One of the most popular hair loss treatment methods comes in the form of a once-daily pill called finasteride. 

It is the only prescription DHT-blocking medication that’s been approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness, and has helped millions of men in the fight against baldness. 

Let’s look at what the average guy can expect after taking finasteride.

Finasteride Helps Prevent You from Going Bald

When researchers tested different treatment methods for male pattern baldness, they found that finasteride was incredibly effective at stopping male pattern baldness in its tracks. Men who took it for a 48-week period were observed to have experienced hair regrowth at a rate of 18 hairs in the growing cycle in a  square centimeter target area, compared to men in the placebo group who lost nine hairs in the square centimeter target area.

This research supported FDA approval in 1997 of finasteride for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Since then, finasteride has been successfully used as a treatment program for men who’re unhappy with their hair loss. 

Finasteride Stops Baldness at Its Source

It works by stopping testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male androgen that’s linked to balding. This means that for a lot of men, finasteride is able to effectively prevent male pattern baldness by reducing the amount of DHT present in the scalp. 

Medical researchers noted that a daily dose of 1mg finasteride is enough to reduce the amount of DHT in the scalp by more than 60 percent

The point is, it works.


For Best Results, Finasteride Requires Commitment 

The most important thing to remember when taking finasteride is that you’re not taking a magic baldness-erasing pill. While finasteride is designed to disrupt DHT and stimulate hair growth, you need to continue taking it to fully benefit from its effects. 

If you stop taking finasteride, you can expect to lose the hair you’ve regrown in one year.

The good thing is, it’s pretty convenient to take. You don’t have to make any major changes to your daily routine — all you need to do is take the pill once a day, and within three months you could start seeing more hair on your head.

Finasteride Is Successful, but There Is a Risk of Side Effects 

The truth is that finasteride is very good at preventing male pattern baldness, but a small number of men who use it as part of their treatment program may experience various sexual and other side effects. 

In clinical trials studying the use of finasteride, 1.3 percent of finasteride users experienced erectile dysfunction, 1.8 percent experienced a decrease in libido and 1.2 percent experienced an ejaculation disorder.

Other side effects associated with finasteride include breast tenderness or enlargement, rashes, depression, anxiety, testicular pain, and neurological issues like mental fogginess, which in general affect a very low number of finasteride users.

There have been reports of a slight increased risk (1.8 percent with 5mg Finasteride dosage versus 1.0 percent placebo) of High Grade Prostate Cancer for men over age 55 years old. Again, this is at a much higher dosage (5mg versus 1mg ) than we prescribe for hair loss.

And though very rare, it’s worth noting that a small number of men who take finasteride continue to experience them even after cessation of treatment. 

If you’re one of the few people who experience side effects as a result of taking finasteride, make sure that you contact your physician for further instructions.

Talk to a Hair specialist

Have you been interested in starting a treatment program for male pattern baldness? Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about finasteride to see if it’s a good fit for you.