Male pattern baldness has always been something that the majority of men had to deal with at some point during our lives.
Up until a couple decades ago, hair loss was something that guys had to accept and take in stride.
That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with going bald, but that it’s completely normal for people to not want to let go of their head of hair.
Then came finasteride, which received approval by the FDA in 1992 for management of enlarged prostate in men, and was afterwards approved as a treatment for hair loss.
Healthcare professionals guaranteed that finasteride could stop male pattern baldness for the majority of men who take it — and it did.
More than 70 percent of the men who used finasteride in the clinical trials didn’t experience any more hair loss while on the product, and between 37 percent and 66 percent of them actually regrew hair over an extended time period.
But there’s one catch: finasteride doesn’t work overnight. It takes time and requires consistent usage for best results.
In fact, when it comes to regrowing hair, studies showed that many men with vertex baldness did not see major results until they’d taken finasteride for at least a year or more.
The good news is that taking finasteride over a five-year period can actually improve your hair growth, potentially leaving you with 10 percent more hair than you’d have if you were on no treatment at all.
But is it possible to speed up the effects of finasteride in order to enjoy its benefits sooner? Nobody wants to wait a couple of years before enjoying the perks of a medicine, after all. Here are some ways that you can maximize your finasteride results.
You probably think that the notion of scalp massages being able to improve finasteride’s results is about as far-fetched as they come, but there’s actually science to back it up.
Research on scalp massage in nine healthy Japanese male subjects found that daily four-minute massages over the course of 24 weeks were able to stimulate hair growth and boost one’s hair thickness.
How and why scalp massages are able to stimulate hair growth remains a mystery, but scientists speculate that it has to do with softening the skin and increasing blood flow.
The link between diet and hair growth is still being explored, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely clueless on the topic.
Several studies have shown that a deficiency in iron is consistent with people suffering from male pattern baldness.
In one study, 22.7 percent of the men experiencing male pattern hair loss were iron deficient, while not a single person in the “healthy” placebo group showed any iron deficiency.
Minoxidil is a popular topical ointment that’s applied to the scalp twice a day. Along with finasteride, it’s currently the only other product that’s been approved by the FDA to treat androgenic alopecia.
Men who use five percent minoxidil topical solution have experienced great results in the fight against baldness.
In one study, 984 men with various stages of male pattern baldness were required to apply five percent minoxidil to their balding spots twice a day. After a year of use, researchers noted that 62 percent of the men noted the affected area had grown smaller where the ointment was applied, while 35.1 percent of the men didn’t experience further hair loss.
Those results mean that less than three percent of the participants continued to lose hair when using minoxidil!
And while minoxidil has been proven to be an effective tool to prevent hair loss, studies show that using it alongside 1mg of finasteride a day can greatly increase the density of hair being grown.
Finasteride is an effective way to halt or reverse the effects of male pattern baldness, but it does have its own limitations.
While there are ways to speed up and improve the effects of finasteride, you shouldn’t expect to wake up one day only to find your hair grew twice as thick overnight.
With that said, combining finasteride with minoxidil, while also eating a diet rich in important hair-building nutrients like iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and protein, is enough to help you grow stronger, healthier hair provided you consistently use it.
If you want to learn more about finasteride and its potential side effects, check out our blog Fact or Fiction: Diving Into the Side Effects of Finasteride.