Comparing Hair Loss Treatments: Minoxidil and Finasteride

Comparing Hair Loss Treatments: Minoxidil and Finasteride

Are you losing hair fast? Are you getting bald patches on your head? Hair loss is the most common problem that men face as they age. Nowadays, males in their late twenties also experience thinning of hair. Male pattern baldness has become very common but thankfully it can be treated with the right medication.

Medicines to fight hair loss

If you are worried over hair loss and looking for a treatment, chances are high that you have come across the names of Finasteride and Minoxidil. These two are the most popular and clinically approved medicines to fight hair loss.

However, these two medicines work in totally different ways and when combined, give the best results.

Let us understand how Finasteride and Minoxidil work and the differences between them.

Finasteride Vs. Minoxidil

Male pattern baldness is caused by the hormone DHT or Dihydrotestosterone which latches on to the hair follicles at the front and top. Due to DHT, the hair follicles shrink in diameter and length too. The result is the appearance of unpigmented and small hair follicles that are barely noticeable which leads to the bald spots on the scalp.

Finasteride is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor that prevents testosterone from converting into DHT.

Finasteride prevents hair loss and with prolonged use, you can witness hair regrowth also. Finasteride continues to block testosterone from converting into DHT as long as it is active in your body. So, you have to take this medicine daily to prevent hair loss. Once you stop taking, you may experience hair loss again.

Let us focus on Minoxidil now. It is a vasodilator. It is a topical medicine that needs to be applied on the scalp. Minoxidil widens the blood vessels and increases the flow of blood to the hair follicles.

The increased blood flow carries more oxygen and nutrients to the follicles and leads to active hair growth. While Finasteride stops hair fall, Minoxidil promotes hair growth. Thus, they work in totally different ways and this is the main difference between these two medicines.

When you start using Minoxidil, you may experience rapid hair loss as the resting hair strands fall off to make way for new hair. More hairs are seen in the anagen phase and you witness a thicker hair.

Another difference between these two medicines is that Finasteride is available as pills but Minoxidil is used as a topical medicine.

So, Minoxidil works as a hair growth agent and Finasteride help in arresting hair loss. According to a study conducted in 2003, more than 90% of patients who used Finasteride stopped losing hair over a period of five years.

Daily use of 1mg of Finasteride is effective in reducing the DHT level by 65%. Similar studies related to Minoxidil also have been conducted. It has shown effectiveness in over 65% of patients who experienced regrowth of hair.

They are FDA- approved and most effective in fighting hair loss. They are prescribed by doctors all over the world and often together to achieve the best results.

So, you know the differences between Finasteride and Minoxidil now and how they can help you in fighting baldness or hair loss.