Using Minoxidil is a life sentence?
Doctor Answers 4
Minoxidil is not for treating telogen effuvium. If you do nothing the hairs will grow back for TE.
Thank you for your clinical post and this is a common question that I see with my hair transplantation patients. For patients who truly have Telogen Effluvium looking for the cause, reversing the cause is often the treatment. If a cause cannot be found the Telogen Effluvium occasionally then low level light therapy, topical nutrient shampoos, plasma rich protein and Minoxidil can be used to try and stimulate the hairs back into growing phase. Once the hairs are in a growing phase then the therapeutic interventions mentioned above including Minoxidil can be stopped and the hair should continue to grow and progress normally according to the genetic code locked within your hair follicles.
For individuals with genetic hair loss or male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss the use of these stimulants such as Minoxidil is a lifelong commitment. Generally, any gains achieved with female patterning hair loss with topical nutrient shampoos, low level light therapy, Minoxidil or even PRP will be lost if the treatments are stopped.
Hopefully you’ve had an accurate diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium and you should expect a reasonable recovery of the hair density you once had.
I would seek out the advice of a cosmetic dermatologist with a significant interest in Telogen Effluvium or hair restoration centre that also has interest and expertise in temporary causes of hair loss that don’t require transplantation.
I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.
For more information, please review the link below.
R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
Certified Plastic Surgeon
Telogen Effluvium - Do I need to use minoxidil forever?
Let's back up a bit. Minoxidil is FDA approved for genetic hair loss. It's not approved for telogen effluvium but is sometimes used. Individuals who use minoxidil for genetic hair loss need to keep using it. If they stop, they lose the hair they gained within 9 months. So, for individuals with genetic hair loss, minoxidil is a huge commitment for life.
For telogen effluvium, the rules are different. The first and foremost goal of treating telogen effluvium is to try to identify a cause (if possible) such as low iron, thyroid, dieting, etc. Sometimes a cause can't be found and treatments likely minoxidil are tried. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is not FDA approved for telogen effluvium, but is sometimes used. The purpose of using minoxidil in telogen effluvium is simply to get the hairs back into the growing phase. For many, many people with telogen effluvium, minoxidil can be stopped once the hairs a growing well and shedding has settled down. In such cases, minoxidil is used in a way to reset the hair growth cycles.
There statement that minoxidil needs to be used forever or the hair falls out applies MAINLY to genetic hair loss. For other types of hair loss, I often use minoxidil for shorter duration
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