Nutrafol Vs Finasteride: Which One Is Better For You In 2024?

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Are you trying to decide between Nutrafol and Finasteride for hair loss treatment?

In this article, we compare the effectiveness, safety, and side effects of these two popular options to help you make an informed choice.

Read on to discover which solution might be best suited for your hair health needs.



Both Nutrafol and finasteride offer compelling options for those grappling with hair loss.

While Nutrafol is a dietary supplement offering a holistic, nature-based approach that targets multiple aspects of hair health, finasteride is a prescription medication that directly inhibits DHT production. 

It's crucial to remember that hair loss can be complex, and it may take some trial and error to find the best approach for you.

Understanding the mechanisms of these treatments, their ingredients, and potential side effects can help in making an informed decision. 

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication or supplement regimen.

Whether you choose Nutrafol, finasteride, or another hair loss treatment like the Scandinavian Biolabs hair growth routine, remember that consistency is key.

Hair regrowth takes time and patience, so don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results.


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What is Nutrafol?

nutrafol vs finasteride

Nutrafol, manufactured by Nutraceutical Wellness Inc., is a renowned hair growth supplement that has gained significant traction in the market. It is considered one of the best hair loss treatments available, offering a natural approach to addressing hair loss concerns and promoting hair growth.

With its blend of natural ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and botanical extracts, Nutrafol is designed to prevent further hair loss, promote hair growth, and enhance overall hair health.

The specific ingredients in Nutrafol, a natural supplement, can vary based on the formula, as the company offers different formulations targeting different hair concerns.

However, common ingredients found in Nutrafol supplements may include biotin, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, curcumin, marine collagen and horsetail extract. 

One standout aspect of Nutrafol is its commitment to scientific research and clinical studies.

Unlike many other hair loss products in the market, Nutrafol has undergone rigorous testing and evaluation.

Clinical studies have shown that Nutrafol can effectively stimulate hair growth, improving hair regrowth by an impressive 80%, distinguishing it from other treatments.

How does Nutrafol work?

treating hair loss

Nutrafol operates on the premise that hair health is intimately tied to overall body health, and thus its formula aims to address potential systemic issues that can affect hair growth. Nutrafol's comprehensive approach to hair health encompasses the entire hair growth cycle, making it an effective solution for individuals experiencing hair thinning or loss.

It aims to restore balance and stimulate hair growth by targeting stress, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.

To identify your unique hair wellness needs, it is suggested to begin with Nutrafol’s Hair Wellness Quiz.

Addressing stress with Nutrafol

Stress can contribute to hair loss by pushing hair follicles into a "resting" state, where they don't produce new hair strands.

Nutrafol includes several adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha, that are believed to help the body manage stress and may benefit conditions like alopecia areata by reducing its triggers.

Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.

They contribute to balancing hormones and reducing the impact that stress has on the body, including its impact on hair health.

Cortisol, known as the "stress hormone," can cause hair follicles to shift prematurely from a growth phase to a rest phase, inhibiting hair growth.

Ashwagandha works by regulating cortisol levels and promoting a more stable environment for hair growth.

By managing stress effectively, Nutrafol not only supports overall well-being but also contributes to healthier hair growth.

It was also discovered in a 2012 study that taking ashwagandha in large doses safely lowered stress and anxiety levels significantly. 

Countering hormonal hair loss

Hormonal hair loss, often associated with a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), is a significant cause of hair thinning and the tendency to lose hair.

DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink over time - leading to hair thinning and potentially hair loss.

Nutrafol's formulation includes saw palmetto which helps inhibit DHT receptors, addressing one of the key hormonal factors that contribute to hair thinning and loss.

Moreover, for women experiencing female pattern hair loss, Nutrafol's Women's Balance supplement, containing maca, provides additional support in alleviating menopause symptoms and promoting hair health

Antioxidant action of Nutrafol ingredients

Nutrafol further promotes hair health by combating oxidative stress, a condition characterized by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body.

Oxidative stress can contribute to various health conditions and has been linked to hair loss and damage.

To counter this, Nutrafol incorporates ingredients such as the tocotrienol complex, a variant of Vitamin E, and astaxanthin, a keto-carotenoid found in certain types of fish.

These ingredients are potent antioxidants that work to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals, thereby promoting a healthier scalp and hair.

Combating metabolism-related hair loss

Metabolsim also plays a significnat role in the rate of your hair fall. Your hair follicles receive energy for growth from your cellular metabolism.

Poor metabolism - resulting from thyroid issues, a high glycemic diet or inflammation, may leave your system with fewer nutrients for healthy hair growth. 

Nutrafol targets metabolism effectively by making use of curcumin - an anti-inflammatory component included in turmeric.

Curcumin is packed with vitamins and minerals and aids in  treating metabolic syndrome and associated illnesses, according to studies

Chronic inflammation in the body can increase hair loss and metabolic syndrome, and curcumin present in Nutrafol, may be able to help in this case. 

Effectiveness of Nutrafol

Nutrafol's multi-targeting approach to hair health, addressing stress, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies, makes it one of the best treatments to treat hair loss and promote hair restoration.

The company has conducted clinical studies where subjects have reported improved hair growth and quality after using the supplement consistently.

Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Nutrafol, with users reporting improved hair growth and quality after consistent use of the supplement.

However, it's important to note that Nutrafol, like any supplement, doesn't offer instant results.

Hair growth is a slow process, and improvements may be subtle initially. It may take several months of consistent use before noticeable changes are seen.

Lastly, effectiveness can vary greatly from person to person. What works well for one individual might not work as effectively for another due to differences in individual health, genetics, lifestyle, and the underlying causes of hair loss.

What is finasteride?

support hair growth

Finasteride, commonly known as Propecia, is an oral medication prescribed for male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Male pattern baldness is often characterized by hair loss at the crown and middle of the scalp, and is common among men. Finasteride works effectively in inhibiting the formation of DHT and slowing down hair loss.

With its ability to address the hormonal aspect of hair loss, finasteride is considered one of the best hair loss treatments for men experiencing male pattern baldness.

However, despite its benefits, it's crucial to be aware that finasteride can have side effects and it is necessary to discuss these potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider.

How does finasteride work?

Finasteride works by inhibiting the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase in the body. DHT is a key player in both male pattern hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In the case of hair loss, DHT can bind to receptors in hair follicles, especially those located in the scalp's crown and middle areas.

Over time, this binding action causes the follicles to shrink, leading to thinning hair and eventually causing you to lose hair.

By reducing the production of DHT, finasteride helps to prevent this follicle shrinkage, slowing hair loss and in some cases promoting hair growth.

It's essential to note that finasteride is a long-term treatment – it may take several months for its effects to become noticeable, and the benefits may be lost if the treatment is discontinued.

Effectiveness of finasteride

Finasteride is known for its effectiveness in treating male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Studies have shown the long-term effectiveness of finasteride in treating male pattern baldness, with daily intake significantly helping to regrow hair over several years.

For instance, a long-term study by Kaufman and colleagues revealed that daily intake of finasteride significantly increased scalp hair over five years in men aged between 18 and 41 years.

In addition to its effectiveness in addressing hair loss, finasteride has also proven beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms (MTOPS) study found that the combination of finasteride and doxazosin significantly reduced the risk of overall clinical progression of BPH compared to placebo.

It's worth noting, however, that while finasteride is generally well-tolerated, it does carry a risk of side effects.

As with any medication, patients should thoroughly discuss potential benefits and risks with their healthcare provider before beginning a finasteride regimen.

Are there any side effects with Nutrafol and finasteride?

Nutrafol and finasteride are widely used products intended to combat hair loss and promote hair health.

Although they are generally well-tolerated, both products, like any medication or supplement, have the potential for side effects. Let’s explore them below: 


  • Digestive discomfort, such as stomach upset or bloating
  • Allergic reactions, which may manifest as skin rashes, itching, or difficulty breathing
  • Changes in menstrual cycles for women due to the hormonal influence of some ingredients
  • Unwanted hair growth in places other than the scalp, as it encourages overall hair growth
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Changes in sleep patterns or mood, possibly due to the ashwagandha component which impacts the adrenal system
  • Interactions with other medications, particularly if they affect hormones


  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction 
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Ejaculation disorder (decreased volume of ejaculate)
  • Testicular pain
  • Depression
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Allergic reactions, including rash, itching, hives, and swelling of the lips and face

An effective alternative to Nutrafol and finasteride

hair restoration

The Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is a 3-step regimen and is considered to be an effective alternative to Nutrafol and finasteride.

Formulated to enhance the appearance of hair thickness and support the vitality of existing hair, each component of the regimen is enriched with plant-derived ingredients developed through advanced research methods.

Capilia Longa is instrumental in the formula, and helps in significantly reducing hair loss and improving hair density.

Niacinamide ensures sustained hair growth by improving blood flow and protecting follicles from environmental stress.

Aloe Vera is included for its hydrating and soothing qualities, contributing to a healthier scalp and improved hair texture.

An Amino Acid Complex supports hair shaft integrity, while Vanillyl Butyl Ether, a mild warming agent, improves scalp circulation, aiding nutrient and oxygen delivery to hair follicles.

Lastly, Zinc PCA is incorporated for its ability to regulate sebum, contributing to a balanced scalp environment.

In essence, the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine harnesses a science-backed approach to hair care, making it a strong competitor to other products like Nutrafol and finasteride.

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Nutrafol vs finasteride: What’s the difference?

Nutrafol and finasteride are both widely used for managing hair loss, although they function through distinct mechanisms and have various benefits and potential side effects.

Let's explore these differences in detail:

Approach to treatment

Nutrafol adopts a holistic approach to hair health, aiming to address a variety of potential causes of hair loss, including stress, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.

It does this through a blend of natural ingredients that each target different aspects of hair health.

Finasteride works primarily by inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, a hormone associated with hair loss.

By reducing DHT levels, it can slow hair loss and even help regrow hair in some cases. It primarily addresses the hormonal aspect of hair loss.


Nutrafol is a natural supplement designed to support hair health and growth. It contains a mix of vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts.

These include biotin, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, and other ingredients, all of which aim to create a healthy environment for hair growth by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, and providing necessary nutrients.

Finasteride, on the other hand, is a synthetic medication, typically available under the brand name Propecia.

It's a DHT blocker, which means it prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a hormone known to cause hair follicles to shrink.

Regulatory status

As a dietary supplement, Nutrafol is not approved by the FDA. This means that while it is generally considered safe for use, its effectiveness and quality can vary, and it doesn't have to prove efficacy before being marketed.

Finasteride is an FDA-approved medication. This means it has undergone rigorous testing to ensure its safety and effectiveness before it can be prescribed to patients.

Prescription requirement

Nutrafol is an over-the-counter product. You don't need a prescription from a doctor to purchase it, and you can easily buy it online or in stores.

Finasteride, however, is a prescription-only medication. To obtain it, you must first consult with a healthcare professional, who will determine whether this drug is suitable for you based on your health status and medical history.

Gender suitability

Nutrafol offers different formulas for men and women, acknowledging that hair loss may occur differently between sexes.

Finasteride is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness and is not typically recommended for women, particularly women of childbearing age, due to potential risks.

How much does it cost? Nutrafol vs finasteride

Nutrafol cost

Nutrafol is a premium product, and it's priced as such. The cost of a one-month supply of Nutrafol is typically around $88, but the price can vary depending on where you purchase it from. Nutrafol also offers a subscription model, which can offer cost savings over time.

Finasteride cost

The cost of Finasteride can vary widely depending on factors such as the dosage, the quantity of pills per prescription, and the pharmacy where the prescription is filled.

Generic finasteride could cost anywhere from $10 to $50 per month, but branded versions (like Propecia) could be significantly more expensive. 

It's worth noting that some health insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of Finasteride, particularly if it is prescribed for a medical condition such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. 

Can you use Nutrafol and finasteride together?

When considering combining Nutrafol and finasteride, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to assess potential interactions and determine the best hair loss treatment plan for your individual needs. By seeking personalized advice, you can optimize the benefits of each treatment and minimize the potential for side effects.

While it is technically possible to use them together, there are important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Potential interactions: Nutrafol contains botanical extracts that could interact with finasteride or other medications. It's important to discuss all medications and supplements with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no contraindications or interactions.
  • Duplication of effects: Nutrafol and finasteride both address hair loss, but through different mechanisms. Using them together may lead to duplication of effects without additional benefits.
  • Increased potential for side effects: Combining multiple treatments increases the potential for side effects. It's crucial to monitor for any adverse reactions and consult with your healthcare provider if any occur.
  • Personalized recommendation: The decision to use Nutrafol and finasteride together should be based on individual circumstances, such as the severity of hair loss, medical history, and current treatments. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice.

Does Nutrafol have DHT blockers?

Nutrafol has specifically designed its formula to tackle the problem of hair loss due to DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

Their proprietary Synergen Complex features a combination of patented stress adaptogens, super antioxidants, and botanical extracts that are known to act against DHT.

Two key ingredients in Nutrafol's Core products, which include Nutrafol for Men, Nutrafol for Women, and Nutrafol Women’s Balance, are saw palmetto and curcumin.

Saw Palmetto is extensively researched for its role in treating BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

The various compounds in saw palmetto are known to inhibit the 5-AR enzyme, which prevents the formation of DHT.

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and decrease the formation of androgen receptors in the hair follicle.

Fewer receptors result in fewer places for DHT to interact. Additionally, curcumin can block DHT production by affecting the 5-AR enzyme.

These DHT-balancing natural ingredients in Nutrafol are ingested and circulate through the bloodstream to reach the hair follicles, where they can interfere with the function of DHT. 

How long do these take to work?

The time it takes for Nutrafol supplements and finasteride to show results can vary from person to person, based on individual hair growth cycles, overall health, and the extent of hair loss. 

It's important to note that hair grows slowly — about half an inch per month on average — so the process of regrowing hair can take some time.

Nutrafol works to improve hair growth from within by addressing multiple potential causes of poor hair health, so the effects may not be immediately visible.


Both Nutrafol and finasteride offer compelling options for those grappling with hair loss.

While Nutrafol is a dietary supplement offering a holistic, nature-based approach that targets multiple aspects of hair health, finasteride is a prescription medication that directly inhibits DHT production. 

It's crucial to remember that hair loss can be complex, and it may take some trial and error to find the best approach for you.

Understanding the mechanisms of these treatments, their ingredients, and potential side effects can help in making an informed decision. 

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication or supplement regimen.

Whether you choose Nutrafol, finasteride, or another hair loss treatment like the Scandinavian Biolabs hair growth routine, remember that consistency is key.

Hair regrowth takes time and patience, so don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results.



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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.