Use of Topical Finasteride for Hair Loss - Guide
written by Matt Dominance
In this post on Topical Finasteride you will find out:
- Does it work?
- Differences between oral and topical version of Finasteride
- Best concentration
- Side effects
- Different types and formulations
- Can you make topical Finasteride yourself?
Topical Finasteride works on the same basis as oral Finasteride. Both inhibit the 5 alpha reductase (Type 2), which converts Testosterone into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone).
Oral Finasteride initially inhibits DHT systemically (in the blood serum) and later accumulates in the scalp tissue, where it helps “block” the DHT in the scalp.
Topical one initially inhibits DHT topically (in the scalp) and later absorbs systemically. That’s why many people get surprised if their plasma DHT levels decrease while using the topical (either liposomal gel, hydro-alcoholic solution or emulsion).
Does Topical Finasteride work?
Effects of Topical Finasteride 0.25% on the systemic DHT suppression vs scalp DHT suppression
Based on this study, topical 0.25% solution goes systemic and it alters your DHT levels by as much as 80%(1)
This leads to the same (if not higher) systemic DHT suppression compared to its oral version.
The same concentration of 0.25% is also able to inhibit about 70% DHT in the scalp tissue.
What is more effective? Topical or Oral Finasteride?
Oral Finasteride generally needs more time to accumulate in the scalp tissue because of oral intake (up to 1 month of taking 1mg Finasteride a day).
Finasteride 0.25% topical on the other hand may only need 1 week to induce 70% scalp DHT inhibition.
In the long run however, it seems that oral version may slightly outperform the topical one.(2)
Best Topical Finasteride Concentration
Finasteride in topical form doesn´t have a standardized concentration yet and the efficacious concentration (which is also the most side effect free) is likely to be lower than 0.25%.
This study has shown that 0.1ml – 0.2ml of Finasteride liquid 0.25% had the best ability to inhibit scalp DHT (37% – 52%) with only 24%-26% serum DHT suppression.
Here´s how dosing works by 0.25% concentration:
Topical Finasteride 0.25% = 2.5 mg Finasteride per 1 ml
This corresponds to:
0.25 mg Finasteride per 0.1 ml
0.5 mg Finasteride per 0.2 ml
1 mg Finasteride per 0.4 ml
5 mg Finasteride per 2 ml
7.5 mg Finasteride per 3 ml
10 mg Finasteride per 4 ml
0.025% Topical Finasteride - the most side effect-free?
Based on the study above, it seems like the 0.025% concentration seems to have the highest scalp DHT suppression while simultaneously having the least systemic DHT suppression.
Higher systemic DHT suppression usually means higher risk of side effects.
Stemoxydine is another less known anti-hair loss compound, which has been developed by Loreal.
Research shows, that this molecule can successfully shorten the Kenogen phase of the hair follicle’s growth cycle.
Shortening the Kenogen phase means, faster anagen release of the hair follicle.
In other words, it means that the hair follicle starts growing again faster!
If we assume that Finasteride liquid (in higher concentrations) is in fact able to inhibit systemic DHT the same way as oral Finasteride 1mg, then the same side effect risk is to be expected.
Possible side effects are:
- Decreased libido
- Erectile and sexual dysfunction
How high is the side effect risk?
Side effect report on Finasteride based on this meta analysis (17 randomized controlled trials with 17,494 patients) says:
Side effects like decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and sexual dysfunction were observed in subjects treated with Finasteride, however the percentage of men who experienced them was not statistically significant.
Statistically insignificant means, that the percentage of subjects experiencing these side effects on Finasteride is similar/or doesn’t differ way to much from the percentage of subjects not exposed to Finasteride.
Another study also summarized that side effects from Finasteride can occur initially but normalize with continued use.
How to get Topical Finasteride with prescription vs for research purposes
You can get topical solutions with Finasteride compounded by a pharmacy (prescription required) or you can order it online.
Price of a pharmacy compounded Finasteride solution can be 2-3 times higher than getting it for research purposes.
How to make Topical solution with Finasteride for research purposes
In this short blog post I explain how to only get 1 single 60 ml bottle of topical Finasteride and make it last over 1 year while effectively managing your hair loss every day!
The issue with topical solutions available online is, that their concentrations are unnecessary high e.g 0.1%, 0.2% or even 0.25%.
By mixing these topical solutions with solvents like stemoxydine from Serioxyl or Cerafill you can simply lower the Finasteride concentration, get similar effectiveness and make the product last 3 times longer!
Pharmacy compounded Topical solutions with Finasteride (prescription needed)
My experience with pharmacy compounded topical 1% 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 25mg of Finasteride per 1ml (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)