When men experience hair loss, it can shake up their whole worlds. There is no surprise to this, as both men and women try to maintain their hair in order to feel confident. The issue with hair loss is that there is no one single answer to it, and the results can vary from person to person.
While some people experience noticeable changes after starting finasteride treatment, others see a much more gradual onset of results. In either case, here's an overview of what you might expect when starting Finasteride.
The popular medication finasteride (brand name Propecia) is used to treat male pattern hair loss. This medication works by blocking the action of a hormone called DHT, which causes hair follicles to shrink and stop producing hair. While there are other treatments available that work in a similar way, Finasteride is generally considered to be more effective than other treatments.
DHT is a hormone that is produced by both men and women. It plays an important role in hair growth, as well as the development of male pattern baldness. When DHT levels are high, it can cause hair follicles to shrink and stop producing hair.
Finasteride works by blocking the action of DHT. This means that the levels of DHT in your body are lowered, which can help to prevent hair loss from happening.
Male pattern hair loss is a condition that affects many men and can be caused by different things. While there's no one answer to fixing this condition, medications like Finasteride can help to stop hair loss from happening in the first place.
Finasteride Side Effects
While most people see positive results when taking Finasteride, there are some side effects that can occur. These side effects tend to vary from person to person, but may include:
Typical Side Effects: Finasteride can cause side effects that are generally considered to be mild. These side effects may include headaches, trouble sleeping, and a feeling of tiredness.
More Serious Side Effects: Finasteride can also cause more serious side effects. These side effects may include erectile dysfunction (ED), changes in sexual function, decreased libido, and decreased sperm count. If you experience any side effects from Finasteride, it's important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may be able to help you manage or treat these side effects.
DHT levels will continue to be lowered even after you stop taking the medication. This means that your hair loss might not go away completely if you stop taking it suddenly. It's important to talk to your doctor if you're considering stopping the medication.
Finasteride Treatment Length
There is no one answer to how long it will take for finasteride treatment to work. While most people see positive results after starting the medication, there are also a number of people who experience more gradual onset of changes. In either case, here's an overview of what you might expect.
The First Three Months Of Finasteride Treatment
If you are starting finasteride treatment, your doctor will likely give you a set of instructions that includes when and how to take the medication. During this time, it is important to be diligent in following these instructions so that the drug can work its magic on your hair loss.
Typically, finasteride is taken once daily in the morning. However, your doctor may give you other instructions based on your specific case.
After three months of taking finasteride, there should be a noticeable difference in how much hair you are losing each month. This change will likely continue to increase over time, so it is important to be patient and keep up with your treatment.
Because Finasteride is a drug that works gradually, it is important to monitor your hair loss closely and report any changes to your doctor. This will help them adjust the dosage of finasteride as needed.
The first month or two of finasteride treatment may cause some side effects, including headache, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. However, most people tolerate the medication well and these symptoms usually subside after a few weeks. You won't notice many changes in your hair until the third month of treatment, so it is important to be patient.
At this stage, your hair loss should be starting to plateau and the doctor may adjust your dosage of finasteride.
The Fourth Month Of Finasteride Treatment
If you are following a course of treatment with finasteride, by this stage you will likely have seen an improvement in how much hair is being lost each month. However, it is still important to monitor your hair loss closely and report any changes to your doctor.
Your doctor may start prescribing other medications along with finasteride in order to help further improve the results. These medications can include minoxidil (Rogaine), dutasteride (Avodart), or testosterone replacement therapy.
If you have been following a course of treatment with finasteride for four months or more, your doctor may stop prescribing the medication. However, it is always important to check in and see if there has been any change in how much hair you are losing each month. If not, your doctor may recommend continuing the treatment.
The Fifth and Sixth Months
The fifth and sixth months of treatment are when most men begin seeing noticeable results in hair re-growth. At this point, you should notice an increase in hair density and length.
Your doctor may gradually reduce the dosage of finasteride over time to help prevent any side effects or unwanted hair regrowth. However, it is important not to stop taking the medication prematurely as this could lead to a return of your hair loss.
Your body is working to re-establish a new hair growth cycle, so it may take up to six months for the full effects of finasteride treatment to be seen. The DHT levels in your hair may also continue to decrease after six months, so it is important to keep an eye on them and report any changes.
If you are experiencing adverse effects from the medication, such as a sudden increase in hair loss or severe headaches, consult with your doctor. They will be able to adjust the dosage in a way that is most appropriate for your case.
The Seventh and Eighth Months
Once you've been taking Finasteride for six to seven months, your hair loss should have not only stopped, but you should see noticeable regrowth of hair. This is because the hair follicles that have been shrinking will start to grow back.
The regrowth will be gradual and will not happen overnight. You should expect to see a decrease in hair loss around the time that regrowth begins, but it may take several months for all of your hair follicles to grow back completely. Many continue taking Finasteride until their hair loss has stopped and then stop taking it gradually around a year after starting, to maintain their hair regrowth.
Hair loss may resume if you stop taking Finasteride, so it is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed by your doctor. Male pattern baldness is a lifelong condition, and the goal of treatment is to stop the hair loss and maintain the regrowth.
If you are not seeing any regrowth after seven or eight months of taking Finasteride, you should speak to your doctor about other possible causes of hair loss and whether another treatment might be more appropriate for you. Many men combine Finasteride with other hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil (Rogaine), to achieve the best possible results.
Nine Months and Beyond
By the ninth month, you should see significant regrowth of hair, and by the twelfth month, all of your hair follicles should have grown back. Continue taking Finasteride as prescribed to maintain the results.
Finasteride is safe to take for lengthy periods. Men have been known to take it for up to 10 years without any adverse effects. Once you have achieved the desired results, your doctor may recommend tapering off Finasteride gradually over a period of several months.
How To Get The Best Results With Finasteride
When you start taking finasteride, it's important to understand how the drug works and what results you can expect. Here are a few tips for getting the best possible outcome from finasteride:
1. Be patient – It may take several months before you see any noticeable improvements in your hair growth.
2. Follow the instructions – Make sure you take finasteride as prescribed and don't exceed the recommended dosage.
3. Avoid alcohol – Finasteride can interact with alcohol, so it's best to avoid drinking while taking this medication.4
4. Keep track of your progress – Note any changes in hair growth or appearance, and report them to your doctor.
Combining Finasteride and Rogaine
Rogaine is a topical medication that is used to treat male and female pattern baldness. Finasteride is a prescription medication that is taken orally to prevent hair loss in men. When these two medications are combined, they may be more effective at preventing hair loss than when either one is used alone.
While there is no definitive answer as to why the combination of these medications may be more effective, it is thought that they work together to block different stages in the hair loss process. Finasteride blocks an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is thought to be the main hormone responsible for hair loss in men.
Rogaine works by increasing the amount of blood flow to the scalp and preventing hair follicles from miniaturizing.
When these two medications are used together, they may work synergistically to prevent hair loss, and when Finasteride is taken for longer than six months, it may also be effective in reversing hair loss by promoting hair regrowth.
Consult with your doctor before starting any medication regimens, as there may be potential interactions between these medications.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.