Propecia is one of the longest standing and one of the most well known of the hair loss defense products. It is a male only product, and can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women, as any sustained contact with finasteride could lead to birth defects; especially for male babies.
Propecia is a topical agent that works as a DHT blocker. The product is applied to the scalp in the spots most impacted by male pattern baldness; it is not designed for patchy hair loss but for androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). It is not for female hair loss and should not be used or handled by women as the active ingredient is designed to work with testosterone.
How it Works
Testosterone, when it attached with 5AR (alpha reductase) generates a substance known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT then connects with the androgen receptors that are responsible for hair growth.
DHT creates hair loss in a number of ways. It blocks the replacement growth for hair; hair loss is a natural part of the hair growth phase cycle. Hair follicles that exist are also impacted by the DHT, as it minimizes the hair follicle, making it smaller and the scalp more prominent. This tends to impact men in the crown and forehead areas most prominently. This pattern, of receding hairlines and expanding bald spot are most impacted by the blocking of DHT development.
But, this is a hormonal intervention and it comes with some serious side effects to the point the product is fighting a class action suit, and steps have been taken by the company to provide refunds to those affected by side effects. The company website is currently offering information on the side effects and the refund process and the commercial area of the side is not currently active.
Propecia is a product of the Merck & Co., a pharmaceutical company doing business since 1851. Merck has a history of innovative solutions for health and illness including the development of Vitamin B, as well as the first measles vaccine. They also developed the first statins to fight the problems created by cholesterol.
DHT products are effective in stopping the production of DHT and thereby reducing the hair loss cycle. The potential for side effects with Propecia is a serious concern. Side effects alleged include erectile dysfunction, impotence and lower libido. Many of the side effects were reported to continue after discontinuing the product.
Given the controversy and potential side effects, we are not recommending Propecia, and it is ranked as our lowest scored product in this list. We would recommend checking with the FDA product watch site for information on Propecia. If you have used Propecia and experienced side effects there is information on the Propecia website about the Propecia Promise, refund program.