What Happens If I Stop Using Minoxidil Or Finasteride?

Why You Need to Stick to Your Hair Care Routine

Credit: Hayes Potter / Unsplash  

After thousands of years of searching for legit hair loss treatments, men now have two effective choices in the fight against male-pattern baldness. Whether it’s minoxidil or finasteride — or both — modern men have two safe options in slowing down or stopping hair loss and even regrowing some hair. 

Do they actually work?

Of course, neither treatment is magical. It takes time for both minoxidil and finasteride to work and deliver noticeable effects. Men can go as long as 3-4 months before noticing hair regrowth with minoxidil. The waiting period for finasteride can be even longer — closer to 6-9 months. 

Once they do take effect though, the results for many men have been promising. Based on a study of nearly 1800 men who took 1mg of finasteride per day over a period of two years, 83% of patients showed no further hair loss. What’s more, almost 66% of men experienced improvement in hair growth. 

Academic studies looking at the effectiveness of minoxidil in treating hair loss have also been promising. Researchers conducting a double-blind clinical trial of 352 male participants who applied 5% minoxidil foam twice a day for 16 weeks found the treatment to be effective and safe. 

But what happens if I stop?

The all important question however is what happens if you stop using these treatments. You might think, after a few years of using minoxidil or finasteride with good results, that it’s okay to stop treatment. This, unfortunately, is not the case. 

The active ingredients in both minoxidil and finasteride work differently, but they’re both fighting against the body’s natural ageing and, for more than half of all men, hair loss process. Finasteride, for example, works to decrease the amount of DHT (a naturally occurring hormone in the human body that is believed to play a role in male pattern baldness). 

While regular treatment has shown to work in reducing DHT levels and thereby helping slow the hair loss process, once treatment is stopped, normal levels of DHT will return (usually in about 14 days). And once that happens, your normal hair loss process will resume. 

So I have to take minoxidil and finasteride forever?

Forever is a long time. It’s better to think of it like this: minoxidil and finasteride are both generally safe and effective for long term use (just make sure your doctor is onboard with your treatment). If you’re worried about taking any kind of medicine over a prolonged period of time, talk to a licensed physician to understand all the potential risks and rewards. 

The most important thing is for you to feel like you’ve got power in decision making about your health. Male pattern baldness can be a very emotionally troubling experience for some men. It can contribute to a range of psychological conditions like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. That’s why it’s key that safe and effective treatment options be made available for those who need it. 

Your next steps

If you’re one of the millions of men experiencing hair loss, let us help you schedule an appointment with a licensed Canadian physician. They will be able to assess your current situation and help you decide what treatment options are right for you.