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Topical or Oral Finasteride: which one is right for you?

Topical or Oral Finasteride: which one is right for you?
21 September 2021
2-minute read

As one of only two FDA-approved hair loss treatments, Finasteride has the potential to help you stop a receding hairline and cultivate hair growth. Oral Finasteride is the tried and tested formula for treating hair loss and, in combination with topical Minoxidil, is the internationally recognised best treatment for male pattern hair loss. However, emerging evidence suggests that topical Finasteride can also be beneficial in those not suited to oral tablets

To help you weigh up both of your options, we’ve collated the pros and cons of topical and oral Finasteride.

How does Finasteride work?

Whichever method of Finasteride you choose, the process will remain the same. Finasteride works by inhibiting the production of the hormone DHT - a by-product of testosterone that damages hair follicles, causing them to miniaturise and gradually disappear. Those men with naturally higher levels of DHT are more likely to lose their hair. With consistent use and a combination of other treatments, Finasteride can have a positive impact on your hair loss.

Oral Finasteride

Oral tablets are the most common method of consuming Finasteride and are often paired up with other medications to maximise the results of hair growth. As mentioned previously, oral tablets are easier to consume than topical Finasteride and only need taking once a day. In terms of side effects, studies have shown that less than 4% of oral Finasteride users experience mild symptoms, which will stop after stopping use. 

There are also a variety of studies that have found evidence of oral Finasteride’s use, especially in combination with topical Minoxidil. This research from 2015 discovered that 84.44% of participants who used this combination managed to maintain a good hair density throughout the trials. Whether oral or topical, Finasteride has evidence to back up its effectiveness. Oral Finasteride in combination with 5% topical minoxidil solution is the most effective treatment for hair loss in males and in the majority of cases is the 1st line and most effective treatment plan. 

Topical Finasteride

Our topical Finasteride comes in the form of a spray, which should be applied to your whole scalp (especially where thinning is most prominent) on a daily basis. While it may not be as simple as taking a daily tablet, topical Finasteride spray is still easy to apply to your scalp. However, unlike oral Finasteride, our spray is a combination of both Minoxidil and Finasteride, which studies have shown to be the most effective way to combat hair loss. Rather than taking an oral Finasteride tablet and Minoxidil solution separately, our spray brings both together. But what does the science say about topical Finasteride?

This study published in 2018 reviewed topical Finasteride in the treatment of hair loss and found that there was a ‘significant decrease in the rate of hair loss’ among the participants. While there’s no doubt that more research needs to be done into topical Finasteride, the study observed that its use was both ‘safe and promising’. Finally, the study also showed that topical Finasteride appeared to minimise the unwanted systemic side effects associated with oral use. While these oral Finasteride side effects are undeniably rare, topical Finasteride may lower the risk in comparison but oral finasteride is still the clinically most effective option.

Remember - whichever Finasteride type you choose, consistency is key if you want the best results. We suggest combining your daily application or consumption with other parts of your daily routine, in order to build up that consistency over the months.

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.