Don’t worry if you are experiencing hair loss, you are not alone in this scenario. 75% of men and almost 50% of women are also going through the same stuggle or will go through it in their life.
A number of treatments are available in the market to treat the hair loss, but the most common treatments used from the last 3 decades, are Minoxidil and Finasteride. They are very much effective in producing results.
Minoxidil and Finasteride are only two treatments which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. These medications are used to slow down the balding process and can potentially stimulate new hair growth. Major differences between Minoxidil and Finasteride are as follows:
Minoxidil is the only topical, non-prescriptive medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Minoxidil is used to slow down the balding process.
History of Minoxidil
Minoxidil was first used to treat hypertension. 35 years ago it was available in the form of pills for the patient of high blood pressure. Medical professionals discovered the surprising side effect of Minoxidil.
People who were using Minoxidil for the treatment of hypertension started having hairs all over their body.
Due to this discovery, doctors started recommending Minoxidil for the treatment of hair loss. In the start, it was available in only solution/liquid form, however it now available as a spray and foam.
Science behind Minoxidil
Till today, no one can tell, with full guarantee, how Minoxidil works. But most of the researchers and medical professionals believe that Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicle.
Blood flow to the hair follicle helps to increase their bulb size and takes them out of resting phase. Minoxidil also helps to make existing hair healthier. It makes thin hair thicker and stronger.
How to use Minoxidil?
In its early days, it was used in two concentrations – 2% and 5%. 2% was used by women and 5% was used by men. Now Minoxidil comes in only 5% of concentration for both men and women.
The difference comes in its use. Women are advised to use Minoxidil once a day for one dose, while men use it twice a day.
Minoxidil should not be used in the pregnancy and in the brestfeeding phase. It may cause abnormalities to the unborn or new born.
It is also advised not to use Minoxidil on children.
Side effects of Minoxidil
Minoxidil does not have any severe side effects, but it can be quite messy when used with the wrong applicator or if carelessly applied. While using a topical Minoxidil solution, only a little bit of carelessness will cause it to drip down the face and hair. This could cause hair growth in unwanted places. Mindfullness when applying the product is highly recommended.
Finasteride is also approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. It is a prescriptive medication in the form of pills. Just like Minoxidil, it is also used to slow down the balding process.
Working of Finasteride
Hair loss happens when the hair follicle is been exposed to dihydrotestosterones. These are the hormones which are responsible for hair baldness.
Finasteride works by putting a stop to the process of testosterone conversion to dihydrotestosterone. In result, hair growth in the scalp restarts.
Uses of Finasteride
This medication is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. It targets the affected areas of the scalp and in the middle of the scalp.
Finasteride is not approved to prevent or stop prostate cancer. It may actually slightly increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
It would be better to discuss the risks with your doctor before use.
How to use Finasteride?
Before getting started, read the information leaflet provided with the medicine. If you are not good with medical terminologies, visit your doctor and ask him to guide you.
Generally, one pill a day is taken by users. Finasteride takes almost 3-6 months to show proper results. It also requires regular use for the best results.
Side effects and precautions
Finasteride is only suggested for use with adult men. Women and children should not use this medication.
This medication can be absorbed through the skin. If the coating of the tablet is broken or the tablet is crushed, it should not be touched by pregnant women.
Finasteride can decrease the amount of semen produced during sex (erectile disfunction). Although it is harmless, in some men, it could continue after stopping treatment.
Other common side effects are:
- Trouble breathing
Is Minoxidil or Finasteride better for you?
Minoxidil and Finasteride are both effective in slowing down the balding process. It is important to consider that when you stop using Finasteride or Minoxidil, hair loss will start again from where it stopped. Both treatments should be used consistently where you want hair to grow on the scalp.
As we compare both products for use on men and women, we recommend using Minoxidil over Finasteride. Carefully used, Minoxidil has no side effects. For women Minoxidil is safe and far less harmful.
In regards to men specifically, we recommend Minoxidil as the best choice. There are far less side effects in using Minoxidil and since both work similarly, you will not be missing out on benefits by using Minoxidil over Finasteride.
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