Hair grows about an inch every couple of months. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, remains at that length for a short period, then falls out (male hair loss). A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any one time, about 85% of the hair on your head is in the growing phase and 15% is not.
Male Hair Loss
Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle. Baldness in men occurs when the follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. The end result is a very small follicle with no hair inside. Ordinarily, hair should grow back.
However, in men who are balding (male hair loss), the follicle fails to grow a new hair. Why this occurs is not well understood, but it is related to your genes and male sex hormones. Even though the follicles are small, they remain alive, suggesting the possibility of new growth. Male pattern baldness does not indicate a medical disorder, but it may affect self-esteem or cause anxiety. The hair loss is usually permanent. Hair loss affects every aspect of their life. It affects interpersonal relationships as well as their professional life. It is not uncommon for men to change their career paths because of hair loss.
Finasteride, the generic name for Proscar and Propecia, is a medication used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness (MPB).
Finasteride is used to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Treatment provides about 30% improvement in hair loss after six months, and effectiveness only persists as long as the drug is taken.
HOW FINASTERIDE WORKS
Finasteride’s success is due to its ability to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into a more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
A 1 mg dose of finasteride can effectively lower DHT levels when taken daily. It is DHT that shrinks or miniaturizes the hair follicle, which eventually leads to baldness. This reduction in DHT has proven to stop the progression of hair loss in 86% of men taking the drug during clinical trials. Finasteride does not help on areas of complete baldness.
The only truly effective medically proven way to arrest the hair loss process is to lower DHT levels. The American Hair Loss Association recommends Finasteride as the first line of attack for all men interested in treating male pattern baldness.
In very rare cases, decreased sexual ability/desire may occur. In some men, this medication can decrease the amount of semen released during sex. This is harmless, but has continued in some men even after stopping treatment. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Finasteride is only available by prescription from a doctor and is not covered by insurance. Our Estetica clinic provides an entire year of medication for only $120.00. Please call for an appointment.