In terms of access, price, and easy administration, there’s no better oral treatment for hair loss than Finasteride. It’s more affordable and more available than ever before.
But with widespread popularity comes a lot of questions and criticisms.
Everyone wants to know the key details about Finasteride, from the cost to the results and the potential side effects.
Today we’re running down the most important bullet points about this famous hair loss drug and giving you the info that matters for your safety and satisfaction.
The Basics of Finasteride
Scientists have long been trying to figure out the mechanisms behind hair loss, so we’ll try to keep it brief!
Basically, 95% of male pattern baldness is the result of a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia. Without diving too deep, this condition causes DHT, a derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone, to negatively interfere with the hair cycles of the follicle units on the scalp. When DHT levels rise too high, hair cycles get disrupted, and the quality and quantity of the hair on the scalp begins to decline rapidly.
Men who start to notice the M-shaped balding pattern and thinning at the back of the head are almost always suffering from the same process, though it manifests in different ways.
That’s where Finasteride makes a difference.
The medicine is part of a class of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, meaning they act to restrict the impact of DHT molecules, thereby slowing hair loss. While this drug was originally manufactured to combat prostate enlargement, scientists quickly discovered its benefits for hair restoration.
It was aggressively marketed in the 90s as a cutting edge solution, and over time became a more affordable, accessible drug that proved safe and effective for the masses. Now, Finasteride is one of the most popular anti-hair-loss drugs available and has been updated and repackaged in a number of different ways.
Medical Claims and Clinical Trials
In terms of pure effect, Finasteride has one of the most proven clinical track records around.
Research clearly shows that men who take one dose a day see their DHT levels drop by more than 60%, proving that the drug has a definite impact on its target. Furthermore, clinical studies have shown that over the course of five years, continued use of Finasteride boosted the hair growth and slowed losses for upwards of 89% of users. With nearly 9 out of 10 clients experiencing satisfactory results, it’s easy to see why this drug has made such a big splash in the industry.
Getting down to a more granular level, research finds that both the quality and the quantity of hair gets an upgrade from Finasteride over time.
One of the most significant studies in the field, the Hair Count Clinical Study, showed that within five years of use, Finasteride testers showed gains of 277 hairs per one-inch circle, on average. That’s nothing to scoff at. Additionally, the Hair Weight Clinical Study revealed that these hairs were not only greater in number, but also weighed 34% more than the hair observed before the trial. This indicates that the strength and health of the follicle unit improved drastically over the years, giving clients a more full and robust head of hair than before.
It should be said that Finasteride does a better job of preventing hair loss than it does to regrow long-gone follicles, according to the American Hair Loss Association.
The trials performed by these researchers concluded that the drug stopped hair-loss progression for 86% of tested users, while 65% of them saw hair grow back stronger. Nevertheless, with nearly 2 out of every 3 patients experiencing regrown hair, this made a very strong case for Finasteride and explains why it sits at the top of the hair loss drug kingdom.
This drug also comes with a few added advantages over the competition.
For one, it is an oral medication, meaning that users need only take one small pill daily to see the full spectrum of results. For busybodies and top-performers, this is a major benefit over topical solutions such as Minoxidil, which demand a longer administration session and some added mess.
There is also something to be said for the time-to-effect of this drug. Within a mere three to six months, users will be able to determine if Finasteride is delivering the results they want, and if they show progress, there are likely further gains to be had.
Throw in the fact that Finasteride is more affordable and easy to get than ever, and you have a hair loss medication that outstrips others on the marketplace.
Safety and Side Effects
With tons of rave reviews and impressive clinical trials, it’s easy to get swept up in the hype and see Finasteride as a miracle drug. It’s not.
Finasteride, like any other medication, has its limitations, and anyone considering hopping on board should be made aware.
First of all, not everyone is an ideal candidate for Finasteride.
Younger guys who are in the initial stages of pattern balding are more likely to see strong results from the drug since it prevents DHT levels from rising too high in the first place. While older folks can see results as well, they tend not to be as overwhelmingly positive.
Another drawback is that only males can reap the benefits of Finasteride. Because it plays with DHT and testosterone, women will not benefit, and they may in fact be harmed by use.
Doctors state clearly that anyone with liver disease or underlying issues related to the liver should avoid Finasteride as well. It’s advised that painkillers and other drugs hard on the liver must not be mixed with this drug.
Finally, we come to side effects. While only a small fraction of men experience sexual dysfunction from Finasteride, this is definitely the most common complaint. Issues with erections, libido, and other sexual problems have been recorded by around 5% of users. These side effects appear to compound with age.
Other folks have stated that Finasteride has made them dizzy, nauseated, or short of breath, but again, these are very rare cases and the majority of users feel perfectly fine taking the drug.
It’s also important to note that gains disappear quickly when Finasteride use stops.
One of Many Solutions
Millions of people take Finasteride as their only line of defense against hair loss, but specialists in the industry have long advocated making it part of a regimen with other treatments.
The classic hair loss team is Finasteride and Minoxidil, which addresses hair restoration from the inside and out. If you are willing to take the extra time to apply a topical solution daily, this combo has proven very effective for patients across the globe.
Hair transplant techniques such as Follicular Unit Excision can also get an assist from Finasteride, since newly grafted hairs need that extra boost to stay healthy and strong.
Whether you’re on the fence about Finasteride or you are certain it’s the drug for you, always be sure to consult with a qualified specialist before making the leap.
It can be tempting to simply order Finasteride online without in-depth consultation, but it’s smarter to put in the extra legwork and ensure a good outcome.
If you’re interested in the latest breaking news in the world of hair restoration, be sure to bookmark our famous Balding Blog and read up on all the big trends.