Will Propecia halt the hair loss immediately?

Starting on half a propecia daily , considering upping the dosage to a full tablet after 8 weeks ... Just want to know , will my hair loss be halted almost immediately ? Basically, the hair I have on my head now will , hopefully if I respond to the meds , will be the hair I have in a years time from now ??? Also on one of my other posts on here the tricologist said that if I continue to only take 1/2 a propecia tablet it won't stop shedding entirely unlike that of a whole tablet ? Thanks in advance !

Doctor Answers 4

You need a full dose of finasteride to benefit hair thinning, which will take 3-6 months; half a dose is 60-70% effective

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Thank you for your question. You didn’t submit a photo showing your current situation with your hair, but you describe starting Propecia at only half a dose initially, and are thinking of increasing it to a full dose at 8 weeks. You ask when Propecia will take effect, if it works immediately, and for more information about the benefits of Propecia.

I can address your question and give some understanding as to why you’re doing what you are doing. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. Hair loss treatments, specifically hair transplant has been a significant part of my practice, and in fact I am the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers. This is a treatment we developed in our practice as both a non-surgical alternative to hair transplant and for oral finasteride for people who don’t want to take it or cannot take it. Counseling patients about finasteride is a big part of my daily routine in our practice.

Before I get into details about Hair Regeneration, let’s just understand a few things about finasteride. When you take finasteride, the dosage was developed based on a certain efficacy in the ability to diminish the amount of DHT. Taking half a dose of finasteride can be compared to taking half a dose of an antibiotic when you need a full dose, so I don’t think it is a great plan.Half a dose may reduce approximately 60-70% of your DHT, so it’s not necessarily one-to-one in terms of effectiveness, but you have to think about the likelihood of its benefit to you. Although a lot of men do respond to finasteride, and the numbers vary depending on the studies you read, I would say it helps around 60% of men based from studies. Some studies say up to 90%, but the point is that not everyone responds to finasteride, and there is only one way to tell which is taking it at the prescribed dose on a daily basis.

There has been a lot of concern about not only the effectiveness, but also daily compliance of finasteride, which is a major issue in the management of hair loss. It has been shown that a lot of men take finasteride with consistency in the first year, but a lot stopped taking it in the second year for a whole lot of reasons based on clinical studies. From my own clinical practice, I’ve started a lot of people on finasteride, and they’ve been taking it since I started prescribing it around 1997. They will take it every day for their whole life, and they have no problems, but a significant percentage will take it for a while, then not take it, or maybe think about taking it, or be very sporadic, so they will not enjoy the benefit if they are responsive. In fact, the original studies with finasteride had to be stopped early because the benefit was clearly there, and the people on the placebo were not benefiting. When the same people on the placebo went on finasteride again, they did not catch up to those who were taking it from beginning, so  hair counts and hair inventory matter.

Currently, the biggest concern about finasteride is the potential side effects related to short-term and long-term sexual side effects. In our practice, we counsel people on the effectiveness on the alternative we developed called Hair Regeneration. Hair Regeneration was developed from working on patients with hair transplants using a material called extracellular matrix, combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) which is derived from your own blood and is the growth factors and healing factors in it. The idea was to help our hair grafts heal better, and the donor area to heal better. What evolved from that was thinning hairs became thicker in different ways, and in different levels, for different patients. I took it upon myself to develop a process and system for a treatment without a hair transplant, just the injection. This injection has been so effective that both men and women with androgenetic male and female pattern hair loss will have 99% success defined by stopping of progression of hair loss, reactivation of hairs that are not growing ,and the shedding of thinning hair so the re-growth of thicker hair takes its place.

Patients come to our practice from all over the world for this treatment, and we actually developed a company called TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration to scale this so people can get this treatment outside of our two offices.

The point is, we developed Hair Regeneration on a very methodical process - I customized the dosage, the delivery system and developed an algorithm based on gender, age, level of hair loss, onset and a several other parameters, to dose it appropriately. Every single injection is dosed specifically with that algorithm in mind.

Going back to finasteride, I think you need to make a decision on whether or not you want to stick with it, and if you’re going to stick with it, do the right dose and then see if it’s effective.

Discuss this with your doctor. For the onset of benefit, typically you have to wait at least 3 to 6 months to see any benefit, with those who respond do pretty well within that time frame. The responsiveness is also dependent on hair growth cycles and the amount of hair shedding. Sometimes, the early signs of improvement are the diminishing of hair shedding, and the slow thickening of hair. It’s really a journey whether it’s hair transplant, finasteride or even Hair Regeneration, so you are looking at about a year’s timeline. It always takes a long view, and you have to be consistent about taking the medication every day. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Propecia pharmacolgics. ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS NJ

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In my opinion, half a tablet of propecia is approximately sixty to eighty percent effective. Repeated doses  take between two and six months  to notice the effect. The first effect one will notice is it decreased shedding. I have been recommending platelet rich plasma  to my patients on propecia. The results are synergistic. Good luck. 

Jeffrey Rapaport, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

It will not stop hair loss immediately.

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HelloThe correct dosage is 1, one mg tablet/day.  No, it will not stop hair loss immediately. Any non-surgical treatment that works will take at least 3 months before it starts to work. I recommend giving each case a fair evaluation 8-10 months after the treatment started to ensure it is properly working. Many patients combine different non-surgical treatments to reduce the rate and stop hair loss.Best of lucks

William Yates, MD
Chicago Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Propecia use

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Propecia will not halt hair loss immediately nor will it definitely stop hair loss. The statistics are good that it works in over 90% of patients on the medication but it is not a guarantee. IT will take 6-8 months to see if the medication is truly working for you.

Dow Stough, MD
Hot Springs National Park Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.