just your “bad, thin and brittle” hair making way for your “good” hair.
So don’t worry. Minoxidil or rogaine shedding helps aid the hair growth process by accelerating it.
You can read all about the hair growth cycle and the action of Minoxidil in-depth in a later section of the blog.
How long does Minoxidil Shedding last?
Minoxidil shedding (increased hair loss after using Minoxidil) typically only occurs at the beginning of your treatment.
Research shows that minoxidil shedding starts 2-8 weeks after beginning the treatment. After that, the shedding is usually seen to subside.
Continue to apply Minoxidil as directed (twice a day) and remain patient.
Most men start to see results in 4-6 months, with some men needing up to a year to see the treatment's real impact.
Does Shedded hair grow back?
Yes, the shedded hair grows back eventually.
Minoxidil works by forcing your hair follicles from the resting phase into the growing phase.
A sudden rush of blood to the follicles can cause the existing, weakened hairs to fall out but will only be replaced with brand new thicker, healthier hair strands.
Minoxidil Before and After
In A 2004 study, 1 of 733 men using a twice-daily application of 1ml of 5% minoxidil solution to treat their hair loss gives a good guide as to what you should expect.
Here is the study to the Minoxidil before and after study:
Here is the entire phase of use of Minoxidil and the participants' results at the end of months 1, 2,3,4,6 months, respectively.
Minoxidil use Month 1 –
14% of men experienced a noticeable improvement in their hair in the first month.
Minoxidil use Month 2-
66% reported a noticeable improvement by the end of month 2.
Minoxidil use Month 3-
Over 95% of men reported a significant improvement by the end of month 3.
Minoxidil use Month 4-
In a follow-up examination at the end of 4 months of treatment, the visible "thinning" area was smaller in just under 2/3rds of men, unchanged in 1/3rd, and more prominent in under 1%.
Minoxidil use Month 5-
Minoxidil was judged in that study to be effective in encouraging regrowth in over 60% of cases, was moderately effective in 31%, and ineffective in just 2.6% of cases.
Here are some before and after photos (pictures) of a real minoxidil user who noticed a drastic change in his hair density post his Minoxidil regime by Man Matters.
Minoxidil shedding Phase- Hair Growth Cycle
Hair grows from the follicle, also called the root underneath the skin.
Each hair strand has blood vessels at the base of the follicle, which gives it the nourishment it needs to grow.
Between starting to grow and falling out years later, each hair passes through four stages: anagen, catagen, telogen.
Every hair is at a different stage of the growth cycle. Shedding of head hair is a normal part of the hair growth cycle. It happens to everyone — even those with whole and healthy heads of hair — every day. The follicles will naturally shed anything up to 100 hair strands each day. This happens as your hair leaves the “telogen phase” (the ‘resting phase’) and begins the “anagen phase” (or ‘growing phase’).
A detailed explanation of the hair growth cycle is given below:
Action of Minoxidil on hair growth cycle
When you use Minoxidil, your hair follicles are ‘forced’ from the resting phase into the growing phase.
A sudden rush of blood to the follicles can cause the existing, weakened hairs to fall out but will only be replaced with thicker, healthier strands of hair.
It is not uncommon to see a temporary increase in hair loss during the first two to three weeks of treatment.
This shedding does not happen to everyone. This indicates that Minoxidil is probably not working the way it should be on the scalp.
When does Minoxidil shedding start?
Minoxidil shedding typically only occurs at the beginning of your treatment. To be more specific, research shows that it generally starts two to eight weeks after beginning the treatment.
Does Minoxidil shedding or Rogaine shedding stop?
You may be wondering if using Minoxidil is worth the trouble. The answer to this is a resounding yes. After this stage, right at the start, the shedding should subside. Don’t let this drop your spirits. Continue to apply Minoxidil as directed (twice a day) and remain patient. Typically, most men start to see results in 4-6 months, with some men needing up to a year to see the treatment's real impact.
- Poonkiat Suchonwanit, Sasima Thammarucha, and Kanchana Leerunyakul, August 2019; Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/
- Elise A Olsen, Frank E Dunlap, Toni Funicella, Judith A Koperski, James M Swinehart, Eduardo H Tschen, Ronald J Trancik, September 2004; A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/
- Soheir Ghonemy, Abeer Alarawi, Hagar Bessar, October 2019; Efficacy and safety of a new 10% topical minoxidil versus 5% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia: a trichoscopic evaluation- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31403367/