Finasteride is a popular treatment for treating hair loss or male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia). But does it really work and what results can you actually expect from Finasteride?
In this post, The Independent Pharmacy takes a closer look to find out what you can expect when using this treatment. Read on to find out more.
What is Finasteride and does it work?
Finasteride is a UK prescription-only oral medication that can be used to tackle hair loss and pattern baldness in men.
In recent years, this generic, non-branded, version of the hair loss drug Propecia (which has the same drug, Finasteride, as its active ingredient) has grown in popularity due to its effectiveness and low cost.
- 66% of men showed increased hair growth
- 5% showed a great increase
- 31% showed a moderate improvement
- 30% of men showed a slight improvement
- 83% of men in the trial showed no further hair loss
As you can see from these results, Finasteride is highly effective at halting hair loss and male pattern baldness, and even increases hair growth for most users.
Does Finasteride work for everyone?
For the majority of users, Finasteride is an extremely successful treatment for treating hair loss.
Of course, everyone is different and individuals can react to the same medication in different ways, so in some rare circumstances, Finasteride may not be as effective. Finasteride also works best at treating hair loss where there is a receding hairline and thinning — in areas of complete hair loss, it will not work as well.
In terms of who can use Finasteride, any man over the age of 18 can use this medication irrespective of height, weight, or age, and will most likely see positive results from their treatment.
However, Finasteride isn’t suitable for use by children and adolescents younger than 18. Women are advised not to take Finasteride either, because of the way that it interacts with female hormones.
How Finasteride works
Finasteride works by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body.
DHT is the hormone in men responsible for male pattern baldness. It causes individual hair follicles to shrink over time, which thins the hair and ages hair follicles until they fall out.
By reducing the production of DHT in the body — a daily dose of 1 mg Finasteride is enough to reduce the amount of DHT in the scalp by more than 60% — Finasteride halts this hair loss process.
Does Finasteride regrow hair?
As well as slowing or stopping hair loss, Finasteride also encourages hair regrowth. Hair can potentially grow stronger, thicker and faster than before.
It is worth noting that this medication won’t dramatically change hair texture or quality; however, many Finasteride users have reported hair regrowth and an increase in thickness.
To read for yourself what real users think of this treatment, you can go to our Finasteride customer reviews page. We gather this feedback using Trustpilot to ensure that customers can read honest, transparent reviews of all of the products we offer at The Independent Pharmacy.
Finasteride results timeline: how long does it take to work?
Your hair loss won’t stop as soon as you start a course of treatment — Finasteride is not an overnight cure!
You will normally start to see a difference in your hair loss around three to six months after you start to use Finasteride, so it’s important to remember to be patient when using this medication. In some men, it may take longer.
By around 12 months into treatment, you will see an improved increase in hair thickness and hair regrowth.
Some Finasteride users have reported experiencing an increased shedding of hair during the first couple of months of use. This initial shedding can last for a few months but should stop by three to six months in; if you experience continued shedding or are concerned in any way, seek advice from your doctor on how to proceed.
How to get the best Finasteride results
To get the best results from Finasteride possible, it is important to follow the instructions of your doctor or the directions on the label and keep taking the medication daily.
It is also important to take Finasteride at the same time each day, such as in the morning or just before bed. This is because it has a half-life of around five to six hours, so if you leave it too long between doses, the level of Finasteride present in your body will decrease. This will stop it from working effectively.
Finasteride is a small tablet that is taken orally. It can be taken with or without food — this won’t affect the medication’s results.
For more information on how to use Finasteride safely, check out our Finasteride dosage page.
Can you speed Finasteride up?
Unfortunately, there is no way you can ‘speed up' the effects of Finasteride. It’s important to be patient during the course of treatment, because it may take some time for the Finasteride’s success to become apparent.
Irrespective of height, weight, or age, Finasteride only needs to be taken as a daily dose of 1mg to treat hair loss — which is enough for the drug to work effectively.
Trying to increase your dose will not speed up Finasteride’s results and makes the drug no more effective. It could possibly be harmful to your body as well, because of the increased risk of side effects.
You may have noticed a 5mg version of Finasteride during your research of the drug. This dosage is prescribed to men with an enlarged prostate, and it may reduce the need for prostate surgery. It should not be used to prevent hair loss, as it will not have any greater success, but will increase the risk of negative side effects.
Is Finasteride more effective than other treatments?
When it comes to tackling hair loss and male pattern baldness, Finasteride is one of the most effective treatments available on the market (as well as being the most cost-effective).
There are other hair loss treatments out there, such as Regaine Extra Strength Solution which contains the active ingredient Minoxidil. Regaine comes as either a lotion or foam and is an effective option for treating hair loss, so it depends on what form you would like your treatment to take — oral or topical. Regaine is available over the counter.
Another alternative hair loss treatment is Avodart, which comes in capsules and contains the active ingredient dutasteride. Avodart works in a similar way to Finasteride and is another effective treatment that has positive user reviews. Avodart is prescription-only.
Hair growth tablets, supplements, and vitamins are available from online stores and high-street shops, but these cannot be proven to be effective and in some cases, are not safe to use.
Of course, there are other non-medicinal options for treating hair loss such as hair transplants (which tend to be expensive and come with mixed results). Alternative remedies such as homoeopathy and acupuncture are sometimes used, but there is little evidence to suggest that these work.
If you are looking for a safe and effective hair loss treatment, then it is best to stick to prescription medication such as Finasteride.
If in doubt, you can speak to your doctor or a medical professional to see what they advise.
It’s no surprise that this convenient and affordable hair loss tablet is growing in popularity; overall, Finasteride results are extremely positive and successful.
Finasteride cannot be bought over the counter and is only available upon prescription.
You can pick up a prescription from The Independent Pharmacy and buy Finasteride here once you’ve completed our quick, free online consultation. It’s as simple as filling in a form today and receiving your hair loss treatment tomorrow.