This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Michael Beehner of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
Can Rogaine (minoxidil) help jump start transplanted hair growth after hair restoration surgery?
One thing you have to keep in mind is that Rogaine (minoxidil) is probably the strongest blood pressure drug in the world. If put on too soon, while all these fresh open sites are present on the scalp from hair transplant surgery, the potential for the hair loss drug on the skin being absorbed into the system and dropping the blood pressure is a real risk. A person who is older or who has low blood pressure to start with would be at risk for fainting or passing out. For that reason, I wait till around the 4th day to restart it.
The other reason I wait those few days is that the physical act of applying the hair loss treatment might disrupt some of the grafts’ physical positioning in their sites.
We don’t fully understand all the ways minoxidil works to help hair growth (and prevent hair loss), but it is considered a “growth factor” for hair, and I do use it for 3-4 weeks before and after surgery in situations in which I am more concerned about the outcome of the surgery or worried about shock loss (such as in my female hair loss patients). If a person has had a lot of past scalp surgery – scalp reductions and multiple hair transplants – I will start if a month before surgery and then re-start it on the 4th post op day and have the patient take it another month. The evidence that this helps is so far anecdotal and not based on a good scientific study that I know of.
Mike Beehner, M.D.
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