Choosing a Medication for Hair Regrowth – Which Is Right for Me?

When it comes to medication for hair regrowth, Propecia, Rogaine, Minoxidil and Finasteride stand apart from the rest. Among a variety of products marketed to hair loss victims that claim to be the solution to their hair loss and the miracle cure for regrowing hair, Propecia, Rogaine, Minoxidil and Finasteride are the only FDA-approved products with verified results from clinical trials.

At Hair Center, Dr. Cooley and his staff will work to educate you on the science behind hair loss, separating the facts from fiction. Hair restoration is possible through medicated products, treatments and procedures, and Dr. Cooley will determine an individualized treatment plan for you that utilizes the latest in hair loss science.


Minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical medication that is applied directly to the scalp. It’s available in various strengths and forms (liquid or foam). Minoxidil is believed to promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and prolonging the growth phase of the hair cycle. It’s generally well-tolerated, but it may take several months to see noticeable results. Some people experience side effects like scalp irritation or unwanted hair growth on other areas of the body.


Finasteride is a prescription medication that comes in pill form. It works by inhibiting the action of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is believed to contribute to hair loss in individuals with a genetic predisposition. Finasteride can be effective for maintaining and regrowing hair, but it’s generally more commonly used in men. It’s important to note that finasteride may have sexual side effects in a small percentage of users, and these should be discussed with a doctor.


Rogaine, on the other hand, has consistently shown results in slowing hair loss for both men and women. Rogaine’s active ingredient, minoxidil, will not regrow hair, but it can slow hair loss enough to allow you to hold on to the hair you have left. When applied once or twice a day, Rogaine has noticeable results for the majority of patients. It comes in varying strengths and can be used by both men and women struggling with hair loss.


Alongside Rogaine, Propecia is the only other FDA-approved medication for treating hair loss. Propecia’s active ingredient, finasteride, targets the root cause of hair loss, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By decreasing production of DHT, Propecia can slow down hair loss and even reactivate aging hair follicles that have stopped producing hair. Like Rogaine, Propecia cannot restore your hair if you have experienced significant balding, but it can make a difference in maintaining your remaining hair for years to come.

When considering these medications, it’s important to keep in mind the following points:

Consult a Professional: Before starting any hair regrowth treatment, consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider. They can assess your specific situation, medical history, and any potential interactions with other medications.

Individual Response: Different people may respond differently to these medications. What works well for one person might not work as effectively for another.

Consistency: Both minoxidil and finasteride require consistent and ongoing use to maintain results. If treatment is stopped, any benefits gained may be lost.

Potential Side Effects: Like any medications, both minoxidil and finasteride can have side effects. It’s important to be aware of these and discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Realistic Expectations: While these medications can help, they might not result in a full restoration of hair. They tend to be more effective for maintaining existing hair and regrowing a certain amount, rather than generating completely new hair.

Combination Therapy: Some individuals use both minoxidil and finasteride as part of their hair regrowth regimen, under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Which Option Is Right for You?

When taken together as part of a comprehensive approach to treating hair loss, Propecia and Rogaine can make a noticeable impact on the health of your hair. Both men and women can safely use Rogaine, but Propecia has been shown to cause birth defects in male children and should not be taken by women who plan on becoming pregnant. In this case, Rogaine is always the recommended option, unless the patient has not seen results from Rogaine and is also done having children. If medication for hair regrowth fails to produce effective results, hair transplant surgery becomes the next best option.

If you would like to learn more about medication for hair regrowth or discuss hair transplant surgery, call Hair Center today at 704-729-7337 to schedule an appointment with our resident hair loss expert, Dr. Cooley.