Hair Loss Treatment – The Difference between Minoxidil and Finasteride

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With countless treatments in the market today, the key to for successful hair loss treatment is finding the most effective treatment for you.

Here at Sozo Aesthetic Clinic, we understand that medical jargon can often be confusing and cloud one’s judgement.

To help you, let’s review two commonly used treatments today: Minoxidil and Finasteride.

What is Minoxidil?

Originally intended as treatment for hypertension, Minoxidil was observed to cause increased hair growth in users and discovered as a potent hair growth agent.

Today, Minoxidil is solely used to treat hair loss.

Minoxidil is a non-prescription treatment for androgenic alopecia, or male-pattern baldness.

Popular treatment brands or products use Minoxidil as the main active ingredient, including Rogaine, Loniten, Regain, and Tugain.

Application

There are various ways of administrating the drug, Minoxidil. Loniten is administered orally while Rogaine is administered in a foam or solution form.

Male-pattern baldness affects approximately 70% of men and 30% of women. Minoxidil is often administered in the same dosage for both genders.

For example, Rogaine comes in 2% and 5% dosages, with the latter used for more severe cases or if greater effectiveness is desired.

Topically applied or solution-form Minoxidil stimulates hair growth and slows down the balding process by invigorating and increasing the size of the hair follicles at the applied areas. This helps to ensure thicker hair growth.

Upon application, some people experience more hair loss and dropping. However, this is nothing to worry about. Old hair often drops off to make way for newer, thicker hair.

Proper Usage

Prior to applying Minoxidil, ensure that your head and hair are dry.

Apply the prescribed amount twice a day on the bald area of your scalp, starting from the centre of the area while taking care to avoid clothing as Minoxidil may cause stubborn stains.

Let the solution to dry naturally, thus allowing maximum absorption of Minoxidil into the scalp area.

Should you miss a dosage, do not compensate for it and simply skip it.

Side and Unwanted Effects

Minoxidil is a safe and FDA-approved medication. Side and unwanted effects are generally rare. In an unfortunate event of such occurrences, one may experience the following at the treated area:

  • Itching,
  • Rashes,
  • Spots,
  • Reddened skin and,
  • Allergic reactions

One may also experience:

  • Chest pains
  • Fainting spells
  • Unwanted weight gain
  • Unwanted hair growth

While it is an over-the-top hair loss treatment, one should seek the advice of your physician should you be taking medications for hypertension or have kidney, liver, heart, and/or skin diseases.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also seek a physician’s advice.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is a synthetic drug designed for the treatment of both male-pattern baldness and prostate gland enlargement.

It inhibits the active form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for hair growth and male sexual development, amongst others.

Interestingly, excessive dihydrotestosterone leads to the reduced growth and size of hair follicles.

Finasteride may, therefore, be used to treat male-pattern baldness in patients experiencing an overproduction of testosterone and its active form.

Similar to Minoxidil, Finasteride is the main active ingredient in many popular treatment brands such as Propecia and Proscar.

Application

This is where Finasteride differs greatly from Minoxidil. Finasteride Is generally administered in an oral form and is a prescription or not an over-the-counter medication.

Proper Usage

Finasteride is often prescribed in a 1mg tablet form to be consumed once a day at any time. However, it is generally recommended that users make a habit of consuming the tablet at a given time of day to reduce the chance of forgetting to do so.

Similar to Minoxidil, do not compensate for a missed dosage and simply skip it.

Side and Unwanted Effects

There are a number of side and unwanted effects associated with Finasteride use. However, in very rare and severe occurrences, one may experience:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Reduced sexual performance
  • Breast tenderness
  • Impotence

Results

It is important to know that the results of both drugs are not instantaneous. Do not be discouraged should you not see hair growth after a few treatment cycles.

The treatment may take up to three months or more before new hair growth is observed.

It is not common for users to take up to a year of continued treatment before satisfactory results are observed.

Seeking Professional Advice

Hair loss can happen to anyone and at any age and can be a disheartening event.

At Sozo Aesthetic Clinic, we celebrate the many effective options that modern medicine offers in managing hair loss.

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