Finasteride vs Minoxidil for Frontal Thinning
In general, finasteride is more effective but minoxidil can help. Now the pivotal studies.
Olsen et al 2012
Dr Elise Olsen did a very nice study in 2012 looking at the benefits of finasteride on the front, middle and crown in mend 18-60. She and her group showed that young men clearly benefitted in the frontal region as well as the middle and crown. Older patients (40 and over) did not benefit in the front! Only a hair transplant can outright lower the recessions.
MIrmirani et al 2015
Now, what about minoxidil? We'll minoxidil does help the frontal region in men. Another great dermatologist, Dr Paradi Mirmirani did a nice study recently showing the minoxidil helps the front AND the crown. Basically, anywhere where the hair is miniaturizing - help can be achieved for some people using minoxidil.
And other studies have shown the combination of the two is even better than either alone.
Take home message: if you want to stop and thicken, these are good options. if you want to lower your hairline, hair restoration combined with finasteride and minoxidil is likely the best option.
Olsen EA, et al. Global photographic assessment of men aged 18 to 60 years with male pattern hair loss receiving finasteride 1 mg or placebo. Randomized controlled trial. . J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012.
Mirmirani P, Consolo M, Oyetakin-White P, Baron E, Leahy P, Karnik P. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Jun;172(6):1555-61. doi: 10.1111/bjd.13399.
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