View Full Version : Progress so far; advice for the future

04-17-2011, 04:01 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but like what I see so far. I've been looking for an active forum on this topic for a while.

Here is my story: I just turned 24 years old, and have been concerned about hair loss ever since high school. Given that it is in my family, I decided to fight it early on. At around the age of 20, I began using Rogaine 5% foam, but stopped after just over a year once I convinced myself that I didn't really need it and that what I originally thought was hair loss before was all "in my head."

By March of 2010, I was starting to notice what was pretty irrefutable evidence of thinning. I made an appointment with a Toronto-area doctor who focuses in this area, and got a prescription for Proscar (to be divided into quarters) as well as a bottle of 12.5% minoxidil solution, which I bought through his office.

I've used both of these ever since, and appear to have some results. For the last half-year or so I switched to 12.5% minoxidil provided by Dr. Lee (www.minoxidil.com) to save money, but given the FDA's recent crackdown on his business, I'll have to switch back to the Toronto doctor if I am to continue.

Anyway, I've attached some pictures of my hair before treatment as well as how it looks today. The "before" pictures were taken on March 27, 2010 (before starting treatment) and the "after" pictures were taken today. I actually wasn't even sure I had made any progress before comparing the two sets. Please note that I usually use some styling gel, but took these pictures without it as I think it is more clear this way. Additionally, both sets were taken soon after a haircut.

I've typed a lot more than I planned, so thanks for reading to this point. I guess what I am asking for is just some feedback on what I'm doing. As well, I am really wondering about the 12.5% minoxidil and whether it's worth using. A three-month supply costs over $100, while the same amount of time with Rogaine 5% foam through eBay costs around $30. I am also a little uncomfortable using the finasteride, as I believe I am experiencing some side-effects (lower libido, occasional cracking of my usually-strong voice, some warm-flash sensations in my feet, etc.), but then I suspect it is the finasteride that is mostly responsible for whatever success I've had.

Thank you for reading through all of this. I would appreciate any comments or advice.

04-17-2011, 08:26 PM
The todays pictures are the one with the short hair?? if they are they look a lot thicker!
im in toronto as well and i think i will need to buy the foam from ebay as no one sells it in the stores!
But i think you might be ok on minoxidil or rogaine on its own no?

04-17-2011, 08:47 PM
Yeah, the newer pics are the last 4 pictures. (Sorry, I had labelled the file names accordingly, but I guess that doesn't show once posted.)

As for using minoxidil on its own, I've heard that for best results its good to use the two in combination. If anything, finasteride is probably the more effective of the two (from what I've heard), but then it also comes with more side-effects, I believe.

If only there were an easy solution...

04-17-2011, 11:39 PM
Your Big2 regime (You should add Nizoral to it, it's almost free and has no sides) has DEFINITELY worked out, a blind man can see your hair is restored.

Finasteride is indeed a very "dirty" drug for what it takes away for maintaining your hair. It's your choice bro. Because of your very young age, I reccomend continuing with minoxidil and Nizoral and grdually reducing your Fin dosage to eventually come off it. Half the dosage for a month, then half it again, then quit.

In the long term, you'll be thankful.

04-18-2011, 08:13 AM
your chances of getting a lower libido are very slim. I started it back in October and I have not seen any sides. I am however experiencing a shed which is normal around the 5/6 month. btw I just turned 22, so the younger you start taking it the better its going to be for your hair

04-18-2011, 08:58 AM
AgainstThis: Very interesting. I will look into Nizoral. From what I just read on Wikipedia, it seems that the effect of the drug is similar to Fin -- that is, reducing DHT levels -- meaning it would be a logical alternative. Of course, I am a bit hesitant to change what appears to be working...if side-effects become more of an issue, I'll definitely stop it.

Thebaldone1: The doctor who prescribed the finasteride to me said the same thing (side-effects are very rare). I've read a lot of conflicting information, though. It is possible, too, that I am over-analyzing my response to the drug and, as a result, am noticing "side-effects" that either don't really exist or would have existed regardless of my taking of the drug. By the way, it's good to hear from a fellow younger person taking fin...and you're definitely right that starting earlier means better results in the end.

04-18-2011, 09:34 AM
One thing I wish I could do would be to isolate the effects of finasteride from minoxidil. Minoxidil is more of an inconvenience to take, and I suspect it is less responsible for the results I've had. It is also much more expensive than the finasteride. Despite all this, I'm guessing most of you would recommend leaving minoxidil in the mix?

04-18-2011, 01:20 PM
Toronto, the Big3 is the strongest therapy we have against MPB at the moment.

All three products (Nizoral, Finasteride, Minox) work in synergy to produce the results you see. Nizoral cleans the scalp of DHT and enhances the growth given to you by Minox. By itself it produces minimal results but COMBINED with Fin and Minox, it significantly boosts their results.

Finasteride is primarily aimed at MAINTAINING what you have. Minox gives you the new growth, so if you quit that, the hair you've sprouted thanks to it, will go. If you quit finasteride, the hair that was "saved" will revert back to it's pre-determined course and eventually fall.

Also, the reason you have few or no sides whilst on Finasteride, is your very young age. In my country we have this saying that "The wind blows, you get a hard-on". As time goes by, they'll become more noticeable and cumulative.

So beware with the Fin. Also know that both Fin and Minox eventually lose effectiveness, due to your body getting used to them but you are looking at a good 10-12 years of results and what the hell, there' s bound to be a new treatment down the pipeline.

04-18-2011, 01:36 PM
Thanks for your detailed response. You say that stopping minoxidil would mean losing gains made with it, but what about switching from using 12.5% minoxidil once a day (as I was instructed to do) to using the 5% Rogaine foam twice a day (as its instructions state)? Do you think this would be detrimental?

04-18-2011, 02:08 PM
Personally as a patient and as a Physician, I recommend the rogaine foam 5% twice daily (and no I have no interest in the companny). Its easier to use. Also, I would add low level laser (LLL) therapy to your regimen if you can. There are bunch of them out there now that can be purchased. The combination of the minoxidil, fiansteride and light therapy can make a huge difference. I have a lot of patients that I have prevented a hair transpalntusing this combination.

Dr Sean Behnam

04-18-2011, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the advice, doc. I will definitely consider that!

04-18-2011, 03:44 PM
The 5% foam is indeed all you really need. 12.5% is overkill and you do not see any benefits you wouldn't at the 5% concentration. Plus, with less concentration, it takes longer for your system to become immune to the effects.

Also, LLT is not proven to be efficient. People who've tried it SOLO did not report positive results. If you take a bunch of treatments altogether, you never know what is working and what isn't. Stick to the Big3 and you'll be fine.

04-18-2011, 07:09 PM
AgainstThis: I agree with you on both points. I've always felt that 12.5% was overkill (I think the doctor I went to simply reasons that because it's more concentrated, it's better, which is simplistic logic to say the least.) Now I hope lowering the concentration won't have any ill-effects, although I suppose that doubling the daily applications might make up for it. I was not ever aware that we built up immunity to minoxidil...yet another thing to worry about!

As for the LLT, I've always been skeptical of it as a treatment. Granted, the physician on here is more qualified than I am with his opinion (my qualifications are nil), but I just have trouble accepting the claims of LLT. I need to see more evidence.