The Independent Pharmacy

How Long Does Finasteride Take to Work?

Daniel Hurley
Daniel HurleyMPharm IPPharmacist Independent Prescriber

Reviewed on 1 Apr 2023

Finasteride is a treatment for male pattern baldness that typically shows significant results after three to six months of consistent daily use. However, you might need to be patient for 12 months of treatment or more to achieve the most noticeable hair regrowth. Along your journey, you need to remember that these timelines can vary as everyone’s body responds differently to medication.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you understand Finasteride and its role in treating hair loss. You'll be able to understand the science behind its effectiveness, gaining the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your hair loss treatment. Here’s what you should expect and how to maximise its benefits whether you’re considering starting Finasteride or are already using it.

Finasteride 1mg Tablets
Finasteride 1mg Tablets
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Key Facts About Finasteride

Finasteride is a prescription medication that can help you combat male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

How to Take Finasteride?

Finasteride is usually prescribed as a daily tablet you can take with or without food. It's important that you stay consistent with your treatment, as you need to take the medication regularly to maintain adequate levels in the body.

If you miss a dose, it’s generally advised to take it as soon as you remember unless it’s close to the time for your next dose. In that case, you could skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing schedule.

Hair growth is gradual, often around an inch per month, and you might not see visible results straight away. Therefore, you need to take Finasteride consistently to achieve your goals.

To ensure that your treatment is safe and effective, you need to follow the instructions when taking any medication.

If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, don’t hesitate to contact The Independent Pharmacy. Our experienced and understanding team is here to help you navigate your treatment and achieve the best possible results.

Pattern Baldness and Androgenetic Alopecia

Before we delve into how Finasteride can help with hair loss, you should understand the conditions it’s often used to treat: male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia. While related, these conditions have distinct characteristics that can affect how they’re managed.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common type of hair loss that affects both men and women. In men, you can often recognise it through a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown of the head.

While the exact cause of pattern baldness is not fully understood, it’s believed to be a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a significant role in this process. Over time, DHT can cause your hair follicles to shrink, leading to the characteristic pattern of hair loss.

If pattern baldness is the problem you're facing, you can consider several treatment options, including topical treatments like minoxidil, surgical procedures like hair transplants, and oral medications like Finasteride.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for the condition commonly known as male or female pattern baldness. It’s a genetic condition that causes your hair follicles to shrink over time, leading to thinning hair and eventual hair loss.

The condition is more common in men but can also affect women. In men, androgenetic alopecia typically results in a receding hairline and thinner hair on the top of the head. Women dealing with this condition usually experience overall hair thinning, but their frontal hairline is often preserved.

But can Finasteride help you with this condition, too? Based on a 10-year-long clinical study, men who were consistent with their treatment experienced a 91.5% success rate.

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss is a common condition and can be caused by many different factors. According to NHS, it’s completely normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. However, you might become concerned when hair loss becomes more pronounced.

One of the primary causes we often see as the culprit behind hair loss is genetics. Certain genetic factors can predispose you to a condition known as pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss is permanent and usually runs in the family.

However, there are even more factors that could contribute to hair loss. If you don't have a genetic predisposition, you might be dealing with hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, certain medications, radiation therapy, or chronic stress. You could also experience temporary hair loss due to illness or chemotherapy.

You need to remember that hair loss is not always a sign of a serious medical condition. But if you’re worried, consult your concerns with a healthcare professional. They can help identify the underlying cause and support you on your journey.

Finasteride for Hair Growth

Finasteride is a long-term solution for hair loss, from moderate hair loss to more severe cases. It’s not a quick fix but one of the most popular hair loss treatments that requires patience and consistency. The results are promising, but they take time to manifest.

How Does Finasteride Affect the Hair Growth Cycle?

In the early stages of your hair loss treatment, you might experience a shedding phase. This is a normal part of the process where some of your older, weaker hairs fall out to make way for newer, healthier strands. However, don't let the shedding of hair discourage you from your journey and keep in mind that it is a sign that the medication works and you are on the right path.

You might be curious about how effective Finasteride can be in promoting hair growth. To provide you with tangible evidence, we invite you to explore these Finasteride results. This link offers a closer look at the impressive changes Finasteride can bring about, reinforcing the information presented in this guide.

What Is the Standard Duration of Finasteride Treatment?

Finasteride is a long-term treatment option for male pattern baldness. Before you get started on your journey, you need to realise that it is not a quick fix. It is a medication you need to take consistently over time to maintain its benefits. The duration you can take Finasteride largely depends on your response to the medication and your doctor’s advice. However, if you stop taking the medication, your hair loss might reappear within a year.

Are Finasteride Results Long-Term?

The medication allows you to see improvements in hair growth as long as you take it. Once you stop taking Finasteride, the progression of hair loss will likely resume within a year. This is because Finasteride is not a permanent cure for hair loss - it only works to restrict the conversion of testosterone to DHT. When you stop taking the medication, the body resumes the conversion process, and your hair loss will likely return.

At this point, you might be wondering about Finasteride's real-world effectiveness and long-term impact. We understand the importance of hearing from those who have walked this path before you. Reading about the experiences of others can provide a deeper understanding of what to expect from your own treatment with Finasteride. Feel free to explore these Finasteride customer reviews to hear directly from individuals who have personally experienced the long-term results of Finasteride treatment.

Further Steps to Combat Hair Loss

Finasteride is a popular treatment for hair loss. However, there are ways to. enhance its effectiveness and support healthy hair growth. To make your treatment for hair loss more effective, try to include some of the following strategies in your daily life:

  • Balanced Diet: A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can support your overall hair health and bring nutrients to hair follicles. When you want to see an increase in hair thickness, bring attention to nutrients like Vitamin A, B vitamins, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Protein, which are particularly beneficial for hair growth.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help you improve blood flow, including to the scalp, promoting healthier hair growth.
  • Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo: Using a shampoo designed to prevent hair loss is another way you can achieve increased hair growth. Look for ingredients like saw palmetto or ketoconazole, which can help reduce hair loss.
  • Consistent Medication Use: You need to take Finasteride consistently as your healthcare provider directs. Staying consistent with the use of the medication will increase its effectiveness and lead to healthier strands of hair.
  • Open Communication with Your Healthcare Provider: If you experience any common side effects or have concerns about the medication, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider. That way, you will get the necessary help and guidance, and they could adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

Remember, your body might respond to the medication differently from anyone else, and what works best for others may not work as well for you. To ensure that you are on the most effective treatment plan for your stages of hair loss journey, consult a healthcare professional and address any concerns you might have.

People Also Ask

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people often ask about taking Finasteride - and we have the answers.

When does Finasteride shedding start?

Finasteride shedding typically begins a few weeks after starting the medication and usually lasts a couple of months. This is part of the normal hair growth cycle and is a sign that the medication works. During this phase, older hair that is in the resting phase is shed to make way for new hair in the growth phase. This initial increase in hair fall could make you feel worried, but it’s a temporary phase that usually lasts a few weeks to a few months.

How long does it take for the hair lost during the Finasteride shed to regrow?

The regrowth phase following the shedding period is different for everyone. However, it typically takes about three months to a year to see visible results. Factors such as your age, health, and the extent of hair loss can affect the duration of the shedding and regrowth process. You need to remember that shedding is a normal part of the hair growth cycle and is a sign that new hair is about to grow.

How will I know if Finasteride is working?

A reduction in hair loss and gradual regrowth are signs that Finasteride is working. You might not notice these changes on a day-to-day basis, but you can be seen over time. To make sure that you are on the right journey and to track your progress, take regular photos of your scalp. Remember, only consistent daily use of Finasteride can help you achieve visible results.

Is Finasteride worth taking?

Finasteride is considered one of the most effective male pattern hair loss treatments - and it is for a reason. Studies have shown that more than 90% of men who take Finasteride experience improved hair quality. However, it is one of the hair loss medications that is not suitable for everyone. Finasteride is not recommended for children, adolescents, or women. As it is with any medication, you should weigh the potential benefits against the potential side effects of Finasteride and discuss these with your healthcare provider.

Resources:

LABEL (fda.gov)

Hair loss - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Finasteride: 7 things you should know - Drugs.com

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