There are many reasons why abnormal hair loss occurs. No matter what the cause of your hair loss is, there are many treatment options available. Minoxidil is a hair loss treatment that’s readily available over the counter. Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is commonly prescribed as a medication that promotes hair growth and slows hair loss.
But some people report other changes to their hair when using Rogaine, such as colour changes. So does Minoxidil change hair colour — and how can you combat this?
Learn more about the effectiveness of Minoxidil as a hair loss treatment, which side effects can occur (including colour changes), and the answers to other frequently asked questions about this popular hair loss drug.
Some patients report colour changes in their hair when using Minoxidil. While most of these reports are anecdotal, there is some scientific evidence that Minoxidil results in hair changing colour [1, 2]. In these rare cases, the hair often grows back lighter than the rest of your hair. Reports suggest colour changes can range from grey to light brown to yellow.
Image credit: Australasian Journal of Dermatology (2018).
It can be confusing or even alarming to experience unexpected hair colour changes. However, colour changes during Minoxidil use are rare, so you must weigh up this minimal risk when considering hair loss treatment options.
If you prefer your old hair colour, it may be tempting to use dye to reverse the effects. You can dye your hair while using Minoxidil, but you should be aware of the risks. Hair dye and bleach can dry out and damage your hair. So if you dye your hair and stop using Minoxidil, you may find your hair is in worse condition than when you started.
Learn more about hair dye and hair loss.
Minoxidil, which was originally developed as a treatment for blood pressure problems, works by increasing the flow of blood to the hair follicles. This increases the size of the follicles and stimulates hair growth. It has a good track record in men and women , but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Most surgeons prescribe Minoxidil as a supplement to hair transplant surgery. Minoxidil was the second-highest prescribed medication in 2021 by International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery members. See photos showing the results of Minoxidil before and after treatment.
Minoxidil should be used twice a day, every day. Once you stop using it the hair loss process will restart. Any hair that has regrown as a result of Minoxidil treatment will fall out again, so this cannot be seen as a permanent solution to hair loss.
Learn how to apply Minoxidil for best results. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to hair loss, consider looking into FUE or FUT transplant surgery.
Any type of strong medication or treatment can have side effects. If you are thinking of trying Minoxidil it is advisable to speak to a qualified trichologist before using it for the first time. If you have any blood pressure or heart-related problems it is also advisable to speak with your doctor first.
Many who have used Minoxidil (and other hair loss drugs like Finasteride) have reported increased hair loss when they first start to use it although some say that new hair growth is noticeable only after several months. Initial shedding results from the normal follicular resting phase. See our comparison of Finasteride vs Minoxidil to learn more about these two popular treatments. See more alternatives to Minoxidil for more hair loss treatment options.
The best way to begin to combat hair loss is by taking advice from a qualified trichologist in order to find out why hair loss is happening and what you can do about it. Hair loss is something that affects men and women and can be very debilitating so it is understandable that you will want to do something to try and reverse it if possible.
Minoxidil, or Rogaine, must not be seen as a cure for hair loss. This drug is effective only whilst you continue to use it. For a more permanent solution talk to a qualified trichologist here at the Wimpole Clinic, who can advise you on what other hair restoration options are available.
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