Many people experience hair shedding. As you get older, you may also notice some changes in the colour and thickness of your hair. But some people might have excessive alopecia (hair loss) that can be distressing and impact quality of life.
There are many different types of alopecia. If you experience hair loss, talk with your healthcare provider to find out what’s causing your hair loss. The most common type of hair loss is androgenetic or androgenic alopecia, This common hair condition is also known as male pattern hair loss in men and female pattern hair loss in women.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for hair loss. Two common option is Minoxidil and finasteride. In this article, we’ll talk more about Minoxidil and finasteride — how it works, how effective it is, and what side effects to expect.
Topical minoxidil is a treatment for hair loss and hair loss-related conditions, such as alopecia. Although it is available over the counter, people should carefully consider the side effects before using this treatment.
In 1987, scientists developed a topical minoxidil solution that is suitable for treating hair loss in both males and females. The solution is available in either a 2% or 5% concentration. The brand names for topical minoxidil are Rogaine and Theroxidil.
Minoxidil and finasteride (Proscar and Propecia), are the only drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved as treatments for hair loss in males. Research shows that these two drugs are up to 60% effective in preventing hair loss and encouraging hair growth.
How does minoxidil work?
A person applies minoxidil directly to their head in the form of either a solution or a foam.
According to a 2019 review, compared with minoxidil solution, minoxidil foam allows for easier penetration of the drug, increased delivery of the active ingredient, and reduced irritation to the scalp.
Minoxidil does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and a person’s kidneys filter 95% of this drug within 4 days.
People may not notice any difference in their hair until they use minoxidil for at least 8 weeks
When may doctors recommend minoxidil?
A person can purchase minoxidil without a prescription. However, a doctor may recommend minoxidil if a person presents with hair loss. Minoxidil is most effective for people under the age of 40 years whose hair loss is recent. The drug does not have any effect on receding hairlines.
Side effects of minoxidil
A person should contact their doctor if they experience an itchy, dry, scaly, irritated, or burning scalp after applying minoxidil.
If a person experiences any of the following side effects, they should seek emergency attention
- Unexplained weight gain
- Swelling in the face, ankles, hands, or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pain
- Light headedness
A person should speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking minoxidil if they:
- Have an allergy to any of the ingredients in minoxidil
- Are taking any prescription or non-prescription medications, especially blood pressure drugs
- Are taking any vitamins
- Have or have had heart, kidney, liver, or scalp disease
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
The use of minoxidil may also make a person’s skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, it is best to avoid direct sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses when sun exposure is unavoidable.
Finasteride is a prescription medication that’s FDA-approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. You may have heard of finasteride as Propecia or Proscar. Propecia is a brand name that’s used to market. Finasteride comes in tablet form and is designed for daily use. As a treatment for hair loss, it’s typically prescribed at a dosage of 1mg per day.
How does finasteride work for hair loss?
Finasteride works for hair loss by stopping testosterone from turning into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). As a result, the amount of DHT in the body becomes lower. DHT is a hormone that is linked to hair loss in both women and men.
The downside is that finasteride is also teratogenic — meaning that if you get pregnant while taking it, it may cause negative effects to your unborn baby. For this reason, premenopausal women should use a reliable form of birth control while taking finasteride. And pregnant women shouldn’t take finasteride.
Finasteride is effective, but there’s one catch: it doesn’t work overnight. To get consistent results from finasteride, you’ll need to have a long-term outlook and take it consistently over the course of several months. On average, it takes three to four months before you’ll usually be able to see any improvements from finasteride.
This isn’t because the medication isn’t working. In fact, finasteride starts reducing DHT levels as soon as it’s absorbed by your body. However, your hair takes time to grow, meaning you’ll need to be patient before the effects from finasteride become visible. Data from clinical trials shows that most guys experience improvements from finasteride after a year of consistent use .In short, once you start using finasteride, you can expect to see some change in your hair after a few months. After one year of continuous use, you should be able to see more “final” results from finasteride.
Finasteride Side Effects
Like almost all medications, finasteride can cause side effects. Most of the adverse effects of finasteride are mild, although some may have an impact on your quality of life.
Potential side effects of finasteride include:
- Decreased libido
- Inability to get or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain or discomfort that affects the testicles
- Ejaculation disorders or problems, such as decreased ejaculatory volume
- Changes in mood or depression
Natural Alternatives for Minoxidil and Finasteride
Minoxidil And Finasteride are medication widely used for the treatment of male and female-pattern hair loss. While these has no doubt been a ground-breaking medical leap in the treatment of hair loss and thinning, not every body experience success with it and also it can produce a long list of unwanted side effects; including scalp irritation, redness and itching, as well as swelling of the mouth, chest pain and headaches. As a result, scientific groundwork is being laid to discover potential natural, less harsh alternatives to minoxidil And Finasteride in the treatment of hair loss and thinning. Alopecia can be treated with natural and Essential oils and also with hair care treatment like hair massage, maintaining proper hygiene, balanced meal etc. Also there are many chemical free shampoos which prevents hair loss. Root2rip has researched and developed products which has natural ingredients and has been effective in treating hair loss. Two such products which are best alternative for minoxidil and Finasteride are:-
- Root Energizer Scalp Oil:- 100% natural and Vegan. It Invigorate, energise, stimulate, nourish and grow your hair. This powerful bottle of root energising scalp oil is based on ayurvedic hair growth extracts, including Amla, and Brahmi known for their, natural thickening, stimulating and nourishing properties. In addition it has extract of four essential oils clinically proven to encourage hair growth by increasing the circulation of blood to the scalp. Feel the tingle all day from this potent mix of root energising natural stimulants. Use for 3 months to see true results in hair growth. As we get older our blood-flow slows down, this in turn has a direct effect on the way our hair grows. Hair is produced by your roots under the scalp. The blood carries nutrients needed to affect healthy hair growth.
- Grow It Long Scalp Serum:- This serum has been effectively treating dry hair and scalps for more than a decade. It was originally developed in 2010 by our Founder and trichologist Salem. Through extensive research, she created a formula with guidance from above that blends science with trichology knowledge. Our serum stimulates healthy hair growth at the cellular level. With just one use of this remarkable oil, achieve a perfectly balanced moisture level on your scalp. It delivers vital nourishment to your scalp where it's most needed, providing an ideal environment for your hair to grow healthier and stronger, ultimately reaching its maximum potential length. The key to achieving healthy hair growth lies in maintaining a healthy scalp and roots. Our unique formula is specifically designed with a blend of essential oils, a volcanic mineral extract, and fruit oils that offer numerous benefits to the scalp and roots, ensuring optimal results. A moisturised scalp equals healthy hair. The natural sulfur extract is highly effective in promoting the shedding of dead skin on the scalp, resulting in a clean, clear, and well-nourished scalp.
Hair loss is a common concern that can impact one’s quality of life. Minoxidil and finasteride are FDA-approved treatments that have shown effectiveness in addressing hair loss, but they come with potential side effects. Natural alternatives, such as essential oils and products like Root Energizer Scalp Oil and Grow It Long Scalp Serum, provide alternative options for individuals seeking hair loss treatments with fewer potential side effects. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable approach to address your specific hair loss needs and goals. Visit www.root2tip.com for a variety of haircare products.