Minoxidil vs Finasteride - Do Either Really Work?

Finasteride helps stop hair loss and grows new hair by blocking DHT on the other hand Minoxidil doesn't stop hair loss, but it does help grow new hair thicker and faster by increasing the blood flow to the certain area

Posted August 8,2020 in Education.

samuel wickfield
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Minoxidil vs Finasteride - Do Either Really Work?

I still remember the day when my friend came up to me and described his awful situation. He’s just 24 and he has been shedding enormous amounts of hair daily. Obviously, I asked him to reach out to a professional dermatologist who could examine his condition properly and tell what exactly is wrong with his hair. He had been suffering from Male Pattern Baldness. And what was the solution to his problem? A couple of meds - Finasteride and Minoxidil. Both Finasteride and Minoxidil have been popular as hair loss drugs and have been widely used by people suffering from androgenic alopecia. What matters is the efficacy of both drugs. Everyone’s aware of the magic sold to them online or through an advertisement or something. But do they actually work? Let’s discuss this in detail.

 

How are Minoxidil and Finasteride different from each other?

minoxidil vs finasteride

Minoxidil is a vasodilator, meaning that it increases the blood flow to certain areas of the body by dilating the blood vessels. It comes in the form of a topical solution (that can be applied directly to the scalp) and oral Minoxidil tablets (that can be taken orally by mouth). Minoxidil allows the blood to flow easily through the hair follicles and provides an easy passage for oxygen and nutrients to flow, thereby promoting hair regrowth.

What needs to be noted here is that Minoxidil doesn’t stop hair loss. It causes the hairs to shed and replaces them with new hairs in the growing phase. Thus, actively promoting the growth of hair. This is why people experience rapid hair loss when they start using Minoxidil initially. It is a temporary effect that happens as the resting hairs shed. However, once these hairs are replaced with new hairs, you can experience a thicker head of hair.

On the other hand, Finasteride is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. Finasteride works by preventing the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone(DHT). The male hormone testosterone is responsible for providing male features such as beard, voice, etc. Once testosterone gets converted into dihydrotestosterone, you’re likely to experience hair shedding. This is because DHT binds itself to the receptors of the hair follicles and weakens them. This causes the hair follicles to shrink and result in hair loss. Finasteride blocks testosterone from being converted into DHT. Thus, it reduces DHT levels in the body and stops DHT to bind to the hair follicles and cause any further damage. Finasteride comes in various doses such as 1 mg and 5 mg. It is sold under the names Finpecia 1 mg and Fincar 5 mg. Depending upon your condition, your doctor will suggest an appropriate dose of the medicine.

 

What makes both the drugs different is their working mechanism. Minoxidil has no effect on DHT and doesn’t stop hair loss. It acts as a growth agent for providing thicker and healthier hair. On the other hand, Finasteride stops hair loss by blocking the effects of DHT. 

 

Can Finasteride and Minoxidil be taken Together?

Various studies have been conducted that conclude that Finasteride should be taken in combination with Minoxidil to boost hair growth and potentially stop hair loss. A study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal suggests that the use of both these drugs can help maintain a good hair density level. And because these two drugs work differently, there’s no harm taking them together for achieving significant results. 

However, you should always check potential drug interactions with your doctor before taking them on your own. If you suffer from any health conditions or take any medications for any purpose, let your doctor know about them. 

If you suffer from Androgenic Alopecia, your doctor will prescribe Finasteride initially and then use a combination of both these drugs to provide a stronger effect. Discuss your medical history in detail with the doctor and let him know about all your problems. Both Finasteride and Minoxidil can help you out if the responsible risk factors are taken into account. Get yourself checked up properly from a professional dermatologist and get relief from hair loss

While there are various hair loss products available online (most of them are marketing gimmicks), it becomes your duty to consult a doctor before coming to a conclusion on your own. After all, taking good care of your health can lead you to live a healthy and fulfilling life ahead.

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