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10 Frequently Asked Questions About Using Minoxidil

HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Minoxidil DropperAt Belgravia we are frequently asked a number of questions about the unisex, clinically-proven treatment minoxidil; here we answer ten of the most common queries. You can also click on the blue question titles for further information on each.

If you have alternative concerns or would like advice on another hair loss matter, simply get in touch by clicking the banner above. Or for details about the various high strength minoxidil formulations available from Belgravia, please contact the centre directly.

Anyone using hair loss treatment who has queries regarding any part of their course should contact their provider – in the case of Belgravia this would be the client’s dedicated Treatment Advisor who can be contacted directly by phone or email, or via the centres’ main switchboard – for assistance.

1. How do I apply minoxidil?

Where and how you need to apply it depends on your condition and what form of shedding you are experiencing, but you can find a general guide to applying minoxidil products by clicking on the question title above.

During your initial consultation at Belgravia a hair loss specialist nurse will show you how to apply minoxidil to your scalp. If you would ever like a refresher demonstration, just let your personal treatment advisor know and they can arrange this for you.

2. Do I have to wash my hair each time after I use my minoxidil?

No, although it is advisable to wash your hair if not once per day then once every other day in order to avoid any build-up of minoxidil residue on the scalp. You should leave at least an hour after applying minoxidil before washing your hair.

3. Do you have to use minoxidil continuously to see results?

In terms of whether it is an on-going treatment, this depends on the condition you are using it for. If it is for a permanent hair loss condition such as Male Pattern Baldness or Female Hair Loss then, because the DHT which causes thinning hair in these cases is produced constantly and therefore treatment to counteract this is on-going. In instances where the hairloss is temporary, such as Telogen Effluvium, once the hair has regrown the treatment may be stopped in some cases.

Where the condition may be either temporary or recurring, such as Alopecia Areata, if the hair grows back you can stop treatment and hair growth should remain. Some people have recurring alopecia, where patches may return. In such cases you can continue to use minoxidil on any new patches.

In all of these cases, Belgravia clients will be assisted and advised by their treatment advisor and hair loss specialist nurse in order to closely monitor the situation and ensure the best course of action for the client at all times, throughout.

For any condition it is important to be consistent with your usage and apply every day as instructed.

4. What if I stop then start again?

Depending on how long you stop for before starting again, and the condition you are experiencing, your hair will most likely start to shed again.

5. I’ve just started using minoxidil, why is my hair shedding more than before?

Firstly, we understand this can be disconcerting but it is nothing to worry about – in fact it is a good sign! When Belgravia clients first start using their high strength minoxidil, a small number may find that for a short period their hair starts shedding in slightly larger amounts than before. This can happen in both men and women and is temporary. The hair that sheds will be replaced by new, stronger hair.

6. Will I get better or quicker results if I use more than the normal dose?

Advice on Ways to Stop Hair LossNo. Using more than the dosage specified by your hair loss specialist can be dangerous and it is important that you only use the amount advised by your hair loss specialist. Your minoxidil has been recommended to ensure optimum results for your case so you do not need to use any more than has been prescribed. It can also make you more likely to experience skin irritation and dryness due to excessive use.

7. Can I use minoxidil after a hair transplant?

Yes. Assuming you are medically suitable, it is fine to use minoxidil following a hair transplant. In fact, many hair restoration surgeons recommend following a full male hair loss treatment course for at least six months prior to this type of surgery, and then on an on-going basis after surgery once the scalp has healed, as aftercare. This can help to keep the effects of male pattern baldness at bay in the original, untouched hairs surrounding the restored areas.

8. Can you go swimming or get your hair wet after using minoxidil?

Can You Go Swimming If You Use Minoxidil?Yes. If you want to go swimming, get your hair wet or even want to wash your hair after applying your treatment, make sure you wait at least 20 minutes for it to absorb into the scalp, although ideally if you can, wait up to an hour. With swimming or showering one alternative for occasions when you cannot wait, is to protect your scalp by wearing a swim or shower cap.

9 Can you apply haircare, styling products or sun cream to the scalp after using minoxidil?

Yes. As in the answer to the above query regarding going swimming or getting your hair wet following minoxidil application, it is absolutely fine to use scalp oil or to apply sun cream to the scalp from 20 minutes afterwards although it is always best to try and leave it on for an hour first if possible.

With styling products, such as hairspray, wax, leave-in conditioners, or serums you can apply the product first, wait for it to dry and then apply the minoxidil with the syringe provided – especially in the case of liquid minoxidil, which is very easy to apply directly to the scalp, through the hair with the applicator. For thickening concealer fibres you should apply these after your minoxidil, making sure your hair and the treatment are completely dry beforehand.

10 What do I do about using minoxidil while trying for a baby or whilst pregnant?

Pregnancy TestWomen: Although it is fine up until conception, women must not use any minoxidil products during their pregnancy. So as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed treatment must be stopped. Due to an increase in hormones throughout the pregnancy, the active phase of the hair growth cycle becomes extended, meaning thicker- looking hair.

This will generally be shed once the baby is born due to the temporary hair loss condition Post-Partum Alopecia, but treatment can be resumed once the baby has been born and any breastfeeding stops, so this can be brought back under control again with the help of your specialist.

It is prudent to seek their advice before resuming your previous treatment course as the components may need tweaking to ensure they are right for your level and pattern of shedding at the time of restarting.

Men: Whilst you and your partner are trying to conceive you may continue to use minoxidil but we advise our male clients to stop taking finasteride 1mg one week beforehand. This is the case throughout your partner’s pregnancy then, once the baby is born and after any breastfeeding has ended, you may restart your full treatment regime.

The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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26th February, 2016 at 9:09 pm


Thank you for this very usefull article. I also have learned about the benefit of not washing your hair as often. Does the use of Minoxidil help to keep the health of your hair even if you need to whash it every day or every second day? Keep up the good work! Jay from Playa del Carmen, MX

29th February, 2016 at 1:59 am


Why is Minoxidil 5% not recommended for people over the age of 65 years?

29th February, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Marion, some brands of minoxidil 5% choose not to recommend their product for people over the age of 65, but not all - you can find out more about this here: Why is There an Age Limit of 65 Years Old for Minoxidil Use?

29th February, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Jay, thanks for your kind feedback, we're very glad you are enjoying our blog and finding it useful.

With regards to whether minoxidil helps to maintain the health of your hair, it is a topical vasodilator which means it increases blood flow locally, wherever it is applied.

When it is applied directly to the areas of the scalp where it is needed for hair loss, it will increase the amount of nutrients delivered to the scalp. This does help to improve the condition of the hair assuming the relevant vitamins and minerals for hair health are being put into the body - whether through your diet or via a food supplement such as Hair Vitalics.

10th October, 2016 at 6:17 pm


Does using minoxidil affect female fertility? Also, does it increase the chance of birth defects?

13th October, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Jessica. We have a full response for you from one of our senior hair loss specialists. We hope this is helpful.

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