It's clear that many people have good and excellent results with minoxidil (Rogaine). So I would not try to dissuade anyone from trying it. But I'd like to give my experience and perspective. I have been using minoxidil 2% for 18 months. Dermatologists urged me to use it, I'd say nearly aggressively, for hereditary ("androgenic") hair loss that was exacerbated by illness and stress. My instinct was no, and I was trying to stay away from all medications. But in a phase in which I was a little impulsive I decided I would take charge and dive into the treatment, thinking this would be a way of taking control. Three weeks into applying it twice a day, my hair started shedding extremely. I was losing long hairs and baby hairs. This kept up steadily for another three weeks before I went back to the dermatologist in a bit of a panic. I was hoping to be told to stop using it -- my instinct told me to stop. My hair was noticeably thinner than it was six weeks earlier, when I'd started using it. But I was urged to continue, and assured that minoxidil does not cause hair loss. For the next 16 months, the shedding continued with little variation. The reason I kept up the treatment was, I think, the advice I found on the internet. I saw a lot of posts here and there saying that if you shed, it's a sign that you're a "good candidate" for the treatment and that you must push on through to see results. With the perspective I have now, I think this position is shaky. I lost so much hair in just a few months that it would have been impossible, really, for a person disposed to hair loss like me to regain even half of it from a treatment. It's true I have seen what I believe is "regrowth." I believe this is regrowth generated by the minoxidil because it is a texture different from my regular hair: it's darker, coarser, and curlier. But this hair is so sparse that it does nothing to compensate for what I've lost. And the texture does not blend well with my hair. Over the last few months I've read a ton of internet accounts of minoxidil use, here and on other forums and blogs and web sites, looking for guidance. By no means have I done a scientific study or anything like that. But it seems fair to conclude, based on the sum total of what I've seen, that someone who has extreme shedding in the first month or so of treatment, and who doesn't see that shedding taper off after that, might at least consider stopping. For people who shed a lot and also have some visible regrowth, it seems it's always a catch-up game: growing back a small percentage of what you lost. And from there, it's dependence on the medication, out of fear that the minimal regrowth, too, will be lost. I can't say I wish I hadn't tried minoxidil, because I suppose I'd always wonder what would have happened if I had. But I wish I hadn't been swayed by posts on the internet that encourage people to keep on using it through extreme shedding. It seems possible that there's an entity that trickles this message around, maybe in the interest of money making. That said, there are also accounts of Rogaine working well for both women and men. I know it grows hair for a lot of people. I just want to put a voice out there that says, if you have a whole lot of shedding soon after you've started using it, and the shedding doesn't stop, maybe try not to feel pressured to continue.