Propecia Vs. Avodart – What Is The Best Oral Treatment For Male Pattern Hair Loss?

I have a question regarding the medications Propecia, Avodart, and natural supplement remedies for the treatment of male pattern baldness.

I have early signs of hair loss where I noticed it within the past month. I am just losing a little in the frontal areas where the temple is. I am also 25 years old.

My question is which is better for hair loss between, Propecia, Avodart (dutasteride), and or natural supplements such as (saw palmetto, nettle root, pygeum, pumkin seeds, beta sitosterol, lysine, green tea extract, grape seed extract)? I was even considering the natural prostate formula from the company of Life Extension with the majority of the above named supplements.

I hear that Avodart suppresses both types of enzymes that convert to DHT, and I also hear that Propecia blocks just one enzyme that converts to DHT, and that all you need to block is that one particular enzyme.

Avodart may sound better because insurance would pay for that. My insurance does not pay for Propecia because its considered cosmetic. I also know that those particular natural supplements that I mentioned block DHT, but I am unsure how good they are compared to Propecia and Avodart.

Can you please tell me what I should use for the best possible oral treatment for male pattern hair loss? I want the best treatment possible because losing my hair is very upsetting to me.

Thank You,

This is a great question. I’m glad to see that you understand the importance of early intervention when it comes to successfully treating your hair loss, and it’s apparent that you’ve done a significant amount of research on the subject.

First things first, lets rule out the BS. There are no natural supplements including, saw palmetto, stinging nettle, or pygeum africanium that have been clinically proven to be effective for the prevention and treatment of hair loss. NONE!

The truth is, I wrote the first published chapter on the subject, The Power of Herbal Treatments in my first book The Bald Truth. Based on a couple of early scientific peer reviewed articles and discussions with well known members of the scientific community, I concluded the use of these natural supplements in conjunction with FDA approved medication, could in fact increase the likelihood of success in the treatment and prevention of hair loss. Much of these findings were based on the fact that these supplements do lower DHT in most individuals.

After eleven years in the field, I can say with complete certainty that those early scientific hypotheses and my personal conclusions were wrong! Countless snake oil products were developed based on these early scientific findings published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of The American Medical Association. Unfortunately, none of these products have proven to be beneficial in the treatment of hair loss. In fact most “natural” products being marketed today are usually coupled with a topical formulation that includes the FDA approved drug minoxidil.

It is my advise not to waist your time or your money on any product that is not clinically proven to treat hair loss or that is not FDA approved and recommended by The American Hair Loss Association.

Now lets get to Dutasteride. Dutasteride is an FDA approved drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline and marketed under the brand name Avodart. Dutasteride is a dual 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) also known as an enlarged prostate. Dual means that the drug inhibits both Type1 and Type 2 5-alpha-reductase which is the enzyme associated with the conversation of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the main culprit in both the enlargement of the prostate and in the miniaturization of the hair follicle associated with male pattern hair loss. Avodart (Dutasteride) does work well for hair loss according to physicians and to those who use it, however, it is my opinion that this drug should not be your first line of attack. Not every hair loss sufferer will need to bring out the “big guns” to effectively treat their hair loss. Remember the more DHT that is suppressed the greater the possibility of adverse side effects. I advise all of my listeners to first speak with their doctors about starting treatment with Propecia.

Propecia should always be your first line of attack. According to clinical trials you have almost a 90% chance of stopping the progression of your hair loss and a significant chance of regrowing hair that’s been lost within the past 5 years or so. If you fall within the small percentage of men who do not see benefits from Propecia you can always talk to your doctor about the possibility of using Dutasteride.

Hope this helps,
Spencer Kobren
Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
Founder, American Hair Loss Association
Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)


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  • Ric G.

    Instead of propecia, is it still viable to use proscar cut into 1/4 pieces? I think I remember hearing that some years ago. Thanks for the great site.

  • Spencer, great article, well written, some of the most concise and straightforward info on this topic ive yet seen, thanks.

  • Michael

    This was a very helpful article. I have heard that even when effective, finasteride can lose effectiveness over time. Is this true? And does Avodart similarly lose effectiveness over time?

  • I’ve used both Propecia and Avodart. They both work but the fact that you’re 25-27 years old tells me you should go with the big guns and use Avodart because as you age your hairloss will become more aggressive.

    I’ve used Avodart now for several years 5+ and one thing I noticed it does better than Propecia is not only does it help keep what you have but as well your frontal hairline and around the temperal areas will see hair grow back…making a much better hairline. I’ve noticed hairs popping out about 3-5mm lower than the rest of my hairline.

    But if you ever get lazy and go off of it even for like a few months…watch out because you lose it fast. I also use Rogain/Minoxodil 5% twice a day morning/night.

    I’m 41 years old but my hairline is pretty close to what it was over 10+ years ago in my late 20’s. My father is completely bald now and if I stopped using it for sure I would look the same. I started taking Propecia in my mid twenties and my friends all laughed at me… they are all envious 15+ years later and now I’m laughing because they bring up how they laughed at me for taking Propecia….I wasn’t losing my hair at the time but I saw what my dad’s hairline was doing and as the saying goes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…..early prevention is key and discipline to continue your regime. Don’t get cocky when you see a strong hair line and full hair and think I’m normal ‘cured’ this is not the case, you need to continue Avodart and Minoxodil 5% twice per day…I was using 15% minoxodil for a few months and that stuff is great but they stopped selling it because FDA stepped in and made a stink about it since it probably doesn’t have a brand name on the bottle. I bought it from Dr. Lee in the states.

    With regards to the side effects. Yes, your weiner at the beginning of taking Avodart will turn into a cooked noodle but after 1-2 months of use you go back to normal. At the beginning of taking Avodart to super boost your hairline take 2.5mg instead of the just .5mm for a few weeks then after that taper down to taking .5mg per night.

    I hope this info helps as you’re talking to the horses mouth that has used both. Every individual is different and it may react differently to you..maybe it may take longer depending how fast you’re losing your hair. But trust me Avodart and Rogain 5% and you will be greatly you did I have another friend on it and he’s noticing the effects as well quickly since he started take 2.5mg for the first 2 weeks every night and that has made a big difference to get the ball rolling.

    Hope my experience works for you. The only thing that now I’m considering is how I’m trying to get rid of the gray hairs. I hear there’s a pill that has a sided effect which eliminates the peroxide from your hair which causes the follicle to go gray but the pill changes it back to brown or whatever your air colour is, but I haven’t found it yet. If any one knows of it please post it. Thanks.

  • Great post JJ!
    I,Like you,started to lose my hair on the crown area in my mid twenties.I then started to use regaine (UK) daily along with proscar 5mg chopped into 4 pieces,taking one daily..that was 14 years ago,and at 39 it is still going strong,and have not shed any hair and the hair that grew back(not fully,but most)has remained..My dilemma is really…would changing to dutasteride or using along with finasteride help to grow back that little bit more that finasteride/regaine failed to do?And also it is hard to tell just how effective regaine is on its own after 14 years,as i cannot tell while using along side finasteride!
    Would be great to hear feedback from anyone out there in the same situation!
    All i can say is that propecia has been amazing for my confidence and general well being,i have suffered minimal side effects..and really would call it my miracle drug!”
    And yes,i have many friends who have now lost hair havin hit the big 40 years of age..and always comment how good i look..difference is’.they have never knew my secret!
    The JJ pointed out,is perseverence and strict daily regeime,which i will continue to do..till they find a proper cure!
    Good luck everyone…don’t give up!;-)
    ps. Am not going grey yet..but will certainly look out for any drug that can prevent this,thanks.

  • Charl

    Hi guys,
    I have been using Avodart (dutasteride 0.50 mg per day + Regaine 5% foam twice a day) during the las 14 months with no better results than Propecia (finasteride 1 mg per day).
    Not only I lost more hair in the crown area but also it became thinner.
    I am “detoxing” from Avodart during the next month and going back to Propecia and Regaine.
    Did anybody experience the same bad results with dutasteride?

  • I wanted to know if anyone has expierence any sexual side effects, I am also 25 and I basically have been cover my baldness, because it has started from the top down towards my face and just in the middle. of my head so i cover it with my hair sideways and it has come to a point where im thining very much so on my top and sides of my head, I still have my hairline but thin, I have been reading alot and wanted to go using natural remedies but have a feeling they wont work, what can i do, Im too young to loose my hair. I have seen that propecia would work but the chemcial part of it, scares me.

  • Peter

    Hi Al, Propecia the magic pill here. You will most likely experience the
    Sexual side effects but, from my experience this can be alleviated
    by Arginine. Hope you have heard about it.
    Before I started propecia I never had any sexual problem but after
    getting on it I could hadly wake up with an erection. This went on for
    months until I was told by my Gp to take arginine. It has been two
    months now and results are fantastic. Arginine helps with production
    of nitric oxide, which plays a great role in sexual functioning.
    However, you may still remain with a few things like soft muscles and
    a bit of weakness probably due to the effect of propecia on
    your testosterone levels. As result of this, you will get erections but
    without much libido. Hope this wil help u Abit gud luck mate.

  • kerry

    started Propecia July 11,1998,would like to try Avodart,can i get it in Canada?

  • I have an important question,at least important for me. I ‘ve had very serious hair loss ,so I went to a dermatologist last month.the doctor told me to use avodart and a lucion called “hair aid”.but from last month till now i don’t see any result,even my hair loss get worse!
    I want to know what should i do.should i stop using avodart or should i keep using it and wait?

  • I am forty seven yr old woman. I was losing hair so badly that I was thinking of a hair transplant. I bought Saw Palmetto 450mg at Walmart. I’ve been taking one twice a day. I’m not imagining this. My hair has stopped coming out within one week of taking the Saw Palmetto. I was running my fingers through my hair & ending up with hair in my hands every time. I was washing my hair & ending up with a ball of hair afterward. That is not the case today. I read that Saw Palmetto would do nothing for my hair & almost didn’t start taking the pills. I’m just saying that I’m a woman going through my change of life & taking medication that is hard on my hair & I’m seeing a big difference thanks to Saw Palmetto. This may not be published because everyone wants you to buy their product. I hope I’m heard, I’ve tried so many expensive things. Even the FDA approved crap that caused facial hair.

  • I spent money and lots of sleepless nights over hair loss! I woke up one morning and shaved it! Best thing ever. And women love it. I felt as if a heavy weight was lifted of my shoulders! Would I like a head full of hair? Yes! Am I happy without it! Yes!



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