View Full Version : The curious case of Benjamin Balding...

04-22-2013, 10:41 AM
Hi everyone,

Bit of a strange 'hair loss' story, but if you can bear with the tedious back story I'd really appreciate people's advice/input...

I'm 26 (nearly 27) and debating whether to go back on to finasteride after about two 1/2 years off the meds, and still unsure as to the extent of my hair loss.

My 'hair loss' started about five years ago when I was approaching my 22nd birthday. I have always had ultra fine, straight, dark hair, which has been both a blessing and a curse (easy to style when short, but very hard to grow out long). During my undergraduate years (18-21) I actually attempted to wear my hair long pretty successfully, with tonnes of hairspray to provide volume. As bad as this now sounds, it actually looked pretty good. (Think a cross between Julian Casablancas and Faris Badwan from The Horrors.)

By the approach of my 22nd birthday I had found that my hair was becoming a lot harder to style in this manner. No hair loss detectable to the naked eye, but perhaps a change in texture: quite dry and brittle, and not absorbing product in the way it used to. I began to notice what I thought was excessive hair shedding, though this was while I worked in a mundane admin job shortly after graduating. To this day, I still don't whether this shedding was the result of 1) paranoia resulting from my boredom at work; 2) a history of poor hair conditioning and maintenance - three years of using excessive product in my hair; 3) the onset of MPB. (as a side note, my Dad went bald in his early Thirties, but my mum's side of the family have all kept their hair.)

After a couple of months of worrying and counting hairs shed, I scoured the internet for solutions. Quite naturally of course, I stumbled across Propecia and eagerly ordered up some generic fincar. I used this pretty much everyday for over two years, 1.25 mg per day. Did it work?

I still can't say for sure. Certainly, the shedding never seemed to subside. I'd notice hairs all over my pillow, the floor, when I ran my hand through my hair, on my desk at work, etc. I am talking hundreds a day. It did not follow the usual patterns of shedding often described on hair loss forums. The shedding would also seem to come from all over my head - the sides, nape of my neck (e.g. places not associated with MPB). Looking back on it, I'd say the shedding probably worsened after starting using fincar.

The texture of my hair became quite awful, though I do not know if this was the consequence of just the meds or excessive washing. Still not sure whether my shedding was the result of MPB, I would try out different shampoo's and conditioners in the hope that it would improve the lustre of my thatch. Then I'd apply a bunch of products afterwards to try and style. I got to the point where I was sometimes washing my hair 4 times a day then re-applying product afterwards. This, I think stripped my hair of it's natural oils - but also left me none the wiser about whether my hair shedding was the result of 1) over-washing 2) the fincar 3) MPB.

I had to wear my hair increasingly shorter to adjust to its awful condition. By aged 24, I had hit a bit of nadir, and got an extremely short cut. At this point, partially out of laziness, partially out of curiosity, I decided to quit the fincar.

Pretty much for the last two 1/2 years, I've worn my hair in a shorter cut - quiffed up at the front a la Morrissey. I barely notice any shedding at all anymore (next to nothing on my bed sheets where there used to be hundreds) and I think I have found a shampoo and styling products that suit my type of hair. I can even wear it a bit longer - though because my hair is so fine I really need regular haircuts to maintain.

I am, however, growing a bit concerned with my current hair line, and in particular the recession in the temples. Despite the general condition of my hair being markedly improved since quitting fincar, the recession in my temples is (I think) more noticeable than two years ago (although this is partially due to quiffing my hair up and not wearing it down).

I have no thinning in my crown, but there has definitely been hair loss in the temple regions (I can see miniaturized hair where the old hairline used to be). This could still be just the development of a mature hairline accentuated by the fact that that my last two haircuts haven't been the greatest.

My problem really is not being able to isolate what was causing my initial hair loss: it may have been a combination of all of the above. Thankfully this hair loss has more or less stabilized and I am still able to pass as having a full head of hair - my girlfriend for instance, has never mentioned anything about me balding. Though as previously stated, the recession in my temples seems to have become a bit more pronounced recently (without ever noticing any excessive shedding). See the pictures below for the current state of my hair:


I realize this is quite an unusual story, so if anyone would like any more info then please ask. Unfortunately I don't have access to any older photos which show the previous texture of hair while on fincar.

Serious replies though please, and no doomsayers spouting off about me being bald in 2 years. I have been worrying about this to varying degrees for over 5 years now. Considering it has been that long, the hair loss could have been a lot worse.

I'm dubious about re-starting on fincar, especially as last time around I seemed to experience mild sexual side effects (lowering of libido, and tenderness in nipple region) though these did improve over time. However, I'm thinking of giving it a trial run. Perhaps take for a month or two and note any changes.

Strangely enough, my maternal uncle has mentioned a remarkably similar experience to mine: he was paranoid about going bald in his early twenties and used to even pull out his hair. He still has very respectable coverage for his age (late-40's). I hope that I follow the same route.

Many thanks for reading,


04-22-2013, 11:22 AM
If I was you, I would restart propecia as I feel that the hair you have remaining is the cause of you taking in the first place. Buy if you are hesitant then I suggest you see your doctor to test your dht levels.

04-22-2013, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the reply. The problem is that I've had 2 1/2 years without using fin and only minimal loss, which might just be my hairline maturing anyway. As I said I don't really notice any shedding anymore, just worried that the temples have lost a bit of ground recently. I guess I would have expected a much bigger shed from coming off the fincar if it was really helping.

04-22-2013, 03:39 PM
what is your family history concerning hairloss

04-23-2013, 12:53 AM
My Dad lost his hair in his early thirties, before my paternal grandfather started to go thin on top. He still has a bit left and he is in his eighties.

My mums side is pretty good, maternal grandfather has a bit of thinning but full coverage, and same for my maternal uncle really. Don't know too much beyond that.

04-23-2013, 07:49 AM
make an appointment with your doc
keep us updated

09-25-2014, 06:34 AM
Sorry to bump a very old thread, but if it helps one person it might be worth it.

Very simply, I have started taking hair, nails, and skin supplements (from Holland & Barrett) and within the last week the texture of my thatch has undergone quite a transformation from when I last posted. I've tried other sorts of vitamins before (Biotin, Saw Palmetto, Cod Liver Oil) but strangely enough, never a bunch marketed specifically at maintenance of hair.

From dry and brittle (which I needed to wash pretty much everyday, except after first getting it cut) the moisture is returning to it, and with it, the volume. I've been able to go 4 days without washing before it gets too greasy and styling hasn't been this easy for about 6-7 years. (I'm 28)

I obviously have some soft of vitamin deficiency - I've noticed that my mild eczema on my right hand fingers has completely disappeared as well - and it has taken me this long to realise. Coupled with the maturation of my hairline - there has undoubtedly been some loss in the temple areas - this led me to believe that I was facing imminent baldness, when in fact it might have been a combination of factors leading to the brittleness and shedding. (Poor maintenance of hair, nutritional intake, excessive washing)

Obviously, this does not guarantee that I will not go bald and I still hold the fear of going the same way as my Dad, but the condition of my hair is better than it has been for quite some time. I'd recommend anyone experiencing similar hairloss to try the vitamins before getting on the propecia, as it might be all you need.