While we are yet to find a cure for hair loss, there are a variety of medications that can help, Finasteride being one, used for male pattern baldness. It can be requested via a hair loss consultation with one of our clinicians.
Hair loss overview
Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men, thought to affect as many as 50% of men over the age of 50. It is a genetic condition, also known as androgenetic alopecia, which can be treated, although not cured. Hair loss can also be caused by illness, stress or chemotherapy, however these are often temporary but cannot be treated with medication.
If your hair loss is affecting you, it’s best to start treatment as soon as you begin to notice it, as this will give you the best chance of preventing further hair loss.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a generic treatment for hair loss, containing the same active ingredient as the popular branded treatment, Propecia. It is taken daily as a tablet and halts hair loss for as many as 9 out of 10 men. If the active ingredient and the dosage are the same, the treatments will have the same effect and work in the same way.
Finasteride works by preventing the enzyme that turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from doing so. A reduced amount of DHT in the hair follicles reduces the rate at which hair is lost, and in some cases cause new hair to grow again.
How quickly would you see results from Finasteride?
For the majority of men it will take 3-6 months of daily use, before they start to see the impact. Results won’t appear any quicker if you take more than 1 tablet a day. It’s important to remember that results won’t be instant and you should persevere with the treatment to give it the best chance of having an effect.
Hair loss will return if you stop taking Finasteride, so you will need to continue with the treatment for as long as you would like to halt your hair loss. Even if you have really positive results from taking Finasteride this will be reversed once you stop treatment.
Why do Finasteride results vary?
Despite working for 9 out of 10 men, like with all treatments, Finasteride may have differing effects on different people. Finasteride is most effective in men with mild to moderate hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.
If your hair loss is caused by illness, stress or treatment such as chemotherapy, it cannot be treated by Finasteride. Often these types of hair loss are temporary, but if you experience sudden hair loss, you should speak to your GP.
What’s the difference between Finasteride and Propecia?
The only real difference between Finasteride and Propecia is that Finasteride is the generic version of the treatment branded Propecia. Both contain the same dose of the same active ingredient (finasteride), meaning they work in exactly the same way to treat hair loss. You might find that Finasteride is a more cost-effective treatment, as it does not carry the Propecia branding. This is the same for the generic versions of most treatments.
Other treatments for hair loss
Another popular treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil (Regaine). Regaine does not need a prescription so can be bought over the counter in highstreet pharmacies, in a LloydsPharmacy store or from the LloydsPharmacy website.
Regaine comes as a lotion, liquid or foam and is applied to areas of the head affected by hair loss. Some men see Regaine encourage hair regrowth in as little as 8 weeks, however, this could be up to 16 weeks for some.
In some cases men can use Finasteride daily alongside Regaine, as a two-pronged approach to treating hair loss.
Other options for those experiencing hair loss may be investing in a hair transplant, laser therapy, or wearing a wig or hairpiece.
LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor hair loss clinic
If you would like to find out more about hair loss and possible treatment options, visit our hair loss clinic to complete an online consultation. Your answers will then be reviewed by one of our clinicians to assess your suitability for treatment.