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Sadie

08.09.2007, 15:46
 

The initial shed.... (Rogaine, Minoxidil)

Ok so there are a few of us on here using minoxidil/regaine 5% foam/spray. I understand some of you are shedding, like myself. Can i ask if your shedding is continuous "thinning" or is it visible hair fall? I'm having a mix of both (i think).

Also, as the shed is something expected with the initial use of regaine, does this mean the treatment is working? I mean, it is kinda scary losing more hairs with our conditions without knowing if there will be new hairs replacing them. I know time will tell if it is worth it or not. It's just hard having to sit it out!!!




Sadie is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Chris

09.09.2007, 13:07

@ Sadie

The initial shed....

Hi Sadie, I'm not sure what you mean by "thinning" but my hair does fall out. I was brushing my hair one day and my daughter was behind me and she said, "Mom all of these hairs are falling out as you brush." After I wash my hair I can see longer hairs dangling a little longer than the rest and I can easily pull them out. My overall bulk is now thin but the actual hairs are not thinning if that's what you mean.




Chris is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Sadie

09.09.2007, 14:57

@ Chris

The initial shed....

» Hi Sadie, I'm not sure what you mean by "thinning"

Yes, not well explained by moi! Well my hair is pathetically thin, and the shedding i.e. physical fall out (like you have said) is happening for me and i believe the thinning is getting worse! I have never had physical hair fall out before, just an overall thinning of the scalp (hence the AGA diagnosis).

What im wondering is, im ok to shed but would this mean that Regaine is working...and if so, how long does one shed and when can one expect regrowth.




Sadie is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Chris

09.09.2007, 15:20

@ Sadie

The initial shed....

An increase in shedding definitely means the Rogaine is working. Even though I know this to be the case, it's really hard to see all of that hair in the shower. I once counted over 700 hairs after washing it. The shedding period is different for everyone. The "dread shed" for me lasted about two weeks and it is slowly tapering off. I am at week 9 of Rogaine. I average around 200 hairs after washing now. It's still way too high but at least it is going down. Even though I basically have nothing left, I just wish the shedding would stop!!! I could deal with what little I have left if it would only stop.




Chris is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Sadie

09.09.2007, 16:06

@ Chris

The initial shed....

This is where i get confused about the term "shedding". Prior to Regaine use, 3/4 weeks now, i never had any physical hair fall out. I read on here about ladies counting their hairs, losing it in the shower plug etc, but that hasnt happened to me. For me it has been a case of thinning and thinning with no new hair growing. What hair remains is extremely thin and limp. Has anyone else had this on here?

Infact i was trying to explain this to my previous derm, with no success. It was only the 2nd derm who explained to me that shedding is the same thing as thinning.




Sadie is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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V

09.09.2007, 17:10

@ Sadie

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

Written by Dr. Kevin McElwee & HLT

Shedding is Normal

Believe it or not, shedding after starting a treatment is fairly common. In fact, more often than not, our users report increased loss a few weeks to a few months after starting Propecia or Rogaine (or both!). But what a shock it can be to those who don't expect it. They finally take that dive into the daily commitment of fighting their hair loss. They're finally ready to do something about it, and as hopeless as things may seem, they put all their trust in the clinical data. They have a few weeks of feeling a little better about things, hoping for the best, knowing they're doing all they can ... and then something goes wrong. They actually start to *lose* hair. At least that's how it looks. Instead of going forward, they're going backwards. The more level headed shedders decide to wait it out a few days, only to see it continue... and continue... and continue. The rest panic, or just throw in the towel entirely. They decide they are not "responders" to the treatment, that the treatment doesn't work, or quite simply that God has forsaken them. Fortunately, they're wrong on all three counts...

What exactly is Shedding?

In all cases, treatments or no treatments, shedding is not actually "losing hair". This is one of the most common misconceptions in the world of hair loss. Shedding is in fact just the transition of follicles from growth phase to resting phase. They don't fall out and die, never to return. They in fact "go to sleep", to return several months later. Hair follicles work in cycles as part of their normal processes. Even the person not losing his or her hair goes through the same cycles. The hair will grow for awhile, and it will rest for awhile. In the case of someone *not* using any treatments, but experiencing Androgenetic Alopecia (Male or Female pattern baldness), shedding is typically the continued cyclical process, combined with miniaturization. What does this mean? It means each time those hairs go dormant and come back, they come back weaker, thinner, and less pigmented, ultimately resulting in the perception of less hair and more scalp skin showing. There are theories out there as to why hair seems to go "all at once" for those losing hair, but they are still just theories. The most common one is the theory that those with androgenetic alopecia see more of a synchronization of dormancy. Meaning - more hairs go dormant at the same time, ejecting the existing hair and shutting down temporarily. Either way, the moral of the story is the same: Shedding is not losing hair. Its dormancy. And it is up to you as to whether those hairs cycle back in thicker and stronger, or thinner and weaker. That's where using a DHT inhibiting, or growth stimulating treatment comes into play.

Shedding *because* of my Treatment?!?

Its possible, and as mentioned above, rather common. Surprised? Its actually the most common reason why people think hair loss treatments don't work! If you start a new treatment like Rogaine or Propecia, you probably will shed, but the amount of hair shed varies from person to person. It has long been suspected that there is an increase in shedding in the first 3 months or so. Recently, some studies using a digital phototrichogram (Trichoscan, Marburg, Germany) proved that there was indeed a quantifiable increase in shedding and a corresponding loss of hair density in the first 3 months of minoxidil use. However, by the 6 month stage the subjects were shown to have regrown the lost hair and had increased hair density compared to that recorded at the start of treatment. By 12 months after starting minoxidil use their hair density was much improved and the diameter of the hair fibers was thicker than at the start of treatment and as compared to controls who did not receive treatment. This small study proves what has long been suspected and frequently discussed on hair loss forums, that there is an initial shed phase when first starting minoxidil use.

How long will it last?

Shedding is temporary. If the individual continues their treatment consistently, despite the seeming despair and loss of hope, shedding will end and the lost hair should be replaced.

Why does it happen?

Although we do not know exactly why the shedding occurs, the most likely explanation is due to how the hair follicle “organ” operates. Hair follicles are relatively inflexible in their anagen, "hair producing" state. In response to additional stimuli the growing hairs may be able to increase their growth rate or increase the diameter of the hair fiber produced a little, but it is not possible for a hair follicle to undergo big changes in size while producing hair fiber. What ends up happening, is that when that follicle gets hit with a growth stimulant like Minoxidil, it is given a very strong signal to change size (expand) and increase activity. The rule of the follicle is that it must then stop, and start over. The existing hair is ejected, the follicle goes into dormancy, and begins to restructure its processes to produce a thicker, stronger hair that can produce a bigger (thicker) hair fiber.

Shedding is a sign that the Treatment is Working

Howso??? When Rogaine is applied to stimulate hair follicles, the follicles must regress, shed the old fiber, rearrange themselves into a bigger hair follicle, and start making a new, improved fiber. This would inevitably lead to a temporary shed phase. You're seeing your hairs respond. Its unfortunate that the first sign of new hair growth is seeming hair LOSS, but that's the way it works, quite often.

There is a belief among some dermatologists that an initial shed phase when first starting to use a treatment for hair loss is inevitable regardless of the treatment used. Because of the hair follicle’s inflexibility in changing the nature of hair growth mid stream, for any drug to promote hair growth it must involve hair follicles entering telogen to rearrange themselves into a larger follicle under the influence of the drug. However, certainly, the shed phase with minoxidil use can be very apparent in some people.

There are a few who claim that using treatments like Propecia and Minoxidil can cause a persistent shedding that lasts longer than the first three months. While there is no hard research evidence to support these claims, it is always possible that an individual may have an adverse reaction to a drug. We are each unique because of our different genetic make up and the different environments in which we live. This means that there are somewhat different responses to the same drug when used by different people. It is almost inevitable that a very few people will have a bad reaction to a drug. It may be that for a few minoxidil does more harm than good and follicle growth cycles are adversely affected. If this is the case, stopping use of the drug should allow the body to recover. However, it is most likely that many of the claims for persistent shedding actually come from those who are experiencing the expected shedding in the first 3 months, have not been consistent with their dosages, or have been continually adding or taking away from their treatment regimen.

But *I* think I have Telogen Effluvium!

Many hair loss sufferers with traditional male or female pattern baldness want to believe they have Telogen Effluvium (TE), because it provides a glimmer of hope that the whole ordeal is just temporary. Unfortunately, TE by definition is a condition that occurs in response to serious traumatic shock to the system as a whole. It is not a something that will happen without any abnormalities going on in your life. Things like sudden shock, chronic debilitating stress, extreme malnutrition, certain medications, and chronic serious illness are the most common causes. There is no way to know for sure how long shedding will last with telogen effluvium. Increased shedding occurs in response to a trigger factor. If exposure to the trigger is brief and there are no other contributing factors then the shedding may last for around 3 months and then recover so that 6 months later the hair is pretty much back to normal. However, if the trigger factor hangs around, like chronic stress or illness, then the shedding may persist. The hair follicles can get into a habit of short, truncated growth cycles, producing short hair that falls out after a few months. This results in a high shed rate – although the hair loss on the scalp need not progress much.




V is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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V

09.09.2007, 17:13

@ V

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

Also would like to add that Rogaine works different for everyone...for some the DREAD shed lasts 2 weeks, for some three months and even four for some.

also people see results on all different timelines....4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and even a year...you just have to stick with it and DO NOT QUIT DURNING THE DREAD SHED....it will eventually end.

I was one of those people who shed HORRIBLY for three solid months! It was awful and scary, but it did eventually slow down!




V is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Sadie

09.09.2007, 18:47

@ V

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

Thanks V - clears up the point of physical shedding v. thinning, which i understand now as a resting/dormant hair follicle phase.

Can i ask, since you said you shed for 3 months or so, what your hair is like now - no shed? signs of regrowth?

Thanks xox




Sadie is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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ginawat

09.09.2007, 19:39

@ Chris

The initial shed....

» An increase in shedding definitely means the Rogaine is working. Even
» though I know this to be the case, it's really hard to see all of that
» hair in the shower. I once counted over 700 hairs after washing it. The
» shedding period is different for everyone. The "dread shed" for me lasted
» about two weeks and it is slowly tapering off. I am at week 9 of Rogaine.
» I average around 200 hairs after washing now. It's still way too high but
» at least it is going down. Even though I basically have nothing left, I
» just wish the shedding would stop!!! I could deal with what little I have
» left if it would only stop.

AMEN to your last sentence.




ginawat is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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V

10.09.2007, 08:41

@ Sadie

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

SinceI haven't been on Rogaine very long I am hesitant to REALLY judge my progress. I will say as of now my shed is probably lower than it has been since this whole mess started. If you have read my other posts, when I first started to lose hair, it was veey heavy....like 250+, sometimes way more.

It is much much less now, which I contribute to the rogaine, but it has really in the past couple of weeks begun to taper down, like maybe a few hairs less today than yesterday, KWIM?

As for regrowth, I do see some. And most of it looks healthy. I think I probably have more regrowth at the front and temples where everyone says rogaine doesn't work (which I think is BS)

i wouldn't say i have acosemetic improvement and I think it can take a year to get there. Your hair actually ends up looking worse there for a while as you have just been through the dread shed and regrowth is just starting.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for us all!




V is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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Sadie

11.09.2007, 15:10

@ V

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

Since being on Regaine 5% for 4 weeks, the texture of my hair has changed. It is far more limp, thinner feeling and crapper looking than before.

The hair is now physically falling out, whereas it wasnt before (just thinning), and im not going to count but i can clear up a few "balls" of hair after combing every morning. I hate washing/combing my hair :(

Also, the physical hair fall has a white tip bulb at the end, and now im also noticing hair coming out with no bulbs. Does that indicate AGA for definates? I understand that Regaine pushes some hair out that was going to fall anyway in order to replace it with new hair - hence the big dread shed.

Oh man, i can deal with this loss of hair if there was some guarantee that this is a sign of new hair coming...even if it comes in a few months time!!




Sadie is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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V

11.09.2007, 15:38

@ Sadie

Good explaination of Roagine and shedding

Everything I have ever read says that an initial increase in shedding with Rogaine is a good sign...hang in there. I have been on four Four months and am just starting see a reduction in shed/regrowth....so I am at the beginning. For others results come sooner, or for many not until much later.

Just hang in and remind yourslef that shedding is a sign that rogaine is working.




V is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO


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