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HAIR TRANSPLANT SPECIALIST
Hair loss Solutions
Minoxidil and Propecia
There are a variety of products available in pharmacies which claim to stop or reduce hair loss, some more successful than others. Probably the most popular product is Minoxidil.
Originally used in tablet form as a medicine to treat high blood pressure, it was noticed that some patients being treated with Minoxidil experienced excessive hair growth as a side-effect. Further research showed that by applying Minoxidil in solution form directly to the scalp, could prove to be beneficial to those experiencing topical hair loss.
Propecia is an oral medication manufactured by Merck. Propecia acts by blocking the conversion of the male sex hormone testosterone to a metabolite called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone responsible for male pattern baldness. Propecia acts by inhibiting the action of an enzyme called 5 alphareductase. Studies have shown that men who suffer hair loss have high levels of 5 alphareductase in and around follicles.
Propecia causes a significant drop in both scalp and blood concentrations of DHT. Studies have shown that DHT levels decrease by up to 68.8% and testosterone levels increase by up to 9.1% in men who take 1 mg Propecia a day.
Propecia was initially marketed for prostate enlargement as Proscar which is 5mg of Finasteride (the active molecule in Propecia). In 1988 the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) approved 1 mg Finasteride for use in male pattern baldness. Studies have shown that 80% of men taking 1 mg Finasteride either kept their hair or grew more.
In the crown more than 30% showed moderate improvement and 5% showed significant improvement in hair quality. However only 4% of men showed moderate improvement to the hair in the front. Also, hair counts were increased mostly in the crown.