Hair loss and Finasteride
Male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia, is a common condition in men that causes excessive hair loss and thinning, eventually resulting in baldness. The condition is due to excess dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a by-product of the body breaking down testosterone. When DHT makes its way to the scalp in the blood, it causes the hair follicle to shrink making the hair thinner, mature and fall out faster.
While there may be other factors contributing to hair loss in men, the effect of DHT on the hair growth cycle is directly responsible for most cases of male hair loss.
Finasteride tablets are an oral hair loss treatment that works by significantly reducing the production of DHT. The reduction of DHT causes the shrunken hair follicles to return to their full, healthy size. This allows the growth of longer-lasting and thicker hair, reducing or stopping hair loss.
As with all medicines, it does have the small potential to cause side effects that should be considered before using the treatment.
Finasteride (1mg) is the significantly better value generic brand of the original, Propecia (Finasteride 1mg). Both are proven to be equally effective in male pattern baldness.
Take an assessment to order Propecia online from £41.65
How Effective Is Finasteride?
Before viewing before and after photos for finasteride, it is important to understand exactly how effective you can expect the treatment to be according to clinical trials. A long term study of finasteride results showed 90% of men either successfully regrew hair or had their hair loss stopped. The same study showed that of the men who took finasteride 63% were satisfied with their positive results.
Finasteride Before And After
There are countless other photos online of before and after photos for finasteride, but it is important to understand that results take time. Hair growth, in general, is a slow process and reversing losses can take months of treatment. Patience is important if you want to see a noticeable increase in hair.
Topical finasteride before and after results should be similar or slightly worse than oral tablets. Studies comparing the effectiveness of the two forms of finasteride are ongoing although overall, topical finasteride has seen similarly positive results for men who experienced hair loss.
Finasteride Results Timeline
Starting Finasteride: 0 to 3 Months
During this time finasteride begins to take effect on the DHT levels in the body, reducing DHT levels in the scalp and bloodstream by between 60-70%. This is the time when the hair follicles affected by DHT will begin to return to normal size.
Throughout this time it is very unlikely you’ll see any changes. This is not because the treatment is not working, rather, the hair follicles are restored to full size and require some time to grow stronger, healthy hair.
It is important that you do not stop taking finasteride during this time (unless you experience side effects) if you wish to see the effects.
Initial Results: 3 to 6 Months
After 3 months is when some men will begin to notice the effects of finasteride, with the effect becoming more apparent by 6 months.
The result that can be expected is either a notable thickening of the thinned areas as the healthy follicles begin to develop stronger hair, or hair loss progression stopping, with little loss or gain.
Again, hair growth is a slow process, while men see visible results during these few months, it is not typically the final results expected of finasteride.
Continued Results: 6 to 12 Months
This is when the effects of treatment should become apparent. Now the hair has had plenty of time to recover and grow. At this point, men will be able to determine whether finasteride treatment has been successful in regrowing lost hair, stopping hair loss or whether they did not respond to treatment.
As 6 to 12 months have passed at that point, it is good to reference old photographs and compare them to now. You should notice your hair is thicker or regrown. If your hair loss has continued to progress or you have seen no loss but no growth, now is the time to consider revisiting your doctor to discuss further options such as hair loss surgery.
Again while the 6 to 12-month results are satisfactory for most men, they can continue to improve from here.
The Maintenance Phase: 12 Months and Beyond
After 12 months improvements should continue over time as hair growth cycles can be between 2 and 7 years. Older thinner hairs will eventually fall out, giving way to new, thicker and healthier non-DHT affected strands.
While the most noticeable effects of treatment generally happen in 3-12 months, finasteride continues to work in the background to keep the hair follicles healthy long term when taken.
What Happens If I Stop Finasteride?
Finasteride will only continue to have an effect for a very short period after stopping, about 7 days. If treatment is stopped, the levels of DHT will begin to rise resulting in shrinking of hair follicles and return of male pattern hair loss to its previously experienced rate.
As hair loss is a slow and progressive condition, you may not notice the re-thinning for a while as the regrown hair begins to weaken, mature and fall out again.
This does mean that typically, most men will continue on finasteride long term, only stopping due to side effects or at the recommendation of a doctor.
How To Improve Finasteride Results
Finasteride works effectively in most men who take it however, some men may need additional treatments to help the process along. Finasteride and Minoxidil (Regaine) combinations have been proven more effective than a single treatment alone. This is because they target multiple causes of hair loss.
For those who would like to go further, a vitamin supplement such as Viviscal or Nourkrin formulated for hair loss can be used in combination with Finasteride and Minoxidil. These are generally only recommended if you aren’t getting enough vitamins from your diet alone. These have evidence for their effectiveness in those who are missing important vitamins for hair growth.
Visit our Finasteride page to begin a consultation for combination treatments
How To Buy Finasteride In The UK
Finasteride is a prescription-only medicine in the UK. To get it you will need to consult a doctor online or in person. To buy finasteride online and see its results for yourself, you can complete a free online consultation reviewed by our UK doctors. If approved you can expect to get the best value finasteride treatment anywhere online in the UK.