My Success Story. Growing my hair back.
I'm new to this forum and wanted to post the success of my hair re-growth regime so far. I'll try to list everything with as much detail as possible for all the Doctors and patients on here. I'll follow up here with my progress. It's been about 7 months since I first started and I am overwhelmingly pleased. My hair is growing back.
There doesn't seem to be many detailed success stories online. I don't believe its because there aren't any, I think it might be because most people who successfully regrow their hair move on to bigger and better things and forget about their hair problem; and don't post online.
I hope with this topic I can share what has worked for me and perhaps it can help others as well.
Goals and determinations upon onset of therapy:
I saw a medical story on T.V. that talked about a condition called "Phantom Pain". It's when people who have had their legs amputated experience pain in their amputated leg as if they had a leg. The doctors used a mirror between their legs to show a reflection of their good leg to give the impression they had two good legs. They were instructed to look into the mirror and imagine having two proper legs. After about 6 months or so of this therapy, their phantom pain in the amputated leg had vanished. This just further proves what I have always believed that there is truth to the mind body connection. What you believe with all your heart and soul and can convince your mind to believe, things can change.
With that being said, I decided upon onset that I was going to address my hair-loss with a vengeance -- A positive attitude with determination to apply as many methods of non surgical therapy to achieve my re-growth. My hair was going to regrow. Along with this attitude included extensive, personal research in natural therapies (herbs etc...) to apply to the popular, non surgical, topical therapies. I also included diet and lifestyle modifications. In other words, I'm taking the multi-method approach to combating my hair loss.
Hair loss at beginning of therapy:
I didn't fit into any Norwood scale per sey. Diffused thinning on top of crown, front and a little bit on the back. Loss of hair along hairline, regression at temple area. Small tuft of hair in the center is unaffected by loss. Side and back are healthy and thick and full.
Male, 41 years old, 6'2" tall, 190 pounds. Fitness level: Athletic and fit.
Medical check up:
Complete blood chemistry (CBC) is "squeaky clean" -- doctors comment.
-- Concentrating on a nutrient rich diet with an abundance of raw vegetables an fruits. Plenty of water and adequate protein intake. Eating lots of wild alaskan salmon per day equaling 6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids per day. DHA enhanced eggs. Raw almonds daily.
-- Avoiding all processed foods, junk foods, fried foods, cane sugar, etc..
-- Stress management techniques: Focusing on 8 - 10 hours of sleep a day.
-- 30 min of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 6 X a week, until heart rate is increased where my scalp sweats and I can feel the pulsation and tingle feeling from increased blood flow to scalp.
-- 30 min of resistance weight training 3 to 5 days a week. (not sure if that matters for hair growth but mentioning it anyway)
Never smoked. Don't drink alcohol. Never used drugs. Only prescription medication is propecia.
March 1, 2009 (unless otherwise noted) -- No side effects at all from therapy.
--> Propecia® brand (Cosco pharmacy Dr. prescription) - 1 X day (March, 2009 - October, 2009)
--> Propecia® brand (in MERCK bottles and packaging from Dr. office) October 24th to present - 1 X every other day.
I've read some articles that have shown some drug manufacturing plants (like India) have been called into question about having little or no active ingredients and/or bad ingredients. These plants sold their discounted drugs to the discount pharmacies. Even though I've had great results so far with the Cosco, discounted Propecia® as part of my overall therapy, I'm switching to Propecia® in the MERCK branded packaging and bottles from my doctor to see if there is any quality difference. Cost difference is $190 for 3 month supply from Cosco pharmacy, versus $230 for 3.5 month supply of MERCK branded "pro pack" from Doctor. Since Finasteride has a high affinity to DHT and lasts up to a week, as an experiment for the next six months I am going to try taking Propecia® once every other day. This will help reduce the higher price to $32 dollars a month versus $63 dollars per month for the Cosco pharmacy prescription taken every day. It will also extend my prescription from 3.5 months to 7 months. So even though I'm paying more for the branded MERCK "pro pack" Propecia® from my Doctor, it actually comes out to be cheaper monthly. I'll see if I notice any difference.
--> Topical Xandrox Plus (Dr. Lee) - 1 X day in evening
(15% minoxidil, 5% azelaic acid, 0.1% finasteride)
--> Topical Xandrox 5% (Dr. Lee) - 1 x day (A.M.) - used from March to August
(5% minoxidil, 5% azelaic acid)
--> 5% Spironolactone cream (Dr. Lee) - Topical anti androgen. (Started on October 1, 2009)
--> Re-growth Shampoo (Dr. Lee) - 1 to 3 x week
(2% Ketoconazole, 3% salicylic acid )
--> Home-made, topical herbal re-growth tincture - 2 x day (A.M. & P.M).
Home made from herbs demonstrated in medical studies to promote hair growth.
*** See the full recipe, directions and study citations at end of post.
--> Shampoo: Roobios tea infused shampoo (natural, no chemicals) Daily -- used on days when not using re-growth shampoo.
--> Conditioner - (after shampoo) Men's Stock, Ginseng Biotin Hair Repair conditioner. (Aubrey Organics) Left on for 5 min after every shampoo. 1 X daily.
--> Therapeutic styling aid - Aubrey Organics® calaguala and white pine bark extract, leave-in treatment. Applied from scalp to tips of hair. Therapeutic to hair and scalp, anti-inflammatory, aids in circulation, provides body.
Method of Application:
A.M. - Upon waking up I apply 1 dropper of 5% Xandrox to all affected areas, follow up with 1 dropper of of herbal regrowth tincture to all affected areas. ( 5% Xandrox in the A.M. was only used for the first 5 months of therapy.) Left products on scalp for 1 hour while I continued breakfast and rest of morning routine. -- I am unable to leave the Xandrox products on scalp all day because consistency is sticky and makes styling impossible.
1 Propecia® tablet in the morning before breakfast.
Next -- shampoo with Regrowth shampoo (1-3 times per week depending upon how dry my hair feels) massage into scalp and leave on for 5 min. On days when not using regrowth shampoo, I use the Natural Roobios shampoo. Rinse. Next, apply a generous amount of Biotin Hair Repair Conditioner massaging throughly into scalp covering tips of hair. Leave on for 5 min. Rinse.
After shampoo, towel dry hair. Next, apply small dollop of calaguala & white pine bark extract, leave-in treatment to palm of hand and massage into scalp and through to ends of hair.
Blow dry hair and style as usual.
P.M. In the evening before bed I applied 1 dropper of 15% Xandrox plus topically to all affected areas. Followed this with one dropper of home-made, herbal re-growth tincture to all affected areas.
From October 1, 2009 to present I am following this with topical application of 5% spironolactone cream.
Hair re-growth results as of October, 24, 2009 (7 months):
Hair has gone from 1/8" growth per month (slow) to an impressive, accelerated growth of about 1/2" to 3/4" growth per month. I've noticed new follicles sprouting in all areas where loss had occurred. These could be new or just microscopic that I couldn't see with the naked eye. New or regenerated follicle growth all along hair line where previously none. Vellous hairs have grown to longer, terminal hairs. Noticing more vellous hairs continually sprouting up along temple, hairline area and all affected areas. Significant re-growth on the top and back of head.
Dry = Running fingers through dry hair with a slight tug.
Wet = Running fingers through hair during morning shampoo.
Fallout Before Thearpy
Dry - Noticeable fallout between fingers from all areas of scalp hair. 100+ hairs. All lengths from short vellous hairs to longer terminal hairs.
Wet - Appears to be excessive fallout but could still be in normal range. Estimate between 100-200 hairs. Both short vellous hairs and longer, terminal hairs.
Fallout After 7 Months of Therapy
Dry - No hair fall out in regrowth areas. A dramatic decline to about 40 longer, terminal hairs in non-affected areas of hair (sides and back) only. Noticed significant retention of shorter, vellous hairs.
Wet- Significant reduction in wet fallout to about 50 to 80 hairs during morning shower. Most are longer, terminal hairs. Very few if any are the new, shorter vellous hairs. I would consider daily, wet fall out to be below average (good!)
I wear it long, over the ears, collar length in back, parted on side. I'm trying to let my hair grow out longer and wear a longer style. The longer style seems to help camouflage the thinning a bit while it is re-growing.
Wet Hair appearance:
New growth is still short and in the beginning stages so when wet, the thinning is noticeable but not drastic. I am confident in the next 6 months to a year if progress continues as well is it has been the wet hair will not show any signs of loss or thinning.
Dry Hair (styled) appearance:
Excellent results. Re-growth around hairline and on temples inward toward center of head is still short and in the growth phase and there is a visual, frontal hairline. Increased growth and length of re-grown hair around hairline over time will enhance the youthful appearance of the frontal hairline. Basically there is no noticeable thinning or loss when styled dry. Areas that once showed thinning/ loss when styled dry are now almost undetectable. This is due to the length of old-growth hair and a significant amount of new hair growth. Hair appears thick and full all over with a more youthful appearance. Hair is soft, shinny, healthy looking and I attribute this to a nutrient rich diet high in essential fatty acids and cardiovascular exercise with increased circulation. By just looking at me you wouldn't guess I ever had a hair loss problem.
Objective opinion -- I stopped off at the store to get a new hair brush and the lady clerk commented on how thick my hair was and said I'd need a stiffer bush to get through my thick hair! :-)
Yes I smiled at that!
I will update my results periodically.
I appreciate any comments or feedback and I will reply to comments.
*** Home-made, topical herbal re-growth tincture
Based on studies (rat and human) the following natural ingredients have shown potential for hair growth.
Doses: This should be enough tincture to provide 2 doses a day for 1 to 1.5 years, when diluted with 1/2 purified water. (don't dilute until needed though, see below)
Ingredients (see citations below) & Materials :
(1) Hibiscus Rosa Sinens -
A specific variety of hibiscus known colloquially as the Chinese hibiscus, China rose and shoe flower, is an evergreen flowering shrub native to East Asia.
In rat studies, Hibiscus Rosa Sinens promoted hair into growth phase. Promotes faster hair growth.
(2) Erica multiflora -
A mediterranean, flowering plant native to Malta.
Human dermal papilla cells in vitro and an administration assay on mouse dorsal skin in vivo. The results showed that the Erica multiflora extract promotes dermal papilla cell growth and cell cycle with high activity, and induced hair growth in vivo by induction of anagen phase from telogen phase.
(3) Parsley - fresh & dried.
Active compound is apigenin which is a water-soluble plant flavonoid found in apples, cherries, grapes, celery, chamomile, parsley, thyme, pepermint, horsetail, lemon balm, perilla, yarrow. Parsley is the highest.
Apigenin increases proliferation of dermal papilla cells. Stimulates the elongation of hair follicles. Down-regulates the TGF-beta1 gene — a catagen inducer that suppresses hair growth. Reduces inflammation.
(4) Rooibos (dried herb) - Anti-inflammatory
(5) Apple Polyphenols / Procyanidin Oligomers
Organic green apples plus a product called: ApplePhenon®
Procyanidin Oligomers promotes hair epithelial cell growth. Counteracts the growth-inhibiting effect caused by TGF-[beta]1. Stimulates anagen induction.
(6) Garlic -
A product called: Kyolic orderless, aged garlic extract.
Aged garlic is high in the cysteine derivatives: S-Allylcysteine, S-Allylmercaptocysteine, S-1-Propenylcysteine - Cysteine is a important component in hair and study shows cysteine and garlic may increase hair growth.
(7) Pycnogenol -
A water extract from the bark of the French maritime pine.
Circulation enhancer, skin elasticity, wound healing, anti-inflammatory.
(8) 100% Aloe Vera Gel -
Acemannan a polysaccharide extracted from aloe vera heals and repairs skin tissue by the induction of fibroblast proliferation (epidermal skin cell that regulate the production of keratin, collagen and elastin) through stimulation of keratinocyte growth factor-1. Aloe Vera's Acemannan promotes the growth of blood vessels by stimulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the production of type I collagen.
(9) Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)
EGCG is the most abundant catechin in most notably tea.
Product called: Mega Green Tea Extract, Life Extension® brand is extremely high (45%) in EGCG. Plus, added dry, organic green tea leaves.
A study was undertaken to measure the effect of EGCG on hair growth in vitro and to investigate its effect on human dermal papilla cells (DPCs) in vivo and in vitro. EGCG promoted hair growth in hair follicles ex vivo culture and the proliferation of cultured DPCs. The growth stimulation of DPCs by EGCG in vitro may be mediated through the upregulations of phosphorylated Erk and Akt and by an increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Similar results were also obtained in in vivo dermal papillae of human scalps. Thus, we suggest that EGCG stimulates human hair growth through these dual proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on DPCs.
1 bottle 95% natural grain alcohol (Everclear® brand 190 proof)
1 large glass container with tight lid (don't use plastic)
1 glass dropper bottle
In glass container, add all ingredients -- About 1 hand full each of the herbs and 10 capsules of the ApplePhenon®, Kyolic® aged garlic and Pycnogenol®. EGCG extract, 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel. 1 large, organic green apple with skin cut into small cubes. Pour in alcohol and make sure all ingredients are covered with alcohol. Cover tightly with lid. Wrap in paper bag to keep light out and place in a cool, dark shelf. Let it extract for 1 month.
After 1 month, strain raw tincture through flour sifter into glass or ceramic bowl first to remove the larger ingredients. Strain the remaining raw tincture through an organic, unbleached coffee filter or organic cheese cloth into a clean, glass container. You can use a tincture press to squeeze the last drops from the herbs or just use your hand and squeeze out as much as you can through cheese cloth. Pour the final, clearly strained tincture into a clean glass jar for storage. Label the tincture with the date and ingredients.
Using a small tincture funnel, fill the dropper bottle half with raw, strained tincture and fill rest of the way with purified water. 50/50 tincture/water mix.
I applied one dropper full to all affected areas, making sure hairline was covered. 2 X day A.M. and P.M.
Alcohol extracted, herbal tinctures are potent up to 2 years. They won't spoil and no refrigeration is needed.
(1) In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn.
(2) Hair growth regulation by the extract of aromatic plant Erica multiflora.
(3) A cell-based system for screening hair growth-promoting agents.
(4) Studies of anti-inflammatory effects of Rooibos tea in rats
(5) Investigation of the topical application of procyanidin oligomers from apples to identify their potential use as a hair-growing agent.
Procyanidin oligomers selectively and intensively promote proliferation of mouse hair epithelial cells in vitro and activate hair follicle growth in vivo.
(6) Combination of topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream in the treatment of localized alopecia areata: a double-blind randomized controlled study.
(7) Pycnogenol Research Library:
(8) Acemannan stimulates gingival fibroblast proliferation; expressions of keratinocyte growth factor-1, vascular endothelial growth factor, and type I collagen; and wound healing.
(9) Human hair growth enhancement in vitro by green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Now that’s what I call dedication!!!!
Did you ever wonder if simply taking Propecia might have resulted in the same outcome? Just a thought. I actually think its cool that you have such discipline.
Do you have any pictures? Keep us updated.
Originally Posted by Winston
Thanks for the comments. Yes that crossed my mind but here is why I decided to go at it full force right out of the gate --
First of all I didn't want to wait 6 - 12 months using only Propecia® to find out I needed add something else. I wanted to do it all at once.
Secondly I was concerned about my hair loss and I didn't want it to progress any further. I was ready now to have youthful hair that matched the way I look and feel -- which is about 20 years younger than my chronological age.
Third. The 5 year Propecia® study as seen from this GRAPH CHART shows a steady decline after it peaks from year 1. So something else needs to be part of the overall therapy to possibly help counteract this.
Lastly I've been told based on others experience I would probably see a decline with minoxidil therapy over time too.
No pictures yet.
Thats insperational, I have strong faith in going organic, our society is way to screwed up with way too many chemicals going into our bodies. http://www.*************.com/20/sodium-lauryl-sulfate/
Do you have pics?
New cream added to my regime
I found a natural comfort cream with Emu Oil and MSM at SwansonVitamins. The natural ingredients are soothing, healing with a slight warming sensation to the scalp, perhaps increasing blood flow? There is no smell at all. It's made for joint pain relief but the ingredients are excellent for the scalp.
I now add a tablespoon to my palm then add 1 dropper of my homemade, herbal regrowth tincture and mix in my palm. With the opposite finger I dab it on my scalp all over than rub it in.
Following this application, I apply the 5% Spironolactone cream to my scalp.
Next I follow it with the 15% Xandrox Plus. I add Xandrox last because it can be a bit sticky upon application so it is easier to apply last.
Better Than Blue Comfort Cream can be found HERE
Ingredients and Benefits:
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) - Inflammation, parasitic infections and the maintenance of normal keratin levels in hair.
Emu Oil - Non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agent, transdermal carrier agent.
Capsaicin (from chili peppers) - vasodilation, psoriasis
(It's late right now, so I'll add more to this tomorrow ... signing off)
I used that Better Than Blue comfort cream that I mentioned above a couple of times but it had a slight burning sensation on my skin, probably due to the herbs. I only used it twice topically and have not used it since.
9 Month Update --
For the past 3 weeks I've been taking Propecia every other day -- M, W, F, Sunday, and using my homemade herbal hair growth tincture and spironolactone cream topically, once every other day at night. I no longer use the ketoconazole shampoo as it was drying my hair out too much and there is really no need for it.
Currently I only shampoo my hair every other day (the morning after the night I applied the topical products). I use a natural coconut based shampoo. I like the fact that I don't have to get a shower and wash my hair every day like I had to when I was applying the topical treatments daily. Now every other day I can just get up and style my hair and I'm ready to go. Less stress and less time.
My hair loss has stopped. Current hair is regrowing quicker than normal and I constantly see new hairs sprouting up along the hairline.
My hair has filled in where the hair loss was, and it is continuing to grow in a positive manner. The hairs are still somewhat short in the new growth areas (about 1-2") so when my hair is wet, there is still noticeable thinning appearance.
However, when I dry my hair with a blow dryer and style my hair there is absolutely NO detection of hair loss. My hair has regained it's youthful appearance.
It is only going to get better as time goes on.
I am thrilled! :-)
Will keep you all updated on my progress.
Where did you buy all those organic ingredients?? The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is very interesting and would love to buy it. Did you buy it off a site? or A store?
There are so many varieties of hibiscus that if you buy it at a store it might be miss labeled. So I decided to buy mine from a hibiscus specialist to be sure I got the Rosa-Sinensis variety.
I bought mine from here:
I love how you are doing the all natural thing in regrowth. Can u post where you got all your ingredients to make the tincture please. I really want to try this out. Also, are you taking any multivitamins?
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