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Finasteride or Minoxidil or Both for Hair Loss?

Written by

Science & Humans

Medically approved by

Maria Jacob

Last updated

Monday, December 27, 2021

When it comes to Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) or Androgenetic Alopecia both Finasteride (Topical and Oral Finasteride) and Minoxidil works well. Finasteride blocks DHT which shrinks hair shaft and Minoxidil nourishes with increased blood supply as it dilates blood vessels.

All types of hair loss will benefit from Minoxidil. Finasteride will work only on male pattern baldness and not on other types of hair loss.

Consider Minoxidil as a general OTC hair treatment applied to the scalp while Finasteride pill and topical is used to treat androgenetic alopecia which is genetic and the most common cause of hair loss.

Minoxidil is only topical application for hair loss since oral ingestion can cause hair to grow all over the body. Oral minoxidil is prescribed for hypertension and not hair loss.

Finasteride blocks DHT, a potent form of testosterone that shrinks the hair shaft and makes it fall out eventually. Such hair loss starts in the 20s accelerating as one ages. So both oral finasteride and topical treatment is ok.

Side Effects of Minoxidil and Finasteride

Side effects of both finasteride and minoxidil tend to be extremely rare and highly manageable.

Minoxidil has to be used lifelong. Stopping minoxidil will revert hair loss. Finasteride can be stopped for a while without hair loss.

Finasteride might affect fertility,(watery sperm, spermatogenesis) it can be stopped for a period of time to improve sperm quality and resume after the child is conceived, without any hair loss.

Dosage – Finasteride and Minoxidil

Amount of topical finasteride is less than the oral finasteride. It is only .25mg, while oral finasteride – 1 mg./day. Those concerned about fertility issues can only use topical finasteride with minoxidil.

Topical finasteride is yet to be approved by FDA, but in the process. Many long term studies have proved that topical finasteride is extremely safe and beneficial for MPB hair loss.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) topical application dosage is 5% for men. 2% for women.

More minoxidil will not mean more benefit. 5% is the optimum solution.

A 5% minoxidil solution with .25% topical finasteride has emerged as the gold standard for treating male pattern baldness. Finasteride pill 1 Mg./day can also be prescribed depending on severity of hair fall, and when treatment starts in the hair loss cycle.

Efficacy of Finasteride (Topical and Oral Finasteride) and Minoxidil

Both finasteride and minoxidil have been used for decades, thoroughly researched and extremely effective in preventing hair loss and restoring density. Results vary on age and how early treatment started.

Considering MPB is genetic and most common, finasteride and minoxidil can be started in 20s or earlier as a preventive measure so the hair shaft will not shrink from DHT, and anagen phase of growth phase of hair is not shortened by DHT.

Androgenetic alopecia treatment initiated earlier is highly efficient in stopping MPB hair loss. If androgen dependent alopecia is untreated, it deteriorates progressively with age.

Currently, FDA has approved only topical minoxidil and oral finasteride for hair loss treatment.

With the year winding down Science&Humans wishes everyone a healthy, happy, stable year ahead. Science&Humans has your back, and here for you through the thin and thick of it.

Hope the new year finds you in joy, a spring in the step and a headful of hair!

Further reading

Topical Finasteride and Oral Finasteride: Which Is Right for Hair Loss ?

Topical Finasteride and Oral Finasteride: Which Is Right for Hair Loss ?

Finasteride, whether applied topically or orally, has undergone rigorous testing for medication interactions and safety. It has no notable negative interactions with othe ...

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Scalp Massage for Pattern Baldness: Can It Combat Hair Loss?

Scalp Massage for Pattern Baldness: Can It Combat Hair Loss?

A scalp massage increases blood flow, which feeds the hair follicles with nutrients and oxygen to promote hair growth. Although no unique tools are required, consistency ...

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Hair Loss Treatment: Dutasteride vs. Finasteride – Which Is Right for You?

Hair Loss Treatment: Dutasteride vs. Finasteride – Which Is Right for You?

Testosterone conversion to DHT by 5α-reductase leads to male pattern baldness, while dutasteride inhibits type 2 and has a longer half-life, both orally and topically wit ...

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