Is Propecia Right for Me?

If you suffer from hair loss, there may be several options available to you. How you choose to treat your hair loss is a personal decision. The following list of questions should help you make the right decision for you:

Are you over 18 and male?

You must be over 18 to use Propecia. Propecia is only suitable for treating hair loss in men. Minoxidil is the only hair loss treatment approved for both men and women.

How advanced is your hair loss?

If your hair loss is in advanced stages, you may find that no hair loss medication will work effectively for you. In this case, you should consider alternatives such as aesthetic options (see below) or psychological therapies if you are having difficulties with your self-esteem etc. Propecia is most effective the earlier you start taking it.

Would you be happy with using aesthetic options instead?

Aesthetic options are methods of hiding hair loss, rather than treating it. These may be suitable for you if you are predominantly bothered by how hair loss affects your appearance. Aesthetic options include: hairpieces, wigs, hairstyling, hair extensions (although these can encourage baldness). The only permanent aesthetic treatment is hair transplant surgery, in which hair follicles are taken from one area and transplanted into the scalp. This is an effective but expensive procedure. Hairpieces and wigs are the only hair loss solution available on the NHS.

Would you rather use a pill or a topical treatment?

Propecia is a pill taken once a day. The alternative hair loss drug is Minoxidil. Minoxidil must be applied twice daily. So Propecia may be more convenient for you. Minoxidil can also cause scalp irritation, so if you have a sensitive scalp, it may be a better option for you.

What time frame do you want?

Propecia can produce noticeable results within 3 months. On the other hand, Minoxidil can take up to 4 months of daily use to show effects. If you don’t see a significant change in your hair loss/regrowth within 6 months, you may want to consider other treatments. Stopping treatment may lead to a regression to the original levels within 6-12 months.

Are you trying to conceive?

Evidence suggests that Propecia can have a temporary effect upon your fertility. If you are trying to conceive a child, it is advised that you do not use Propecia during this period. If you are taking Propecia, you should stop taking it at least one week before you start to try to conceive. However, the infertility may last slightly longer, so it may take longer before your sperm quality is good enough for conception.

Do you suffer from any mental health problems relating to your hair loss?

If you suffer from low-self esteem, poor self-image or any other mental health condition relating to your hair loss, you may be able to treat these without needing medications to combat hair loss. Psychological therapies, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapies can be very beneficial for overcoming such mental health problems. You can also get support from Alopecia charities such as: Alopecia UK.


NICE Guidelines > Alopecia 

Livestrong > Propecia vs Rogaine


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