Everything you need to know about minoxidil shedding: Excess hair fall after applying minoxidil

Everything you need to know about minoxidil shedding: Excess hair fall after applying minoxidil

What is Minoxidil Shedding and what to do when you are panicking because of it?

So, you’ve just started applying minoxidil 5% or 2% for treating your hair loss condition. You are doing everything right and applying it as per the instructions of your doctor and in the prescribed dosage. But a few weeks into it you are probably feeling like you’ve made a mistake because your hair is shedding like crazy and you feel like your hair loss treatment is giving you more hair fall! Don’t worry you are not alone or experiencing a side effect this is simply minoxidil shedding. 

So is minoxidil shedding normal and what does it mean?

Yes. It is absolutely normal to experience hair shedding after starting minoxidil for a few weeks. But this just means minoxidil is working and you should not stop using it out of panic. It just means that minoxidil is working.

What is minoxidil shedding?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator that works by increasing blood flow to your hair follicles, this also results in a longer anagen or growth phase. But hair has a cycle, so minoxidil speeds up the falling of hair from the telogen or resting phase so it can be replaced with thick and healthy hair from the new anagen cycle. 

Minoxidil sheddingWhat causes minoxidil shedding?

Well, as mentioned before. Minoxidil works to improve your hair cycle which has been affected by DHT. DHT shortens the growth phase. So your hair takes longer to grow, it doesn’t grow to the full length and it is thinner than your normal hair. Minoxidil does the opposite, it shortens your resting phase and it makes your growth phase longer. So you start noticing your hair fall out more quickly than usual. But if you stop using minoxidil at this time you will never see what comes next. Because if you stay patient at this stage and continue applying minoxidil as prescribed consistently in a few weeks you will start seeing hair growth. 

How long does the minoxidil shedding last?

Minoxidil shedding lasts for about 8-10 weeks depending on your stage of hair loss, because minoxidil will only affect the shrinking follicles and not the healthy follicles. Not only that the higher your stage the more damage to your follicles so the longer it takes for minoxidil to work. 

When does minoxidil start showing results?

For people in stage 1-2 it will take about 4 months of consistent use to see results, whereas in stage 3-4 it will take about 6 months. So it is extremely important that you don’t stop using minoxidil when you experience minoxidil shedding. 

Here’s the proof:

This is Siddharth, male pattern baldness - Stage 2 

Male pattern baldness before and after

This is C. Mayil, male pattern baldness - Stage 4 

hair loss stage 4

I have heard everything you’ve told me but I am scared! What can I do if I am experiencing minoxidil shedding?

There is nothing that can be done to prevent it. Except to wait, be patient and use minoxidil consistently as prescribed by doctors. But we have a special helpline in place, all you need to do is get in touch with your hair coach. Not only will they answer all your questions but also reassure you till you finally feel better.

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Zahra is part of our core team. She is the hair coach-in-chief at Traya. She works closely with the doctors to monitor all cases. She is a fitness freak and has not touched sugar in years!

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