Topical Finasteride Usage Guide: Application, Dosage and More

Who Should Be Using Topical Finasteride?

Topical Finasteride solution should only be used by men aged 18 and over, who are experiencing Male Pattern Baldness. 

Finasteride has been shown to prevent hair loss, combatting bald spots and receding hairlines in 9 out of 10 guys who use the treatment.

Finasteride should only be used to combat the effects of Male Pattern Baldness. There are other forms of hair loss, and there are other treatments which are better-suited to preventing hair loss in different areas of your scalp.

You might not be sure whether or not the amount of hair loss you are experiencing is normal, and this is understandable, considering hair falls from our heads everyday naturally. You may want to check out our ‘How much hair loss is normal?’ guide for more info.

Some guys are beginning to choose Topical Finasteride as an alternative to oral Finasteride tablets. 

One of the main reasons for this growing popularity of topical Finasteride is that oral Finasteride tablets have been known to cause some unpleasant side effects in rare cases — although over 96% of men do not experience these side effects. 

Studies have shown that Topical Finasteride doesn’t carry the same risk of side effects as oral Finasteride tablets, and as we’ll explain in more detail later, this treatment has also been shown to be equally effective when it comes to preventing hair loss. So for guys who are anxious about oral Finasteride, Topical Finasteride is a great alternative. 

Dosage: How Often Should I Use Topical Finasteride?

How often you use topical Finasteride depends on the strength of the topical Finasteride solution. Topical Finasteride with Minoxidil solution containing 0.05% Finasteride (0.5mg/mL) and 5% Minoxidil (50mg/mL) should be applied to the scalp twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. 

Using this hair loss treatment more frequently or increasing the dosage will not speed up the results, and may increase the risk of side effects.  

How to Apply Topical Finasteride

Using a dropper, apply up to 1mL of the solution directly to the scalp in the areas affected by hair loss, twice daily, with at least eight hours between the two applications. 

A good way to apply the solution is in small droplets to the affected area. This helps spread the solution around and also prevents it from running down your head. 

Rubbing the solution in is not necessary, although some guys use their fingers or the dropper to spread the solution around the affected area of the scalp. 

How Long Does Topical Finasteride Take to Have an Effect?

It takes time to regrow hair. Some men will start to see visible results after 2 months, whereas other men may need to wait up to 4 months before they see visible results. 

At first, you can expect to see small, thin hairs appearing, similar to baby hairs. These hairs should get thicker and darker over time and become similar to your other hairs. The full results of the treatment can be expected after 9-12 months. 

It’s important to point out that if you don’t see significant results within the expected time frame, you shouldn’t start using a higher-than-recommended dosage. 

This will not increase the speed at which you start seeing results, and may increase the risk of developing negative side effects.

How Effective is Topical Finasteride for Combating Hair Loss?

Studies have shown that Topical Finasteride is highly effective when it comes to preventing hair loss. 

For example, this study of Topical Finasteride showed that a group of 52 men using the treatment had a significant decrease in hair loss levels, and a “reduction in balding areas”.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Although oral Finasteride tablets have been deemed as a safe and effective treatment for hair loss by leading healthcare regulators, in some rare cases there can be some side effects. 

These side effects, including sexual side effects, itchiness and swelling, occur in only around 4% of men who take oral Finasteride tablets.

However, guys who use Topical Finasteride appear to report fewer or no side effects from the treatment. 

One study, observing the effect of Topical Finasteride vs a placebo on 52 subjects, showed that there were “no reported local or systemic effects in treatment or placebo groups,” meaning there were no reported side effects as a result of the treatment.

For more information about these studies, take a look at our topical finasteride safety and side Effects guide.

If You Are Experiencing Side Effects

As mentioned earlier, negative side effects from using Topical Finasteride are very rare, and the vast majority of guys report no side effects at all. 

If you do experience any side effects, don’t panic, as these may only occur for a few days. However, if symptoms persist for longer than a couple of weeks, you should reach out to your Freshman clinician or contact your GP. 

Find Out if Topical Finasteride is Right for You

Perhaps you’re interested in using Topical Finasteride for your hair loss, but aren’t sure if the treatment is right for you? 

When you speak to a Hims UK-registered clinician, they can work with you to figure out the treatment is suitable for you, so you can be sure you’re on the right path.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.