Finasteride Results: Day One to Year One and Beyond

Before buying finasteride as a treatment for hair loss, you want to know what results to expect and when. To make it easy for you, we've set up a finasteride results timeline that tells you exactly that. It tells you what to expect during the first 24 hours after you've taken your first finasteride tablet (brand name Propecia) but also after the first, third and sixth month, one-year mark, and beyond. 

But for those who are unfamiliar to Finasteride, we start this article with an introduction on The cause of hair loss and how Finasteride is able to stop it from happening.

The cause of hair loss

To understand the cause of male hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or male pattern baldness (MPB), it's vital to know that hair follicles have cycles in which they regenerate throughout life. 

Each cycle consists of the growth phase, followed by the regression phase, the resting phase and finally, the shedding phase. During the shedding phase, hair falls out, followed by remodelling and production of new hair - indicating the start of a new cycle: the growth phase.[1]

On average, each hair follicle goes through 10 to 30 growth cycles, meaning that, theoretically speaking, hair on your scalp has the ability to grow for 20 to 180 years.[2]

In most men, however, the duration of the growth phase is disrupted by the male androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT), resulting in hair that becomes thinner and shorter with each successive cycle. After several years, a total cessation of visible hair production occurs, causing your hairline to recede and bald patches to appear.[3]

Fortunately, this whole process can be prevented by taking Finasteride: voted the most effective treatment for male pattern baldness by over 91% of Italian dermatologists.[4] The only treatment in existence approved by the MHRA for stopping hair loss completely. 

How does Finasteride (generic Propecia) stop hair loss?

Finasteride, brand name Propecia, is a treatment that stops hair loss by reducing the amount of DHT. It does so by inhibiting the enzyme II 5α-reductase, an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. More concretely, daily finasteride consumption decreases DHT by 65-70%. Enough to stop hair loss in more than 83% of men. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what about those finasteride treatment results? After how many days, weeks or months are you able to tell that it really works and what kind of results does it produce? Questions that will all be given an answer to in the paragraphs following below:

Finasteride results timeline

Finasteride treatment results after day one

After you have taken your first pill, Finasteride starts to work immediately by decreasing DHT levels by 65% within the first 24 hours.[5] 

But although Finasteride reduces DHT levels almost instantly, it still takes months before you are able to notice results that proofs that the treatment is working. In fact, most men have to wait until the third month before they are able to notice a decrease in hair loss and increase in hair density.

Finasteride results after 1 month

Many people wonder what results to expect after the first month of using Finasteride. Well, the honest answer is that you will likely see none. Not on your scalp at least. After the first month, finasteride further reduces DHT levels to 71.4%, after which it stabilises this reduction.[6]

An effect that doesn't sound exciting but is absolutely necessary in order to make progress during the months hereafter. So make sure you use finasteride daily and consistently. 

Those who persevere are also the first ones to reap the benefits. In particular, an increase in hair thickness, density, hair growth and finally a complete cessation of hair loss.

Finasteride results after 3 months

After 3 months of taking finasteride 1 mg/daily, most males experience a significant reduction in hair shedding. I.e most males will experience a reduction in the amount of hair they lose (shed) after 3 months.

Additionally, most men will also experience an average increase in total hair count of 5% along compared to a 0% increase when compared to untreated men.

Although the initial results after 3 months of using finasteride sound modest, they are significant and will continue to improve with continued use. These results, such as an increase in hair growth, follow in the section below that describes what to expect after 6 months.[7]

Finasteride results after 6 months

After six months of finasteride use, hair loss continues to decrease, while the total amount of hair gradually increases. For example, one study showed a 75% increase in the number of hairs in the analysed area, compared to a decrease in men not treated with finasteride.[8]

Moreover, another study found that 70% of men retained their frontal hair, while 56% of men taking a placebo continued to lose their hair. [9] A clear indicator that finasteride works.

A clear indicator that finasteride works.

Finasteride results after 1 year and beyond

After one year of continuous, daily use of 1 mg of finasteride, it completely stopped hair loss in 83% of men. After that, results remain stable, as shown in long-term studies of 2, 5 and 10 years in which no further hair loss was observed in 83%, 84% and 99% of men participating in these studies.[10] Which also proofs the long term efficacy of finasteride in men who use it consistently.

Despite the high efficacy of finasteride, it doesn't deliver results to everyone. Around 17% of men continue to lose their hair despite having used the treatment daily and consistently months. If you are one of these men, it's highly unlikely that continuing with finasteride will lead to sudden improvements and you are therefore recommended to stop using it.

Alternative treatments such as dutasteride may still offer a solution, as it is much more potent than finasteride. But despite its efficacy, dutasteride has never been approved by the MHRA, so it must be prescribed "off-label" to be able to use it. We recommend discussing this option with your healthcare provider.

Finasteride results on hair regrowth

While finasteride is extremely effective in preventing hair loss, it must be said honestly and plainly: it's efficacy on follicle regrowth is minimal. This should be highlighted because most men start their hair loss treatment after they have already lost a significant amount of hair. Hoping that finasteride is somehow able to restore their old hairline

The harsh reality however is that finasteride is incapable of doing so. Although research shows that 66% of men experience hair regrowth, the impact is quite low.[12]

The power of finasteride lies in preventing hair loss, not in reversing it. For the best finasteride results, you should start early so that you are able to stop hair loss while still having some hairs left that are worth saving. And in most cases starting early will be equivalent to starting at an early age.

That's because male hair loss is progressive. It doesn't stop on its own. If you refuse to take finasteride, hair loss will continue until you're completely bald.

Finasteride side effects

The most common reported side effects associated with finasteride usage are erectile dysfunction and having a lower libido. This happens in approximately 1.5% to 4% of males. But finasteride usage also produces a clear benefit: a relative risk reduction of 30.3% for developing prostate cancer and a risk reduction of 27% for developing high-grade prostate cancer.

Since we are well aware of people associating medicine usage with only the negative aspects of it we found the relative risk reduction in developing prostate cancer associated with finasteride usage worthy to mention (due to its high significance).

Minoxidil as an alternative for preventing male pattern baldness?

No. The way finasteride and minoxidil work are different. Finasteride reduces DHT, while minoxidil does not. Minoxidil works by increasing local blood flow so that the hairs on the scalp can absorb more nutrients.

This results in more hair growth and density, but it does not stop male pattern baldness. This may sound contradictory, but not once you know that minoxidil's efficacy is only temporary. It starts losing its efficacy between 1 or 2 years after which hair loss continues.

Minoxidil is therefore not a realistic alternative. The only treatment that delivers long-term results and completely stops hair loss and induces hair growth is finasteride.


Can you still go bald on Finasteride?

Yes. Finasteride stops hair loss in 83% of Caucasian males. Studies done on the Asian population show higher efficacy in preventing male pattern baldness, with efficacy rates of 99.1% and even 100%. While efficacy rates of 83% and 99.1% are high, it also means that 0.9% to 17% of men will continue losing their hair, despite using finasteride.

Will Finasteride work for 20 years?

Yes. Unlike most other drugs, finasteride does not lose its efficacy over time. This has been proven by studies of 2, 5 and 10 years. There is no reason to assume that results will be any different from those already proven.

Does finasteride make hair thicker?

Yes. A study measuring the efficacy of finasteride on hair thickness showed that the average thickness of hair on the scalp in untreated men decreased from 49 μm to 43 μm within 2 years. After using 1 mg of finasteride daily, hair thickness then increased from 43 μm to 51 μm in the first year, before stabilising for the remaining 12 months. This not only proved that finasteride makes thicker hair, but also that it is effective in the long term.

When is it too late to take finasteride?

It is too late to take finasteride once you are completely bald. This is because finasteride is unable to revive hair follicles that have already been lost. For all other men, it is never too late to start taking finasteride to preserve the hairs they still have on their heads.

What is the success rate of finasteride?

The success rate of finasteride in Caucasian males varies from 78% to 83%, while studies done on the Asian population recorded success rates of 99.1% and even 100%. Researchers guess that this difference is caused by Asian men having thicker hair but lower density, which makes it easier to identify subtle differences in treatment results such as hair growth.