Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: Which Hair Loss Treatment Is Right for Me?

Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: Which to chooseFinasteride vs. Minoxidil: Which to choose

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Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP. Last updated 8/16/2021

Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: How Are They Different?

There are two readily available options for your hair loss: Minoxidil and Finasteride. There are other more natural solutions possible, but Minoxidil and Finasteride are the only two FDA-approved hair loss options.  

Both hair loss treatments have the same general effect: treating male pattern baldness. But how do they differ?

Finasteride and Minoxidil are the two most common hair loss treatments on the market, but they are used differently and have a different biological effect.

Minoxidil shampooMinoxidil shampoo

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil can help stop hair loss and regrow hair on your scalp. This medication is applied topically, most commonly in the form of a shampoo. 

Minoxidil initially entered the market as an oral preparation for the treatment of high blood pressure, but it was associated with severe side effects.

It later became a popular treatment for hair loss because it commonly caused hypertrichosis (excess hair growth) as a side effect. 

Even though scientists have proven that Minoxidil does work as a hair loss treatment, the scientific community has not come to a consensus on exactly how it works. 

Don’t worry, though. The FDA has approved Minoxidil, and is perfectly safe at a 5% foam preparation.

How Does…

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The Masculinist #55: Why the Church Needs to Rethink Race

Welcome back to the Masculinist, the newsletter about how we live as Christian men and as the church in the modern world.

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Writing the kind of fearless but serious content I put in this newsletter requires that I maintain a lot of independence. That comes with a financial price. You can be a great help in sustaining my work by becoming a monthly financial supporter on Patreon or Gumroad.  Patreon supporters at $25/month or more get access to exclusive content, and if you contribute $10/month or more you get early access to each month’s Masculinist newsletter.

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This month I’m finishing a three-part series on the “Dissident Right,” or the mostly online world of right-wing politics that has attracted millions of followers. If you did not read the first installment, please click over and read it now. It has extremely important background information, including what the Dissident Right is, what groups are included in the Dissident Right, how the Dissident Right differs from the “alt-right” or the “New Right,” and an overview of the key themes or commonalities among the Dissident Right groups.

I noted that the Dissident Right, in both its leaders and followers, is primarily made up of younger (post-Boomer) men. I said that a number of their leaders are from elite backgrounds and concentrated in global cities, and that they should not be intellectually underestimated. I also highlighted five commonalities to cover in more depth:

  • Atheist or New Age Metaphysics
  • Nietzschean Ethics
  • Red Pill Sexuality
  • Transgressive Affect
  • Genetic Calvinism

In the first installment I talked…

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Protein leverage hypothesis | The poor, misunderstood calorie

In brief, the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) states that an animal will keep eating until a certain amount of protein has been ingested. If it’s a low protein diet, it will require more food and be more obesogenic; it it’s a high protein diet, it will require less food and may lead to weight loss.

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When I first read about it, I was excited. “Makes so much sense!”


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Be The Guy That Takes People Out For Dinner

When I got my first job out of college, General Motors sent me to a three-week training course in Austin. It sounded like fun at the time. However, by the end of week one, the fun had already faded. What I thought would be a fun three-week work-sponsored vacation turned into working my 9-5 only to return to an empty hotel room and eat some cheap take-out. The weekends were even worse. I didn’t have a car, so I just had to sit in my hotel room watching shark week. It was boring. It was lonely. And it was miserable.

Recently one of my coworkers was in a similar situation. He just started working for the company and lived out of a hotel room for a few weeks. His family was going to move with him, but that wouldn’t be for another few weeks.

Recalling that I knew what he was going through, I said, “Let my wife and I take you out to dinner this Saturday.” Now I can’t speak for him, but I had a great time. I’m assuming he had a great time too. The food was good, and I’m great company. It was an all-around nice evening. And when I got back home, I had felt like I had done the right thing.

I tell this story because I was surprised at how good I felt. All I did was go out to dinner with a coworker. It was borderline self-serving. But I was happy he didn’t have to spend another evening alone in his hotel room.

I often think of acts of charity and generosity as bigger, more formal acts. And as embarrassing as that is to admit, I think that’s a common trap to fall into.  I always think of charity as donating clothing…

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The Ashcan School: Cultural Renewal May Not Be Pretty, But It is Beautiful

It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was sixteen years old in 1986, living near Washington, DC. My geeky group of friends and I were participating in the young male ritual of rebellion right next to an epicenter of an aggressive, controversial youth movement.

Only about a decade old at that point, the music and fashion sensation of punk had mutated into what was called hardcore. DC was the home of now-legendary bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, and the excitement they generated spilled out into the suburbs. I got a bad haircut and started wearing a black leather jacket and combat boots. We’d go into the big city to visit seedy clubs featuring shows with loud, fast songs and shouted vocals, while the audience danced by jumping around and bouncing off of each other. It was exhilarating.

Punk began when a bunch of self-starting kids, often working-class, got bored with the bland, predictable culture being offered by the establishment. We created our own alternative, and it spread. When I look around today, at all the people with dyed hair, tattoos, and facial piercings, I remember how shocking it was when my peers were doing it back in the day. It makes me reflect how art is a leading indicator for society – for good or ill.

Almost one hundred years earlier, there was another aggressive, controversial cultural phenomenon going on in the United States, in painting. We’ve come to call it the Ashcan School.

Artist Robert Henri (June 24, 1865-July 12, 1929) was an inspirational artist and teacher initially based in Philadelphia; he later relocated to New York City. Henri (pronounced Hen-rye) was bored with the bland, predictable art being produced in the American art establishment at the time: either gentle, pale…

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How a Woman Can Show She Is Interested

This is an excerpt taken from Masc #4

The Masculinist is for men. But many of you are pastors or have daughters and so maybe in a position where you’re called on to give counsel to women on this same topic. So I’ll give you one simple technique women can use to show a man that she is interested or at least would welcome him talking with her.

Again, it’s intimidating for men to even approach and talk to women, much less to ask them out. They are much more likely to do so if the woman in question has somehow let it be known that this would be welcome. This is the ballet dance of dating. Men are expected to initiate, but generally only after the woman signals that she welcomes it. Realistically most men don’t do too many “cold calls” on women. (For reasons I’ll explore in the future, the ones who do often aren’t great marriage prospects). They wait for some indication of interest first. This is especially true today when men are very sensitive to not wanting to be perceived as making an unwanted advance on a woman.

There are more college-educated single women in New York than there are college-educated men.  The sex ratio in the church is even more skewed, especially when you get into the default age range for someone who would date me. So I start out with the numbers very much in my favor. I’m also personally a pretty high-quality product: solid-looking, have a reasonably high-status job, a decent game with women, etc.

Yet in my experience, few women in the Christian settings I’ve been in have given me any indications of interest.  This contrasts with women in secular society, who often do give them off.  I…

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There’s Nothing Funny About These Painted Comics

Lichtenstein was the one who truly committed to the comics, going so far as to incorporate into his paintings cartoon conventions like outlines, speech balloons, spelled out sound effects, and the Ben-Day dots used in print graphics for shading and coloration. Through the ensuing years of his long career, Lichtenstein branched out and applied his branded technique to depictions of everything from Zen scroll paintings to expressionist brushstrokes.

As Lichtenstein explained it, “I’m interested in what would normally be considered the worst aspects of commercial art. I think it’s the tension between what seems to be so rigid and clichéd and the fact that art really can’t be this way.” He also admitted, “I think my paintings are critically transformed, but it would be difficult to prove it by any rational line of argument.”

It came to be called Pop art, this transformation, or perhaps degeneration, of expectations for artistic subject matter. On the surface, Pop art was easy to like. It was bright and playful; instant gratification art that echoed the fast, disposable consumer culture Americans were used to in their daily lives.

In a way, Pop art was a variation on the conventional art practice of still life. The imagery depicted in this case came not directly from life but was reproduced from the filtered and stylized presentations of industrial mass media: advertising, Hollywood, newspapers, comic books, and television. It was informed by the illusions, distortions, and manipulations these mediums employed.

For the general population, Pop art was the gateway drug to Postmodernism, the corrupt philosophy favored by the elites. Far from being innocent fun, Postmodernism seeks to displace human nature with a nature invented by humans, a very different state indeed.

At its core, Pop art did not aspire to inspire. It retreated from significance into the trendy pose of irony. Art,…

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Why I Post Critical Takes on Homeschooling

I have put up a couple of posts (see here and here) highlighting contrarian takes on homeschooling from a blogger called The Practical Conservative, who says she is a stay at home mother. These provoked a lot of good discussion in the comments.

I’ve also received a number of negative comments and emails about my links to TPC’s site, however. These folks strongly defend the homeschooling model, view the families who are homeschooling in a very positive (sometimes heroic way), and feel TPC’s criticisms are very unfair.

To be clear, I’m not anti-homeschooling. Although we hope to send our son to a classical Christian school, homeschooling is a legitimate option for us. Nor I do personally endorse all of TPC’s takes.

But it is extremely important to be open to wrestling with critiques of homeschooling.

TPC’s site was sent to me by someone who is one of the smartest people I know (smarter than me for sure). He thought she had very unique conservative takes on these issues, and I agree.

One reason TPCs critiques sting is because they are conservative ones. She’s not attacking homeschooling from the right per se, but her critiques are in a completely different category from the more traditional left critiques. The latter are easier to dismiss. But TPCs are more bothersome – obviously, given the response in the comments – precisely because her critiques are from a conservative standpoint.

Pan back the lens and take a look at the bigger picture. Things have not been going well for American Christianity pretty much my entire adult life. It has basically been completely routed in the public square, for example.

To me that says the church’s strategies and approaches have probably been flawed, at least in part.

Or think about purity culture,…

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Succession Planning in Churches – Podcast #46

In 2013 Bill Hybels foretold a looming succession crisis for churches. He ended up being more right than he knew. He observed that there had been an explosion of mega-churches, many still led by a founding pastor approaching retirement age.

His prophecy has very much come true. Not only did his own succession not go well, we’ve seen several succession plans unravel recently. John Piper’s successor at Bethlehem Baptist recently resigned. There are pastoral searches underway for two of the three major locations at the spin off churches of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. And the challenges facing David Platt and McLean Bible Church likely also have some roots in succession.

There are three major models of succession: the internal successor, the external peer successor, and the unofficial interim. In this podcast I discuss these models, as well as other considerations of succession.  Given high profile succession challenges we’ve seen at churches run by world class leaders, this is an area requiring significant attention. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsYouTube, and elsewhere. Check out the other podcasts here.

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