A man worried about finding fallen hair on his pillow
Hair Loss
December 6, 2023
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Topical Finasteride 101 Guide: How It Works, Side Effects, Where To Buy Topical Finasteride In Singapore

Hair loss is a prevalent concern amongst both men and women worldwide, with 30 - 50% of men over 50 being affected by male pattern baldness. Among the various hair loss treatments available, oral finasteride is a commonly-prescribed form of treatment for hair loss.

The Daily + Topical Tonic Bundle
Hair Loss
The Daily + Topical Tonic Bundle
Reduces DHT levels, increases blood flow to scalp

Recently, the formulation of topical finasteride has gained attention as a potential game-changer at treating hair loss. In this article, learn what finasteride is, how finasteride treats hair loss, the benefits of topical finasteride over oral finasteride and how combining topical finasteride with minoxidil can get you even better

What is Finasteride And The Different Forms Of Finasteride

Finasteride (also known by brand names Propecia and Proscar) is a prescription medication used to treat androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness.

Under the brand name Proscar, Finasteride was originally used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where the prostate gland is enlarged but not cancerous.

It was later used to treat hair loss and sold under the brand name Propecia.

Traditionally, Finasteride came only in tablet form, taken as a daily dosage of 1mg. However, more recently, Finasteride has been formulated for topical use in liquid form, which is applied directly to the scalp. This topical formulation can be found in various forms such as spray, gel, or droplets.

How Does Finasteride (Oral And Topical) Treat Hair Loss

Androgenic Alopecia (Male Pattern Balding) is primarily caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen that is derived from testosterone. DHT is responsible for supporting the development of male sex characteristics during puberty such an increased growth of male genitalia, a deep voice, increased muscle mass and increased body hair.

However, DHT can also be responsible for causing hair loss for men due to a process called “miniaturization”. During this process, DHT binds to the receptors found in hair follicles, causing them to weaken, shrink and ultimately die. This will eventually lead DHT-affected hair follicles to cease growing permanently if left untreated.

Classified as a 5α-reductase inhibitor, Finasteride works by binding itself to the 5α-reductase enzyme and effectively blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT. The prevention of this conversion prevents DHT from binding itself to the receptors found in hair follicles, preventing the miniaturization process and stops them from shrinking.

Taking a daily dosage of 1mg of Finasteride is able to block DHT production to prevent most male pattern balding. There is also a possibility that taking a daily dosage of 1mg of Finasteride can also cause hair follicles affected by the miniaturization process to slowly grow back.

Benefits of Using Topical Finasteride Over Oral Finasteride

Besides being a more accessible and convenient option for hair loss patients who dislike taking oral medication, another benefit of using topical finasteride is that it causes less side effects than the oral form while still achieving the same results.

Oral Finasteride can cause the following side effects:

An Asian male suffering from a headache

- Headaches

- Dizziness or weakness

- Runny nose

- Skin rash

- Erectile dysfunction (ED)

- Decreased libido

- Problems with ejaculation (changes in ejaculatory volume)

- Pain in the testicles

Why Do People Experience Less Side Effects With Topical Finasteride Than Oral Finasteride

When topically applied, Finasteride is absorbed less into your system and blood stream compared to if it were taken orally, making it less likely to cause systemic side effects.  

Topical Finasteride has actually been shown in multiple clinical studies to have a lower risk of sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, compared to oral Finasteride.

If you are concerned about or have experienced sexual side effects from oral Finasteride, consider switching over to a topical Finasteride so you achieve the same benefits and results for your hair at a lower risk of developing these side effects.

Finasteride and Minoxidil: Can I Use Them Together?

What Is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is another widely used hair regrowth treatment for male pattern hair loss. It has an immediate effect but can take a few months to show noticeable changes, like other hair loss treatments. Minoxidil reduces elevated systolic and diastolic BP by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance via vasodilation. Applied topically, it stimulates hair growth secondary to vasodilation, increases cutaneous blood flow and stimulates resting hair follicles.

Unlike Finasteride, a DHT-conversion blocker, Minoxidil works by improving the environment for your existing hair follicles to facilitate hair growth. Minoxidil triggers and prolongs the initial phase of hair growth called anagen, causing your hair follicles to restart the hair growth process prematurely. This may cause some hair shedding for some when first using minoxidil. However, although this process may make it seem like you’re dropping more hair, minoxidil is actually working to produce a rise in hair diameter and length.

Minoxidil begins taking effect immediately, but you won’t see noticeable results for the initial 3 to 6 months of use. After which, the improvement should become more obvious and the full effects of minoxidil will usually be visible after a year of continued use.

Is Using Minoxidil and Finasteride Together Effective At Treating Hair Loss?

Yes!

According to a clinical study done by Adil and Godwin, it was found that Finasteride, used in combination with Minoxidil, was found to be the most effective way of treating for slowing down and preventing male pattern baldness.

Is It Safe To Take Finasteride and Minoxidil Together?

The Daily + Tonic Bundle by Noah™: a combination of Minoxidil 5% and Finasteride 1mg

Yes, it is safe for Finasteride and Minoxidil to be taken together to treat hair loss!

Finasteride and Minoxidil tackle hair loss through different mechanisms: Finasteride treats hair loss by blocking DHT production and decreasing DHT levels in the body, and Minoxidil treats hair loss by stimulating blood flow and prolonging the anagen phase of hair growth.

As they work in different parts of the body and do not interact with each other, there is very little risk of taking them together. As mentioned earlier, you're more likely to achieve better results if you use Finasteride and Minoxidil together.

However, it is important that you consult your doctor before you use these two medications together to check for any potential drug interactions.

Side Effects Of Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil

Multiple strands of thin hair stuck to a brush

While taking topical Finasteride and Minoxidil together is generally safe, they can cause some side effects.

Here are some common side effects of Minoxidil:

- Scalp and skin irritation

- Skin Rash

- Scalp dryness

- Hair shedding

Experiencing hair shedding might be concerning sight, especially when using Minoxidil to treat hair loss, but this is actually quite common and normal for the medication. As Minoxidil affects the growth cycle of hair and prolongs time spent during the anagen phase (the growth stage), it also causes less time spent during the telogen phase, leading to some degree of hair shedding.

Fortunately, hair shedding is only temporary. While results do vary from person to person, you should begin to see results after 8 weeks of consistent Minoxidil usage. After about 4 months, you should begin to see a noticeable improvement in hair growth and thickness.

As mentioned earlier, oral finasteride can cause sexual side effects like the following:

- Erectile dysfunction (ED)

- Decreased libido

- Problems with ejaculation (changes in ejaculatory volume)

- Pain in the testicles

While the above side effects may seem troubling, it is important to note that these side effects only affect a very small percentage of users and that most men that take finasteride medication will experience little to no side effects at all. In a study done by Kitasato University, of the 3177 men that took finasteride, only 23 men (0.7%) had experienced any adverse side effects.

In the rare event that you do experience any of these side effects, it is important to note that they can be stopped and reversed once you stop taking finasteride (or any other DHT blockers).

If you are concerned about or have experienced sexual side effects from oral Finasteride, consider switching over to a topical Finasteride so you achieve the same benefits and results for your hair at a lower risk of developing these side effects.

How Do I Get Topical Finasteride + Minoxidil To Treat Hair Loss In Singapore?

So how can you get prescription medication like topical finasteride and minoxidil to treat your hair loss in Singapore?

There are several ways you can get prescribed medication: either by visiting a local GP clinic, a private clinic or an aesthetic clinic. But all of them require you to physically head down to a clinic and wait in a line before being able to speak to a doctor.

With Noah, a zero-judgment digital health clinic for men in Singapore, you'll be able to get the hair loss medication you need from the comfort and privacy of your home.

Getting started with Noah couldn't be simpler - all you have to do is answer an online medication evaluation. Once complete, you will be able to book a teleconsultation session with a licensed doctor at your convenience. If prescribed, your medication will be delivered discreetly within 4 hours, at no additional cost.

You don't have to worry about the legitimacy and safety of the medication provided as Noah is recognized by the Ministry Of Health (MOH) as a direct telemedicine service provider.

Grow Foam: Singapore's First 3-In-1 Prescription Hair Loss Spray

Grow Foam: A 3-In-1 Prescription Hair Loss Spray

Noah has recently formulated the Grow Foam, Singapore's first 3-in-1 prescription hair loss foam spray that includes Finasteride (0.1%), Minoxidil (5%) and a clinically proven Follicle Booster to improve receding hairlines and bald spots.

With Grow Foam's easy-to-use application used twice daily, see your old hair replaced by new, thicker hair in an early as 3 months*.

*Results may vary from person to person. Most users see improvements to their hair after 2 - 4 months of daily use.

If you are experiencing hair loss, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Noah, our doctors are best equipped with the knowledge to help you ascertain the root cause of your hair loss and can determine whether topical Finasteride and Minoxidil is right for you. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it.

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BMI provides an estimate of weight classification. For a thorough analysis of your weight and medical options, arrange a teleconsult with a Noah doctor.

*Medical treatment may not be appropriate for you even if you have a high BMI
Your estimated weight loss in 1 year*
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*In a 56-week trial with 3,731 non-diabetic overweight (BMI ≥27) or obese (BMI ≥30) participants, those who finished (1,812 patients) lost an average of 9.2% body weight with Saxenda, alongside diet and exercise.
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SuperGrow Pack
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Written by our Editorial Team
Last updated
6/12/2023
disclaimer

Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.