Still Losing Hair on Finasteride: Reasons, Insights & Alternatives

Still Losing Hair on Finasteride Reasons, Insights & Alternatives

According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds or 67% of American males have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35. There are several treatments for hair loss presently, including the usage of Finasteride which is an FDA-approved drug for hair fall prevention.

However, many people have complained about still losing hair on Finasteride, with hair shedding a common issue. There can be several reasons for this concern, the most common being impatience, as Finasteride takes a few months to show results. However, other reasons including genetics, lifestyle, diet, and mental health also play their part in seeing no results. 

This article explores the potential reasons why people are still losing hair on Finasteride with meaningful insights and alternatives to successfully overcome the hair fall problem.

Hair Loss for Americans by the Age of 35.
Data Source: American Hair Loss Association

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride (marketed as Propecia) is one of the two FDA-approved medicines that is used to treat hair loss in men (male pattern baldness). It is also sometimes used to address prostate enlargement in men. Finasteride is a prescription-only drug, which means you need a doctor’s note to purchase it. It is recommended for men aged 18 or above, and usually not recommended for women. Finasteride increases hair growth by reducing the natural body hormone (DHT) in the body and is available in oral (tablet) form.

Side Effects of Using Finasteride & Prevention 

Several side effects are associated with Finasteride, with the most concerning being reduced sexual drive. Other allergic reactions may include itching, testicular pain, tenderness, troubled breathing, and dizziness. 

To ensure prevention against any unforeseen side effects, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor and pharmacist. This specifically includes any past medical problems with your liver, prostate, and urinary tract. When consuming Finasteride for hair loss, the recommended dosage is 1 milligram (mg) per day for adults only (not recommended for children).

Still Shedding on Finasteride: What Should You Do?

Finasteride is commonly used to address male pattern baldness as it increases hair growth on the scalp. The medicine reduces testosterone conversion to DHT which is responsible for thinning out hairs (a process called shedding) leading to hair loss. Shedding typically starts within 2-3 months of usage and can last up to two weeks. 

You should continue taking Finasteride even when shedding as the medicine’s effects only last as long as it’s consumed regularly. Most people have to wait 6 to 24 months for the medicine to work and see its full effects. According to one estimate, you may lose all the hair growth within one year of leaving the medicine.

Still Losing Hair on Finasteride: Understanding 4 Core Reasons

If your hair is still falling out on Finasteride, there can be several reasons for that. These include biological factors and medical conditions. Similarly, your lifestyle including diet or stress and specific medical interactions can lead to hair still thinning on Finasteride. 

Biological Factors

Biological factors can contribute to continued hair loss with genetic factors and hormonal imbalances. As explained above, Finasteride improves hair growth by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT. While the medicine is successful in most cases, there can be specific genetic factors of certain individuals that can prevent Finasteride from working as expected. This can lead to continued hair loss or reduced hair growth even after regularly consuming Finasteride for the prescribed time. 

According to one study, long-term treatment using Finasteride over 10 years had high objective efficacy with no further hair loss. Similarly, Finasteride only controls DHT reducing testosterone levels in men. When Finasteride is prescribed, it is assumed that DHT is causing the hair loss. 

However, other hormonal issues such as thyroid or estrogen can also impact hair follicles and prevent strong hair growth. If this is the case, Finasteride will not be effective as the cause behind hair loss is different. In other words, your hair will still fall out on Finasteride. 

Medical Conditions

You might wonder why is Finasteride not working, even when you’ve been on the medication for a while. Well, certain medical conditions can also affect hair loss negatively. These include scalp issues, deficiencies, and thyroid problems. 

Scalp Issues

Scalp problems such as psoriasis or dermatitis can cause inflammation, itching, and scaling, restricting hair growth. These skin problems can harm the scalp by damaging the hair follicles and reducing the effectiveness of Finasteride, leading to 

Thyroid Problems

Thyroid disorders can also adversely impact hair growth in many individuals by spoiling the metabolic system and by extension hair growth cycles. 

  • Hypothyroidism (less-active thyroid) can reduce hair thickness and influence hair growth cycles negatively, increasing hair loss in men. 
  • Similarly, hyperthyroidism (more active thyroid) can contribute to hair fall by decreasing the hair growth phase and increasing hair shedding. In both cases, Finasteride’s effectiveness will be limited by the underlying thyroid and hormonal problems.

Deficiencies 

Loss of important vitamins and minerals in the body can also contribute to hair loss. Anemia (iron deficiency) is commonly attributed to reduced hair growth as iron is required to make hemoglobin which impacts hair cell protein growth by transporting oxygen to hair follicles. 

Other vitamins and minerals such as zinc and Vitamin D are also important elements for hair follicle growth. These nutrients maintain hair tissue growth and produce keratin to ensure strong hair growth. If the body lacks these essential elements, Finasteride cannot do much when it comes to controlling hair fall and increasing hair growth. 

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, and substance abuse also impact hair health. Diet and nutrients are essential for hair growth with a healthy and complete diet ensuring your hair remains strong. This includes a diet full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, all of which support scalp health and hair growth. If you are not consuming a healthy diet, you may still lose hair on Finasteride.  

Moreover, with rising mental health cases, stress also contributes to dwindling hair growth. Mental health problems including stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, leading to increased hair shedding. 

If you are undergoing any stress-related or mental health issues, Finasteride may not improve your hair growth. To address this, you should manage stress by using mindfulness exercises, reading mediation books, and consulting a reliable therapist. 

Similarly, if you commonly use substances like alcohol or tobacco, your hair growth may be adversely impacted. Tobacco which is a common substance in cigarettes can damage the hair follicles and reduce their oxygen flow. Alcohol, when used in excess, can also damage the liver and cause dehydration, leading to hair damage and subsequently hair loss. If you are taking Finasteride while using such substances, the toxins may prevent Finasteride from working effectively. 

Medication Interactions

Different medication interactions can also reduce the effectiveness of Finasteride and cause potential side effects. If you are already using other medications, especially psychiatric drugs like beta-blockers and antidepressants, it can lead to hair loss.

Anticoagulants, most commonly known as blood thinners can also contribute to hair shedding even when on Finasteride. These medications contain different elements such as metoprolol, fluoxetine, and warfarin that can interfere with Finasteride.

Over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements such as Vitamin A and Selenium can also be at odds with Finasteride. For instance, while using Vitamin A in controlled quantities is beneficial, excess use can directly impact hair loss. Some vitamins such as zinc also have some overlapping uses with Finasteride. This can cause overdosage of similar medication, leading to hair loss and other potential side effects.

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How to Improve Results if Still Losing Hair on Finasteride

While the Finasteride treatment takes some time to regrow your hair, there are several tips that you can use to improve the results. These tips include using proper guidance, ensuring good scalp health, supplementing your treatment, and switching to a healthier routine.

Hair still falling out on Finasteride..

Follow Proper Guidance

If your hair is still falling out on Finasteride, you can start by ensuring that you are following proper instructions. This includes making sure that you are taking Finasteride as per the instructions of your doctor including the required number of tablets each day with the correct dosage. Similarly, you can evaluate whether you have missed the dosage consistently for a long period as Finasteride is only effective as long as it’s taken.

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Ensure Scalp Health

Your scalp is where the magic happens and you should ensure that it stays healthy and strong. Start by checking if you have any skin conditions on your scalp such as dermatitis, and seek medical advice if that is the case. Massaging the scalp can improve blood circulation with more oxygen and nutrients reaching the hair follicles. You can also use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that protect the scalp and retain its natural oils. 

Using hair products that are organic or use herbal items such as tea tree oil can improve the health of your scalp. You can also follow a gentler hair routine by avoiding hard chemical products and hairstyles that can hurt the scalp such as ponytails or buns. 

Also, use a softer hand when washing and rinsing your hair, and don’t brush or comb too harshly when detangling your hair.

Use Supplementary Treatments

If your hair is still falling out on Finasteride, you can combine Finasteride with other treatments to improve results. Using Minoxidil along with Finasteride can improve hair growth and minimize hair loss more effectively. Minoxidil (Roxaine) is another hair loss medication that expands the blood vessels near the scalp to allow for more nutrients to reach the hair follicles. 

Similarly, using recent low-laser-level therapy (LLLT) can also improve hair growth by releasing laser lights that can stimulate hair follicle growth. It is important to ensure that you consult with your doctor before using any supplementary treatments along with Finasteride. 

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Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a nutrient-rich diet and regular exercise can improve your hair growth. Including nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, E, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids found in eggs, salmon, and nuts can control hair loss. 

It’s also advisable to frequently exercise and stay hydrated to maintain optimal hair health. Similarly, it is a good idea to avoid harmful substances like nicotine or alcohol to avoid the release of dangerous toxins in your body.

Steps to Take if Still Losing Hair on Finasteride

If you are concerned about hair still thinning on Finasteride, there are several steps you can take to address this issue. These steps include consulting with your doctor, assessing the timeline, reviewing medication, and evaluating your habits. 

Medical Consultation 

Consulting with your doctor can help you re-evaluate your current medication plan, including understanding how Finasteride is being used. You can also discuss any side effects that you may be experiencing for an expert opinion. 

It is also important to understand whether any other medication that you are already taking is interfering with your Finasteride treatment. Moreover, asking your doctor for potential screenings to identify ailments that are interfering with your Finasteride treatment can be a good idea. 

Assess the Timeline

You may need to stay patient for a few months before you see any noticeable results. In the first 1-3 months, you may lose hair via a process of hair shedding as the medication may skip several hair growth cycle steps. In the next three months (months 3-6), the shedding will decrease before coming to a complete halt. At this stage, you may also start noticing some improvements in your hairline and a reduction in bald patches.

After the sixth month, you will find a decent amount of hair on your scalp with no bald patches. In the months leading to a full year (months 11-12), you will notice a considerable difference. 

Set Realistic Goals 

Understanding that hair loss is natural with age and other conditions can help you take control of your life. Being impatient or expecting too much can create negative feelings and even increase stress and anxiety which can lead to further hair loss. 

By planning, giving the treatment ample time, and using mindfulness techniques, you can make the hair growth journey full of positivity. You can get assistance from a support group to meet fellow people who are undergoing the same treatment as yourself and share insights about the experience.

Alternative Treatments to Counter Excessive Propecia Shedding

Alternative Treatments to Counter Excessive Propecia Shedding

Are you wondering why is finasteride not working even after using it for a few months? Perhaps it’s better to switch to alternative treatments to address hair fall. There are various treatments you can explore including herbal items, alternative medicine, and hair therapies. 

Replacement Medicine 

If you are experiencing continuous Propecia shedding with no stop in sight, one solution is to switch to an alternative medicine with similar properties. One common alternative is Dutasteride which is used to treat hair loss by slowing down hair fall.

According to one study, Dutasteride was found to be more effective than Finasteride in preventing hair loss. Hence, using Dutasteride may prove to be more effective on a case-to-case basis. 

Herbal Items

Herbal items such as Saw Palmetto and Biotin can also be used to treat hair loss with minimal side effects. Saw Palmetto is a fruit of the Seronoa tree and is used to treat DHT in the same manner as Finasteride. One study finds that Saw Palmetto was effective in addressing hair loss problems by improving hair count and hair density. 

Similarly, biotin (also known as Vitamin B7) supports the growth of keratin which is an important protein for hair growth and reducing hair loss.

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Hair Therapies 

Therapies such as stem-cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy can also address Propecia shedding using modern medical innovations. Stem-cell therapy uses stem cells from the patient to regrow hair follicles on the scalp. 

Platelet-rich plasma therapy also uses a similar approach by using platelets from the patient’s body. These platelets are then multiplied in a lab, and injected into the patient’s scalp to increase hair growth and control hair loss. 

Many people freak out in the shedding phase which is usual when consuming anti-hair loss medication such as Finasteride or Minoxidil. However, other factors including biological, dietary, lifestyle, and medical interaction can also adversely impact hair growth. The best decision in this case is to consult your doctor, transition to a healthier lifestyle, and maintain a healthy scalp.

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Key Takeaways

  • Finasteride is one of the only two FDA-approved drugs to treat hair loss and is considered effective according to many studies. 
  • Timeline is important in the administration of Finasteride, with positive effects arising from 6 to 24 months after consumption. 
  • Propecia shedding is a common occurrence when using Finasteride, starting from two weeks after administration. 
  • Other factors can also cause hair loss, including biological, genetic, medical interactions, lifestyle, and dietary.
  • In case of continued hair loss when using Finasteride, it is advisable to understand the timeline, consult medical professionals, and set realistic expectations. 
  • Other alternative treatments can also be used with or in place of Finasteride including herbal items, hair loss therapies, and alternative medicines.

Frequently Asked Questions About Still Losing Hair on Finasteride

It is common to lose hair after consuming Finasteride which is also called the shedding phase. This typically starts after two weeks of starting Finasteride where you may lose excess hair. However, this phase is part of the treatment and it gets over within a few weeks after which the hair growth phase begins. 

According to various studies, it can take anywhere between 6 to 24 months for Finasteride to work. You also need to continue taking the medicine for the medicine to retain its effect. 

Finasteride may not work if you have just started taking it as it requires a few months to show meaningful results. There can also be other reasons such as biological factors, other medication interactions, lifestyle problems, and dietary issues that can impact the effectiveness of Finasteride.

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