Telogen Effluvium After Quitting Minoxidil

Telogen Effluvium RecoveryMy Telogen Effluvium Story

I’ve spent a good 3-4 months online reading everyone’s horror story only for them to disappear and never return.  I promised myself that if I ever get through this that I would come back to tell my story.

My Telogen Effluvium started from ending minoxidil

I know how this sounds.  People start the minoxidil treatment to get better hair density.  For the folks that it works for, they seem to report good results after a good 6 months of use.   For me, I quit within the first month so I just got the shock to the body.

TE or Telogen Effluvium can be triggered by any shock to your body.

Shocking events that trigger Telogen effluvium include

  • Severe physical stress (illness, fever)
  • Severe psychological stress (depression, anxiety)
  • Pregnancy
  • Surgery
  • Severe weight loss
  • Change in diet
  • Medication
  • Abrupt hormonal changes, including those associated with childbirth and menopause
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism

Mine, I believe was a combination of things, but it was mainly a medication I used on my body that caused all sorts of changes.

A vasodilator medication that I used for a month which caused irregular heart beats which led to hormonal imbalance and anxiety.  I’ve lost a good 10% of my body weight from no change in my diet at the time.

My Telogen Effluvium Timeline

To avoid having to do any math, I’ll avoid mentioning the months.

1 Month of Minoxidil Usage

I was on Minoxidil / vasodilator medication for a month.  I was having severe side effects and I decided to stop the medication after 5 weeks.  I’ve had side effects since day 1, but I just brushed it off thinking I’m just feeling a little off.  As time went on, the side effects were getting scary

  • Heart palpitation
  • Anxiety / Depression – first time in my life
  • Fast heart rate.  Easily 80-100 even when I’m resting in bed
  • Lack of Appetite – I couldn’t eat.  It was a challenge to eat
  • Hair loss – expected in the first month or two

Minoxidil made me go from a guy that was excited about being able to push more weight at the gym to someone that laid in bed all day.

2nd month – I quit, recovering back to normal

I went off the medication and worked hard to eat normally, sleep normally and after 3 weeks, I’ve started to recover.

  • Heart rate down to around 70-75 while resting
  • Was able to sleep for 6 hours straight
  • Mentally started to feel a little positive and excited about doing some activity for the day.

Here are some changes I’ve made

  • I focused very hard on eating healthy
  • Iron / Magnesium / Multivitamins / Protein / Biotin
  • I tried to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, chicken breast, and a daily hardboiled egg

3rd Month

The massive hair loss I had while on medication was starting to grow back.  I was experiencing light itching all over my scalp along with a few bumps here and there.  This wasn’t the inflammation type of itch, but just a tickle.  I was able to see several new hair sprouts.  The timing was about right for the hair to grow back from the initial hair loss caused by the medication or it could be the benefits I was supposed to get from minoxidil.

  • Light itching on the scalp from regrowth
  • Red bumps here and there from ingrown hair
  • Was visually able to see new fuzz of hair along hairline.
  • Emotionally stable.  Not having random crying spells.
  • Heart rate has really recovered where it was down to 40-60 while in bed.

I’m still shedding more than usual during this period, but not an alarming amount.

4th Month – TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM BEGINS

All those stories I’ve read online about people experiencing 300-400 hair coming out.  All those times I’ve worried if I had TE.  Well let me tell you, when you actually have TE, you won’t be asking if you have TE.  Hair is EVERYWHERE.

  • Scalp started to experience unbearable itching on the back of my scalp.
  • Easily dozen hairs on the pillow every morning
  • Hair all around the pillow, hair all over the desk
  • Each time I comb, I can see 5-6 hairs come out.  This means each brush takes out 5-6.  Scary!
  • Towel drying hair easily shows 10-12 hairs
  • Shower was a nightmare, each time I ran my hand through my head, I can see at least 10 hairs
  • I don’t even know how, but hair is on the shower walls, and even on my shampoo bottles and soap.
  • Hair is EVERYWHERE.  I reach for my drink, I see it, it’s on my keyboard.
  • I’m falling apart….

I’ve read and heard that this can go on for 6 months.  This is a statement from Google Search Result 0.

Telogen Effluvium Length
Telogen Effluvium Length

Oh great.  I was easily losing 300+ hairs a day.  I dreaded the everyday showers.

300 hairs a day.  I had no one to talk to.

I didn’t want to see a dermatologist. – From reading online, every dermatologist seems to give a different opinion so what’s the point.

I learned what it means to be in denial.

To me, I knew I was in denial and just stopped looking at my hair loss and stopped looking at the mirror to make myself feel better.

It’s a nightmare….

I hated meeting people that I’ve known.

I can get away with going out because no one knows me, but I still avoided going out in the bright sun.  I can wear a hat or a stylish beanie.

I personally think girls and guys both look stylish in beanies.

It’s only until it ends.

beanie guy
beanie guy
Beanie Girl
Beanie Girl

I started to use Nizoral shampoo every 3-4 days and the itching stopped almost immediately.

5th Month – TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM IS EVEN WORSE (2nd Month of TE)

It wasn’t the same.  It was getting worse.

More hair everywhere, but my coping mechanism was getting better.

  • I just pickup and throw away hair as I see it.
  • I stopped looking at my hands in the shower
  • I rinse off the walls and ground without looking
  • I dimmed the lights around the house so I don’t have to see myself

I swear I was going bald.

When I did accidentally see myself, scalp visibility was at it’s worst.

I was starting to accept that this was it.  This is the moment I turn into an old man.

I stopped interacting with people.

My dog was my only savior.  She sees me as the same person.

6th Month – TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM slowing down? (3rd Month of TE)

I woke up.  Few hair on the pillow.  Hmm.

Brushed my hair, hit the brush against the sink.  few hairs.  hmm

Shower. still shedding but not as much as the peak.  Maybe instead 10 hairs in my hand, I saw 2-3.  Towel only has 1-2 hairs.

TE must be giving me a break today.

This pattern continued for a few days.

Some days higher, some days lower, but I can see it gradually dropping little by little

7th Month –  Telogen Effluvium easing off (4th Month of TE)

Still slightly higher than I’d like it to be.  Some days can be worse than others, but hair fall is slowly improving.  Hair still feels thin.

  • Now see 0-2 hairs on the pillow
  • Each brush shows 0-2 hairs
  • Shower shows 2-3 hairs in my hand after scrubbing shampoo
  • Towel drying can show 3-5 hairs

Starting to look a little better, but still horrible

Hair fall can be more or less depending on the day, but definitely less than the peak.

  • Brushing hair in the morning, I see 3-4 hairs fall out.  Other times 0-2 hairs
  • I still get hair in my hands every now and then running through it.
  • Not sure how this can be the case, but hair that comes out feels/looks thicker than before.
  • Hair looks very slightly more filled in, but in direct sunlight or harsh light, can see directly into scalp.  Maybe because my hair is just growing out?  I’m about 2-3inches.  My hair, that is.
  • Hurray! – Hair strands strangely feel relatively thicker, but this could be due to changing my shampoo / conditioner to the Nioxin System

Trying not to stress or think about it.

8th Month –  Telogen Effluvium ups and downs (November – 5th Month of TE)

  • Started to really count hair fall this month with a hair catcher in the shower and really started to sweep the floor to look carefully and it’s horrifying.
  • About 20 hairs a day on the ground
  • About 10-30 hairs caught in the shower drain
  • Brushing in the morning takes 3-4 hairs.  Other times 0-2 hairs
  • Scalp visibility is at it’s worst.  I’m hoping the hair lost during TE will grow out.
  • I can somewhat make the thinning look better if I style a certain way, but it’s painful.  Hair is dead and flat.  Also staticky but it could be due to the dryness in the Fall air.
  • One difference I’m seeing this month is that when my hair comes out, the white bulb on the end seems bigger and harder.  Also the hairs coming out seem to be thicker than before.  Not sure if this is a good or bad sign.
  • Considering trying finasteride, but I should be patient.  I told myself, if I can’t recover within 1 year.  I have 6 months until the day I quit Minoxidil.
  • Finasteride.  It’s a choice I’ll be making sometime in my life.  I need to decide whether I’m going to be bald or extend my youth by using finasteride and for how long.
  • Started to incorporate daily scalp massage
  • I didn’t notice any new regrowth, but I can see hairs that are only an inch along the hairline so regrowth has been happening
  • Scalp seems to be filling in, but it could just be due to my hair being longer

9th Month – Hair fall is normal now

  • Normal hair fall’s occurring, but it’s definitely stabilized.
  • Hair isn’t quite the density I like, but it’s improving.  Finally at a point where I’m not constantly thinking about it.
  • I’m confident I’d be at pre-minoxidil state within a year from the day I started using the solution.

Telogen Effluvium My Experience in a Nutshell

  • Medication caused TE exactly 3 months after I started Minoxidil
  • Telogen Effluvium was in full throttle for 2 full months and slowly drifted off
  • Telogen Effluvium kicked in slowly and ends slowly.  Should last about 6 months but it’s different for everyone.
  • Once TE is triggered, nothing can be done.  You just have to let it run it’s course.  Once, the body is shocked into making your hairs go into Telogen phase, that’s done.  By the time your hair falls out, your trigger is probably is already fixed.
  • During this stressful TE time, I worked hard to eat healthy, sleep well, and the hardest part was trying not to think about it.
  • DO NOT READ FORUMS WHERE PEOPLE ARE PANICKING AND OTHERS ARE ADVISING THEM THAT THEY ARE GOING BALD.  This will just add to your stress level.
Summary
Telogen Effluvium Successful Recovery Story
Article Name
Telogen Effluvium Successful Recovery Story
Description
I've spent a good 3-4 months online reading everyone's horror story only for them to disappear and never return.  I promised myself that if I ever get through this that I would come back to tell my story.
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Comments

54 Replies to “Telogen Effluvium After Quitting Minoxidil”

  1. Hello Mashew!
    I have a similar story. Severe hairfall after stopping Minoxidil. Hair density reduced and hair always flat. No volume.
    Can you tell me if you have regrown your hair as earlier? Or is it still shedding?
    Thankyou

    1. Yes, the hair fall started heavily after 2-3 months of stopping minoxidil. The TE went on for 3-6 months. 3 months of heavy shedding and another 3 months of slowly going back to normal. Yes, the hairs that fall out has grown back. Do not stress (I know it’s impossible) because it’s a VERY VERY slow process.

    2. It’s been 4 month today since I left minioxdil till now I am shedding a lot what to expect when will it stabilise as you say it’s take about 3-4 month

      1. Sounds about right. When you quit minoxidil, your body experiences another “shock” and it takes about 100 days for your hair to go through the telogen phase.

  2. Thank you so much for this article. It’s great to read a good success story!
    I have one question 🙂 Did the shedding decreased slowly or all at once?

  3. Hello,

    How is your hair now that’s it’s been over year? Any noticeable shedding still?

    Hope all is well. And thank you!

    1. After a year of quitting, it’s back to pre-minoxidil. I continue the same regimen. Keeping myself mentally and physically healthy. Started to exercise too.

  4. Did you have more hair loss in some places as compared with others? It’s been almost four months since i quit minoxidil and I’m experiencing hair loss all over my scalp, however, it is more pronounced in certain areas as compared with others.

    On another note: how’s your hair now, recovered?

    1. For me, I think the areas I applied directly were hit hard, but it was falling all over. I can pull on the hair on the back of my neck and it would easily come out.

      Hair is back to pre-minoxidil.

  5. Thanks for the story it gives me hope. I’m going through the same thing. Started minoxidil because of hair thinking and stopped after 2 weeks due to side effect on my skin, breakouts etc. One week after stopping my hair is coming out in clumps every day it’s depressing I think I’m going to go bald if this continues for a few months. I don’t know what to do. Showering is a nightmare i lose handful of hair each time. Glad to hear it will come back.

    1. Don’t worry! I know how bad it is. Just know that it’ll end and your hair will grow back. It just takes about 3-6 months to see them after the fall.

  6. Are you a men or women? And i have observed slightly colored hair in my hairline. Is this a start of growth? The center of my forehead hair and mostly where i put it directly became thin than other parts. This is my 6th month and hairfall is reduced although still on going. Is it the same as yours?

    What is your reason of using it in the first place?

    1. I wanted more thickness and coverage.
      Did you quit using Minoxidil? Keep in mind we are always dropping hair. Do you have any younger girls that you know? One day at a hotel and they have everywhere in the bathroom.

  7. What was your reason of using it?
    Did your hair kinda receded with diffuse thinning all over? How many months from the 9th month do i expect that my hair can return to preminoxidil state?
    Thanks!

  8. Thank you so very much for this article. I didn’t even need Minoxidil but started it because of hair loss related to a bleach job. It feels like I’ve lost my whole head of hair and have multiple bald patches. So depressed every day over losing gobs and gobs of hair, and I just hope the naked areas of scalp will eventually fill in. Your story gives hope.

    1. Kelli, trust me, I know the feeling. I think I understood what depression and panic attack was when I saw what it did to my scalp. It will come back and knowing that will eventually come back will get you through this mentally.

    1. Peak hair loss, I’d say a good 20-30% of hair went and it was all around, but especially where I applied minoxidil. Hairline did not receed.

  9. I used minoxidil for 7 months and later i stopped using it. My hair fall increased after stopping minoxidil. There is thinning hair in the places where i applied minoxidil. Does hair regrows back in those places.

  10. Hi.

    I had this exact same thing happen, but instead of minoxidil, it was Nizoral shampoo (strong antifungal). Fried my hair. Burnt my scalp, then I started shedding. A lot. All over. But I have multiple patches of very fine hair. It’s been awful

    Anywho. The shedding has gone back to normal. Yay! Took 12 months for the shedding to stop. Density has not returned yet.

    How soon after your shedding stopped, did it take for your density to return?

    Thanks

    1. I’d say 3 months after shedding stopped for hair to get noticeably back to normal. Hair grows an average of 1/2in per month. Given that maybe 1/2in is under the scalp surface, it’ll take about 3 months for shed hair to grow back to an inch outside of the scalp. Don’t worry! it’s going to come back 🙂 BTW, did you use Nizoral shampoo everyday? I believe it’s only supposed to be used once or twice a week or as needed?

      1. Hey man. Thanks for your reply. Your correct re: Nizoral No, didn’t use it everyday. Think I used it 3 times over a 10 day period. My girlfriend then said “you hair looks fried”. It then started itching & then it went flat/limp, then it started shedding! Big time! A Google search confirms this is a common side effect, just need to be patient now!

        P.s. on your advice, I bought a few beanies! And your right, they look great!

  11. Do you mind sharing pictures of the state of your hair during the shedding phase and after it recovered? It would really mean a lot!

  12. Hello mashew!!
    Is it common to visible my scalp during the shedding phase after quitting the minoxidil…plzz help me I’m in fear that my all hair is gonna lost or what??

  13. Are you currently on any hair loss medication such as Finasteride? How long did it take for you to fully fully recover? Also do you have androgenic alopecia?

    1. No medication during or after use of minoxidil. Yes, I believe there’s a level of androgenic alopecia. It took a full year after stopping usage to recover and for friends to tell me things look better.

    1. It took about 3-4 months after TE ended for things to look noticeably better. If your hair grows about half an inch to an inch per month and imagine you have about half an inch under your scalp surface, the 3-4 month timeline sounds about right to start filling in.

  14. I’m in the exact same situation, experiencing a similar timeline after quitting and even the same pimples/inflammation. I’d say I’m going into the second month of the 300-400 per day shed. Just started finasteride last week as I see miniaturized hairs as well. Should I wait out the recovery before adding finasteride? Could adding fin now prolong the TE or cause an additional shed? Thanks in advance

  15. I’m in the exact same situation, probably going into my second month of losing 300-400 per day, got everything from the ingrown hairs/pimples to back of head inflammation as well. Started finasteride about a week ago because I’m seeing some miniaturized hairs. Should I wait until recovery before introducing finasteride? Will adding fin now prolong the TE or cause additional sheds? Thanks in advance

  16. What was your shampoo/hair wash regimen while recovering? I stopped using keto and am using Avalon organics but this contains saw Palmetto which i hear can also cause sheds. Thinking of baby shampoo to be as gentle on the scalp as possible. Any specific types or brands you’d recommend, and how often per week. Thanks

  17. In my case 2 triggering events may have occurred. From late February ‘19 to April ‘19, i lost over 30 lbs by running the treadmill 3 hours per day. My diet was also bad, only had 1 small meal a day and drank nothing but water.

    In September ‘19, I noticed my hair had lost a bit density so I applied minoxidil to my hairline/frontal anterior. I stopped after 1 use because of the same symptoms that you experienced. The rapid hear beat I couldn’t handle.

    10 days after quitting, I had a massive shed of losing 300-500 hairs daily. Hair was everywhere, and this lasted for 3 months before tapering down. Month 4 was better because I only saw between 10-30 in the shower and about another 5-10 combing. Maybe 1-4 on pillow.

    Month 5 (current)- it somewhat sped up again, but not like months 1-3. Still losing lots of hair, between 50-80 in the shower, and another 10-30 combing. Still less than the 300+ i could visually see months 1-3.

    I honestly haven’t seen any regrowth. Month 4 it looked as if my hair was thickening a bit, but these last couple weeks of shedding 100 visible strands per day has hurt my density. The area i applied minoxidil is the see through area. I can pull on any area of the scalp and hair will come out. Usually it’s 1 hair per pull but a few areas as much as 4 hairs will come out by a single pull on 20+ hairs. It’s a nightmare scenario.

    I’m starting to panic about the possibility of the hair not growing back. Based on this time line and no regrowth spotted at the areas I applied minoxidil, does this mean that hair is toast?

  18. Hey!!mashew it’s been 5 months since I quit minoxidil …my scalp was totally visible when I look through mirror will it be back to pre minoxidil …if so how much time it will take…

  19. Hello I just want to thank you for your post, and giving me positivity out of all this. I too had started minoxidil and continued for roughly 2 months, I had stopped because I started noticing it was making my hair worse. I always had a full head of hair, but when I started minoxidil, it was thinning it out. Now it’s been 5 months and my hair is thinner than it has ever been, and Ive been having small bald spots in the back of my head. I wanted to ask you if you ever had ball spots when you went Thru this, and did they ever grow back. As well and the thinning of the hair, will it come back thicker, or how the hair was before minoxidil.

    1. No bald spots, just overall thinning because I applied minoxidil everywhere. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Why would you just want more hair in certain spots right? Don’t worry, it’ll be about a year from the point you stopped to get back to normal.

  20. Did ur scalp become more oily after stopping minoxidil my scalp was secreting excessive oil …did it stop after back to the baseline or it will continue lifelong??

    1. It did not become oily. I used Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner. Avoid milk, whey protein, and maybe even alcohol. Sebum secretion has a lot to do with what you eat/drink and your body type of course. Milk helps raise IGF-1 levels 10-20% in the body.

  21. Mashew…thank you for this recap. It’s is one of the only encouraging stories of quitting Minoxidil that I have found. I was a lucky 50yr old male who had 90% of the hair vs what I had in my 20’s…that is until I used Minoxidil. I started it in Nov 2019 as more of a precaution versus regrowth goal. Since this time (7 months) I’ve continued to lose density where applied and have noticed a significant change in the texture of my hair where applied (stringy straw like). I finally quit 2 weeks ago (mid June 2020) as it has done nothing but destroy my hair…I’m already down 20%-30% density where I applied it. I’ve been terrified to quit because of the inevitable shed but I had to take my head back from this product that has been horrible for me (I know it has done wonders for others). Now I’m waiting for the massive shed. I pray my follicles can recover from this. It’s been hell already watching the regression in such a short period and now I’m likely heading for darker days over the next 6-12 months. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Hey Paul, I know exactly where you are. Can’t believe they sell minoxidil freely at any grocery store. After minoxidil, hair looked more fried and I felt it even made my skin look dehydrated/aged. I believe every change in your system could cause a shed. When your body was introduced to minoxidil, there was a shedding phase. Now that you stopped, it’ll have another shed. I’ve read some people say that gradually weaning off helps (and theoretically, it should). I just wanted to get the minoxidil out and also lost trust in people so I stopped cold turkey. Please know that a year from today, your head (physically and mentally) will be in a better place.

      1. Thanks Kazuo,
        Like you I intend to report back to let others know the outcome after it is all said and done. Since March I’ve been documenting the regression with photos. Hopefully there will be a positive story longer term that I’ll be able to share. At 50 yrs old with pattern baldness working in the back ground I don’t anticipate I’ll ever get back to my pre-minoxidil baseline, but do hope to reclaim some of what’s been stolen from me in a matter of 7 months, which has been more like a decade worth of hair loss.

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