Shedding a lot of hair when using minoxidil.
October 6, 2011 3:08 PM   Subscribe

How much is too much "shedding" (hair falling out at the root) as a side effect of Minoxidil (generic Rogaine) in women?

I have always had thin hair and some shedding, but as I enter my 30s, it's gotten worse. I've had blood tests and my thyroid tested without any abnormal results, and am taking prenatal vitamins and biotin. I am not unduly stressed at work or in my personal life, and I'm actually healthier now than I've ever been.

So I started using the generic 2% minoxidil about 2 months ago, and my hair has started shedding A LOT within the past 3 weeks. As in every time I wash my hair I get a clump of hair in my hand, followed by another wad falling out as I dry it (towel dried very gently, and I almost never blow-dry), and dozens of hairs scattered on my clothing as I get dressed. It has gotten to the point where my family is starting to notice my rapidly thinning hair, and I am starting to get concerned.

I've read online that hair shedding is a typical side effect of minoxidil use and that it might actually be a sign that "it's working." While I can believe this, I'm wondering when the hair shedding will end, and if new hair will actually start growing. Does anyone have any experience with this? Should I push through and continue application or cut my losses and hope my hair recovers? Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
N = 1. My spouse uses it and sheds. But it works.
posted by k8t at 3:29 PM on October 6, 2011

Optimally, you would use this product under the advice/supervision of a doctor or dermatologist. Minimally, it is designed for women with a genetic tendency towards hair loss - in other words - if you know - did your mother's hair thin? I have used the product for the last six months with the yes condition to both of the above, and I feel it is working - certainly not hurting - no shedding, in fact, I'd say shedding is greatly reduced. I am in my early 40's. I don't know, I'm only one data point, but I hope you get lots of responses and weigh them up. I can't advise you per se, but your experience is different from mine.
posted by rainbaby at 4:39 PM on October 6, 2011

Uh, you do know that rogaine causes birth defects, right? (you mentioned taking pre natal vitamins ...)
posted by yarly at 7:05 PM on October 6, 2011

My data: I had massive shedding the second month and it halted in the third month. I'm pretty satisfied now.
I assume the prenatal is for your hair.
posted by classa at 5:02 AM on October 7, 2011

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