Minoxidil or Finasteride? Or Both

Reading time -

Losing hair is like losing part of your attractiveness. It can affect self-esteem and confidence. It can also lower the quality of life. Adults and children can lose hair for various reasons. 

Studies show that about 42% of men lose their hair for various reasons. Despite these reasons using treatments like minoxidil and finasteride can reverse hair loss like baldness and regrow your hair. 

Knowing the ideal treatment helps you make the right choice and get the best hair restoration results. So what causes baldness, and what are the treatment options available?

Difference Between Hair Loss Treatment Options: Finasteride vs. Minoxidil

Finasteride and minoxidil come in different forms and treat hair loss in men differently. Finasteride is a tablet that has generic Propecia. 

Taking the tablet reduces DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormones in your body. These hormones are responsible for different types of hair loss, including baldness. DHT damages your hair follicles and prevents them from growing new hair which can result in different hair loss conditions.

Minoxidil, on the other hand, contains generic Rogaine. Rogaine stimulates the growth of hair on your head. Minoxidil is a liquid treatment you apply to your scalp where you are losing hair. It works like fertilizer that helps to promote hair growth. 

How Do Finasteride and Minoxidil Work?

Both finasteride and minoxidil are drugs that FDA has approved, and science shows they reduce hair loss while promoting growth from different angles.

Men experiencing hair loss can determine the various causes and choose the best treatment methods. For example, finasteride is ideal for people having permanent hair loss, like balding. 

Identifying how each treatment method works, the benefits, and the side effects can help you make an informed choice.

Finasteride Hair Loss Treatment Method

Finasteride is a hair treatment for different types of hair loss. For example, men experiencing hair loss due to factors like chemotherapy, medication, hypothyroidism, or stress can use finasteride to reverse the loss and regrow hair. 

Finasteride tablet prevents the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme from changing testosterone to DHT, which is a hormone that causes hair loss. Experts say this action can significantly eliminate DHT, making finasteride an effective hair loss treatment method. The result is shielding hair loss from becoming worse and promoting the growth of your hair.

Benefits of Finasteride Hair Loss Treatment

Finasteride destroys the hormones that cause balding and deals with its long-term effects. The drug can slow down and also reverses hair loss. 

Finasteride Side Effects

Finasteride can have some side effects on your body for various reasons, including the body adjusting to the drug. Some common side effects are loss of sex drive, sex performance, decreased semen production, or excess growth of hair. It's important to consult your doctor when taking finasteride or if you see these symptoms. Other side effects you might see include.

  • Painful enlarged breast.
  • Discharge from nipples.
  • Pain in the testicle.
  • Urinating problems.


Minoxidil slows balding and is effective for men below 40 years . The treatment method is available over the counter in liquid form. When treating a hair loss condition, minoxidil widens the blood vessels on your scalp, which in turn increases the flow of blood to your hair follicles. 

The blood flow to your follicles stimulates hair growth on the affected parts of your head. Although minoxidil stimulates the growth of hair you already have, it does not prevent hair loss like baldness. 

Instead, it interrupts the cycle of your hair growth in the different stages of the hair growth cycle and causes it to grow thicker. 

Here's how minoxidil can affect your hair growth cycle and helps deal with hair loss.

How Minoxidil Affects Hair Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle has different stages. Anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen stages play different roles in the growth of your hair. For example, the Anagen stage is where your hair follicles produce hair fiber. The fiber grows for several years and can lead to steady hair growth. 

The growing hair is what people see every day. Minoxidil extends this first stage of hair growth during the cycle, which makes your hair grow for a longer period before it can shade off. 

The normal cycle of hair growth moves from the Anagen stage to the catagen, where the diameter of your hair shrinks. The growth process continues to the telogen stage, where the hair stays dormant and new hair grows. 

Minoxidil moves the dormant hair in the telogen stage to the anagen stage. The shifting of hair causes an increase in hair growth, including in bald areas on the scalp. The exogen stage is the final stage, where the old hair detaches, and the new ones continue to grow from the follicles. 

Minoxidil Results

Studies show that minoxidil can improve hair growth between 2% and 5% in men. Depending on the type of long-term hair loss solution you prefer, the finasteride and minoxidil results can be different. 

Minoxidil does not affect your body's hormones like finasteride. That means minoxidil will only promote the hair that's already there. It does not deal with the long-term effects of baldness in men. 

People using minoxidil can experience temporary hair loss, which is a normal part of the treatment. The hair will grow thick and full again.

Benefits of Minoxidil Hair Loss Treatment

Men have the option of choosing minoxidil to treat conditions like androgenetic. It takes about six months to start experiencing the benefits of this treatment. Key benefits include.

Boosts Hair Growth and density

People consider Balding a sign of aging and can cause psychological issues like depression in men who are not ready for it. Treatment like minoxidil makes your hair grow in size and density and helps deal with such psychological issues.

After topically applying minoxidil, you can expect to see an improvement in your hair growth and density. Minoxidil might not grow hair on a bald scalp, but it can slow down the balding process and help the growth of hair that's already there to become long and thick. 

Improved hair growth can help raise self-confidence and improve your quality of life.

Improved Blood Circulation

Minoxidil has Rogaine that boosts blood circulation in your scalp, which is good for hair growth. Blood circulation is also good for the heart and your complexion and keeps your brain sharper. The flow makes you look good, learn and think better.

Minoxidil Side Effects

Side effects may occur when using minoxidil. Although you may not experience all side effects, it's important to know and watch out for them. Some side effects include.

  • A burning sensation on the scalp.
  • Itching and dry scalp.
  • Acne.
  • Facial swelling.

Causes of Hair loss

Hair loss, for example, alopecia, can affect different parts of your body, including your scalp. Conditions like hormonal changes, the aging process, and hereditary situations can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. 

Hair loss can affect anyone at any age for various reasons, but it's common in men. For example, men can experience baldness which causes excess hair loss on the head as they grow older. Some men will leave hair loss like baldness untreated, while others may want a solution.

Available treatment options like finasteride vs. minoxidil can help stop hair loss and restore growth. That's why it's important to identify the different types of hair loss and their causes before choosing an ideal treatment method. Some hair loss causes include.

Hormonal Imbalance

Men can experience hormonal imbalance because of an increase in the sex hormone known as androgen. If the body has excess androgen, it can cause alopecia. Another hormonal imbalance condition that can cause baldness is an increase in DHT.

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid hormones are helpful in regulating specific functions in your body, like hair loss. A problem with the thyroid means its functions are affected, leading to conditions like excessive hair loss. Thyroid conditions like overactive or underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. 

People suffering from thyroid-related issues, for example, Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease, can experience hair loss. Proper treatment helps stop hair loss and promote growth.


Medication can cause hair loss in people treating specific ailments. For example, anti-inflammation or depression drugs might cause hair thinning or balding. Other medications, like chemotherapy drugs, can cause total hair loss in all parts of the body.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases like lupus or alopecia areata (AA) can cause hair loss. One autoimmune disease can lead to another. That's why it's important to seek medical help and monitor the disease as you seek to treat some of its effects, like hair loss. 

An autoimmune condition can sometimes cause permanent or temporary hair loss. For example, Alopecia Areata is one of the autoimmune diseases that attack hair follicles and prevents hair from growing. 

The condition can lead to thinning of hair, or you may notice patches of hair loss or complete baldness. The autoimmune condition can be genetic, and it may lead to temporary or permanent hair loss.

Physical Traumatic Experiences

Physical trauma can affect the process of hair growth, leading to thinning or hair loss. A serious accident or illness can shock your hair follicles and cause them not to grow. Falling off of hair after a traumatic experience is known as telogen effluvium. 

Fungal and bacterial infections are also part of physical trauma that can cause this type of hair loss. Other conditions include illnesses like syphilis. Such conditions can be responsible for balding or hair thinning. Treating this underlying condition can help in hair regrowth, but in the case of balding or permanent hair loss, you may need other hair growth treatment options.

Severe Stress and Anxiety

High levels of stress and anxiety can lead to behaviors like pulling hair disorder, also known as trichotillomania. Hair pulling can leave hair loss patches on your scalp and affect your physical appearance. 

Having a history of hair pulling as a child can also affect your hair treatment methods. Managing or curing causes of hair pulling, like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), can make your current hair loss treatment method more effective.

Poor Nutrition

A lack of specific vitamins and minerals in your diet can affect hair growth. Poor nutrition can lead to thinning or baldness. It's important to identify nutrition as a cause of hair loss. Including food with the right nutrients in your diet can reverse temporary hair loss. Correctly identifying the cause of hair loss helps you determine the best treatment method.

Excessive Hair Treatment and Care

Excessive shampooing and repeatedly applying hair products with strong chemicals can cause hair loss and prevent growth. Mechanical damage from constant combing, vigorous rubbing of the scalp, and styling can also damage your hairline. 

Some of the damages might be temporary, while others are permanent. Temporary hair loss will grow with proper care over time and if you reduce the causes of mechanical damage. Permanent hair loss may require you to consider a treatment like finasteride and minoxidil.

Signs of Hair Loss

Knowing the different signs of hair loss can help you make a treatment decision early and stop further damage. Different conditions can make hair loss present different hair loss signs. Some signs are sudden, while others appear gradual. 

The signs might appear in different parts of your body, while others appear only on the head. It's important to know how to identify hair loss signs when and where they appear. For example, some people can experience signs like 

Gradual Hair Thinning

The most common type of hair thinning appears on the head, and it can happen gradually. According to experts, it's normal to lose about 50 to 100 hair per day and not more. 

Thinning might not lead to baldness, but it can make your hair look sparse. Men's hairline begins to recede on the forehead. It affects them as they grow older. You can identify it and choose the best hair treatment if you experience thinning. 

Circular Baldness

Hair can start falling off in a circular pattern, especially if a person has a hair loss condition like alopecia areata. This is a common condition that affects about 7 million people in America alone and 147 globally. 

Men can experience this type of baldness on their beard, scalp, and eyebrow. Children and adults from any ethnic background can have circular baldness. It can be a temporary condition, but it can recur later. 

If circular baldness occurs, you can choose hair loss treatments like finasteride and minoxidil to regrow your hair and improve your appearance.

Sudden Hair Loss

Sudden loss of hair can be shocking and sometimes times leads to depression or social anxiety disorder. It's important to understand why you are suddenly losing your hair. For example, some men who experience emotional or physical shock might suffer from sudden hair loss. 

A sign that you are losing hair is if handfuls of hair come off when washing, combing or gently tugging it. Although this type of hair loss is temporary, some people might want a treatment to cover the bald areas. 

Whole Body Hair Loss

Different conditions can cause whole-body hair loss, including cancer treatment. Such conditions cause the whole body, including the head, to lose hair. Other reasons can be a lack of iron and poor immunity.

If you are experiencing hair loss in your whole body, you might want to stop or regrow hair on your head. The head is the most visible part of your body, and components like Rogaine and Propecia in hair growth treatments can help you achieve your goal. Check the benefits of Rogaine vs. Propecia and make the best treatment decision.

Rogaine vs. Propecia Treatment

Rogaine and Propecia are both hair growth treatments, but how you obtain and use them is different. Rogaine is an over-the-counter treatment for hair loss conditions like alopecia. Propecia is also a hair loss treatment, but you need a doctor's prescription before buying and using it.

Method of Application

The rogaine application method is rubbing or spraying on the scalp two times a day. It can be in the form of liquid, foam, or lotion. A doctor advises how to take Propecia. It's usually once per day orally.

Rogaine vs. Propecia results

The results you expect from Rogaine and Propecia depend on the time it takes to see its effects. Rogaine takes between 4 and 6 months before you can start seeing results, while Propecia can take three months or one year before seeing the outcome. 

Rogaine is found in minoxidil, while Propecia is in finasteride. The finasteride and minoxidil results are different. The method you will use to acquire and use them is also different but they serve the same purpose of hair restoration. 

Choosing the best method depends on the hair loss condition you experience and how effectively the treatment method will solve it.

Choosing Minoxidil or Finasteride 

Hair loss conditions like balding, thinning, or whole-body hair loss can happen at any stage in a man's life. Aging is one of the reasons, but it's not the only reason. Other factors like physical trauma, stress, and anxiety can also cause hair loss. 

The best treatment method for these conditions depends on the results you expect and how long you are willing to wait. Minoxidil can stimulate the growth of your hair, but it cannot regrow it. It might not stop conditions like balding. Finasteride can regrow your hair. It affects hormones that damage your hair follicles and slows down hair loss. Anyone who has seen signs of hair loss can choose either minoxidil or finasteride.

Hair Loss?
No problem

Let’s help you Rise Again
Start Your Assessment

Got ED?
No problem

Let’s help you Rise Again
Start Your Assessment
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.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive a weekly newsletters with insightful tips and resources

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.