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Propecia is a prescription only oral drug used to treat male pattern baldness. Propecia prevents testosterone, a naturally occurring male hormone, from converting into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Men who experience male pattern baldness have higher levels of DHT in their scalp than men who do not. Follicular miniaturization occurs when DHT causes the hair follicles to close, ultimately resulting in thinner, shorter hair. 50 percent of men over the age of 50 experience male pattern baldness.
Propecia works by stopping the conversion process. Testosterone stops converting into DHT, which directly results in a slowing down of the hair thinning process. Propecia works effectively for 90 percent of men who suffer from male pattern baldness. Their hair follicles will enlarge, allowing thicker hairs to grow into the scalp. Initially, DHT levels are reduced very quickly after starting treatment, it takes approximately three months for the hair follicles to recover and begin their regrowth. A continual improvement of results lasts for about one year, however the daily medication must indefinitely continue in order to prevent further hair loss from reoccurring.
Rogaine is the rivaled hair loss remedy which is in the form of an over-the-counter foam and used to topically treat the area where male pattern baldness occurs. Propecia is used as an oral medication and addresses the DHT levels only. Rogaine is applied to the scalp and increases blood flow by stimulating hair follicle growth to encourage new hair to grow longer and thicker. Propecia is not used by women because of its effects to testosterone. Rogaine comes in two different solutions: regular or extra strength. Extra strength is intended for male pattern baldness only, while women can use the regular version of the treatment.