Finasteride Results Timeline: How Long Should You Wait?

Finasteride results woman showering
Written by
Our Editorial Team
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.

Have you been experiencing hair loss or signs of early balding? Finasteride is a type of medication you could get if you've been experiencing severe hair loss.

Since finasteride results usually don't happen immediately, it could be extremely frustrating and annoying in the beginning.

Some people resort to overdose, which is NOT recommended.

In a nutshell:

Finasteride, also known as Propecia, begins to show results in the first six months, improves in the next six months, and hair loss recovery continues long-term, even after one year.

Whether you have just started using finasteride or have been using it for some time, the results may not appear as you thought. You won't notice any changes in your hair pattern overnight, as finasteride results happen gradually.

Never skip any finasteride dose, even if it's for a week or just a day. And you'll see finasteride treatment taking place according to a timeframe.

There are alternatives to finasteride you can consider.

What is finasteride?

Finasteride (brand name Propecia) is a prescription medication used to treat androgenetic alopecia also known as male pattern baldness. It works by blocking a hormone called DHT, which shrinks hair follicles and stops them from growing. 

DHT is a hormone that both men and women produce. Both the development of male pattern baldness and hair growth are significantly influenced by it.

When DHT levels are high, it can cause hair follicles to shrink and stop making hair. By decreasing the amount of DHT in the body, Finasteride can treat male pattern baldness by preventing ongoing hair loss and thickening thin hair.

Finasteride was first made to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is another name for an enlarged prostate gland. It was only by accident that it was found to be a treatment for male pattern baldness.

Researchers found that one of the side effects of the drug was that it helped people with androgenic alopecia grow their hair back and stopped them from going bald.

Does finasteride Work?

A long-term study of finasteride done in Japan and published by the Tokyo Medical Clinic found that more than 98% of men with male pattern baldness did not lose more hair while being treated.

According to this same study, 91.5% of the men experienced hair growth improvements.

According to another clinical trial conducted on over 3,000 men, finasteride had a positive impact on hair count in 87% of cases. In another scientific study, 83% of men taking finasteride had more hair growth or didn't lose hair at all.

In a nutshell, finasteride may not be an effective treatment for everyone, but many men use the medication and notice a slight but noticeable increase in their hair growth.

How long does it take to see finasteride results?

You should expect to see the results in a few months. It's wise not to expect finasteride results immediately.

Finasteride results begin with slow effects from the first dose. In the first three months, hair fall is necessary to make room for newer hair strands.

In the next three months, hair volume becomes slightly thicker. Finally, bald patches on your scalp begin to fill up in the next six months.

Although finasteride treatment gradually takes effect in the timeframe mentioned above, it may be different for everyone. For some people, finasteride works slowly. For others, the results may be slower or not appear at all, even after a year.

Let's see a breakdown of the Propecia results timeline to see how this medication can do wonders for your hair and specifically, hair loss.

Month 1 to month 3

In the first three months, finasteride outcomes will appear in the form of regular hair fall.

During the first month, you may notice some hair fall. Don't be alarmed, as this is just a part of your regular hair growth cycle. If this treatment works appropriately for you, seeing hair shedding is normal.

However, it should be like regular hair fall and not make way for more male pattern baldness. If patches have begun to appear, your finasteride effect may be counterproductive.

hair regrowth from finasteride

In the next three months, hair regrowth begins to take place at a very slow pace.

After hair falls as a result of the regular cycle, you will begin to notice hair regrowth. All in all, you will start to see your hair volume slightly changing and filling up.

Have a look in the mirror and examine the bald patches. If they have started filling up, this treatment is working.

The next 6 months

More hair volume is evidence of the last six months of finasteride usage.

The last six months are where results become more noticeable. You would notice lesser hair loss and an increase in your hair density. During the last six months, the hair follicle is rejuvenating to produce healthier and more apparent hair regrowth.

After a year

You can expect the optimal results to appear after a year.

Since this type of treatment works slowly, you can get maximum results only after a year. If you don't notice any hair volume change, then you're

If you haven't seen any changes in your hair growth even after a year, finasteride may not be for you.

Moreover, if you have any types of allergies, finasteride may even trigger it. Consult your doctor to seek out other possible medications and solutions for your allergic reactions.

A lot of patients only begin to experience finasteride benefits after around three to four months. Here are some before and after pictures!

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Minoxidil

Minoxidil is another FDA-approved medication to treat hair loss. Oftentimes, minoxidil is used in tandem with finasteride to increase the rate of hair growth. If you believe this would work, consult with your doctor.

Dutasteride

Dutasteride is another drug used to combat hair loss. While less popular, some people have reported results with dutasteride.

Is it possible to boost your finasteride results?

If you've been on this hair loss treatment and it doesn't seem to be working, you could accelerate its results.

Remember that finasteride is a medication, and you would still need to take care of your hair.

You could follow these hair care steps to accelerate your finasteride effects:

  • Regularly massage your scalp with hair treatment oil. Argan oil and pumpkin seed oil are some of the most common choices for the best scalp treatment.
  • You can take a hair loss supplements such as biotin, iron, and vitamin B12. These are not medications, but they promote healthy hair growth. You could take these supplements in between meals for maximum efficacy and to avoid gerd issues.
  • You can use finasteride and minoxidil together for better hair regrowth. Research shows that finasteride is more effective when it's used in combination with topical minoxidil.

supplements

If your topical finasteride has been disappointing initially, consult with a doctor before using other medication for your male pattern baldness.

How does finasteride work?

It comes in the form of a finasteride tablet, commonly referred to as oral finasteride.

Finasteride medication works to bring down DHT levels. The conversion of testosterone forms dihydrotestosterone (androgen).

It is essential to maintain its levels because higher DHT means you're more likely to experience male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss, and male pattern baldness.

High doses of finasteride are not necessary for the results to show. Finasteride happens gradually. A daily treatment dose is finasteride 1mg. However, you could follow other regular hair care tips to make sure your results are timely and accurate.

Does finasteride regrow hair?

Finasteride is a drug used to stop hair loss in men from getting worse. It does this by suppressing the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is a hormone that is known to contribute to hair loss.

There is no guarantee that finasteride will regrow hair, but the vast majority of men who take it find that it prevents further hair loss.

In some cases, taking finasteride may help to regrow hair in areas of the scalp or a receding hairline that only have mild thinning. However, there is no guarantee that finasteride will work for everyone.

In order to achieve the best results, men often combine Finasteride with other hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil (Rogaine).

Should you use finasteride?

You may notice some side effects of finasteride throughout the timeline.

There are some reactions that your body will give during finasteride. These symptoms may happen during the first few weeks or the first month when you begin using finasteride.

Here are some common ones:

  •  A change in sex drive (usually decreased sexual needs)
  • Skin rashes showing up on various body parts
  • Changes in ejaculation in men or erection disorders
  • May cause lumps in the breast or even nipple discharge in women
  • Swelling in sensitive body parts, such as the tongue or the lips

If you notice any of the above while you're on finasteride medication, there's no need to worry about it. These signs are proof that benefits will show up sooner or later.

However, these signs should disappear in the beginning. They shouldn't be happening in the long run. If you're having male pattern hair loss after you stop using finasteride, consult a hair specialist or doctor immediately.

Conclusion

Finasteride is a medication that's used in severe cases of hair loss. It is specifically for people who are experiencing hair loss. While it works for many, it may have little to no results for some, depending on their health condition and body reaction.

Although finasteride takes place gradually, it's ideal to wait a year before concluding whether the medication is working for you or not. If there is no change in hair volume or more hair loss than before, finasteride may not be for you.

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