Can I Stop Medical Treatment For Hair Loss Once Started?

December 15th, 2011

Q: I am taking finasteride as you prescribed. You also suggested using minoxidil liberally over the entire front and top of my scalp once a day. During our meeting I think that you said that once I start using this I would not be able to stop it, and, if I did, it might lead to further hair loss. Hence, I decided to use the laser comb three times a week in addition to the finasteride. Having said that, if you still feel I should start using minoxidil daily, I will start doing so. — H.K., Brooklyn, NY

A: Stopping therapy doesn’t lead to further hair loss in that it doesn’t accelerate it; you just continue on the path that you would have been without the treatment. When you stop, there may be an initial shedding as you quickly lose any benefits that you had from the treatment.

The following applies to all three treatments: finasteride, minoxidil, and laser therapy:

  1. Only work when you use it
  2. Reversion to where you would have been when you stop (but not worse)

However, the important issue is efficacy:

Finasteride >> minoxidil > laser therapy

This is the reason I recommended finasteride and minoxidil.

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Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D. on December 15th, 2011 at 12:55 pm


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