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Not wanting to take finasteride after a hair transplant for a variety of reasons, does leave you with the option of taking a herbal version, called ‘saw palmetto’.
This works in a very similar way; by blocking 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. The main difference between the two products is that saw palmetto is not a pharmaceutical drug; it is a naturally occurring plant that has been processed into a tablet.
There is evidence to suggest that saw palmetto works quite well, although it cannot be claimed to be as strong as finasteride. There will be dose variability in each tablet due to saw palmetto being a naturally occurring product. Many of our patients report the same benefits using saw palmetto as using Finasteride, such as thickening of her hair. It does seem to create a reduced likelihood of side effects than Finasteride, although this may be a placebo effect.
From our experience, saw palmetto does seem to be quite popular, effective at potentially reducing hair loss and minimising side effects that can be experienced by patients.