Question: I've been using hair loss treatment for male pattern baldness for 1.2 years and it's been going well but now I'm shedding more hair than I used to before I started treatment - is this normal? I want to know can you still lose hair when you use minox, fin and nizoral or does it mean my treatment isn't working any more. Thanks.
Answer: Hi, Gavin. Everyone, regardless of whether they have a hair loss condition or not, sheds hair regularly.
This is simply a regular part of the hair growth cycle whereby older hairs are constantly being replaced by newer ones. It is normal to lose up to 100 or so hairs per day without there being any need for concern.
We would need further information regarding the hair loss you are currently seeing in order to provide you with a confirmed diagnosis and recommendations so having a consultation either in person or online, would be beneficial to get a more accurate, personalised answer. For now, however, we can give you some general advice to your query.
You note treating your Male Pattern Baldness with a combination of the only two clinically-proven male hair loss treatments, minoxidil and finasteride 1mg. As Nizoral is simply a shampoo it is unlikely to have any significant effect on your hair growth.
Finasteride 1mg inhibits the formation of DHT, which is what causes the thinning hair and drop in hair density symptomatic of Male Pattern Hair Loss. High strength minoxidil promotes accelerated, localised hair growth. This can extend the active growth phase of the hair cylce, but does not prevent normal shedding from occurring.
Whilst shedding is possible when you first start using minoxidil and/or finasteride, as you have been on your current course for over a year, this is not applicable here.
In many cases, every day hair fall is barely noticeable so the fact you are aware of this and believe you are shedding a considerable amount suggests there may be another factor at play beyond genetic hair loss.
The first thing we would have you look for is where the hair is shedding from - is it just the top that is affected or is it the whole scalp? Secondly, think back to anything unusual which may have taken place around three months ago, particularly any illnesses, accidents or stressful life events.
Male Pattern Baldness only affects the area of the scalp along the vertex (top) from hairline and temples to crown, however, temporary hair loss conditions such as Telogen Effluvium cause diffuse shedding from the entire scalp.
Whilst it may appear to come on suddenly, Telogen Effluvium, which can affect over 30 per cent of scalp hairs and tends to last for no longer than six months, is generally triggered three months prior to hair fall becoming noticeable.
The most common cause of this temporary shedding is stress; this can be emotional or physical, including issues such as dietary imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, an underlying illness, accident, or surgery.
This type of temporary hairloss can present simultaneously alongside Male Pattern Baldness or on its own, and should clear up naturally within a few months.
Another potential issue that can cause excessive hair fall is seasonal shedding. Although this tends to happen during the winter months, it can also happen at other points during the year and, again, rights itself without any need for intervention.
As before, the best way to find out exactly what is behind your current shedding is to have a hair loss specialist examine your scalp or conduct an online consultation using photos. They can then determine what is the cause and whether your current hair loss treatment regimen is appropriate for your situation.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.