The Saratoga Hair Center at Williams

What Is Finasteride?

What is finasteride?

Finasteride is a prescription medication used to treat male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. This medication is commonly used only in male patients due to the nature of their hormones. 


How does finasteride work?

Finasteride, or “Propecia,” is a 5-alpha-reductase-inhibitor. What this means is that when you take finasteride orally, it essentially blocks or inhibits testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the chemical or group of hormones that directly attacks the hair follicles on the scalp, ultimately leading to pattern baldness. Taking this medication stops that conversion, so the hair on your scalp will stay there longer, and weaker hairs will grow more robustly.  Most men notice a significant thickening of their native hair in 6-12 months. You can find more in-depth information on DHT and hair loss in men in our blog here.


Do we prescribe finasteride?

Yes. We prescribe finasteride to specific patients who are deemed to be good candidates. You must consult a physician before taking any medications, especially those that interact with your natural hormones.


We offer free virtual and in-person consultations so that you can consult with us! Commonly, patients start with medications to slow down the hair loss they are currently experiencing.  Our surgeons can fill in any areas which have already receded or in which there is space enough to transplant without damaging the native hair.  Patients continue with Finasteride after their transplant to protect their native hair from thinning rapidly.


Are there side effects?

Finasteride, or “Propecia,” has been used as the “gold standard” hair loss medication for decades.  In a very small percentage of men, approximately 1-3% (according to recent studies), experience some sexual side effects, including loss of libido and/or erectile dysfunction.  Should you experience any side effects, stopping the medication will usually resolve any issues within a short period of time.

Call us today or take our quiz to see if you are a candidate for hair restoration!