Minoxidil after hair transplantation: Is there a role?
I’m often asked whether minoxidil has any role in post operative care after a hair transplant. My general advice is that minoxidil may help reduce shedding of grafts and shedding of existing hair (ie. a post operative telogen effluvium) ... but does not appear to influence the chance of the grafts surviving.
Here are some studies of note:
In 1987, Kassimir first reported that 2 of 12 patients undergoing a hair transplant showed growth of the grafts without shedding. Thereafter, Singh published a study with 40 patients showing that minoxidil did not affect the survival of grafts after a transplant but did affect the chances that the grafts would be shed. A similar finding was reported by Bouhanna in 1989.
Overall there is a role for minoxidil in pre and post operative care. Minoxidil may reduce shedding of grafts and may reduce the post operative telogen effluvium of existing hair as well. Whether or not one should use it, however, needs to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
1. Kassimir JJ. Use of topical minoxidil as a possible adjunct to hair transplant surgery. A pilot study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Mar;16(3 Pt 2):685-7.
2. Bouhanna P. Topical minoxidil used before and after hair transplantation. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989 Jan;15(1):50-3.
3. Singh G. Effect of minoxidil on hair transplantation in alopecia androgenetica. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 1998 Jan-Feb;64(1):23-4.
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