Using minoxidil when one doesn't have AGA: Does hair loss occur?

Does hair loss occur when minoxidil is stopped if you won't have AGA?

Minoxidil is approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (male balding and female thinning). Many patients experiment with its use for a range of other conditions and want to know if they will get hair loss if they stop. This is a common question that I get asked.  

The answer is “maybe.” If a patient does not have AGA but he or she is in the very very earliest stages of AGA, a shed could occur when stopping minoxidil and the result be hair loss. Also, if minoxidil is benefitting some sort of telogen effluvium that a patient has (even if subclinical)... they might still get hair loss from stopping. This includes a telogen effluvium from stress, seborrheic dermatitis or poor diet. 



If one gets hair loss from stopping minoxidil, this does not prove that they have genetic hair loss. Rather, it proves they had a hair loss condition that minoxidil was helping. That's the only conclusion that can be made.


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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