11 Finasteride Alternatives That Works (Safe & Affordable)

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mariyam Fatima M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Hair loss can significantly impact self-esteem and emotional health, leading many to desperately seek solutions.

While products like finasteride may promote regrowth and treat male pattern baldness, they also carry distressing sexual side effects and mental health risks.

However, natural alternatives exist that may rebuild confidence without the dangers of finasteride. Sufferers of hair thinning, alopecia, and other conditions have longed for safe, effective regrowth treatments.

Now new options aim to stimulate growth and restore lush locks without displeasing effects, finally offering hope to those previously left in emotional turmoil.

11 finasteride alternatives: quick overview

Treatment Type Dosage Form Dosage Strengths Mechanism of Action FDA Approved for Common Uses
Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine Non-invasive treatment Topical serum, shampoo, and conditioner; oral supplement Varies by product Contains natural ingredients that promote hair growth None Early stages of non-scarring hair loss
Dutasteride Drug Oral capsule 0.5mg Inhibits both types of 5-alpha reductase enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT BPH BPH, off-label use for male pattern hair loss
Minoxidil Drug Topical solution, oral tablet 2% or 5% (topical), 2.5mg or 10mg (oral) Stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to hair follicles Male and female pattern hair loss, hypertension Male and female pattern hair loss, hypertension
Ketoconazole Drug Topical shampoo 1% or 2% Reduces scalp inflammation and may have anti-androgen effects Dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis Dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, off-label use for male pattern hair loss
Spironolactone Drug Oral tablet 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg Blocks androgen receptors and reduces production of androgens High blood pressure, heart failure, hyperaldosteronism Off-label use for female pattern hair loss, hirsutism
Topical Finasteride Drug Topical solution or foam Varies by manufacturer Same mechanism of action as oral finasteride, but applied directly to scalp Male pattern hair loss Male pattern hair loss
Biotin Supplement Oral supplement 1000mcg or higher Promotes hair growth and strengthens hair None Hair loss due to biotin deficiency, androgenetic alopecia
Saw Palmetto Herbal remedy Oral supplement Varies by manufacturer Inhibits the production of DHT None Male pattern hair loss
Pygeum Herbal remedy Oral supplement Varies by manufacturer Inhibits the production of DHT None Male pattern hair loss
L-lysine Amino acid Oral supplement Varies by manufacturer Promotes hair growth and helps to strengthen hair None Male and female pattern hair loss
Caffeine Stimulant Topical shampoo Varies by manufacturer Stimulates hair growth and may block the effects of DHT None Male and female pattern hair loss
Ecklonia Cava Herbal remedy Oral supplement Varies by manufacturer Inhibits the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT None Male pattern hair loss
Hair transplant Surgical N/A N/A Transplants hair follicles from one part of the scalp to another None Male and female pattern hair loss
Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Non-invasive treatment N/A N/A Stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the hair follicles None Male and female pattern hair loss

What to look for in a finasteride alternative?

Choose products with minimal side effects and natural ingredients when seeking a finasteride alternative. Look for clinically proven ingredients backed by research. Prioritize brands with transparent, science-supported communication and be skeptical of instant growth claims.

#1: Zero or minimal side effects

While no brand desires side effects, many hair growth products unfortunately come with undesirable risks.

However, natural alternatives often have milder side effects, if any, since they lack harsh chemicals.

Users may experience minor irritation as natural ingredients stimulate follicles and hair roots.

But this typically fades as the scalp adjusts.

Thus, natural options aim to regrow hair without lasting side effects, proving effective while remaining gentle.

#2: Clinically proven active ingredients

Similar to skincare, effective hair growth products contain ingredients scientifically shown to work.

Natural compounds like herbal extracts and plant-based elements backed by research make ideal finasteride alternatives.

Products with natural active ingredients clinically proven to safely stimulate growth and thickness deliver real results without risks.

#3: Transparent communication backed by science

Beware of hair growth brands making outsized claims without scientific evidence.

Products promising unrealistic results within days are often too good to be true.

Authentic regrowth takes time, so companies should have research validating any dramatic benefits.

If science doesn't back the claims, view them skeptically. Real solutions require patience, not overnight miracles.

11 most effective alternatives to finasteride

These are the 11 most effective finasteride alternatives for treating hair loss:

  1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine
  2. Saw Palmetto
  3. Ecklonia Cava
  4. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)
  5. Hair transplant
  6. Topical minoxidil
  7. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Nutrient Tablets
  8. Natural DHT blockers
  9. Rosemary oil
  10. Derma rolling
  11. Combining different treatments

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

best finasteride alternative

For those concerned about finasteride's adverse effects, Scandinavian Biolabs offers a more natural alternative backed by clinical studies.

Our three-step hair growth system contains key ingredients shown in studies to awaken dormant hair follicles. This helps lengthen the anagen phase (hair growth phase) and encourage hair growth.

Other key ingredients like biotin, amino acids, and niacinamide nourish the scalp and follicles for optimal growth.

This multi-faceted approach targets multiple causes of hair loss, ensuring that it has no choice but to grow.

Our Bio-Pilixin is an effective yet gentle formula that's not only free from harmful side effects, but also shown these results in a third-party clinical study:

  • 97% experience less hair loss
  • 93% had a clinically tested reduction in hair loss
  • 73% had a clinically tested increase in hair density

Those wary of side effects now have an evidence-based option to that can help regrow hair safely and quickly.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Formulated to combat thinning hair & visible scalp

2. Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto works by blocking 5-alpha reductase and offers key benefits like thickening of hair with minimal side effects. Though it is often taken as a continuing solution following hair transplant surgery and not as an option to start on its own.

    3. Ecklonia Cava

    Ecklonia Cava has been utilized as an alternative to both topical finasteride and minoxidil with scientists seeing an increase in depth, size, and length of hair follicles utilizing natural ingredients, however, it also has side effects our other two alternatives do not have, putting it lower on our list.

      4. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)

      It is a non-invasive treatment for hair loss based on medical-grade laser light to stimulate capillary blood circulation. The red light passes through the skin surface with regenerative effects and biological reactions on the scalp tissues.

      Studies have shown that LLLT can be effective in promoting hair growth in both men and women with androgenetic alopecia. For example, a randomized controlled trial of 120 men with male pattern baldness found that LLLT significantly improved hair density and thickness after 26 weeks of treatment.

        5. Hair transplant

        A hair transplant is probably the first thing anyone thinks of when thinking about hair restoration.

        Hair implantation is nothing more than a surgery in which follicles are extracted from areas where hair still exists and implanted in those where it has disappeared in the hope that in a few months, they will grow.

        In short, the surgeon takes hair from one area to transplant it to another.

          6. Topical minoxidil

          If you have been to a healthcare provider, they'd probably tell you about oral minoxidil as another pattern hair loss treatment option.

          It works by increasing blood flow to your scalp, which encourages hair follicle growth.

          According to a meta-analysis of 47 randomized controlled trials, minoxidil was found to be effective in promoting hair growth and improving hair density in both men and women with androgenetic alopecia.

            7. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Nutrient Tablets

            Research on supplements like saw palmetto, biotin, and zinc for hair loss is limited, with some studies showing no benefit over placebo.

            However, Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Nutrient Tablets contain a blend of natural ingredients like biotin and zinc designed to nourish follicles for healthy hair growth.

            Made with high-quality, ethically-sourced ingredients without additives, they offer a safe and effective alternative.

            Hair Nutrient Tablets
            Hair Nutrient Tablets
            Contains zinc for the maintenance of normal hair, as well as niacin and riboflavin for the maintenance of normal skin.

            8. Natural DHT blockers

            Several plant compounds such as saw palmetto, stinging nettle, and pumpkin seed oil contain fatty acids and phytosterols that act as natural DHT inhibitors. DHT is a hormone that contributes to hair loss by shrinking follicles over time.

            Small clinical studies have shown saw palmetto supplements can improve hair count, hair weight, and other measures compared to placebo. Additional research indicates nettle and pumpkin seed extracts applied topically and orally can reduce DHT levels, increase thickness, and stimulate regrowth.

            These natural DHT blockers provide a risk-free alternative to finasteride for impeding DHT production and its hair loss effects.

            9. Rosemary oil

            Multiple studies have demonstrated rosemary oil's ability to stimulate cellular activity and increase blood circulation in the scalp when applied topically.

            One randomized controlled trial found subjects using rosemary oil had significant improvement in hair count compared to placebo over a 6 month period.

            The increased blood flow induced by rosemary provides vital nutrients to hair follicles, activates metabolism, and reverses miniaturization to revive growth.

            Its antiseptic and antioxidant properties also support a healthy scalp environment.

            Thanks to this solid body of research, rosemary oil is a great natural treatment for inhibiting DHT and promoting growth.

            10. Derma rolling

            Derma rolling utilizes tiny needles to create micro-punctures in the scalp, spurring increased collagen production, growth factors, and circulation.

            Studies show derma rolling improves absorption of topical minoxidil by up to 100 times when done before application.

            Clinical trials display its efficacy - one found derma rolling combined with minoxidil grew over 400 more hairs per square inch than minoxidil alone after 12 weeks.

            Another saw nearly 80% increase in hair count using derma rolling with stem cell therapy.

            The research supports derma rolling as a safe way to optimize topical treatments and natural growth factors for significantly better hair recovery without taking oral medication.

            11. Combining different treatments

            Combining certain treatments like minoxidil and finasteride may have a synergistic effect, slowing hair loss and promoting regrowth better than a single treatment alone.

            Other natural combinations like minoxidil and low-level laser therapy or oral supplements show promise too.

            However, consult a professional before combining treatments, as not all options are safe or effective for everyone.


            What can I use instead of finasteride?

            The best alternatives to finasteride include:

            • Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine
            • Saw Palmetto
            • Ecklonia Cava
            • Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)
            • Hair transplant
            • Topical minoxidil
            • Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Nutrient Tablets
            • Dutasteride.

            What are natural alternatives to finasteride?

            Some natural alternatives to finasteride include:

            • Saw Palmetto: Derived from the berries of the saw palmetto plant, it has been shown to inhibit DHT production and help with hair loss.
            • Pumpkin Seed Oil: Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, it may help block DHT and promote hair growth.
            • Green Tea Extract: Contains polyphenols and EGCG, which may help reduce DHT levels and promote hair growth.
            • Stinging Nettle Root: Contains compounds that may inhibit the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT.

              What are alternatives to finasteride for BPH?

              Alternatives to finasteride for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) include:

              • Alpha-blockers: Medications like tamsulosin or terazosin that relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, improving urine flow.
              • Dutasteride: Similar to finasteride, it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT, but it's more potent and may be more effective for BPH.
              • Tadalafil: A medication primarily used for erectile dysfunction that can also help relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder, improving urinary symptoms.
              • Minimally invasive procedures: Options like UroLift or Rezūm can help relieve BPH symptoms without the need for medication.

                How long does it take for natural alternatives to finasteride to show results?

                The time it takes to see results from natural alternatives to finasteride can vary depending on the individual and the specific treatment used. Generally, it may take several months of consistent use before noticeable improvements in hair growth or reduced hair loss are observed. It's important to be patient and continue using the treatment as directed for the best results.

                Are there any side effects to using natural alternatives to finasteride?

                Natural alternatives to finasteride may have fewer or less severe side effects compared to the medication, but some individuals may still experience mild side effects. These can vary depending on the specific alternative used, and it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.

                Can minoxidil replace finasteride?

                Minoxidil can be considered as an alternative to Finasteride. It is available as a topical or oral treatment and works by widening the blood vessels in the scalp. This allows more nutrients to reach the hair follicles, thereby stimulating hair growth.

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                  Mariyam Fatima M.B.B.S. is working as PGR (Post Graduate Resident/Registrar) of Internal Medicine in Nishtar Hospital Multan - one of the most prestigious institutions in Pakistan. She belongs to the rare progeny of healthcare professionals registered with the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) as Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs). In her free time, she’s a reader and an aspiring author.