How Does Propecia Work? | Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide

Propecia's main aim is to prevent any further hair loss and also to promote growth in your hair follicles. But just how does it do this? At the end of each hair, embedded in your head is a part of the hair called a follicle and this is where the hair strand grows from. Some follicles have developed receptor sites for a hormone called dihydrotestosterone and this hormone attaches itself to these receptors and affects the follicles growth cycle. The hormone acts like the follicle is a foreign object in your body so naturally it attacks it. This makes the hair growing out of it become weaker and shorter until it eventually causes so much damage that the hair falls out and the follicle can no longer make a new one. This is the basic process behind hair loss.

But where does this hormone come from? Dihydrotestosterone, as you may have guessed from the name, is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone circulates in your blood stream and is converted to this active dihydrotestosterone in the follicles in your hair. This reaction is carried out by an enzyme called type II 5-alpha-reductase, allowing the active form to affect your follicles.

Propecia is designed to inhibit this 5-alpha-reductase so that it cannot convert testosterone into it active form. If the product dihydrotestosterone is not made, then it cannot affect the follicles. The drug stops any other follicles from being affected and helps the damaged follicles return to their normal growth cycle. Hair loss essentially stops and after a while, some follicles start regrowth of hair.

Why is there a time lag when using Propecia?

Usually, it will take around three months for there to be any noticeable change from using Propecia. This is because the follicles need time to stop their old cycle and restart a new growth cycle that is not affected by dihydrotestosterone.

Where does Propecia cause regrowth?

Men who take Propecia have found that they will experience regrowth on the top of their head and in the mid scalp area. It does not cause regrowth at the temples, as it is more effective on the top of the head. Unlike surgery, Propecia is effective at preventing further hair loss.

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