Started noticing hair loss at 19. Looked into finasteride but the price and side effects scared me so i started minox 5%. I noticed a little shedding which stopped after 2 weeks. By 2-3 weeks new baby hairs and the hair round my temples became noticably thicker so I know minoxidil is working. I also used nizoral 2% which gave me dandruff (ironically) and made my hair look dry and lifeless. I used nizoral for about a year. Then I'd had enough of it one day and stopped it abruptly and noticed no hair loss/shedding upon withdrawal.
Personal conclusions: Minoxidil works well. Nizoral is rubbish and overhyped. Apprehensive about starting fin.