Minoxidil for Telogen Effluvium: Maybe.

Minoxidil is not a simple patch for TE

I'm often asked if minoxidil can be used for a telogen effluvium which is a hair shedding condition where the amount of daily hair shedding goes up. The answer is (unfortunately) ... maybe.

Key to helping stop a shedding problem is determining the cause!

Minoxidil can sometimes help a patient with a telogen effluvium. However the key treatment is to figure out the cause of the patient's shedding including:

  1. stressful events (bereavement, break up and financial problems)
  2. thyroid problems
  3. nutritional issues (weight loss, bowel problems)
  4. crash diets
  5. low iron
  6. medications (antidepressants, lithium, beta blockers, heparin)
  7. internal illnesses (lupus, autoimmune disease, cancers)

What tests are needed for anyone with shedding?

Blood tests and a full comprehensive examination is needed for anyone with a telogen effluvium.


Yes, Minoxidil can help a proportion with TE but not everyone. It some it makes worse. Telogen effluvium (if truly the diagnosis) can be challenging to treat. I advise patients to get expert advice rather than self diagnose and attempt to patch the situation. 

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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