Does Propecia (Finasteride) Work?

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I have personally taken Propecia for over a year, when I first started losing my hair and in this article I’ll explain exactly how effective I, and other men have found it to be, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to use it as well.

Please note that I am biased in writing this article and will try and persuade you that there are better alternatives that you can try without using propecia.

That said, there is nothing to stop you trying both approaches (the natural method and using propecia) in a way that compliments one another.

I am also not a medical professional so you should definitely seek a well rounded doctor to help you out with any specific questions.

In this article I’ll also explain;

  1. How it works
  2. What to expect when taking it for the first time
  3. Exactly how and when to take it and it what doses
  4. How to help it work more effectively
  5. When to stop taking it
  6. Downsides and possible side effects
  7. Possible natural alternatives

How it works.

Finasteride (which is the active chemical in Propecia) was first developed by Merck to treat enlarged prostates in men. Then, in 1997 it was approved by the FDA for use as a treatment for androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness.)

Finasteride works by inhibiting (slowing down/stopping) the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT (the hormones primarily responsible for hair loss through hair follicle miniaturisation). That enzyme is called 5-alpha-reductase.

Propecia works on a biochemical level, interrupting the processes that are taking place in the body and affecting male hormones. For many men, the risks aren’t worth the reward and some men even report that lasting damage has been done to their health.

What to expect when taking it for the first time.

Most men experience some loss of libido when taking Propecia for the first time. This usually shows up as weaker erections, less ‘morning wood’. Often the side effects will subside with continued use, but if they don’t then don’t continue with it.

Many men also experience Propecia shedding when they try it for the first time, so don’t be surprised if this does happen to you. Shedding occurs because Propecia interrupts the growth cycle causing dormant hair follicles to fall out (and hopefully be replaced later on by stronger more resistant hair.) The shedding can last up to 3 months or so.

Exactly how and when to take it.

Propecia has a relatively short life time in the body which means that you should take it every day consistently. Ideally you would take it at the same time each day, although this isn’t always possible.

It’s generally better to take it on an empty stomach.

Many men use 5mg finasteride tablets that are cut up into 1mg pieces since this is a much cheaper option. If you do decide to use this method then it’s recommended to keep the other pieces in a small air-tight container, since oxygen and humidity can affect the efficacy of the drug.

How to help it work more effectively.

If you do decide to take Propecia it is highly recommend that you also try to do everything to help your body heal itself naturally at the same time. This increase the chances of the treatment being successful considerably.

This means that you at least do the following:

  1. Block DHT in the scalp
  2. Reduce your intake of foods with a high glycemic index

This is just the start but it will all help increase the effectiveness.

When to stop taking it.

When I stopped taking Propecia there was a very noticeable increase in my libido, and I had stronger erections.

I didn’t expect this at all since I wasn’t stopping for this reason but it was a nice surprise and it definitely highlighted what an effect the Propecia was having on my body.

I made the decision that I would rather have the strong sex drive and harder erections and larger ejaculations than keeping my hair.

But at the same time, I resolved to re-double my efforts to beat my hair loss naturally (which I was able to do.) Interestingly, in this article, does masturbation make hair loss worse, you’ll see that this natural technique will actually increase your sex drive.

You should stop taking Propecia if you have noticeable side-effects more than a few days after starting. You should also stop taking it if you’re worried about the side-effects and would rather focus on natural alternatives like I teach at Hair Loss Revolution. (They can be even more effective.)

The downsides of using Propecia.

1. All the hair gained is lost within 6-12 months of stopping taking the drug– yep that’s right, as soon as you stop taking the drug your hair starts falling out again.

The likelihood is that after 12 months without the drug you’ll have the same amount of hair as if you never took the drug in the first place. That means a lot of hair loss in a short period of time, as opposed to the gradual decline that will occur naturally.

2. Synthetic chemicals speed up the aging process. Both conventional and alternative medicines agree that synthetic drugs, whatever they might be, speed up the aging process.

Not only will that mean increased hair loss when you come off finasteride, but older looking skin and muscle atrophy, along with the other conditions associated with premature aging.

Also by taking finasteride you’ll be damaging the other delicate systems in your body, such as the endocrine system that must maintain a careful balance to function efficiently. This leads to the third reason why finasteride is such a bad choice for reversing hair loss.

3. Finasteride can cause irreversible side effects. Anywhere on the web that discusses finasteride you’ll also find people arguing about the side effects.

But whether you’re a scaremonger or an ‘undercover agent from Merck’ there is no doubting that significant numbers of men on finasteride have experienced nasty side effects. Men regularly go to their physician, complain to the FDA or comment on forums describing some of these symptoms.

The most common ones described are loss of libido as well as difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, mild anxiety and depression as well as mental and physical fatigue.

Luckily most of the side effects subside once the finasteride dosage is discontinued. Unfortunately, there are also many men who complain about irreversible sexual dysfunction and a permanent decrease in ejaculatory volume.

Even though there are many more men who happily take finasteride with only mild side effects, there certainly are a lot of cases of permanent damage. For most men who are well informed and aware of their options, the risk just isn’t worth it.

4. Finasteride can cause birth defects in developing fetuses. Drug companies advise pregnant women or women who are planning on becoming pregnant to avoid contact with finasteride, to the point that they shouldn’t handle any broken pills because it could affect the fetus.

Male fetuses are particularly affected by even miniscule amounts of finasteride, which could cause birth defects, and specifically sexually related birth defects.

Another point to consider that has been under scrutiny recently is that finasteride can be passed through to the woman via the semen, increasing the chances of birth defects in the fetus. Merck argues this isn’t a concern, but for most men it’s just not worth the risk, especially if you’re having unprotected sex with your partner.

5. There are natural inhibitors of alpha 5 reductase that are just as effective. Merck makes billions of dollars per year selling finasteride to men which means they can afford to spend serious amounts of money promoting and testing finasteride.

This gives the impression to most people that finasteride is by far the most effective way to treat hair loss by inhibiting alpha 5 reductase. (Remember that the clinical trials on the effectiveness of finasteride are carried out by the companies selling the drugs.)

In fact this may not be the truth at all. There are many natural inhibitors of alpha 5 reductase that could work just as well, but since no company can’t make a  patent on them (and make lots of money in the process) no one is willing to advertise and carry out serious clinical trials.

The incentive for doing so just isn’t available because the natural products are so cheap anyway. The result is finasteride gets all the attention whilst the natural, healthier and cheaper alternatives are largely ignored as a means to reverse hair loss. 

How to decrease the side effects of propecia.

If you’re one of the men whose libido has decreased during or after taking Propecia then this article is for you. This can be a super scary problem for men taking Propecia because our libido is something that gives us our drive in life.

Loss of libido can even cause depression. Not to worry there are methods we can use to increase our libido as well as our ejaculatory volume substantially.

The first and most important method to increase libido and ejaculatory volume is the most obvious yet very often overlooked method of decreasing ejaculation frequency.

This means you must reduce the number of times you ejaculate sperm every month. As a rule of thumb, don’t ejaculate more than twice per month.

As you grow older, decrease this this amount gradually. In general, if an ejaculation leaves you feeling tired, lethargic or uninterested in further sex then you need to reduce your ejaculation frequency again.

When you reach the right frequency an ejaculation will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. If you’re having sex then you will still be interested in continuing, although it’s a good idea to end the next session without ejaculating.

This will stimulate vital hormones to be released into the body without wasting them via ejaculation. This method will increase your libido.

The biggest problem with reducing ejaculation frequency for men is that we get the ‘blue ball’ feeling, where sperm gathers in the balls and it feels like it’s about to explode.

This might result in irrational behavior (from being really horny), spontaneous (inappropriate) erections, or wet dreams., none of which are particularly desirable. Luckily, this problem can be relatively easily solved.

Our sperm is a kind of bioelectric energy which is very similar in composition to cerebral spinal fluid.

This means that we can actually direct the flow of the energy in our body consciously by practicing. The Taoists recognized a method by which the sperm energy (horniness) can be moved around the body. This reduces the urgent ‘blue ball’ feeling but energizes the rest of the body. Think of it like this….

Our sperm is our life force, it is literally billions of tiny little us’s. It takes a hell of a lot of nutrients, minerals and ‘chi’ to create it. This literally pulls resources from our body in order to create it.

We drain energy from the rest of the body in order to create sperm. And this makes sense to do, because we are trying to procreate.

In nature, many plants and animals start to wither away or die when they have fulfilled their mission of procreating (like the preying-mantis and plants that have ‘gone to seed’).

Our energy flows into the genital regions and begins to stagnate there.

Because sexuality has been so repressed in our culture we haven’t been taught how to deal with this energy (how to harness it) so we just try to get rid of it (through ejaculation.)

There is a simple method, however, that men can use to redistribute this primal energy throughout the body.

This reduces the urgent feeling of needing to ejaculate, but essentially stores the energy throughout our body so we can use it later.

Over time this will increase your libido and ejaculatory volume and increase your bodily energy and health as well as drive and supply vital nutrients, minerals and hormones to the scalp that helps grow thick hair.

This is the method. Try to feel the energy which has stagnated in the genital region. Now take a deep breath. As you exhale, feel some of that energy naturally flow from the perineum (gooch) towards the coccyx and up the back of the spine.

Take another deep breath, exhale deeply and feel the energy again move up the spine towards the head. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, inhale and exhale deeply and feel the energy run down the front of your body.

Every time you inhale feel the energy relax into the surrounding cells, energizing them. Breathe deeply like this and each time feel/push the energy up from your perineum to the top of your head and down your front.

Do this as many times as is necessary to relieve the pressure that has grown due to reducing your ejaculation frequency.

Natural alternatives

There are many natural alternatives to taking Propecia, and I’m not just talking about supplements that block 5-alpha-reductase.

All of the techniques that I talk about here, and go into detail on in the hair loss course are extremely effective alternatives. This is a useful article about the natural DHT blockers.