Can you use minoxidil for stress related hair loss?

Minoxidil typically gets used by men and women to fight against progressive hair loss.

But some men and women alike experience stress related hair loss, also called stress-induced telogen effluvium to use the more fancy term.

But can you use minoxidil for stress related hair loss? Does Rogaine work for stress related hair loss?

To answer those questions briefly already, yes, one can use minoxidil for stress related hair loss and experience good results most of the time. Using Rogaine for stress related hair loss should work equally good as well, since it’s simply a brand of minoxidil.

Let me explain why minoxidil can be so effective to combat stress-induced hair loss (telogen effluvium).


Can you use minoxidil for stress related hair loss or not?

Image of a woman holding her glasses and head indicating that she's suffering from stress.

Yes, you can in fact use topical minoxidil for stress related hair loss, as it will help slow down hair loss, and even to regrow lost hair due to telogen effluvium.

Multiple studies suggest that minoxidil can help counteract stress-induced hair growth inhibition. Both oral and topical minoxidil seem promising in this regard.

However, topical minoxidil is the most researched hair loss product, and found to be effective in both men and women to combat progressive hair loss.

Can you use Rogaine for stress related hair loss?

So does Rogaine work for stress related hair loss?

Since Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil, the same effectiveness applies as to any general minoxidil brand.

So yes, it is generally effective to use Rogaine for stress related hair loss.

Rogaine has many products of different strength as well. Higher strength products are mainly more potent and effective, but have the disadvantage of typically inducing more negative side effects, such as the possible growth of unwanted body hair.

Obviously, this is particularly important to consider for women. As those annoying, negative side effects are even more unwanted by women than men. That’s why women largely use lower strength products than men do.

I should clarify that not every woman that uses higher % products will suffer from side effects. But, it is a possibility.


Studies about the effectiveness of minoxidil for stress related hair loss

Image of Men's 5% topical Rogaine.

This study examined if topical minoxidil counteracts stress-induced hair growth inhibition in mice.

They reached the following conclusion:

All of these stress-induced hair growth inhibitory changes along the BHA were down-regulated by topical minoxidil application.

This encourages one to explore clinically whether topical minoxidil is a safe and effective pharmacologic tool for the management of stress-associated telogen effluvium in humans.[1]

The following article talks about the relationship between stress and the underestimated psychosocial impact of telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia.

It states the following regarding stress induced hair loss:

No specific pharmacological intervention is currently available to manage stress-induced hair loss in man.

An effective therapeutic intervention in this respect would have to prolong the anagen phase of the hair cycle, thus preventing the premature onset of catagen, which forms the basis of stress-induced telogen effluvium (Paus and Cotsarelis, 1999).

Topical minoxidil may be considered a reasonable candidate drug for the management of stress-related hair loss since it is known to prolong anagen (Buhl, 1989).

Also, recent results from a well-established mouse model on stress-induced hair loss demonstrate that most of the stress-induced hair growth-inhibitory changes along the “brain–hair axis” (Arck et al, 2001), including premature hair cycle progression towards catagen, could be downregulated by topical MXL application (Arck et al, 2003a).[2]

This article describes what the expert’s consensus is on the management of Telogen Effluvium in India.

This is what they had to say about minoxidil and its use in chronic and acute telogen effluvium:

Minoxidil does have a role to play in the management of chronic Telogen Effluvium (TE).

Its use in acute TE is not recommended.

A combination therapy of minoxidil and a peptide could produce better results in comparison to either of them being used as a monotherapy.[3]

The following was a retrospective study about the treatment of chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) with oral minoxidil.

They found out that minoxidil could indeed be effective at reducing hair shedding.

Once daily oral minoxidil appears to reduce hair shedding in chronic telogen effluvium (CTE).

Placebo controlled studies are recommended to further assess this response.[4]


Final note

Evidence does seem to suggest that minoxidil helps against stress related hair loss (telogen effluvium). You can use Rogaine for stress related hair loss, but any generic brand of minoxidil will suffice.

Minoxidil is currently marked as an off label treatment for people suffering from telogen effluvium, aka, stress related hair loss. Minoxidil can even aid against bald spots.

However, theoretically, minoxidil should help to prevent stress-related hair loss since it prolongs the anagen stage, which is the growth phase of the hair.

One study in mice showed that minoxidil was effective at down regulating stress-induced hair growth inhibitory changes.

Another study showed that daily oral minoxidil appears to reduce hair shedding in people suffering from chronic telogen.

More high quality studies in humans with a larger population are needed in order to firmly confirm that minoxidil aids against stress related hair loss.