Is Minoxidil for Short-term or Long-term Use?

should i use Minoxidil temporary or all my life?

Doctor Answers (8)

Minoxidil For Long-Term Use

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Minoxidil is for long term use, if you stop using Minoxidil, previous hair loss will occur.

Hope this helps & best of luck,
Dr. Broadway


Denver Plastic Surgeon

Minoxidil : Long Term Commitment

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If an individual decides to use minoxidil for treating androgenetic alopecia, it's a commitment for long term use.

If you get an improvement with minoxidil (which 30 % do) and you decide to stop the medication.... the hair falls out and you return back to the original look in 6-9 months. 

Minoxidil is a long term treatment. Take your time learning about the risks and benefits. Minoxidil was the first FDA approved treatment for hair loss and continues to be the only FDA approved topical treatment for hair loss. 

30 years of clinical use have shown it to be effective for many individuals with hair loss.

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Toronto Dermatologist

Minoxidil: Duration of Use

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In choosing whether to start minoxidil, it is important to understand that this is a long term commitment. If you experience hair regrowth and then you stop using the minoxidil for whatever reason, then you will lose these new hairs. The logic is though that if you are seeing the benefit, then why would you stop? And if you don't see a benefit and you discontinue use, then you have nothing to lose. All in all, about 1/3 of patient experience regrowth, 1/3 experience maintenance of hair meaning they stop losing hair, and 1/3 have no benefit at all. Minoxidil has a very low side effect profile and therefore a good option for male and female patients with pattern hair loss. 

Jennifer Ahdout, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Minoxidil Instructions

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The improvement that you may get with Minoxidil is only temporary and its effects will reverse when the treatment has stopped.  I do put patients on it before transplant because it seems to protect any native hair that the patient has while the transplant is put in.  It has few side effects and generally thought to be helpful.  The down side-- you have to remember to use it.  Some patients are complient with the regimine and some are not.  Good Luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Minoxidil for Long-term Use

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Minoxidil is for long-term use, and will only be effective for as long as you’re using it. Though many people find their results with Minoxidil to be disappointing (it is most effective when application begins at the early onset of hair loss and does not work on the hairline, only the vertex), physicians recommend a person use it for at least one year before deciding whether or not it is the right treatment.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Is Minoxidil for Short-term or Long-term Use?

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Years ago there was nothing anyone could do to stop hair loss.  Today we have modalities like Rogaine (minoxidil), Propecia and Luce when one is trying to preserve hair.

So the good news is you can slow it down or stop it. However some patients feel "let down" when they realize this is something they have to do for the rest of there lives.  For If you use it now and stop it, say 5 years from now, any hair that was destined to fall out will do so at that point. 

In summary, it needs to be used long term 2 times per day or you are wasting you time and investment.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Minoxidil can stop shedding

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Minoxidil is helpful in increasing the caliber of individual hair follicles as well as increasing the time that each follicle is in the actively growing (anagen) phase. However it only works as long as you use it. This it can help address short term hair loss from having a baby or general anesthesia, in which you can stop when your hair grows back to normal (minoxidil just speeds the process) or for long term inherited pattern thinning (which is progressive and requires continued use of the minoxidil).

Nicole E. Rogers, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist

Length of time for Minoxidil use.

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When used topically to promote hair growth, it can be likely used indefinitely in the doses prescribed. In fact, if it is stopped, the hair growth will likely cease.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.