How Long Does Hair Regrowth Take? Understanding the Factors

How Long Does Hair Regrowth Take? Understanding the Factors

Youngsters tend to take their hair for granted. Adults – like most of us dealing with hair loss – meanwhile understand that luscious hair is not a lifelong guarantee.

But complete baldness doesn’t have to be the reality either. In some cases, hair loss results from a temporary situation, and it can be reversed given enough time.

So how long does it take for hair to grow back? How long does hair regrowth take?

The answer isn’t universal, and it’s seldom simple because the rate of regrowth varies depending on the individual, their circumstances or medical conditions, and hair loss treatments used.

Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

Before you can understand how long hair regrowth takes, it helps to understand the basic hair growth cycle. Knowing how hair develops is vital to learning how and why medications and other treatment options work or fail.

Your follicles go through three primary stages of growth, or four according to how some experts classify the stages of a follicle's lifecycle. The stages are:

  • Anagen
  • Catagen
  • Telogen
  • The fourth phase accepted by some doctors is the Exogen or shedding phase.

Each hair follicle grows one hair at a time. During this process, beneath the visible skin, your follicle is adding cells to the bottom of the slowly growing hair shaft. Your hair strands aren’t getting longer at the tip, they’re actually growing at the base and being pushed further out of the hair follicle.

The Anagen phase is the period of this real, active growth, and it lasts the longest of these phase (or at least it should). The Catagen phase is a point of regression or rest, when the hair follicle slows and then stops actively adding new cells to the base of the shaft. Finally, the Telogen phase is the dormant period before the hair is shed, when the hair is detached from its root. The Exogen phase is when the hair base is pushed out of the follicle and shed completely.

Unfortunately, as a biological process, hair growth is susceptible to many complications, from external threats to internal or underlying health conditions. Everything can take a toll.

Still, depending on the root cause, your body can often support regrowth after healing from various medical conditions.

Potential Causes of Hair Loss and the Natural Timeline for Regrowth

Knowing when hair loss might reverse itself is nearly impossible.

First, if you’re not addressing the issue and don’t have a clear medical reason for hair loss in the first place, don’t expect it to resolve itself. For instance, hereditary hair loss as a result of your genetics won't resolve without some intervention.

The causes of loss can provide some insight into regrowth timelines, too, but remember, each person is different. Results for your friend might not be the same for you.

Here are some common causes of hair loss.

Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia, or male & female pattern hair loss, is a form of hereditary hair loss that generally occurs as people age. Hair follicles shrink and weaken, making it impossible for hair to grow back effectively. This is largely due to the prolonged impact of hormones, namely dihydrotestosterone, on your follicles. Some people are just more susceptible to its effects on hair follicles than others. While pattern hair loss is permanent, you can slow and even reverse the effects by using certain treatments and solutions.

Both men and women can suffer from pattern hair loss; however, it affects the sexes differently. Women rarely go entirely bald from the condition, unlike men, and women more often experience hair thinning or patchiness.

Regardless of gender, any loss that occurs due to androgenic alopecia won’t grow back on its own. Thankfully, there are options that can help.

Intervention, like those listed below, will be necessary.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp or plaque psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can lead to temporary hair loss. It affects the cells on your scalp, causing plaques, inflammation, and itchiness of the skin. Some people find it difficult not to scratch the affected area, which can make the condition worse, resulting in more significant damage.

The relief for many patients is that hair often grows back when the condition is under control. The main objective is finding an auto-immune medication that works for the individual. Once treatment begins and the scalp is healing, hair often begins to grow back within months.


Another autoimmune condition that affects hair is alopecia areata, which causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles specifically. While hair can fall out anywhere and often everywhere on the body, it typically happens on the scalp. Unlike psoriasis, alopecia is unpredictable. Hair loss might only be temporary, or it might progress through a series of starts and stops. Some people with alopecia areata are unable to grow hair permanently.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Illness is not always the cause of hair loss. Sometimes a poor diet can play a significant role in hair growth issues. For example, nutritional deficits, specifically in zinc and iron, can lead to hair loss. Fortunately, most hair loss caused by an adverse diet can be reversed. But how long does it take for hair to grow back after hair loss due to nutrition issues? With efficient changes to your diet, regrowth can occur within several months. However, the thickness and health of the returning hair depend on sustaining a healthy and nutritious diet.

Hormonal Changes

Both men and women experience hormonal changes throughout their lives. For example, women often undergo major fluctiations during and following pregnancy or during menopause. While men might not experience such drastic hormone shifts, age can bring changes.

Hormonal shifts can cause hair loss. Fortunately, the loss is often temporary. While hair is likely to return, it’s impossible to predict with any certainty when regrowth will occur without intervention.

Thyroid Issues

The overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones can result in hair loss. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are treatable conditions. Once the condition is managed, typically with medication or surgery, a patient can generally expect to see hair return. Depending how long the condition went unmanaged, though, it will likely take 1+ months to see regrowth.


Chemotherapy is a potent, first-line treatment against many forms of cancer. Unfortunately, while it's effective in attacking cancer cells, the therapy can also damage hair follicles all over the body, resulting in rapid hair loss. When treatment is complete, many patients see hair return in two to three weeks, though it may take several months for hair to return to normal.

Interestingly, this treatment can also lead to a peculiar situation where the hair returns in a different color or texture than before! From straight to wavy, from thin to thick.

Medications for the Reversal of Hair Loss

While there’s nothing wrong with letting nature take its course, biology does not guarantee that hair loss can be reversed.

In many cases of hair loss related to a medical condition, hair will return when the body finds equilibrium or returns to health.

Speeding up the regrowth process or stopping more hair loss from happening is possible. Prescription and non-prescription medications are key.


Minoxidil is a topical solution used to treat male and female pattern baldness. In a 2% concentration, minoxidil can help promote hair growth in women. It’s used at a 5% concentration in men.

Minoxidil is actually one of only two medications approved by the FDA to treat hair loss, and it’s been used for decades by millions of men and women. It’s thoroughly researched and one of the most vetted hair loss solutions available. And, it doesn’t require a prescription.

When used and applied correctly, minoxidil can help slow and stop hair loss, and even help to regrow hair. It’s worth mentioning that researchers are not 100% sure how minoxidil promotes hair growth.

Minoxidil takes 60-90 days of consistent use before most people see results, and results can continue to improve with regular use. Patients report continued improvements as far out as two and five years. Once you stop using minoxidil, your hair may revert back to how it was prior.

If your hair loss is unexplained or it comes on suddenly with patchy, substantial hair loss, you may want to discuss your situation with a medical professional first.


Unlike minoxidil, finasteride is only for adult men. It is an oral prescription medication that works by reducing the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. By interfering with DHT production, finasteride promotes hair growth and slows hair loss.

Finasteride also has decades of clinical use and research supporting its capabilities, with proven results in helping men stop hair loss, regrow hair, and improve density.

Like minoxidil, finasteride can take three to six months to see noticeable changes, and improvements can continue for over a year.

Finasteride is not safe for women.

Natural Hair Loss Treatments

A variety of natural extracts and botanicals may also be effective in treating hair loss.

At Shapiro MD, our flagship solutions are based on years of clinical practice and research from our founding dermatologists. Our easy-to-use shampoo and conditioner, for example, contain recognized DHT-fighting ingredients like saw palmetto berry extract and EGCG, an extract of green tea. These formulations are patented and designed for use on any hair type.

This simple, holistic approach has been used by hundreds of thousands of men and women to combat thinning and patchy hair by fighting DHT at the scalp.


How long it takes for hair to grow back after hair loss varies person-to-person. If your hair loss is due to a treatable medical condition like following chemotherapy use, most people can expect hair regrowth within months.

If you're dealing with male or female pattern hair loss, however, don't expect your hair to come back on its own. Interventions like minoxidil (in our Regrowth Kit, for example), can help.

Everyone is unique, and not all treatments work the same way for all people.

Shapiro MD can help, with a variety of hair loss solutions selected by dermatologists: from all-natural patented solutions, to customized topical prescriptions. Click here to get started with our hair loss quiz today.

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