Finasteride is a form of prescription only medication used to fight the signs and effects of hair loss. More commonly known under the brand name Propecia, Finasteride has been used to as a method of treating hair loss for almost 30 years and is showing no signs of stopping being used. It belongs to a group of medicines known as 5α-reductase inhibitors which are known for their ability at blocking the production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). It’s this DHT that is responsible in a lot of cases for male pattern baldness due to the effect it has on the hair follicles.
Your follicles typically produce hair with a “growth cycle” that lasts anywhere between two to six years and even if you shave your head repeatedly, the same hair will just grow back out of the follicle until the end of the cycle where the hair falls out and the follicle starts this process again. DHT causes the follicles to shrink and shortens the “growth cycle”, meaning that the hairs the grow will fall out much faster and have an appearance that is more brittle and thin than before. It also slows the production of new hairs so once the old ones do fall out, it takes longer for a new one to push its way through.
Finasteride works by blocking this DHT from binding with specific proteins in the blood, keeping them away from the follicles in your scalp and stopping them from shrinking. Because of its success rate, Finasteride is the best method of treating hair loss with medication available on the market.