Finasteride (Propecia) – Everything You Need to Know

Propecia Finasteride

Finasteride (Propecia)


If someone were to tell you that you had an 83% chance of keeping all the hair you currently have by taking a pill every day, would you do it? With Finasteride (Propecia), it’s not only a possibility, it’s a reality. For younger men looking to keep a full head of hair, and the rest of us who just want to keep our hair loss from getting any worse, this treatment is key. Find out why Propecia is the leader of the pack in clinically-proven hair loss treatments, and why you should include it in your regimen.

Are you female? Propecia is not for you, without consent of your physician.

What is Propecia (Finasteride)?

Propecia is an offshoot of another medication called Proscar, which has been widely used since 1992. This 5mg tablet containing the active ingredient “Finasteride” was used to reduce the adverse effects of DHT on the system. As hair loss is primarily linked to the effects of DHT, it was reasoned that Finasteride would help stop or reverse the process.

Is Finasteride Effective at Stopping Hair Loss?

The FDA conducted a Finasteride Study on 1,500 men yielded shocking results. Nearly 83% of men who continued treatment for 2 years either saw a complete stop of hair loss, an increase in hair growth, or both. Results were confirmed by actual hair counts and nearly 80% of men were categorized by visual assessments that their appearance had improved.

A 1mg version called Propecia was released in 1998. To date, Propecia has the longest, most successful run of any treatment to have undergone FDA trials.

How Long Does Propecia Work?

We have members here on HairLossTalk who have successfully maintained their hair using Propecia (coupled with Nizoral shampoo) for nearly 20 years.  In general, studies and real life experience have shown that the benefits you will see will continue “ramping up” until about the 2 year mark, and then you can expect to plateau there.

You may see some improvement in year 3.  But its after this point that hair seems to stay at a constant density for many many years, to decades.

Does Propecia Cause Shedding?

The common sentiment goes something like this:  Once you start taking Propecia, you may experience a period of shedding that could last a couple, to several months.  It is a very mild shed but it is advised that you hold off on your expectations for results during this time period if you are easily bothered, or tend to be OCD about your hair.

Shedding is completely normal, and is only temporary.  Finasteride causes thinning hair to “reset”, which can put larger numbers of follicles into “dormancy” phase at the same time.  This gives off the impression of increased baldness, but it’s only dormancy.

Finasteride Propecia

Shedding is Temporary

Why is Nizoral Important to use with Propecia?

Using an anti-inflammatory shampoo like Nizoral or Regenepure will calm the scalp, and enable your treatments to do their job much more effectively.  This is an unbelievably important element of successfully treating your hair loss.

The owner of this site saw continued shedding up until the 11 month mark because nobody had told him he needed Nizoral.  As soon as he started calming the inflammation, the hair started growing back in.  Even if you don’t itch or have that “scalp pain” associated with Male and Female pattern baldness, you should use Nizoral Monday, Wednesday and Friday consistently while on treatment.

What is Generic Finasteride?

Generic Finasteride, brand name “Finpecia” contains the same exact active ingredients as Propecia, and is the international equivalent of Propecia. Generic Finasteride is a legitimate 1mg tablet of Finasteride, just like Propecia. HairLossTalk Members have recommended a trusted online source for Generic Finasteride, which ships directly to you. We’ve made this resource available in our Product Center. The “order now online” buttons on this page will take you there, should you decide to go this route.

Who is Propecia (Generic Finasteride) For?

Propecia is for men seeking to stop their hair loss dead in its tracks. It is for men experiencing diffuse thinning, the formation of a bald spot in back, recession at the temples, or any combination of these. It is for men who realize the importance of scientific proof and data, and it is the foundation for every successful hair loss treatment regimen. Propecia gives you a solid, clinically-proven, 83% chance of keeping every bit of hair you have today, and that is a big deal. As it is an antiandrogen treatment which stops the cause of hair loss, its major role is keeping your hair from getting any worse. Do not underestimate the importance of this. You must stop the cause of your hair loss to see optimal results from growth stimulant treatments like Rogaine Foam.

How does Propecia Stop Hair Loss?

Testosterone floating in the bloodstream of the typical adult male routinely combines with an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. The result of this interaction forms the more potent sexual hormone known as DHT (Dihydrotestosterone).

When a man begins to lose his hair, certain genetically programmed follicles begin to develop DHT receptor sites.

The DHT attaches itself to these receptor sites and begins to treat the follicle as a foreign object in the body. This chemical change not only affects hair. It can cause itching, inflammation, and oiliness.

Finasteride Molecular Structure

During this time, the follicle, under the attack of DHT, begins to miniaturize with every growth cycle, until after several years, it simply is too small and short to be seen.

When this treatment is taken, it works to inhibit the formation of DHT in the system. Within a few months, the overall DHT levels will have remained low enough on a constant basis that the adverse effects DHT is having on the follicles will stop, resulting in stopping hair loss.

Propecia Side Effects

There are literally millions of men who have taken it for decades without any problems.  Looking at the Merck sales data from 2002 to 2008, there were over 20 million sales of Propecia in that 6-year period alone.  If it’s a concern for you, Propecia is an interesting treatment in that you can take it for 30 days and do something very rational:  You can evaluate how you tolerate it.  Every medication on the market has a list of possible side effects, but very few people tend to encounter them.  And this is why its truly a bad idea to avoid it just because you’re worried about the unknown.

How Long Does Propecia Take to Work?

This process takes time. Do not expect results in 3 months. Remember that the process of thinning hair is a process of hair cycles producing thinner and thinner hairs over periods of years.  Propecia is exactly the same way.  In reverse.  Each time the hairs cycle back in, they will do so thicker and more healthy.  This takes time as well, as each cycle is several months long.  Then dormancy.  Then another growth cycle.  If you are a good responder, your hair loss will stop at about month 4. Many guys will take up to 12 months to stop losing hair. Your best results will actually be at the 2 year mark. Be patient, and trust the study data proving you’ve got an 83% chance to keep what you have today.

Propecia Takes Time

Give it Time

NIZORAL: You must use Nizoral or some other Ketoconazole-based shampoo with this treatment if you want it to work. It is a little-known fact that the FDA required trial participants to use an anti-inflammatory shampoo like Nizoral for the duration of the trials. This means you should, too. You must keep your scalp in a non-itchy, non-inflamed, non-flaky state in order for this treatment (or any other treatment for that matter) to work well.

Taking Smaller Doses of Propecia: Still Effective?

Studies have been done on micro-dosing Propecia and results were seen even at much smaller doses, but 1mg seemed to be the optimal dose.  Keep in mind that the goal is to reduce the burden of DHT on your follicles.  Inhibition of DHT can be attained at smaller doses than 1mg, but you do run the risk of seeing a lower chance of success.  Guys typically take the 1mg dose, and do the 30 day trial period to see how they tolerate it.  If they are golden, then they stick with that 1mg and all is well with the world.

If they see side effects, the greatest part is that you can take advantage of the hair maintenance benefits and often eliminate those side effects by taking 0.75 mg or 0.5mg.  Some guys even take 0.25mg for a little “kick”.  Any level of DHT inhibition will be helpful to some extent.  If you get Generic Finasteride from our overseas affiliate, they come in tiny little 1mg tablets which you can crush into pieces, or split in half with a knife or pill cutter to get your 0.5mg.

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Taking Proscar / Propecia at 1.25mg of Finasteride Effective?

Some guys try to save money by getting a prescription for the 5mg Proscar medication and then splitting the tablets into 4ths.  The monthly fee for the Proscar is about the same as Propecia but you get 5mg tablets instead of 1mg.  Splitting them into quarters gives them a dose of 1.25mg.  Experience has shown that doing this tends to increase your chance of side effects and has no noticeable benefit on hair in the long term.  Obviously there are some gray areas, as every person is different, so some may see increased benefit, but if you see side effects on larger finasteride doses, its because you’re taking a dose that is too high.

Consider Testing your Baseline DHT Levels

This is just a theory that I have after running this site for nearly 2 decades.  Prior to Taking your first tablet, it might be interesting and helpful to get a baseline serum DHT test to see what your number is.  This way you can monitor your DHT levels while on the treatment.  The importance of this is significant, and your doctor is unlikely to grasp why, so I’ll just explain it here:  You’re inhibiting your DHT levels.  If 1mg takes you drastically low, and you are experiencing some side effects, maybe 1mg is too much for you.

Monitoring your DHT levels allows you to create customized dosing just for you.  The days of medicine assigning one dose for all humans on earth are quickly coming to an end, as we begin to approach health more intelligently.  The goal would be to take only as much as is necessary to attain proper DHT inhibition in your body.  Typical ranges on labwork are 16-79 (or 30-85 ng/dl).  Let’s say prior to taking Propecia you’re at a 63.  And after a couple months on 1mg you test at “8”.  This is likely unnecessarily low, and you can consider lowering your dose a bit.  Maybe to 0.75mg and then retesting in a few months.

Rather than try and explain this to your doctor, you can order your own DHT test at online testing websites for cash.  They allow you to drive to a draw station, and they email you the results a few days later.  The best one we’ve found in the USA is  You can order your test now, and order your finasteride now as well. You’ll have the results back before you receive the treatment in the mail.

As one of the most longstanding sites on the topic of Hair Loss, we have several overseas affiliates who can ship Finasteride to you today.  Click the image below to proceed.

Propecia Finasteride