Why Should I use Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil (Rogaine) if I’m Undergoing Hair Transplant Surgery?
Recently, I scheduled hair transplant surgery, and I was surprised to hear the doctor recommend that I start finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine) as well. If I’m fixing my current baldness with surgery, why would I take preventive hair loss medications as well?
Hair loss (specifically androgenic alopecia or genetic patterned hair loss) is a progressive condition. This means that an effective treatment for hair loss involves two important steps: halting the progressive thinning of hair and regrowing/restoring the hair that is already lost. Hair transplantation is an excellent treatment for restoration the hair that is already lost, but it does not treat progressive hair loss. If hair is transplanted to one region of the scalp, but no preventive treatments are started, the rest of the hair around the transplanted region is likely to recede. If the rest of the hair around the transplanted hair is lost, the remaining implanted hair will be surrounded by bald scalp, and this creates an unnatural appearance.
In order to avoid this phenomenon, hair restoration physicians usually recommend preventive hair loss medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia). If these medications are taken in conjunction with hair transplant surgery, the transplanted hair will fill in the gaps where the hair is already lost and the medications will prevent the surrounding hair from falling out. What’s more, the preventive medications may also thicken the remaining hair and cause some potential regrowth of hair that was previously lost.
By utilizing both hair transplant surgery and preventive hair loss medications together, comprehensive hair restoration can be achieved. The ability to both restore regions of bald scalp with hair transplant surgery and prevent loss of hair around the non-transplanted area (avoiding an unnatural appearance) is likely why the hair restoration surgeon recommended both surgery and minoxidil/finasteride.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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