Hair Loss/Propecia and Rogaine
QUESTION: Hi Dr. I read that you have actually taken Propecia for hair loss--did you use it for front or back hair loss (or both)? Did it just maintain or did it actually help regrow some lost hair? I see in your photos that your hair looks great and full, so I was wondering what worked for you and how well it worked. Thanks! g
ANSWER: Since 1993 I have been began taking 1mg finasteride capsules I made up from the 5mg Proscar (made by Merck-the same manufacturer of Propecia) and when Propecia was released in 1998 I have been taking it daily instead. It helped increase density especially on my crown and has continued to work well in doing that. Nine years ago when my son turned 20 years old I had him start taking Propecia. For my son the main reason I wanted him to take it was to prevent prostate cancer. We will not know for sure for another 20 years when they do retrospective studies on the young Propecia patients to see whether they have fewer deaths due to being on Propecia for 40 years.
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QUESTION: Thank you Dr. Have you ever had any thinning in the front of your hairline? Did propecia help that for you or can it? Have you ever used Rogaine foam or recommend it? I wasn't sure if it would work there or just cause more thinning with application. Thank you.
ANSWER: I have used minoxidil lotions that I have made up since 1979. Initially it was a 2% lotion which I used on a thinning spot on my crown. Later I made up a 5% lotion which I used front, top and back. Increased density was noted 3 months after initial use. Minoxidil makes hair thicker but does not stop the hairs from getting the message they are aging. Continued use is needed to keep up the benefits.
I myself have taken1mg finasteride (equivalent to Propecia) since 1973 and began prescribing that dose to patients the same year. Finasteride actually keeps the hairs younger preventing the DHT hormone from aging the hairs.
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QUESTION: Thank you Sir. Will the 5% foam work up front too? I'm thinning there now. Does it cause hair loss before growth like it says on the bottle?
It does work up front. The reason you may have read it is for the back of the head is that the studies done for the FDA to prove it works were done on the crown of the head. The FDA then told the company they could not say it works in front.
Do not worry about loss of hair after use. In 35 years of using and prescribing topical minoxidil lotions I have not seen shedding due to applying a minoxidil lotion.