I just turned 19 and am about a III on the Norwood scale. I noticed a slight receding hairline at 17 and began using Rogaine and taking saw palmetto supplements. My father was V on the Norwood scale by the time he was 28, but his balding was not as accelerated as mine at such a young age. I have been taking finasteride (5 mg dosages cut into 4 pieces) daily for about 5 months and have continued to use Rogaine foam, and my hairline continues to rapidly recede. As I am so young this is very detrimental to my self confidence and image. I was wondering if you think that I should try dutasteride, as the finasteride seems to have had no effect (my balding wasnt progressing this fast before I went on it), or maybe even consider hair transplants to fill in what I’ve lost.
It seems you are very proactive about your hair loss. As such, you need to start with seeing a good, qualified doctor for your hair loss options.
Saw palmetto is associated with improving prostate health and as such the natural supplement community now seems to link it to hair growth, because finasteride (Propecia / Propecia) is associated with prostate health. However, there is no ‘metric’ on the value of saw palmetto that would say just what does blocks DHT.
You need a miniaturization study before you start any medication so that you have a baseline measurement prior to taking any medical treatments. Photographs and general assessments may seem good enough, but you do not know what is going on at a microscopic level without a miniaturization study.
Avodart (dutasteride) is not FDA approved for treating androgenic alopecia (AGA). Just because it is said to be a stronger blocker of DHT does not mean it will be better than Propecia (finasteride). I always point out that the drug dosage is not documented, so every doctor that prescribes Avodart to treat hair loss should be wondering the correct dosage to prescribe. If/when it is finally FDA approved for treating hair loss, the decision to start this medication should not be frivolous.
Finally, hair transplantation in a 19 year old with Norwood Class 3 balding is not recommended. Give it at least a few more years to see where your hair loss pattern is evolving to before considering surgical options.