Hair loss treatment: Finasteride blocks an enzyme in DHT to increase hair growth

This Morning: Liz Earle discusses supplements for hair loss

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Hair loss is relatively common and is usually nothing to worry about but simply a part of ageing. Male or female pattern baldness is usually hereditary and permanent although it can be slowed down with treatment with one such treatment showing impressive study results in halting hair loss.

Hair follicles convert testosterone (the main male hormone) into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone.

Affected hair follicles become more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone and this causes the hair follicles to shrink.

For some men, this normal ageing process can be distressing, particularly if it is excessive or occurs early in life. Treatment with finasteride can help prevent further hair loss.

It works by stopping the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

The active ingredient in Finasteride blocks the action of an enzyme that converts the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), said Lloyds Pharmacy.

It continued: “DHT is the hormone that causes male hair loss.

“By reducing the amount of DHT affecting follicles in the scalp, Finasteride helps to halt hair loss and, in some cases, reverse it.

“Finasteride only stimulates hair growth on the head and will not cause hair to grow elsewhere on the body.”

How it works

Finasteride blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, enzyme changes testosterone to another hormone that causes the prostate to grow or hair loss in males, said the Mayo Clinic.

It added: “It will increase testosterone levels in the body, which decreases prostate size and increases hair growth on the scalp.

“The effect of finasteride on the prostate and scalp will only last as long as the medicine is taken. When it is stopped, the prostate begins to grow again, and the hair will be lost.”

You can request and pay for a Finasteride prescription online.

As Finasteride is a prescription only medication, even when using an online doctor, you will need a prescription before you buy Finasteride.  

You should never buy Finasteride without a prescription from a regulated online doctor service with professionally qualified and registered clinicians.

Other hair loss treatments

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness, recommended by the NHS.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness, but women shouldn’t use finasteride.

But it’s important to know these treatments don’t work for everyone and may only work for as long as they’re used.

They also aren’t available on the NHS and can be expensive.

Other ways to treat hair loss include hair transplant – when hair cells are moved to thinning patches, and tattooing – tattoos used to look like short hair and eyebrows.

If your hair loss is causing you distress, speak to your GP who may be able to help you get some counselling. 

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