Hair Loss

The best hair loss treatment: Dutasteride vs. Finasteride

Looking to get a hair loss prescription online? Learn the differences between these two effective hair loss medicines to determine which is best for you!
A young Latino father plays on the floor with his two sounds, underneath a tent in their living room, laying on top of blue pillows, snacking from bowls of popcorn.

Key Points

  1. Male-pattern hair loss occurs when certain enzymes shrink hair follicles, making hair thinner and weaker. Sometimes, hair eventually stops growing.
  2. Finasteride (Propecia) and Dutasteride (Avodart) are hair-loss treatments that block one of those enzymes—dihydrotestosterone (DHT). They are both taken orally once a day. Both can cause similar side effects.
  3. Because Dutasteride is a stronger medication, studies show it may be more effective. But it may not be a safe choice for those with a family history of prostate cancer.

If you’re a guy dealing with a receding hairline or thinning hair at the top of your head, you’re far from alone.

Male pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss amongst those assigned male at birth (AMAB). Also called male androgenic alopecia (AGA), it’s so common that up to 50% of males lose some hair by age 50.

Despite it being so common, we humans have made a lush head of hair an unreasonable beauty standard. So while AGA doesn’t cause physical pain, the psychological effects can be significant. AGA can challenge self-identity and self-esteem. It can also trigger mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and body dysmorphic disorder.

The good news is that two proven hair loss medicines can slow and reverse hair loss. But which one is best for you?

In this article, we break down if Dutasteride is better than Finasteride. Plus, share how you can get prescription hair loss treatment online with a discreet $15 consultation.

What causes thinning hair in men?

The main type of hair loss for males is androgenic alopecia—also called AGA or male pattern hair loss.

Each strand of hair grows for two to six years before resting for a few months and then falling out. When a hair follicle starts to grow a new strand, the cycle begins again.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen that helps control this hair growth cycle. Too much DHT stimulation can shrink hair follicles, shorten growth periods, and thin strands. So, AGA is thought to be caused by an overproduction of DHT.

For males, AGA usually appears as a receding hairline and thinning of hair around the crown of the head. Eventually, hair may only thin out or stop growing altogether.

Contributing factors to male pattern hair loss include:

  • A family history of hair loss
  • Being white or Afro-Caribbean
  • Thyroid issues
  • High stress
  • Chemotherapy treatment and certain other medications

What is Finasteride used for?

Finasteride is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment for people with male-pattern hair loss. It works by blocking type 2 of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By blocking DHT, it prevents hair strands from thinning and can help restart hair growth.

Finasteride is the generic form of Procecia and is usually taken as a tablet once a day.

Finasteride affects testosterone levels and can cause congenital disabilities. So, it is only available to those who have no chance of getting pregnant—those assigned male at birth (AMAB).

Mild Finasteride side effects include:

What is Dutasteride used for?

Dutasteride is another hair loss medication for people with male-pattern hair loss. It also works by discouraging the buildup of the DHT hormone. But Finasteride slows only the second type of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, while dutasteride delays types 1 and 2.

This makes Dutasteride a more potent drug for slowing hair loss and regrowing hair.

Dutasteride is FDA-approved for the treatment of an enlarged prostate and prescribed off-label to treat hair loss. Prescribing medications for off-label use when medically appropriate is a common and legal practice. So, if a provider prescribes it, you should have no qualms about taking Dutasteride for hair loss treatment.

Dutasteride is the generic form of Avodart. Most people take it as a capsule once daily. Like Finasteride, it’s only available to those assigned male at birth.

Dutasteride side effects include:

  • Lowered sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving erection
  • Ejaculation issues
  • Breast tenderness

Finasteride vs. Dutasteride—which one is better for you?

Finasteride is the only 5-alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitor specifically FDA-approved for hair regrowth. So it’s most providers’ go-to hair loss treatment.

But when we look at the basic components of Dutasteride vs. Finasteride, the two medications are pretty similar.

  • Both medications are taken orally once daily.
  • Both block the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.
  • Because they’re within the same class of drugs, they share similar side effects. Studies show little difference in side effect severity or longevity between the two.
  • Both are FDA-approved medications. That means they’ve been rigorously tested and proved safe and effective.

The largest difference is that because Dutasteride blocks two types of the enzyme whereas Finasteride blocks only one, Dutasteride is more effective in treating AGA.

Also, Dutasteride can lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. This won’t increase prostate cancer risk. But because PSA levels are markers in prostate cancer screening, some providers won’t prescribe it to those with a family history of prostate cancer. So talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional about your complete family history before taking Dutasteride.

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Can I get Finasteride or Dutasteride online?

Yes! You can get a Dutasteride prescription or Finasteride prescription online through a $15 hair loss consultation.

You’ll share a bit about your health history and current symptoms through our chat-like platform. Before you check out, you can choose the hair loss medication you prefer.

Dr. B also offers the brand hair loss medications Avodart and Propecia online. These medications contain the same active ingredients as Dutasteride and Finasteride. But they usually come at a higher price tag. At this time, Dr. B does not prescribe topical Dutasteride or Finasteride.

After you’re done, a licensed provider in your state will review your answers within three working hours. If appropriate, they’ll send a prescription to your chosen local or online pharmacy. We’ll even send you a Dr. B Drug Discount Card to help you lock in the lowest hair loss treatment price possible!

If you’re ready to reverse your thinning hair or get on the road to regrowth, start your consultation today.


Asfour, L,, et al. (2023). Male Androgenetic Alopecia. Endotex.

Dhami, L. (2021). Psychology of hair loss patients and importance of counseling. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery.

Ho, C.H., et al. (2024). Androgenetic Alopecia. StatPearls Publishing.

The Mayo Clinic. 2024. Hair Loss.

Zhou, Z., et al. (2019). The efficacy and safety of dutasteride compared with finasteride in treating men with androgenetic alopecia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Interventions in Aging.

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