topical finasteride

Use of Topical Finasteride for Hair Loss - Guide

If you are new to my website, make sure you read Medical Disclaimer before you continue reading this article.

Topical Finasteride 0.25%: Effective DHT inhibition without using oral Finasteride?

1st important thing you need to be aware of: Topical Finasteride does go systemic and it alters your DHT levels by as much as 80%(1)

Why is it though to be a more side effect – free version of Fiansteride?

Finasteride was originally developed to become a more side effect free version of oral Finasteride. It hasn´t become it yet and this post will explain you why.

Topical Finasteride has been shown to inhibit 70% of DHT on the scalp.(2)

Topical Finasteride vs Oral Finasteride: Effectiveness

topical finasteride studies
Oral Finasteride – outperforming Topical Finasteride slightly in the long run because of cumulative effects

The terminal hairs in finasteride gel group were always more than the finasteride tablet group, until third month of therapy. However, they were similar in both groups during the fourth month of treatment. At 5th and 6th months, the terminal hair counts were more in the group who were receiving tablets, thus explaining the efficacy of the tablet during therapeutic period.”

Study on 45 male patients taking 1mg Finasteride tablet vs 0.1% Finasteride gel(2)

The efficacious concentration of Topical Finasteride is much lower than 0.25%

0.1 – 0.2 ml of Topical Finasteride 0.25% = Similar DHT inihibition to oral Finasteride with less plasma exposure to Finasteride!

“A strong and similar inhibition of plasma DHT was found after 1 week of treatment with the topical and tablet finasteride formulations, albeit finasteride plasma exposure was significantly lower with the topical than with the oral product.”

Study on 24 male patients taking 1mg Finasteride tablet vs 0.25% Finasteride gel(1)

The study above has shown that 0.1ml – 0.2ml of Topical Finasteride 0.25% has the best ability to inhibit scalp DHT (37% – 54%) with only 24%-26% serum DHT suppression.

topical finasteride best concentration

Best Topical Finasteride concentration for maximizing scalp DHT suppression and minimizing the Finasteride plasma exposure

Here´s how Topical Fiansteride dosing works by 0.25% concentration:

Topical Finasteride 0.25% = 2.5 mg Finasteride per 1ml

This corresponds to:

5 mg Finasteride per 2ml

7.5 mg Finasteride per 3ml

10 mg Finasteride per 4 ml

Can you see the problem?

If you are a diffuse thinner and/or have a big head requiring more liquid, you most likely need way more than 1ml of topical Finasteride. Unfortunately, by doing that you´re increasing Finasteride plasma exposure pretty dramatically. 

Here´s how to safely determine the right topical Finasteride concentration for you

  1. Find out how much liquid is normally required for covering all of your thinning areas on the scalp (you can grab a dropper from your Minoxidil product and test it out with water. For a NW 2 it may be less than 1 ml, while for a diffusely thinning NW 5 with a big head it can be 3 ml.
  2. Let your physician determine a safe Finasteride dose/concentration. Since 1 mg Finasteride is the FDA  approved dose for treating androgenic alopecia, your physician will most likely tell you 1 mg ,0.5 mg or even 0.25 mg (if you want to micro-dose it). Consult with your physician or dermatologist!!!
  3. Get a prescription for a Topical Finasteride with the concentration determined by your physician. It´s also possible to buy Topical Finasteride online for research purposes (see the link at the end of this post)
  4.  Make sure that by each topical Finasteride application, you´re not exceeding the determined concentration. Example: By purchasing a topical Finasteride 0.1% solution it will only remain a 0.1% solution if you apply 1 ml of it. By applying 2 ml of this solution, it becomes 0.2% solution!

Designing an effective Topical Finasteride solution using Essengen-F with the least Finastetride plasma exposure

Things you will need: Essengen-F and Stemoxydine 5%

1. Essengen – F is a 0.2% topical Finasteride available online (you can get it here)

2. Stemoxydine 5% promotes the induction of the anagen (growing) phase of the hair follicle(4)

Example: Matt, before his 2nd hair transplant, diffuse thinning in the central region, midscalp and vertex (partially). 
Before my 2nd Hair Transplant- Hair Loss areas

Step 1: Determine the amount of topical needed. 3 ml in my case

Step 2: Get your Essengen-F 0.2% topical Finasteride and Stemoxydine 5%

Essengen-F is a 2 mg Finasteride equivalent per 1ml. I need only 0.5mg Finasteride eqivalent because it has been shown to suppress DHT systemically by 24% -26% which is less than oral Finasteride, while inhibiting the scal DHT by 37% – 54%. And thus, my new solution will be 0.05%. 

Step 3: Measure the Stemoxydine and Essengen-F ratios

 Since Essengen-F is a 0.2% prepared solution and I want to make it a 0.05% solution, I will be combining 0.25 ml of Essengen-F with 3 ml of Stemoxydine 5% (per each application). 
An example of a monthly supply of this 0.05% topical Finasteride and Stemoxydine 5% solution would look like this: 90 ml of Stemoxydine 5% and 7.5 ml of Essengen – F

You can simply order topical Finasteride online and have it comfortably delivered to your home (worldwide shipping costs 15$).

One year supply will normally cost you 300$ but with my strategy, a original 4 month supply of Essengen – F can last you for over a year by mixing it with Stemoxydine 5%

Application of topical Finasteride 0.25% once vs twice a day - not what you would think!


DHT suppression differs based on the frequency of topical Finasteride application. 

This study reported a single application of 0.25% concentration (2.5mg Finasteride) to have 18% – 19% plasma DHT suppresion up to 24h after the initial application the most dermal absorption.(6)

By applying the same 0.25% topical Finasteride twice a day, plasma DHT has been continuously suppressed by 68% – 75%.

Interestingly, once a day application of 0.25% solutions has shown even better DHT suppresion of up to 80%(1)


Future topical Finasteride delivery via NLC (nanostructured lipid carriers)

nanostructured lipid carriers and Finasteride delivery

NLCs could be a novel form for application of topical anti hair loss agents/stimulants. The research on nanostructured lipid carriers is focusing on more effective, steady and consistent transdermal absorption of Finasteride.(5)

The success rate of topical anti-hair loss products relying upon transdermal absorption of the scalp can differ.

Since topical Finasteride hasn´t received approval from the FDA yet, there is neither a standardized concentration nor there is a unified way for its topical delivery.

The success of dermatological products in alopecia therapy depends on the capability of the drug to overcome the outermost layer of the epidermis and to penetrate through skin in sufficient amounts.

In order to achieve this effectively NLCs of different length are yet to be researched to deliver anti-alopecia drugs into the dermis and hair follicles.

The optimal outcome would be to achieve high transdermal penetration together with continuous release of topical Finasteride over 24h period. 

How to get Topical Finasteride with prescription vs for research purposes

Topical Finasteride prescription Free

You can get topical Finateride compounded by a pharmacy (prescription required) or you can order it online.

Price of a pharmacy compunded topical Finasteride can be 2-3 times higher than getting topical Finasteride only (for reasearch purposes).

Topical Finasteride
(with prescription)

My experience with pharmacy compounded topical Finasteride

Topical Finasteride from a pharmacy, which I have been using for 6 months.

I haven´t experienced any sexual side effects whatsoever.

The only side effect I experienced initially were slight headaches.

This solution contained 2.5mg of Finasteride per 1ml (0.25 or 2.5%).

This compund started to work already within the first month of using it daily.

The cost: 45 Euro per 30ml bottle you see on the photo. Sometimes I had to use more than 1ml to sufficiently cover up all the thinning areas which made it last shorter than 1 month.

Topical Finasteride with prescription available by the following physicians:

Topical Finasteride concentrations may vary among physicians and pharmacies

  • Dr. Alan Bauman (Boca Raton, Florida,USA)
  • Dr. Hasson & Wong (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Dr. Carlos Wesley (NYC,USA)
  • Farmaciaparati (Italy/online)
  • Allerheiligen Apotheke (Austria)
  • Dr. Christian Bisanga (Brussels, Belgium)


  • Topical Finasteride is thought to be as a more side effect-free version of oral Finasteride 1mg, which is only true by applying it in a very small quantities like 0.1ml-0.2ml (by a 0.25% solution)
  • Several studies confirmed similar efficacy of Finasteride 1mg vs Finasteride gel 1% or 2.5%. Topical Finasteride shows diminishing marginal returns.
  • Topical Finasteride is able to inhibit DHT more efficiently on the scalp initially as opposed to oral Finasteride. 
  • Systemic DHT suppression of 18% – 19% with only one topical Fiansteride application has been achieved
  • Topical Finasteride ability to inhibit DHT on the scalp and systemically isn´t better (if applied twice a day).
  • The scientific evidence suggests, that oral Finasteride tends to slightly outperform its topical version in the long-run.
  • Topical Finasteride can be bought online (prescription-free) or from a pharmacy (prescriprion required).
  • The quality of topical finasteride may differ from supplier to supplier. It´s important to get your topical Finasteride from a trusted source.
  • Topical Finasteride is not FDA approved with no standardized dose/concentration. Neither there is a unified way of its topical delivery. 
  • NLCs (nanostructured lipid carriers) can be a novel way of applying topical Finasteride for treating androgenic alopecia more effectively.


Learn from my mistakes in this FREE eBook!

5 Things I wished I had known before my hair transplant

Updated in 2020!

Written by 

2 thoughts on “Use of Topical Finasteride for Hair Loss – Guide​

  1. Hi Pete. The highest concentration of topical Finasteride I was able to find online for purchase was 0.25

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *