How Effective Is Finasteride?
Finasteride inhibits the production of 5-alpha-reductase, which is an enzyme that converts the body’s testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This primary hormone which causes hair loss in men leads some individuals to be more sensitive to DHT than others. This sensitivity explains why some men are more prone to losing their hair at faster rates than others.
While some men may lose their hair due to hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, infections, or some psychological conditions, male pattern baldness results from hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT. This sensitivity causes hair follicles to shrink. As these follicles recede, they will produce fewer hairs.
As the hair follicles shrink, hair begins to grow short and fine until no new hair grows. Male pattern baldness often manifests itself with either a receding hairline on the forehead or thinning around the crown of the head (the “bald spot”). The follicles on the top and crown of the head are more likely to have DHT-sensitive follicles.
While DHT can be associated with male pattern baldness, some exceptions, such as hair follicles on the sides and back of the head, exist. This item is the reason behind the “horseshoe” baldness pattern. These follicles tend to be more resistant to DHT than those on the front, top, and crown of the scalp.
To experience the full results of taking finasteride, you need to continue its use for six months. Research reports a substantial increase in hair count over one year of continuous treatment when an individual takes 1 milligram of finasteride per day, which represents the usual finasteride dose for hair loss prevention. If you stop taking the medication, your body will respond by increasing production of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which contributes to increased DHT production, thus promoting further hair loss.
Have you been taking finasteride for one year and haven’t seen significant results? You may need to seek professional help from your hair restoration physician. Your physician will likely recommend that you stop taking finasteride and consider a more permanent solution for your hair loss problems, such as follicular unit extraction (FUE).