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1 Year On Finasteride (0,5mg, No Photos)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Matt3535, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Matt3535

    Matt3535 Established Member My Regimen

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    I thought I would mark off my first year of hopefully many more on finasteride with a thread explaining where I was coming from and how I experienced this first year.

    First off, some short Q&A for the tl;dr crowd.

    Did it work?
    - Yes.
    Regrowth or maintaining?
    - Both, but hairline is mostly stuck were it was. Lots of regrowth everywhere else. Thickening!
    Side effects?
    - Not really.
    Will I continue?
    - Absolutely.
    Would I recommend it?
    - A resounding yes.

    First off, I don't want to provide photos as I highly value privacy. It's about that but also because channels like that motherfucker hairliciously on YouTube steal photos all the time and I would it for my pictures to be locked away on some guy's computer or in a video for all eternity. So you just have to trust me.

    Where did I come from? I first noticed balding stepping out of the shower in 2012 where I thought my hairline looked a bit higher in one corner. Didn't think much of it but looking bad now that is when my perfect juvenile hairline was slightly moving upwards. I was 24 back then. I'm very lucky that my male pattern baldness is slow and not aggressive. 2012 was 4 years after starting with testosterone supplements, as my body doesn't produce enough on its own. So I think maybe it might have been more aggressive or starting earlier without that. I can't say. Family history is pretty wonky. My paternal grandad ended up being a NW6 in the end, my maternal grandad still has most of his (NW2,5 tops, full thickness) at 80. My dad has been receding slowly as well since maybe 35-40 and is only now starting to thin in his mid 60s.

    So where was I last April? I have an asymmetrical recession. Left side is almost a NW1,5 I would say. Right side is NW2 going on a 2,5-3. I still have a very low hairline overall, no noticeable REAL thinning. I had a cowlick on the back of my head for all eternity. Looking back at old photos, it's always been there, even as a child. I shouldn't worry about it too much. I was fully aware that my recession was becoming worse in 2015, from then on the worrying started. It became a real mental torment, hanging between "I'm lucky it's only starting now and it's not so bad" and "It's only downhill from here, every single day for the rest of my life it will be worse." I started constantly traversing forums, youtube videos and tressless. I would say that I am overall really educated on the topic and I mostly want to thank Joe Tillman and Spencer Kobren for their great work.

    Eventually, each year got worse. I got bangs, kind of a better/shorter "Justin Bieber" cut that works for me. Covering up the recession made it easier to kind of ignore the problem in a way. But I was always aware, I saw other people covering up their recession as well and it looked desperate. The recession itself wasn't too bad but I started noticing thinning behind the hairline in the front in a typical NW3-4 pattern. (Great way to check this is combing your wet hair back, turning around in front a mirror, using a hand mirror to look at the top of your head that way). There was a guy doing a fringe at uni where it looked like the hairs came from the back of his head and the fringe itself was super thin. I would never want to get that far.

    So I got finasteride. I weighed the risks but ultimately it came down to this for me: There is only one real solution and it's real job is maintaining what you have. The fact that I am searching for solutions, going on forums, the fact that you are reading this now, means that hair is very important to me. I would never be the guy who could pull off the bald look and I never would want to. It just doesn't fit my overall aesthetics and vibe, way of life, etc. So I knew that I would eventually do something about it. Maybe a transplant 10 years down the line, maybe finasteride at NW4 when it's too late.

    I started last year and I've been taking photos quite meticulously. There isn't much progress on the hairline unfortunately but I started seeing noticeably thicker hair in September, so right around the 5-6 month mark. It's been super thick ever since then. The hairline itself became stronger but never moved. I am maintaining it. With the hair behind it being thicker, I can pull it back and put gel it and so on, style it differently. I've been using toppik and dermmatch for years and it works wonders.

    So I am happy. It's just that once you have this kind of success, it's a bit dumb because just moving my hairline on one side down ... maybe half a centimeter, evening it out, less of an angle there to the temple... would make a huge difference. I really started the last possbile point where no one would ever consider me balding if I maintain what I have. Even Norwood spotters would probably be angry at me writing this long of a text considering I am pretty much good. Which I admit, yes, I am. But it's because I started taking action and acted in my best interest. I lost significant ground from September 18 to April 19.

    Just a few months and the change was more aggressive and noticeable. It can happen quickly even if you've always had slow progression. It's what got me scared and it's why I started. I am now in a dumb position. Just a few hundred grafts could give me a perfect hairline. But once you're cut, you're cut. And during quarantine, I started experimenting with the hair, styling it differently, exposing the hairline. A bit of recession or angled temples in your 30s is kind of expected from a man. It looks natura and thick, albeit a 1-2 centimeters of recession. Probably a "mature hairline" like DiCaprio. I am happy with that!

    So... side effects! They were psychological mostly. I had this feeling of pressure just above my bladder. Constant, mild pressure. It just kind of disappeared after a while. I had it checked out, would never recommend this to anyone! It was all good. No problems getting an erection either. Never have had that problem so far. I would say maintaining it has become more of an "active thought process," so I kind of notice it more I guess when jerking off and stopping for a minute. I think this happened before too but you would never give much thought to it then. I did get less morning wood at first. Laying on my stomach would often also produce erections. That happened less often but I have seen it more and more these past months. I also still get random erections. I am 33 now, so I think this is still great considering I am overweight (pudgy, I guess) and don't work out much. It's a great starting point to work on if I ever had problems. No problems in my sex life either with my gf. So, no, it's not "all" in your head, I do get a bit less c*m, but most of it is definitely in your head. I think my gyno, which I already had since puberty and always planned on getting removed (so no problem here for me), has a bit grown I think. But I also gained weight, as I said, so I am not really sure. If it has, the growth was indeed minimal.

    The only real way is to try it out yourself. We all know that it works. It can work for you too. But you can only find out by trying it yourself. If you've been reading up to this point, it's clear that you care about this topic. There's no harm in trying it. Take your pill, focus on your life, enjoy your hair.
     
  2. baba_yaga

    baba_yaga Experienced Member My Regimen

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    You lost significant hair on finasteride?

    Great thread. Hope you keep us updated in the long term.
     
  3. Matt3535

    Matt3535 Established Member My Regimen

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    No, sorry, let me clarify. My loss was and still is slow, I just saw it become more aggressive (in context) from September 18 - April 19 (when I started taking finasteride). I basically had to start finasteride or lose real ground.


    Also, I forgot to talk about the most positive aspects:

    1) I stopped thinking about hairloss. Well, not really, I have accepted it as a part of my life and I am still active on this board, but less so. Still, I think everyone gets when I say that. I stopped thinking about it CONSTANTLY. I don't look into every mirror anymore, don't check my reflection in windows. And I'm not in super despair over it, nor am I constantly checking forums to see if a new miracle drug has entered a new stage or whatever. Even if I check my temples in the mirror, I am less anxious and depressed about it. I know I am doing all I can in a reasonable context. So mental health wise, this was perhaps the most positive aspect of them all.

    2) Shedding! I never had one of those initial sheds, but I am still shedding hair. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Even depends on if I take the pill before or after showering sometimes. I dunno... it's just an observation. However, the hairs that I am shedding have changed dramatically. I am now shedding long, straight, thick and brown hairs. Like, just healthy hairs that fall off. I used to shed the wispy, thin, scraggly hairs that look like screws. So that is great news that it's working.

    3) Which of course leads me to my overall hair quality! Even if I had just maintained, finasteride is a great drug for your hair health overall. I used to try everything under the sun (not at the same time, not overly so, I'm not dumb) to help improve my hair quality. Ultimately, in my opinion, nothing matters more than hormones. Sure, if I shampoo my hair, it looks different, and using some products can indeed make it look better. But I still ended up always having this dry, wispy hair that was becoming more and more thin. When I put my hand on top of my head, and pressed downwards, I could feel it being a) more thin than on the sides and b) parting into 3 streaks of hair, like roads almost. Hard to describe. A clear sign that it was becoming thinner.
    All of this has stopped. My hair is now healthy, growing, no wispy scraggly offshoots, just straight, normal, thick hairs. That is by far the best outcome.
     
  4. baba_yaga

    baba_yaga Experienced Member My Regimen

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    I would say the same to me, I no longer constantly think about hair loss. And now being on finasteride, those depressive thoughts occur even less often. Mental health is crucial.
    I definitely relate to the way hair behave when parting it. Also it lays flat on my head.

    Anyways, happy it worked out great for you. Enjoy your locks.
     
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  5. Matt3535

    Matt3535 Established Member My Regimen

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    Thanks, I appreciate it. Best of luck on your journey as well.
     
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  6. Matt3535

    Matt3535 Established Member My Regimen

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    Small update

    I am now closing in on 15 months using 0.5 generic finasteride. Still no side effects and will continue to use it. No huge growth though either.

    I am not super happy about my hair though at the moment. Not sure if I am experiencing a shed but I am growing a bit anxious. Nothing major though, but when I comb my hair, it's maybe 20 individual hairs. If I use my hand, I always have like 1 or 2 hairs between my fingers. Maybe this is in accordance with starting finasteride 12 months, my thinking here is that hair grows for 6 months and so.

    Honestly, I am probably just noticing it more since I am growing my hair out at the moment. Last haircut was almost half a year ago and the hairs that I am losing are normal, have the right color and are "thick" (relatively speaking though,I have thin/soft hair to begin with). So no wispy, unhealthy hairloss. And, well, it's long hair by now, 6 to 7 inches depending on where you measure. I am noticing that growing your hair out with my type of hair and hair thinning overall is a big complicated. People say I got a huge head of hair now, like a huge poof of hair if I comb it but when I do a part in the middle, the strands tend to get very thin in the front.

    Anyway, this is just perfectionism. I am sure that if I cut my hair down again, it will look great. I am glad with my decision to take finasteride and will continue to do so. Just wanted to update my journey here.
     
  7. Matt3535

    Matt3535 Established Member My Regimen

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    Update on the update

    I am losing crazy amounts of hair. I usually shampoo my hair every day or so and I keep losing ~100+ hairs easy. It's probably more and that's just showering. Maybe I am overestimating the amount, since I am not counting them and they're longer than usual (haven't had them cut since February), but it seems dramatic. Yet I am not noticing any thinning, recession or overall change in my hair. I took photos and compared them to last July, no change. Individual "benchmark" hairs in the front are still there, and I am seeing an overall small growth on the hairline, still above baseline.

    So bottom line: Possibly all psychological stuff. No change, no regret. Going to to continue takin 0,5 daily.
     

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