Are Minoxidil or Finasteride Results Legit?
It seems as if everywhere you look, there are adverts for hair loss products that promise to give you thicker, fuller hair. With all of the choices available it can be hard to know which product is right for you. Two of the most popular options are minoxidil and finasteride, both of which are prescriptions. But what’s the difference between them? Is minoxidil effective? Does finasteride work? Let’s take a closer look and see how they compare.
What Is Hair Loss in Men?
Hair loss in men is a common condition that can cause a lot of distress. It can happen for a variety of reasons, including genetics, aging, hormones, and illness. There are many treatment options available, so it’s important to see a doctor if you’re concerned about hair loss.
The most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. This form of hair loss is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, age, and hormones. Other causes of hair loss include alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss, and telogen effluvium, a type of temporary hair loss caused by stress or illness.
Set Your Expectations for Hair Loss Prescriptions
There are only two forms of treatment for male pattern hair loss: slowing down further hair loss and adding new hair. Prescription medications like minoxidil or finasteride can slow down further hair loss, but they will not bring back lost hair. The only way to add new hair is through a hair transplant. So the first step in evaluating the effectiveness of hair loss prescriptions is to understand their role. They may thicken your hair a bit, but their primary role is to slow down further hair loss.
Slowing Hair Loss with Finasteride
The most common medication used to slow further hair loss is finasteride, commonly sold under the brand name Propecia. Finasteride works by inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that shrinks hair follicles and causes them to produce thinner and shorter hairs.
Finasteride is taken orally as a pill and is usually prescribed at 1 mg per day. It can take up to six months for finasteride to begin working, and it must be continued indefinitely to maintain its effects. If finasteride is discontinued, any hair that has been gained or preserved will be lost within 12 months.
Slowing Hair Loss with Minoxidil
Minoxidil is another very common prescription which is known by the brand name Rogaine. It is now available generically in both prescription and non-prescription strengths. Minoxidil is typically a foam or liquid that is applied directly to the scalp. Though the drug is widely available, is not fully understood why minoxidil works to slow hair loss or thicken hair. The drug is quite effective, though, at slowing hair loss and even thickening hair that has been thinning.
Adding New Hair to Thinning Areas
The only way to add new hair is through a hair transplant. In a hair transplant, healthy hairs are taken from an area of the scalp that is not affected by hair loss and transplanted to the balding area. There are two main types of hair transplantation procedures: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
FUT is the traditional hair transplantation procedure. In FUT, a strip of skin containing healthy hair follicles is removed from the back or side of the head, and the individual hairs are then transplanted to the balding area. FUT leaves a linear scar in the donor area, which can sometimes be visible if the hair is cut very short.
FUE is a newer technique that does not leave a linear scar. In FUE, individual hair follicles are extracted from the back or side of the head and transplanted to the balding area. FUE is a more time-consuming procedure than FUT, but it has the advantage of being less invasive and leaving no visible scar.
Both FUT and FUE are effective hair transplantation techniques. The choice of which technique to use depends on a number of factors, including the patient’s preferences, the amount of hair loss, and the availability of donor hair.
The results of hair transplantation are not immediate. It can take up to six months for the transplanted hairs to begin growing, and it can take up to 12 months for the full results of the transplantation to be visible.
Hair transplantation is the only permanent solution to hair loss and only option to fill a balding area with hair. Minoxidil and finasteride can not offer the results that hair transplants offer. Once the transplanted hairs have taken root, they will continue to grow for the rest of your life.
Prescriptions Play the Role of Slowing Down Further Hair Loss
There are many different types of hair loss, but the most common type is male pattern baldness. This is where you lose hair from the crown of your head or develop a receding hairline. Minoxidil and finasteride are two drugs that can slow further hair loss in men with male pattern baldness.
There are a few FDA-approved medications that can help treat hair loss, but they come with a range of potential side effects. Minoxidil is a topical solution applied to the scalp to encourage hair growth. Finasteride is a pill taken orally to block the production of DHT, a hormone that contributes to hair loss.
Both minoxidil and finasteride are effective at slowing hair loss and, in some cases, promoting hair growth. However, they are not cures for baldness and will not reverse the hair loss process. Additionally, they come with a range of potential side effects to consider before starting treatment.
If you’re thinking about using minoxidil or finasteride to treat your hair loss, it’s important to speak with a doctor about the potential risks and benefits. These medications can be an effective part of a larger hair loss treatment plan, but they’re not right for everyone.
Benefits of These Treatments and Their Side Effects
Some people may not be familiar with the term “minoxidil,” so it’s a good idea to start by explaining what it is. Minoxidil is a drug that was originally used to treat high blood pressure and has since been repurposed for hair loss treatment. It is available in both topical and oral forms, and is most commonly known by the brand name Rogaine.
Finasteride is another drug used to treat hair loss. Unlike minoxidil, it is only available in pill form. Finasteride was originally developed to treat enlarged prostates. Like minoxidil, it was later found effective at treating hair loss. Finasteride is most commonly known by the brand name Propecia.
Minoxidil Side Effects
Minoxidil is generally well-tolerated, but some common side effects include itchiness, redness, and scaling of the scalp. These side effects are usually mild and go away with continued use of the drug.
In rare cases, minoxidil can cause more serious side effects like rapid heart rate, chest pain, and fainting. If you experience any side effects you should consult your doctor.
Finasteride Side Effects
Finasteride is also generally well-tolerated, but some common side effects include impotence, decreased libido, and ejaculatory dysfunction. If you experience these side effects, they will go away if you discontinue using the drug. They are not permanent side effects.
In rare cases, finasteride can cause more serious side effects like allergic reactions, breast tenderness, and testicular pain. If you experience any side effects you should consult your doctor.
Before starting treatment with either drug, be sure to speak with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.
Does Minoxidil or Finasteride Work for Hair Loss?
Yes, both have been proven to be effective in slowing hair loss and even reversing it in some cases. However, there are important factors to consider before starting either of these treatments. For example, you should weigh the side effects of each drug against the potential benefits. Additionally, you need to keep your expectations in check. While these hair loss pills will slow your hair loss from progressing, they won’t put new hair back on your head. Only a hair transplant will be able restore hair which has been lost already.
If you’re considering starting one of these treatments or would just like more information, book a free consult with Athens Hair Restoration. We can help you determine if one of these treatments is right for you and answer any other questions you may have about hair loss in men.
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