Do I have to take a medication like finasteride if I want to get a hair transplant?

A common question we receive is regarding the use of finasteride before, during, or after a hair transplant procedure. Finasteride is a common drug that is used to treat or prevent hair loss. While it is a prescription-only medication that must be ordered by a doctor and is only given on a case-by-case basis, it often recommended to individuals who are experiencing progressing hair loss and are interested in getting a hair transplant procedure.

The reason finasteride is often recommended to hair transplant patients is because it can help prevent continued/future hair loss. This helps maintain the health of the current hairs on your head and prolongs the time you’ll have those hairs. Why worry about the health of your native hairs when you’re looking into transplanting new hairs anyways? If you don’t care for the surrounding native hairs, you will likely need another transplant to cover those areas much sooner than you thought – costing you more money over time.

While side effects of the drug are relatively rare, they are a concern for many individuals who are considering taking the medication, rightfully so. As with any medication that has side effects, both the doctor and the patient must decide together if the possible benefits of taking the drug outweigh the risk of the side effects.

If you decide that you don’t want to take finasteride, this doesn’t mean that you’re no longer a candidate for hair transplantation. What it does mean, is that your hair loss may continue to progress as you age, and you may need another hair transplant in the future to cover the new areas of hair loss.

Whatever you decide, make sure to thoroughly do your research and ask your physician any questions you might have.