On this page

    Does Propecia really work?

    On this page
    1. Clinical evidence for Propecia (finasteride)
    2. How long does Propecia take to work?
    3. Does Propecia work for everyone?
    4. Does Propecia work permanently?
    5. Can Propecia stop working?
    6. Why isn't Propecia working for me?
    7. Can you take Propecia for life?
    8. Who does Propecia work best for?

    The short answer is “yes”, or at least “yes in more than 80% of men”. Male pattern baldness is a very common condition, affecting around 6.5 million men in the UK. 50% of British men will experience some form of male pattern baldness over the age of 50 years old - but for some men hair loss can occur much earlier in life. A number of hair loss treatments are available, Propecia (finasteride) being the most effective. More than 80% of men who use Propecia experience an improvement, while 66% will benefit from renewed hair growth. If you wish to order Propecia or learn more about prescription treatments, visit our online clinic.

    Clinical evidence for Propecia (finasteride)

    In a five year medical study, two groups of men took a daily tablet of either finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia) or a placebo (a dummy pill). The results were striking.

    Over 80% of the men taking finasteride found that their hair loss stopped within 6 to 12 months, and 66% even reported regrowth. In contrast, the entire placebo group experienced hair loss. Furthermore, Men taking finasteride reported significant increases in hair density, and improvement in the appearance of their hair after treatment.

    How long does Propecia take to work?

    Propecia works rapidly but not instantaneously. You may need to take Propecia for up to 3 months before you see a benefit, although the best results may take up to 12 months to appear for some men. However the good news is Propecia stops hair loss in 8 out of 10 men who take it for 12 months - and two thirds of men taking Propecia enjoy some form of hair regrowth. However if no benefits have appeared after 12 months of taking Propecia you should consider seeking an alternative form of treatment. Visit our hair loss information page for further details. 

    Considering hair loss treatment?

    View our options

    Does Propecia work for everyone?

    Propecia is most effective for men experiencing male pattern baldness. Although female pattern baldness exists (albeit far less commonly) there is no clinical evidence to support the use of Propecia in women, in fact it can be dangerous for women. Certain types of hair loss - such as alopecia totalis - cannot be treated by Propecia. (See Hair Loss Facts for more information.) Ultimately hair loss is a natural result of ageing: the older you grow, the less effective Propecia will become.

    Does Propecia work permanently?

    It is important to remember that Propecia is a hair loss treatment, not a cure. Once you stop taking Propecia your testosterone will start converting into DHT as before. Gradually your hair loss will resume, and it is likely that you will lose any hair that you have gained within 12 months of stopping the treatment.

    Can Propecia stop working?

    Yes, if you stop taking Propecia it will stop having an effect and hair loss will continue. You will have to keep taking Propecia for as long as you would like to halt your hair loss. 

    If you’ve been taking Propecia for some time and think it’s not working as well, please speak to your clinician. Taking more than 1 tablet a day will not make Propecia work faster or better, but may increase the chances of experiencing side effects.

    Why isn't Propecia working for me?

    Everyone’s bodies are different, and while one treatment might work for 1 person it may not work for another. If after 3-6 months of taking Propecia you’ve not seen any improvement in your hair loss, it’s worth speaking to your clinician. They will be able to advise what the best next steps are. 

    Regaine is a popular hair loss treatment. The active ingredient in Regaine helps to slow hair loss and encourage regrowth. It’s usually applied to the head in a foam. 

    Can you take Propecia for life?

    Propecia can be taken for long periods of time. It’s important to remember that when you stop taking Propecia your hair loss will most likely begin again. 

    Who does Propecia work best for?

    It’s best to start treatment as soon as you notice your hair thinning and receding. This gives you the best chance at slowing the process and potentially encouraging regrowth. 

    VideoGP by LloydsPharmacy



    LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

    This service operates in the United Kingdom only

    LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

    This service operates in the United Kingdom only

    Visit IE Online Doctor Continue with UK service
    LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

    This service operates in the Republic of Ireland only

    Continue with Irish Service Continue with UK Service