View Full Version : My Experience and Unwanted Finasteride

06-10-2011, 08:38 AM
The below is all added to my profile and comprises a synopsis of my hairloss experiences/treatments. My current profile photo is of my former, pre-transplant temporal hairline.

My goal throughout the past ten years has always been to regrow my hairline naturally whilst maintaining elsewhere. Hair loss greatly affected my confidence, but I tried to focus on building my confidence regarding my physical appearance in other ways, such as keeping fit in the gym (aerobic and weights), dressing "well", attempting to fulfill life aspirations and, ultimately, trying not lose sight of the whole. That said, there were many occasions when I obsessed over hairloss forums seeking answers. I tried many treatments, including snake oils out of desperation, but none were successful in regrowing anything that significantly changed the appearance of my hairline. Whilst certain proven treatments strengthened my hairline and perhaps brought it foward slightly, I continued to style my hair in such a way (essentially, short curtains with a quiff held in place by hair spray/gel spray) so as to minimise the appearance of my greatly receded hairline and thus any cosmetic results I achieved remained hidden. this naturally led to embarrassment in strong winds as my enormous forehead (it was big before my hairline started receding) was revealed to the world. I did go through a phase of more often than not wearing a hat socially, but that makes matters worse as it is more evident that one is trying to hide something.

On 21st Feb. I had a 2146 FU (strip) transplant done by Dr Alan Feller in NY. A wonderful experience, a fantastic doctor/team, and after three months the fine hairs are currently covering the transplant zone and slowly maturing. I now wonder why it took my so long to make this decision. Basically, I couldn't come to terms with doing something "unnatural"; and this is despite having had numerous operations in the past for other (non-cosmetic) reasons. I took advice from various people, including Spex, before embarking on this journey.

Prior to my transplant, all my hairloss treatment experiments had always been done in a very methodical manner and after much research. I am a Dr of chemistry (PhD), so have plenty of experience in scientific research. In my early twenties, my frontal recession was pronounced and the hair on top my head felt very fine and limp, but with no obvious thinning to the eye. My hairloss (and perhaps thinning) was accompanied by soreness and itching, a bed full of hairs, and a deluge of hairs falling out every time I rubbed my head. It has always been evident to me when a treatment is working as these things stop or are less apparent.

Amongst others, the oral/topical treatments I have previously tried include:

******* 5% and 15% - Some regrowth, perhaps, but unquestionably affected my heart (I would describe it as a very heavy beat, not necessarily rapid, and not linked to stress/adrenalin). I used these morning/evening during a number of months, and then 15 % alone once per day during a number of months (total time spanning almost a year).

Generic Finasteride (Finalo and Finax) - Maintained hair, and individual hairs are thicker than without, but not as dramatic as with Dutasteride. Possibly a greater frontal recession than with Dutasteride, which suggests the latter regrew some frontal hair. I have been on this for most of the past 7/8 years, apart from the 8 months on Dutasteride and 6 months with nothing (with the exception of Dr Lee's regrowth shampoo). I have since stopped as, now armed with my new hairline, I am no longer willing to endure the reduced libido that I have always suffered whilst on this drug. Maca (a Peruvian root vegetable and powerful aphrodisiac/adaptogen) previously helped with this to a certain extent.

Generic Dutasteride - My fine hair appeared fuller within a few days, due to dilation of individual hair shafts, and thus thicker. Slightly different side effects to Finasteride, but a pronounced decrease in libido nonetheless. I took this for 8 months.

Old Revivogen formula - Didn't really give it a chance, before returning to Finasteride. Horrible stuff.

New Revivogen formula - Only 3 months after quitting Finasteride (again), hair still feels full/healthy after daily use of Revivogen. I have also always been a sceptic, but it may give me some extra time before another transplant and/or more advanced/less side effect prone treatments are available. The published research behind Revivogen (which the company paid for), in which topical Finasteride, Dutasteride and Revivogen are compared, is very questionable (and unprofessional), would not stand-up to any kind of peer review, and is pointless since it is a comparison to oral finasteride that we are more interested in. My scalp has been irritated, but this irritation is different to the sore and tingling sensations I experienced pre-hairloss treatments and at times after stopping all treatments. Moreover, my head has always itched unless I wash it every day as I have oily skin. I have reduced my Revivogen application to 5 times a week and the irritation has become less noticeable. After 6 - 9 months I should know whether Revivogen is really working for me.

Dr Lee's Treatment Shampoo - Soon to be discontinued as Minoxidil.com has been closed by the FDA. Does it slow down my hairloss? I honestly don't know, but I use it because there is strong research behind it and 2% Ketoconazole (Nizoral) offers me a brief respite from DHT/oil induced irritation after each application. I use this twice a week; using it more often is counterproductive, leaves my scalp dry and irritated, and makes my hair look less healthy. Every three days doesn't work in a weekly routine, so I use it every Wednesday and Sunday mornings and leave it in for 5 min. whilst showering. I will continue doing this, but instead with a generic 1 or 2% Ketoconazole shampoo.

If anyone has any questions/comments I will endeavour to respond. Please post any responses regarding my hair transplant here:

My Experiences and Photos - 2146 FU (Strip) Transplant with Dr. Feller (http://www.baldtruthtalk.com/showthread.php?p=31087#post31087)

I will also aim to post updates and perhaps transplant hairline photos in the future. In addition, I have 200 unwanted Finalo (generic Finasteride) tablets that I purchased at the beginning of this year. The use-by-date is March 2013. If anyone is interested in these, then perhaps we could come to some agreement as to a small amount of compensation (I am UK based).