Posted on May 1, 2014 by DrFinger
The two most well know hair loss medications are Minoxidil and finasteride, also known as Rogaine and Propecia or Proscar respectively.


Minoxidil comes in two strengths, 2%, which is usually designated for women, and 5%, for men. However, if women have little success with 2%, they may increase the strength to 5%.

I could not find any studies showing that Minoxidil is harmful to women. I would not suggest it for someone that is pregnant or at an age when one typically wants to be pregnant. Fortunately, in most cases, women who lose hair are usually older in age, at a time past most pregnancies.

Believe it or not, how minoxidil works is not exactly known. But we know it works. It comes as a spray, a foam and liquid. The foam seems to be the easiest to use; the liquid is a little oily to the touch. Generally, minoxidil will help prevent further hair loss when used twice daily, and it may increase the thickness of the hair. It must be used continuously or the hair will gradually return to your pre-minoxidil days. After a hair transplant, we recommend using minoxidil to help the newly transplanted follicle produce hair faster and also prevent some of the hairs falling out from the usual “hair shock” seen after hair transplants.


Finasteride tablets or Propecia, as its known, can be taken at 1 mg per day. You can also use Proscar, which is another version and much less expensive. Proscar is a 5 mg tablet, so it can be broken into two or four pieces and taken once a day.
Finasteride works by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the latter of which is the usual cause of hair loss in male pattern baldness. The down side is a diminished sexual function in some men. It does work for hair loss, so it’s worth a try. The mentioned side effect only lasts while you are taking the medication.

Minoxidil and Finasteride, A Multi-Therapy Approach

The usual regimen we suggest is to use both the minoxidil and finasteride simultaneously to benefit from both medications, each of which work differently but toward the same goal of reducing hair loss or in some cases, increasing hair growth. Finasteride can also be taken by women who have no chance of becoming pregnant, as some women have elevated DHT. Lab work should be obtained first, however.

Another alternative medication to block increased DHT is dutasteride, otherwise known as Avodart. Avodart blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT in two places instead of one and is more effective on lowering the DHT levels. This can be tried if minoxidil is unsuccessful. The side effects of lowered libido and erectile dysfunction only last while you are taking the medication.
Remember, the diminished progression of hair loss should be considered a success in many cases. Please let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to email you and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This entry was posted in Blog by DrFinger.