Finasteride is one of the most commonly prescribed hair loss treatments for men experiencing male pattern baldness (MPB). It stops your body from converting testosterone to DHT, the hormone responsible for androgenetic alopecia (the scientific name for MPB). But the drug can have some side effects, so many men want to see what Finasteride results they can expect before they seek out a prescription.
The hair restoration results of Finasteride are extremely promising. One study revealed that Finasteride — also known as Propecia — led to increased hair growth in 99.1% of 532 male pattern baldness patients over the course of 10 years . But do you have to wait this long to see results? And what does this translate to in terms of visible hair growth? Here, you’ll discover:
According to the hair growth cycle, it usually takes around 4-6 months for hair to become visibly thicker. So few research studies measure hair growth at just 3 months post-treatment, and not all Finasteride users will see significant results at this interval.
That said, you should start to see some changes around this time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that hair can start to look a little fuller at the 3 month stage. Federico Rangel began using Finasteride after noticing some hair loss around his temples, and thinning across his crown:
“When I first started, the temples were shedding a little bit. The crown was thinning out a bit more,” he said. After 3 months of Finasteride use, he reported, “From what I can tell, the results are actually pretty good. In fact, I’m thinking about growing out my hair, which I haven’t done in about 2 years. […] This is pretty much a full head of hair. I’m very excited about these results.”
Here are Federico’s Finasteride results after 3 months of use:
Improvements are already noticeable, especially across the crown. Finasteride can be a great alternative to a crown hair transplant if it’s used for early stage hair loss.
Another Finasteride patient reported his results after 3 months of treatment. He was candid about his minimal hair loss before he started taking Finasteride: “I really didn’t have a super bad head of hair beforehand. I was really only experiencing a receding hairline, and you can see I still have a clear widow’s peak. I didn’t notice any hair loss in the crown region, so it was really just the receding hairline that I was focusing on.”
“I’m happy to update you on the fact that there is some regrowth coming back. Within the first month, I started to see some baby hairs coming back […] and that was really reassuring.
“Towards the end of month 2 and into month 3, I started noticing some Finasteride shedding. A lot of sources say that’s something to be expected […] and that shedding is a natural part of the process and a sign that the drug is actually working. So I took that as a good sign. I feel like I’ve actually lost a little bit of ground, but there’s hair in areas that there wasn’t before I started Finasteride.”
Many Finasteride users will experience shedding a few weeks to months after they start treatment. This is an expected part of the hair regrowth process, so stick with it and eventually, you’ll see substantial results.
A 3-month supply of Finasteride starts at £31.20. Learn more about Finasteride prices.
After 6 months, expect to see even more improvement. These images show 3 Chinese patients before starting treatment, and 6 months later :
While the bald spot on the crown is still visible for each of the patients, there’s clear regrowth around the hairline and temples. This increase in hair density will eventually lead to fuller hair across the scalp.
The results suggest that Finasteride is more likely to be effective within 6 months of treatment if it’s started when you notice early signs of hair loss. Widespread diffuse thinning can take longer to correct. You may also need hair transplant surgery for best results.
Anecdotal evidence suggests you’ll see clear results from using Finasteride after around 9 months. While few research studies focus on these milestones, many patients claim to have had serious success around the 9-month mark:
Age is less of a factor than the extent of your hair loss when it comes to choosing the right hair restoration solution. But the sooner you start addressing your hair loss, the more likely you are to see great results without needing FUE hair restoration or strip surgery.
Most Finasteride users see the greatest results in the first year of treatment . This graph shows Finasteride results over the course of 10 years:
MGPA = modified global photographic assessment. N-H = Norwood Scale.
The biggest jump in visible growth happens between 0-1 years of treatment. This is true for patients at every Norwood stage. People at Norwood stage 1 to 3 are more likely to see further improvements over the years. But by the end of year 1, all patients will have some idea of their final results.
See the results of Finasteride users a year after starting treatment below:
A female patient before and after 1 year of Finasteride use, taking 5mg daily . Finasteride isn’t always suitable for women as it can interfere with birth control medication and pregnancy.
If you’re not happy with your results after a year of Finasteride use, it may be time to consider a hair transplant. This is the only way to permanently restore your hair to its natural fullness.
When you start using Finasteride, you’ll need to continue to use it to maintain your new head of hair. If you stop using it, your body will start to produce higher levels of DHT again, and your hair is likely to start shedding. So many men end up taking Finasteride for several years.
Results can continue to improve after a year, but at a slower rate. Some people hit a plateau, and use Finasteride to maintain their new hair growth instead of improving it further.
This photo series shows one patient after 2-9 years of Finasteride use :
In terms of visual growth, there’s limited improvement after the sixth year, and some of the patient’s scalp is still visible through his hair even after 9 years of use. So it’s important to understand the limits of Finasteride, especially if your hair loss is already extensive when you start to use it.
Most Finasteride users take Finasteride tablets to stimulate hair growth. But topical Finasteride is also an option, especially for those concerned about Finasteride side effects.
Multiple studies have shown that topical Finasteride can also be effective for hair loss [6-7]. One study reported that “its effect is similar to that of oral finasteride, but with markedly lower systemic exposure and less impact on serum DHT concentrations.”
These before and after topical Finasteride photos show the difference this solution can make:
Most studies show that Finasteride is a highly effective baldness treatment for men with male pattern baldness [1-2, 5, 8]. In a study of more than 500 Japanese patients, the drug was able to improve and prevent progression of baldness in 99.1% of patients . Another study showed the same results in 98.4% of men after 5 years of treatment . This study also states that the degree of improvement was most obvious between 3 and 6 months of treatment.
It can be even more effective if combined with Minoxidil, a topical hair loss solution that’s applied to the scalp twice a day . So if you want to give your hairline a real boost, consider using both treatments at the same time. See our comparison of Finasteride vs Minoxidil to learn more about the effectiveness of these medications.
Finasteride is also often recommended alongside hair transplants to prevent ongoing hair loss. This helps create longer-lasting results, and reduces the likelihood that you’ll need a second hair transplant.
If you want to get the best Propecia results, here’s what you need to do:
Finasteride takes a while to work. It relies on adjusting your hormone levels, which doesn’t happen overnight. If you take Propecia once a day, you should start to see results within 3-6 months. Final results can be visible 6-12 months after starting treatment. See our full article about how long it takes for Finasteride to work to learn more.
Finasteride will continue to maintain your hair for as long as you take the medication. It’s safe to take Finasteride for months or even years . If you stop taking it, your hair loss will probably restart. Find out more about if Finasteride works and how to get Finasteride.
It’s never too late to try Finasteride as a treatment option. But if you have extensive hair loss, this kind of treatment will only take you so far. To get the results you want, you may need a hair transplant. Hair transplants offer permanent results, and you can expect to see results in a similar amount of time to using Propecia.
A professional trichologist is the best person to help you decide on the right course of treatment for the type and extent of your hair loss. Book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic and our team will examine your hair loss and help you decide if Finasteride is the right treatment for you. See our list of clinic locations.
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