Picture this: you just got prescribed Minoxidil to relieve your hair loss problems. But then instead of regrowing your hair, it SHEDS!
Minoxidil is a popular hair loss treatment that can provide impressive results for many individuals. However, one common side effect is minoxidil shedding, which can be concerning for those who start using the treatment.
Thankfully, this shedding is temporary, and there are natural ways to reduce its impact. In this article, we'll explore the causes of minoxidil shedding and share top tips and strategies for stopping it naturally.
Why does minoxidil shedding happen?
Minoxidil hair shedding happens as hair follicles move from the resting phase to the growth phase, which is a key part of the hair growth process.
The stimulation of new hair growth by minoxidil causes thinning hair falls, clearing the way for the emergence of healthier, thicker strands.
This process can be alarming, but it's usually a positive indication that the treatment is working.
What's the minoxidil shedding timeline?
A typical minoxidil shedding timeline can be broken down into the following stages:
Initial treatment (weeks 1-2):
During the first couple of weeks, you may not notice any significant changes in your hair. It's crucial to follow the prescribed application routine consistently.
Shedding begins (weeks 2-4):
Most people start to experience minoxidil shedding within the first few weeks of treatment. This phase can be concerning, but it's a sign that the medication is working as it stimulates the hair follicles to shift from the resting phase (telogen) to the growing phase (anagen).
Peak shedding (weeks 4-8):
During the peak shedding phase, the old, thinning hair falls out more rapidly, a necessary step to pave the way for new hair growth. It's essential to continue using minoxidil and not become discouraged by the shedding.
Shedding decreases (months 2-4):
As the growth phase progresses, you'll notice a decrease in minoxidil hair shedding, making way for the growth of new, thicker hair. You may start to notice improvements in your hair's overall appearance and thickness.
Hair regrowth and improvement (months 4-6):
During this period, you should see noticeable improvements in hair growth and density. The shedding should have mostly stopped, and your hair should appear thicker and healthier. It's still essential to continue using minoxidil consistently to maintain these results.
Continued regrowth and maintenance (months 6+):
After six months of consistent use, most people experience significant improvements in hair growth. To maintain these results, it's important to continue using minoxidil as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Keep in mind that the minoxidil shedding timeline can vary from person to person, and individual results may differ. If you have concerns about shedding or any other side effects, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
When does minoxidil shedding stop?
Typically, the cause of hair shedding due to minoxidil subsides within 2-4 months of starting the treatment. The duration of shedding varies among individuals, and some may experience it for a shorter or longer period.
As the shedding phase comes to an end, you should begin to notice new, thicker hair growth, indicating that the medication is working.
It's essential to continue using minoxidil as prescribed and consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns about shedding or any other side effects.
How to stop minoxidil shedding naturally?
A well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining hair health. Ensure you consume enough essential nutrients like zinc, iron, niacin (vitamin B3), and biotin (vitamin B7) to support healthy hair growth. Incorporate foods such as leafy greens, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains into your diet.
Stress can exacerbate minoxidil shedding by triggering the premature telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. Adopt stress reduction techniques like meditation, regular exercise, and proper sleep to help manage stress levels and support healthy hair growth.
Nourish your scalp with natural oils and treatments that promote hair growth. Regularly massage your scalp with oils like coconut, almond, or jojoba to improve blood circulation and encourage hair growth. Be gentle with your hair, avoiding excessive heat styling and harsh chemical treatments.
Consider taking natural supplements to support hair health and growth. Biotin, saw palmetto, and omega-3 fatty acids are some supplements that may help reduce minoxidil shedding and promote overall hair health. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
When to consult a doctor?
If minoxidil shedding persists or worsens, or if you experience severe side effects like dizziness, chest pain, or fainting, consult your healthcare provider for professional advice and guidance.
How long does minoxidil shedding last?
Minoxidil shedding usually lasts for about 2-4 months after starting the treatment.
The duration can vary among individuals, with some experiencing shedding for a shorter or longer period. As the shedding phase ends, new, thicker hair growth should become more noticeable.
Can minoxidil shedding be completely prevented?
Completely preventing minoxidil hair shedding is challenging, as it's a common side effect of this hair loss treatment, and an indication that it is working.
The cause of hair shedding in the case of minoxidil is the transition of hair follicles from their resting phase to the active growth phase, allowing new hair to replace the older, thinning strands.
It's important to continue using minoxidil as prescribed and consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns about shedding or other side effects.
Can we comb hair after applying minoxidil?
Yes, you can comb your hair after applying minoxidil, but it's recommended to wait for about 30 minutes after application. This allows the minoxidil to absorb properly into your scalp, ensuring that it isn't inadvertently removed or spread into your hair by the comb.
How do I know if minoxidil is working?
Minoxidil starts working immediately after the first application, but visible changes in your hairline may take around three months to notice. The peak effectiveness of minoxidil is typically observed after nine months of consistent use. However, individual results can vary, and some men may need to wait longer to see progress.
Minoxidil shedding can be distressing, but it's crucial to remember that it's a temporary process.
By following these tips and strategies, you can reduce the impact of shedding and support healthy hair growth. Stay consistent with your minoxidil treatment, and with time, you should see positive results.
Have you experienced minoxidil shedding? What natural remedies have worked for you?
Share your experiences and questions in the comments section below, and don't forget to share this article with friends and family members who might benefit from these tips and strategies.
- Minoxidil Topical: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 8 January 2022]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689003.html
- Badri T, Nessel TA, Kumar D D. Minoxidil. [Updated 2021 Apr 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan.