15 Jul How long does it take to see improvements after using hair loss treatments?
When starting a treatment for hair loss, one of the main things you’ll probably want to know is how long it will take for your hair to regrow.
There is no definite time frame for hair growth when using hair loss treatments. Typically, it can take a few months to start seeing any noticeable change at all and then upwards of another six months before the real results start to show, depending on the treatment, as this article will explain. As such it can require you to have a little patience and determination to continue your treatment for a prolonged period.
That being said, having a general understanding of the time frames involved can make the whole experience a bit easier to manage and it helps you know what benchmarks and growth signs to look out for along the way.
So here we’ve taken a look at two of the most popular hair loss treatments according to the NHS1 – Minoxidil2 and Finasteride,3 and given a generic overview of how long it can take for your hair to regrow when using them.
Minoxidil: Hair regrowth
Minoxidil4 is a topical hair loss treatment that you apply to your scalp as a solution or foam once or twice a day. It is then absorbed by your hair follicles and because it is a ‘vasodilator’ it opens up your blood vessels, improving the flow of blood – and subsequently oxygen and nutrients – to them, leading to the growth of stronger, thicker strands of hair.
This process also helps revitalise follicles which may have shrunk due to the effects of male pattern baldness. The combination of this and the above will eventually see your hair gain greater volume and helps prevent further hair loss.
Months 1 – 2
During the first couple of months, it’s likely you’ll experience more hair loss,5 but this is simply a sign that the Minoxidil is starting to work.
This happens because the treatment starts to reset the hair cycle for each follicle and pushes them into the ‘anagen’ (or growth )phase.6 The newly stimulated growth of stronger hair strands then starts to push out the older hairs that were in the ‘telogen’ or resting phase. These hairs would have eventually fallen out anyway during this part of the cycle, it’s just that the process has been accelerated by the new growth.
Months 3 – 4
By the third and fourth months of treatment,7 you may start to notice small hairs starting to grow on your scalp in the areas that are affected by male pattern baldness. With Minoxidil, this is often on the crown of your head first, before your hairline.
If you are currently using Minoxidil and have yet to see any new hairs by this point, you shouldn’t worry too much, it can also take up to six months to reach this stage.8
Months 5 – 6
By now the small hairs should have started to turn darker, longer and thicker and you should be able to visibly see the improvements from the Minoxidil. What’s more, thanks to the increased blood flow and healthier follicles you shouldn’t be experiencing as much hair loss as you were before you started the treatment.9
Month 6 – onwards
Beyond this point, if you continue your use of Minoxidil, and you have seen progress during the early months, within six months to a year your continued hair cycles should lead to even more growth of stronger and healthier hair. With this, after 12 months your hairline and the overall thickness of your hair should have noticeably changed.10
Finasteride: Hair regrowth
Finasteride3 is one of the most popular treatments for those looking to curb the effects of male pattern baldness. It’s typically taken orally as a tablet once a day and is what’s known as a ‘DHT blocker’. As you can guess from this, what it does is work to block the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone that is believed to be a key cause of male pattern baldness.
It stops DHT from damaging the hair follicles on your head preventing further hair loss. It also helps previously affected follicles to then recover and regrow thicker and stronger strands of hair.
Months 1 – 2
Similar to what happens when initially using Minoxidil, during the first few months you can expect to see additional hair loss. This again is because the Finasteride moves your follicles into their anagen stage pushing out the old hairs in the process.11
Months 3 – 4
You may then start to see some signs of regrowth by around month three, with small thin hairs appearing on your scalp. However, unlike Minoxidil this can be across all affected areas, not predominantly on your crown.
You also might not see any regrowth at this point, a study from 201812 showed that on average only around 27.3% of men taking Finasteride see improvements by three months.
Months 5 – 6
This is the point where most men begin to see noticeable effects from taking Finasteride.13 The small hairs should now be thicker, darker, longer and your hair itself should be looking and feeling much fuller. Like with Minoxidil you also shouldn’t be seeing as much hair loss as you were before.
Month 6 – onwards
By continuing to use Finasteride you may then see continued and improved growth as your hair goes through further cycles, and by 12 months, you’ll be able to see a clear difference.13 What’s more, some clinical trials14 have shown that up to 83% of men who continue to use the treatment for up to two years didn’t experience any additional hair loss.
What can affect the results?
Whether you are recommended by a hair specialist to use Finasteride, Minoxidil or both, one of the biggest factors that can affect the quality of your results is how consistent you are with your daily use. In other words, if you regularly miss or forget to take your treatments, the rate and quality of your hair growth is likely to be affected.
In addition to this, ensuring you exercise, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and essentially aim to stay fit won’t just improve your overall health, it will help improve the health of your hair and the new strands that grow during your treatment.15
Will I definitely get the results I want?
With all the above it’s important to remember that these timelines are just a guide and your own experiences may differ. Ultimately, everyone is different and the results you get from your hair loss treatment may vary in both how effective they are and how long they take to show.
At the same time, you need to be sure that treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil are the right option for you, which is where the Fagron TrichoTest™ can help.
This unique and innovative test analyses your different gene variations and lifestyle factors, which is then compiled into a report explaining what could be causing your hair loss and which treatments would work best for your circumstances. This information is then shared with a hair loss consultant, advisor or trichologist who can create a treatment plan with you.
You can learn more about what’s involved with this scientifically validated test and find out how to make a booking here.