Okay, yeah – I’ll admit it. When I first started losing my hair, I did my research, and quickly decided that I wanted to get on the big 3.
For those of you that don’t know, “the big 3” is a combination of hair loss treatments that in unison work very well together. These are finasteride, minoxidil, and ketoconazole. You can mix and match different brands, but I had a few favorites.
I tried a plethora of different ketoconazole shampoos, and this was by far the best. I liked that it felt and smelled like real shampoo, it left my hair feeling soft and kind of gave this “cool” feeling after I used it. Plus, it smelled good! My girlfriend at the time loved the smell and I’ll admit, she never knew it was a hair loss specific shampoo. Use Amazon if you decide to buy it – it’ll get delivered faster, and the packaging is always discreet.
As for minoxidil, I honestly believe that they all work to the same effect. Because of that, my favorite was Rogaine Foam. I prefer Rogaine because it’s convenient and and quick. You just rub it in, it dries in seconds, and there is no mess. I’ve used liquids before, they seem to work the same but are much more of a hassle to use. You’re going to be doing this two times every day for the rest of your life, I recommend the foam because it’s the most convenient.
For finasteride, they’re really all the same, so I just got a generic 5mg brand and cut it into fourths. Doing this is significantly cheaper than buying name brand finasteride.
So yep – that’s what I used!
Now, let’s get into how it went.
Personally, I’m a really cautious guy. There are many seriously disturbing accounts of finasteride horror stories, so I planned accordingly. Starting out, I was taking 1.25mg finasteride every other day to let my body get accustomed to the treatment initially, and slowly built up to finasteride daily. It worked, I think – I didn’t have any sexual issues which was my primary fear. I did however notice that I felt seriously out of it for the first week or so, like some sort of brain fog overtook me. I had called my doctor and he said it was a normal side effect, so I just kept at it.
When I first started, I was noticeably thin up top. My hairline had slightly receded, though not by much. The issue wasn’t my hairline, it was how thin my hair was up top. After 8 months on TB3, there was noticeable improvement. It was still somewhat noticeable that I was thinning, but it was dense enough that I could comfortably rock the look. Around this time, a few interesting things happened in my life.
I broke up with my girlfriend. I went backpacking through Southern Africa. I was primarily in South Africa and Namibia, and while I was there I ran out of rogaine, and I couldn’t find a replacement. I’m not sure if there is a minoxidil ban, a supply difficulty, or what – but I couldn’t find any throughout South Africa. Believe me, I desperately searched to find it. Reality set in – I wasn’t going to get any Minoxidil. I was going to lose all of my gains because I would be in Africa for a while. I decided to shave my head and quit the finasteride pretty much immediately – I couldn’t bear going through the anxiety inducing process of slowly losing my hair again. Oddly enough, it didn’t really bother me at all. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was 8000 miles away from home and didn’t know a soul. I wasn’t worried about what anybody thought of me. I truly did not care. In a few months, I would be on a plane back to the US and never see these people again. One day, I went with another group of backpackers to go hiking through a mountain peninsula on the eastern coast of SA. One of the backpackers was a very cute girl from Connecticut. She was totally out of my league – smart, fit, “cool”, and really personable. To my surprise, we really hit it off. She was headed to Cape Town, exactly where I was headed, and we decided to travel together. We ended up together for the rest of our time on that continent, which was 4 months of total adventure. I’ll spare you the details, but in short – we fell for eachother, things were fantastic, we continued our relationship when we moved back to the US. She was a year younger than me – I graduated from school and ended up getting a job in a big city (DC). I decided that I didn’t want to be in a long distance relationship while being in my early 20’s in a big new city, so we went our separate ways.
So, to be honest, that relationship was a very significant one for me. She made me realize that, despite being bald, I could still form great relationships with beautiful girls. In fact, she provided me so much confidence that I broke up with her, even though 7 months prior I would’ve considered her far out of my league, leaving a girl like that would have been an impossibility in my mind.
Today, about 4 years later, I’ve been perfectly content in my dating life. I’m bald, I don’t shave my head with a razor, I buzz it to a zero every few days. I’m not scared to show it, it’s just who I am and I don’t really even pay it much thought anymore.
So, I guess to sum up my experience with The Big 3 – It worked. If you really want to keep your hair, get on TB3. Seriously. The treatment was completely successful, I regrew hair and it looked like I would be keeping it for a while. By chance, I was forced to quit, and after being forced to quit I kind of had an “Ah, ha!” moment, leading me to accept going bald. Haven’t looked back since.