As part of our Hair Loss Awareness Month feature, we take a look at the FDA approved male hair loss treatment pill, Finasteride, and see whether there is a safe alternative to the prescription drug. 

Finasteride for male pattern baldness

Finasteride, which is most commonly branded as Propecia or Proscar, is a medically approved oral treatment pill for male pattern baldness. It blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme changes testosterone to another hormone that causes the prostate to grow or hair loss in males. It will increase testosterone levels in the body, which decreases prostate size and increases hair growth on the scalp.

Finasteride can be effective in slowing down and even halting hair loss in men, however, there are risks of negative side-effects, and some can be quite severe. The most common negative side-effects from Finasteride are: low sex drive, impotence/erectile dysfunction, skin rash, headaches, alternation of mood, breast swelling, and feminisation. 

So, as you can imagine, a lot of men are not willing to take on the potential side-effects of Finasteride, which leads them to look elsewhere for safer alternatives. The question is, though: What is the best safe alternative to Finasteride? 

Is there a safer treatment than Finasteride for male pattern baldness?

Finasteride is the only oral treatment that is medically approved, so replacing it with something that is free from chemicals and harsh drugs, isn't an easy task. Finasteride has proved to be effective in treating hair loss, whereas natural alternatives offer varying results, and many need further testing. 

The most obvious alternative would be in the supplement form. Multi-vitamin supplements are fast becoming the most popular choice of product for hair health. They contain a broad range of anti-androgen ingredients, as well as hair growth promoters that combine to help slow down the rate of hair shedding, and increase the rate (and speed) of healthy hair growth. 

Multi-vitamin supplements are unlikely to give the same results as Finasteride, but even so, they still offer men (and women) a viable solution for treating hair loss to a certain extent. The problem is, there are quite a few multi-vitamin supplements on the market to choose from, so finding one that works best for you individually, can be a tricky task. 

Are multi-vitamin supplements good for hair growth? 

In all honesty, the vast majority of multi-vitamin supplements are unlikely to be effective in treating hair loss. This is usually down to the fact that most multi-vitamin supplements lack enough hair beneficiary ingredients to make much difference to the hair. Many of these types of supplements are rushed and put together too quickly, with the sole purpose of getting them onto shelves to make money. 

However, there are a few multi-vitamin supplements that can work well in slowing down hair loss, and helping with the maintenance of healthy hair growth. 

Market leading multi-vitamin hair supplements such as Viviscal and HR23+ have been carefully formulated, with each ingredient serving its purpose for the cause. They are pricier than your average multi-vitamin supplement, but like with anything in life, you generally pay more for better quality. 

What is the best multi-vitamin hair supplement? 

Of the two main ones mentioned, HR23+ would probably be regarded as the best on the market. It has a fine blend of anti-androgens and hair growth promoters that combine to help prevent excess hair shedding, and support the function of healthy hair growth in men (and women) suffering from early stages of baldness and thinning hair.

HR23+ contains key B vitamins (Biotin, Folic Acid, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid) that are primarily responsible for the development of hair cell growth, as well as the skin cells and nails. Ginkgo Biloba contains natural qualities which help generate hair growth by providing more nutrients to the hair follicles.

The combination of Stinging Nettle (Nettle Leaf Extract) and Green Tea Extract helps stump excess shedding and promotes hair regrowth. The potent extract of Saw Palmetto may block 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT (the cause of baldness). HR23+ combines a key blend of hair growth promoters and DHT blocking properties for optimal results.

Although potent, HR23+ is free from negative side-effects, and offers men a safe and effective alternative to harsh prescription drugs like Finasteride. 

Is HR23+ more effective than Finasteride? 

In studies, 80% of men taking Finasteride 1mg preserved their original hair follicle counts and 64 percent experienced some regrowth after two years of continued use. 

In a user survey taken by HR23+ in 2021, 48% of users noticed less hair fall, and 22% reported an improvement in hair thickness and texture. 

It is likely that you will experience more noticeable results from using Finasteride, but HR23+ can offer you a safe and effective alternative, should you wish to avoid the negative side-effects.