Benefits of Combining Minoxidil and Finasteride
Minoxidil and Finasteride are two FDA approved treatments for hair loss. Minoxidil is a topical solution that is rubbed on the scalp and finasteride is an oral treatment (pills). Many men with genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) consider the use of these medications and may consider hair restoration as a more permanent solution.
Both minoxidil and finasteride have their own set of side effects. Finasteride, however, is much more effective. GIven that these two agents are clinically proven to help with hair loss, I'm often asked - "Is it better to use both of these products or should I just pick one?"
Combination Minoxidil and Finasteride better than single treatment
The answer is - 'yes.' There is clinical evidence that men using finasteride for hair loss who add minoxidil to their treatment plan have a slightly better result than men who only use finasteride. The benefits, however, are small. It makes sense that the two medications act synergisticially in treating hair loss given that they act differently. Minoxidil helps hair growth by directly stimulating the hair follicle. In contrast, finasteride works by blocking the action of the potent male hormone dihydrotestosterone or "DHT".
Both minoxidil and finasteride should be considered. For men with early hair loss, the use of both might help and may be considered prior to a hair transplant. Minoxidil and finasteride have less benefit for men with advanced hair loss. In these cases, a hair transplant is the primary treatment.
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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