View Full Version : 21, Losing Rapidly

02-01-2013, 11:52 PM
I've come here, to The Bald Truth, not looking for any real answers; I pretty much know the score, I know what the options are. I've come here in an attempt to find some sort of Support Network. To find other Men who are going through the same thing, hopefully some who have found a way to accept it, preferably fellow young men, around my age, who I can connect with in some way with this terrible affliction.

As the title suggests, I'm 21 years of age. My Father is in his mid-forties, and is a bald man who cuts his hair extremely short on a regular basis. My Grandfather, on my Mother's side, is also a bald man. This is something which I knew was a possibility, but something I didn't waste my time thinking about; it wasn't going to happen until I was much older, so I didn't need to concern myself with it while I was young. I'd always had extremely thick very dark brown hair that looked black unless under direct light. I have a double crown that always made my hair quite hard to style in ways that my friends did. At times, it was simply just hard to maintain once it got to a certain length, and then it got curly, which I hated.

Some time in 2010, I began to use Roaccutane to combat my acne that just never seemed to go away no matter how hard I fought against it with creams, lotions, facial washes, you name it. It was around 2011 that I started to notice that I could see part of my scalp on the crown of my head. Not a whole lot, but I could see it. I brushed it off as normal, and didn't put much thought into it. But as the year went on, it became something I was always aware of, I became obsessed with it. Was I losing m hair? I started wearing beanies a lot; I could cover up my insecurities and still look "fashionable" while I did. Whenever I was in front of a mirror, I would check if any sign of hair loss was visible. I started noticing hairs around the place, my pillow attracted many. I told my girlfriend about it, wondering if the Roaccutane was to blame as I had read stories on the internet. I was definitely losing my hair. One night, when my hair was really quite long, I was looking at my hair and how it just didn't look as think as it used to. I started to feel incredibly emotional at that point. I grabbed the clippers that we have in the house, put on a number 2 or 3 clipper head, and cut my hair off. Expecting it to "hide" what was happening, it just made it clearer, and my fears were confirmed. I bawled my eyes out, collapsing in a mess as m Mum ran into the bathroom asking what was wrong. She looked at my hair, in which you could see the typical Male Pattern Baldness pattern in my now short hair. She said it didn't look "that bad" and that it may be something else, but the fact remained; I was losing my hair.

I went to a Doctor to get a reference for my Dermatologist, and he looked at my scalp as well. He told me that Roaccutane can't be the problem, as I had been off it long enough that it would no longer be in my system, causing loss. I went to my Dermatologist, and he said that just because I read it on the internet doesn't mean it's true. He was a bit of an ass about it too, saying "Some people say it's good to drink your own urine on the internet, do you want to do that?" to which I came very close to saying "**** you, you ****ing ****". He said he'd do some blood tests so they can see if anything's wrong and that they'd send me something in the mail if there was anything, suggesting that if it comes back clean we can talk options. He mentioned Finasteride, which I had already read about at that time.

I saw my Mother's GP, and she also said that Roaccutane can't be the problem because I'd been off the drug for quite some time, noting that the pattern in the loss pointed towards Male Pattern Baldness. Funny thing is is that I'm still half convinced that Roaccutane was to blame in some way. I'm 21 years old, and I'm losing my hair rapidly, and it seemed to have started while I was on it. NO OTHER MAN IN MY FAMILY, to my knowledge, has started to lose their hair at age 20. It always happens in their mid years. My Grandfather had thick, luscious hair when he was my age. It just doesn't seem to make much sense to me, and it just feels soooo ****ing unfair that this is happening to me.

I think if I didn't have my Girlfriend I would be absolutely ****ing lost. She's supported me, stuck by me, and held me while I just broke down into tears at feeling so helpless. That feeling where you just have no real control at all. I had been using Minoxidil 5% for a while, but I found it hard to keep to the instructions; twice a day, morning and night, where you can't wear a hat afterwards for an hour? I couldn't leave the house, I sometimes couldn't even leave my room, without wearing a beanie or a hat. I put that stuff on in the morning, and I didn't even want to leave my room in case my Sister saw my hair and would use it in an argument against me, to bring me down. There were days where sticking to the schedule just wasn't possible ... just due to life getting in the way. I used it until I ran out, and was unsure it had done anything. It didn't really seem like it. My girlfriend started cutting my hair in a way that was still fashionable but hid it, mostly; very short on the sides and back, very long on the top with a fringe.

But now I'm at the stage where the haircut no longer "hides" most of the loss anymore. I've lost enough along the sides that it's nearly impossible to wear it without noticing loss along the sides. The top of my head? Feels extremely thin, I mostly just feel scalp when I touch there. I move my hair around with my hand? I see hair falling in front of my face. I was my hair with anti-dandruff stuff because my Dermatologist said that it wasn't normal and could be "contributing", but I still have dandruff and my hands are covered in hair after rubbing my hands through it. I feel completely defeated.

I've asked my Mother to buy more Minxodil, but throughout all of this, I've just been tempted to be done with all of this pain and shave off my hair. All of it. Just let it go. But I have a lot of fears with that; will I look okay with no hair? Does my head have an okay shape for it? Do I have moles or other unsightly things lurking beneath? Will I still look attractive to my girlfriend? Hell, will I still look attractive to other women and, in a way, other men? All of these questions are just plaguing me, the biggest one of all related to the career path I'm pursuing; I've finished studying Film as a Director, and I'll be signing onto a Production House to direct Commercials. Part of the reason I was put forward by an old lecturer was because I look "marketable"; clients and Agency Creatives honestly take looks into account and it's important for us to look "young" and "cool". I wear clothes that I guess could be considered that, but what the **** do I do about my hair? That's a factor, and I've hidden it from EVERYONE in my life apart from my parents and girlfriend. No one knows WHY I always wear a hat or a beanie; I wore a ****ing beanie to my graduation screening, and there are times where they ask me to take it off and I just can't. Jokes that when I take it off and "there'll be a bald spot" just hit me to the ****ing core.

My girlfriend has literally just texted me saying that she's behind me with shaving it all. I feel like I'm not closer at all to accepting it, and I'm losing my hair rapidly. Much faster than any man would want to lose their hair. I'm scared to my bones that shaving it all off will just "ruin" me, but what other choice do I have? I really don't want to take Finasteride, for reasons that I don't really need to explain, and Minox doesn't seem to help unless you stick to its rigorous instructions, and even then it doesn't seem like the gains will be overly amazing. So I'm really hoping that with this step, I can gain back my confidence ...

Not long before I started losing my hair, I was actually starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I had no acne, my braces had just come off, I was feeling good in myself. Funny how these things work.

Thank you to those who actually make it all the way through that.

02-02-2013, 02:20 AM

I read your story and it mirrors much of what I've experienced (the accutane in 2010, the acne etc). I visited GPs too where I was told really I had to accept it, until I persisted with one who did give me a prescription for Fin.

Like you, I got pissed off upset, angry etc. Then one day I had a job interview, cut my hair short (its gonna get shorter!!) and carried on with life. Don't get me wrong Im still not cool with it, but I guess I've gone on from maintaining super thick hair to thicker stubble (not an unrealistic goal in my view).

Unlike you, I've never felt comfortable looks wise (Im a bit obese, could do with some exercise, better fashion sense etc). But Im trying not to let baldness get the best of me and nor should you let it get the best of you. You have a Girlfriend who doesn't mind a shaved look, perhaps buzz it and see where it goes?

But in terms of a support network, group, this is a good place, I prefer this forum then others as there are some nice decent people on here.

Good Luck Bro!

02-02-2013, 07:13 AM
Hi Bernie

I've also read your post and certainly sympathise with you. The tricky point here is to offer advice without trying to lead you down a certain path. It's this very reason why I think it is imperative that posters act responsibly in their replies.

So here goes...

Upon reading your post it seems like you are entertaining the idea of shaving your head. I personally know many friends who have done so. There are those that look good with the look and can build a sense of style and confidence around it. Whilst it's somwhat of a cliche, I would still advise you at least consider getting yourself in good physical shape to compliment this. There are countless benefits in following this approach and if you are able to deal with it, then all power to you. If you are leaning towards this approach, I wish you well and suggest you stop reading and get on with what appears to be a promising future.


If this does not work for you and you decide you need to keep your hair, here is the bottom line. The only thing that can effectively treat MPB to a proven, significant degree at this time is Finasteride. Other treatments like Minoxidil may help but will not address the root cause of the problem. For the purposes of disclosure, I take 1mg Finpecia every day and have done so for the last 4 years with no appreciable side effects.

Are there risks?.. yes.

However, there are risks with most medication. Statistically you would be fine on the drug but I admit that this is a personal decision and I considered doing so for over 5 years. On a purely subjective note, once I did decide to take it, I never looked back.

In respect to those posters who are dealing with complications from the drug I am aiming for a conservative response here.

02-02-2013, 10:28 AM

First, thank you for reading and replying :) To be honest, I'm really scared that my girlfriend won't like it. I told her my feelings about this, as we're obviously pretty open with each other, and she's been saying the opposite. For a while, she was really being the optimist and was sort of trying to hold me off from shaving my head in case I wasn't ready, or, by some miracle, the problem just went away (lolz), but she's seen how much pain this has been causing me. I said to her today that I'm just sort of over feeling so ... controlled by this. One of my biggest problems with this is how much I don't feel in control; this has been controlling ME. While I'm unsure if I'll look good with a shaved head, I've been asking myself which is more important; stressing out every single day and hiding it with a variety of headwear and feeling depressed every single time I look in the mirror and seeing how much worse it's getting as time goes past (which looks to be going fast enough that I won't have much left by the end of the year) or letting go of it and focusing on other parts of my life. She's been very supportive saying I'll look interesting and "alternative", haha. I love that woman.

I've read some posts by other members here and one guy, I think his name was Skorpion, really ... made it clear that, while I hate this situation with a burning passion and is something I would never wish upon any other man, I could never allow myself to get to the point where I'm calling other Men with shaved heads, due to loss, "ugly freaks". I cannot allow myself to sink to that level. I can't let it control me like that. One of the main themes of my short film that I did last year was "Self acceptance comes from letting go". It dealt a lot with loss of identity. I'm wondering if this will help me towards some sort of self-acceptance, as for me it's always felt like part of who I was was slipping away.


Thanks for responding :)

Some cliche's are true ... And being in shape definitely helps with the clean head look. I've always been a slim kinda fellow, but I've let myself go a bit, both caused by loss and by college diets of noodles and packaged chips, but I still look okay ... Just a bit of a belly that I'd like to get rid of. I've been going through the Couch to 5km running program (google it) in an attempt to get back into shape. When I can, I'm aiming to add a bit of gym work in there. This has been something that's been a goal for quite some time now and unrelated to shaving my head anyway.

I'm also hoping that my beard will help. I would look absolutely ridiculous with a clean head accompanied with a clean shaven face. It's really going to take a while before I could adjust, and obviously getting some Sun on it so I have some colour in my head (it would look pretty weird having a brown face with a sort of pale head).

I may indeed be lucky with Finasteride in that I don't suffer from side effects, but I'm honestly not wanting to put myself in that position. I'm just wondering if it's really for me (watery semen? Sounds freakay).

Fingers crossed that a cure comes along ...

02-02-2013, 11:47 AM
I'm 18, and a swimmer. I have considerable baldness with an extremely receded hairline, probably around a Norwood 4 with no thinning in the vertex. I used to get rude comments about my hairloss, kids telling me they "like the haircut, man" after I buzzed my head, stuff like that.
I shaved my head for taper about two weeks ago and I haven't looked back. I guess I have the right build for it; as a swimmer I have a very lean, powerful body. I also have a decently shaped head and strong, dark eyebrows. Probably doesn't hurt that I'm 6'1 either.
There were a few girls that I could tell didn't like it at first, they got over it. One really HOT girl asked to feel it on the first day, then gave me a head and back massage. That was nice. But really, I recommend shaving your head to try it out. I'm already kind of trivializing how I felt when my hair was thinning. It definitely doesn't feel like a very big problem now that I've shaved. But, it's really up to you whether you want to shave; it feels very ballsy for the first couple days, when you wonder how everyone will perceive you. But then, it just becomes part of the daily routine. You find some other aspect of your life to worry about.
TL;DR: I endorse shaving your head to see how it looks, it will always grow back

02-02-2013, 08:26 PM
TL;DR: I endorse shaving your head to see how it looks, it will always grow back

That last bit is pretty much why I've been mulling it over for so long. If I do look terrible, I can grow it back out ... But at what point? Unless a cure comes along the only "real" option is taking Fin, which I don't really want to do.

02-02-2013, 11:33 PM
Start with clippers, guard 1 or something. Work your way down to no guard. Much easier than shaving, and allows for a more gradual progression. Honestly, it becomes the norm after doing it for a while. Try it.

02-03-2013, 07:30 AM
Start with clippers, guard 1 or something. Work your way down to no guard. Much easier than shaving, and allows for a more gradual progression. Honestly, it becomes the norm after doing it for a while. Try it.

I was thinking of just going with no guard, with the possibility of shaving it. Either way, people, including myself, will need to adjust to the new "look". I figure just going for it will get it over and done with and I can start to adjust.

02-04-2013, 08:55 PM
I was thinking of just going with no guard, with the possibility of shaving it. Either way, people, including myself, will need to adjust to the new "look". I figure just going for it will get it over and done with and I can start to adjust.

Yup; stop procrastinating and get to it! :)

02-04-2013, 11:36 PM
Here's my first post and my take.

I might be the only person on here who isn't personally bothered about being bald, not one iota (at least anymore). And before I get shot down I do have a personal reason for being here but it ain't my noggin.

I started thinning around 18/19. I was diffuse but went slow. Then at about 35 I saw an image of myself in a shop's security mirror. My hair was a mess. I went home and shaved it off. Initially with clippers but over the coming weeks with a razor right down to the nub. Personally I love it, it suits me and I wouldn't have it any other way. I found it liberating, gave me added confidence and has had no impact on me and women.

Shaving your head isn't as easy as it seems though (nor as cheap) and there are site's where you can get advice.