When can I stop using minoxidil?
Minoxidil belongs to a class of compounds known as vasodilators. It is used to increase blood flow to follicles that are shrinking due to DHT receptors. It works by dilating blood vessels when applied to a certain area. It works by reversing the miniaturised follicles and by synchronizing the hair follicles. This means it ushers the follicles into the anagen phase quicker than usual. As a result of this, the growth phase of your follicles become longer and the telogen and exogen phase (resting and shedding phase) become shorter. So new hair starts growing faster after the old hair falls. Resulting in reduced hair shedding and regrowth of thicker hair in those suffering from pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil has been an FDA approved medication for treatment for over 35 years. It is still a prescription medication in India, however in most western countries, it is available over the counter under a common name - Rogaine. Minoxidil is suitable for both men and women. Men are prescribed minoxidil in 5% concentration whereas, women are prescribed minoxidil 2%.
Minoxidil is only applied to the affected area in the dosage prescribed by your doctor. Minoxidil gets absorbed within 15 to 60 minutes depending on the formula used. However, that doesn’t mean that its effects are immediate. It takes continuous use for over 3 months for you to start seeing results with minoxidil. Some people who start using minoxidil experience shedding after a few weeks. This happens because minoxidil is shedding the weak and unhealthy hair so the thicker and healthier hair can grow in its place. If you experience this, don't be alarmed it just means minoxidil is working. A lot of people stop their treatment at this time and never get to see the next stage of hair growth. If you are on the Traya regime and experiencing this, don't panic instead reach out to your hair coach.
How long you will have to use minoxidil will depend on the stage of your hair loss. If you are between stages 2-3 you need to use it for 5 to 6 months to see results. Whereas, if your stage is between 4-5 you need to use it for 7-9 months to see results. However, there is no cause for worry, minoxidil has been clinically proven as safe for long term use. The only people who should not use minoxidil are those who are pregnant, have hypertension, palpitations and previous history of irritation of any kind after using minoxidil. If you are not sure about whether or not you have a minoxidil allergy. You can do a patch test before applying it. Simply take a small quantity and rub it on the back of your neck under the hairline. Leave it for 24 hours and if there is no irritation or itching or reaction of any kind it means you are good to go. If there is a reaction then ask your dermatologist to give you an alternative regrowth solution.
One of the most common questions that Traya's Hair Experts are asked is when can they stop using minoxidil?
Let us help you with honest and elaborate information on the same. The most honest piece of information that we can give you is that anyone with a family history of hair loss should continue using minoxidil. As mentioned previously it has been proven with multiple studies that it is completely safe and is not associated with major side effects it can in some people however cause minor irritation and scalp sensitivity. But if you want to stop using minoxidil there are a few things to keep in mind.
Will stopping minoxidil cause my hair to fall out?
Yes. if you abruptly stop using minoxidil it will cause hair loss to recur because your hair cycle will go back to its original condition and your follicles will start shrinking as a result of DHT.
So, then how can I stop minoxidil without it resulting in hair loss?You need to stop using minoxidil gradually while using something else to increase blood flow. This can be done with the help of scalp massages, yoga and even alternate and natural regrowth solutions such as capixyl, procapil or redensyl. So, let us say you are someone who is using 2% or 5% minoxidil 1 ml twice a day, every day. You can stop minoxidil by eventually using minoxidil once and then the alternate serum the second time of the day. Eventually, reduce the frequency of minoxidil and increase the frequency of the alternative solution until you get to the point of using the alternate solution like you were using minoxidil. But this alone will not suffice, hair loss conditions are triggered by poor diet, lifestyle and exposure to environmental pollution. So, it is important that you maintain a diet that will not aggravate your hair loss. According to Ayurveda foods that increase your pitta increase hair loss. These foods include dairy, red meat, spicy, fried and fermented food. Apart from this make sure to give him habits such as the use of tobacco, nicotine and alcohol which can also act as triggers to aggravate hair loss. Reach out to Traya Health Hair Expert to get your personalised hair loss treatment and diet plan today
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Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.