Finasteride is one of the most popular treatments for male pattern baldness (or androgenetic alopecia). It has shown to be effective in stopping hair loss in about 90% of Finasteride-treated men. 65% of men undergoing treatment even saw a visible improvement in hair growth over a five year period.
Whilst Finasteride is commonly understood as an effective hair loss treatment, you may be intrigued to know how quickly the effects take hold, and when you’d be likely to see the first results.
If are thinking of starting taking Finasteride, or if you have just initiated a treatment, it’s important to have the right expectations from the outset. Like many other medications, it can take several months before you see visible effects, so make sure you continue taking the medication even if you don’t notice a visible impact after the first couple of weeks.
How does Finasteride work?
Finasteride is a 5α-reductase inhibitor and works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It has been found to reduce DHT in your body by about 64%, which is meaningful enough reduction to stop male pattern baldness.
Finasteride starts reducing DHT in your body immediately and hence becomes effective from the very moment you start taking the medication. However, Finasteride will only be effective as long as it is in your body. Once treatment is discontinued, DHT levels will increase to normal levels again and you should expect to see your hair to fall out again.
For the medication to be most effective and see the full potential, Finasteride needs to be taken on a daily basis to make sure your hair stays on your head.
When Can I Expect to See First Results?
Even though Finasteride starts working immediately, the effects do take some time to take hold. This varies from man to man. It is unlikely that you’ll notice any significant improvement or difference in hair during the first 3 months of Finasteride treatment.
When 1mg Finasteride is taken correctly on a daily basis, you only tend to see the first results 3 to 6 months into the treatment. However, note that Finasteride does not always make your hair regrow. In the majority of cases, it stops further hair loss.
Even if you don’t initially see any improvement, this doesn’t mean Finasteride hasn’t been effective. If your hair loss has not worsened, this can be a sign that Finasteride has worked to prevent or slow any further hair loss.
When can I Expect to See the Full Effect of Finasteride?
Studies have shown that about two years after starting the treatment the hair count peaked and that after five years 90% of men noted no further hair loss, or some regrowth compared to prior to the treatment.
This means that even though the peak was reached after two years, a significant improvement was still seen at the five-year period.
It is important to remind yourself that you should not discontinue Finasteride treatment if you do not see any meaningful increase in hair count after a certain period. As mentioned before, for the majority of men it prevents hair loss, hence an unchanged hairline can be a sign of progress.
Once you discontinue Finasteride, testosterone will start converting into DHT again and your hair is likely to fall out again. Read here to find out what exactly happens once you stop taking Finasteride.