Finasteride: 101

● September 2019

The first signs of hair loss can be disconcerting at best.

You wake up in the morning only to be greeted by a hair strewn pillow and a hairline that has started to retreat without warning. Nobody likes change, especially when their precious mane is at stake. 

If you have been noticing a little less up top, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. In fact, by age 35, two thirds of men will have started the balding process. If you’re keen on keeping it, help is at hand. Finasteride (also known as Propecia), is a medically approved medication that has the highest success rate for male pattern baldness and effective in 90% of men. Yup, you heard right. 90%! 

You wake up in the morning only to be greeted by the all-too-familiar sight of a hairy pillow.

Read on for all the facts and stats around taking finasteride…

First of all, what is Finasteride?

Finasteride is the only oral medication licensed and clinically approved for the treatment of hereditary forms of male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA). It’s taken once a day and works to target the 5-alpha reductase (5AR) enzyme, which is responsible for converting testosterone into the hair weakening molecule DHT. Compared to all other treatments, finasteride has the largest amount of scientific studies backing its effectiveness as a hair loss solution.

But what’s the science?

In a review that involved the study of nearly 4,000 patients with male pattern baldness, the findings strongly suggested that taking finasteride once daily increased hair count. In addition to this, its use has been backed by many other studies which have shown it to promote scalp hair growth and prevent further hair loss in a significant proportion of men with male pattern hair loss.

Finasteride vs Minoxidil: which is right for me?

Answer: potentially both! Minoxidil and finasteride are key fighters in the ongoing battle against the bald and can be viewed as the mainstays of therapy in reducing hair loss and promoting new hair growth. 

Minoxidil and finasteride work independently from each other and can actually be used at the same time. This is based on the different actions they have on the hair follicle. Finasteride acts as a blocker against DHT conversion and blocks the entry of the hair loss promoting molecule from the source and ultimately reduces follicular weakening. Minoxidil supports hair follicle enrichment by increasing blood flow to the scalp, which will aid greater follicular stimulation and promotion of the hair cycle into the growth phase. 

Minoxidil and finasteride are key fighters in the ongoing battle against the bald.

With minoxidil and finasteride combining forces, you’ll have a hair growth promoting ‘powerhouse’; an active ingredient which will stop hair loss in its tracks and allows regrowth, and another which supports movement of hair to grow longer and denser. This powerful duo is at the heart of our Hair Service which combines the most tried and tested hair loss magic in one easy, ready to use treatment plan.

Topical vs oral finasteride: which is best?

When it comes to hair loss solutions, one size certainly does not fit all. With our tailored treatment plan, your hair kit will be personalised to you and will depend on the answers you provide in our online consultation. 

While oral finasteride is the most conventional route of drug delivery in the treatment of male pattern hair loss, studies comparing oral finasteride to the topical version have shown that both formulations can be effective in combating hair loss. There have been reports concerning the side-effects for taking oral finasteride and there is data to support that the topical Finasteride could reduce these fears and risks. Furthermore, the idea of including a topical formulation with both minoxidil and finasteride actually may provide a more convenient all-in-one solution that you can apply right to the “root” of the problem.

What is the long term safety?

In a large multi-national study which looked at the 5-year experience of taking 1mg of oral finasteride daily in men, the results concluded that taking finasteride led to durable improvements in scalp hair and was generally well tolerated. During long-term use, no new safety concerns were identified.

Options aplenty

So if you’re not quite ready to embrace the bald, there are plenty of options out there for you and your hair. That’s why Manual offer online consultations, to make sure you find a personalised solution that combines scientifically-backed treatments and makes them work for you.

For your free online consultation, visit our website.


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