Hair loss is a big talking point at the moment. MPB (Male Pattern Baldness) has some people fiercely defending the bald gentleman, flip that on its head and you have some people defending the use of MPB products. We decided to ask our specialist pharmacist, Scott, some of your main questions in a two-part series, read part 1 now!
How do I use your MPB products?
If your hair has started to thin but has not been entirely lost, this is the most effective time to start treatment.
The recommended daily dose of Finasteride is one tablet taken daily with or without food. It should also be taken at roughly the same time each day. Doses higher than this, have been shown to be no more effective at treating MPB but can increase the chances of side effects.
For minoxidil, apply 5-6 sprays twice daily directly onto the affected areas of the scalp. Ensuring the area is dry, use your fingertips to massage after application. It can be used in conjunction with styling products, be sure that the solution has absorbed first.
When will I see results?
It is common to go through an initial shedding phase at any point during the first 12 weeks of treatment and lose more hair, to begin with. This is because the hair cycle is split into three stages – the growing phase, the transition phase and the resting 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.
After week 12, any shedding should have slowed down and stopped. 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. However, you should continue treatment indefinitely to maintain these results.
Are there any side effects?
Studies show that side effects from finasteride occur in less than 1% of patients. If you suffer from MPB and take medication, they can include:
- Lowered libido
- Difficulty in achieving an erection
- Or a decrease in the amount of semen
These usually are not serious and will go away shortly after stopping your MPB treatment.
It’s unlikely to happen, but if you notice that your mood is lower than average during your treatment, it would be worth stopping the tablets and discussing them with your doctor.
Side effects are unlikely for those who use minoxidil and are usually mild; however, they can include:
- Scalp irritation
- Or nausea
These usually are not serious and will go away shortly after stopping treatment.
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.