Hello Doctor and thank you for this your answers on this forum. I was curious about two things. First, is it true that taking Propecia will SOMETIMES help maintain the other areas of hair you are not taking the medication for? In this, I mean if I were to take Propecia for very minimal vertex thinning, but my hairline and frontal hair are perfectly fine the way they are right now, will propecia help keep those hairs in perpetuity? (in general of course, I know there are no guarentees in all of this). Second, do you keep up on the latest information regarding the process currently being worked on called follicular neogenesis (the elusive “cure all” for baldness? I’ve heard from many sources (including Bosley reps) that within 8-10 years, all the kinks MIGHT finally be worked out of this, thus hopefully ending and curing baldness. I know the key word is “might,” but I was just curious how much you’ve heard about it and your thoughts. Thank you so much.
Divide the term follicular neogenesis into three words and you get:
- Neo: New
- Follicular: Refers to hair unit of growth
- Genesis: A biblical term suggesting source, creation, derivation of something, birth, the beginning or origin
Put them all together and you get a new technology — or at least the name of one. Sounds like a good name to me. There are many people working on technologies that will create new hair follicles from the source (possibly the stem cells that generate hair follicles) once we learn to control the stem cells. The success of forcing stem cells to create hair follicles is about 10% now with a great deal of randomness to the process. I have heard the same estimates of time (10 years) for the resolution of things related to cloning, etc…
Your first question has a problem with it. If the hair is thinning in the back, then there is genetic balding possibly in other areas as well. Thinning either means miniaturization of the hairs or loss of density. Propecia works better in decreasing the miniaturization (increasing the thickness of the hair shafts) than it does with restoring the density (growing new hair). I do not believe that Propecia (finasteride) will prevent the loss of either hair shaft thickness or loss of density, but I do believe that it will prolong the period of loss for years.