Minoxidil vs. Finasteride

Medical Hair Loss Treatments

Your Simple Guide for Hair Loss Treatment

I understand how horrifying of an experience it is for men, no matter what age you are, to see that your hair is starting to show signs of hair loss and baldness. I have known quite a few buddies of mine who has tried the many tricks in concealing their increasingly receding hairline.

Some are trying to grow out what remains of their bangs to cover their exposing temples. Others are lathering on hair growing tonics and lotions, while a lot has simply just accepted the fact that they are going bald and have totally shaved off their heads

Looking for the right solution for hair loss problem can sometimes even be stressful and intimidating to a point. You see all these products promising you thick hair but never really understand all the scientific ingredient names and how they can work for you.

You stand there holding a bottle of hair tonic or medication scratching your head with a very big question mark in your mind. Don’t you just wish a hair guru were there to explain everything to you?

If you are one of those men, or women also, who are out there thinking of buying that hair loss treatment, you might want to take a closer look into two of the more common hair loss treatment in the market: Minoxidil and Finasteride.

There goes the medical terms again, but we will try to explain it in the simplest words as possible.


You might be surprised that this hair loss treatment actually started as a medication for hypertension and used to treat high blood pressure. But an interesting side effect resulted to increase in hair growth. Minoxidil is an over-the-counter treatment for androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, which affects about 70% of men and 30% of women. You might have seen this as a main and active ingredient of hair loss products like Rogaine. So, when you see these names, do not be confused, as these are one and the same product with Minoxidil as the medical name and Rogaine as the brand name. Other brand names for Minoxidil are Regain, Tugain, Amexidil and Loniten, which is in oral form. However, Rogaine is the more common and the one that you might have probably heard of a lot of times.

It’s Topical!

Minoxidil comes in liquid or solution form that you need to apply to your balding area twice a day to stimulate hair growth and to slow the balding process. What it does is that it revitalizes and increases the size of your hair follicles, making way for a much thicker hair regrowth. You may find that you will shed your old, thin hair during the first 2 weeks of use of the treatment. However, this should not cause any alarm as this kicks start your hair regrowth process with a thicker-looking hair.

No Gender Bias

The Rogaine brand usually comes in two dosages: 2% and 5%. The 2% solution is ideal for both men and women, who are just starting to show signs of hair loss. However, a stronger dosage of 5% is available and is proven to be more effective. But, this stronger dose is only recommended for men, as this can also stimulate unwanted hair growth in other areas of the body among women.


While you might think that you will simply just lather the treatment all over your head to get the results, there is, however, a proper way of using the product.

Before applying the solution, you must make sure that your hair and scalp are completely dry. This makes for better absorption of the medication. Apply the prescribed amount of Minoxidil twice a day on the area of your scalp being treated, working your way around starting at the center of the area. Allow for it to completely and naturally dry. So, this means that you do not use a hair dryer to dry your scalp. Take note though that the solution can stain clothes and linen. That is why is important to completely let the solution dry on your scalp.

But, if you miss a dose, do not make up for it by doubling your dose on the next dosage. Simply skip it and go back to your regular dosing.

The Proper Use

Minoxidil is generally well tolerated. However, there may be rare instances that you may experience the following side-effects:

  • Itching and skin rash on the treated area
  • Acne on the treated area
  • Burning of scalp
  • Reddened skin
  • Allergic reactions
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Unwanted hair growth

While it is a non-prescription hair loss treatment, it is still best to seek the advice of your physician, especially if you are taking medications for high-blood pressure, have kidney, liver, heart and skin disease, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Temporary Fix

It is important that you know that the result of Minoxidil is not instant. There is about a three-month period that you will notice shedding of your old hair before you will see new regrowth to your hair. You will get to see the optimum result after a year of continued use.

So, there is the word “continued use”. This means that when you stop using the treatment, you will notice that your new hair will start to shed and your scalp will return back to its condition before you started using the treatment. So, this is not your permanent solution in stopping hair loss, it is a great alternative to curb and cheat hair loss by stimulating hair growth with continued use.

So, there lies another question regarding its safety considering you have to use it continuously. Good thing is that Minoxidil is safe and is FDA approved. Plus, considering that it is a topical solution, you lessen the risk of any complications in your internal system.


This synthetic drug, on the other hand, is used as a treatment for both male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlargement of the prostate gland. It contains an enzyme, which inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihyrdrotetosterone.

So, what is dihydrotestosterone you might ask? It is a male sex hormone that is responsible for the stimulation of development of male characteristics, which includes the male organs and, you guessed it, growth of body hair. But, an overdrive of dihydrotestosterone or DHT can lead to shrinking of the hair follicles. It helps stop the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Researches have shown that it can effectively lower the DHT levels in the scalp by up to 60%.

Also, take note that Finasteride is the medical name and the more common commercial brands are Propecia and Proscar.

It’s A Male Thing

Considering that it stimulates testosterone in the body, Finasteride is only prescribed for men. So yes, this hair loss treatment is a male thing. It increases the level of testosterone in the system, which could also lead to a decrease in size of the prostate and increases hair growth on the scalp.

Oral Route

Unlike Minoxidil, Finasteride comes in a 1mg tablet form and needs a prescription from your doctor. This means you would not be able to simply go to the drugstore and ask for this medication. This treatment should be taken once a day or as prescribed by your doctor. If you are wondering if you should take this before or after a meal, no need to worry because you can take it either way.

However, it is recommended that you take this medication at the same time of day. Not for anything else, but just so you would not be able to miss taking it. If you do miss a dose of this, do not take double doses the following day. Just skip it and take your regular dosage the next day.

Patience Is A Virtue

Finasteride does not provide instant result. You will be able to see gradual hair growth after a few months of continuous in take of the medication. You may experience shedding of your old hair too on the first two to three months. This will make way for new hair to grow with a thicker regrowth. You will be able to see noticeable and optimum result after a year of continued use.


You should know that there are a number of side effects associated with this treatment, though these can be very uncommon. In very rare instances, decrease in libido may be experienced, reduced ability to get an erection and breast tenderness. However, these side effects are far and in between to happen with only about a small percentage of 1% to 18% experiencing cases of impotence. But, it is still the best to know this beforehand.

Seek A Professional Advice

While it is great to have better knowledge and understanding of available hair loss treatments, no amount of research is substantial than getting a professional advice from your doctor. A consultation with your doctor will allow for a proper assessment of your condition.

They will be able to give you the best possible remedy to your hair loss situation.

This is also a great opportunity for you to raise some concerns, hesitations and your expectations in getting a certain treatment. Plus, your doctor will be able to explain to you how best you can achieve the hair growth results that you are longing for.

Hair loss can be very daunting and it does not really matter whether you are young or old. But, there are certainly a number of solutions that are available to gain that full, thick head of hair that you once had.

If you are looking for hair loss treatments that will bring back your crowning glory, the Renewal Aesthetic Clinic in Singapore offers a variety of hair loss treatments that can help you regain your confidence back. An in-depth discussion of your condition and the treatments options for you will be presented to you during your consultation with expert Dr. Tyng Tan.

So, if you have been scratching your head every time you head to the drugstore looking for solution to your hair loss woes, this information will now give you the power to a better understanding of your hair loss treatment options. And, do not forget to visit a credible doctor to further discuss with you the benefits of these medical treatment options and head on your way to feel a flowing thick mane on your head.

Read more about Low Level Laser Therapy.

Setup your confidential consultation with Dr Tyng Tan to see if Minoxidil or Finasteride is right for you!

Note This form and any reply to it does not take the place of an actual in person consultation. It is merely intended to provide us with an initial idea of your condition and goals. With this information we can then give you an informed reply.


This website is intended to provide you with general information only. This information is not a substitute for advice from our aesthetic doctor and does not contain all the known facts about this procedure or every possible side effect of Treatment. It is important that you speak to our aesthetic doctor before deciding to undergo the treatment.

At the time of your consultation one of our medical practitioner will provide you information regarding your procedures.