Why is my scalp hair shedding while using minoxidil?

Have you noticed that your scalp hair is shedding? Perhaps you were in the shower and you noticed a large number of hairs fall out into your hand all at the same time. Maybe you woke up to find a pillow full of head hair? Seeing this happen can be frightening, but there is no need to worry! This is a normal part of the minoxidil journey and the hairs will grow back. So what exactly is happening?

There are 3 phases of hair growth: anagen phase, catagen phase and telogen phase. Anagen is the growth phase of our hair cycle. Catagen is the phase where the hair detaches from the root, and telogen is the phase where the hair rests inside the follicle after having detached from the root.

15% of the hair on our scalp is in the telogen phase, and we naturally shed up to 50 hairs a day.

A lot of people don’t seem to realize that our hair on our heads is in a constant cycle of growing and shedding. Each hair follicle has its own individual cycle, which is why you do not shed thousands of hairs at once.

When minoxidil goes systemic by absorption into our body through the skin, it causes hair to grow in other places. Even though we are only applying it to our face, because the minoxidil gets absorbed into our blood stream, eventually we get effects of hair growth in other places, one such place being the scalp.

Minoxidil triggers these hair follicles into a rapid anagen state (fast growth) which push out a lot of the telogen hairs in a synchronized accelerated fashion, which is why the shedding can seem drastic.

So, in conclusion, all that is really happening is that old dead hairs are being pushed out of the scalp by new hairs growing through the follicles. No need to worry, all is well.


For a further information, please refer to these two YouTube videos:

From Facial Fuzz (English):

From Como Tener Una Barba Epica (Spanish audio with English Subtitles):

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