Veteran lurker, first-time poster here. I first noticed my hairline receding at 22. After spending several months researching hair loss and treatment options on forums like this one, I got a prescription for finasteride (proscar cut into quarters) in Dec. 2004. I took legit Merck proscar for almost 10 years, and in all that time I'd say I kept my hair pretty much intact. Though it didn't completely stop my hairline from receding further, the process was slow slow slow. In those 10 years, I went from a NW1.5 to a NW2.5 perhaps, which is nothing to complain about. I noticed absolutely no side effects from the drug, and it allowed me to forget about hair loss for a number of years. However, in 2012/2013 I noticed increased shedding in the shower and my hairline was starting to get worse despite being on finasteride. Once again, after researching for months, getting all kinds of blood tests, and reading clinical trials, I decided to start on dutasteride. I popped my first dutasteride pill in Oct. 2014. Luckily, dutasteride helped me out a lot. Though it didn't recover any barren territory, it drastically improved the overall thickness and appearance of my hairline and frontal region. After 3 months on dutasteride I noticed a slowing to the shedding. After 6 months, it was clear that my hair was improving. After one year, I believe it reversed a good two years of prior frontal thinning. Amazing! Thanks dutasteride! I've never noticed any sides from dutasteride either. The bad news is that over the last few months, I've noticed the receding start to creep back in. I'm still ahead of where I was before dutasteride, and the jury's out on whether it's a synchronized shed or whether my hair follicles have become more sensitive to androgens. Either way, I'm still a Norwood 2.5 at 34; gotta call that a success! I feel really lucky that DHT inhibitors were available when I needed them. I never used minoxidil; the daily or twice daily applications are such a turn-off. Popping a pill once a day is much easier. To all the young guys who are just starting out: just take finasteride. There's a good chance it'll stop your hair loss in its tracks for years and you don't have to mess around with greasy topicals.