Finasteride Shedding: Does it Really Happen?

Amoha Jha
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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Finasteride Shedding: Does it Really Happen

If you are someone who has had Male Pattern Baldness, there is a high chance that you must have heard about Finasteride.

Your doctor or dermatologist may have recommended you this medication. 

Or you may have even seen your friends or relatives using it, so you started this medication after a doctor’s consultation.

Everything goes smoothly for the initial days after taking this medication, but you may start seeing hair shedding after some time.

You might get confused that a medication given for treating pattern baldness in males and helping in regrowing hair does the opposite.

So if you are one of those who are confused and worried about Finasteride shedding, then you are at the right place.

This article will discuss Finasteride shedding in detail. Read on.

Finasteride hair shedding

When you start taking Finasteride, you may notice no immediate results. 

It may take three to six months to see some evident results and sometimes even a year.

However, one thing that you may start noticing some weeks after is hair shedding. 

This shedding is unexpected for a medication the FDA approved for treating Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia.

Finasteride hair shedding can start as early as after just one month of Finasteride administration.

However, there is nothing to be worried about. Shedding of hair can be the first sign that Finasteride has started working.

Fact
A male may or may not face hair shedding after Finasteride consumption. It is normal in both cases.

Why does Finasteride cause shedding

To explain why Finasteride causes hair shedding, we must first understand the hair growth cycle.

There are four phases of the hair growth cycle, namely, Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, and Exogen. 

New hair starts to develop during the Anagen phase, which is the initial stage.

 Following this, the hair enters the Catagen (or “transition”) phase, separating from the body’s blood supply and stopping growing.

Then the hair reaches the Telogen phase, where new hair grows beneath it after two to three weeks. 

This phase is sometimes called the “resting” stage since the hair neither falls off nor grows further. 

The hair finally enters the Exogen phase of the cycle, where it separates from the scalp and sheds.

Finasteride promotes hair growth when you first start taking it by quickening the hair development cycle.

As a result, the Telogen phase hair follicles advance and enter the Anagen (or “growth”) phase again. 

But existing hair must fall out for new hair to grow, which is why shedding happens.

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Finasteride shedding timeline

The Finasteride shedding timeline can start as early as after one month of its administration and can last up to six months.

Read below to know when Finasteride shedding starts and stops.

After 1 to 3 months

This period is when your hair shedding may start after starting the course of Finasteride medication. 

You have to be resilient and remind yourself that this is part of the process of hair regrowing, and it will eventually go away.

After 3 to 4 months

During the third or fourth month of the medication course, you may see that the hair shedding has slowed down. 
Some improvement can be seen as new hair may appear on your scalp during this time.

After 5 to 6 months

Finasteride hair shedding will likely stop during this time. 

You will see visible results in the appearance of your hair as your bald spots will be considerably smaller, and the receding hairline will start to move forwards.

Warning
Do not discontinue Finasteride use during the treatment because of the hair shedding, as it may cause more hair issues.

Common Finasteride shedding cycles

finasteride shedding cyclesSource: June_Ng_from_Getty_Image_Signature
Hair regrowth treatment for the hair loss

Finasteride shedding cycles can start and end at any point during the treatment. It can be during these durations:

  • After two weeks: while some people may have hair shedding after two weeks, it is still uncommon
  • After two months: Finasteride shedding may start to be noticeable during this time
  • After three months: this is the most common phase for Finasteride hair shedding
  • After eight months: by this time, shedding due to Finasteride might have completely stopped

What does Finasteride shedding look like

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is normal to shed between 50 to 100 hair daily. 

If you shed more than this, it may be abnormal and has an underlying reason behind it.

If you have Finasteride hair shedding, you may notice bald spots, patchiness, and clumps of hair falling out. 

You may find strands of hair in the drain, pillow, bedsheet, or ordinary places.

The hair shedding will gradually slow down and eventually stop after some time.

Takeaway

When you take Finasteride medication, it is normal to have hair shedding in the initial phase. Though not every male has to face it, most men do.

It happens because Finasteride expedites the hair growth process. 

It directly shifts the hair from the resting phase to the growing phase. But the existing hair needs to fall off; that’s why shedding is caused due to Finasteride.

You may notice strands of hair in the drain, pillow, bedsheet, or ordinary places than usual.

Finasteride hair shedding mostly starts from the first to the third month of the medication administration and goes away within six to eight months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Finasteride shed last?

There is no definite time for when the Finasteride hair shedding may last. It usually starts within one to three months of starting the medicine’s administration. Depending on the dosage, hair shedding may last around two weeks or longer.

Can Finasteride make hair loss worse?

If you start taking Finasteride to improve your hair condition, you may shed some hair in the initial stage of its administration. Remember that this hair shedding is temporary and may resolve on its own within some time.

Is Finasteride shedding noticeable?

You may notice shedding due to the administration of Finasteride roughly after three to six months. Remember not to panic, as it is normal. You may see bald spots, patchiness, and clumps of hair falling out. You may find strands of hair in the drain, pillow, bedsheet, or ordinary places

Does shedding mean Finasteride is working?

Hair shedding in the initial months of taking Finasteride is normal. The shedding can be a sign that your medication is working correctly as the hair has shifted from the resting phase to the growing phase, and increased hair shedding is happening because of the skipped hair shedding phase, also known as Exogen.

Citations:
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