Propecia is 1 milligram of finasteride (Proscar, used for prostate problems) is 5 milligrams of the same drug. Propecia is quite effective at holding on to what you've got. It sometimes gros some hair too, but I wouldn't count on it. Minoxidil works primarily on the crown of the scalp, not the front, which is the part that concerns most people. Also, over the long term, patients tend to find taking a pill a day easier than applying a lotion twice a day.
HaHa. It was about 1966 when I discovered--to my horror!--that it was thinning in back. I went right down to the public library and got a book. Dermatology book of some kind. In the chapter on hair loss the Doc says someting like: " If you want to believe that there is a some magic potion that will grow your hair back, OK; but sit in the back row at a dermatologist convention sometime and you may be less assured". Seems that not much really changed since then.
I'm 27 and my hair is thinning/receding at the front although it's pretty well stable now. My dad is bald at the top and crown and I fully expect one day I'll be the same. Have to say that after much worrying I realised there was damn all I could do about it, and I'm going to be happy regardless...Besides, if you cut the rest of it very short, combined with sun tan it can look pretty damn good. If baldness is your only worry in life, I say be thankful! :-)
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