Should I use minoxidil (Rogaine) after my hair transplant?
Many hair transplant patients want to know if they should use minoxidil after their hair transplant. For many patients, it's usually a good idea. Use of minoxidil after a hair transplant can do two things:
1. speed of the rate that the transplanted hairs start growing by about 1 month.
2. reduce the chances of ongoing hair loss in existing hairs (non transplanted hairs)
in 1987, Dr. Kassimir published a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. He reported his findings with 12 patients who used minoxidil after their hair transplant. 2 of the 12 patients didn't lose the transplanted hairs ( a finding we normally see at 3 weeks) and 2 of the patients started regrowing hair at 4 weeks (instead of 3 months that we normally see)
Advice to patients regarding minoxidil after hair transplant
I don't advise minoxidil to all my patients. For some it's impractical. For some, they do not want to use and this was important in their decision to get a transplant in the first place. But for those who we do decide to start minoxidil, I advise starting (or restarting it) 5 to 7 days after the hair transplant. The decision on how long to continue is also important. For preventing loss of existing hair, clearly it needs to be continued long term. However, for boosting growth of transplanted hairs, it can be continued 4 to 6 months.
Kassimir JJ. Use of topical minoxidil as a possible adjunct to hair transplant surgery. A pilot study. Journal American Academy of Dermatology 1987; 16: 685-7
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299