Everything You Need To Know About Propecia

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Hair loss can happen to anyone. In fact, male pattern baldness affects a number of men at some point in their lives. Many women may also experience some form of hair loss or balding.

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While many new hair loss solutions pop up each year, Propecia, also known by its generic name finasteride, is a medication often used in the treatment of androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) in men and has been for years. Still, there’s important information about Propecia you need to know before you start taking it.

Below, read more about Propecia results for hair loss and the potential side effects.

How does Propecia work?

Propecia is thought to be a solution for male pattern hair loss because of the way it targets the source of baldness and hair loss. Most hair loss happens when the hormone testosterone converts into the male characteristic androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in higher amounts, which then triggers the miniaturizing of the hair follicles. This leads to thinning and eventually causes hair to stop growing. Propecia results in a block that decreases testosterone’s transformation into DHT. Because finasteride inhibits DHT production, the hair follicles can continue to grow.

Propecia and preventing balding

The biggest question most people have about Propecia is if it actually works. Does finasteride for hair loss actually prevent hair loss, or is it just a hair regrowth myth?

According to most of the research on the topic so far, Propecia does work in preventing further hair loss for a large percentage of people. One study reported that 83% of men who had taken finasteride over many months actually stopped losing hair. Another study found that 66% of men even grew hair back while taking finasteride for hair loss for two years. These studies indicate that finasteride, or Propecia, does seem to work for many in hindering baldness and slowing the progression of male pattern baldness.

Propecia requires consistency

If you decide to use finasteride for hair loss, you need to know that it will require consistency. Propecia isn’t a magic tablet you take once, and then your hair never falls out. Taking Propecia is an everyday commitment for the rest of your life. Propecia inhibits DHT transformation, so if you stop taking it, DHT is no longer blocked, and the hair loss which occurred prior to taking Propecia will likely resume. If you miss a dose one day, don’t stress. Your hair won’t immediately fall out. But if you do decide to quit finasteride for good, hair loss will probably follow. So before you start taking finasteride for hair loss, make sure you’re ready to commit to taking it everyday.

Propecia does have side effects

Potential side effects from Propecia have been noted, so you should know about them before using it. Some users of finasteride have experienced reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders. Instances of depression and rashes have been mentioned as well. However, many finasteride users do not experience any of these potential side effects at all.

If you take finasteride and any of these side effects start happening, see your doctor and get medical attention.

Talk to your doctor

Finasteride is only available through a doctor. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether finasteride is the right choice for you, as finasteride is generally recommended for hair loss that comes from male pattern baldness and there could be an underlying medical condition actually causing your hair loss.

Because hair loss can have many causes, finasteride potentially might not solve your unique case. For example, some hair loss is only on part of the scalp, and you might need treatment for only that portion. Because finasteride just lowers DHT levels in general, it can’t target specific parts of the scalp. 

Another reason why finasteride might not work for you is if you’re already bald. Finasteride can’t repair follicles that have already been closed off.

Alternatives to Propecia

It might just be that Propecia isn’t for you. Luckily, there are other great options for hair loss if Propecia isn’t a good match for your needs. Here are a couple of hair growth tips to look into:

  • Make sure you’re taking care of your hair right now. So much of our hair’s health is based on how we are taking care of our bodies regularly. You can help your hair by drinking enough water, eating the right diet, and getting enough sleep.
  • Reduce stress. Stress is a big factor in hair loss, so cutting out unnecessary stress can help you keep those strands. Stress can sometimes be inevitable, but by cutting down on unnecessary stress, you can keep your hair healthier (and feel happier).
  • Try supplements. Supplements are a great way to improve your hair’s health and its growing capabilities. Natural hair supplements like Nutrafol not only support the health of your locks but also help promote a healthy growth cycle. We have Core supplements and a specialized targeted booster line of supplements to help support you in achieving your hair health goals, whatever those goals may be.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. MARA DAVIDSON, ND

on December 2, 2019

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