Topical Finasteride Here by 2021

I originally wrote this post on topical finasteride in June 2014. Updated on February 22, 2020.

Almirall ALM12845

It finally looks like Spain-based Almirall will release its ALM12845 topical finasteride in 2020 or early 2021. Note that this product was previously known as Polichem’s P-3074. Almirall purchased Polichem in 2015.

The company filed for a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in September 2019. The ALM12845 product is described as a cutaneous spray solution for the topical treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. First national phase approval is expected in 2020 or early 2021. I am not sure if they will be able to get FDA approval to market in the US as yet. The pipeline chart below only shows an EU flag:

Almirall ALM12845 Topical Finasteride.
Almirall ALM12845 topical Finasteride.

Topical Finasteride for Hair Loss

Recent reports suggest that topical finasteride results in similar increases in hair count compared to oral finasteride. Topical finasteride is typically compounded in gel or solution form. The oral version can come in pill, capsule or tablet form. It is hoped and likely that the topical version has fewer side effects than the oral version.

2018 update: A systemic review of topical finasteride shows consistent reduction in hair loss. Both scalp and plasma DHT levels decreased significantly.

Topical Finasteride
Topical finasteride for hair loss.

The manufacturer of Propecia (Merck) applied for a patent for topical finasteride in 2002. However, the company has to date never tried to develop an actual product. This is all the more surprising when considering that Propecia has been getting significant negative publicity of late. Many users suffering from long-term sexual side effects have filed a class-action lawsuit against Merck.

Polichem’s P-3074

I am writing this post today because an important clinical trial/study for P-3074 was just completed in Switzerland. 2019 Update: P-3074 final trial results are now published.

P-3074 is a new topical finasteride solution with hydroxypropyl-chitosan as the film-forming agent. The study was funded by Swiss company Polichem, which primarily specializes in dermatological and gynecological products.

The interesting thing about this study is that four different doses (ranging from 0.25 mg to 1 mg) of topical finasteride were tested. The study entailed 32 human participants, with 8 of those 32 getting a placebo dose. One negative thing about the study is that only a 7-day dose of the topical P-3074 solution was administered. There will therefore be no long-term measurement of the effectiveness of P-3074. It will be interesting to see the results of this study regarding yet another new hair loss product.

Note that a similar trial (although at just one dosage level of 0.25 mg per day) for P-3074 was conducted in the past. Its findings were presented last year at the 7th World Congress on Hair Research (WCHR 2013). The conclusion of this trial was quite significant:

“These findings show that DHT concentration in the scalp, after 7-day treatment course of P-3074 once daily, was more reduced (about 40%) than after 1 mg oral finasteride administration for the same treatment period.”

Topical Finasteride Side Effects

The main reason that people are so excited about topical finasteride is because of potentially fewer side effects in comparison to oral finasteride. Serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibition in the blood is significantly less with topical finasteride versus oral finasteride. At the same time, scalp DHT inhibition will remain similar with both delivery mechanisms.

However, it should be noted that different formulations will result in different levels of DHT inhibition. It is therefore imperative to be very careful if you are purchasing this product from any compounding pharmacy. Some of the below collected sources indicate that sexual side effects will be less likely with topical finasteride. At the same time, hair growth benefits will be similar for oral versus topical.

References and Studies

There have been other studies done in the past that concluded favorable results from topical finasteride. For example, a 2009 study from Iran concluded: “the therapeutic effects of both finasteride gel and finasteride tablets were relatively similar to each other.” Nothing is mentioned regarding side effects in the abstract of that study.

A more recent 2012 study from Thailand concluded that a 3% minoxidil plus 0.1% finasteride lotion (“MFX”) was superior to just 3% minoxidil (“MNX’). There is also an increasing amount of new research on better ways to deliver topical hair loss drugs, especially via nanocarriers.

It should also be noted that the original Merck patent for Propecia has a number of sentences mentioning topical formulations as also likely being effective.

What I am really hoping for are future studies on topical dutasteride. The main reason for this, besides dutasteride’s superior results to finasteride, is that type I 5α-reductase isoenzymes are more prevalent on the scalp. Type II 5α-reductase isoenzymes are more prevalent in the prostate.

Finasteride primarily inhibits type II 5α-reductase, while dutasteride also inhibits type I 5α-reductase. I would therefore not be surprised if topical dutasteride’s superiority over topical finasteride is even greater than the superiority of dutasteride pills over finasteride pills. Hopefully, there will also be fewer side effects even after accounting for some systemic absorption via the scalp.

A few hair transplant surgeons have developed their own topical finasteride solution, usually in partnership with local pharmacies. If you happen to have heard more on this, please post in the comments section below this post. Some hair loss forum participants seem to have tried to develop their own topical finasteride or even topical dutasteride. Something I would not recommend. The science of topical medication delivery is a bit too complex for the vast majority of us to be experimenting with on ourselves.

Other Sources of Topical Finasteride

A number of clinics and many local pharmacies can already compound topical finasteride for you. However, such localized products will never be substantiated by clinical studies, as is the case with Almirall’s product. Moreover, a large company such as Polichem has devoted years of research in perfecting its drug delivery system. They also have to prove limited to no side effects from their product during the rigorous clinical trial phases.

Update: I got an e-mail from the Hasson & Wong clinic on June 17, 2014 stating the following:

“Dr. Hasson is prescribing topical finasteride to some of his patients and it is being prepared at a pharmacy close to our clinic. To date the results have been very similar to the oral finasteride.”

134 thoughts on “Topical Finasteride Here by 2021”

  1. hi, thanks for your work. can i ask you why are you sure that we will have a cure within 2020? in the last WCHR I don’t read some good news
    thanks

  2. Hi noname,

    My optimism initially derived from just seeing the increasing pace of general scientific advancements in recent years (animal cloning, face transplants, stem cells, 3D organ printing, greater understanding of genetics and cell biology, faster computers etc…).

    More recently, these hair loss conferences (WCHR, ISHRS and other dermatological and plastic surgery ones) seem to be getting an ever increasing number of participants and research presentations, especially from Asia where hair loss is more of a taboo than in the western world. Clinical trials in those countries will also be less strictly regulated in my opinion.

    Did you see all the videos from Desmond on youtube?

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJn96v_HIbGaoOWFS6kRxDQ

    How could you not see the good news in there!

    1. thanks for the fast reply. english is not my native language so i haven’t seen the video but I read the forum and I see pessimism from a lot of users. i hope you are right, thanks again

  3. Great blog, hope you are correct about 2020 :)

    Please, let me know what are your thoughts on PFS (Post Finasteride Syndrome). I have been using fin for 15 years and i am very worried about it. I never had erectile disfunction but my libido is decreased.

    What are the chances of develop PFS after quitting Fin? And how should i quit it?

    After reading this article, i will purchase Topical Fin from Genhair. I hope it can keep what oral fin has maintained.

    Thanks for the attention!

  4. To me it seems like PFS affects a small minority of patients, and most people either get no side effects, or get back their libido etc…after stopping Finasteride. But for the small percent who are permanently affected, it is obviously devastating. At the rate science is progressing, I hope they can find a way to solve the ED and low libido problems. I am not a believer in the brain fog and depression side effects that some blame on Finasteride.

    I do not know much about genhair and other similar products, but since I live near Canada, I may go to Hasson & Wong one day to get the topical formulation. I trust them more than other private manufacturers of Fin containing products.

    Thanks for your comment.

    1. Thanks for answering. I just hope i can increase my libido to the levels pre- finasteride.

      Would you mind to share your current regimen? Also, what do you think about RU 58841 in terms of safety?

      1. Hi Paul,

        I currently apply Rogaine foam to my scalp 3-4 times a week, always in the morning right after my shower after having dried my hair. I believe that the slight dampness enhances absorption. The foam makes my hair stronger and is almost like a gel. There was a time I used in daily, but now I stick to 3-4 times a week. You are supposed to use it twice a day (so 14 times a week)!

        I also take 1/4 tab Proscar every second day. Like yourself, I am worried that it might have decreased my libido a bit, and once in a while I will reduce the frequency at which I take the tablet even more.

        Did you see good results on Finasteride?

        I am not that keen on RU 58841 as I prefer sticking to the two FDA approved treatments. Am concerned with potential side effects as it is, and would rather not add a third drug to my regimen.

  5. Hi!
    First congrats for the blog, is good to read the news on potential new treatments. I’m thinking on start with finasteride, but i’m also worried about the sides. There are lots of information in the web, mostly from affected individuals, so it’s hard to quantify the real chance of each side. It’s seems like a bet, and I think is important to have the information to decide, after all is a complex combination of priorities and possibilities. That being said, i would like to ask if you know of studies about the sides rates. And, do you think finasteride could be modified to reduce side effects?
    thanks! and sorry about my english :P

  6. Hi,
    I am trying to convince doctors in my country about the importance of developing topical finastride and even convince them about the side effects I am suffering from taking the pills. I’m female and have taken finastride pills 0.5% for four months. My heart palpilation has developed to heartache! and I’ve noticed worse effects on my skin.
    By the way, I’m now searching for the formula making my own topical finastride out of the existing pills. But I don’t know how to make the true percentage and what to mix for gaining the final formula! Can anyone give a hint here? Please, It’s highly important for me as I might lose the hair grown since I’m no longer taking the pills.

    1. Sorry to hear that Jina. What kind of side effects on skin? I think I get some facial acne from Finasteride, but not all the time. You might want to ask your question on one of the hair loss forums out there such as bald truth forums or hair loss talk forums.

  7. Hello Im currently using hasson and wongs topical finasteride 2 weeks in! Would you like me to keep you posted?

    1. Yes please! Would be nice if there was a way to know how well it is being absorbed into your scalp. Did they recommend applying on a slightly damp scalp by any chance?

    2. hey cole,
      i would love to here if you have gotten any side effects from the topical version. i had really bad ones with the oral pills. thank you

      1. Hi admin, Cole,
        Yes- can you please update on your use of topical finasteride from Hasson & Wong??
        I had terrible sexual side effects from taking oral finasteride. I’m young and my hair is aggressively thinning deffusely; it’s disappearing very fast including noticeably on the sides. I douse my hair with a powder hair concealer everyday. I’ll be one of those guys that shows up one day suddenly with no hair leaving people around him wonder what happened.
        And also admin thank you for this great site. Its the most upto date and well written sites I can turn to almost everyday to expect something to give me hope.

        1. Hi AG, please call them to find out more. I know someone recently posted a comment of topical Fin being available via a Spanish company. Will try to find that link later, although I am not sure how reliable that company is.

          1. Thank you for the response. I guess Cole didn’t follow up to up inform you of his results. I’m going to try and contact those sources you mentioned. I look forward to seeing more posts. Much thanks again.

          2. Just wanted to let you guys know that you can get topical finasteride with 5% minoxidil off of ebay. It’s called Morr f 5. It’s made by an Indian pharmaceutical company. I’ve been using it for the past 2 months and I can see definet improvements.

            1. Did you by any chance notice some sexual side effects? I started applying it yesterday once a day at night, as prescribed by my Doctor. I’m just 21 years old and I cannot afford any sexual side effects.

    3. Hi Cole,

      Have you had any success with the topical finasteride,
      I stopped taking the tablets after a very bad episode of anxiety as a result.

  8. Hi admin , may I ask why did you stop the chat ,and are you going to activate it again ? where shall we follow latest updates .
    I know that some users say stupid things sometime ,but you can make facebook login to prevent troubles
    thank you for this generous volunteerism work

  9. Hi YaZeD, will decide soon on login process. There was a user who started to use my name, and another who said same thing over and over again. As in real life, a few bad apples spoil things for all.

  10. Hello admin,

    I’ve never been taking finasteride yet , but I am going to doctor to prescribe it. But I am scared of permanent sides some people are facing.

    I saw some articles suggesting creating topical finasteride by throwing 6x5mg finasteride into 60ml minoxidil. Do you recommend it ? thanks

    1. Hi Marek, have not heard of that. You should talk to a hair transplant surgeon near you about this as well as to a pharmacist.

  11. Hi there, iam a 30 year-old using topical Finasteride .1mg+5% minoxidil solution 2 days in. its brand name would be ‘Morrf 5’ by Intas pharma India. I hope it has fewer side effects. I am also taking Ashwaganda powder, zinc, vit B3, biotin, vit D3 and calcium and protein. Ashwaganda is a very powerful herbal Aphrodisiac!. its good for hair too ++plus, i have been undergoing PRP (platet rich plasma) therapy as well.

    1. Hii raj, im from india too.
      I use simple Minox 5% by alkem pharma and ashwagandha too.

      You regimen is good. But if you could, pls share with me from where you are getting your PR therapy and the price.

    2. Hi Raj I just began using Morrf 5 a week ago. Are you still using it. ..If so how often did you use it , did you see results and any side effects? I am also from India.

  12. Interesting blog . A patient today just mentioned this article.
    To update : Our topical Finasteride solution that we have been using for the past 2 years has proven to be very effective . It has been used primarily in patients who had been experiencing side effects on the oral drug. These patients have been free of side effects on the topical formulation. This is a good sign that the drug is unlikely to be going systemic via cutaneous permeation.
    We are currently performing tests using Franz diffusion cells with the The University of Milan to get more data.
    Once we have secured a reliable source for Dutasteride we will start testing topical formulations with this drug as it will likely be more effective.
    A new liposomal formulation of topical finasteride is currently available to our European patients. It has been developed in collaboration with Farmacia Parati in Italy. This preparation can be obtained from this company . You will require a physicians prescription for this as the formulation needs to be compounded on a case by case basis (to comply with European and FDA regulations).

    Victor Hasson MD

    1. Wow thanks a lot for the detailed comment Dr. Hasson. I will probably make a new post on this. Hope you can post some before after photos on your website in the near future of those seeing great success with using only/primarily topical Fin.

      P.S–> Feel free to contact me directly via the e-mail in the contact page at the top of this blog if you ever have any other suggestions, corrections and so forth.

  13. Is this topical finasteride gel being offered to non- patients with prescription? I called Hasson & wong toll free number and was told that this gel is offered to patients only!

  14. Its kind of hard to believe that topical fin is not a readily available option to anyone that is hesitant to go the oral route. I mean the drug is already approved with long safety record. Why does merk not just reformulate the stuff as a topical would probably be pretty cheap to do.

  15. If you had a doctor prescription for propecia can someone send a copy of that and buy the topical Finasteride instead of trying the oral stuff first? I dont want systemic sides if I can lessen them by going topical instead.
    Its baffling how hard it is to get when its always been so logical to treat MPB topically

  16. When would you guess the topical distasteride might be available?
    I’m on half a tab of proscar daily after upping my dosage due to loss of effectiveness of propecia after almost 20 years of use!

    1. wait.. you’ve been using fin for 20 years and it has given you no side effects and maintained and possibly regrown hair? GIVE YOUR BODY TO SCIENCE RIGHT NOW… on the internet people claim propecia may last for a maximum of 6-7 years if your lucky… god.. 20 years is basically a cure, so much time to enjoy life with hair

      1. I have been using it for 20 years as well. I have had very little hairloss during this time but have had sexual side effects for sure.

    2. Shaun- weird – I too have been on finasteride for almost 20 years now and the same thing happened to me -it just seemed to quit working all of a sudden and my hair loss really accelerated.I flipped over to dutasteride and it did stop the shedding rather quickly but I feel it has really affected my libido and sexual function. I wish to God they would come out with a topically applied version of it…

  17. Has anyone found a workaround for this? I’ve reached out the Italian company, and they require a prescription, although I’m confused as to how I would get a prescription for a topical product that doesn’t exist in the US. Not sure if I can find a physician that would be willing to write a rX for it.

    1. I did not find this product when I looked just now. Is it still available? Can you provide a link directly to the product page itself? Thanks

  18. Hi. Quick question:

    Considering finasteride has been around for so long, why did it take so long to develop a topical version? Is there some aspect of the science which I’m missing?

    1. Hi Robert,
      Your probably not missing any of the science, but a bit of big-pharma-economics. Sadly big pharmaceutical companies usually put profit margins and stock ratings before clinical efficacy, especially in a field such as dermatology/hairless where mortality is not an issue. They will have done their long-term research-sale investment calculations and are probably milking the market for oral finasteride for a given time before bringing out the topical version…

  19. My doc in Bangalore, India has prescribed a solution : Morr F 5% (contains 5% minox and 0.1% fin). It says in the instructions booklet that it is equivalent to applying 50 mg minox and 1mg fin for 1 ml of the product. Also it says to apply twice daily and total dosage not to exceed 2 ml per day. Please suggest me if this is a safe enough product for use. How much of fin will enter body per dosage as I know 1 mg oral fin is the max recommended..Thanks..

  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4314881/

    Our renowned dermatologist of South India Dr Chandrasekhar sir , after extensive study over test subjects, has published his view on superiority of topical finasteride 0.1% combined with monoxidil 3% , over use of oral finasteride. It has worked fine for me. If ur in India consult him once before using it. It’s available in India under trade name X-pecia gel…
    Presently topical finasteride combined with monoxidil is a safer bet for AGA(androgenic alopecia)

    1. Hi Doctor, does Xpecia Gel contain Propylene Glycol (PG)? It seems that I am sensitive and allergic to PG in Morr F 5% solution. If the suggested gel does not contain PG , I will give it a try.Currently using Mintop Forte Foam 5% which is PG free.

      -Thank you

  21. Hi admin, is using topical finasteride harmful to a pregnant lady and child when the husband is using it during this period and the wife comes in contact with the applied solution. Ex through direct contact of husband’s scalp etc.

    1. I think they generally do not recommend finasteride even touching a pregnant woman. I would ask a doctor about the details.

  22. Can we take a lesser dose of finasteride say either 0.25 or 0.5 mg of finasteride per day to avoid any sexual side effects. Will this substantially reduce the efficacy?

    1. Hey Vijay,

      A few years ago I started experiencing sexual side effects from Finasteride. I lowered my dosage from 1mg/day, to .5mg/day. Sides went away temporarily then came back about a month later. I reduced dosage again to .5mg every 2 days, same thing happened, sides came back. Over the course of about 8months I got all the way down to .125mg every 3 days still with sides and eventually came off it completely. From what I’ve read, the efficacy between 1mg daily and .2mg every 3 days is nearly identical. I can’t substantiate that other than my own experience (Fin worked for me the same even as I reduced the dosage). Unfortunately I think some men are just sensitive to DHT blockers, some aren’t. I’ve seen sides from other systemic DHT blockers (saw palmetto, beta sitosterol).

      1. Hey Zach,

        Did the side effects stop returning when you were close to getting off the drug? Did you/your libido, mental state, etc. go back to pre-fin levels? How long did you take fin for? And when did the sides begin?

  23. sir.. i am 30 yr guy, lets say a patient in the sense of hair loss. and i havent used any oral version of medication. Can anyone suggest me if i start oral fenasteride 1mg/day, or go for topical fenasteride coz i have heard of the side effects. As i am unmarried i am in dilema, but i am much worried as my hair is getting thinner day by day.

  24. Dutasteride pills are gelatin capsules w a liquid inside. The packaging says Dut can be absorbed through the skin, that pregnant women have to be careful about handling the product, especially a punctured capsule. So, if it is so highly absorbable and already liquid, not tablet or powder, why not mix your own??? I am trying with Eucaphil, puncture two capsules of Dut per ampule and applying. Not sure how it could be added to minox foam…ideas? As this is the most preferred minox topical, less messy. There is also some new product called NuH Hair which supposedly is minox + fin + Dut. Not sure why you would need both of the 5AR inhibitors but…it is premixed…

  25. Hi guys after trying most natural remedies I have finally decided to start with Regaine for my hair thinning problem. If it works fine I might add topical finasteride to the regimen available either through the Italian company Farmacia that sells it or buy the Indian Morr F that some are talking over here. If anyone based in the UK wants to get hold of topical Finasteride feel free to contact me as I know a GP that will issue the prescription for a charge following which we have to contact the Italian company to order the product.

    Has anyone tried Spectral DNC L from Biovea? that sounds like a quite a good option too although am not too sure!

  26. I am using a topical mix of finasteride (0,1%) + minoxidil (5%) prepared by my dermatologist (1.4 years). I really can’t tell if there is a significant difference between using minox alone and the mix. What I do know is that topical fin+minox has affected my mood. I feel depressed, and very low of energy. My relationship with friends it’s falling apart because of my attitude…

    I have read that topical application should decrease the side effects of finasteride but that’s not what I have been experiencing. Does anyone here using topical finasteride has had this side effects?

    I have never taken oral fin.

  27. So is there anyway someone in th US can get the topical finasteride? I know some Canadian companies will secretly ship many meds to the U.S. even if you don’t have a prescription. Unless only Hasson and Wong are the only ones distributing it….. ?

  28. Dr Herbert Feinberg, dermatologist in Englewood New Jersey, sells to his patients a topical finasteride plus minoxidil plus latisse blend. His staff mixes it there. A relative of mine uses it but I can’t tell you if the results are better than minox alone. The available studies cited on this site suggest that minox plus finasteride works better. My relative takes oral finasteride as well.

  29. My doc prescribed me finasteride + spiralactone + estradiol spray. It’s coming from a pharmacy in the US called University Compounding Pharmacy in San Diego. I’m a menopausal woman and this combo has been shown effective in others. Maybe your docs can use this pharmacy in the US to formulate something for you.

  30. Doctor Hasson has an updated formula for topical finasteride, I am waiting for it to be done up it has a 8 week back log wait time to receive it.

  31. Hey guys,

    Any news on this topical solutions? We’re in 2019 now, something should be available by now….am I wrong?

    Kind regards,

  32. I tried Finasteride for two years, but it had no effect on my hair loss. I just wondered if there is any evidence that applying it directly to the hair follicles via a spray might have better results? thanks

  33. Tha main issue is not a potential sexual side effect but rather a possible damage to male fetus. It is much safer to take finasteride orally for such a reason, otherwise finasteride will be everywhere – on hands, clothes, pillow, etc.

  34. You can buy topical finasteride already from various compounding pharmacies here and abroad. Not sure what the big deal is with an archaic antiandrogen being developed as a topical. It will give you sides if you are prone to them with oral. My question is will this topical by polichem be formulated where it can kick start results for those who are long term users of oral propecia? It would be great to stabilize again and get some regrowth with it. Not sure if it will do that.

    1. Yes you can, but those products are usually untested via trials and have less researched/tested delivery methods. I wrote about that in the post.

  35. I tried topical Fin from Farmacia Parati in Italy. Gave me terrible sides, tried it for two months straight. I received the following:-

    Testicle ache
    Anxiety
    Fuzzy headache with inability to concentrate

    I don’t understand why this is something to celebrate really? It’s just more of a pain in the a** than swallowing it. If you’re hoping to take this to avoid it going systemic think again, it will and the side effects are still there.

    Luckily for me the effects didn’t last and I am completely back to normal. I did try the product in both 0.5% and 0.1% concentrations.

  36. Still waiting on Breezula to start its Phase III trial. Would they put out an announcement when they do? They were aiming for a Q1 start last I heard.

  37. I would def use the acne version of breezula when that comes later this year. May be lower strength but with some microneedling it may work as a topical antiandrogen.

  38. finasteride was approved for baldness 23 years ago and we still discuss how to use it as a topical lotion … please guys don’t attack me when I say that the whole baldness issue is hopeless …

    1. You are 100% on the money. Its funny seeing other users saying: ‘Don’t be so negative” etc but we are just calling out how it is. It’s crazy to think of all of the achievements mankind has tackled but solving the puzzle of hair loss has proven to be extremely difficult. I think its due to a certain combination of different things.

      Before and even after the so called “Big 3” There was no real urgency to help those who have to endure this battle. It’s non life threatening and cosmetic. Trying to crack the code of hair loss and how to stop it, is very complex. There have been companies in the past who failed and there are current ones trying to solve the puzzle. With that being said it’s a rabbit hole of a timeline in coming up with an impressive treatment or a so called cure. Which then leads to money. Having that special team of researchers, scientists, and time would cost big bucks. Obviously there would be short term goals and KPI’s to hit. Some companies would of thrown in the towel because it’s a money pit or they simply could not succeed.

      I check this site everyday. One day I hope to see a post made by the admin in regards to an impressive treatment or cure for hair loss. I’m hopeful for what’s to come in the near future but by no means living in fantasy land. I’ve got certain protocols in place to keep what I do have.

    1. The anxiety will be “Is this fin crap even working?”
      The brain fog will be “What was I doing? I’m so distracted with this baldness”
      The insomnia will be “How can I sleep knowing I will wake up with less hairs?”

      On a more serious note, it is after all a drug used to treat a cosmetic issue, cosmetic being “me not happy in my skin”. So to then report such issues as side-effects of the drug isn’t really going to stick. By taking the drug in the first place you sort of mark your own card.

  39. First post of a long time lurker so hello everyone. I would consider myself a non responder to Minox but I have been using it for years to try and maintain. 95 days ago, I started on topical finasteride that I compounded myself. I crush 12 tabs @ 5 mg each for 60mg total and add to a standard 60 ml bottle of Kirkland Minoxidil for my topical compound. I keep an application log to keep track of my usage. I’m averaging 3mls of compound per day, about 1.5mls in am and same in pm. That’s not quite accurate because sometimes I miss an application but it averages out to 3ml per day. I dermaroll with 1.5 needles every 2 weeks as per the Indian study and between these fortnight sessions, I roll with 0.5 about 3 times a week. Dermarolling is irritating so I kind of play it by ear to see how my skin is tolerating it. I also apply a topical retinoid (differin) once a day. I am definitely seeing results and checking my log, I first reported noticeable growth on day 40 and these hairs are continuing to grow out. I have dark blonde hair and the new growth is remarkable in that it’s coming in very dark brown. At my age, (59) I would have expected blonde or gray growth so that’s a bit of a surprise. I am experiencing zero sides so I plan on continuing this program for a year and then reassessing. I also take about 2 mls of liquid saw palmetto tincture once a day. I got the idea to try this when I saw pix of the Spanish “werewolf” babies last summer who were accidentally dosed with oral minoxidil. Minox will clearly grow hair but since it wasn’t working for me, I thought I’d increase absorption into the skin by dermarolling. I have no way of knowing if the growth is the result of the Minox or the finasteride or the adapalene or the result of all three in concert. I can just report that it works. My only regret is not starting on it sooner. Thanks to admin for running this site, I’ve learned a lot. Probably best to experiment under medical supervision and that’s what I would recommend but that option wasn’t available to me. Good luck to all.

    1. Hey Andy, great comment!

      I bet that Almirall’s tried and tested version will be even better than any homemade topical finasteride. However, I am slightly concerned that they used the phrase “spray solution”. I was hoping it would be a lotion or gel.

      1. Thanks and I hope it helps. I forgot to mention that I shampoo only twice per week with 2% nizoral. That maximizes the amount of time the compound is on my scalp. You would think that my hair would be a greasy blob with all that goo on it but it’s actually quite dry. It is oily when I first apply the compound but it seems to absorb well into my skin so that in an hour or two, my scalp feels dry. There are probably a couple of reasons for this: 1) I live in an extremely dry climate 2) Differin is an exfoliant and it seems to cast sebum off the scalp leaving it feeling less oily. 3) Most of the tablets that I crush are inert ingredients, the actual finasteride is a small percentage. Different pharma companies use different fillers like corn starch or kaolin clay. Those fillers could be drying out my scalp similar to putting kitty litter on an oil spill. I do notice that my hair seems dustier and that’s probably the filler residue so anyone trying this should expect more dandruff unless you shampoo every day, something I’ve elected not to do. Thanks again for running this site, it’s been very helpful.

    2. Andy,

      I do what you do. I created topical finasteride from crushing the 5 mg pills and dissolving the powder in minoxidil. I am only at this topical approach 10 days, but I was on oral finasteride and got results. What I have noticed and wonder about is that the solution is gritty, with fine particles of Fin. This despite my fine crushing of the tablets and crazy shaking of the bottle both on initial creation of the solution and before each use. I might not have noticed this except I started to use a Q-tip to apply a bit to an area of my eyebrow which is balding. When I do that, it looks like I have put table salt on my eyebrow. This makes me wonder if there is a better dilution method or if this Fin dust is inconsequential. Any thoughts?

      1. Hey MJ, that is what I meant when I said you will have more dandruff when you crush your tablets and make your own compound. I have read that some people who make their own compound will do what we do: they crush the tablets and add the powder to the Minoxidil. They shake the bottle several times a day and then let it sit over night. The next day, they carefully pour off the liquid into another bottle, leaving the powdery residue that has settled to the bottom of the first compounding bottle. That way, they are applying a liquid that is mostly clear of residue. The powdery residue is not a problem for me but if it is a bother for you, try this other method. I have never tried it because I wanted to be sure to collect all the finasteride in my compound. If you use the other method and pour the compound off the residue on the bottom, you may leave a small percentage of finasteride in the residue. I doubt it would be very much so it probably doesn’t matter so if the powder deposits are a problem, try the pour-off method. It’s funny that you are putting it on your eyebrows because I am too!! I notice as I age that my eyebrows are getting bushier towards my nose and thinner towards my ears. Seems like the hair is slowly moving to the center of my face. So I put the compound on only the left eyebrow and I leave the other on as my control. I don’t believe I am growing new eyebrow hairs but the hairs where I apply the compound are definitely growing out longer and turning darker. I read that eye hair (brows and lashes) are the slowest growing hair on your body. I did this as an experiment to see if the compound was working. I should have the eyebrows of a Russian dictator in a years time!

        1. My spouse, who is a science person, thinks that maybe what is not dissolving is the pill’s binder material, sometimes Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC). The pill is not just pure finasteride compound. Something is dissolving well and something is not. To test this hypothesis (we might as well have some fun right), I am going to create a second bottle without the residue. Each eyebrow gets its own miracle grow. I realize I need a third eyebrow as a control. Oh well.

  40. Hi Admin,

    Would you consider doing a finasteride post where people can post their experiences, with both topical and regular. Similar to what you did with dutasteride?

    I know there’s so much available on the forums but they are toxic places I hate visiting and I know there’s a good representation of full heads just starting to bald, right through to completely bald men that follow this blog and I think it would give a good perspective for people considering finasteride.

    I’ve just ordered mine so decision made but would be useful for those starting out I think.

    1. Hi Aaron, I wanted to write one on Finasteride a long time ago. However, the Dutasteride post became so useful with all the comments that I got dissuaded. I am perhaps also biased because I switched from Finasteride to Dutasteride, and the latter is so much stronger.

      But what you say makes sense since so many people prefer not switching to Dutasteride to avoid worse side effect chances. Will try to write a Finasteride results/experiences post soon. Remind me if I forget!

  41. Andy I’m also a long time user of minox. Got minimal regrowth first 4 months then it shedded away. Been on minox foam for 6 years slowly losing ground. Also on fin for 18 years. I just ordered a derma roller 1.5mm and looking to copy your protocol of 1x a week. Lightly roll until scalp turns slightly pink. Did you shed hair when you rolled or the following days? What Norwood are you? Are you getting thick regrowth or few terminal hairs

    1. Hi Mjones, I’m about a Norwood 3 with diffuse thinning. Today is only day 96 so I’m still pretty early into my program. At this point, I would call the growth noticeable but not thick. Here is the Indian study I referred to:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458936/
      They start out rolling 1.5mm once a week for a month, then they continue once every 2 weeks. They roll until the scalp exhibits erythema and I’m probably doing it wrong since I actually draw some blood. I see that others on the internet also produce blood when they dermaroll, especially with larger length needles. I don’t want to overstate this. It’s not like you’ll be Steven King’s Carrie on prom night but don’t be surprised if you see some blood so have a paper towel ready or just roll more gently. I have some regrowth that is already about 1.25 inches long. If the average person grows hair at about .5 inches per month, then some of my follicles must have responded very quickly in the first week. Yet I have many hairs in the .25 to .75 inch length so the response seems to be random. The hair coming in is noticeably darker than my existing hair so they are easy to spot. Most of the growth is within my old hairline but I have several long hairs about a half inch forward of my current hairline so they are very obvious. It’s too early to tell if my hairline will creep forward. I’d be happy just to thicken what I have and that does seem to be happening. My program differs from the Indian one in that I also roll with a 0.5 every other day or so in the two weeks between my 1.5 rolling sessions. So I’ll roll with the 1.5mm roller, wait a couple of days for my scalp to rest, then roll every other day with 0.5mm roller since that seems less irritating to my scalp. So just experiment and see how your scalp tolerates it. I’m committing to year with this program but at 6 months I’m going to reassess. If the growth tapers off, I have the option of compounding a dutasteride topical. From what I’ve read, it seems that duta might be more effective on the scalp but so far I’m happy with my program. Of course, I could deploy the nuclear option and use topical fin in the am, and duta in the pm along with retinoid and dermarolling and nizoral but I don’t want to over stress my scalp. I have had no shedding so I’m trying to ease into this with as little skin trauma as possible. I think everyone is going to respond differently so you just have to experiment. Also, keeping a log has helped me. Good luck and be patient.

        1. Yes I do. I’ve experimented a bit and what works best for me is to have a comb in my left hand and the roller in my right. As I comb back (or forward or sideways, doesn’t matter), I follow the comb over my flattened hair with the dermaroller. I roll right over it.

      1. Andy (or Admin, or anyone knowledgeable I guess!) – Just to make sure I’m understanding the study correctly, the sessions with the 1.5mm roller last about 20 minutes, is that right?

        1. If you do them correctly!! Which I don’t. My sessions last around 5 or 6 minutes I would guess. Maybe I’m going too fast but I feel like I’m getting good coverage. And right after I roll, I apply my compound and I notice that it stings slightly for about 10 minutes and then just fades away. It does not sting if I apply the compound w/o rolling so it must be making a difference.

  42. As someone who doesn’t get sides from oral finasteride (like the other 98% of those who use it), the only reason I’d switch to topical finasteride would be if it offered significant gains over its counterpart. Why continue taking oral finasteride? Because I use topical minoxidil, and using two different topicals would be logistically difficult. Would either affect the other? Would I have to space their applications apart, requiring me to constantly fuss with my hair throughout the day? Right now, I use minoxidil foam like styling product; I apply it, wait until it dries a bit, then style my hair. It works very well in that regard, and if I’d have to mess up my hair later in the day to apply some other product, it would be very impractical. Anecdotally, those who have been using compounded topical finasteride have not experienced a superior efficacy vis-a-vis its oral analog.

  43. 29 years old and recently convinced myself to give Minoxidil and Finasteride a second go. My first attempt was near the beginning of my hair loss journey at age 23. Diffused thinning has left me with a strong chance of regaining substantial results, but I’m 6 days into my second run, and I’m already feeling the brain fog that caused me to quit the first time.

    I’ll keep dropping by this blog every two weeks until the right solution for me exists! Stay positive, enjoy your life, and build something your future hair self will appreciate and look back fondly on his bald predecessor :)

  44. Admin. I am tempted to purchase the “Morr 5%” minoxidil and finasteride topical mix made available by Intas Pharmaceuticals and readily available on various internet sites. It’s reasonably priced and I know they have been at it a while, yet I don’t see this product mentioned very often. Is it a bogus product? Does anyone have experience with it? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jtaylor, there are a number of such products on the market, but I have no idea how thoroughly each of these companies tested there products. If they are not trying to get US FDA or EU EMA approval, they do not need to go through any rigorous trials.

      This is the main reason that I am excited about Polichem/Alimrell’s proven product:-) Hope we can get it in the US via import from the EU when it is released.

  45. Hey Admin,

    Where do you get your dutasteride from? How did get a prescription for it? I want to take dutasteride once a week in addition to taking finasteride 1mg daily for the remaining 6 days of the week.

  46. Andy are you getting your hair caught in the roller? If you are diffuse you probably have a lot of hair left in nw3 zone. Do you roll when your hair is wet? I think a derma stamp might be better if we have long hair.

    Anyone else using a stamp instead?

    1. Occasionally, yes I do get a couple of hairs that get caught in the roller so I’ve learned to be careful. I started out with a derma pen but it took longer so I switched to a roller. You learn to be careful when you roll so you don’t catch hairs so there’s a bit of a learning curve but you can pick it up with practice.

  47. Hey everyone. Can I get some overalls tips on how you guys handle this hair loss mentally? I started losing my hair in 2015 at 23 and am now about a diffuse NW 4.5 at 27. I’ve tried basically everything from minoxidil, topical fin, niz, and even spent over 10k on PRP. All with some sort of negative side effects or no results. I’ve definitely gone from the outgoing confident guy to a self conscious and shy person. I basically avoid anywhere I can’t wear a hat and weddings suck. As everyone knows this is a very lonely battle especially at my age and with me being the only one in my friend group dealing with this. I’ve came to understand that at this point there is nothing I can do, even with a salary of over 200k. How are others handling this mental side? I’m thinking about shaving my head, how have others handled this initial shock to people?

    Admin, I’ve followed this forum silently since 2015 and really appreciate your work. You’ve created a forum for extremely intelligent followers that has helped me learn a lot over the years.

    1. People don’t care about your hair loss, you do… shave your head, get on oral finasteride and minox and go on with your life untill something better comes up. I’ve been dealing with hair loss for over 25 years.

    2. DH1992,

      If I ever find a way to cope, I’ll let you know!

      I’m almost 39. Diffuse thinning all over top. So far, I’ve been able to “hide” my thinning with strategic styling and concealers. However, I feel like I’m approaching the point where I won’t be able to hide it anymore.

      It is no exaggeration to say that hairloss has had a significant impact on my life. It colours everything. It limits me in so many ways. I am anxious and self-conscious every minute of every day. It is absolutely exhausting.

      I dislike being outside, in wind, in rain, under lights, in bright rooms, or anywhere that might expose my loss. There are days when I’m so low that I struggle to get out of bed. I occasionally burst into tears, and what really concerns me is the fact that my loss is only going to get worse.

      When I was younger, I had bad acne. I hated it. It was like I was walking around with a big cloud over my head. However, at the time I dealt with it because I knew acne wasn’t forever. One day, it was going to go away. Eventually, the cloud was going to pass. And it did. One of the many, many things that I detest about hairloss is that it doesn’t get better – it gets worse. It is a cloud that isn’t going to pass.

      Some people say that hairloss won’t bother them when they’re older. Maybe it won’t. I feel differently, though. I’m not saying I want a thick, dense head of hair when I’m 82 (if I live to that age), but I’m almost 39, and hairloss still consumes me. At this point, I know I am never going to accept it. I am never going to be okay with it.

      If I go bald in my 40s and stay that way until I’m in my 60s, then a cure-like treatment becomes available, I will still get it. No question. At some point, I want to have a full head of hair again.

      If a cure-like treatment isn’t available in my lifetime, I know I will be sad for the rest of my life. Some people will say that is a ridiculous thing to say, but it’s the way I feel.

      I often try to remember how I felt before I started losing my hair… and it is difficult. Hairloss is such a heavy weight to carry around. Another sufferer described hairloss as “identity cancer”, and I think that’s a good way to put it. I definitely feel like a different person now.

      If anyone is reading this and thinking something like “man, he sounds pathetic” then I don’t entirely disagree. I wish hairloss didn’t bother me. I know there are more important things in life. I know I should be grateful for all the things I have. But in spite of all that, I can’t deny the way I feel and the way that it affects me.

      Lorence is right when he says that other people don’t care about your loss. For me, the problem is that I care, and I care deeply. I would pay any amount of money to fix this problem. I would go into debt for the rest of my life if Tsuji or someone could fix my hair. Again, that might sound ridiculous to some people, but that’s the way I feel. You simply cannot put a price on peace of mind. It is priceless.

      Now, all of this isn’t meant to make you feel worse! I know I haven’t really answered your question. I just wanted to show that you are not alone in the way you feel.

      How do I deal with it? There’s no choice, really. I just try to get by. I try to do things that hold my attention. Things that distract me. Each day, I hope that there will come a day when I visit a site like this and read that an effective treatment is definitely going to be a reality. As Morgan Freeman says in The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is dangerous thing”. It might not be a good idea to keep hoping that a cure-like treatment hits the market, but what do we have without hope? Plus, we are all on this site for a reason.

      Until a cure or suitable treatment hits the market (if it ever does), I am resigned to the fact that I will be unhappy on some level. It is what it is. I really, genuinely hope that you are different. I hope that you find a way to enjoy your life. I mean that.

      All the best, mate.

    3. there is no replacement for oral finasteride. the regimen you have described is too weak, no wonder you’re falling hard and fast. women want balding men dead, I know this because the way women treated me before and after oral propecia was like day and night, radically different. Fortunately am a good responder. start as soon as possible.. you will regret it. After 1 year you could appoint a FUE to repair the dead areas.

  48. Your biggest mistake was not using oral propecia. Topical is weak in my opinion. I had severe hair shedding at 21 years old. I knew it was mpb because all males in my family tree are nw3 to nw7 hell even nw8. I immediately hoped on propecia brand name at first signs of hairloss. I diffused a lot those 6 months before getting on propecia. After 1 month my shedding stopped. Hair thickened back up in diffuse area and stabilized for over 12 years. I lost minor density very minor those 12 years. Eventually propecia lost its effect at the 12 year mark for me and I was a nw1.5. I added rogaine foam and added another 1mg pill of propecia at night. I’ve been losing ground since but not dramatically. Now I’m a nw2.5 pushing nw3 with diffuse. Getting harder to style but still can hide the balding. I’m 37 btw.
    So all you young guys hop on 1mg propecia or else say bye bye to your hair. I got minor sides thr first year which leveled off.

    1. Does anyone know a reliable online source to order avodart/dutasteride? Trying to take finasteride 6 days a week and avodart/dutasteride on the 7th day. Please someone if you can. Thanks.

  49. My recommendation, get on finasteride oral. Ive tried topical, but imo its not worth it. It may help a little but there so much variation in the amount you apply and the strength, that it all affects the overall dosing. The goal is to apply just enough to lower scalp dht without lowering systemic dht levels, but thats hard to do given the different amounts needed depending on how much scalp area that needs attention. And even then, you’d be hard pressed to see data that proves its effective at regrowing hair long term at whatever dosage you settle on.

    Get on oral finasteride, its proven to work. If you have bothersome side effects, supplement with anastrazole. I take 1mg daily of finasteride, and 0.5 mg of anastrazole eod, and its working pretty well. My finasteride side effects are almost nil, and no side effects to note from anastrazole use other than minor muscle soreness, of which im still not sure if its from the anastrzole usage considering how much working out I do. Just got my blood work back from being on this combo after a 4 months, and my t levels showed about 600, and my e2 level is at 31. Prescribed by my general physician, I explained exactly what i was trying to do. I’m 35 years old.

    1. Your one step away for TRT ha. They use an estrogen blocker at times for TRT. Wonder if anyone does trt with propecia and had success.

    1. I probably said March, but apologies if I said February :-)

      Have received several positive updates that I will add to the exosomes post, but want to wait till I get more information. I am optimistic that at the very least, exosomes will be much more effective than PRP.

        1. John Doe….are you serious? Those results suck. He just grew his 15 strands of hair longer. He looks ridiculous with that little tuft of hair. Thst doctor looks like a shark. Typical money grabbing ht doc that feeds on the desperate. You can see it on his face. Looks like a used car sales man trying to sell you an extended warranty. Sorry for the abrupt response but we need to be cautious of these scam treatments. Once I see normal acceptable coverage of new hair then I’ll be excited. Growing 100 hairs and paying 5k for is just dumb.

          1. Mjones I am absolutely with you! Sure its not a cure. And 5k is ridiculous. But on the other hand have you seen hairs growing on a bald head before? Thinking about that we only see Exosomes since a few months now there is definetly potenzial. And compared with the excitement about other drugs which grow 4 hairs per cm and have massive sides … Well anyway we will see soon if this is something or not.

  50. John Doe. You make a valid point but you have to agree that particular doctor looks like a scammer and money grabber. I have seen reviews of him on hair transplant network and his ht work is pathetic. He is using this exosome to cash in on the weak. I’m still not impressed with exosome. With those results it should cost 100 bucks per session. I’ll give them a dollar per new hair it grows. These treatments should grow back minimum 30 hairs per sq cm

  51. Topical Finasteride is useless. I used all kind of strenght from Pharmacia Parati in Italy and got the same side effects as from oral finasteride, without the benefits. I can not advise to take it

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