What is the Best FDA Approved Hair Loss Treatment?
Minoxidil and Finasteride are currently the only two hair loss treatments that are FDA approved. Minoxidil is a topical liquid solution, branded and marketed as Regaine (or Rogaine in the US), and Finasteride is a treatment pill for men, branded and marketed as Propecia/Proscar.
We rate these two treatments against each other based on six attributes; Safety, longevity, performance, value for money, ingredients and user reviews.
To most people, the most important thing to consider about such harsh FDA approved treatments would be the overall safey of the product. With FDA approval, both these products are classified as treatments, rather than cosmetics, therefore they are not regarded as 100% safe.
Many users have experienced severe side-effects from using both medicines. Minoxidil side-effects can include headaches, weight-gain, nausea and ligament pains. Side-effects of Finasteride can include headaches, erectile dysfunction, low libido and insomnia.
Both products are designed to combat hair loss over a long period of time. Finasteride tends to work instantly, but has a habit of tailing off after six months to a year. Minoxidil is a slow starter, with most patients not seeing results until after 12 months.
Both treatments have a good success rate, with Finasteride able to halt male pattern baldness. Minoxidil, 2% for women and 5% for men, is a potent liquid that has demonstrated good results in some patients suffering from alopecia, but its effects are minimal in most users.
Minoxidil can be purchased for as cheap as £10 per month, when you buy from cheaper brands like Kirkland. Propecia pills costs around £30 per month.
Both formulas can be effective in preventing hair loss and thinning hair, but both contain harsh additives that can lead to severe side-effects. Minoxidil edges the battle of the formulas for two main reasons - firstly, it has demonstrated clear results in hair regrowth, which Propecia has not, and secondly, the side-effects in this liquid are not as bad as the potential side-effects from taking the pill.
Regaine has a customer satisfaction rate averaging around 79%, and Propecia has an average customer satisfaction rate of around 65%. The major deal-breaker for Regaine is that the process takes too long. And Propecia users are mainly put off by the unwanted side-effects.
Although Minoxidil wins this battle 4-2, this does not necessarily reflect how effective it really is. Of the two products, the pills are probably more effective than the liquid, but the nasty side-effects counterbalance its performance.
If you are worried about balding then you should seek advice from your doctor before committing to a treatment plan. But be warned, some doctors earn commission by recommending products like Proscar, so make sure you do your research before using such harsh medicines.