Despite being a guy who has fully embraced my hair loss, I do deeply empathize with those of you who want to keep your hair. And to be totally honest, I completely respect your decision. In fact, I was one of you for a few years – beginning at age 19.
In good faith, I made this guide to help you regrow, maintain, and negate hair loss.. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet surrounding hair loss, and I wrote this up with the intention of being factual, clear, and as helpful as possible. I won’t get into extreme detail on any one topic so as to not overwhelm the reader. If you want to dig deeper, there will be in depth information added to the site soon regarding each topic. This will be a fluid guide, and I will regularly update it as new information comes in.
Introduction: Why does hair loss happen?
You should always go to a doctor to know for sure, but in general – hair loss is the result of a condition called androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as “male pattern baldness”. Male pattern baldness is a condition by which the hairs on the scalp are sensitive to a compound called Dihydrotestosterone(DHT). The hair follicles are so sensitive to the DHT that they slowly begin to weaken and die over a varying course of time. As a result of this, the most seemingly successful treatment is one that lowers the amount of DHT in the scalp.
Treatment: What Actually Works
This is the fun topic. How to actually keep your hair has been widely debated and is covered extensively on the internet, but the information is often times anecdotal and not that useful. Beyond that, there are thousands of snake oil salesmen selling a phony product for profit. It’s really unfortunate, they know their product doesn’t work but they will rigorously market it anyway. So – here is what actually works to fight hair loss.
Finasteride is a DHT inhibitor. It comes in pill form and works by limiting the conversion of testostorone into DHT, and thus lowering the amount of DHT throughout the body (including the scalp). By lowering the DHT in the scalp, follicles that are sensitive to the compound have a better chance at surviving. Studies have proven that a 1mg dose of finasteride daily lowers scalp DHT levels by over 60%.
Finasteride has repeatedly been proven to maintain hair for extended periods of time, and in many cases regrow hair. When it comes to fighting hair loss, finasteride is the most powerful and effective treatment option. You just pop the pill once daily and forget about it.
Knowing this, you would assume that the majority of men would get on finasteride, right? Well, unfortunately, finasteride has been reported to have some pretty adverse side effects. These include (but are not limited to) drowsiness, depression, and loss of sexual function. With that said, the majority of guys do not experience these problems. Of those that do, many have said that the side effects go away after your body adapts to the treatment, and others claim that the side effects have persisted despite quitting the treatment.
In conclusion – finasteride, it’s super effective and the best defense against hair loss, but it is not without it’s risks. Talk to your doctor about it before making any decisions.
Ah, good old minoxidil. Minoxidil is the primary topical treatment to hair loss. Rogaine, you’ve probably heard of it, is a minoxidil product. It does nothing (as far as anyone knows) to DHT, and the mechanism by which it works remains unknown. There are two prevailing theories on how Minoxidil works. One is that Minoxidil increases blood flow to the scalp, thus providing an abundance of nutrients to follicules, strengthening them. The other is that Minoxidil increases the length of time follicules are in the anagen phase, and shortens the time in the telogen phase. Minoxidil is a lifetime commitment, it will regrow your hair, but those hairs will be dependent on the Minoxidil. If you stop using it, those hairs will fall out.
Minoxidil is typically rubbed onto the head 2x a day, though there are debatable cases of people using it 1x daily for the same result.
Ketoconazole is a substance administered topically, normally in the shower. Though there is little scientific evidence to back the claim, Ketoconazole is widely accepted by the underground hairloss community as a substance that helps maintain hair. It can be used in combination with Minoxidil or Finasteride for amplified effect.
Pretty self explanatory. You get hair planted into the top of your head, and if you get enough hair transplanted, you might look like you were never bald.
Hair transplants tend to be very expensive, requiring at minimum $7500 USD for a trustworthy operation. Anything below this price, the buyer should be wary of quality.
Hair transplants tend to work very well for those with receding hairline, but with diffuse thinners they don’t seem to work as well. The reason for this is diffuse thinners have a lot more empty space on their head to fill with hair.
Keep Your Hair – Get on The Big 3
The Big 3 – widely understood to be an extremely successful treatment and the most effective in preventing hair loss and regrowing lost hair. The Big 3 is simply a combination of Ketoconazole, Finasteride, and Minoxidil, all mentioned above. The combination of these three treatments has been shown to be extremely effective time and time again.
It makes perfect sense to use the big 3. Minoxidil regrows the hair, and Ketoconazole and Finasteride stop it from falling out. Using the three together is a recipe for success. I used the big 3 for a few years before deciding to just embrace my hair loss. They worked exceptionally well, but I get more on that here.
Note – I’m not a doctor or an expert. I’m just another bald guy like you. It’s best to consult your doctor before adapting any new medical routine.