Are you fighting baldness but not quite ready to commit to a full head of hair transplant surgery? Well, while effective, the idea of scalp surgery is expensive and time-consuming.
A popular option amongst sufferers of certain kinds of alopecia is Finasteride, a drug regimen that will reduce further hair loss at the same time as growing back some follicles that have been dormant for years.
But most people don't know that with Finasteride, you may experience a shedding phase as your hair adjusts. What is this phase, and how should you handle it? In this article, we'll take a look at Finasteride shedding.
So, whether you're already taking Finasteride and want to know what to expect or are just considering it, keep reading, and you'll learn everything you need to know about Finasteride shedding.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a medication that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia.
Finasteride reduces hair loss and combats the effects of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness, and by blocking DHT production, Finasteride can help to reverse hair loss.
The medication also helps to increase the number and quality of hair follicles and is most effective when combined with lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
It is important to note that Finasteride does not work for everyone and should be taken under the direction of a healthcare professional. With proper use, Finasteride can help to reduce or even reverse hair loss, making it a great option for men looking for an effective treatment for their hair loss.
It's one of the two major treatments available for treating androgenetic alopecia, alongside Minoxidil. And, unlike hair transplant surgery, Finasteride is taken orally in pill form - making it a much more accessible and convenient option for those with busy lifestyles.
How Does Finasteride Work?
Finasteride works by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone responsible for hair loss. By blocking DHT production, Finasteride helps to reduce further hair loss and even helps to regrow hair in some cases.
Studies have shown that Finasteride is highly effective in controlling hair loss, with many men experiencing either a decrease in hair shedding or an improvement in hair growth.
It's important to note, however, that Finasteride does not work for all types of hair loss. It is only effective in treating androgenetic alopecia and will not help with other forms of baldness, such as alopecia areata.
What is Finasteride Shedding?
Finasteride shedding is a temporary side effect that may occur when you first start taking Finasteride. It's a normal process and usually lasts for a few weeks at the start of your Finasteride treatment, after which your hair will start to regrow as normal.
Most of the time, Finasteride shedding is nothing to worry about and should not be a cause for concern. It's simply a sign that the medication is working and that your body is adjusting to the new levels of hormones in your system.
In some cases, however, it can be quite distressing. If you experience Finasteride shedding, try to be patient and remain positive - it should pass in a few weeks, and your results should start becoming visible shortly afterward.
Why Does Finasteride Shedding Take Place?
Finasteride shedding occurs because of the sudden drop in DHT levels in your body. When you first start taking Finasteride, it will take your body a few weeks to adjust to the new levels of hormones in your system.
This can cause some hairs that were previously dormant or in regression to re-enter the anagen phase and begin growing again. During this process, it is normal for some hair to be shed as your body adjusts.
Additionally, Finasteride may also cause some hairs that were previously in the anagen phase to enter the telogen phase - leading to a period of shedding.
The good news is that if you remain patient, your hair should begin to regrow in a few weeks, and your shedding should stop. Finasteride is a highly effective treatment for male pattern baldness and, with proper use, can help to reduce further hair loss and encourage regrowth.
How Long Does the Temporary Hair Loss from Finasteride Last?
The hair shedding caused by Finasteride typically only persists for a brief period, usually just a few months. When starting finasteride treatment, it is not uncommon to observe a slight reduction in hair coverage in specific regions of your scalp, especially in bright light or when your hair is wet.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Dermatology, research has shown that men undergoing finasteride therapy for hair loss began to see improvements in hair density after six months of use.
Therefore, after six months, any hair shedding caused by Finasteride will have been fully compensated by new hair growth.
Minoxidil shedding, similar to finasteride shedding, is generally a short-lived phenomenon that disappears within the first few months.
If you experience hair shedding after beginning finasteride treatment, do not worry. Focus on the long-term goal and persist in taking your medication daily. Over time, you will likely observe areas of thinning hair starting to regrow with new, stronger hair as your hair follicles regain activity.
How to maximize the effectiveness of Finasteride?
Finasteride is a highly effective treatment option for those who are looking to restore their hair growth and slow the process of hair loss. When used alongside other hair loss treatments, Finasteride can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your desired results.
Here are some tips for using Finasteride to get the most out of your hair loss treatment:
1. Enhance Your Results with Finasteride and Minoxidil:
Using Minoxidil in conjunction with Finasteride can be incredibly beneficial for achieving your hair loss prevention goals. Minoxidil is especially helpful in boosting hair regrowth at the crown of your head, while Finasteride specifically aims to prevent further hair loss.
Together, they can make an incredibly powerful duo that will help you maintain your hair and regrow some of it back.
According to a study conducted comparing the efficacy of Finasteride and Minoxidil used individually and in combination, 59% of men using only Minoxidil, 84.1% of men using only Finasteride, and a remarkable 94.1% of men using both saw improvements in hair growth after 12 months.
2. Take Your Finasteride Consistently and as Prescribed:
The most important thing with Finasteride (and any other hair loss treatment) is to take it on a consistent basis. Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, and this can only be achieved when the drug is continuously present in your blood.
Therefore, it is essential to take Finasteride as prescribed by your doctor in order to maximize its effectiveness.
3. Don't Give Up Too Soon:
The shedding phase is a necessary but often uncomfortable step in the process of Finasteride working its magic. It is important to remain patient and consistent during this period, as it is a sign that your hair follicles are actively responding to the treatment and attempting to regrow.
Remember, as long as you are taking your Finasteride consistently, the shedding phase should only last for a few months, and then you will start to see the positive effects of the treatment.
4. Supplement with a Hair Loss-Specific Diet:
Hair loss is closely linked to proper nutrition. Eating a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and other nutrients, can help promote healthy hair growth.
Incorporating foods such as leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains can help to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to support hair growth.
Additionally, taking a high-quality multi-vitamin can further help ensure that your body gets the essential vitamins and minerals needed to produce healthy hair.
Combining Finasteride with a nutritious diet and lifestyle can maximize your chances of seeing the desired results from your hair loss treatment.
Finasteride is an incredibly effective treatment option for those looking to restore hair growth and slow the process of hair loss. But Finasteride shedding is a real thing, and it is important to remain patient during this phase as your follicles adjust to the treatment.
It's an expected part of the treatment process, and while it may be uncomfortable to go through, it is necessary to order your hair follicles to regrow with new, stronger hair.
By using Finasteride in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, such as Minoxidil, taking your medication as prescribed, and eating a hair loss-specific diet, you can maximize your chances of achieving the desired results. Good luck!