Finasteride (Propecia) vs. Minoxidil: Which One is Right for You?

Finasteride (Propecia) vs. Minoxidil: Which One Is Right for You?

When it comes to treating hair loss and promoting hair growth, two of the most popular treatments are Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil. While both medications have been found to be effective in helping to reduce hair loss and regrow hair, each one works differently in the body and has different side effects, so determining which would be the most suitable option for you depends on the particular circumstances of your hair loss and overall health.

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How Finasteride (Propecia) Works

Finasteride (Propecia) is a medication that is prescribed to treat male pattern baldness. It works by preventing a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from forming in the bald scalps, thereby preventing hair follicles from shrinking and causing male pattern baldness. The drug is usually taken as a pill once a day.

How Minoxidil Works

Minoxidil is a topical solution that is applied directly to the scalp in order to promote hair growth. It works by increasing the size of hair follicles and increasing blood circulation to the scalp. It is available in both liquid and foam form, and is typically applied two times a day.

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Side Effects of Finasteride (Propecia)

The most common side effects of Finasteride (Propecia) include:

  • Decreased sex drive or libido
  • Impotence
  • Erectile dysfunction

It is important to note that some men have experienced long-term side effects after discontinuing the use of Finasteride, so it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning the drug.

Side Effects of Minoxidil

The most common side effects of Minoxidil are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation or itching of the scalp
  • Inflamed or irritated skin

In rare cases, Minoxidil can cause more serious side effects, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting.


When trying to decide which option is right for you, it’s important to consult with a doctor to discuss your particular situation. They will be able to advise you on which medication is the most suitable for your specific hair loss and overall health.