Finasteride is the only oral medication FDA approved for male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia.
Finasteride functions as a DHT-blocker, and is on the market for hair loss as Propecia, as well as for prostate enlargement treatment under the brand name Proscar.
This medication works for male pattern hair loss because a large driver of hair loss in men (and sometimes in women) is a Testosterone hormone derivative called DHT.
When DHT is hanging around your hair follicles in your scalp, it can shrink the follicles, leading to finer and shorter strands of hair being formed over time, eventually leading to thinning of the hair and potential baldness.
By blocking this chemical using Finasteride, the damaging effects of DHT can be lessened, and more hair tends to be retained over time.
Finasteride tablets are meant to be taken on a daily basis, at about the same time each day.
You should try to never miss a dose of oral Finasteride.
It may take 4-6 months of continued treatment to start seeing differences in your hair, as hair growth and maintenance is a slow process.
If you stop taking Finasteride tablets, your hair that was retained will likely revert back to pretreatment levels, so this is a long-term medication.
Finasteride is a prescription-only medication, so you will need to speak with a doctor in person or online with Strut Health to see if you are a good candidate for Finasteride tablets.
Your doctor will be able to make sure Finasteride tablets are a good choice for your hair loss goals, and then will likely check in on your progress with the medication every 6-12 months.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient inside of hair loss products like the brand name Rogaine.
Minoxidil was originally studied and used as an oral high blood pressure treatment when the hair benefits were discovered.
Now, Minoxidil is almost exclusively used in over the counter hair loss treatments for both men and women in cream, gel, or foam applications.
Minoxidil is thought to work for hair loss by dilating the vessels in the scalp, allowing increased oxygen and nutrients to flood the hair follicles -- increasing growth.
This medication works best for helping to regrow lost hair and boosting current hair growth.
Depending on the product which contains Minoxidil, the cream, gel, or foam package will commonly instruct the user to apply the medication once or twice a day to the scalp.
The Minoxidil should be massaged in well, and then left on the scalp for at least 4 hours before washing off.
You can also leave the product on the scalp overnight and wash it off in the morning.
Minoxidil regrowth can take time since hair grows slowly, so the noticeable effects from Minoxidil use may take 6 months or longer to be really evident.
Initially, it may appear that more hair is falling out, however, this is a good sign that the Minoxidil is working and helping to push out old hairs which are no longer growing to make way for the new growth of hairs which are in the growth state.
Always wash your hands after Minoxidil application and avoid getting the formula on your face or other areas where you do not want additional hair growth.
Minoxidil is available in strengths 5% or lower in over the counter hair loss products like Rogaine. You do not need a prescription for these products.
The over the counter products have only Minoxidil as the active hair loss ingredient.
You can also find Minoxidil as an ingredient in some prescription hair loss formulas which are made up by a compounding pharmacy. These prescription hair loss products, like our Men’s Finasteride Hair Loss Gel, have the ability to combine Minoxidil with other hair loss ingredients to help boost its effects, or may have stronger strengths of Minoxidil than what is available over the counter.
A compounded topical Finasteride formula is a medication that is made up by a compounding pharmacy and requires a prescription from a doctor.
This is the same active ingredient as the oral Finasteride tablets used for hair loss, but it is formulated into a topical cream, gel, or foam to help try and avoid or drastically reduce the side effects sometimes seen with Finasteride tablets taken by mouth.
Finasteride formulas are in the form of a cream, gel, or foam and will be applied to the scalp once or twice a day, depending on the instructions you will receive from the doctor and pharmacy.
These topical formulas are massaged into the scalp and then left on for an extended period of time or overnight, before being washed off.
You need to wash your hands after applying the formula and try to not get the medication anywhere other than your scalp.
Initial results may take months to start showing up, as hair maintenance and growth are slow processes.
You will need to continue the treatment to continue seeing the results.
Topical Finasteride formulas are not available from every pharmacy, since there is not currently a manufactured topical hair loss product that includes topical Finasteride. You can find oral Finasteride tablets at most pharmacies, but in order to obtain topical Finasteride formulas your doctor will need to prescribe one from a compounding pharmacy that is skilled at making up patient-specific medications on the spot.
Our topical Men’s Finasteride gel combines the hair retaining power of Finasteride with the hair growth boost of Minoxidil, along with exfoliating Tretinoin to help get those ingredients deeper into the scalp.
You can have a free online consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if our Finasteride topical formula is a good choice for your hair goals.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.
All Finasteride topical formulations are prescription only, and you will not be able to find topical Finasteride in over-the-counter products, or from non-compounding pharmacies.
The best hair loss medication for you may depend on what is most important to you in a hair loss treatment, how it is used, and your personal preferences.
Speak with a doctor about your hair loss goals and medication preferences to help choose the best option to fit your life.
Finasteride oral, Finasteride topical, and Minoxidil topical (or a formula with a mix of the two) are the most common medications for men's hair loss.
Stick with medications in these categories to ensure that you are using validated hair loss treatments and you will be more likely to get the best hair results possible.