View Full Version : My Story

12-29-2014, 07:02 AM
Hi Guys,

Never been on a forum before so please bear with me! Ive joined to openly discuss my experience with you all so that hopefully someone can relate to where I have been and help with advice, and also if I can help anyone to see they're not the only ones like this, I hope I can help you!

Unfortunately I have found this part of my life a massive struggle, and one that I have let gain far too much control. I'm now 29 but have been attempting to come to terms with my inevitable balding since about 22. I have been incredibly lucky to have a girlfriend (now fiancée) who I have been able to be completely open with through this period, and who has supported me through it all. Without someone on my side knowing what I was dealing with, I think this would be a losing battle for me, especially psychologically.

I have always thought of myself as 'one of the lads' who would play sports, go on holiday, go out for drinks and not care what anyone thought. Things changed quite dramatically when I was about 23 and I became obsessed with my hair loss and with this obsession I fell into a very difficult period of depression and I began to seclude myself from people, with elaborate reasons for not being able to go out/away etc. and also stopped playing sports or socialising much at all. This remains the lowest point of my life, where I let it get to the point where I would be repulsed by what was in the mirror, woke up in tears most days and began dying my hair (I am naturally light brown/blonde) a very dark and almost black colour to try and help give the illusion of thicker hair. I will go on record and say, this definitely does NOT work, so please don't try it!

I went through this period for a year or so until I came to the decision to shave my hair and keep it short, which I have ever since. Most people's stories probably end here and they eventually come to terms with things, but for me, although shaving my hair worked to relieve some pressures, I found more in a certain product called 'Toppik'. It was perfect, I could sprinkle it on, and my hairline would be better! I can make my hairline what I want, and control it.

Though most people would tell me I'm nuts for using Toppik on a shaved head, I'm lucky that my profession is a designer, and have always had a keen eye for blending tones, so I could use this to create a staggered hairline that looks pretty realistic. Again I'm also lucky in that my fiancée looks at it every time I do it from every angle and says if it's ok or if it looks bad.

I eventually came to use a kit of a few tools that work for me which I can apply the Toppik, blend it, fix it, and keep it looking as natural as possible. I've become a bit of a pro at it, which again, sounds really good.

Unfortunately, 5 years has passed now of doing this, and although Toppik sounds great initially and has helped me with keeping my life moving, the constant worry if you're going to be caught out, if it looks bad, if it rains, if the light is funny...is a tiring and vicious circle and all the while you're your hair loss does continue underneath, and it gets thinner and harder to make look natural. I have pushed on with my career and see my friends more than I gave for a long time, which took some time after become so removed from everyone.

I currently have less hair than ever (almost none at the front and very thin at the back) I buzz my hair really short, shorter than ever (I use a digital trimmer set at 6.5mm) but it's becoming noticeably harder to manage for me, so I think the time is coming that I'm just going to have to accept it. In some ways, I'm looking forward to the relief of being able to be me, but I'm in a difficult situation where if I just stop, my work colleagues and friends will be incredibly shocked and I feel as though I could be ridiculed. I look practically fully bald at the front and crown without Toppik and it's not possible to pass it off as a natural hair loss if I just stopped.

So, I'm asking for advice really, how should I handle this last bit? Can anyone relate in any way?

And my advice to anyone reading this thinking about hair loss and how to manage it, I would say:

Talk to someone if you can, it helps so much to have someone who knows and is on your side.

Try not to let it take over and become obsessed by it, or at least keep trying to push your life forward as this will help you to keep the real things in perspective. It isn't the end of the world really (even though it feels it) and it will only stop you doing the things you want if you let it. Again, talking to people will help to relieve the pressure you put on yourself.

If you want to use medicine/Toppik really consider it fully, as although it can be a good quick-fix it can cause some difficult and paranoid emotions if you just try to cover it up and hair loss doesn't stop by just covering it.

I hope this helps if someone is struggling like I did/am.


12-29-2014, 01:43 PM
I know a guy who shaves his head so close, it's difficult to see his pattern of loss. Hopefully SMP will improve. I think a big problem with current SMP results amounts to lack of artistic skill. color mismatch, big dots and bad hairline design.

35YrsAfter also posts as CITNews and works at Dr. Cole's office - Cole Hair Transplant, 1045 Powers Place, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009 - Phone 678-566-1011
The contents of my posts are my opinions and not medical advice

12-29-2014, 02:39 PM
I wish more guys would post info on the use of concealers. You seem to have had a lot of success with it, but I have seen others where it doesn't look all that great.

I am pretty sure I already know your response to my next comment, but if I were in your shoes I would jump on meds. You are still in the window where you could regrow a good amount of your hair back and continue to look good using concealers. No need to give up the fight now.

But I know:
"You don't want to mess with your hormones"
"I read the list of sides and propecia is a nono for me"
"Finasteride is poison"
"So many guys are suffering online"

12-30-2014, 10:12 AM
Thanks for the reply and advice! I don't see a lot of people talking about concealers, but it has helped me and although I've had trouble with them too I would have been in a real mess without them. Unfortunately I'm at the next hurdle now but I think I've bought myself enough time to grow up a bit and accept things a bit better.

I've looked into meds and I think if I was single I would definitely be on them, but I've talked it through with my fiancée and she was against it and with planning for children in the near future I'm unsure of what impact they could have with that.

I'm contemplating just being open and honest about using concealers, and try to remove the taboo around it. If I'm just like 'Yeah I use them, I'm not comfortable with going bald so it's like using a type of make up' and not make it a big deal, I'm sure it would diffuse the situation and people might be more likely to understand.

12-30-2014, 04:23 PM
I currently use concealers. At first it was caboki, it was good and it did the job. But then i used toppik and it sticked to my hair much better and it wasn't ''clumped together''. I use much less toppik to get the same results with caboki. Only problem with toppik is that they come in small containers while the caboki one is probably double in size.

12-31-2014, 03:12 AM
I've found Toppik the best for me too, though I have had to use quite a few different ways of applying it to help to keep it more natural. I apply using a fine tea strainer which I hold about 50 cm above my head and tap, moving it around to get an even 'spread'. This seems to scatter the fibres even finer and more evenly for me. I tidy it up around my hairline with a toothbrush and with a small comb break up the straight, unnatural, looking edge. I usually apply 2 or 3 layers to build it up, leaving the front thinner so that it does look like a slight natural recede. I've tried all sorts of other ways, but this is what Ive settled on for a few years now.