Amongst the major concerns surrounding hair restoration, the choice between a hair transplant with or without Finasteride also stands out as a significant one. And why not? Hair Transplant is a pivotal decision and a once-in-a-lifetime journey that patients embark on. The ideal Hair Transplant patient avatar wants to regain lost confidence, self-esteem and original looks without compromising with robustness.
To make this article super informative, we have mustered important insights from reliable sources regarding Finasteride and its impact on both body and hair. But before we dive into it, we need to understand how Finasteride works!
Stay tuned until the conclusion to bust the myths and uncover the truth.
Finasteride – How Does it Work?
Finasteride is a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness, a common condition characterized by a receding hairline and hair thinning.
It belongs to a class of medicine known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which is used for reducing DHT in serum and in the scalp by up to 70%. Now you might be curious to know what 5-alpha reductase and DHT are.
Let’s take a simple stroll through what these terms really mean and get to know them a bit better.
What is DHT
DHT is a hormone that plays a key role in the miniaturization of hair follicles, contributing to male pattern baldness. This potent hormone emerges through the conversion of testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.”
DHT is secreted in everyone, however its tendency to attack Hair roots is genetically determined. It is produced in significant amounts in males as compared to females.
What is 5-alpha-reductase?
5-alpha-reductase is an Enzyme responsible for converting Testosterone into DHT in various tissues, including the scalp.
There are two main isoenzymes of 5-Alpha reductase –
Type I is found mainly in the liver and sebaceous glands in the skin.
Type II in prostate and Hair follicles.
Finasteride molecules inhibit 5-Alpha Reductase Type II and thus help in reducing the level of DHT present in Serum and Scalp. Thereby slowing down the hair loss process and promoting hair regrowth in some individuals.
Disclaimer: It is important to note that finasteride is typically prescribed for men, and its efficacy varies among individuals. As with any medication, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to understand potential side effects and determine if finasteride is a suitable option for addressing hair loss concerns.
Hair Transplant Without Finasteride
The dilemma of choosing between a hair transplant with or without Finasteride often stems from a prevalent concern among potential hair transplant patients. There’s a common fear that Finasteride may reduce testosterone levels, but the truth is it merely hinders its conversion into DHT. In contrast, it actually increases testosterone within the physiological range.
For example – if there are 100 units of testosterone, and due to 5-Alpha reductase Type II, 50 units are converted into DHT. The use of Finasteride will inhibit that conversion and thus maintain higher levels of testosterone.
You need to remember TESTOSTERONE has not been damaged; it has only stopped from being converted into DHT. There is no Finasteride Effect on Testosterone.
By now, you’ve likely gained a solid understanding of Finasteride and its role as a DHT blocker. The lingering question, ‘Should one use finasteride before or after a hair transplant?’ practically answers itself.” Its prescription is not limited to only Hair Transplant patients; it is also recommended for anyone grappling with hair-related concerns.”
It’s crucial to highlight that post-hair transplant, a regimen of medications, including painkillers, acidity regulators, and antibiotics, is administered for a span of 5-7 days, specifically catering to the transplanted hair.
While US FDA approved, 5% Minoxidil, 1 mg Finasteride every day, and PRP therapies are not directed towards the transplanted hair but rather to the NON-TRANSPLANTED, temporary hair on your scalp. Their purpose is to sustain and support the existing hair, contributing to the overall maintenance and health of your hair.
Finasteride Side Effects
The fear of potential sexual side effects, particularly erectile dysfunction, is a major concern for many considering this medication. However, it’s important to dispel the confusion around the misconception that taking this pill might diminish sexual prowess, lead to impotence, or infertility.
In reality, such concerns are largely unfounded. While a temporary reduction in sexual desire may occur in a minimal 2% of individuals, other side effects are generally transient and minimal. If you experience any side effects, consulting your doctor is recommended, and discontinuing finasteride is an option.
Highly rare adverse reactions on other body parts
- Gynaecomastia and Mastalgia (pain in the male breast) – Reported incidence: 0.4%
- Exfoliative Dermatitis – Uncommon skin reaction
- Perioral Numbness – Occasional sensation of numbness around the mouth
- Swollen Salivary Glands – Infrequent occurrence of glandular swelling
- Depression – Rare potential side effect with individual variations
It’s important to know that these side effects are reversible upon discontinuation of the medication.
Untold Finasteride Effects on Hair
- Enhances hair thickness.
- Prolongs the life of existing hair.
- Finasteride doesn’t revitalize the dead Hair Roots.
- Hair weight increases more than the hair count.
- Positive effects manifest after six months, with final results apparent within a year.
- Finasteride effect time – presence in the bloodstream lasts 6-8 hours.
- Boosts hair growth count while reducing hair fall.
Consuming 0.2mg of Finasteride daily carries minimal risk of side effects. Similarly, taking 1mg of Finasteride twice a week also presents very rare chances of adverse reactions.
Stopping Finasteride After Hair Transplant
Stopping finasteride after hair transplant won’t hamper the growth of the transplanted hair, as the donor hair roots ( from the occipital part of the scalp and beard hair follicles) are not sensitive to the level of DHT. But it will affect the growth of the existing non-transplanted hair in the frontal, mid-scalp and crown areas.
Also, stopping Finasteride, especially after prolonged use, can cause a resumption of hair loss, particularly in individuals who were using Finasteride to address male pattern baldness. This will allow DHT to resume its effects on susceptible hair follicles, contributing to progressive hair thinning and balding.
So, the decision to stop should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional, taking into account individual health factors, potential side effects, and desired outcomes.
Finasteride Before Hair Transplant
Incorporating finasteride into your pre-hair transplant routine can yield significant benefits. Also, research indicates that using finasteride before a hair transplant can strengthen existing hair, prevent further loss, and enhance the overall success of the transplant. This may also control shedding/shock loss after hair transplant to some extent.
Choosing finasteride before a hair transplant provides a dual advantage. Not only does it prime your scalp, but it also grants you the chance to assess its effects on your body. This proactive step allows you to dispel myths surrounding finasteride’s side effects, fostering confidence in your decision to undergo a hair transplant.
For those seeking Hair Transplant without Finasteride, it’s essential to understand the alternatives available to address hair loss concerns. While choosing, you should consider whether these alternatives are equipped enough to block DHT effectively.
Some Finasteride Natural Alternatives/Sources with DHT-blocking properties include saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, green tea, nuts, Indian gooseberry(Amla), onion, turmeric and banana.
While these elements showcase potential in supporting hair health and balance, it’s important to note that their efficacy may not match that of Finasteride.
Other Finasteride Alternatives
- Minoxidil: A topical solution that promotes hair growth by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels.
- Biotin: A B vitamin that supports hair, skin, and nail health.
- Laser Therapy: Low-level laser light devices designed to stimulate hair growth.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: A procedure where a patient’s blood is processed to extract plasma rich in growth factors. It will then be injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
- Essential Oils: Some oils, such as rosemary and peppermint, are believed to have hair-stimulating properties.
- Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management, can positively impact hair health.
Understanding the mechanism of Finasteride, a potent 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, and its role in reducing DHT levels is crucial for making informed decisions. Alternatives to Finasteride, such as natural sources with DHT-blocking properties and other hair loss treatments, should be explored, keeping in mind individual preferences and health considerations.
Each individual’s journey is unique, and a comprehensive understanding of available options empowers individuals to make choices that suit their specific needs and aspirations.