You asked, we answered! Our Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) superhero (our pharmacist Scott) has been on hand as we asked him some of your main questions and concerns with the notorious MPB.
What type of male pattern baldness medication do you offer?
We offer two products to treat hair loss – Finasteride and Minoxidil.
And how do they work?
Finasteride is licensed and has been medically proven to treat male pattern baldness. It works by systemically preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As DHT is the main contributory factor to Male Pattern Baldness, lowering the levels of this hormone is essential to preventing further hair loss.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator meaning that it dilates blood vessels and allows more blood supply and nutrients to the follicles. Our Minoxidil formula also contains a DHT blocker which helps to prevent the DHT from sticking to the follicle and causing miniaturisation of the hair follicles.
Our Minoxidil formula, therefore, works in two ways, promoting hair growth by increasing blood flow and nutrients to the follicles. And helps to prevent further male pattern baldness by blocking the DHT from attaching to the follicles.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our Minoxidil is manufactured in the UK.
What do the Minoxidil ingredients, Caffeine and Azelaic Acid do?
Caffeine has been shown to work in two ways. Firstly, there is evidence to show that caffeine can help in blocking testosterone locally.
Secondly, caffeine also helps to enlarge the size of the follicle and therefore promotes the production of more hair strands growing from a single follicle.
Azelaic acid is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. This means that it helps to stop the conversion of testosterone to DHT and therefore ensures that the increases blood delivered to the follicles is low in, or absent of dihydrotestosterone.
Why is my male pattern baldness getting worse?
It is common to go through an initial shedding phase at any point during the first 12 weeks of treatment. The hair cycle is split into three stages – the growing phase (Anagen phase), the transition phase (Catagen phase) and the resting phase (Telogen phase).
During the initial shedding phase, any old, weak hairs sitting in the resting phase of the hair cycle can be pushed out to make way for new, thicker hairs to come through. Not everyone will experience this initial shedding, but for those that do, it is a positive sign that the medication is working.
The shedding phase can happen at any point between week 2 and week 12. After week 12, any shedding should have slowed down and stopped. Visible changes should start to be seen between month 3 and month 6.
When will I start seeing results?
Initial visible results tend to be seen between 3-6 months, with further improvement at month 9 and 12. Maximum results are seen around 12 months of treatment as any active follicles that can still grow hair have been opened and stimulated by this point.
Scott McDougall (MPharm) is a clinical pharmacist and in addition to being Cornerstone’s senior in-house pharmacist, is the co-founder of The Independent Pharmacy, one of the UK’s leading independent online pharmacies.