Does Finasteride Cure Male Baldness?

How Effective is Finasteride (Propecia) for Treating Hair Loss?

  • Q:  I am only 22, and already I have started receding at the front of my hairline. I want to treat this problem as effectively as I can, and so I am considering trying Finasteride. I am aware of the potential risks involved with this drug, but with that aside, is it guaranteed to work?

Answer: Finasteride is the only oral drug that is medically approved as a hair loss treatment.  This potent drug can treat baldness in men, but it should not be mistaken for a cure.

The earlier in the balding process a man starts taking finasteride, the better the results. A controlled study of male pattern hair loss showed that men who were treated for one year with a placebo before switching to Propecia did not catch up to the men who started taking Propecia from the start of the study in terms of results.

A study with 672 men showed that during the first year of taking Propecia, 86% of men maintained hair density or had an increase in the number of visible hairs. Only 42% men treated with a placebo maintained hair density over a year. In a five year study of Propecia, 90% of men had visible regrowth or no further hair loss, versus 25% of men who took a placebo. So, it is evident that finasteride can be effective in men tackling hair fall.

A majority of men taking the drug self-reported that hair fall slowed down, their bald spot decreased in size, and the appearance of their hair improved. Finasteride can work, but the major concern for the majority of men was the potential side-effects that can occur when taking the drug.

The most common side-effects have included: Low libido; erectile dysfunction; severe headaches; emotional/mental complications such as anxiety and paranoia.  Because of these side-effects, most men therefore seek alternative options such as multi-vitamin supplements, that are safer and can be just as effective.

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