Many patients ask me which is better finasteride (Propecia) or minoxidil (Rogaine)? Or, do I have to take both if I am already on one of them?

Closeup man's hand playing the grand piano keyboardThe answer to the first question is that I personally believe that 70% of the results from medical management comes from finasteride so as a single treatment option I believe that it is far superior to minoxidil. However, the answer to the second question is that the two medications together work synergistically for a much better result than can be offered with either one alone. I like to use the analogy of playing a piano with two hands versus playing it with one hand only.

Studies have shown that men who use both medications for many years then decide to stop using one of them lose part of their result. Conversely, men who are on one product for quite some time then add the second one notice an improvement. For both of these cases, the reason for the change is that finasteride and minoxidil work on hair loss through two different mechanisms of action and thereby each separately work to improve the situation and together work even more effectively. Therefore, if it is within your budget and desires to do so, consider taking both finasteride and minoxidil for optimal gains against your hair loss.

Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS, a board certified hair transplant surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To schedule a hair transplant consultation please call 972-312-8105, or visit for more info. To ask Dr Lam a question please visit our hair loss product forum.