In the last 3 years we at Darling Buds Hair Transplants in India have conducted a study on the role of Minoxidil (2-5%) in decreasing shock loss after hair transplant and shedding of grafts after a hair transplant procedure.
256 male patients after a hair transplant were subjected to this medication applied locally starting 2 weeks post procedure once the crusts came off. We started with 2 % Minoxidil for 2 weeks and if there was no evidence of a reaction ( reddish discoloration, intense itching and swelling of the skin) we increased the dosage to 5%. 67 patients reacted to the Rogaine and were used as controls for the study. The Rogaine was applied once a day and left for 12 hours overnight when it was washed off.
It was found that in the segment of patients who applied Minoxidil, an average 67% of planted grafts remained without shedding. Most hair that shed did so at an average 17.3 weeks after the procedure. In the control study, 86.5 % planted hair was shed average within 3.6 weeks after the procedure. 88% patients who used Rogaine after their hair transplant were very happy after the procedure as compared to 66% patients in the control group. 96% patients who applied Rogaine also took Finasteride (Propecia) while 84 % patients in the control group took Finasteride after the hair transplant. The patients who took both Rogaine and Propecia, had 1.6 times better outcomes at the 5 month mark than the segment that did not take either Propecia or Rogaine.
The advantages of Rogaine after the procedure are 3-fold:
1. Catalyses the growth of planted grafts in the recipient area
2. Prolongs the anagen phase of the hair cycle
3. Decreases post surgical telogen effluvium (shock loss).
The following paper is recommended for further reading-
Kassimir JJ. Use of topical minoxidil as a possible adjunct to hair transplant surgery. J Am Acad Dermatol 1987;16:685-7 Bouhanna P. Topical minoxidil used before and after hair transplantation. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1989; 15:50-53 Roenigk HH, Berman MD. Topical 2% minoxidil with hair transplantation. Face 1993; 4:213-6 Avram M. The potential role of minoxidil in the hair transplantation setting. Dermatol Surg 2002; 28: 894-900