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Minoxidil/Rogaine warning: shedding

Discussion in 'Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia' started by nonanon, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. nonanon

    nonanon Guest

    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.
     
    #1 nonanon, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2013
  2. tcat

    tcat Guest

    I want to chime in here and say that I agree with what you've said, and I had a similar experience. For me the shedding was worse the entire time I used it, and I was on it for about 9 months -- I read many accounts saying that would stop at about month 3 -- not in my case. Also, the classic head tingling, burning, itching started after I started minoxidil -- not before and has GREATLY subsided now that I've been off it since June. My hair is almost back to where it was when I started this whole process, but the months I was on minoxidil it was the worst. I probably wouldn't have listened to this when I started to use minoxidil because I was so hopeful that it would work -- the very few new hairs I got on it were nothing compared to the ones I've had since I stopped it. I actually shed an entire spot and am seeing more new hair grow back there in a few months since off it -- on it I saw nothing. I don't want to say that it doesn't work for some people, but it did not work for, and I do regret trying it.
     
  3. Mihamay

    Mihamay Guest

    Nonanon, I am sorry to hear about you experience with Minoxidil and thank you for sharing it. As strange as it may seems, the things that stroke me mostly at your story were the 2 "messages" that you receive from your instict ( intuition) at two separate times that warned you about the damaging effect that Minoxidil may have on you. I am dealing with hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) for about 7 months now and while I was initially willing to consider the heavy medical route ( hormones and Rogaine), I was blocked every time by my intuition not to do that. I am glad I have been listening because I am improving now very slowly, but on a natural way.

    I recently came to the conclusion that the first and most important thing that women fighting hair loss should do is find inner balance and peace before attempting to find a cure. This may sound crazy, because I believe most of us will think I will be happy, when I get my hair back, I will be at peace when I see my hair growing, but, really, I belive that the process is exactly the other way around. We need to find inner peace in order to heal our hair. For me was psychoterapy and meditation, for other women might be praying and going to church, writing a journal, talking to a spiritual healer. I do believe that once we have found inner peace we can listen better to our hearts and intuition and find the right solutions for our hair loss. Again, these solutions might be very different: for some women, Rogaine might indeed be the answer, for others, a more natural approach, and finally other women, will find peace and acceptance in simply letting their hair go.

    I am sorry to hear that you lost your hair so very fast with Minoxidil. But I believe, that in this heavy experience there is also a sunny sight: you have received a wonderful message from above, telling you to always listen to your insticts, these are the ones you need to trust first and foremost. I really hope your great intuition will help you recover the hair you lost and find your balance. Have faith. It is possible.
     
  4. Phenix

    Phenix Established Member

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    I stopped using Rogaine and any minoxdil October 2012. All it did for me was cause dryness and breakage on my hair front and sides. What's helping me now is good ol castor oil and I started using msm cream about month ago. The MSM cream was suggeston from another Alopecia site. A much cheaper alternative for me and about the same results without the breakage. (I also started taking msm internally.)

    I did experience hairloss on my nape and I rubbed a bit of castor oil in and its slowly growing back in that area.
     
  5. Mihamay

    Mihamay Guest

    Phenix, what kind of MSM cream are you using? I have been also using castor oil with good results and recently I have started to make my own MSM topical ( just distilled water and MSM powder) that I spray every night into my hair. I also take MSM internally for about 2 weeks now. Still looking to see more regrowth, but my hair looks much healthier and thicker than it was in a long time.
     
  6. Phenix

    Phenix Established Member

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    Hi Mihamay, I’m using Source Naturals MSM Cream. Besides MSM, the cream contains antioxidants vitamin E, aloe vera leaf, Sweet almond, rosemary & jojoba oils, gingko and other ingredients. It was suggested on another site after doing some research and of course when I went to buy the sources naturals brand, it was sold out everywhere. The company decided to change the packaging (label) however, now you can find it on amazon, iherb or the vitamin shoppe.


    What I usually do is apply the msm cream and then seal it in with the castor oil in the front and sides at night. In the morning, I only use the msm cream; the castor oil only on my nape once a day or every other day. Much better for me than the rogaine.


    Here’s one of the websites that recommended MSM and the type of brands to buy.



    http://www.common-sense-health.com/msm-and-sulfur-for-hair-loss.htm
     
  7. raaha

    raaha Guest

    Hi Phenix, i guess you have posted some data on using onion juice. Did you try it and if so can you share your experience? thanks
     
  8. Mihamay

    Mihamay Guest

    Thank you, Phenix, this is really helpful! I will try that, too!
     
  9. Phenix

    Phenix Established Member

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    Hi raaha,

    i got lazy on the onion juice and was not consistent. While surfing the net looking for an alternative and an easier way instead of juicing onions, I came across the website posted above. MSM cream is sulfur; the sulfer is also contained in onions. MSM cream was the way to go and eliminating the onion smell for me. I started on the cream February 2013, so its been a month. I like to give it at least 3 months or more to see. So far, no further shedding on the sides.

    The brand Sources Naturals was out of stock everywhere, just after I went to that website. I think they were repackaging the product. They brought it back in Feb so I bought the two packed to last. Of course because of the demand on Amazon, they hike the price a bit, but not much. I bought mines from Iherb (very reasonable). I'm really trying to take a natural route in combating this hair loss. Since sulfer combats inflamation, (which is one of the causes of my hair loss), I'll stick with this for now and I also started taking msm supplements.

    @Mihamay, you're welcome!
     
  10. New2AA

    New2AA Guest

    Thanks so much for your post nonanon. Even though I bought 4 bottles of Minoxidil for my daughter, I went by pure intuition and decided against using them. My God, I would never have forgiven myself if the shedding got worse because of Minoxidil.

    My daughter's hair shedding has reduced considerably (only falls when washing which I guess is not too bad, not otherwise) and all we can do now is pray of regrowth on the head (20 odd round patches) of which there are no signs so far. Her eyebrow now shows a few hairs growing slowly from one end (all black, not the peachy fuzz). Fingers crossed.

    Wish you all the best.
     
  11. raaha

    raaha Guest

    Phenix, thanks for the information
     
  12. nonanon

    nonanon Guest

    New2AA,

    Has your daughter been diagnosed with alopecia areata? As far as I'm aware, minoxidil indications are different for that condition. The below is from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_alopecia_treatment):

    "Topical Minoxidil:
    Five percent topical minoxidil solution applied twice daily may regrow hair in alopecia areata. Scalp, eyebrows, and bear may respond. If scalp hair regrows completely, treatment can be stopped. Two percent topical minoxidil solution alone is not effective in alopecia areata; response may improve if cortisone cream is applied thirty minutes after the monoxidil. Topical minoxidil is safe, easy to use, and does not lower blood pressure in persons with normal blood pressure. Topical minoxidil solution is not effective in treating those with 100% scalp hair loss."

    Reports of increased body hair growth seem common for 5% minoxidil use. Also I've seen reports of people getting wrinkles using it. Also headaches.

    There was a study in Scotland of the use of a blend of essential oils on the scalps of people with alopecia areata, with promising results. If you do an internet search, you'll be able to find details on what oils were used and how often.
     
  13. New2AA

    New2AA Guest

    Sorry for the delay in responding - I just saw your post now.

    Yes, my daughter has been diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. She says she is still losing hair and has a couple of new patches. But there is regrowth in all of the old patches. She has not taken any steroids/topical creams or any other conventional treatments.
     
  14. Leo23

    Leo23 Guest

    Using minoxidil is by far the biggest mistake i made. I totally regret it. To loose all the hairs i am loosing was not worth it. I wasnt even that bad to begin with.

    I used minoxidil by the end of feb 2014 and started shedding so much hair shortly after. It was so much hair that i decided to stop using it about two weeks in. I also read that minoxidil causes increased shedding for the first three months. But it's been over that period, and i've only really used it for a total of 3-4 weeks, and im still shedding to date.

    I am in the dark, wondering when this massive shedding would stop or if it will ever stop at all. :(
     
  15. Leo23

    Leo23 Guest

    i know that this is an old post but i'd try my luck and maybe I'll get some sort of response.

    I only shed less than 10 hairs a day. never had any major problems with hairloss. someone recommended minoxidil to me when i asked how to thicken my hair aesthetically. i tried it and my hair shed massively shortly after. my scalp was also getting irritated from the product. so i had to stop during the "dread shed" period. i only used the product for 4 weeks. 3 months later and i'm still shedding at the "dread shed" rate. it has never gone back to normal. i'm thinned out, and found a bald spot in my hair. it's so depressing. what's worse is that it's still continuing.
     
  16. mandeloo

    mandeloo Guest

    I'm also late to the party but I was told by my dermatologist who specializes in hair loss and hair restoration to only use Rogaine when I washed my hair with Nizoral: once a day 2-3 times a week.
    I've read so many accounts of women losing a ton of hair from Rogaine. I honestly think it's because they use too much, following the directions on the box. I have the 5% foam and although it's too early to tell, at least it doesn't make my hair look crazy. I've also washed my hair after and I didn't have an increase (or decrease) in shedding.
    I know it itches a little but the Nizoral takes care of that.
     
  17. mykonoki

    mykonoki Guest

    Warning about web site

    I looked at this web site just now and I have to say it's so fraudulent that I just laughed out loud.
    They suggest Emu Oil, which the FDA gives as an example for fraud medication here:
    http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm137284.htm

    Just saying - watch out and do ALL the research you can before you buy anything....
     
  18. KatW

    KatW Guest

    Castor Oil

    Hello, I am new to this site. Are you still using the Castor Oil and if so how are the results? I was using Minoxidil 5% for about 18 months and suddenly started having severe itching and then hair loss again, was also taking Plaquinil as proscribed by my Dr. She had me stop everything to include the Plaquinil and now the hair loss has begun again. I also have what I call a few spots that seem like a little pimple in the crown area. Am going to contact Dr again but wanted to see how the Castor Oil was going for you.
    Thanks,
    KatW
     

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