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Should You Use Finasteride and Minoxidil Together for Hair Loss?

Once you start balding, there are two choices you can make: shave your head or look for a solution for hair loss.

If you choose to find a solution to hair loss you'll surely encounter Minoxidil and Finasteride since they're among the top drugs recommended to promote hair growth and treat male pattern baldness, or male androgenetic alopecia.

The question is, can you combine the two to stop further hair loss?

Stick around to find out.

What is Minoxidil?

Topical Minoxidil or Rogaine

Minoxidil is one of the more popular treatments for male pattern baldness. Minoxidil was initially used to lower blood pressure, but it accidentally became a hair-loss treatment when patients started to get hairy.

Minoxidil increases blood flow to the scalp, which results in healthier hair follicles and new hair growth.

Now sold as a hair loss drug, you can apply topical minoxidil directly to your scalp or take oral minoxidil if you prefer oral over topical treatment.

Brand names for Minoxidil are Rogaine, Regaine, and Loniten.

What is Finasteride?

Proscar Finasteride

Finasteride is another popular medication for treating hair loss. It's a DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blocker, which is good news for baldies because high DHT levels are said to be one of the reasons for male pattern baldness.

Oral finasteride is available under the brand names Propecia and Proscar.

Does Finasteride Work Better with Minoxidil?

The idea of two of the most popular medical treatments working together to fight a common enemy (hair loss) is enticing.

Both treatments are proven to improve hair growth individually. Imagine what hair growth results we can expect when taken together.

Minoxidil and finasteride work differently; Minoxidil stimulates hair follicles, while Finasteride blocks DHT, which makes it an ideal one-two punch to stop hair loss.

study published in 2015 in the Dermatologic Therapy Journal showed that 152 patients took finasteride and minoxidil, and 94% showed improvement in hair growth.

In 2023, a study showed that a combination treatment of finasteride and minoxidil may create sustained hair growth over a 24-week treatment period.

Generally, the combined treatments give better hair growth results than both taken individually.

What are the Side Effects of Combining Minoxidil with Finasteride?

bald man with headache

Minoxidil and finasteride have potential side effects when taken by themselves.

Minoxidil side effects may include:

  • rash

  • headache

  • nausea

  • unwanted hair growth

Finasteride side effects may include:

  • erectile dysfunction

  • rash

  • nipple tenderness

  • decreased libido

  • testicular pain

study was conducted to determine the safety of the combination treatment of minoxidil and finasteride, and the results show that there have been no adverse effects so far.

Before jumping the gun, keep in mind that by taking finasteride and minoxidil together, you're at risk of experiencing the side effects of both treatments.

To learn more, you can read our comprehensive articles on the potential side effects of finasteride and minoxidil

How to Enhance the Effectiveness of Minoxidil and Finasteride

A medical student posted a comprehensive guide to hair loss for beginners, and came up with his "Big 4" to fight hair loss due to DHT. Finasteride and Minoxidil were the top two, and to complete the four-pronged attack: Ketoconazole and Derma Rolling.

Ketoconazole

ketoconazole shampoo

You may have heard of ketoconazole, which is more popular as an anti-dandruff shampoo. But did you know of a study that shows using 1% ketoconazole shampoo may thicken hair? You can try it as a hair loss treatment and see if it works.

Derma Rolling

balding man using derma roller

Derma rolling involves using microneedles to create tiny punctures on your scalp skin to induce a healing response. This study shows that derma rolling combined with Minoxidil worked better in promoting hair growth compared to Minoxidil alone.

Head Shaving: An Alternative to Using Drugs for Hair Loss

bald man shaving head

As a head-shaving expert, the idea of taking drugs (with potential side effects) to treat hair loss doesn't entice me.

Yes, finasteride and minoxidil are proven treatments for hair loss, which is why many may consider combination therapy. You're desperate, and promoting hair regrowth is your only focus.

Going through the list of side effects alone gives me the chills. Anything that causes sexual dysfunction is a no for me. I am happy with my married life, thank you very much.

In my hair loss journey, I only used hair growth products that were all natural and had no side effects.

Eventually, I shaved my head, which I wish I had done sooner.

Head shaving is one of the best alternatives to medical hair loss treatments, which can have some nasty side effects.

No more worrying about hiding your balding head.

You're now busy looking for ways to look better bald, choosing the best head shaving kitmoisturizer, and more, which is fun and exciting compared to worrying about hair loss.

Still undecided on what to do with your hair loss dilemma? Read our articles on should you shave your head, our beginner's guide for baldies, and how to rock the bald look for insights.

If you've decided to join the bald club like us, check out the FlexSeries shaving kit which comes with everything you need to get a perfect head shave in only 90 seconds.

FlexSeries Shaving Kit

Conclusion

Finasteride and Minoxidil have proven to be effective medical treatments for hair loss. Combining the two may be even more effective for some people experiencing hair loss.

If you dislike any form of side effects from drug treatments and don't want to worry about it anymore, head shaving is your best alternative.

If you've decided to shave your head, the first step in your journey is to pick the best electric head shaver.

We recommend the FlexSeries shaving kit as your first investment for your bald-head lifestyle.

FAQs

What's the Ideal Dosage for Combination Treatment?

In using finasteride and minoxidil, it's common for doctors to prescribe 1 ml of topical minoxidil two times daily and 1 mg of finasteride taken thrice a week.

Can You Take Finasteride with Minoxidil for Hair Loss?

Yes. Doctors may recommend a combination therapy of minoxidil and finasteride to fight hair loss. Studies have shown that combination therapy of finasteride and minoxidil has proven more effective in combating hair loss than taking each individually.

How Long Does It Take to See Results with Finasteride and Minoxidil?

Generally, finasteride takes three to six months to work. You must take it daily to see results. Minoxidil takes between eight and sixteen weeks to work. Apply topical minoxidil twice a day for best results. Results will vary from person to person. The key is patience and consistency in following the recommended dosage for each treatment.

Can Women Use Finasteride and Minoxidil for Hair Loss?

Yes, finasteride and minoxidil can be used to treat female pattern hair loss, but there are potential side effects when using the combination treatment. Pregnant women or breastfeeding women are advised not to take finasteride.

Are There Natural Alternatives to Finasteride and Minoxidil?

If you prefer to go the natural alternatives route, there are several options like taking saw palmetto, applying aloe vera, or essential oils like rosemary. Just keep in mind that none of these natural alternatives have any solid medical proof that they actually work for hair regrowth, unlike the proven results (and side effects) of oral and topical finasteride and minoxidil to treat hair loss.

What Happens If You Stop Taking Finasteride or Minoxidil?

Taking finasteride is a lifetime thing. Men who stop treatment will resume their hair loss. It's the same with minoxidil; if you stop applying the solution, you will lose the effect you gained in stopping hair loss. It's important to consider this before you take minoxidil or finasteride individually or as a combination treatment. Can you sustain treatment indefinitely? If not, you should consider other alternatives.

Can Minoxidil and Finasteride Be Combined with Other Hair Loss Treatments?

You can potentially try combining finasteride and minoxidil with other hair loss treatments like laser therapy or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy. Consult your doctor before adding another hair loss treatment to finasteride and minoxidil.

Are There Specific Lifestyle Changes That Can Help With Hair Loss?

There are several lifestyle changes you can make that can help deal with hair loss. Taking healthy scalp supplements, applying scalp sunscreen, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking and alcohol are some of the ways that can help treat hair loss naturally.

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