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  1. #1
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    TheLastHairbender's story

    Hi, I had posted before under a different name but had to reset things, so here is my story again with a 1 month update in the following post. This is originally from 5/25/2011.

    Baseline Posting & Pictures
    Date: 05/25/2011
    Topics:
    The Story, Past Treatments, Pictures, Treatment Plan, The Regimen.


    The Story

    Having recently turned 26 I'm finally ready to do something about my hair loss. I'm an otherwise healthy male with MPB on both sides of the family. I've always had thin, fine light brown hair, and probably noticed it was first going at about age 20 with the thinning of the crown and formation of a dime-sized bald spot that hair just seemed to part itself away from. I didn't let it get to me and have enjoyed the past five years with my head held high, all the while powering through the Norwood scale at lightning speed. Looking back, I was a solid NW3 at 22 years old, an NW4 by 24, and now sit at what I believe is a NW5 since sometime during 25.

    Things really accelerated when I entered a PhD program at 21 and spent the next four years just trying to keep up. It meant intense stress, inadequate exercise, and - probably worst - a horrible sleep schedule, usually only 3-4 hours per night and at least one night a week when I "double dip" and don't sleep at all for a night, going from, say, waking up Tuesday morning then working through Tuesday night and Wednesday, then sleeping 10-12 hours Wednesday night to catch up. It seems like the lack of sleep (or some other feature of the lifestyle) has contributed to accelerated hair loss. On the second day of an overnight powersession I tended to notice tons of shedding onto my papers and keyboard, often having to blow dozens of hairs off every half hour or so. The shedding has actually mostly subsided, as there's not much left on top to shed anymore! Unfortunately I'm so committed to finishing strong in this program that the resultant hair loss has been a necessary evil to ensure I don't fall behind. I have been hopeful that most or some of the hairloss is simply tellogen effluvium from a mentally and physically stressful lifestyle that will resolve once I'm done with this academic program, although noting the family history of MPB and the NW-style progression, this may be a fanciful dream.

    Since I'm tall enough (6') and only ever see myself from the front I probably haven't noticed how bad it has gotten. Friends and family close to me have started to make small jokes or comments in passing which I don't really mind, I tend to look at it as endearing, but it does make me aware that it is a visible issue and there are probably people not as close to me who think it but just don't say it. And as I'm still single and honestly haven't even hit the dating market much due to my overcommitment to my studies, I'm growing concerned that I'm going to finish school and be set up for lifelong success, yet bear the appearance of a broken man. Like many people have reported, I feel like I've wasted what could have been the best years of my life buried in the books in hopes of providing a better life down the road which I may not be able to fully enjoy due to hair loss.


    Past Treatments

    Ok, enough storytelling, on to the goods: I haven't really done much to treat it to date, I had a roughly two month long run-in with minoxidil (as Rogaine foam) two years ago, at age 24. I used it semi-regularly but not regularly enough; the day-long appearance of a wet spot on the back of my head from the foam prevented me from wanting to use it in the morning, and it was just far down on the list of priorities so, sadly, application just fell between the cracks some days. About a year ago I started with the Nioxin 5 part system: shampoo, conditioner, 'scalp activating treatment', 'follicle booster', and some glorified multi-vitamin. The shampoo and conditioner aren't bad, but even the full system hasn't done anything to noticeably improve the situation or even stop the shedding, so I'll choose not to renew this costly system for another go around. I've been taking 320mg Saw Palmetto for the past six months or so, half in the morning and half at night. I've recently cut back to just 160mg in the morning and will be completely done with my supply by next week. It wasn't good or bad, but I'm no longer throwing time and money at anecdotes, instead opting only for the proven stuff or strongly promising stuff, as I'll explain in the Treatment Plan below.

    I looked into finasteride about a year ago but propeciahelp scared me away. I didn't really think of hair loss as a big issue until recently, and deep-down I knew that the worst thing that could happen is the hair loss affect my behavior, so to that extent there was some value in denial. I remember explicitly thinking that the more I thought about hair loss, the more I'd worry and more hair I'd lose, so I did a good job blocking it out for a few years. I wouldn't mind continuing on that path, but it has become unavoidable. I am happy to say though that it still doesn't inhibit me much...it's clear that it's only as big a deal to others as I make it out to be, so I don't let it stop me from going out, being loud, talking to girls, and I just act like I don't know any better.

    Even so, it would be nice to actually have some hair up there, or to know I'm stuck with only the Rob Corddry-esque tuft for good at which point I'd probably consider shaving it all. Before getting to the treatment plan let's lay down the baseline photos:


    The Pictures

    Two overhead shots with flash:




    And two without flash:




    One from above-front:



    Here is a series of five from above, from behind to just forward of 12:00:








    You know, I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm taking these with a camera with a 25mm equivalent wide-angle lens. I'm not sure if that distorts the perspective in these pictures, especially up close, but I do have a pretty big head anyway.



    Geez I didn't even realize it was that bad until taking these pictures, because I usually only see it from the front, like this:




    And it's really a shame because I have awesomely thick hair in the back and on the sides, it's just been total destruction of the hairline, crown, and top of the head. The lack of parity is really becoming striking. I'm not sure if this is indicative of anything or useful information, maybe it would lend itself to a HT down the road, but that doesn't look like a road I'll be taking at this point. Here are two pics of the sides, they don't look as thick in the pictures due to a recent haircut, I'll get better ones sometime:





    Finally, a few more candid shots in action, although it's dark and you can't see much. Obviously I can't take candid pictures of myself, and I think the friends who usually do take pics of me consciously try to avoid exposing the bad hair up top, so I don't really have any that highlight the hair:








    Ok so that's where I'm starting from. Next:


    Treatment Plan

    As the first piece of practical advice I picked up here on HLT, I've been using Nizoral 2-4x per week for a month or two. Haven't really noticed anything but will continue to do so on the good advice of the people on this board.

    I saw my GP last week for the first time in years, he took one look, confirmed AGA, and wrote a prescription for 5mg fin with the instructions to take 1/4 pill (1.25mg) for four days and skip the fifth day. I filled the 20-pill prescription (80 doses, ~3 months worth) for $19 at the University's pharmacy. He also ordered blood tests for some things I can't remember, and, as suggested on propeciahelp, I had him add LH, FSH, and free/total Testosterone. I also asked for estrogen, prolactin, and SHBG, but he started to balk, saying it's not necessary and would end up costing me a fortune out-of-pocket. I didn't push the issue. I'll be back in two weeks to discuss the results of those tests and will post them back here.

    I dusted off my three remaining cans of Rogaine Foam from my stint two years ago, they just expired last month but, knowing that the expiration date is a minimum effective date, I feel comfortable using them up quickly over the next three months. I started taking the fin in the evening/nighttime and applying the Rogaine Foam twice a day, both on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. I have for a few years taken a daily Centrum multi-vitamin, half in the morning and half at night, each with a Fish Oil/Omega-3 supplement and 500mg Biotin, and plan to continue doing so with the new treatment plan.

    I also ordered the S5 5% spironalactone cream from this site for its topical anti-androgenetic properties, and will integrate that into the regimen 2x/day about 10 minutes after applying minoxidil, as indicated by Dr. Lee. It won't arrive til June at best, but I'm not sure when I want to integrate this in. I'd like to see if the fin and minox have any impact first, but know that that could take a year or more. I'm still undecided on when to start using the spiro; my fear is that something works and I'll be locked into using them all permanently for lack of knowledge about what is actually doing what. I'm trading that off with the risk of less-than-effective treatment by leaving out some known solutions in the meantime. So the regimen is as follows:


    The Regimen

    Nizoral 1% Shampoo, 2-3x/week (began 4/01/2011)
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day (began 5/25/2011)
    Minoxidil 5% (Rogaine Foam) 2x/day (began 5/25/2011)
    Spironolactone 5% with .025% Retin-A (S5) 1x/day (beginning 6/08/2011)

    Daily Centrum multi, Omega-3s (600mg), Biotin (1mg)


    Future Plans:
    -Replace Spiro with RU or CB, pending results and availability.
    -Integrate ASC-J9, pending results and availability.
    -Integrate a Copper Peptide/SOD spray, once thereís something better than Tricomin/Folligen (2.5% AHK-Cu, TEMPO/TEMPOL, and PBN).
    -Include Aminexil treatment every 6 months starting in December.
    -Replace Rogaine with Spectral DNC, if I get rich.

    -Integrate more growth promoters:
    Bimatoprost
    Miconazole
    Adenosine/Adenogen
    HGH?



    Other:
    Nizoral Off-days:
    TESTING: L'Oreal Pro-Vive Thickening vs.
    Aveda Pure Abundance Shampoo + Clay Conditioner

    Styling:
    TESTING: different American Crew products, tend to favor Forming Cream.
    Tresemme Hair Spray (sometimes)
    Have a can of Toppik around I donít really use.
    TESTING: Couvre vs Dermmatch



    Formerly:
    Nioxin 5 part system - Shampoo, Conditioner, Follicle Booster, Scalp Activator, Vitamins (1 year, replaced with Nizoral)
    Saw Palmetto 320mg/day (6 months, replaced with Finasteride)
    Blind Faith (through 5/24/2011)




    Thanks for reading my story. I really appreciate any comments, feedback, advice, or criticism. I'll post back regularly with updated pictures. I'll also keep you posted with the results of the blood tests due back from the doctor in two weeks. Thanks again!


    Here is also a timeline for reference that I'll update with each new development. You can see my currently updated regimen using the button below my signature.

    Updated Timeline:
    5/24/2011: Started Niz, Fin & Minox (had been using Niz for 2 months)
    6/08/2011: +Spironolactone 5% with .025% Retin-A
    7/02/2011: +MSM 3g daily
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

  2. #2

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    hey! just wanted to with you good luck with that mate !

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    7

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    Best of luck to you. Anxious to see your updates.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    Thanks guys!

    So although Iím almost two months in on my regimen now I wanted to post a roughly one-month update from 6/18/2011 since thatís when I took this next round of pictures. Iíll soon have a two-month update around 7/24.

    One Month Update
    Date: 06/18/2011
    Topics:
    Spironolactone, Pictures

    I had just gone back to my G.P. for a follow up and reported that Iíd been taking the finasteride at 1.25mg for three weeks with no side effects or noticeable changes in anything (I didnít mention that Iím not skipping the fifth day like he prescribed, instead Iím taking 1.25mg every day). My blood test results had come in and he said everything was normal except for Albumin levels were a bit above the range but it wasnít anything to worry about. Iíll post the exact results later.

    Spironolactone

    Other than that I received my order of S5 5% spironolactone cream from the HLT store and began using it on 6/8/2011, two weeks into my finasteride and minoxidil regimen. I noticed that it also contains 1% caffeine and .025% Retin-A, which I was thinking about including anyway for its reported synergies with minoxidil. (In fact Iíve already ordered a tube of .05% Tretinoin from InHouse for $18 shipped, Iím going to experiment on a tiny patch of my rear hairline to see how I respond to Retin-A, as some report improved hair growth when used with minoxidil while others report hair loss when used to treat acne, so Iíll just see how I respond individually rather than speculate based on othersí experiences.)

    I began by using the spiro twice a day, 10 minutes after applying Rogaine foam as Iíve seen Dr. Lee recommend this to others. It goes on white at first, coloring the scalp, and it really makes the scalp and hair that it touches greasy Ė a little bit goes a long way when spread out over the scalp and bases of hair shafts. The first ten minutes after application are pretty ugly though as it dries, so if youíre concerned about privacy you may want to block off about 15 minutes of private time after applying the spiro. It dries really clumpy in the hair so it takes a good ruffling to get things looking normal again without washing it out of your hair. And it stays really sticky too so you may end up with a few hairs on your hand or comb at first styling it once it dries. Styling the spiroíd hair without pulling any out is something of an art Iím now getting better at. Because of the PITA factor after one week I cut back to applying it only at night when I can just go to sleep when itís dry.

    Iím not looking for any miracles from spiro, itís just another part of my routine and another angle to block DHTís impact on gene expression. I was already applying minoxidil anyway so adding a cream afterward isnít a big inconvenience and the cost isnít bad at $32/tub shipped when you buy three Ė the tubs are tiny but each should last 2-3 months.

    My last note is that I have considered mixing up RU58841/PSK3841 or CB-03-01 solutions to use as a topical anti-androgen instead of spiro, but decided that for convenience, cost, and based on our current better understanding of spiroís side effects compared to those of the research chemicals, Iíll go with spironolactone for now. We at least know that side effects arenít severe when used topically and it does have strong affinity for androgen receptors, 67/100 according to this study:

    "The Use of Human Skin Fibroblasts to Obtain Potency Estimates of Drug Binding to Androgen Receptors", Eil and Edelson, 1984, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 59:51.

    My mind is open to this though, and as RU and CB become better understood and reliable products delivered for convenient use, I will gladly revisit swapping out spiro in favor of a better topical anti-androgen.


    The Pictures

    So here are the pics from my one month update, taken to mirror the baseline pics from my first post. Same bathroom, same camera, same lighting, same washed and air-dried hair for consistency. Thereís really nothing to report yet, no vellus hairs or anything that I can notice, but I only apply the minoxidil to the bald spot on my crown and I canít really see back there well enough to tell if anything is sprouting. (FYI I apply the spironolactone all over Ė to the temples, top center, and crown/vertex.) The pics:

    Four overhead from back, flash off:









    Two overhead from back, flash on:





    One more showing how thick it still is on the sides in comparison to the top:




    Three overhead from front, flash off:







    Four overhead from front, ďstyledĒ, flash on:









    One last particularly bad one from front, again super thick sides with a sharp cutoff to almost slick bald on top:




    I wish I was like one of you NW2ís and could pull my hair back on top to show the temples, but thereís really nothing left to pull back or show anymore! You know itís bad when you can draw another face on your forehead and even it looks like it has a receding hairline:




    The temples and forelock (behind the frontal island) arenít actually completely slick bald, there are still a few survivors hanging around Ė you can see them better in the pictures with flash on. Iíll get better close-ups all around with macro mode next time. Thanks for checking in!
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    1,302

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    Hey man, I have a couple of comments. First, your hair loss is very advanced. This means that treatment will make only a modest improvement at best, don't expect to go back to Norwood 2. Second, I think you should seriously consider buzzing your hair, I think it would look better and draw less attention to the amount of loss. Third, people your age typically aren't advised to have hair transplants because they don't know what their final balding pattern will be. However, you look to have reached your fiinal pattern. If you have the money and aren't completely turned off by the idea, I would consider it. Fourth, good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    Hey thanks for sharing, I appreciate the comments.

    I know; it's aggressive. It might not even be worth it at this point, as you're right it has kinda rounded out it's nearly final shape. I do admit that the shedding has almost stopped even months before I started any treatment. But what the heck, I'll give it a shot - at the very least I'll know what a pain treatment is, so I won't have any regrets about not trying. Well, only that I didn't try 2 years ago! I'll do a post soon about the one-year transition from NW2 to NW4-5 at 24-25 years old. I've been collecting pictures to provide an illustrated history.

    But I'm willing to accept that maintenance is success. I'd be satisfied just keeping a little something on top to avoid the full-on shiny horseshoe before 30. Really I'm happy either way, my happiness isn't really tied to my hair, I just have things successfully squared away in my life and want to push for improvement there too. I won't expect any miracles and luckily I don't need any to be happy. The thing I'd like to improve most on is actually the crown too, an area where I may be able to have better success. I'm less concerned about the hairline, I just don't like to see this in pictures from behind me:


    (Taken just after my 25th birthday, about one year ago.)

    and don't want to have to use concealers either. A hair transplant is also not something I'm interested in given the current state of the art, but I believe I would be a classically good candidate too, with thick donor regions on the sides and rear and an already defined pattern, but it's really not that big of a deal to me to go that far, I would just as soon shave it off.

    Which is also a good suggestion, I appreciate it. I really don't want to do that at the moment either, but it's definitely an option. I'm going on the academic job market this fall and will be interviewing with universities and other research institutions in October. I think a more conservative approach is a better idea specifically for this market, especially as a rookie phd with no pubs yet. There is no penalty in the academic market for even the shiniest of shiny horseshoes, but there may be a penalty for a "wild" look like a shaved head. I know it may seem trite, but the revealed preference among academics is 99 out of 100 for the horseshoe over an intentionally shaved or buzzed head, and given the importance of the initial placement for your entire career I'd rather not take any chances. Once I accept an offer I may take a few months to experiment with shaving or buzzing, but I'd also worry that would be the event the forelock could never recover from, and I might want to ease into NW6, not quite sure yet.

    The final thought on that is that finishing this program and getting a job this fall will be the biggest sigh of relief of my life. I'm anticipating a massive, acute reduction of stress that could have a really positive impact on my mental and physical well-being, and some of the things that come along with that. To that extent, I do believe I lost a lot of hair due to stress-induced tellogen effluvium - my most massive sheds were during periods of high stress, poor diet, and sleep deprivation, and I noticed many hairs had the tell-tale TE club on the end. Who knows, but at six months away it's satisfying to stay on a strict and sensible treatment plan while working towards these other goals in life.

    Thanks again for your thoughts, I'm looking forward to keeping you updated in hopes that my experience may be able to help someone else looking for answers. Just remember: it's not that big of a deal!
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

  7. #7
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    Re: 26yo NW5, Big 3 + Spiro, 2 months

    Baseline Blood Test Update
    Date:
    drawn 5/24/2011
    Topics:
    Albumin Levels, STD Tests?!

    I had promised to share the results of the blood tests I had done by my G.P. during my initial office visit. He only needed one look to confirm AGA and prescribe finasteride, but ordered the standard bloodwork to rule out any other causes and yielded to my request to include Leutinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Total/Free Testosterone to the list. I also asked to know Estrogen, Prolactin, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), and began to launch into the laundry list of other tests recommended by the less-fortunate at propeciahelp, but he started to shy away citing cost and limited usefulness of any additional tests. I did want a baseline reading on everything in case I ever experienced lasting side effects from the finasteride, but I admit the dozens of recommended tests become a bit impractical when requested a-la-carte. I think I got the big ones though. The good news is that all it cost with my student health insurance was $10 for the doctorís visit and a flat $20 for all the lab work!

    Results






    Albumin Levels

    The results were, thankfully, uninteresting. The doctor said everything was in the normal range except for Albumin, which tested at 5.1 g/dL, while the normal range is 3.3 - 4.9. The corresponding Albumin/Globulin ratio was therefore also high, at 2.4 compared to a normal range of 1.0-2.0. He said it could be from eating a lot of protein lately, which I wasnít sure if I had been or not, but wasnít anything to worry about either way. I spent my first 18 years living next door to my fatherís butcher shop, so my protein intake was probably triple the average as I ate a quarter lb. of beef jerky and a steak or two daily up through high school. Yes it is as awesome as it sounds. But that hasnít been the case for the past eight years so my diet has been much more balanced for some time. Either way Iíll just note it for now and move on.

    STD Tests?!

    The doctor also casually recommended getting tested for, lol, syphilis as heíd been seeing a number of cases lately and itís actually known to cause hair loss Ė remember this is the campus doctor at Arizona State, so itís probably not that surprising. Someone recommended I go pay cash at the local clinic so itís not in my insurance history, so I went to the county health center and waited for two hours with a bunch of hookers in leather skirts at noon on a Tuesday at the free clinic to get my blood drawn. Great!

    Naturally it all came back negative Ė HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. I have never had nor do I ever plan to have an STD, but for $20 total it was nice to know, and it ruled out another non-AGA cause of hair loss.

    So in conclusion Iíve been able to rule out some non-AGA causes for the rapid hair loss. It doesnít appear to be any existing hormonal or chemical imbalance, although a slightly higher-than-normal blood protein level was found. I also have baseline numbers for some of the important hormones and metabolites from the day before I started taking finasteride. The total cost for all of the above was only fifty bucks; $10 for the office visit, $20 for the labs, and $20 for the std test, much less than I had anticipated and definitely worth the peace of mind.

    Hopefully for those of you finding this saga via the search function Iíve been able to shed light on some important topics. I know I wanted more information on spironolactone, blood tests, etc. and appreciated detailed write-ups like these. If it helps in any way or you have any kind words or advice, please click Add Reply and leave a comment! Hearing from people strengthens my resolve and can help sharpen my treatment plan, so register if you need to (it only takes 3 minutes!) and leave a comment for me and others who come across this page! Next update (2 full months in) coming soon!
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

  8. #8
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    Re: TheLastHairbender's story

    Hi Capt. Combover, it's great to hear from you as I've been following your story as well.

    I've been applying minoxidil only to the crown as that's the only place it has had clinically demonstrated efficacy. There is also a practical reason in that being a diffuse thinner across the NW5 region, spreading minoxidil completely over the top of my head 'feels' excessive and makes for a sloppy mess on top, especially in the mornings as I have to go to work within an hour or two of application.

    Seeing that many people on here have had success in the temple region with minoxidil, however, I'm willing to rethink this strategy. And given that today marks exactly two months of use, I think it's an appropriate time to expand the use of minoxidil to include the temples and possibly the top-dead-center region.

    From your experience, where would you recommend applying the minoxidil? I've been applying it to only the "A" region below, but from what I've seen some people have had success using it in the "B" region as well. Do you recommend expanding to include both the "B" and "C" regions, basically anywhere that there is thinning? I definitely want to do everything I can to restore as much density as possible, it's just worth noting (for others) that Rogaine's directions state only to use on the vertex and that it is not intended to treat frontal baldness or a receding hairline, so many peoples' success in the temple area would be considered using the product "off-label". (I just want to include that language because I've been structuring my story as a fully informative description for the searching newbie without taking existing knowledge of AGA and treatment topics as given, thanks for understanding - I don't mean to patronize you Capt. as clearly you know all of this already).




    Thanks again for bringing that up. I will expand my use of Rogaine beginning today, exactly two months in to my treatment plan, and will provide an update with pics in the next day or two.
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

  9. #9

    Re: TheLastHairbender's story

    Have you started ru? If so and where o you plan on getting it? I dont know how to gt it. I just started spiro and tricomin. Gonna see how that goes. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TheLastHairbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Age
    28
    Posts
    170
    Inflammation:
    Keto 2% Shampoo, 2-3x/week

    DHT:
    Finasteride 1.25mg/day
    *ON HOLD: Spironolactone 5% 1mL 2x/day

    Growth:
    Minoxidil 5% 2mL 2x/day
    *ON HOLD: Retin-A .05% ~250mg 1x/day

    Re: TheLastHairbender's story

    Really? You saw your best results in the B and C areas? That's interesting. I definitely need help there too so I'll take it anywhere I can get it. It's clear from the pictures I'm about to post that there is bad loss in the temples but all hope is not lost as there are still a number of miniaturized fly-away hairs that could benefit if my experience with fin and minox are similar to yours. I'm not exactly sure how long I've been losing it in the crown and temples because I've just never had thick hair. Even at my best, probably age 16, it was still thin and wispy, and the hair loss has been gradual since then so I really didn't stop and say "wow I have aggressive hair loss" until I was solid NW4, at about age 24. At first I thought the worried NW1 and early NW2 guys on here had BDD or something because I didn't even consider NW2 to be hair loss until I learned more about MPB. Now I wish I was on here four years ago freaking out over NW1. Anyway it's hard to think the miniaturization has been taking place for more than ten years, so hopefully there's still enough left to

    So I will take your advice to use minoxidil all over the crown, vertex, and temples. Now, after my fourth all-over application, I've been starting with the big circle in the back, making a line from front to back and spreading it out, then hitting the temples, like an upside-down Y with a circle at the top, like this:



    Thanks for the tip on the coloring, it does sound like a reasonable idea. Those few survivors in the temples are a noticeably lighter color on further inspection, and would probably be more visible if darkened up. I don't really want to start treating my hair with other chemicals though, at the risk of damaging the hair and jeopardizing my treatment plan. Maybe I could try something like Just for Men that I could apply precisely to those areas and blend into the darker brown color in the thicker hair on the sides and the island. This is something I don't really want to mess with until I either start to show results or determine that I'm not going to have any results, probably a year from now, but I will definitely keep it in mind.

    That also ties in to the topic of concealers. I've tried a little Toppik, I have a small can with the hairline comb and spray cap but haven't really tried it outside of the bathroom. I wanted to pick some up and see what it did after hearing so many people rage about it. The fact is that it's too good. If I put a healthy dose on, my roommates would know as soon as I walked out of the bathroom. Nobody grows a thick head of hair like that in 5 minutes. I will admit, though, maybe 20 shakes of Toppik and my hair looks thicker than it has ever been in my life. Maybe, if I was alone out-of-town where nobody knew me and I wanted to go rock out for one night, I'd Toppik up and just go nuts, have that rockstar night I always dreamed of - but I definitely don't want to be known around work, school, and friends as someone who actively works to conceal his hair loss. The goal of my treatment plan is to improve my hair loss, not to conceal it. I've also bought Dermmatch and Couvre, to darken in the bald spot in the back so at least it's not as noticeable when I go out to clubs and parties where it's typically pretty dark but my bald spot sticks out like a homing beacon (I've seen it in photogs' pictures and youtube videos and stuff - it hurts). But that too I haven't worn out of the bathroom, but here moreso because I can't get it to look natural. We have really hard water here which allegedly makes it less effective, so I'm going to try to do a better job with distilled water and give it ample time to dry, but I still don't think I'd be comfortable using either of these around friends. I'm not a magician so they'd probably think twice about the disappearing bald spot trick, and I never talk about hair loss or make a big deal about it around family or friends and don't want to start now.

    I did want to do a post about the concealers though, with styled before and after pictures. Since I've already bought the big ones I'll take a chance to do that in the near future, I'll just need to find the time alone so I can wash, dry, apply, rinse, and repeat. What I can say so far is that Toppik is absolutely amazing at giving density and volume, although there still appear to be some hairline issues which may be able to be improved upon with the hairline-maker comb and spray applicator, more on this to come. Couvre goes on smoothly but seemed to dry cakey in my initial trials, and Dermmatch needs to be kind-of rubbed in relative to Couvre and it seems hard to color evenly across the scalp. I haven't done enough practice and trials to pass judgment on these guys yet, though, so stay tuned for a detailed review of the popular concealers.

    Finally, I totally agree with the shorter length looking better with hair like this. The pictures in my posts have all shown hair on the longer end of the haircut cycle. I'd like to buzz it a little closer but am being overly conservative right now for professional reasons. I've noted before I'm on the market for professor jobs in economics with a newly minted doctorate and no publication history, so I'd rather take a conservative route until I secure a job offer. It is clear there is no penalty for proudly wearing a bald spot and receding hairline, and my professional goals are paramount to my vanity goals at the moment so I'm not going to try anything out-of-the-box just yet. And yes, buzzing your head is waaay out-of-the-box among econ professors. Another concern with buzzing the front is that I'm not confident that anything on the temples would even grow back. I have nightmares about trying out a buzz and growing back an NW6. It sounds silly but I do like even the little bit of hair I still have around there...this has all happened so fast, I'm just not ready for NW6 yet. A year ago I was a budding college graduate ready to take on the world; now post-realization I sometimes think I need to just get it over with and get my permanent one bedroom apartment and wait for social security to kick in. But your point about the length is well taken Captain, I'm going to urge my guy to go as short as he can in the back and around the bald spot while still maintaining a scholarly look.

    Thanks for the great comments. My apologies for the long-winded reply but storing text online is cheap while the benefits of better information for others can be great, so I'm happy to spend time adding some color around the black-and-white "use niz, fin, and minox and wait". Thanks again!
    Sorry for what was probably a long answer to an easy question.

    27 year old NW6 turned NW3v/4 in Scottsdale, AZ
    My regimen: See button to the left
    My story/pics: Here
    *Send a PM if you want a direct reply

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