What are Finasteride and Minoxidil?
Finasteride and Minoxidil (Regaine) are the two most well-known treatments for hair loss in men. Both have strong clinical evidence that they are effective treatments for male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), with many men able to successfully regrow hair or prevent any further loss.
Finasteride comes in a 1mg tablet and is the active ingredient in Propecia, the original brand of the medicine. Finasteride has been around for over 24 years and has well-established results. Minoxidil is a topically applied solution designed to treat male pattern baldness directly on the scalp rather than in a tablet. It has been around since 1986 giving health professionals confidence in its results.
Male Hair Loss Overview
Male pattern hair loss occurs due to high dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the scalp. DHT is produced as a byproduct of the body breaking down testosterone. When DHT reaches the hair follicles due to normal blood flow around the body, it causes the hair follicle to shrink. The shrinking of hair follicles causes hair to thin, mature and fall out faster.
How Do Finasteride and Minoxidil Work?
Finasteride works by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT in the body. By reducing DHT in the body and subsequently the scalp, the hair follicles previously affected by DHT can recover to their normal size promoting healthy hair growth. The effects of finasteride can only be expected if the hair follicle remains active (thinning areas of hair) and may not work on men in completely bald areas.
Due to how finasteride works, it will only be effective and suitable as a treatment for men.
The way topical Minoxidil works for hair loss is thought to be from increasing the blood supply to the hair follicles. It does this by opening up the blood vessels around the scalp, improving the flow of nutrients to the follicles. This promotes the growth of healthy and stronger hair.
Minoxidil can be safe and effective in both men and women depending on the strength of the solution.
Finasteride and Minoxidil Results
According to multiple studies, combination treatment with Finasteride and Minoxidil is more effective than using a single treatment alone. This is because each is treating or stopping hair loss in a different way. Finasteride is controlling the underlying reason for male pattern hair loss, DHT, while Minoxidil is providing the hair with the nutrients it needs to grow back.
For men who find the results from Finasteride are not enough, Minoxidil can provide the extra nutrients needed to promote growth. While those who are using Minoxidil (Regaine) alone, may find that treating the underlying cause of their hair loss (DHT) with Finasteride may provide better results.
Hair growth takes time. Even when using a combination of treatments for hair loss, results may take up to 8 weeks to show. The full results and complete regrowth of hair can continue for up to two years after starting treatment.
To continue to see results, treatment is required long term. Stopping the treatments may cause the results to begin to reverse back to the hair loss rate you experienced previously.
Each treatment does have the potential to cause side effects in some men. Always consult a doctor in person or online to ensure you are suitable for combination treatment.
How To Use Finasteride and Minoxidil In Combination
There’s no special secret for taking both medicines in combination. Simply follow the directions from your doctor or pharmacist for each treatment.
For Finasteride it means taking one tablet daily. For Minoxidil it means applying 1mL of the solution or foam to the affected areas of the scalp twice a day. The solution or foam is left on the scalp after application.
Additional Hair Loss Combinations
Beyond a Finasteride and Minoxidil combination, vitamins specifically designed for hair loss and regrowth may be added in addition to the combination. Two of the most popular hair loss vitamins available are Nourkrin and Viviscal. Nourkrin has more than 100 scientific studies that have been carried out which point to it being effective in supporting the growth of thicker healthy hair.
While there is less clinical evidence available on these vitamin treatments, initial studies look promising and they may be added to the combination of Minoxidil and Finasteride for potentially further improvements to the results.
How to Get Finasteride and Minoxidil Combinations in the UK
Finasteride is a prescription-only medicine in the UK. To buy it, you will need a prescription from a UK registered doctor. Minoxidil (Regaine) is a medicine available over the counter from a pharmacist.
Combination hair loss treatment can be provided (subject to approval) with our UK registered online doctor and pharmacy service from £25.65/ month. Complete an online assessment for our doctors and if appropriate you can be provided treatment with your medicine delivered to anywhere within the UK.