6 Most Effective Alternatives To Finasteride You Wish You Knew

6 Most Effective Alternatives To Finasteride
Written by
Morgan German
Medically approved by
Dr. Andrea Ortega M.D.

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 a enormous risk that not everyone wants to take. For that reason, we made a list of 6 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.

Top 6 effective alternatives to finasteride

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

scandinavian biolabs hair growth routine

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.
Check for availability

2. Saw Palmetto

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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

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.

Pros

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Assist with athletic performance and diabetes

Cons

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

4. Laser therapy

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.

Pros

  • Painless and non-invasive

Cons

  • 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

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.

Pros

  • Effective on most people
  • One of the fastest result

Cons

  • 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

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.

Pros

  • Widely available
  • FDA-approved

Cons

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

What is our pick?

While finasteride tablets are a known and proven method for hair regrowth and male pattern hair loss treatment, it does not provide the best results when seeking a natural solution with no harmful side effects.

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.

References

  1. Bak, S. S., Ahn, B. N., Kim, J. A., Shin, S. H., Kim, J. C., Kim, M. K., Sung, Y. K., & Kim, S. K. (2013). Ecklonia cava promotes hair growth. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 38(8), 904-910.
  2. Erdemir, F., Harbin, A., & Hellstrom, W. J. G. (2008). 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and erectile dysfunction: the connection. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5(12), 2917-2924.
  3. Gupta, A. K., & Charrette, A. (2015). Topical minoxidil: Systematic review and meta-analysis of its efficacy in androgenetic alopecia. Skinmed, 13(3), 185-189.
  4. Hirshburg, J. M., Kelsey, P. A., Therrien, C. A., Gavino, A. C., & Reichenberg, J. S. (2016). Adverse effects and safety of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (finasteride, dutasteride): A systematic review. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 9(7), 56-62.
  5. Kim, H., Woo, H., Shin, S., Park, D., & Jung, E. (2020). The potential application of Ecklonia cava extract in scalp protection. Cosmetics, 7(1), 9.
  6. Liu, K.-H., Liu, D., Chen, Y.-T., & Chin, S.-Y. (2019). Comparative effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for adult androgenic alopecia: a system review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Lasers in Medical Science, 34(6), 1063-1069.
  7. Marberger, M. J. (1998). Long-term effects of finasteride in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. PROWESS Study Group. Urology, 51(5), 677-686.
  8. Mysore, V. (2012). Finasteride and sexual side effects. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 3(1), 62-65.
  9. Olsen, E. A., Dunlap, F. E., Funicella, T., Koperski, J. A., Swinehart, J. M., Tschen, E. H., & Trancik, R. J. (2002). A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47(3), 377-385.
  10. Stevens, J., & Khetarpal, S. (2019). Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: A review of the literature and proposed treatment protocol. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 5(1), 46-51.
  11. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 13, 2777-2786.

Other interesting reads: