Question: I've been using regular strength minoxidil for three years but only on my temples. They were thin but now they're fine and the minoxidil seems to be working for me. I have noticed that my hair overall is getting thinner though like I don't have as much hair when I go to put my hair in a ponytail. It's definitely not as thick as it used to be. Should I start using the minoxidil on other areas of my scalp as well like the top or all over? What would you recommend?
Answer: Hi, Melody. We're glad to hear that this has been working for you so far, however, we note that you're not a Belgravia patient so would recommend having a consultation with a hair loss specialist in order to get a professional diagnosis of your condition, if you have not done so already.
This will enable the correct hair loss treatment course recommendations - for both medication and hair growth supporting products - to be made and personalised to your condition, level and pattern of shedding, as well as your medical profile.
From the information you give here, it sounds as if you have Female Pattern Hair Loss. This is a common, hereditary condition which affects the follicles along the top of the scalp, temples and hairline.
Typical signs of this genetic hair loss include shedding from all over the top of the scalp, thinning hair on top and at the temples, as well as a drop in hair density - something women often notice as a widening of their parting and a thinner ponytail than normal, as you mention.
These symptoms may not all present at the same time, therefore, you may simply have started to notice hair thinning at your temples first and this is now progressing as it is a permanent condition which will generally worsen over time.
When applying minoxidil it is generally advised that it is used on the entire area which can be affected by the hair loss condition you are experiencing. By applying it to this larger area you are both stimulating the hair follicles and reducing the risk of skin irritation developing, which can happen if a full dose of treatment is regularly applied to a small, concentrated area of the scalp.
As such, we would recommend you apply the solution to top of your scalp but keep to the same dosage - just spread it out across the area rather than concentrating it over a smaller space. It is important not to overuse your medication, and to keep to the recommended dose stated.
Whilst the description you have provided leads us to assume you are likely to have Female Pattern Hair Loss, if the extra shedding you are experiencing is coming from all over your scalp - the back and sides of the head as well as the top - it could be a temporary issue.
Telogen Effluvium, or its chronic form Diffuse Thinning, tend to become noticeable around three months after having been triggered. They occur when the hair growth cycle is disrupted - by periods of intense stress, for example - and can cause significant hair fall in what appears to be a short amount of time, from all over the scalp.
In mild-to-moderate instances, hair regrowth should occur naturally within around six months. In more severe cases, it will last for longer than six months but is still temporary; Telogen Effluvium treatment is available in each situation and can be combined with genetic hair loss courses should both conditions present simultaneously.
As you don't mention any intense shedding becoming noticeable recently, it is fairly safe to assume your hair loss condition is genetic, but - as before - it is certainly worthwhile having this confirmed with a personal assessment.
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.