Hair Loss – 2 Popular Steroids for Hair Loss Treatment
Over 21 million women and 35 million men in the United States alone are experiencing hair loss. By age 35, 40% of men already have obvious hair loss and 65% have by age 60. More and more people are using baldness treatment products, thus the industry is valued at around a billion dollars per year worldwide. Among the commercial medications that have been proven to give good results are steroids.
Two Most Popular Steroids
The two most popular steroids that are being prescribed for hair loss are finasteride and dutasteride. These steroids are both antiandrogens, which are compounds that are capable of inhibiting the effects of male hormones. They work by preventing the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) present in one’s bloodstream from attaching themselves to hair follicles. DHT induces hair loss and prostate growth. Antiandrogens can have side effects, such as unusual breast enlargement in males, although this is not common when taken in small doses.
Finasteride, which is sold under brand names such as Propecia, Fincar and Proscar, works by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. In 1997, the FDA approved it as a treatment for male pattern baldness. One study conducted revealed that hair loss stopped in 42% of men who took finasteride, while both hair regrowth and the discontinuation of hair loss were experienced by the remaining 48%. Finasteride works in both the crown area and the hairline, but it is more effective in the former. It is prescribed only for men since studies show that it is ineffective in the hair loss cases of women. Moreover, it has the harmful side effect of causing birth defects in male babies of pregnant women. Other side effects include low libido, impotence, ejaculation problems, and breast enlargement.
Dutasteride, which is sold under brand names such as Avodart and Dutagen, is also another popular steroid prescribed for baldness. Like finasteride, it is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. The difference between the two, however, is that dutasteride blocks two forms of 5-alpha-reductase as opposed to finasteride that blocks only one. Early studies about the drug show that 2.5 mg of it is about 1.5 times more effective than finasteride for the regrowth of hair. It has been proven to lower the levels of DHT by 90% after two weeks. As with finasteride, dutasteride also has drug-related side effects, such as impotence, decreased libido, breast enlargement, and ejaculation disorders when taken in large amounts. Moreover, it poses the possibility of birth defects in male babies of pregnant women who would take it.
A lot of studies have been made that prove that these steroids would work, but it takes patience and dedication in using them in order to produce the results that you really want. Remember that hair loss treatments would take at least half a year to start bringing improvement to your scalp’s condition, and they may even take up to two years to fully work. Moreover, it is also very important that you consult with your doctor first regarding the use of hair loss medications.