Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: Which is Best for You?

Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: Which is Best for You?

Hair loss is a common problem for men and women of all ages, and there are a few different ways to treat it. Two of the most popular treatments are finasteride and minoxidil. Both of these medications can be effective in slowing or stopping hair loss, but they work in different ways. Deciding which is best for you depends on your situation. Here, we will compare the two medications and help you decide which one is right for you.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can have a variety of causes, ranging from simple hair shedding to more serious medical conditions. In most cases, hair loss is caused by a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices.

Male pattern baldness is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors and is thought to be hereditary. Some men may notice a receding hairline as early as their late teens or twenties. 

However, other people predisposed to hair loss may start to experience thinning hair if they experience significant stress or undergo major surgery. Similarly, people who do not eat a balanced diet or get enough exercise are also more likely to experience hair loss.

While it can be upsetting, it is important to remember that hair loss is often temporary and treatable. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatment options.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is a prescription pill used to treat male pattern baldness. It is a type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which works by inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the hormone that is responsible for hair loss in men. 

The FDA originally approved finasteride in 1997 for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition characterized by enlarged prostate glands. In December 1997, the FDA also approved finasteride for treating male pattern baldness.

Women can also take finasteride. However, finasteride is typically not prescribed to pre-menopausal women as it can cause birth defects.

Finasteride is generally well tolerated. However, it may cause side effects in some men. The most common side effects include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts).

Finasteride can interact with other medications, so tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting finasteride. Finasteride may not be suitable for everyone. Be sure to discuss all your options with your doctor before making a decision about treatment.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is an over-the-counter medication applied to the scalp to promote hair growth in people with thinning hair. It is the only FDA-approved medication for this purpose.

Minoxidil was initially developed as a treatment for high blood pressure. However, it was found to have the side effect of promoting hair growth. Minoxidil reverses the miniaturization of hair follicles, which is thought to cause hair loss.

Minoxidil stimulates the growth of new hair and prolongs the growth phase of existing hairs. In addition, it helps stimulate blood flow to your scalp, which encourages hair growth. Minoxidil is available as a topical solution or foam and is applied twice daily to your dry scalp. It typically takes up to six months of consistent application to get the full results, but you should notice a change after about four months.

It’s crucial to ensure that you choose a minoxidil product that meets stringent quality control requirements. Fortero’s formula is rigorously tested to ensure that it exceeds your expectations and causes minimal unpleasant effects.

The most common side effects of minoxidil are scalp irritation and temporary worsening of hair loss. Minoxidil is a safe and effective treatment for hair loss, and it has been shown to regrow hair in both men and women.

Choosing Between Finasteride and Minoxidil

Both minoxidil and finasteride are effective treatments for hair loss. Your doctor can help you decide which is best for your situation.

Minoxidil is a topical solution applied directly to the scalp and works by stimulating hair growth. It is available over the counter and safe for both men and women to use. However, it can cause scalp irritation and may have an unpleasant smell. Always test topical medications such as minoxidil on a patch of skin before applying to your scalp.

Finasteride is a pill that is taken orally, and it is available by prescription only. It should not be used by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. Finasteride can cause sexual side effects such as erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.

Many people start treating their hair loss with over-the-counter medications such as Fortero before seeking a prescription treatment. However, topical therapies are preferable for some people because they don’t interfere with the body’s hormones. Additionally, it’s easy to control the amount of product you use when opting for topical treatment. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is right for you.

Can You Use Finasteride and Minoxidil Together for Hair Loss?

Some people use minoxidil and finasteride together to maximize the benefits of both medications. However, there is no evidence to suggest that using minoxidil and finasteride together is more effective than using either medication alone. If you are considering using minoxidil and finasteride together, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before starting treatment.

Final Thoughts

When you start to notice thinning hair, it can be alarming. But fortunately, both minoxidil and finasteride can help safely and effectively slow, stop, and even reverse hair loss. It may be helpful to start with a small amount of a topical treatment such as Fortero before taking a prescription drug.

Whichever treatment plan you choose, consult your physician to make sure you are aware of the underlying causes of your hair loss before beginning a treatment plan.

To learn more about treating your hair loss with minoxidil, you can read about Fortero here.