Finasteride vs Multivitamins - What is the Best Treatment for Male Pattern Baldness?

male pattern baldness treatment

Treating men's hair loss has never been as accessible as it is today. There are literally hundreds of hair loss treatment options available on the market, from topical applications to surgical procedures. And although there isn't a cure in the way of reversing baldness, there are some treatments that can help prevent further hair loss. 

The only oral pill medically approved treatment for male pattern baldness is finasteride. Finasteride is most commonly known under the brand name, Propecia, but it is also branded under various other brands. Although finasteride can be effective at stumping hair loss, it can also trigger some negative side-effects, which puts a lot of men off from taking it. 

The safe and natural alternative to finasteride are multivitamin hair supplements. There are various types of multivitamin hair supplements, the market leaders being Viviscal, HR23+, and Nutrafol. The question that gets frequently asked is: Are multivitamin hair supplements as effective as finasteride? 

To answer this question, and for us to draw a fair comparison of the two, let us first look into finasteride and multivitamins in more detail. 

How does finasteride treat hair loss?

Finasteride blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme changes testosterone to another hormone that causes the prostate to grow, and causes hair loss in males. It will increase testosterone levels in the body, which decreases prostate size and increases hair growth on the scalp.

Finasteride does not regrow lost hair, and is only effective for early stages of male pattern baldness. 

How do multivitamins treat hair loss?

Eating a well-balanced diet that contains all of the 13 essential vitamins can help maintain hair health. Although there is no concrete evidence to suggest that individual vitamins can encourage the hair to grow faster, deficiencies in specific vitamins can lead to hair loss or thin, brittle hair.

Multivitamin hair supplements contain a mix of anti androgens that work in conjunction with hair growth promoters to prevent excessive hair shedding, and support the function of healthy hair growth. 

Pros and Cons of Finasteride

Pros: The main pro of taking finasteride is that it can be effective in stopping hair loss, caused by male pattern baldness. More than 80% of men who use finasteride experience an improvement in their hair, while 66% will benefit from stoppage in hair fall.

Cons: Despite its effectiveness, finasteride can come with some pretty harsh side-effects. Some common side-effects from taking finasteride include; erectile dysfunction, low libido, impotence, depression, anxiety, feminisation, breast swelling, breast enlargement, and skin rash. 

Pros and Cons of Multivitamin Hair Supplements

Pros: Much like finasteride, some multivitamin hair supplements, like HR23+, can be highly effective in slowing down, and even stopping, hair fall. Around 87% of men taking HR23+ noticed visible improvements in their hair. For female users, it was 91%.  Multivitamins are safe to take, with no major side-effects reported. 

Cons: Despite glowing reviews, to date, there are very few clinical studies on how effective multivitamin hair supplements are in promoting hair growth, and preventing hair loss. So, with no FDA approval, it is difficult to define exactly how effective multivitamins are for treating hair loss. 

hair loss treatment for men

Should you take finasteride or multivitamins? 

If you are suffering from early stages of male pattern baldness, then finasteride or multivitamin supplements are your two best options.

If you're willing to take on the risk of negative side-effects, some of which are long-term, then you should be more inclined to give finasteride a try. However, if you are not willing to compromise on your health and wellbeing, then you would be better off going for a multivitamin supplement. 

Just because finasteride is medically approved, this does not mean it is necessarily the better treatment of the two. Multivitamins can be just as effective as finasteride, if not more so, and without the risk of negative side-effects. 

What is the best finasteride brand? 

Much like minoxidil, finasteride is branded under various labels, with the most common one being Propecia. We've seen a rise in male pattern baldness subscription plans, with brands such as Numan, Manual, Freshman, and Sons.  It mattes little what you choose, because they are all exactly the same - finasteride is finasteride! 

What is the best multivitamin hair supplement brand? 

Unlike finasteride brands, there are multiple multivitamin hair supplements on the market, with each of them containing a completely different formula. This makes this sector much trickier to navigate, as it's about finding what supplement works best for you individually.  Based on its user reviews, popularity, and effectiveness, the top multivitamin hair supplement brand is HR23+. 

Why not take both? 

Technically speaking, there is no reason you can't take both finasteride and multivitamin hair supplements alongside each other. Although finasteride can give side-effects, multivitamins are generally considered to be safe. 

Some men take both finasteride and multivitamins together, whereas other men take multivitamins in half dose alongside finasteride. It's a case of whatever works best for you individually. 

The only problem with taking finasteride and multivitamins together is that it would be difficult to measure your progress, as it may not be clear which product is delivering the results. Therefore, it would be better to trial them both during different periods. 

safe alternative to finasteride

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