While there are different forms of hair loss that can affect men of all ages, male pattern baldness is the most common form, affecting around 66% of men over the age of 35. Although it very common amongst men of a certain age (though it can occur in younger males), it still carries a stigma, and can often negatively affect men’s confidence and their self-esteem levels.
Luckily, in recent years scientists have worked hard to develop medicines which – after rigorous testing – are now widely used to treat male pattern baldness. These medicines can prevent hair loss, and in many cases begin to re-grow hair.
There are currently only two scientifically approved medicines which are available to treat male pattern baldness: Minoxidil and Finasteride. Both of these medicines have been shown to be effective at preventing hair loss. We’ll go into more detail about how hair loss treatments work below.
Minoxidil dilates blood vessels around hair follicles, leading to them receiving an increased nutrient supply, becoming stronger and more able to grow full, healthy hair, while preventing further hair loss. This makes it a popular choice for many men who are experiencing male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is a medicine which works by blocking the production of DHT. DHT is a hormone which is vital for men’s sexual development during puberty, but exposure to DHT molecules also leads to thinner hair, receding hairlines, and bald spots. By blocking the primary hormone responsible for male pattern baldness, Finasteride effectively prevents hair loss for many men who use it.
Oral Finasteride tablets have been growing in popularity as a hair loss treatment amongst men more the past couple of decades, and it’s no wonder why: the treatment can combat receding hairlines in up to 9 out of 10 men who use it, making it an attractive option for those experiencing male pattern baldness.
Although Finasteride has been approved for medical use since 1992, Finasteride tablets have always carried some risk of negative side effects for men using the treatment. Although these side effects are rare, they are unpleasant: sexual dysfunction, swelling and rashes are some of the side effects reported. This can, unfortunately, lead to many men avoiding hair loss treatments, or discontinuing their treatment after experiencing negative side effects.
There is now a solution for men who are anxious about the risk of side effects associated with Finasteride tablets. Topical Finasteride is a liquid solution which is applied directly to the scalp in order to treat hair loss. It works in the same way as Finasteride tablets, but has a far lower risk of side effects.
Topical medicines are liquids such as gels, creams and oils, which are applied directly to the treatable area. Topical Finasteride is applied directly to the scalp, and this means the medicine can also avoid affecting other areas of the body – more on why this is important below.
It is possible to combine Topical Finasteride with Minoxidil – the only two scientifically-backed medicines approved for treating male pattern baldness – into one all-round solution, which is highly effective at combatting both receding hairlines and thinning on the crown.
The first UK company to offer this combined Minoxidil and Finasteride topical solution is Freshman. Their 2-in-1 Topical Finasteride with Minoxidil treatment gives men a ‘best of both worlds’ solution to hair loss, one which is can be effective while avoiding the side effects often seen with oral Finasteride. Minoxidil increases blood supply to hair molecules, while Finasteride blocks the production of the hormone primarily responsible for hair thinning, meaning hair molecules can grow back thicker and stronger, for a fuller head of hair.
In addition, topical Finasteride has been shown to be just as effective as oral Finasteride tablets in several studies. One 2009 study, which looked at the effectiveness of both treatment types, concluded that “the therapeutic effects of both Finasteride gel and Finasteride tablet were relatively similar to each other”. In this way, we can see that topical Finasteride liquids are providing an effective solution to hair loss which can compare to Finasteride tablets.
While topical Finasteride is effective at treating hair loss, its growing popularity can be attributed to the fact that it carries far less risk of side effects than when taking oral Finasteride tablets. For example, another study, conducted in 2016, looked at the side effects associated with both the tablet and liquid forms of treatment. No patients who took topical Finasteride to treat male pattern baldness reported any sexual side effects after using the medicine.
Results from these scientific studies suggest that the treatment is a suitable option for men who are interested in treating their hair loss, but might also be anxious about side effects. Topical Finasteride is giving these men an effective solution, while minimizing the risks involved. All things considered, it’s no wonder that topical Finasteride is becoming a more popular alternative to Finasteride tablets for many men experiencing male pattern baldness.