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.
Medically Reviewed by Professor V. Jolliffe
WHAT IS FINASTERIDE?
Finasteride, more commonly known by brand names Propecia or Proscar, is a prescription-only medication approved by the MHRA for treating hair loss.
Originally used at higher doses to treat men suffering from an enlarged prostate (benign prostate enlargement), this pill can also be effective at lower doses in treating men with male pattern hair loss.
HOW DOES FINASTERIDE WORK?
One of the main factors involved in male pattern hair loss is believed to be the effect of Dihydrotestosterone DHT (a metabolite of testosterone) on the hair follicles. DHT activates a receptor in the hair follicle which causes the growth phase of the hair cycle to gradually decrease. This reduction in growth phase results in each hair fibre becoming finer and shorter until the growth phase is so short that the hairs do not emerge from the scalp at all.
Finasteride works by disrupting this conversion process by targeting an enzyme (5 alpha reductase) which converts testosterone to its more active form, Dihydrotestosterone DHT. By inhibiting DHT production in this way, there is less DHT available to cause the shrinkage of the hair cycle.
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 most cases it takes 12 months before results are apparent.
Nanogen Hair Fibres are invaluable during this period in creating instant coverage and providing the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. In fact many men are so delighted with the instant result from Nanogen Hair Fibres that they continue to use them years later.
Beyond six months, hair loss should slow and thicker, denser-looking hairs can begin to fill in patches of thinning hair. Scalp coverage should noticeably improve and hairs should look stronger and healthier by 12 -24 months.
Should you decide to stop taking Finasteride, your hair may thin slightly but you will still have better hair coverage than if you had never ever taken it- in other words you have ‘bought some time’ and delayed the process of hair loss.
ANY POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS?
While side effects from Finasteride are uncommon, as with any medication, they can still occur so it is important to discuss this with your healthcare professional.
The most common side effects (1 -2 in 100 people) are problems with gaining an erection, a reduced libido and a lower quantity of semen. This is typically reversible on stopping treatment although there have been reports of long term sexual problems in men taking Finasteride for hair loss
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/breast enlargement
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 HAIR FIBRES HELP?
Nanogen Hair Fibres are a superb adjunct to 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 before you see visible results from medication. In fact, even after years of taking medication many men continue to use Nanogen Hair Fibres in addition, to boost the volume of their hair – and their confidence!
Finasteride can be a helpful treatment for slowing down the rate of hair loss in men and can be used alongside Minoxidil. Nanogen Fibres are a fantastic adjunct to this regime by giving instant fullness, which is particularly helpful when the medications take some time to show their effectiveness. It is sensible to discuss Finasteride with a health care provider prior to its use.
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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.