Can Women Take Propecia For Hair Loss?

Andy Boysan
Andy BoysanBPharmDirector & Superintendent Pharmacist
female hair loss

Hair loss can be a natural sign of ageing or caused by an illness. Even though some hair loss is normal, it can be distressing and a big blow to your confidence, particularly for women.

Propecia (Finasteride) is an MHRA approved pill created to help prevent hair loss and stimulate hair follicle regrowth. It has been on the market since 1997 and is widely regarded as one of the more effective hair loss treatments available today. But how does it work? And who can use it?

In this short guide, we’ll help you see if Propecia is the right choice for you, offering some alternatives for women who are unable to take Propecia for hair loss. We’ll also cover whether the generic version of Propecia, Finasteride, is a viable option for you instead of the branded, more expensive, version.

Not a hair loss cure for women?

Propecia is designed specifically for male pattern baldness and is not suitable for women.

Why is Propecia not designed for women?

Propecia or Finasteride works by stopping the male hormone testosterone from being converted into forms that cause the hair follicles to shrink. When Finasteride is activated, hair follicles should be able to go on naturally producing hair like before.

While women do carry the male hormone testosterone, taking Propecia has been found to have an adverse effect on male foetuses, and is not a recommended course of treatment for a woman. Women experiencing hair loss should seek other hair loss treatments more suited to them.

Who can take Propecia?

Propecia is designed for men who are experiencing hair loss or male pattern baldness.

Studies have suggested Propecia can increase hair count in men after 3 - 6 months of continued use, with hair loss continuing within 6 months if treatment is stopped. As a treatment, it’s generally considered an effective remedy for hair loss. You can also buy a cheaper, generic version of Propecia sold as Finasteride that acts in exactly the same way.

For male pattern baldness, there are more treatment options to consider if Propecia doesn’t feel right. Avodart is an oral medication that is chemically similar to Propecia. Regaine on the other hand, is one of the most recognized names in the hair loss industry, and has been scientifically proven to help stop balding, and even reverse its effects.

When it comes to hair loss treatments in general, success is greatly dependent on early intervention. If your hair is thinning and you would like to take action, it’s important to start using an approved product sooner rather than later.

What are the best alternatives to Propecia for women?

Propecia isn’t the only effective hair loss treatment — there are plenty of other alternatives for women to consider:

  1. For women experiencing hair loss, we recommend finding a treatment that contains Minoxidil. Currently, Minoxidil is the only medicine available to treat female-pattern baldness. Regaine for Women is a cream that contains 2% Minoxidil and is a great female alternative to Propecia.
  2. Many women choose to conceal their loss of hair with wigs or hair extensions, use tattooing or permanent makeup, and even go under the knife for hair loss surgery. This is probably due to the fact that hair has historically been seen as an essential part of femininity, and losing your hair can be a difficult experience for a woman.

Whether Propecia is right for you, or you decide to go with an alternative treatment — it is critical to always seek sound advice from medical professionals before starting a new treatment plan. Follow medical advice when following a course of treatment, and contact a medical professional if you experience any serious side effects.

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