Earlier this week, reports of President Donald Trump’s hair growth secret spread like wildfire. While others preferred to discuss hot-button political issues regarding Trump’s policies as the newly-elected president of the United States, reports regarding the medication he takes to maintain a well-coiffed head of hair were also very much in the news. But is finasteride really effective in dealing with the effects of male pattern baldness, and what’s in it for the men who take this prostate-related form of medication?
In an exclusive report, the New York Times spoke to Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump’s longtime physician, as the publication sought to gain insight on Trump’s current health status, given the fact that at 70-years-old, he is the oldest person to become U.S. president. But the main takeaway of the Times’ interviews with Bornstein was his revelation that Donald Trump’s hair growth is facilitated by a drug that reduces levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a known feature of prostate cancer.
This is Donald Trump's doctor — Dr. Harold Bornstein pic.twitter.com/JlkSUaTiLa
— Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) December 24, 2016
All in all, Bornstein admitted that Trump is under medication for three health issues, taking antibiotics to control rosacea, and consuming a statin to lower blood cholesterol and lipid levels. He also consumes a “small dose” of finasteride, a drug that, aside from lowering PSA levels, is also sold as Propecia and marketed to men suffering from male pattern baldness.
In an effort to prove finasteride’s efficacy, Bornstein even admitted that he had been taking the drug and that it’s the secret to his own mane of shoulder-length hair.
“(Donald Trump) has all his hair. I have all my hair.”
A report from the Telegraph tried to answer that question and delve further into the finer points of finasteride, or Propecia as it’s known commercially. According to the publication, there has been statistical proof from the U.S. government suggesting that the medication is capable of facilitating hair growth, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s data showing that men on finasteride had over 100 new hairs per square inch after one year on the drug, and about 277 more after taking it for five years.
The Telegraph extensively quoted Spex Hair founder Spencer Stevenson, who has been consuming finasteride for the last 16 years and claims the drug has indeed worked in helping him regrow his hair.
“It’s probably the single most effective treatment there is. It’s easily obtainable online or with a prescription, and millions of men take it – far more than you’d think, actually. It really works, if you stick at it. I’m not surprised in the slightest to learn Trump and his doctor have been taking it. He probably started years ago to prevent further loss, like a lot of us.”
There have been concerns that finasteride/Propecia usage comes with its share of side effects, including a loss of libido – the drug can mess with a user’s testosterone levels – and the risk of impotence. But Stevenson debunked those to the Telegraph, saying that he was able to father twins on his first attempt, despite already being on the medication.
“Any medication could react with people. I can’t take Nurofen, for instance. So a few men might have had problems with impotence but you don’t hear about all the people who have no side-effects at all. This is overwhelmingly problem-free.”
WebMD’s list of finasteride side effects backs up Stevenson’s story, as it states that the drug can cause a loss of sexual ability or desire for some men, and adds that “many people” who take it do not experience any serious side effects. But when it comes to Donald Trump and his famous hair, Stevenson did quip that it might not just be finasteride that’s responsible for that impressive hairdo.
“I think there’s a good chance he had some sort of surgical procedure once, probably in the 80s,” Stevenson speculated. “The hairline is always covered, and it’s rigid, which is the tell-tale sign of ‘flap’ surgery, where they take a portion of scalp from the crown and move it to the front, so hair can grow there again. That’s not his natural hairline, that’s for sure.”
[Featured Image by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]