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How good are hair loss drugs, really?


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So my situation is that I’ve been using mainly just DUT for about 17 years…ish. Probably off and on really for about the first 3. When I’ve seen hair loss surgeons or derms mostly I’m told that whatever I did I caught it early, that I have very minor thinning…etc. I’ve started using oral Min 2.5mg EOD and rotating in Fin/Min from Hims on the off days because it seems to me my front and the crown seems like it’s been thinning a bit. This seems to fall in line with others have experienced as expressed on hair loss forums. But, how good are these drugs really? At what point does one say is this really a slow battle against genetics as I progress to whatever my father looks like? Or, did I jump the gun in thinking I’m going to look like my father or grandfather or whom ever one seems to use as a guideline and someone genetically perhaps isn’t predisposed to looking like their father or mother or whomever. Which begs the question how good are these drugs at circumventing genetics? I’m curious how many people jumped on meds thinking they are going to look like who ever, when really maybe they went through a stressful event or whatever but continued on thinking they are going down the right path. Multiple curiosities here really. 🤷‍♂️

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All depends on your susceptibility to hair loss - and by that, you can look at it as;  

 

Number of hair follicles on your scalp that are predisposed to miniaturisation from DHT x Quantity of DHT that is sufficient to cause miniaturisation (different follicles will have different levels of susceptibility) 

 

Then add in , the rate at which miniaturisation will occur at different parameters of systemic DHT and the levels to which 5AR inhibition medication has the capability of reducing your serum DHT down to. 
 

Then you also have senile alopecia to contend with. 
 

So simply put , I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer - it’s all subject to the individual in question. Like pretty much everything in medicine. 
 

As of now though, they are the best chance we have to prevent (prolong) androgenetic miniaturisation. 
 

17 years on DUT? Quite the shift you’ve put in! 

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1 hour ago, Curious25 said:

All depends on your susceptibility to hair loss - and by that, you can look at it as;  

 

Number of hair follicles on your scalp that are predisposed to miniaturisation from DHT x Quantity of DHT that is sufficient to cause miniaturisation (different follicles will have different levels of susceptibility) 

 

Then add in , the rate at which miniaturisation will occur at different parameters of systemic DHT and the levels to which 5AR inhibition medication has the capability of reducing your serum DHT down to. 
 

Then you also have senile alopecia to contend with. 
 

So simply put , I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer - it’s all subject to the individual in question. Like pretty much everything in medicine. 
 

As of now though, they are the best chance we have to prevent (prolong) androgenetic miniaturisation. 
 

17 years on DUT? Quite the shift you’ve put in! 

Ugh…I know. 17 years give or take. I went to see Dr. Konior involving frontal thinning and he basically told me he could do a minor procedure on the hairline, for a radical price 😂(he is the best of the best though based on posted results) but that he’d bet the bank I’d never be bald. I’m surprised he took my case based on what I’ve seen on this site as I was in question while doing the in person consult. After he told me that, I’ve been contemplating this question in regard to 5AR inhibitors, minoxidil and such and their actual efficacy vs genetics. Obviously there is merit to catching this thing early, but at what point was the perceived worst case scenario not actually going to happen genetically vs these drugs are doing there business better stay on them for fear of losing all maintenance or gains. Clearly one could stop all meds and see but… this illogical conundrum🤦‍♂️

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33 minutes ago, sunsurfhair said:

Came across this the other day. Interesting study - it's not just DHT or Testosterone that can play a role in hair loss due to hormonal susceptibility. Quite interesting:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432488/

Ultimately, I’m wondering, given that this site is a wealth of knowledge and personal experiences… If anyone has maintained for 15-20+ years and attributes it all to the use of 5AR inhibitors, minoxidil and various other solutions vs possibly being genetically predisposed to not looking as bad as they initially may have thought prompting their use of these meds. 

Edited by Jayson1361
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Tbh dude.. you've been on dut for 17 years?? you're the guy we would be asking this question. If you haven't experienced much hair loss since you consistently started dut, then the high likelihood is that it has been working well for you, as if you ever had a reason to consult with a doctor over potential treatment, then you would have hair loss that is in some way progressive, whether he believes the extent of it isn't major or not. 

All im tryign to say is; it is safer to assume based off the many studies we have and the countless anecdotes of guys not starting medication and then minaturizing years later, that it's been holding you up, which lines up with what its supposed to be doing. 

How has it been on dut for 17 years? 

Edited by TorontoMan
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There are so many people who say I wish I had have started meds years ago. You seem to have been way ahead of the ball game and done what many wish they had have done. The only way to find out would be to cease all of your medication and see what happens (which I seriously don't recommend unless MPB is no longer a concern). Hair loss from stress generally resolves itself once the stressful event/experience passes. Unfortunately everyone is different when it comes to medication for MPB. Some people receive little to no benefit while others experience only side effects that forces them off medication. Others however get to maintain the hair that they still have and some have incredible regrowth (though these folk are in the minority). How much of your gains are attributed to genetics versus meds no one will ever really know. All the best.

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14 minutes ago, TorontoMan said:

Tbh dude.. you've been on dut for 17 years?? you're the guy we would be asking this question. If you haven't experienced much hair loss since you consistently started dut, then the high likelihood is that it has been working well for you, as if you ever had a reason to consult with a doctor over potential treatment, then you would have hair loss that is in some way progressive, whether he believes the extent of it isn't major or not. 

All im tryign to say is; it is safer to assume based off the many studies we have and the countless anecdotes of guys not starting medication and then minaturizing years later, that it's been holding you up, which lines up with what its supposed to be doing. 

How has it been on dut for 17 years? 

It’s an experience. Sometimes lack of interest in sex, which translates to low performance even though never a clear lack of performance. Cialis helps with that and apparently has benefits for DHT based on some studies I’ve read. DUT will put a lock on you nuts though which can be overcome via Cialis or honestly psychological arousal interestingly enough 🤷‍♂️. My hairloss seems to be progressing, I think, which is why I’ve started oral min. But based on where my father was at, at my age I’m not sure my genetic predisposition to hair loss is the same given that in my opinion genetics are significantly stronger than a medication. Really hard to say which is why I’m curious what others think or have experienced. 

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They work but with limitations. If they really work that well, obviously nobody would need hair transplants. Eventually you will end up with the NW level you were headed to anyway. Because of aging alopecia in the higher age. The meds are pretty powerless there  

Edited by Mike10
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2 minutes ago, Mike10 said:

They work but with limitations. If they really work that well, obviously nobody would need hair transplants. Eventually you will end up with the NW level you were headed to anyway. Because of aging alopecia in the higher age. The meds are pretty powerless there  

I don't know @Mike10. I'm 55 and my hair all over definitely feels a lot thicker since I started using minoxidil (currently oral minoxidil 2.5mg). I've been back on finasteride at a low dose but it's too early to attribute it to this I feel.

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1 hour ago, Mike10 said:

They work but with limitations. If they really work that well, obviously nobody would need hair transplants. Eventually you will end up with the NW level you were headed to anyway. Because of aging alopecia in the higher age. The meds are pretty powerless there  

I’ll be 49 next year and I have some thinning at the hairline… but most of my other hair is in rather decent shape. I can see a thickness difference from the top to my sides, which is to say if my sides are at a 10 then my top would be… mmm I’d say a 7.5 perhaps😂 my forelock a 7ish and my crown a 7 maybe higher since I was 30. However, I decided to add Min which I’ve never used because I’ve seen thinning at the hairline. I think, personally because of a TRT run I tried for a bit, which is remarkable, but ultimately I think it contributed to thinning. I did get a divorce 3 years ago and around that time I saw thinning occur. More hair in the shower and such. If I were to regrow from that, you’d think it would have happened already. 

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9 hours ago, Gatsby said:

I don't know @Mike10. I'm 55 and my hair all over definitely feels a lot thicker since I started using minoxidil (currently oral minoxidil 2.5mg). I've been back on finasteride at a low dose but it's too early to attribute it to this I feel.

Nobody knows for sure.I could be wrong sure. With eventually, I also meant the aging alopeica which comes in higher age (late 60s, over 70). You are only 55. 

Edited by Mike10
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4 hours ago, Ronnieman said:

I mean, you answered your own question.

You were on Dut for 17 years.

It probably saved you from needing a transplant 15 years ago.

My point exactly. Are drugs really that effective? Could some one possibly suffering from hair loss or age related thinning, which there is a difference, push off a hair transplant or really for that matter, genetics… for decades? Are drugs… 5AR inhibitors, minoxidil.. really that good? That effective? Sadly, even though I posted that question…it’s something that cannot definitively be answered. So, we or rather I,  continue on, fear of the unknown, perceived shame, loss of influence, acceptance…for whatever reason, continue on. In the end I suppose it’s why those who really understand or are dealing with hairloss turn to FDA approved solutions, as we are lucky to have options. But sometimes, I doubt these solutions… with a sense of hope that maybe genetics has some play in this and it’s not just a pill or a topical. 😔😏

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18 hours ago, Curious25 said:

Can you post pics, if you feel comfortable ? 

Perhaps. Maybe I’ll wait for a Konior review. Maybe I’ll post. Its a  hard thing to deal with a change in identity after decades of seeing oneself,  no matter how small… regardless of age. 

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2 hours ago, Jayson1361 said:

My point exactly. Are drugs really that effective? Could some one possibly suffering from hair loss or age related thinning, which there is a difference, push off a hair transplant or really for that matter, genetics… for decades? Are drugs… 5AR inhibitors, minoxidil.. really that good? That effective? Sadly, even though I posted that question…it’s something that cannot definitively be answered. So, we or rather I,  continue on, fear of the unknown, perceived shame, loss of influence, acceptance…for whatever reason, continue on. In the end I suppose it’s why those who really understand or are dealing with hairloss turn to FDA approved solutions, as we are lucky to have options. But sometimes, I doubt these solutions… with a sense of hope that maybe genetics has some play in this and it’s not just a pill or a topical. 😔😏

 

I think for the most part, drugs like Fin, Dut, Ru, Minoxidil, plus microneedling are fantastic and absolutely prevent transplants for a decade or two even. 

Sure there are a few people who are destined to be NW 6 by 35, or who don't respond well to the drugs, or simply don't want to take them, but I think for the most part, they are that effective. 

From being on this forum for 2 years now, I believe the biggest factor in someone keeping their hair is if they catch it and start dealing with it in its early stages. 

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7 month ish user of Dutasteride here.  It's almost brought me back an entire norwood level so far.  I estimate I have about 2-3k new hairs (still bald, but better than before, clearly).  Plan is that once I stop seeing progress from Dut, I'll get a transplant.

 

One thing I will note is that I have 0 side effects.  I guess other people here were struggling with some, but I just want to point out that some of us actually don't get side effects at all.

after.jpg

image_67158529.JPG

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1 hour ago, MisterBreakfast said:

7 month ish user of Dutasteride here.  It's almost brought me back an entire norwood level so far.  I estimate I have about 2-3k new hairs (still bald, but better than before, clearly).  Plan is that once I stop seeing progress from Dut, I'll get a transplant.

 

One thing I will note is that I have 0 side effects.  I guess other people here were struggling with some, but I just want to point out that some of us actually don't get side effects at all.

after.jpg

image_67158529.JPG

Wow … that is some great re growth

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4 hours ago, MisterBreakfast said:

7 month ish user of Dutasteride here.  It's almost brought me back an entire norwood level so far.  I estimate I have about 2-3k new hairs (still bald, but better than before, clearly).  Plan is that once I stop seeing progress from Dut, I'll get a transplant.

 

One thing I will note is that I have 0 side effects.  I guess other people here were struggling with some, but I just want to point out that some of us actually don't get side effects at all.

after.jpg

image_67158529.JPG

Impressive stuff ! 
 

Take note all those who believe hair loss meds don’t work on frontal hair loss, lol. 
 

Have you thought about adding in minoxidil ? 

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18 minutes ago, Curious25 said:

Impressive stuff ! 
 

Take note all those who believe hair loss meds don’t work on frontal hair loss, lol. 
 

Have you thought about adding in minoxidil ? 

I used topical minox and topical finasteride a while back, but did not notice much results.  When I switched to oral dut, my hair growth exploded.  I just recently started oral minoxidil but it's too early to know what the results of that will be.

Edited by MisterBreakfast
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7 hours ago, MisterBreakfast said:

7 month ish user of Dutasteride here.  It's almost brought me back an entire norwood level so far.  I estimate I have about 2-3k new hairs (still bald, but better than before, clearly).  Plan is that once I stop seeing progress from Dut, I'll get a transplant.

 

One thing I will note is that I have 0 side effects.  I guess other people here were struggling with some, but I just want to point out that some of us actually don't get side effects at all.

after.jpg

image_67158529.JPG

Wow!! Great results!!

_________________________________________________

Propecia since July 2008

2201 Grafts with Dr Lorenzo on 19.10.22 - See my write up here:

 

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8 hours ago, MisterBreakfast said:

I used topical minox and topical finasteride a while back, but did not notice much results.  When I switched to oral dut, my hair growth exploded.  I just recently started oral minoxidil but it's too early to know what the results of that will be.

Stick with it if you’re able to do so, the two in combination are fantastic. 
 

Aside from the impressive growth you have seen on top, it’s the dramatic strengthening of your donor, in particular the lateral humps, that really stands out to me. 
 

Just goes to show how effective meds can be for regrowth when caught at the right time. 

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