Combat Hair Loss With Topical Finasteride
Restorative hair treatments are not a one-size fits all. Hair is just as diverse as we are. Whether it be color, thickness, density, or shape, there are many factors that influence the ways we experience hair loss, as well as hair restoration.
While restorative hair treatments can benefit people with any hair type, some hair types are actually more likely to yield visually impressive results than others. According to Dr. Justin Rome, Founder and CEO of Barber Surgeons Guild®, hair that is coarse, dense and dark in color generally displays the most notable visual results after medical hair treatments and medication routines.
Dr. Rome explains that the goal for medical treatments is to actually reduce and hopefully reverse the miniaturization of the hair follicle, which is what ultimately leads to hair loss. As long as hair is growing in the follicle, the appearance of noticeable hair loss is potentially reversible.
“The goal for medical treatments is to reverse the process of miniaturization.”
Dr. Rome said. “Medical treatments target hairs that have become thinner in diameter and make them thicker, as long as they’re not gone. The hairs that are gone are gone.”
For people who start out with a baseline hair type that is thick, curly and coarse, hair follicles tend to respond better to medical treatments because the baseline enhances the margin for improvement. “When you think of hair thinning, you think of less hair, “Dr. Rome said. “But that’s a secondary effect. The primary effect is the hairs themselves become finer or thinner, and then eventually they don’t grow anymore. The difference between someone with thicker hair and someone with thinner hair is a different starting point of how thin or thick the hairs are.”
Dr. Rome explained that curly and coarse hair responds nicely to medical treatments, because “as soon as you thicken up those hairs, you have a really nice visual result.” He added that there are various factors that influence the overall appearance of thick hair, including color, follicular size, volume and density, with darker hair winning out over lighter hair in the battle against noticeable hair loss.
Still, he said, medical treatments such as oral and topical medication can benefit anyone who is experiencing follicular miniaturization. “As long as they’re having this process of male-pattern hair loss, they’re going to respond and they’re going to get results from it,” Dr. Rome said. “ Where you’re going to see results the soonest are typically people with thicker, curly, shorter hair.”
Racial and ethnic differences can often affect our experiences with hair loss and hair treatment as well. Though every individual has variations in hair type, in general, genetic groupings often share a commonality of observable differences. People with afro-textured hair, or hair texture common among populations descended from or native to central and southern Africa, often have hair that is dark in color, tightly coiled, and relatively less dense per square centimeter.
Though racial differences continue to blur in an increasingly diverse world, patterns in genetically homogenous populations have been scientifically observed for some time. Generally, Caucasian hair grows at an angle, Asian hair grows straight from the follicle, and African hair grows at an angle with an elliptical coil shape. The coil shape lends a level of volume to Afro-textured hair that couples well with medicinal treatments such as oral and topical finasteride.
Will Harris, a Black documentary filmmaker based out of southern California, started noticing his hair loss when he was about 30 years old. He spent most of his life alternating between a bald look and growing his hair out, but one day he noticed as he grew his hair out that his hair was becoming thinner.
“I’ve always shaved my head,” Harris said. “It’s a style preference that black men usually do.”
Even though Harris was comfortable with a bald look, his thinning hair still affected his self-confidence. First he tried a topical foam solution, then he tried oral Finasteride. He experienced some side effects with the oral finasteride and turned to the West Hollywood outpost of Barber Surgeons Guild in May for a solution. Harris was prescribed the standard formula of the BSG topical solution with ingredients such as Minoxidil, Finasteride and Tretinoin to be applied directly to the scalp. Even though Harris’ hair had become noticeably thinner, there were still enough active follicles to enhance the volume of his hair.
Despite some initial hesitance to give Finasteride another try, Harris did some research and decided to move forward with the treatment. He gave himself six months to see improvement. After just two months of taking the BSG topical formula in the morning and at night (a little more than what is typically prescribed), Harris saw profound visual results without the side effects he experienced with oral finasteride.
“The topical solution has been like a miracle,” Harris said.
“If you see my before and afters in two months, you would think it’s fake.”
After three years of trying different products that contained Finasteride, BSG’s topical medication formula delivered his desired results in two months. Harris attributes the difference to the inclusion of Minoxidil in the formula. “I was so happy that I didn’t have to put foam on my hair twice a day and take a pill as well,” Harris said. “I’ve recommended it to literally twenty athletes and people that I know.”
Harris’ MMA sports documentary series, Anatomy of a Fighter, has 591,000 subscribers on YouTube and 488 uploaded videos. Harris says his role as a sports documentary filmmaker has taught him that hair loss takes a toll on almost everyone.
“I just feel like there are a lot of men in this world, regardless of financial status or success, that are dealing with hair loss, and it bothers a lot of people,” Harris said. “I’m a documentary filmmaker around some of the most famous, rich people on Earth, and they all are dealing with hair loss issues. It only takes one or two people to speak up about it to make people comfortable.”
Finasteride is essentially used to prevent the body’s enzymes from converting testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the compound responsible for male pattern baldness. Although DHT is produced by all men, some are more sensitive to its effects than others. Dr. Rome noted that best results from finasteride can be achieved when topical finasteride is used in conjunction with oral finasteride to attack the mechanisms that produce DHT from every angle.
Whether you’re taking oral medication, topical medication, or a combination of both, Dr. Rome says the most important thing we can do to combat hair loss is take action. “When you do these treatments, it’s only going to thicken up what you have,” he said. “If you wait a long time and everything is lost, you’re not going to get a good response.”
Barber Surgeons Guild offers customizable topical formulas, designed with every patient in mind. Whether it be a restoration procedure, a therapy service or a medication plan, BSG has a range of options.
“I’m glad I discovered (BSG),” Harris said. “My advice to anybody would be, if you notice something going on in your body, figure it out early. Don’t wait until it’s too late.”