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An In-depth Guide To Finasteride For Hair Loss

    It is normal to lose around 50 to 100 hairs per day. However, when that number increases, it can have an impact on your hairline, crown and cause thinning, and potentially total loss across the scalp. 

    Hair loss can be caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, stress, illness and certain medications, so it’s important to understand the root cause before trying to treat it.

    There are different types of hair loss, such as male and female pattern baldness and alopecia areata, and treatment may depend on what type of hair loss you are experiencing.

    Hair loss can be distressing for many people, affecting their self-esteem and confidence. But there are several treatment options available that can help to regrow your hair. These treatments can include medication, hair transplants and lifestyle changes. 

    One popular medication is Finasteride, which is often prescribed to men who are experiencing hair loss. Discover more about this treatment in our guide to Finasteride for hair loss.

    How does Finasteride work?

    Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that is derived from testosterone, which is produced in the testes and adrenal glands. DHT is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, such as facial hair, deepening of the voice and muscle growth. However, in people with androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness), too much DHT causes your hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair.

    Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT. By reducing the DHT levels, Finasteride can help to reverse the process of hair loss and promote hair regrowth in men.

    finasteride mechanism diagram
    Diagram explaining how Finasteride works

    In addition to its effects on hair loss, Finasteride is also used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged and causes urinary problems. Finasteride can shrink the prostate gland and improve urinary symptoms by decreasing the DHT levels.

    Can Finasteride regrow hair?

    Clinical studies have shown that Finasteride can be an effective treatment for male pattern baldness. In a randomised placebo-controlled study of 1,553 men with androgenic alopecia, Finasteride was found to significantly increase hair regrowth compared to placebo. 

    Success rates for hair regrowth with Finasteride do vary depending on the severity of your hair loss. In general, Finasteride is most effective for mild to moderate hair loss that has resulted in hairline recession and crown thinning. If you have lost all your hair on your scalp, then Finasteride might not work for you or it may take the medication to preserve the hair on the back and sides to help facilitate surgery.

    Different factors can impact the effectiveness of Finasteride, such as: 

    • Age
    • The severity of your hair loss
    • The duration of your hair loss experience
    • How well you follow the treatment guidance

    Finasteride is most effective when used consistently for at least 6-12 months, and results may take up to a year to become apparent. It is important to note that Finasteride is not effective for hair loss caused by chemotherapy, autoimmune disorders or nutritional deficiencies.

    What are the potential side effects of Finasteride?

    Like any medication, Finasteride can cause side effects in some people. The most commonly reported side effect of Finasteride is sexual dysfunction. This includes decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and decreased ejaculate volume. 

    These side effects can occur in more than 1 in 100 people, but they usually resolve after stopping the medication. 

    Other potential side effects of Finasteride can include breast tenderness, breast enlargement and rash. These side effects are less common and usually resolve after stopping the medication. 

    In rare cases, Finasteride can cause severe allergic reactions, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking Finasteride, seek medical attention immediately.

    Finasteride is not recommended for use in women, as it can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid handling crushed or broken tablets of Finasteride, as the medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause harm to a developing foetus. This medication can also be passed through semen, so if you are actively trying to conceive, speak with your doctor beforehand.

    Before starting treatment with Finasteride, it is important to discuss any medical conditions or medications with a healthcare professional. Finasteride can interact with some medications, including alpha-blockers and some antibiotics, so it may not be safe for people with certain medical conditions.

    What should I know before taking Finasteride?

    Before taking Finasteride, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the medication. Finasteride is typically taken in tablet form, once a day, with or without food. 

    The recommended dose for male pattern baldness is 1mg per day, although the dosage may vary depending on individual factors. Never take any more than your recommended dosage.

    To minimise the risk of side effects, taking the medication at the same time each day, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet could possibly help reduce them. 

    Long-term use of Finasteride may be necessary to maintain hair regrowth, but it is important to monitor any potential side effects or changes you experience while taking it. Sometimes, your dosage may need to be adjusted, or you might even have to switch to a different treatment if it is not effective or causes too many side effects.

    Regular follow-up appointments with your doctor are important to monitor the effectiveness of Finasteride and to address any concerns or side effects. Never increase your dosage or stop taking Finasteride without consulting your doctor first.

    Finasteride FAQs 

    We’ve covered some Frequently asked questions about Finasteride below.

    How long does it take for Finasteride to work for hair loss?

    When you take Finasteride, it can take several months to a full year before you see any visible results and hair regrowth. This is because your hair itself only grows around half an inch per month, making it hard to see results in a short space of time, even with Finasteride to help.

    Finasteride is not a cure for hair loss, and stopping the medication can result in a return to previous levels of hair loss over time.

    Can Finasteride regrow hairline?

    Finasteride is said to be most effective at regrowing hair on your crown and less effective at regrowing your hairline. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t boost hair growth around your hairline; it just might not work as well or it may take longer to see results.

    Is Finasteride safe for long-term use?

    Finasteride is considered safe for long-term use. But regular monitoring for side effects and effectiveness is recommended, so you will need to speak with your doctor regularly to check that it’s still working well for your body. Your doctor will advise you on the right monitoring schedule for your needs. 

    Additionally, if you experience any new or concerning side effects while taking Finasteride, you must notify your doctor immediately. Regular communication with your doctor is crucial to ensuring the continued safety and effectiveness of using Finasteride as a hair loss treatment.

    Do you have to take Finasteride after getting a hair transplant?

    If you have undergone a hair transplant procedure, your doctor or surgeon may recommend that you continue taking Finasteride after the surgery to support hair growth and prevent further hair loss. This is because the hair transplant procedure doesn’t prevent the progression of hair loss in areas of the scalp not treated by the procedure. 

    Continuing to take Finasteride may help prevent the development of male pattern baldness in areas of the scalp that were not transplanted too. 

    It is essential to discuss the potential benefits and risks of continuing Finasteride use after a hair transplant with your doctor or surgeon. They can provide you with personalised advice on whether the medication is appropriate for your specific needs and help you decide the best course of action for maintaining your hair growth and preventing future hair loss.

    Can women use Finasteride for hair loss?

    Finasteride is not recommended for women of child-bearing age who could be pregnant or be trying to conceive, as it can cause harm to a developing foetus.

    Women who are experiencing hair loss should speak with their doctor about potential treatment options that are safe for them. Hair loss in women can be caused by a wide range of factors, including hormonal changes, stress and certain medical conditions. Therefore, the underlying cause of hair loss needs to be properly diagnosed before a treatment plan can be created. 

    Some possible treatment options for women with hair loss include topical Minoxidil, low-level laser therapy and certain supplements. Your doctor can work with you to create a customised treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and health issues.

    How does Finasteride compare to other hair loss treatments?

    Finasteride is one of several options for treating hair loss, including Minoxidil and hair transplant surgery. Each treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of treatment should be made in consultation with your doctor. 

    What works for some people might not work for others, so you must find a hair loss treatment that meets your specific needs. 

    What is the recommended dosage of Finasteride for hair loss?

    The recommended dosage of Finasteride for hair loss is 1mg per day, but make sure that you follow any dosage recommendations you are given by your doctor. 

    You can take your dose with or without food; it will depend on what the packaging recommendation is and what your doctor advises.

    How does Finasteride affect prostate health?

    Finasteride is also used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where your prostate gland becomes enlarged. Finasteride works by reducing the size of the prostate gland, which can improve urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

    Are there any natural alternatives to Finasteride for hair loss?

    Several natural remedies have been suggested for treating hair loss and many people who have lost their hair may try these first before seeking medical help. 

    These include: 

    • Saw Palmetto
    • Rosemary oil
    • Pumpkin seed oil
    • Onion juice
    • Jojoba oil
    • Green tea
    • Coconut oil

    However, there is limited evidence supporting the ability of these alternative remedies to regrow your hair. Always make sure that you speak with a medical professional before using any natural alternatives.

    Book a consultation with The Treatment Rooms London

    Using Finasteride to treat your hair loss can be effective, but it’s not always going to work. Factors such as your age, how long you have been losing hair and the reason why you have lost your hair can all play a role in how effective Finasteride is. However, people who see positive results when taking this medication do find that it transforms their hair.

    Finasteride is just one way to potentially regrow your lost hair, but it’s not your only option. Hair transplants offer a permanent solution for hair loss — and at The Treatment Rooms London, we provide the very best care with the latest hair transplant technology. 

    Book an appointment with our expert hair loss team today and begin your hair regrowth journey.


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