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Medical Treatment of Hair Loss

June 19th, 2006

Q: I have read on numerous websites that Propecia and Minoxidil work synergistically, and that a hair loss sufferer will see better results using them together than either one alone. Do you believe this is the case, or do you think Propecia is enough treatment by itself for someone who just began to experience slight hair thinning and is too early for hair transplantation? — K.V., Hewlett Bay Park, New York

A: They may act synergistically since their mechanisms of action are different.

Rogaine (Minoxidil) stimulates the hair follicle directly, but Propecia (Finasteride 1 mg) permits hair growth by blocking the negative effects of DHT. Of the two, Propecia is far more effective. It is reasonable to use the two together as long as the medications are used regularly.

For patients contemplating surgical hair restoration, we generally have them continue Propecia only, since applying Minoxidil is too fussy and offers only incremental benefit.

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Hair loss has a variety of causes. Diagnosis and treatment is best determined by a board-certified dermatologist. We offer both in-person and online photo consults.

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