If there were any two problems that men saw as life-threatening it would have to be prostate growth and hair loss. It’s true – men are more concerned about hair loss than memory loss according to one study but it seems Propecia is their holy grail.
The active ingredient in Propecia is finasteride which is known to inhibit the formation of DHT, a major contributor to both prostate cancer and male pattern hair loss. It was initially marketed to treat prostate conditions under the name Proscar in 5mg pills but scientists soon realised hair loss in men was something that could be effectively stabilised with a variation of this one tablet.
Subsequent research showed that a 1mg daily dose of the same drug was sufficient to control hair loss for 83% of men after two years of treatment. In 1997 this version, known as Propecia, was approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy and today is one of three treatments scientifically designed and proven to specifically treat hair loss. This approval extends only to men’s hair loss because of the dangers finasteride presents to unborn male fetuses. There are other options for women but they should consult a hair loss specialist for expert advice.
Propecia works by interfering with the process of male pattern hair loss. In men who have a history of hair loss on either side of the family, their condition is largely the result of a genetic sensitivity to DHT. An enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase, found in cells of the hair follicle, converts testosterone into DHT which is what causes the hair follicles to shrink. The result is fine, thinning hair and gradual shortening of the hair growth lifecycle until the hairs are lost permanently. Propecia inhibits the formation of DHT and over a period of several months, sufficiently reduces levels to minimise its effects on the hair follicle.
Even young men who want to control hair loss at an early stage are turning to Propecia. The main purpose of Propecia is to halt hair loss and maintain what hair coverage is left, but in addition, roughly one third of men also experience new hair growth. Men of all ages use Propecia in combination with minoxidil, another FDA-approved hair loss treatment, to achieve a hair loss strategy that both halts hair loss and encourages new growth.
As with any medication, Propecia can cause side effects to a minority of users. The FDA trials reported a 2% incidence of varying side effects but these tended to lessen as the body adjusted to the drug over a period of months and stopped in those who went off the treatment. Although Propecia or cheaper generic versions are easily obtained on the internet it is strongly recommended that you consult a hair loss specialist and make sure you’re your treatment is prescribed by a doctor.
Also, Propecia’s effects can be improved when incorporated into an individually tailored combination hair loss treatment course. The purpose is to combat all aspects of hair loss and support the prime function of the medications with hair growth boosters to achieve optimum results.
For more information, contact the Belgravia Centre or call 020 7730 6666. The UK’s leaders in hair loss prevention also provide a world-wide mail-order hair loss treatment course – simply fill in the online diagnostic form to hear from our specialists and learn about how you can tackle hair loss today.