Hair Loss Medication: Minoxidil and Finasteride
Jonas Butt - Medical Content Writer
Posted Oct 31, 2022
If you’ve noticed that you’re losing your hair, you’ll probably know how much of a widespread issue it really is - with plenty of stats to back it up, like that one in four men experience balding before turning 21. But because it’s such a prominent issue, plenty of innovation has gone into tackling hair loss.
Medication is now a pretty standard first line of defence for a lot of people. The popular hair drugs on the market don’t tend to have harsh side effects and have been in circulation for long enough that a demonstrable improvement can be seen from taking them.
Minoxidil and finasteride are the two go-to medications; the former applied mostly topically (directly onto the scalp) and the latter taken orally. Additional supplements are also trusted as having a boosting effect for hair growth, though alone these aren’t known to initiate regrowth.
Though originally made to treat high blood pressure, minoxidil was adapted to treat hair loss for both men and women, breaking out of its pill format into a topical solution to fulfil this new role. It’s available over the counter in 2% or 5% concentration.
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery summarised the effectiveness of minoxidil’s ability to not only halt hair loss but also stimulate regrowth, following a study of its 5% variant. Over 60% of patients saw an effective result, and with an additional 4-month study, the medication was deemed highly effective. They did however also remark that patients should consult a hair loss specialist for an optimal long-term plan.
The great success rates of finasteride make it a trusted staple of those suffering from hair loss: over 80% of men (it is not recommended for women) manage to stop their hair from receding further with the drug, and more than go on to 60% observe regrowth. You’ll need a prescription for this one though, but this gives you the chance to talk about your hair loss with your doctor. After around six months of patiently taking finasteride, patients start to notice thicker, fuller hair, strongly reclaiming thinned-out patches.
Hair Loss Medication to Support Hair Transplant Results
Hair transplant surgery is a very popular way to have your receded hair restored. Lower-cost clinics run by experienced doctors have made the procedure widely accessible; now thousands of people travel to countries like Turkey every month, where they save heaps of money on high-quality surgical work.
‘After the operation…I recommend some herbal supplements and vitamins such as saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, horse chestnut, biotin, zinc and vitamins B5, B6 and B12 to my patients for better results. If there are chemical drugs that my patient must use, then I also recommend finasteride or minoxidil, but I don't give them to every patient. I choose these drugs based on my patient's graft quality, age and hair structure. If my patients do not want to use chemical drugs, I also recommend herbal supplements, serums or local treatments such as PRP and mesotherapy.’ - Dr. Ziya Yavuz, founder and surgeon at Dr. Ziya Yavuz Hair Transplant Clinic, Istanbul
Many patients continue to take or start taking minoxidil and finasteride after they’ve had a hair transplant, as their effects can encourage and enhance dense results. Ultimately, they’ll continue to fulfil their role as preventative medications, which will maintain the results of a transplant.
Reverse Your Hair Loss Completely With Qunomedical
If you’re looking for a permanent solution to your hair loss, then it’s definitely worth considering a hair transplant. We’re partnered with numerous excellent specialists whom we’ve personally vetted based on their knowledge of and experience in restoring hair. When you book through us, you can look forward to a personalised service that will start you off on the road to fuller hair for good.