Posted by: Sandy | 2009/03/10


hi there

if i stop minoxidil 5% is my hair going to continue falling out?
I am losing hair but i' m afraid depending on the minoxidil for the rest of my life for side effects etc

I used to have thick hair but it is like half of what it used to be with mainly by the sides there is distinct patterns of hairloss.

Does minoxidil promote regrowth or does it just stop the loss?Is there other more effective treatment?

Also should i go see a hair doctor? I have heard of an aestatic center?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Sandy

Thank you for visiting

I recommend that you consult a dermatologist to have your scalp examined and to have blood tests done to exclude a spesific pathology causing the hairloss. It is most likely a condition known as Alopecia Areato.


Dr Anrich Burger

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Sandy | 2009/03/11

Are you a doctor?

Is this reply from CYBERDOC?

Reply to Sandy
Posted by: CD | 2009/03/10

Sandy, if you stop using the Minoxidil you will unfortunately lose all regrown hair within 6-12 months. It also tends to work less well once you' re older than 30. that said, you can continue using it and it should slow down any future hairloss.

of course the best would be to find out why your hair is falling out. The average person has about 100 000 hairs on his/her head that have an average life span of about 3 years. A single hair will grow for 2-4 years, rest for 2-4 months and then fall out. On average a normal person loses about a 70-100 hairs a day that are replaced by new hairs soon after. When something goes wrong with this process, you become bald.

Mainly there are 2 types of alopecia –  localised or patchy and diffuse alopecia. The most common cause for localised alopecia is a fungal infection or alopecia areata. There are 5 fairly common causes of diffuse hair loss. These are: telogen effluvium, nutritional disorders, drugs, hormone abnormalities and male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).

Telogen effluvium or toxic alopecia is temporary hair loss of up to a third of a person’ s hair due an insult to the body. It usually manifests 2-4 months after the incident. Common causes are crash diets, exam stress, big operations, pregnancy and divorce/loss of a loved one. It starts normalising after 3-6 months and after a year it’ s almost always back to normal. It is more common in females and needs no treatment.

The most common nutritional problems associated with alopecia are iron and zinc deficiency. In practice, these are probably the only ones causing alopecia. From this you can see that taking hundreds of vitamins, nutrients, microelements etc. (who knows what some of the concoctions contain), will do no good. Biotin for instance, can make your hair grow strong and thick, but it will not stop you from going bald. If the blood tests for iron and zinc are normal, a nutritional deficiency is not the cause of your alopecia.

Drugs most commonly associated with alopecia are oral contraceptives, warfarin, heparin, cimetidine, and propranolol. Chemotherapy is widely associated with hair loss, but this is a reversible hair loss in almost all cases.

Hormone problems may cause hair loss, but not the sex hormones. Neither oestrogen nor testosterone deficiency or excess, plays a role in hair loss. The diseases that are associated with alopecia are diabetes mellitus and thyroid problems. From the above you can work out that when you have blood samples taken to determine the cause of your hair loss, one seldom needs to do more than tests for iron, zinc, thyroid hormone, sugar and a full blood count.

as you can see, these are all things that your GP can sort out for you. Only after the above has been sorted out should you consider a specialist like a dermatologist or a hair clinic.

Good luck,

Reply to CD

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