Been lurking around this forum for the past week as I did research on the right regimen to treat my hair loss.
Background is: I just turned 29. My dad is bald, older brother is bald, uncles are bald on both sides. For about the past 2 years, I have been vaguely aware of a general thinning in my hair, pretty much all around including the sides right about the ears, but have mostly convinced myself that it wasn't a problem yet...that it wasn't time to take action yet. That all came to an end fairly recently, over the past three months or so, as I have watched more of my scalp and temples show up in flash photos, strong bathroom lights, etc. Once I started doing research online about hairloss, I realized that I have been totally kidding myself for at least a year -- as I have definitely been on a road to hairloss for a while...and should have been acting long ago. But...still, it isn't too bad yet, so I feel that I still caught it with somewhat of a head start.
I have been depressed and anxious for the past few weeks upon having this realization starting back at me in the mirror every time I went to take a look, just to make sure. I have read a lot across the past three weeks also--and I can finally have some confidence that I have put together a reasonable understanding of the problem, a healthy way to frame it, and a plan of attack.
First caveat is--I have decided that the risks of propecia/proscar/finisteride or dutasteride/avodart on sexual health/functioning are unacceptable for me, so I am deciding to forego that route. I know that this puts me at a disadvantage in the battle, but as one poster put it...Propecia feels kind of like playing russian roulette with your sex life... So, instead...I decided to go with two of the "big 3" (i.e., minoxidil and ketoconazole) and then try to fill the anti-DHT gap that propecia normally fills with as much anecdotal, unproven herbal ish and dietary modifications and topical treatments as I can justify spending money on. I guess I'm more willing to gamble with my hair than my ability to have sex, even though there's probably a greater chance that i'll lose...
With that, here's what I'm doing:
Dimension I -- Stopping hair loss (by inhibiting DHT from being produced and from acting on the hair follicles)
- 1% ketoconazole shampoo (with 2% saclicylic acid) every other day; this shampoo also contains a bunch of "potential" DHT-inhibitors like caffeine, saw palmetto, emu oil, etc.
- 3 dietary supplement pills: saw palmetto extract, pygeum extract, and nettle root extract
- specific diet modifications: increasing intake of foods which have potential anti-androgen effects, such as pumpkin seeds, green tea, soy/tofu (soy isoflavines), pecans & avocados (beta-Sitoserol)
Dimension II -- Promoting hair growth
- 5% minoxidil foam applied twice daily to crown and frontal areas
- dietary supplement pill: biotin 5,000mcg
In addition to these hair-restoration-specific measures, I am also taking a broader look at my health and nutrition and modifying my behavior/diet so as to boost immune system and overall functioning. I have to believe that by improving the body's overall ability to function and heal itself--and having faith that I am doing all in my power to fight my genetics (other than taking propecia) that I will succeed (at least for a while), that I am creating favorable conditions for my hair restoration efforts to take maximum effect. For the past three weeks, I've focused on significantly limiting drinking/smoking and meat/dairy/simple carbs (which are just generally bad for you) while increasing consumption of water, fruits, dark greens & vegetables, plant-based proteins. In addition, I am theorizing that aerobic exercise and efforts to increase quality of circulation are helpful too, especially in conjunction with activities to promote blood flow to the head/follicles (e.g., through scalp tissue massages from girlfriend...maybe this is where lasers actually do have some effect). These are all modifications that I'm committing to follow through on for my life...obviously for my overall health and quality of life, not just for my hair...but if it helps me keep my hair...then sweet.
So -- that's where I am at right now, although I think that I may consider adding some more stuff to my regimen as I do more research. So -- I would really appreciate any feedback on my plan or other recommendations... especially from guys who are choosing to forego Propecia/Proscar/Finisteride and Dutasteride/Avodart (due to fear of side effects) and trying to compensate.
Also, there are these products below that im still trying to understand...they all have random, partially verified effectiveness...which I am okay with assuming they have some chance of working without negative side effects. Anyone using/having success with these things (again, WITHOUT ALSO USING PROPECIA/FINISTERIDE IN CONJUNCTION...as that clearly screws up attribution)
- Spironolactone (I read that it's mostly only used for women)
- Laser Therapy (this seems the most questionable in effectiveness, with a very pricey upfront cost...especially after listening to the interview segment on baldtruthtalk about laser therapy).
Also, as I assume is the case with lots of other guys -- I've found that it's easiest to cope with my hairloss situation if I put some faith in science, and that stem cell research/etc will bring us a cure in 5 years or whatever...and so all I need to do is build a "hair management" bridge between today and 2017 without inflicting any irreperable damage in the mean time... and in the mean time, save up the $12k or whatever it's going to cost to get implants of hair clones in 2017
In addition to this, I have written out some other thoughts/beliefs/"ways of framing things" to make this all a lot less painful and traumatic...