Minoxidil and Finasteride are both FDA approved for treating androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) in men. In general, those individuals who get an improvement with minoxidil and then stop - all the newly acquired hairs will be lost.
Can adding finasteride now prevent this loss?
And the answer is that it can for some men - but not all. In fact, a 2003 study confirmed that adding finasteride does not always block the hair loss that comes with stopping finasteride
In short, a given individual will know in 4-6 months if they are one of the individuals that finasteride can block the hair loss after stopping minoxidil - or not. I often advise my own patients to simply overlap the two treatments (Finasteride and minoxidil together) for 4 months and then stop minoxidil.
Tosti et al. Finasteride treatment may not prevent telogen effluvium after minoxidil withdrawal. Arch Dermatol. 2003 Sep;139(9):1221-2.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299