Minoxidil for Preventing Hair Loss from Chemotherapy

I'd like to review a very nice study dating back about 20 years now. Madelaine Duvic and colleagues set out to determine whether minoxidil could benefit patients undergoing chemotherapy. They wanted to know if 2 % minoxidil could prevent hair loss during chemotherapy, or reduce the overall burden of hair loss experienced by patients.

22 patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy entered into a randomized doubled blind placebo controlled study. Interestingly, minoxidil could not prevent hair loss but did speed up the rate of hair regrowth by about 50 days.

Conclusion: Overall, minoxidil was found to be safe during chemotherapy and reduced the number of days that patients were bald.


Duvic et al. A randomized trial of minoxidil in chemotherapy induced alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996.

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

Share This