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Does Finasteride Work For a Receding Hairline?

Finasteride is one of the most effective treatments for receding hairlines caused by male pattern baldness. It’s the most recommended hair loss treatment, with more than 85% of hair loss specialists saying they recommend oral Finasteride to their patients at least some of the time [1].

Here, we explore how Finasteride works for a receding hairline. Learn whether Finasteride simply reduces hair loss, or if it can also stimulate hairline regrowth. You’ll also see photos of Finasteride-treated hairlines to see the impact of this hair loss drug for real patients with male pattern baldness.

Table of Contents
What is Finasteride?

What is Finasteride and how does it work?

Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. It works by blocking the 5-alpha reductase enzyme from converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is the main hormone responsible for pattern balding in men.

What is Finasteride and how does it work?

Preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT means less of this hormone can bind to the androgen receptors in the hair follicles around your hairline.

Finasteride is available in two strengths: 1mg and 5mg. For most hair loss patients, the 1mg dosage is sufficient. The 5mg dosage is more often prescribed for men experiencing benign prostate enlargement.

Does Finasteride work for a receding hairline?

Multiple studies show that Finasteride does work for a receding hairline [2-5]. In fact, it’s often more effective for treating hair loss the earlier it’s used. Therefore, it can be effective if you are losing hair and have a receding hairline at 20 or even earlier.

So whether you want to stop temple hair loss or reverse it altogether, Finasteride is one of the best treatment options for a receding hairline.

Let’s take a look at the research on Finasteride for receding hairlines.

Can Finasteride stop a receding hairline?

Yes, Finasteride can halt hairline recession in men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss), preventing ongoing hair loss for as long as you continue taking the drug. That’s why taking Finasteride after a hair transplant is usually recommended. It stops any more hair from falling out, preserving your new hair density.

Finasteride can stop frontal balding in up to 70% of men after a year of use [5]. One study also found that Finasteride stopped hair loss in 44.4% of patients with various levels of hairline recession, as well as 61.2% of patients with frontal hair loss [4].

In addition, all men who were successfully treated with Finasteride for hairline recession maintained their hair after reaching peak efficacy, unlike those with general frontal balding and crown balding [4].

Can Finasteride regrow a receding hairline?

As well as stopping further hair loss, Finasteride can actually reverse a receding hairline and stimulate new hair growth.

One study found that the chance of achieving mild to moderate hair regrowth along the hairline is 37% [2, 5]. So more than a third of men can see regrowth on a receding hairline when using Finasteride.

While there’s a reasonable chance Finasteride will regrow hair along your hairline, unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s often more effective for younger men still in the early stages of hair loss [6]. So it’s a good idea to consult with a hair loss specialist as soon as you notice your hairline receding (even if you’re not sure if it’s true hair thinning).

Plus, getting your hair loss under control with Finasteride opens the door to other hairline restoration treatments, such as a hair transplant.

Finasteride for receding hairlines: study details

  • Most research indicates that Finasteride is more successful for patients with crown hair loss than those with receding hairlines. However, it can still help patients with thinning hairlines, especially those who start using it at the first signs of hair loss.
  • A study [5] investigated the impact of taking 1mg of oral Finasteride once a day for two years. It included 326 male participants, of whom 70% saw no further hair loss after one year of treatment. These results were maintained or improved after a second year. Researchers found a significant increase in hair count in the frontal scalp of finasteride-treated patients, plus improvements in photographic assessments.
  • Study [5] (as referenced in [2]) also found the chance of mild to moderate visible hair regrowth in the frontal area is 37% after one year of Finasteride use.
  • Study [4] researched the efficacy of Finasteride for 166 Korean hair loss patients. 118 had a receding hairline, and 37 had more widespread frontal balding. 58 had vertex balding. (Some patients had more than one type of hair loss.) 44.4% of patients with a receding hairline saw a clinical improvement following 5 years of treatment, compared with 61.2% of patients with frontal balding and 89.7% with vertex balding.

Does Finasteride thicken existing hair on your hairline?

Yes, Finasteride can make your existing hair thicker. Studies suggest Finasteride can increase hair weight, especially after long-term use [7].

In addition, Finasteride results often show improvements in hair density, which helps your hairline look thicker and fuller.

Finasteride for hairline: before and after

These photos show the impact of using Finasteride on your hairline before and after treatment.

Finasteride for hairline: before and after taking 1mg Finasteride per day
Photos showing hairline restoration after taking 1mg Finasteride per day at baseline, then after six months, two years, and five years of treatment [8].
Finasteride for hairline: before and after
Pre- and post-Finasteride treatment for hairline and frontal hair loss (dosage, frequency, and duration of study unknown) [9].
Finasteride for hairline before and after taking oral Finasteride combined with topical Minoxidil
Hairline and mid-scalp restoration following a course of oral Finasteride combined with topical Minoxidil at baseline, then after six and 12 months of treatment [10].

Side effects of Finasteride for a receding hairline

Finasteride has a few potential side effects, especially when taken orally. Finasteride side effects include [11]:

Serious side effects are very rare, especially with a 1mg Finasteride dosage. If you’re concerned about any side effects you’re experiencing, speak to your GP or hair loss specialist for advice to help you weigh the risks and benefits of the drug and help you determine if Finasteride is worth it.

What happens when you stop taking Finasteride for a receding hairline?

Finasteride only works for as long as you take it. So if you stop taking Finasteride, your hairline recession is likely to resume.

You may be able to manage ongoing hair loss with topical Finasteride, especially if you combine it with topical Minoxidil [12]. Topical Finasteride often has fewer systemic side effects than oral Finasteride, so this is a good option for people who are concerned about the side effects of taking Finasteride for a receding hairline in the long term.

Is Finasteride or Minoxidil better for a receding hairline?

Minoxidil for a receding hairline is another common frontal hair loss treatment, which can also create good results, especially in the early stages of hair loss.

A combination of both Minoxidil and Finasteride treatments tends to be more effective than using one or the other [10]. But if you only want to invest in one male pattern baldness treatment, Finasteride usually yields better results than Minoxidil [13].

Are there any other treatments for a receding hairline?

Finasteride is one of the most effective treatments for a receding hairline, but there are factors that can impact its efficacy. Those with extensive hair loss are less likely to see results, and not all types of receding hairline are suitable for Finasteride treatment (for example, hairline recession in women).

If Finasteride isn’t working for you, or you’d like to try an alternative solution, other effective temple hair loss treatments include:

Rob Holding hair transplant

Rob Holding 20 months after his FUE transplant and use of Finasteride.

Ready to tackle your receding hairline? Whether you want to try Finasteride for your hairline or discuss a temple hair transplant, speak to our award-winning team. We’ll discuss any concerns you have about side effects and effectiveness, and help you create a tailored treatment plan that gets results.

Does Finasteride Work For a Receding Hairline?, Wimpole Clinic

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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