Various drug therapies exist. In this context we will try to give some more details on the two substances with proven effectiveness. Not surprisingly, these are the two approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Given that different protocols and ways of taking the substances in question can be found, we will not focus on the doses or how to use them.
Minoxidil acts by encouraging the hair’s anagen phase, even if the precise molecular mechanism is still being studied. Nevertheless, it seems that it stimulates the “keratinocytes” to grow, thereby stimulating hair structures and the hair itself to grow. Other studies have shown how the molecule functions as a potent vasodilator. Moreover it influences calcium flows that, as is known, may cause a reduction in the hair growth phase.
The results obviously vary from person to person. There are those who testify to an abundant regrowth (after a period of irregular loss), and those who have only enjoyed moderate growth. There are even those who have not found the substance to be of much use, although these individuals do state that they no longer have hair loss.
Like any drug, it has side effects (these also vary from person to person, and on the basis of the doses and methods of use): hypersensitivity, dermatitis, tachycardia.
Differently than minoxidil, we know exactly how finasteride acts: it blocks the enzyme responsible for the conversion of Testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (known also as DHT). DHT may be called the “evil twin” of testosterone: a stronger version of testosterone that negatively impacts the growth of hair. DHT affects the anagen phase of hair sensitive to its action.
Finasteride blocks this transformation of testosterone into DHT, thereby reducing its action on hair.
Also in this case, results may vary from individual to individual, but generally regrowth is seen in the first two years, after which the drug serves only to maintain the results obtained.
Finasteride may also have side effects, although these are temporary (they stop when drug use is interrupted), as in the case of minoxidil. In the case of finasteride, the side effects are: reduced libido, erectile dysfunction. Finasteride may not be taken by women during childbearing years.
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