The following response to a question from the Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was written by forum member “Gillenator”.
I am 29 a year old female and I have had a bad experience with Rogaine (minoxidil 5%.
Long story short: I basically had no major reason for being treated with it, was just scared because I happened to have a lot of hair breakage after some salon treatment done poorly. After looking at me at the time, the clinic said I had signs of genetic female pattern hair loss, like a receding line and wider parting around the crown area. I was scared to death and started the treatment. Was on minoxidil for 3 weeks, then around that time the massive horrible shedding started and it scared me so much I cut my hair short to hopefully notice less, the burning feeling on my scalp was horrible, it was all flaky and dry as well. I stopped because it was stressing me out of my mind and complained to the clinic because I had been assured the shedding would only be barely noticeable and it was all but I was given the money back. Looking back now I never needed the treatment to begin with, as my hairline has always been like that, even when I was younger.
I have been off the treatment since Jul 30th, so about a month now. Regardless of more hair growing back, the shedding still hasn’t stopped and what worries me the most is the persisting itchy/stinging/burning feeling on my scalp… I read that the shedding can last months and I am trying to brace myself and be strong until it stops, but what about the scalp? Is it normal that it still stings like this after a month?
Can you please help me? I am terrified of going to some clinic again and make it even worse. Please reassure me.
So sorry to hear of your experience from using minoxidil. Usually the strength for females is at 2%. So I agree that the shedding is from the stronger strength but it sounds more to me like you are responding to the endless alcohol based additives that most minoxidil products contain.
Those additives can inflame the scalp and cause dryness, itching, etc. You may want to try an enriched aloe vera shampoo and use it several times per day. It tends to be soothing and cooling to the scalp and is not harsh. Just be sure to read the labeling and make sure there are no chemical additives especially any that contain alcohol, propane, etc.
The shedding can go on for several months but eventually, it will subside, the follicles that shed will rest for another 3-4 months and then should enter a new growth phase. So possibly you can wear a scarf that breathes to help hide the thinning.
If the condition persists, see a reputable dermatologist.
Wish you well in your recovery and eventually, things should get back to normal.
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