BEFORE WE BEGIN...
The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please read our disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more information.
£15 - £50 pcm
WHAT IS FINASTERIDE?
Finasteride, more commonly known by brand names Propecia or Proscar, is an MHRA approved prescription-only medication used to treat hair loss. It is also one of only two drugs to be approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to treat hair loss.
Originally used to treat men with an enlarged prostate (benign prostate enlargement) this pill can also be used to treat men with male pattern baldness, according to sources such as the NHS website. Unlike the 5mg variant prescribed for an enlarged prostate, the version for hair loss is precribed at 1mg.
HOW DOES FINASTERIDE WORK?
It is commonly accepted that one of the main factors involved in male pattern hair loss is the activity of DHT on the hair follicles. As cited by the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS), those suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia are actually inheriting hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is an androgen, or hormone, derived from testosterone which contributes to the development of what are considered to be “male” sex characteristics, such increased body hair, deeper voice, greater muscle mass.
So why is DHT bad? DHT activates a receptor in the hair follicle which causes the growth phase of the hair cycle to gradually decrease. High levels of DHT, and androgens in general, shrink the follicle resulting in finer, shorter hairs until the growth phase is so short that the hairs do not grow from the scalp at all.
In the case of Finasteride, it is widely credited to work by blocking the conversion of testosterone into the DHT. This conversion is understood to occur as a result of the action of an enzyme known as 5 alpha (5α) Reductase, which is genetically inherited.
Finasteride is understood to disrupt this conversion process by targeting the 5α Reductase enzyme and stopping the production of DHT. This means that less DHT is present in the scalp (around 60% less), preventing further hair loss and in some cases, promoting hair regrowth.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WORK?
As hair regrowth is a naturally slow process, there is likely to be little change for the first three months from when you start using Finasteride and in some cases it may take 12 months before you start to see results.
As with Minoxidil, you may experience increased shedding of hair during the initial 6 months of treatment but this is widely considered an indication that the medication is working for you. Although you may be initially shocked, it is important that you do not stop taking the medication if your shedding is noticeable, however, Nanogen Hair Fibres can become invaluable during this period in creating instant coverage and provide the appearance of thicker, fuller hair
After three to six months, hair loss should start to slow down and newly regrown hair should begin to emerge. Initial hairs may be soft and light at the start, but should eventually become the same as normal hair.
Beyond six months, hair loss should slow significantly and thicker, denser-looking hairs should begin to fill in patches of thinning hair. Scalp coverage should noticeably improve and hairs should look stronger and healthier.
As we mentioned above, for most men, Finasteride takes 3-6 months of daily use to show effects but it has been shown to be effective in preventing hair loss in men in 8 out of 10 cases so it is worth continuing with for 12 months.
It is worth mentioning that this is a long term treatment commitment and should you stop taking Finasteride, your hair loss will return and any regrowth you have seen will fall out eventually.
ANY POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS?
While side effects from Finasteride are considered to be uncommon, as with any medication, they can still occur so it is important to discuss this with your healthcare professional.
The NHS and WebMD site both provide the most common side effects (1 in 100 people) are problems with gaining and erection, a reduced libido and a lower quantity of semen. As such, Finasteride is not recommended for men wishing to start a family.
Most reported cases of sexual dysfunction occurred soon after starting the medication, as the body is getting used to the new drug. However, there have been reports of sexual dysfunction that have occurred at later points in tim
Although the following are listed as rare (1 in 1000), should you experience any of these side effects, please be sure to contact a medical professional:
- Mood changes or low mood/depression
- Pains, lumps or swelling in the chest area
Immediate medical help should be sought if any of the following are experienced:
- Cold sweats
- Light-headedness and loss of balance
- Swelling in various areas of the body
- Fluctuating weight
HOW CAN NANOGEN FIBRES HELP?
Nanogen Hair Fibres can really help alongside treatments such as Finasteride. Our natural fibres are the ideal product to help cover the thinning area while the treatment synchronises with your hair cycle and you hopefully begin to see some results.
We have discussed previously the need to be patient when undertaking medication, this is perhaps even more important when considering Finasteride. Despite the potential for side effects, these are considered rare, and sexual side effects occur in between 4-6% of men writes the Editor in Chief of Harvard Mens Health Watch, Dr. WIlliam Khors, but should be discussed with your own medical professional.
Additionally, you should look to take a rounded approach to treatment. Given that individuals react differently to treatments, you may benefit from incorporating more than one treatment into your regime.
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While our aim is to provide you with up-to-date and relevant information, drugs affect each person differently. As such we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects and this information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss treatment options and possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your specific medical history.