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    Does Propecia really work?

    On this page
    1. Can Propecia regrow hair?
    2. How does Propecia work?
    3. How long does Propecia take to work?
    4. Propecia results
    5. Propecia vs Finasteride
    6. Can you take Propecia for life?
    7. What happens when I stop taking Propecia?
    8. Online Doctor hair loss service

    The short answer is “yes”, or at least “yes in more than 80% of men”. Male pattern baldness is a very common condition. 50% of British men will experience some form of male pattern baldness over the age of 50 years old. 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. In this article we’ll explore everything you need to know about Propecia.  

    Does propecia work

    Can Propecia regrow hair?

    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: 

    • Around 90% of the men taking finasteride found that their hair loss stopped within six to 12 months
    • 66% even reported regrowth
    • The entire placebo group experienced hair loss
    • Men taking finasteride reported significant increases in hair density 
    • Men also reported improvement in the appearance of their hair after treatment 

    Another study carried out over two years found that 83% men taking finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia) experienced:

    • Increased hair growth
    • Their hair loss stopped
    • Both 

    If you wish to order Propecia or learn more about prescription treatments, visit our online service.

    How does Propecia work?

    Propecia works by preventing testosterone in your body from converting into a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT stops your hair follicles from absorbing vital nutrients. These nutrients are needed for healthy hair growth. When hair follicles can’t get the nutrients they need, male pattern baldness occurs.

    Propecia prevents DHT from affecting your hair follicles. And so Propecia slows down hair loss and can even reverse it. As the hair follicles get the vitamins they need hair begins to look thicker and healthier. 

    DHT and hair loss - Does propecia work

    How long does Propecia take to work?

    Propecia works fairly quickly, but it's not instant. You may need to take Propecia for up to three months before you see a benefit, although the best results may take up to 12 months to appear for some men.  

    Signs Propecia is working

    Propecia stops hair loss in nine out of 10 men who take it for 12 months. You might see the rate of your hair loss slowing down. Two thirds of men taking Propecia enjoy some form of hair regrowth, which means you might have hair where you previously had lost it.

    However, if no benefits have appeared after 12 months of taking Propecia you should consider seeking an alternative form of treatment.

    Propecia results

    The results of Propecia can vary from person to person. Read on to find out more about what you can expect when you start taking Propecia.  

    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. 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.

    Taking more than 1 tablet a day will not make Propecia work faster or better but may increase the chances of experiencing side effects. 

    Propecia not working after 12 months

    Everyone’s body is different, and while one treatment might work for one person it may not work for another. If after three to six 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. 

    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.

    Propecia should be used by adult men with:

    • Thinning hair
    • Baldness
    • Receding hair line
    • Hair loss on the crown  

    Propecia vs Finasteride

    Both popular hair loss treatments, we explore the similarities and differences between them.

    Are Finasteride and Propecia the same?

    Essentially finasteride and Propecia are the same. Finasteride is the active ingredient in the branded hair loss treatment, Propecia. They work in the same way to combat hair loss and they’re both available as tablets.

    Propecia for women

    Propecia (finasteride) isn’t available as a hair loss treatment for women. For women, there are certain health risks associated with this medicine. Crushed or broken finasteride tablets shouldn’t be handled by pregnant women. The medication can be absorbed through the skin and hurt unborn babies. If your partner is pregnant or likely to get pregnant you should wear a condom.

    Women experiencing hair loss can use minoxidil (Regaine) to treat hair loss.

    Does Finasteride regrow hair?

    Two thirds of men who take Finasteride experience hair regrowth. The time it takes for this to happen does vary. Finasteride also stops further hair loss. It can be used alongside minoxidil for greater results. Find out more about using Finasteride and minoxidil together for hair loss.   

    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.   

    What happens when I stop taking Propecia?

    Propecia isn’t a cure for hair loss; it must be taken every day to have an effect. When you stop taking Propecia your hair loss will most likely begin again. Any hair you’ve started to grow, or preserve will begin to fall out, like it did before you started the treatment.

    Online Doctor hair loss service

    If you're experiencing hair loss, our hair loss services might be able to help. We have a range of hair loss treatments for men as well as treatments for women

    If suitable, we have prescription hair loss treatments including Finasteride, Propecia and bundles. There are over the counter treatment options including minoxidil, biotin and hair loss shampoo.


    More than 90% of men who use Propecia experience an improvement, while 66% will benefit from renewed hair growth. If you’re experiencing hair loss let our clinicians find the treatment for you during an online consultation.  


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