propecia vs regaineThere are many advertised products, approaches and techniques that claim they can cure, treat and prevent hair loss, but scientists are quick to attribute a healthy dose of scepticism to 99% of products on the market. There are actually only two medical offerings that are recognised as being truly effective in the battle against hair loss: Propecia and Rogaine.

These products are very different from one another; Propecia is a tablet consumed by mouth, and Rogaine is a cream that users massage directly into the scalp. So if you are suffering from hair loss and are looking or an effective medical treatment, which of these is best to use?

Considering the different options

The first thing to consider, the effectiveness of each depends on your gender and the underlying cause of your hair loss. For both sexes, these treatments just address androgenetic alopecia, which is also known as male or female ‘pattern baldness’. Both medicines are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as working effectively for men, whereas Propecia is not advised for women as it can have a negative effect on the development of babies during pregnancy.

Many hair specialists will recommend using a combination of the two, as it is generally considered that the two products working in tandem can be more effective than one or other on their own.

If you wish to choose the option that is easiest to weave into your everyday routine then Propecia is undeniable easier – it simply involves swallowing one pill per day, whereas Rogaine involves a lengthier process of massaging cream into the scalp. It’s fair to say it takes a bit more planning and preparation versus a simple tablet.

Scientific differences

The other key differences between Propecia and Rogaine are the active ingredients. Ingesting Propecia tablets mean you’re giving your body access to a hormone that blocks the particular enzyme that breaks down testosterone and changes it into dihydrotestesterone (often referred to as “DHT” for short). DHT causes shrinking of the hair follicles, which is then compounded with a reduced hair growth cycle. This is what leads to hair thinning and hair loss.

Rogaine works in a very different way; it works directly with the shrunken hair follicles, and promotes growth in otherwise dormant hairs. It gently encourages the follicles by increasing blood circulation, and in time, should encourage the follicle to grow in size and support normal hair growth again.

One creates, one prevents

The final key difference between the two is that Propecia’s strength is prevention; it is clinically proven to reduce further hair loss, whereas Rogaine’s strength is re-growth.

If you’re considering either of these hair loss medications it’s important to talk to your doctor or hair specialist and ensure that you are weighing up all the pros and cons, and ensuring that you are getting the right treatment for your unique case.

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By Ian Watson

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