There has been a lot of focus on Donald Trump’s hair over the years — and a lot of questions. Is it a wig? Does he dye it? And why does he insist on styling it that way? Now, the president’s longtime doctor says that Trump’s hair is real — and he takes medication for it.
Harold N. Bornstein, MD, told the New York Times in a new interview that Trump, 70, takes a small dose of finasteride, a drug used to treat male-pattern baldness that’s marketed under the name Propecia.
Bornstein, who has shoulder-length hair himself, also takes finasteride and says it really works. “He has all his hair,” Bornstein said, referring to Trump. “I have all my hair.”
Gary Goldenberg, MD, medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells Yahoo Beauty that finasteride is commonly used to prevent male pattern hair loss. “It works by blocking a specific type of testosterone known as DHT that’s responsible for causing hair loss,” he says. “Many patients take this medication to either regrow hair they may have lost or decrease the chance of hair loss in general.”
Ken L. Williams Jr., DO, FISHRS, surgeon and founder of Orange County Hair Restoration in Irvine, Calif., and author of Hair Transplant 360 — Follicular Unit Extraction, tells Yahoo Beauty that the drug was originally developed to treat prostate disease because it shrinks the prostate, but doctors discovered that it had hair benefits as well. Yet hair restoration experts typically recommend it to patients, along with other therapies. “It is essential for hair loss patients to use this medication,” Williams says.
Finasteride is “very effective” for male pattern hair loss, Goldenberg says, adding that most patients keep the hair they have and may regrow some of the hair they’ve lost. It’s also easy to use — people simply take one pill a day for more luscious locks.
As with most medications, there are potential side effects. Because DHT is a sex hormone, men on finasteride may experience decreased fertility, a drop in sex drive, or even erectile dysfunction, but Williams says the latter is rare. Goldenberg agrees, adding, “I have not seen these complaints in my practice.”
As the Times reported, the finasteride explains why Trump has a low level of prostate specific antigen, which is considered a prostate cancer marker.
For men who are concerned about male-pattern baldness in their family, Williams recommends that they ask a physician about finasteride and whether it’s right for them. Men can even get on the medication before they develop hair loss as a preventive measure, he says.
Overall, experts say it’s a great drug. “I would absolutely, without any hesitation, say that this works,” Williams says.