If you’ve been using Finasteride for a while, you may be expecting hair regrowth to kick in any day now. After all, it’s one of the most effective drugs for male hair loss, second only to Dutasteride . Studies show that 83% of men with crown hair loss can stop balding using Finasteride .
But sometimes Finasteride doesn’t work. This can happen for several reasons, so if you’re concerned about your male pattern baldness, it’s important to uncover why Finasteride is not working for you. Here, you’ll learn why Finasteride might not be working, and what you can do to improve the effectiveness of Finasteride.
To answer this question, you need to consider how long you’ve been taking Finasteride. Finasteride hair shedding is a common side effect in the first few months, as your hair growth cycle adjusts to this new medication.
While this shedding may make it seem like Finasteride isn’t working, it’s actually a normal part of the process. So if you haven’t been using Finasteride for long, stick with the treatment for a few more months to see if it resolves itself.
However, if you’ve been using Finasteride for longer than six months and it doesn’t seem to be working, there may be other factors in play.
Here are five reasons Finasteride may not be working for you.
Finasteride is only effective for male pattern baldness (and, in some very limited cases, female pattern hair loss). If you have alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, or another type of alopecia, you probably won’t respond to Finasteride treatment.
The Norwood Scale is often used to diagnose male pattern baldness. See if your hair matches the patterns in this scale; if it doesn’t, you may have a different type of hair loss:
Finasteride works best when used in the earlier stages of hair loss. If your hair loss is already in the latter stages, you may find it’s too late to see much impact from Finasteride.
In these cases, you may want to speak to a UK hair transplant clinic about surgical hair restoration treatments, such as FUE or FUT.
It usually takes at least three months to see an impact from using Finasteride for hair loss. In some cases, this is extended to six months. If you’ve only been taking Finasteride for a couple of months, it may be too early to see results.
Reducing your intake of Finasteride below the prescribed amount can inhibit its impact. Most men are recommended to take 1mg of Finasteride each day. If you’re using topical Finasteride, apply the amount as instructed on the bottle.
Finasteride users tend to see the biggest hair improvements within one year of use . This graph shows the modified global photographic assessment score results for men at various Norwood stages taking Finasteride over a 10-year period:
Improvements often continue for up to six years, depending on your Norwood stage. But after a while, your results from using Finasteride can plateau. So if you’re a long-term Finasteride user, you may find Finasteride doesn’t work as well as it used to.
The good news is that there’s no evidence to suggest Finasteride can make hair loss worse outside of temporary Finasteride shedding. The hairs you lose during the shedding phase will grow back with or without Finasteride treatment.
It’s important to define what Finasteride success looks like. Hair regrowth is generally less common than slowing or stopping hair loss. While Finasteride stopped hair loss in 83% of men with crown hair loss, regrowth occurred in 61% . For frontal balding, 70% saw slowed hair loss, while just 37% regrew their hair. So managing your expectations is a good place to start.
However, if you’re not seeing the Finasteride results you hoped for, there are things you can do. Here’s what to do at each stage of the timeline.
While most people do see hair growth improvements after six months, it’s possible that you have a slightly longer hair growth cycle than usual. If this is the case, it may take longer to see results.
If you’re coping with the side effects of Finasteride, try to continue taking it for a few more weeks to see if there’s any improvement.
At this stage, it may also be a good idea to try another complementary therapy alongside Finasteride, to see if it boosts the effects.
After nine months of Finasteride use, the majority of users will see substantial sustained improvement in their hair loss. But even slight improvements at this stage are possible.
If you haven’t seen any improvements after nine months, speak to your hair loss consultant. They can examine your hair for signs for regrowth and discuss additional or alternative treatments with you.
If Finasteride still isn’t working after a year, chances are it’s not the right hair loss treatment for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to Finasteride that can also help stop hair loss.
Book an appointment with your hair loss consultant to explore some of these alternative options.
These tips can help improve the chances of Finasteride working for you:
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