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Does Minoxidil Change Hair Colour? Minoxidil FAQs
Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Updated on March 12, 2024

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.

However, 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.

Table of Contents

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a popular hair loss treatment used to stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss in individuals who suffer from a variety of hair loss conditions including:

Minoxidil can be found over the counter under the brand names Rogaine (US) or Regaine (UK). This hair loss treatment is safe for both men and women to use and comes in a variety of strengths and forms including:

Does minoxidil really regrow hair?

Minoxidil is one of the more effective hair loss treatments available over the counter and has been shown to be effective at treating hair thinning 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 [3], but it doesn’t work for everyone.

Results of taking low dose oral Minoxidil for 24 weeks in male pattern hair loss patient
Hair regrowth results of taking low dose oral Minoxidil for 24 weeks
Results in female pattern hair loss patient over 6 months of using topical Minoxidil solution
Results in female pattern hair loss patient over 6 months of using Minoxidil topical solution to treat hair loss

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 (ISHRS) members.

How often should you use Minoxidil?

Minoxidil should be used as directed. For topical Minoxidil, it’s recommended that the solution be applied twice a day to a clean scalp that is free from other skin or hair products. Learn how to apply Minoxidil for best results.

Oral Minoxidil should be taken daily and as directed.

Does Minoxidil change hair colour?

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.

changes in hair coloring due to topical Minoxidil

Image credit: Australasian Journal of Dermatology (2018).


It can be confusing or even alarming to experience unexpected hair color changes. However, colour changes during Minoxidil use are rare, so you must weigh up this minimal risk when considering hair loss treatment options.

Can you dye your hair while using Minoxidil?

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 for hair loss, but you should be aware of the risks. If you decide to dye your hair, make sure that your scalp is clean and free from Minoxidil for at least 24 hours before colouring or undergoing any other hair treatment procedure (ex. perming or relaxing).

Furthermore, it’s important to take into consideration that 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.

How long do I need to use Minoxidil?

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.

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 hair shedding results from the normal follicular resting phase.

What are the side effects of Minoxidil?

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.

Topical Minoxidil side effects

In comparison to other hair loss treatments such as Finasteride and Dutasteride, topical Minoxidil (either as a solution or as a foam) has minimal side effects. However, there are some side effects that you should be aware of, these include the following:

  • Skin/scalp irritation
  • Scalp or skin rash
  • Itchy scalp caused by Minoxidil
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Minoxidil hair shedding
  • Changes in hair colour

Oral Minoxidil side effects

Unfortunately, unlike topical Minoxidil, the side effects of oral Minoxidil treatment are more significant. Some side effects you should be aware of when taking this oral medication are listed as follows:

  • Hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth on the body or face)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fluid retention (contact your GP if fluid retention results in a rapid weight gain of 5lbs (2kg) or more)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Headaches
  • Swelling in the face and feet
  • Insomnia

What can I do if Minoxidil is not working for me?

The best way to begin to combat hair loss is by taking advice from a qualified trichologist to find out why hair loss is happening and what you can do about it. Hair loss and hair disorders are something that affects men and women and can be very debilitating so, understandably, 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 including alternatives to Minoxidil.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to hair loss, consider looking into FUE or FUT transplant surgery. Book a consultation to find out more about what other treatment options are available.

Does Minoxidil Change Hair Colour? Minoxidil FAQs, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)Updated on March 12, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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