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Shedding on Minoxidil, Propecia/Finasteride or Laser Therapy

Are you seeing excessive shedding after just beginning hair loss treatment with minoxidil (formula 82m or rogaine), laser therapy (lasercap or other)?   You might be having the "Dread Shed!"  But don't worry, keep up with the treatment... here's why:

Keep in mind that any regimen (medication or laser therapy) that stimulates follicles to switch into a growth phase can cause shedding. Because all hair follicles cycle-on and cycle-off over the course of your life, shedding is a VERY poor barometer for the measurement of hair loss or hair growth. Regardless of treatment, the more hair follicles you have, the more shedding you will have. "Resting" follicles may still contain a hair-shaft. When you apply minoxidil, for example, and the follicle "switches on" and the newly growing hair pushes out the old, resting hairshaft. The result: a shed. It is my feeling that any hair that is shed from starting a particular therapy wasn't in an anagen/growth phase anyway.

Remember that minoxidil/rogaine is a proven 'anagen-stimulator' which shifts resting follicles into growing follicles. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is characterized by miniaturizing follicles and a shortening of the natural growth-phases of the follicles.

Shedding when starting minoxidil, laser, or propecia (if it is noticeable) typically occurs within the first two to eight weeks of therapy. Keep in mind that it normally takes 10-20 weeks for microscopic hair density to peak with minoxidil AND six to twelve months to see visible results of the growth with minoxidil.

Normal Hair Growth
There are three stages in a hair's growth cycle. The hair follicles in the scalp are at different stages at any one time.

Stage 1 - Anagen Stage (growing phase) 1. Anagen Stage (Growing Phase)
The new hair grows from the base of the follicle. This growth phase usually lasts for 2 to 4 years and results in a full-grown hair.
Stage 2 - Catagen Stage (regression phase) 2. Catagen Stage (Regression Phase)
During this stage, the hair stops growing and the hair root shrinks. The base of the follicle breaks down and the hair moves upward, away from the root.
Stage 3 - Telogen Stage (resting phase) 3. Telogen Stage (Resting Phase)
The matured hair is now only loosely anchored to the hair root. It usually falls off after a few months or is pushed out by the next hair which grows from below.
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