Will My Hair Grow Faster If I Use Finasteride & Minoxidil At the Same Time?


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We get it: Dealing with hair loss is rough. Frantically searching for every hair loss treatment under the sun and wondering if you can double — or even triple — up on treatments is completely understandable.

In your search for male pattern baldness solutions, two treatment options have probably come up: finasteride and minoxidil.

Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) and finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia) have both been around for decades and are commonly used to treat male pattern hair loss.

But which is most effective at encouraging hair regrowth? Will one give you a better shot of replenishing the full head of hair you had in your youth? Can you use minoxidil and finasteride together?

Below, we’ll explain how finasteride versus minoxidil works and the results they produce. We’ll also discuss whether you can use these two hair loss treatments together to stop thinning hair and regrow a thicker, fuller mop.

How Minoxidil and Finasteride Work

To understand which is better for hair loss — minoxidil versus finasteride — or whether they can be used together, let’s first talk about how each treatment option works.

Finasteride and minoxidil are both FDA-approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness.

Each is supported by significant evidence, though there are a few major differences in the ways these medications work to stop hair loss and promote hair growth.

How Minoxidil Works

Minoxidil is available as a topical treatment, either as minoxidil foam or a liquid minoxidil solution in 2% and 5% dosages. Both formulas are applied directly to the scalp.

Originally used to treat high blood pressure, an unexpected side effect of minoxidil was discovered: hair growth.

Topical minoxidil is a vasodilator that works to stimulate hair growth by widening the blood vessels inside your scalp. This may help promote blood flow to your hair follicles — the tiny organs throughout your scalp from which individual hairs grow.

In addition to increasing blood flow, experts think minoxidil lengthens the anagen phase of your hair’s natural growth cycle.

Your hair goes through a cycle, referred to, of course, as the hair growth cycle. It consists of three phases: anagen (growth phase), telogen (resting phase) and catagen (shedding phase).

Minoxidil extends the growth phase, allowing your hair to grow for a longer period before shedding. It also shifts dormant hairs, such as those in the telogen phase, into the anagen phase to stimulate hair growth.

You can think of minoxidil as a tool for stimulating hair growth and maintaining the hair you already have. While results depend on how long it takes minoxidil to work, hair regrowth can usually be seen after eight weeks of treatment.

(RelatedDutasteride vs. Finasteride for Hair Loss)

How Finasteride Works

FDA-approved not only for male pattern baldness but also for an enlarged prostate, finasteride works by stopping your body from producing dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes male pattern baldness.

DHT is produced as a byproduct of testosterone. The hormone is essential in early life and adolescence, when it plays a major role in the development of genitals and secondary characteristics, like facial and body hair.

As an adult, DHT can attach to receptors in the scalp and cause hair follicles to gradually miniaturize. Over time, this can impact your hair’s natural growth cycle and, eventually, stop hairs from growing at all.

DHT normally affects hair follicles near the hairline and crown first. This results in the classic receding hairline that often develops in the early stages of male pattern baldness.

Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the action of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme is involved in converting testosterone into DHT.

The medication is available as a topical finasteride solution, though topical finasteride is not currently approved by the FDA for hair loss treatment.

Finasteride also comes as an oral tablet prescribed in either 1-milligram (mg) or 5-milligram dosages, with the 1-milligram dose typically prescribed for hair loss.

Finasteride and minoxidil essentially treat hair loss from different angles.

Minoxidil is a topical medication that works like a fertilizer, giving your hair the nutrients it needs to grow to its full potential. Finasteride for hair loss, on the other hand, is more like a shield that protects your hair follicles from damage caused by certain hormones.

(Related9 Causes of Hair Thinning In Men)

Finasteride vs. Minoxidil Side Effects

Clinical trials have shown that both medications are relatively safe and effective for hair loss. But like all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, there’s still a chance of experiencing finasteride and minoxidil side effects.

Although rare and relatively mild, common side effects of minoxidil include:

  • Skin irritation

  • Burning sensation

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Exacerbation of seborrheic dermatitis

  • Excessive hair growth

Since minoxidil interrupts the hair growth cycle, it may cause you to shed slightly more hair during the first few months of use.

The idea of a hair loss treatment causing more hair loss seems ironic, but don’t worry — it’s usually temporary, and you should start to notice a higher hair count within a few months of use.

Side effects of finasteride are also relatively uncommon, and they can differ between oral finasteride and the topical solution.

The oral tablet can include side effects that may affect your function or enjoyment, like:

  • ED

  • Changes in ejaculatory volume

  • Decreased libido

Meanwhile, a few rare topical finasteride side effects have been reported, including:

  • Lightheadedness

  • Headaches

  • Testicular pain

There can also be drug interactions between oral or topical finasteride and other medications, vitamins or supplements you take that cause unusually high concentrations of the drug in your blood.

While not considered serious side effects, these finasteride interactions may result in skin irritation, reduced libido or allergic reaction.

Finasteride vs. Minoxidil Results

Now for the question you really want answered: How do minoxidil and finasteride results compare? Who’s the winner in the finasteride versus minoxidil showdown?

Drumroll, please…the answer is: both.

Sorry if you were expecting a more partial opinion. But the fact is, several studies on minoxidil and finasteride results show both hair loss treatments are highly effective.

  • A study looked at 904 men with androgenetic alopecia. After using a minoxidil 5% dosage twice a day for a year, 62 percent saw a significant decrease in hair loss.

  • Other studies found that both the 2% and 5% minoxidil concentrations showed improved hair density compared to a placebo after 16 and 26 weeks.

  • After 48 weeks of treatment, 45 percent of 278 patients saw more hair growth using 5% minoxidil versus the 2% concentration.

Meanwhile, finasteride results are comparable to minoxidil and just as noteworthy.

  • A study carried out in Japan looked at over 500 men with male pattern baldness. It found that more than 99 percent of participants experienced no worsening of their hair loss during treatment with 1 milligram of finasteride.

  • In the same study, 91.5 percent of the men experienced improvements in hair growth while using finasteride.

  • In another large Japanese study of over 3,000 men, over 36 percent experienced moderate hair regrowth, while 11 percent had significant hair growth over three years.

  • Topical finasteride was also found to significantly increase hair growth in over 300 men compared to a placebo. These results were similar to the DHT-blocking effects of oral finasteride.

Results of Finasteride and Minoxidil Together

Minoxidil versus finasteride offer very similar results, but what about using them together?

Fortunately, research says a combined treatment is not only safe but may also slightly improve hair loss.

  • A study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal found that, when combined with ongoing use of topical minoxidil, switching from oral finasteride to topical finasteride allowed patients to maintain good hair density.

  • A review of several randomized controlled trials found that a combined treatment of oral finasteride and topical minoxidil had better results and was just as safe as using either treatment alone.

  • A small 2012 double-blind study of 40 men compared topical minoxidil with a combination of topical finasteride and minoxidil. The combo group showed a greater appearance of reduced hair loss, although there wasn’t a difference in actual new hair growth.

Since they work in different parts of the body, there’s no risk in taking finasteride and minoxidil together.

In fact, as the above studies show, you might get better results using finasteride and minoxidil together than by only taking one medication to treat hair loss.

How to Choose Between Finasteride and Minoxidil

Now that you’re up to speed on all things finasteride and minoxidil, how do you choose which one to use?

Here’s what to keep in mind when weighing your options:

  • Both minoxidil and finasteride are options for anyone starting to notice thinning hair, a receding hairline or other signs of male pattern baldness.

  • You don’t need to have a minimum level of hair loss to use minoxidil or finasteride. However, you should have realistic expectations about what minoxidil and finasteride can do and understand that you may not be able to get all your hair back.

  • If you only have mild hair loss, you might want to start with minoxidil before trying other medications. As an over-the-counter drug, minoxidil is easy to add to your hair loss prevention routine without having to visit a healthcare provider.

  • Minoxidil foam may be preferable compared to the topical minoxidil solution. Why? It dries faster, plus the foam speeds up the delivery of the medication to the hair follicles.

  • If you want to try a combination treatment, consider this topical finasteride & minoxidil spray. As an easy-to-use, two-in-one product, it might even be the only hair loss treatment you need.

  • Or, if you don’t mind separate products, you can try oral finasteride, which can be safely used with topical minoxidil.

Minoxidil vs. Finasteride: Choose One or Use Both?

If hair loss treatments were advertised like boxing matches, this one might be called “Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: Battle Royal.”

In reality, both treatments are incredibly effective and can even be used together. We’d like to reimagine the duo as partners, not competitors, in “Finasteride & Minoxidil: A Match Made in Hair Loss Heaven.” Certainly not as entertaining, though.

  • Minoxidil, available as a foam or liquid solution, is a topical vasodilator that works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and shifting hair follicles into the growth phase of the hair growth cycle.

  • Meanwhile, finasteride is a DHT blocker that works by protecting your hair follicles from damage that causes male pattern baldness in the first place. You can get finasteride as an oral medication in tablet form or as a topical solution.

  • Plenty of studies show that both treatments are highly effective at hair restoration — they’re generally well-tolerated too. Research also shows that they work best together to treat hair loss from multiple angles (externally and internally).

There are several ways to treat hair loss.

Supplements like biotin gummies might encourage hair growth if you have a biotin deficiency. And using products like thickening shampoo with saw palmetto or volumizing shampoo and conditioner for thinning hair can give your locks some lift.

This article originally appeared on Hims.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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4 Common Weight Loss Surgeries (& 3 Alternatives)

4 Common Weight Loss Surgeries (& 3 Alternatives)

If you’re struggling with weight, you’re not alone. Around 42 percent of American adults have obesity. In addition to nutrition, exercise and medications, some might explore the idea of weight reduction surgery (or bariatric surgery).

What is bariatric surgery? It’s any surgical procedure that helps a person manage obesity or related health conditions.

But is weight loss surgery safe, and what are the pros and cons?

Whether weight loss surgery is right for you is a personal decision based on things like risk analysis, cost, commitment level and whether you’re a good candidate for stomach surgery for weight loss.

We’ll break down how weight loss surgery works, safety considerations, advantages, potential drawbacks and more to consider to help you make the best decision.


Weight loss surgery physically alters your digestive system to promote weight loss over time. The most common types of surgery aim to restrict food intake and/or reduce absorption of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats).

Is bariatric surgery safe? Yes! As long as you’re a good candidate and work with an experienced bariatric surgeon.

Bariatric surgeries are usually performed laparoscopically, meaning they involve small incisions in the abdomen and a teeny-tiny camera. Laparoscopic procedures are less invasive than some other surgeries, which helps minimize post-op recovery time and risk of complications.

Weight loss surgeries can be very effective for promoting weight loss and addressing related health problems. However, patients have to be willing to make significant lifestyle changes to support ongoing weight loss and long-term success.

Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

There are several types of weight loss surgery, each with a unique approach.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

What is gastric bypass surgery? Also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (or RYGB), gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch at the top of your stomach and rerouting part of your small intestine — like a traffic detour for digestion.

How does gastric bypass work? It limits the amount of food you can eat, reducing overall calorie absorption.

Like other weight loss procedures, there are pros and cons of gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric bypass may promote more sustainable weight loss and better blood sugar control than other procedures.

One review of clinical trials with over 65,000 patients in total found that RYGB resulted in more weight loss than gastric sleeve or lap band surgery at one, three and five years post-op. However, gastric bypass side effects are more common in the first 30 days.

Is gastric bypass reversible? Yep. While there are gastric bypass surgery risks (again, like any procedure), reversal is no less effort or risk than having it done in the first place.


What is gastric sleeve surgery? Also called sleeve gastrectomy (ectomy means “removal”), the procedure involves removing a large piece of your stomach. A sleeve-shaped pouch remains, hence the name.

This reduces the capacity of your stomach to hold food and tones down hunger hormones. These effects can make you feel fuller after eating a small amount, leading to a lower overall calorie intake.

The stomach sleeve surgery has the lowest likelihood of needing reoperation (when you have to have surgery again to correct a previous one), but it’s not reversible.

Heike Faber/istockphoto

Gastric banding (laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding or LAGB) involves placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of your stomach, creating a small pouch.

The band can be tightened or loosened (or removed) to regulate food intake.

Mongkolchon Akesin/istockphoto

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) is a two-step surgery.

First, a small stomach pouch is created, similar to a sleeve gastrectomy. Then, a large portion of the small intestine is bypassed, rerouting food away from the first part of the small intestine. This reduces calorie and nutrient absorption.


Weight loss surgery is typically reserved for folks with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. BMI is calculated by your body weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters (kg/m²).

That said, those with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 who have weight-related health issues — like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes — may also be good candidates. Due to their generally smaller stature, people of Asian descent with diabetes might qualify at a BMI of 27.5 or higher.

While BMI isn’t a perfect assessment of body mass composition, it broadly categorizes people as underweight (18.4 and below), normal weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25 to 29.9) or obesity (30 and above).

Typically, people with obesity who’ve been unable to achieve significant weight loss through nutrition, exercise and medications can also be considered for weight loss surgery.

The prerequisites for bariatric surgery don’t stop there, though. Besides comprehensive evaluations of their overall health and psychological readiness, potential candidates have to show a willingness to commit to long-term lifestyle changes.

(RelatedWeight Loss Medications: Are They Effective?)


Weight loss surgery should be carefully considered — not just because of the long-term commitment to change but also because of the cost, pre-op requirements and post-op process.

Here are some things you can expect:

  • Variations in cost. Though most insurance policies cover weight loss surgery to a degree, coverage varies by provider.

  • Extensive pre-op requirements. Preoperative prep is a team approach that calls for effort from the patient and their providers. Once you’re labeled a good candidate, you’ll get directions for nutrition, exercise, medication and mental health evaluations. Your provider might require a certain amount of weight loss prior to your procedure. Also, weight loss surgery recovery times can vary.

  • Detailed lifestyle changes. Following surgery, you’ll have a very specific lifestyle plan to adhere to. Be sure to communicate with your healthcare team and dietitian so they can support you along the way.


While these procedures can be worthwhile investments for some, there are also risks of bariatric surgery. Let’s go over the bariatric surgery pros and cons so you have an idea of the benefits and drawbacks.

Potential Benefits

These are some potential benefits of weight loss surgery:

  • Significant weight loss is possible. Weight loss surgery can be successful at improving health and quality of life. In fact, bariatric surgery can achieve weight loss of 25 to 30 percent, which is more than weight loss injections and behavioral interventions.

  • Improvement of obesity-related health conditions. Many people find that conditions worsened by their weight — like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and joint pain — improve after weight loss.

  • Enhanced mobility. Weight loss might help mobility and stamina, making it easier and more enjoyable to be active.

  • Reduction in medications. As weight-related health conditions get better, you might not need to take as many medications. (Just don’t stop any medications unless specifically instructed to do so by your provider.)

  • Improved fertility. Obesity can have a higher risk of fertility problems. So weight loss surgery could help increase the odds of conception and support a healthy pregnancy.

  • Better sleep. Many report improved sleep quality, reduced sleep apnea and even less snoring after weight loss surgery.

Sarah McEwan/istockphoto

Equally important to consider are the cons, including:

  • Surgical risks. Surgery has risks — that’s just the nature of the beast. Infection, bleeding, blood clots, adverse reactions to anesthesia and gastric bypass complications are possible.

  • Nutritional deficiencies. Bariatric surgery comes with an increased risk for nutrient deficiencies. The way your digestive system is altered (and often downsized) can make it more difficult to absorb vitamin D, iron, calcium and the B vitamins. (This is one reason it’s so vital to follow your dietitian’s food and supplement recommendations).

  • Dumping syndrome. Weight loss surgery can cause “dumping syndrome.” This is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating and weakness after eating foods high in sugar or fat. It happens because, after the procedure, food can zoom through your digestive system.

  • Digestive issues. Besides dumping syndrome, some people experience gastrointestinal symptoms like acid reflux, bloating, gas and constipation.

  • Gallstones. The speed of weight loss after surgery can increase the risk of gallstones (hardened digestive fluid deposits that form in the gallbladder). In some cases, medication or surgery is needed.

  • Mental health challenges. Weight loss surgery can have many positive effects on a person’s self-esteem. However, some might experience body image issues, adjustment difficulties and disordered eating behaviors.

  • Weight regain. Some people might regain weight over time. There are many reasons this could happen, like lapses in nutrition, hormonal changes or other lifestyle factors.


Even the best-laid plans can go awry. While not something to expect, it’s possible that having weight loss surgery won’t yield expected results.

This could happen because of underlying medical conditions, genetic factors, hormonal changes or trouble adhering to the nutrition and lifestyle plan.

If you feel like your progress has stalled, get in touch with your healthcare team. They can assess potential reasons and help you figure out your options.

This might include revisiting your nutrition and exercise plan, consulting additional experts, revisional surgery or exploring other non-surgical interventions, including the addition of weight loss medications.

(RelatedAre Diabetes Drugs Safe & Effective For Weight Loss?)

Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

Weight loss surgery can lead to successful weight loss, but it’s not the only avenue. There are less invasive alternatives if you don’t want to have surgery to lose weight.

Weight Loss Medications

Prescription weight loss medications can be very effective, especially when paired with lifestyle changes. Weight loss drugs work by suppressing appetite, reducing fat absorption or boosting metabolism.

Many weight loss medications are used off-label. This means they’re FDA-approved for something other than weight loss, but providers prescribe them for weight loss because they can work well for that purpose.

Some of the most common options are:

  • GLP-1s. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists were developed for managing type 2 diabetes. By mimicking the action of the hormone GLP-1, they can reduce appetite, increase satiety and slow digestion. Popular options include liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda), semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy), tirzepatide (Mounjaro, Zepbound) exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), and dulaglutide (Trulicity®). Most are injectables.

  • Metformin. While its primary benefits are as a type 2 diabetes drug, metformin can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce appetite to support weight loss.

  • Naltrexone and bupropion (Contrave). Naltrexone is typically used to manage alcohol and opioid dependence, and bupropion is an antidepressant. Combining the two helps regulate appetite and cravings to support weight loss.

  • Topiramate. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant that can suppress appetite and make you feel fuller.


Good nutrition is non-negotiable for health and weight loss. It can be tempting to try weight loss trends promising a quick fix (we’re looking at you, celery juice diet), but these probably won’t help your long-term success.

Meet with a registered dietitian who specializes in weight loss. They can help you optimize your nutrition and create a tailored plan based on your health, preferences and goals.


Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week for overall health and disease prevention.

This might seem like a lot, and you definitely don’t need to start with that much exercise. The most important thing is to start where you are, give yourself grace and find things you truly enjoy doing.

Perhaps it’s walking, swimming, biking, dancing, playing a sport or a rotation of activities.

If you’re up for it, consider adding in resistance training. Think lifting dumbbells, using weight machines at the gym, or doing bodyweight exercises at home to strengthen your muscles.


Weight loss is very personal. The best weight loss surgery or approach for someone else may not be the best for you — and that’s okay! Every surgical procedure and health pursuit requires careful consideration.

When considering weight loss surgery, remember that:

  • It’s not for everyone. Weight loss surgery can be wildly successful, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all prescription for weight loss. There are plenty of pros and cons to think about.

  • It’s one piece of the long-term puzzle. If you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery, preparation and commitment are essential. Just as weight loss medications should be used alongside lifestyle modifications, so is weight loss surgery calls for a long-term nutrition and exercise plan.

  • There are alternatives. If weight loss surgery isn’t a good fit for you, consider other options, like medications along with nutrition counseling and a fitness plan. Your healthcare provider is there to help!

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