Propecia is probably the best at home treatment for hair loss in terms of effectiveness and ease of use. All you have to do is take a pill once a day.
People report complete cessation of hair loss but reports of hair regrowing just from taking Propecia are rare.
The longest clinical trial for a hair loss treatment was for the purposes of evaluating the efficacy of Finasteride. In the 1990s, 1,553 men suffering from androgenic alopecia were given one mg daily doses of Finasteride or a placebo over a 12 month period. Each was allowed to enroll in the following one-year trial extension, for up to five years. 1,215 men enrolled for the second trial extension, randomized to receive either finasteride or the placebo. Results showed significant hair regrowth for those in the blinded Finasteride group, as opposed to the placebo group. Baseline hair counts averaged 876 hairs in a 1” circle of scalp.
After the first year, finasteride patients averaged an extra 126 hairs in the same area over those taking the placebo. After five years this figure had increased to 277. Examiners recorded that 77% of those on finasteride showed increased hair regrowth after five years. This compared with only 15% in the placebo group.
Would I recommend it?
Personally I would never use Propecia because I believe it alters your personality. By altering your hormonal balance it essentially makes you ‘less of a man’. It can take away your sex drive, take away your drive to achieve goals; and even make you lose your interest in women. It can basically take away the things that make you a man. So if it’s a choice between being a man and losing my hair I’ll choose to lose my hair.
What’s the alternative?
Take a look at this. It’s a chart that shows cortisol hormone levels throughout the day. Cortisol is the main stress hormone — the hormone produced when you’re stressed.
Now take a look at this chart. It shows testosterone levels throughout the day. Testosterone is the hormone that is converted into DHT by the body.
Notice the charts are quite similar in shape?
Here’s a quote from Dr Seymour Weaver, a prominent hair loss researcher:
Cortisol is in essence, a stress hormone. … When we have high levels of cortisol coursing through the body this leads to an increase in adrenaline, testosterone and in particular, a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT
So cortisol leads to increased DHT. It also causes reduced testosterone:
Over the years, some studies have suggested that the stress hormone cortisol and the sex hormone testosterone work against each other. This has led to the theory that stress may cause infertility and loss of libido in men by inhibiting testosterone.
A study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior provides new evidence for what’s called the cortisol testosterone hormonal axis. Researchers measured hormone levels in 57 men who were pitted against each other in one-on-one competition. Their cortisol and testosterone levels were measured after competing. The men who lost were asked if they wanted to compete again. All the men who declined had high cortisol levels and had a significant drop in their testosterone. The researchers believe this is a hormonal response that prepares the body to respond to stress by escaping danger.
So what’s the absolute best thing you can do to safely and naturally reduce your DHT levels, while also improving your life in many other ways?
The answer is to reduce your cortisol levels.
This, I believe is one of the keys to stopping hair loss. In my opinion hair loss is not just caused by DHT; it’s caused by a combination of DHT and high stress levels. These are the two most important factors that initiate the direct causes of hair loss:
- An increase in PGD2 in the scalp
- A decrease in PGE2 in the scalp
- A decrease in IGF-1 in the scalp
- A decrease in sub-cutaneous fat in the scalp
It’s likely that the factors above, which are directly linked to increased hair loss, are caused by elevated DHT. Since cortisol may lead to elevated DHT as well as causing other health problems, reducing your cortisol levels by reducing stress may be the key to stopping the root cause of hair loss.
To learn how to reduce your cortisol levels check out my comprehensive ultimate guide to reducing cortisol.