A lot of you guys have asked me if you can maintain Minoxidil grown hair after you've stopped using Minoxidil.
Can you maintain it with Finasteride, or another hair loss prevention treatment?
The harsh reality is that the hairs that you grow via Minoxidil use are 100% dependent on the Minoxidil.
There are a few caveats to this, as there are very obscure drugs with similar mechanisms of action which could potentially maintain that same level of circulation in the scalp, but Minoxidil is by far the most readily available, clinically studied, and efficacious method of achieving this.
With all that being said, Minoxidil isn't side-effect free, in fact, it's one of the most side effect ridden treatments out there, but I digress.
Even if your hair density improved by 10%, by using Minoxidil, that hair is only there because of the increased circulation to the area.
You can't maintain that if you stop using Minoxidil, nor can you maintain it with things that operate via a totally separate mechanism of action.
Minoxidil Does Not Prevent Hair Loss
One important thing to note is that Minoxidil does not prevent hair loss.
Let's just say you take Minoxidil for five years and your density improved by 10%.
With your normal progression of androgenic alopecia, let's just say you would have otherwise experienced a loss of 10% density instead (this number will vary depending on genetic predisposition, hormone profile, diet, etc.).
If you would've otherwise lost 10% density, and you improve your density by 10% with Minoxidil, you're essentially just breaking even and everything appears to be stable.
If you dropped the Minoxidil, what would happen is the density of your hair would drop to that minus 10% baseline that you would have been at otherwise if you hadn't taken the Minoxidil.
That's just how it works.
All of these hairs grown from Minoxidil use are Minoxidil dependent hairs, so regardless of what else you're taking (in almost all scenarios), these hairs are dependent on your application of Minoxidil to thrive.
You Can't Maintain Minoxidil Grown Hair If You Stop Using It
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Minoxidil.
It does what it does well, yes I agree with that.
For many, it can be an excellent addition to their hair loss prevention regimen and they can go through life side-effect free.
For me personally, it bloats me significantly and I look worse when I use it.
Minoxidil is one of my last resorts, especially because it is a growth agonist and does not actually address the root of the issue causing androgenic alopecia in the first place.
It doesn't block or inhibit Testosterone or DHT induced miniaturization whatsoever.
The mechanism of action is purely growth stimulating.
There are far more important things to address like the DHT and androgen levels than trying to stimulate growth before you've even protected yourself and giving yourself the foundation of hair loss prevention.
Blocking or inhibiting androgens should be your number one priority.
If you're on Minoxidil and you grow hair courtesy of Minoxidil, that hair will be dependent on the Minoxidil to survive.
When it comes down to if you're going to take Minoxidil or not, I feel like it should be after your foundation is set and you have a baseline of thorough DHT protection in place at minimum, and if your hair loss is more aggressive then DHT as well as Testosterone.