As a man, you probably take pride in the fact that you have a lot of testosterone. It makes you develop strong muscles, have a raging libido, and even puts you in a better mood! Yet, too much testosterone could also be the reason that you become bald. Luckily for men today, hair loss can be easily treated with the drug Propecia.
The DHT Culprit
It isn’t testosterone which makes your hair fall out. Rather, hair loss occurs when an enzyme turns testosterone into a different natural chemical, 5α-Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short. In men, about 5% of all testosterone gets converted into DHT. So, the more testosterone you have, the more DHT you are likely to have.
DHT is primarily found in the scalp and prostate gland. High levels of DHT are what make your hair follicles die. DHT also is responsible for prostate enlargement, a problem which afflicts many men and leads to symptoms like urinary difficulties. DHT can also lead to prostate cancer.
How Propecia Stops Hair Loss
Propecia is the brand name for the drug Finasteride. It was originally approved by the FDA for treating enlarged prostate but later approved for treating male pattern baldness. The way that Propecia works is by blocking the enzyme which turns testosterone into DHT. Without DHT to impact hair follicles, hair loss stops and hair grows back thicker.
In order to get results from Propecia, the medicine must be taken regularly. Unfortunately, men will need to continue taking Propecia even after their hair has grown back if they want to keep results. If men stop taking Propecia, all regrown hair will likely fall out again within the next year.
Propecia has shown to be very effective in treating male pattern baldness. Most men notice that their hair is thicker within a month or two of taking Propecia. It is important to note that Propecia does cause what is known as a “shedding” period. During this period, men notice that their hair seems to be falling out at an alarming rate. They shouldn’t worry though – this is a sign that the medicine is working.
When Propecia starts working, it will make stronger, thicker hairs grow in the follicles. In order for these new hairs to grow, they will have to push out the older, weaker hairs. These old, weak hairs will fall out, causing the shedding. Soon afterwards, men will notice that their hair has grown back thicker.
What You Should Know before Taking Propecia
Propecia is highly effective in treating male pattern baldness and considered very safe. However, there are some risks of side effects, like abnormal ejaculation and troubles getting an erection. Before you take Propecia, you should always talk to your doctor about the risks and familiarize yourself with which ones may be cause for concern.
While Propecia is very effective for treating male pattern baldness, it is not meant for women. Female baldness is much more complicated than male pattern baldness. Propecia could have severe adverse effects on certain women so it should only be used as directed by men.