Using Minoxidil is a life sentence?

I had Telogen Effluvium for almos a year, the doctor suggested to use minoxidil but I dont want to start an expensive treatment and have to keep using forever otherwise I will lose my hair again. People with telogen effluvium need to continue this treatment for life too?, or I can stop the medication and dont lose the hair after this stage pass. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

Minoxidil is not for treating telogen effuvium. If you do nothing the hairs will grow back for TE.

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Minoxidil is not for treating telogen effuvium. If you do nothing the hairs will grow back for TE.  If you have have concerns see your doctor for clarification.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews


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Dear Sonic78,

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
Yorkville, Toronto

Telogen Effluvium - Do I need to use minoxidil forever?

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The 'rules' are slightly different when minoxidil is used for telogen effluvium compared to genetic hair loss.  So no, hair doesn't fall out once you stop minoxidil for all types of hair loss. Of course, it absolutely does fall out if the individual is using it for genetic hair loss.

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

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

Rogaine regiment

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One of the draw backs of minoxidil is that once you commit to it , you have to use it for life time.  If you have gained any hair or if you have stoped any hair from using minoxidil, once you stop then the hair will fall off.

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 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.