Hair loss

Finasteride and Minoxidil: The Combo that Beats Hair Loss

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Medically approved by Dr Earim Chaudry
Chief Medical Officer
iconLast updated 7th January 2022
In 30 seconds…

Finasteride and Minoxidil are the two most effective treatments for male hair loss on the market. They are both safe, licensed for use in the UK, and proven to show results.

Whilst Minoxidil is a spray that you apply to your scalp, Finasteride is taken daily as a pill. The latter is a little easier – and science shows it is the more effective choice for stopping male pattern baldness.

The best bit, though, is that you can use Minoxidil and Finasteride together, to give the fight against hair loss a bit of extra muscle. There are no significant risks of interactions – and you usually see better results than using each treatment by itself.

Hair loss is a condition that affects most men across their lives. Stats suggest that 30% will show signs of male pattern baldness (MPB) by the time they are thirty – and the likelihood increases as you age.

If you are experiencing hair loss, you’ll know that it’s not necessarily only hair that you lose. MPB can cause a loss of self-esteem, a loss of confidence, and even a sense that an important part of you has gone. We understand this struggle.

Yet, MPB can be beaten. There are treatments on the market that are effective, safe, and easy. You may have heard of Finasteride and Minoxidil, the two most famous and reliable hair loss treatments. But maybe you didn’t know that using them both together increases your chances of bringing back your hair.

In this article, we want to show you why using both Finasteride and Minoxidil in tandem is the best way to tackle MPB. Let’s take a look.

Finasteride and Minoxidil: The Two Hair Loss Treatments

Minoxidil and Finasteride are two bywords for effective hair loss treatment. They are the only medications on the market that are licensed for the treatment of MPB – and scientific studies have consistently shown them to be both effective and safe.

However, Finasteride and Minoxidil work in very distinct ways, with one tackling the root cause of MPB and the other promoting the health of your hair follicles. Together, they provide the conditions for a healthy head of hair to grow.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride – or Propecia, as it is often sold – is a medication that tackles the production of the hormone responsible for MPB: dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

This chemical is key to some important developments that occur whilst you are a young man. However, it is central to the processes that cause hair loss in men as you age. In short, DHT binds to your hair follicles – the nodes in your scalp that produce hair – causing them to shrink, weaken, and ultimately become permanently damaged.

What Finasteride does is to prevent the production of DHT in the first place. DHT is produced from your body’s breakdown of testosterone by the enzyme, 5-alpha reductase (5AR). But Finasteride intervenes to turn that enzyme off. If there is less 5AR activity, there is less DHT, and therefore less progressive follicular shrinkage – which will slow and in some cases reverse hair loss.

And does Finasteride really work? According to one study of 6,000 men, the drug stopped hair loss in 90% of cases.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil – or Regaine – meanwhile, works quite differently. Rather than intervening at the root cause of hair loss, this topical spray works to promote as healthy a scalp as possible to optimise the function of your follicles.

Scientists refer to Minoxidil as a vasodilator – meaning it dilates or expands the blood vessels in the area to which it is applied. If applied to the scalp, Minoxidil widens those vessels to bring more blood to your hair follicles. With more blood comes more nutrients and oxygen, the things your follicles need to perform at their best.

In this way, Minoxidil works to reverse the follicular shrinkage caused by DHT. And it has a positive impact on your hair’s growth cycle too: it resets your follicles’ activity – resulting in a longer phase of hair growth. 60% of men see renewed hair growth and coverage as a result of using Minoxidil.

Using Both Finasteride and Minoxidil

Using Minoxidil and Finasteride together is the most comprehensive way to combat hair loss. In tandem, they cover two crucial elements in the fight against MPB: Finasteride tackles the fundamental cause of the condition, whilst Minoxidil boosts your follicular health from the outside.

Importantly, the two drugs are perfectly safe to use simultaneously – and studies have shown that your chances of hair regrowth are higher as a result of combined use too.

Minoxidil and Finasteride Results

Recent studies in the science of hair loss have looked, among other things, at ways to increase the efficacy of Finasteride and Minoxidil even further. The most significant development has, of course, come from the use of these two drugs together.

One study in Chinese patients spelled out the respective differences between the effects of the three treatments, Finasteride, Minoxidil, and their combined use. After twelve months, 80.5% of men showed improvement with Finasteride alone. 59% improved with Minoxidil. Yet, over 94% of men on the combination therapy showed improvement.

Similarly, an Indian study investigated the potential of including Finasteride within a Minoxidil spray. Here, 85% of men who used the solution found an increase in their scalp coverage. Whilst this might not seem much, a significantly reduced amount of Finasteride was used in the study compared to more conventional medications. The combination boosted Minoxidil success rates by more than a third.

The evidence suggests that using both Finasteride and Minoxidil is the way to give hair regrowth the best possible chances.

Note: Check out our success story – Luke’s hair regrowth transformation using our complete plan.

Is it Safe to Use Minoxidil and Finasteride Together?

Like all medicines, Minoxidil and Finasteride can have side effects. However, these side effects are extremely rare, usually mild, and they stop after you stop taking the medicine.

Whilst, in many cases, medicines can interact with other medication, or with substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs, Minoxidil and Finasteride are perfectly safe to be used together. For example, the Chinese study cited above showed no greater risk of side effects when using the two drugs together.

Key Takeaways

Using both Finasteride and Minoxidil together is the best way to target – and to reverse – hair loss in men. Where Finasteride tackles the root cause of MPB, by targeting the production of the hormone that causes it, Minoxidil gives your follicles the strength they need to start regrowth.

Minoxidil and Finasteride combine to offer an expected greater than 9/10 of stabilising or reversing hair loss – and can be safely taken together.


Finasteride 1 mg Film-coated Tablets –


Regaine for Men Extra Strength Scalp Solution 5% w/v Cutaneous Solution –


Ruiming Hu, Feng Xu, Youyu Sheng, Sisi Qi, Yumei Han, Ying Miao, Wenlong Rui and Qinping Yang (2015). Combined treatment with oral finasteride and topical minoxidil in male androgenetic alopecia: a randomized and comparative study in Chinese patients:


Luhao Liu, Shankun Zhao, Futian Li, Ermao Li, Ran Kang, Lianmin Luo, Jintai Luo, Shawpong Wan, Zhigang Zhao (2016). Effect of 5α-Reductase Inhibitors on Sexual Function: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials:

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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