14 Effective Finasteride Alternatives (Full Comparison Table)

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

Hair loss can be detrimental to confidence and self-esteem no matter how it happens. Changes in hair thickness, growth, and hairlines often affect emotional health, confidence, and self-esteem.

You feel broken inside, and wonder if you'll ever be able to face that person in the mirror. You hate every second in the bathroom when you have to come to terms with the thinning hair, receding hairline, and the pile of locks swirling down the drain.

You struggle to meet new people because you don't feel you measure up to those around you. At the office and out on the town you feel like a lesser version of yourself because you lack the confidence to put yourself out there.

Is there really a natural solution to rebuilding confidence and stopping hair loss that works?

There is now.

From alopecia to menopause, thinning hair to male pattern baldness, men and women alike have been searching for years for a natural solution to hair loss. Is it really out there?

Hair loss has such a huge impact on a person's wellbeing and social status that sufferers spend close to $4 billion each year on hair restoration and that number rises each year by over 15%.

New solutions can feel almost too good to be true with their claims for regrowth and thicker, more lush locks.

Since there is not currently a strict set of guidelines governing hair care products designed for growth, there are many on the market that don't do all they say, and even worse, still may have displeasing side effects.

These pills and potions we've seen seem to work for some and not others, making each new product out there more and more disheartening.

Those of us that suffer from these heart-wrenching problems have been left in emotional turmoil wondering if anything will ever actually work.

Then came finasteride.

Originally a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, finasteride has since been prescribed to hair loss patients. Many who suffer from more severe hair loss, hair thinning or alopecia are aware of finasteride and how it works to block dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

At its core as a hair loss solution, finasteride increases hair growth and slows down the hair loss in male pattern baldness. Many have found increased confidence in its effective results, but not as many are aware of its sexual side effects and mental health implications.

To be specific, it has caused erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual health and severe depression.

That's an enormous risk that not everyone wants to take. For that reason, we made a list of 8 alternatives, so you are more informed on your options.

What should you know before choosing a finasteride alternative?

Quite a few hair growth "treatments" on the market may improve how your hair looks, but don't actually do anything to help hair grow or to stop further hair loss.

These brands utilize deceptive marketing practices that promise hair growth without any science or clinical trials backing their claims.

What to look for in a finasteride alternative?

#1: Zero or minimal side effects

Obviously, no brand wants you to have side effects when using their products, but many have them and the side effects listed are far from desirable.

When looking for an alternative, it is beneficial to seek out a more natural option, as these are made with ingredients less likely to have displeasing side effects.

However, many effective natural hair growth options can cause minor side effects due to the sensation of the hair follicles being opened up to allow the stimulation of the hair at the root.

Be aware that if you experience a side effect such as this with a natural product, you are likely to experience it across all products and it will likely not continue over time as your scalp gets used to the sensation.

That proves it's working.

#2: Clinically proven active ingredients

Just like with quality skincare, you want to ensure that the product's main ingredients are those that are backed by research and proven by science to be effective at solving the problem at hand.

There are several products out there that use 100% natural ingredients like plant-based compounds and herbal extracts, so it is beneficial to look for these when searching for a natural alternative to finasteride.

#3: Transparent communication backed by science

Many brands promise big results but don't have the science to back them up. If you see larger-than-life claims on a website or advertisement, be wary if the science is not there to back it up.

Real, at the root growth, takes time and any brand claiming to do so "in days" are those we'd advise to steer clear from. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

With that being said, we'll come to the best 3 alternatives that do exactly what you want them to do, without causing risky side effects.

Plus 3 more common ones that we thought you should know, too.

8 most effective alternatives to finasteride

These are the 8 of the most effective alternatives to finasteride:

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

Hair Growth Routine | For Men

Scandinavian Biolabs has found a way to increase confidence without the side effects of finasteride. They'll have you running your fingers through your lush hair as you watch your locks flow with the three-step routine they've put in place to get you back to your most attractive self again.

The key ingredient in the Scandinavian Biolabs formula improves the shine and smoothness of hair for users, setting them apart in the market, and setting you apart by giving you swoon-worthy hair again.

The facts and figures

The Capillary Technology Center in Barcelona completed a 150-day study to test Scandinavian Biolabs hair growth formula on both men and women. The results of their findings were staggering.

  • 73.3% of volunteers showed an increase in hair density by over 23%.
  • 93.3% of volunteers showed a reduction in hair loss.
  • 93% of volunteers reported being satisfied with the treatment.


  • Clinically proven to reduce hair loss and stimulate healthy hair growth
  • Capilia Longa is one of the most effective hair growth ingredients
  • Guaranteed growth with a risk-free 150 days money back guarantee
  • No side effects with ingredients from nature
  • Transparent communication with realistic goals
  • Thousands of happy customers


  • The active ingredient is highly sought after, some products have and might run out of stock.
  • Pricing is premium, but you're paying for guaranteed results, not products that don't work.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Helps cleansing, hydrating and supports reduced hair loss in 3 easy steps.
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Helps cleansing, hydrating and supports reduced hair loss in 3 easy steps.

2. Saw Palmetto

saw palmetto | buy finasteride online

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.


  • Reduce DHT levels
  • Can treat sexual dysfunction
  • Cheap and widely available


  • Insufficient scientific evidence to support hair growth claims
  • Hard to find in its pure form, except via hair transplant post-surgery care
  • Scientific consensus remains that it's not proven to be effective, especially when used alone
  • Does not work on female pattern hair loss

3. Ecklonia Cava

ecklonia cava algae seaweed | buy finasteride online

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.


  • Lower cholesterol
  • Assist with athletic performance and diabetes


  • Insufficient data on Ecklonia Cava and hair loss treatment
  • Might need to be used with other alternatives on our list to work

4. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)

alternatives to finasteride

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.


  • Painless and non-invasive


  • There will be some restrictions on what you can do after treatment
  • Expensive and time-consuming
  • Aggravated injury is often mentioned as a side effect
  • Less effective on darker skin tones and lighter hair colours
  • Results are not guaranteed, as it varies from person to person

5. Hair transplant

hair transplants to treat hair loss

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.


  • Effective on most people
  • One of the fastest result


  • Painful process of grafting, incising from surgery
  • Expensive as the price ranges from $4,000 to $15,000 per session
  • Time-consuming, you will have to return for multiple sessions
  • Lengthy recovery time
  • Restriction on what you can do for up to one month
  • You will still experience balding in some cases
  • Unavoidable side effects on your scalp
  • The last resort if everything else doesn't work

6. Topical minoxidil

topical minoxidil as an alternative to finasteride

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.


  • Widely available
  • FDA-approved


  • Results disappear after discontinuation
  • Can cause similar side effects to finasteride
  • Comprised of artificial chemicals

7. Supplements

supplements as an alternative to finasteride

There are several supplements that are marketed as alternatives to finasteride for hair loss, including saw palmetto, biotin, and zinc. While there is some evidence that these supplements may be beneficial for hair health, the research on their effectiveness for hair loss is limited.

For example, a randomized controlled trial of 60 men with male pattern baldness found that a saw palmetto supplement was no more effective than a placebo in promoting hair growth.


  • Fewer potential side effects: Unlike finasteride, which can have sexual side effects in some users, supplements are generally considered to have fewer potential side effects.
  • Nutritional benefits: Many supplements marketed for hair loss also have additional nutritional benefits, such as biotin, which can help to promote healthy skin and nails.
  • Natural alternatives: Supplements are often marketed as a more natural alternative to prescription medications like finasteride.


  • Limited research: While some supplements may have potential benefits for hair loss, the research on their effectiveness is limited. Additionally, supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so it can be difficult to know if the product contains what it claims or if it is safe.
  • Variability in effectiveness: Supplements can vary widely in their effectiveness, depending on the individual's specific needs and the quality of the product.
  • Cost: Supplements can be expensive, especially if multiple supplements need to be used long-term.

Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Nutrient Tablets are the perfect solution for anyone looking to support healthy hair growth.

Our powerful blend of natural ingredients, including biotin, zinc, and copper, work together to nourish hair follicles from the inside out, promoting thicker, stronger hair.

Our Hair Nutrient Tablets are made with high-quality, ethically-sourced ingredients and are free from harmful additives, making them a safe and effective choice for anyone looking to improve the health and appearance of their hair.

Try Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Nutrient Tablets today and experience the benefits of healthy, beautiful hair.

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. Combining different treatments

Combining different treatments for hair regrowth

Combining different hair loss treatments can offer a synergistic effect that may lead to better outcomes. For example, topical minoxidil and oral finasteride are commonly used together to treat androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). By using these two treatments together, you may be able to slow down hair loss and promote hair growth more effectively than by using either treatment alone.

Other combinations that have shown promise include topical minoxidil and low-level laser therapy (LLLT), as well as topical minoxidil and oral supplements such as biotin or saw palmetto extract. LLLT works by stimulating blood flow to hair follicles and promoting cell metabolism, while biotin and saw palmetto extract may help to reduce inflammation and improve hair health.

It's important to note that not all combinations of hair loss treatments are safe or effective. Before combining treatments, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional or a hair loss specialist to determine which options are best for you. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that combining treatments may not work for everyone, and individual results may vary.


  • Synergistic effect: Combining treatments may work better than using each treatment alone, leading to better hair growth and a more significant reduction in hair loss.
  • Customizable treatment: Depending on the individual's needs, combining treatments allows for a more tailored approach to hair loss treatment.
  • May target multiple causes of hair loss: Different treatments work in different ways, so combining treatments can address multiple underlying causes of hair loss simultaneously.


  • Cost: Combining treatments can be expensive, especially if multiple treatments need to be used long-term.
  • Potential side effects: Combining treatments may increase the risk of side effects, especially if the treatments have similar mechanisms of action or if they interact with each other.
  • Complexity: Combining treatments can be more complex and time-consuming than using a single treatment, which may make it more challenging to stick to a consistent regimen.

Overall, combining different hair loss treatments can be an effective approach for some individuals. However, it's essential to work with a healthcare professional

Alternatives to finasteride comparison table

Below is a comparison table of finasteride and its 14 alternatives:

Treatment Type Dosage Form Dosage Strengths Mechanism of Action FDA Approved for Common Uses
Finasteride Drug Oral tablet 1mg (Propecia) or 5mg (Proscar) Inhibits the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Male pattern hair loss, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) Male pattern hair loss, BPH
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's our pick?

While saw palmetto and ecklonia cava have shown to be somewhat effective, getting those ingredients on their own without

  • being tampered with
  • added with unnatural products
  • produces additional side effects

is rare without a prescription or connected to a post-hair transplantation maintenance program.

Other alternatives almost have the same side effects as finasteride, if not worse.

With both the science to back it up and the social proof from a multitude of satisfied customers, we recommend going with Scandinavian Biolabs for guaranteed growth.


What is the best alternative to finasteride?

The best alternative to finasteride is dutasteride. In a comparative study, researchers concluded that dutasteride seems to provide better efficacy compared with finasteride in treating hair loss in men, while having a broadly similar rate of potential side effects.

What are natural alternatives to finasteride?

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.

      Read more:


        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.