I am a 29 year old man, and I have been suffering from hair loss since I was 21. I have been researching finasteride, but I hear that the topical version has less side effects, but which is more effective?
There only FDA-approved finasteride is the 1mg tablets that are taken orally. This is the only version of finasteride that has been studied clinically and proven to be effective. However, some respected hair transplant surgeons have been compounding the medication in to a topical formula and giving it to their patients with anecdotal success.
Many are drawn to topical finasteride for it’s purported decrease in potential side effects. Propecia (finasteride) has been condemned by many for it’s persistent side effects even after the medication is stopped. The so-called benefits of topical finasteride is the localized treatment of hair loss without systemic side effects.
Is the topical just as effective as the oral? Unlikely. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be effective. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough clinical evidence to compare the topical version to the oral version. However, there has been at least one study that showed 0.25% topical finasteride was just as effective as the 1mg tablets. That said, the sample pool was small and that was just one study in comparison to the dozens and dozens of studies that have been performed with the oral version.
Written and published by,
Melvin Lopez- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians