If you have a full head of hair and are suffering from diffuse shedding/thinning that is not really noticeable to others (yet), my story may help you.
31 y/o, Caucasian, male. Probably a Norwood 0 if I had to guess. I've always had the temples that "appear" receded, but it's been that way as far back as I can ever remember. I still don't know if I'm suffering from MPB, temporary shedding, or diffuse MPB thinning! That's why I'm here. Learn, read, and learn.
I started suffering from severe dermatitis about one year ago (summer, 2010).
I did not KNOW it was dermatitis, however, for quite a long time. I kept suffering, and itching, and applying lotions, and not washing my hair, and over washing my hair, and itching, and applying lotion, and changing shampoos, and you get the picture.
I have always been one to rely on internet searches and message boards to figure out my own remedies to such problems, but it took me forever before I finally took this problem into my own hands.
I tried using non-SLS shampoos, but that did nothing. I tried Head and Shoulders, which would work temporarily, but nothing consistent. I even tried Baby Shampoo, hoping it was "soft" enough to not make my scalp dry. I also tried using my Salicylic Acid 2% face wash as a scalp wash, which did not help.
Finally I stumbled upon Nizoral 1% one day at Wal-Mart. This ketoconazale product was the only ingredient I had not tried.
WHAT A RELIEF.
It worked immediately. After one wash, that horrible itch almost disappeared. After two washes, I was smiling ear to ear. After three washes, I had to boast to everyone I knew about how amazing this stuff was.
I began using it as a daily shampoo, because I never wanted to experience that horrible dry itchy scalp again. The dryness never returned, but the Nizoral began drying out my hair. Once my hair would dry after a shower, I'd look in the mirror and see these frizzy hairs that seemed to be stripped of all life.
About this time I found someone on these boards recommending Avalon's Biotin Hair Strengthening shampoo, and I immediately ordered a bottle from iHerb.com.
This Avalon product became my daily shampoo, as I began worrying about hair thinning - something I'd never worried about in my entire life.
My hair line is pretty stable, but I have a scar about 3/4 of an inch behind my hairline leftover from a childhood accident. But I started experience shedding a couple months after I began Nizoral. The shedding is especially harsh around the areas of my scar.
I also began taking some herbal testosterone boosters (Activate Xtreme, Triazole, Lean Xtreme) to help myself in the gym, and I wasn't sure if they were the cause of my shedding, or if the Niz was killing my scalp. I've read reports of Niz causing shedding and hairloss if OVERused, so I immediately began using it as little as possible -- only when I needed to kill the itch.
I quit taking the test boosting supplements, and the shedding continued. I quit using Nizoral, and the shedding continued. And so I re-started the test boosters, figuring if I'm going to keep shedding, I may as well feel the benefits of a subtle testosterone boost.
The shedding was/is stressing me out. My scalp itches incessantly, and it was ridiculous.
About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I finally went ahead and got some Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
I do not want to mess around with Rogaine until I absolutely have to, because it just doesn't seem like I'm a candidate for it at the moment. Like I said - I do have a pretty solid head of hair. If someone told me Rogaine could definitely thicken my hairline, I'd try it, but the reports seem varied, and I'm not losing enough (yet) to jump in that pool.
My thinning/shedding was being noticed by my regular hair stylist (get my haircut every 2-3 weeks by same woman), which was making me especially depressed that she was noticing.
I know it's early, but I ordered S5 Cream from this Web site about three weeks ago, and have been using it for two weeks. I am in love. Within 2-3 minutes of application, my scalp does not itch AT ALL, and the anti-itch properties (for me) continue for hours. Within two days my shedding STOPPED in its tracks. Seriously, I just stopped shedding hair. I still lose daily hairs, but the over shedding quit. I do have to apply twice per day to reap the benefits, but it has worked so well, and I'm so worried about losing this source after Dr. Lee, that I will buy a 3-pack of the S5 Cream.
Here's what I can conclude with what I have tried so far:
Nizoral 1%: Helps kill the itch, but only temporarily. It cured my dermatitis, however, and I am forever grateful for that.
S5 Cream: I cannot say enough about this amazing product. I read so much negativity about Spiro, that I did not order it for the longest time. I kept reading, kept researching, and I finally HAD TO TRY for myself. For me, it works. I use as little as possible to cover my MPB area. Even using this minimal amount, the tub goes faster than I would like it to considering the cost. I don't know why everyone complains about the smell, because it smells like lotion, nothing more. It does not have a bad smell. You can subtly smell the spiro, but I am absolutely up in arms over all the complaints, because it scared me to death. Then I got my own tub, only to find it didn't smell bad at all. A slight medicinal scent, nothing more. Scalpicin smells worse! I have been applying S5 Cream 2x per day. I let my hair dry, and I make sure to rub it into my scalp very gently. It does make my hair a bit more difficult to style, but I don't care. I can go to work WITHOUT ITCHING, WITHOUT SHEDDING, and I feel so pleased about this.
Scalpicin 1% Hydrocortisone: I use this as necessary to kill the itch. Temporary satisfaction, but well worth the application. I almost always use before going to the gym, because while I'm lifting weights my scalp flares up almost everytime. I assume it's the testosterone boost of weight lifting, it's my only explanation. Even with scalpicin, I still get a bad itch during my routine.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps a little bit, but not extraordinarily. The relief is instant. Slight burn. Really does soothe the scalp. But the smell is atrocious and sometimes doesn't go away until two washes later (I do wash twice per day). I only started this a couple weeks ago, cannot report much.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: I use this in conjunction with S5 Cream at night time only. I really love the smell of coconut oil, but I do not apply during day time because it smells "girly" (haha!). I apply 10-15 minutes after my night time application of S5 Cream. I just use a tiny amount, and I believe it helps soothe my scalp. I know there is not much science behind it, but for me it has helped.
I have only been using this regiment of S5 Cream + ACV + Coconut Oil for a couple weeks, so I apologize if anyone thinks it's too early for a review. But that is why I am posting in this section.
If I feel this post needs to be updated with clarification, I will update it, but I really felt compelled to do a writeup. My S5 Cream has made me a very happy man, and I am extremely happy that this web site makes it available.
In only 2 weeks of using S5 Cream, Coconut Oil, and Apple Cider Vinegar, my shedding has ceased, and my hair looks healthier in the mirror, which makes me less stressed out.