I just want to put this out there, my hair just keeps growing and growing. I'm getting actual compliments from family members that had no idea about my treatments and my friend even accused me of taking Rogaine even though I'm not. I've been pessimistic the majority of my hairloss journey but the amount I've regrown thus far is simply short of amazing. I literally looked in the mirror and cried with joy from how much I've regrown. I was initially told balding was inevitable and to just shave it and that not having a choice completely crushed me for many years. It means so damn much to me that I was able to accomplish this despite people telling me it was impossible. I'd say currently about a 20% density increase and I'd be completely happy with my hair if I was able to maintain that but it looks like I'm going to grow far more than just that. Also based on my vellus hairs I asked a few people what Norwood level it looks like I'll end up and they said NW2 which is absolutely crazy coming from a NW4.5 with poor density. I am beyond happy with my results and regime so far and I plan to continue it for life. That said hair is preoccupying less and less of my mind and I'm slowly losing interest in HairlossTalk and Tressless, I'm starting to instead focus on improving other aspects of myself which is a better investment of time than anything hair loss related. I've become increasingly lazy with my regrowth updates over time and I barely have the motivation anymore. I'll still post some updates but don't expect it to be anything like my first hairline album where you can literally see the new hairs slowly grow, that took me an entire night of comparing images and getting the right angle to put together. Edit, I ended up adding finasteride anyways to help promote regrowth and ensure maintenance, I've split the post into two parts so you can see my levels of regrowth from my all natural approach. Picture Albums: Pre finasteride Overall - https://imgur.com/a/sbORLf9 Hairline - https://imgur.com/a/AARrnqD Crown - https://imgur.com/a/2bEfC1g September Update Hairline - https://imgur.com/a/4yivctR Overall - https://imgur.com/a/dTupbe2 Post finasteride November https://imgur.com/a/JnpXHEI December Overall - https://imgur.com/a/2RHl4NE Hairline - https://imgur.com/a/mR54MlN New Years https://imgur.com/a/1YdPQWV January https://imgur.com/a/1Rrk27A Regime - Derma Roller 1.5mm - weekly, Also worth noting that stamps are more effective and clearly better, the only reason I'm using a roller is because I couldn't find any quality stamps in Australia. I'm using a Dr. Roller Finasteride 1.25mg - Daily Nizoral - weekly Zinc Pyrithione - daily (It's an anti-dandruff shampoo ingredient, stop asking) Scalp Massage - daily (I try to aim for 5 minutes daily, I expanded on scalp massages in this thread) The massages are based on Rob at Perfect Hair Health Fish Oil - Taken casually, used to be daily Added Dermapen 5th of December Order of perceived effectiveness 1. Microneedling 2. Finasteride 3. Scalp Massages 4. Zinc Pyrithione/Ketoconazole 5. Everything else Effects Derma Rolling 0.5mm was initially ineffective, no results aside from making my skin flake off with dandruff, after stepping up to a 1.5mm I've been seeing results within the week Nizoral I started using this on July 10th alongside 1.5mm rolling after a moderate shed, I stopped scalp massages and Zinc Pyrithione for 6 days and my dermatitis and scalp itch came back fast, I was sitting in the shower putting all my shedded hair aside, there was about 1/5 of a fringe there. I decided to try this to help bounce back. No perceived effects although it's hard to isolate it from the derma rolling, it definitely dries out my scalp and makes my hair frizzy, a Japanese study found daily ketoconazole use to be equivalent to 2% minoxidil. (I can't find it right now though) Zinc Pyrithione The first thing I added to my regime, It got rid of about 80% of my dermatitis. This appeared to have extremely minor effects on hair density, maybe a 5%-10% increase. It just appeared to mainly slow down the shedding.There is a study that has shown Zinc Pyrithione to improve hair growth. Scalp Massages stopped my scalp itch and made my hair dramatically less greasy. It also gave my hair more life and I think improved overall follicle health improving all my existing hair but it did literally nothing for my hairline. I started consistent daily scalp massages around the end of May. (I recently expanded on the scalp massages in this thread here, since it was too big for this post.) Scalp Exercise no perceived benefit although it's incredibly easy to do and I can imagine it'd promote blood flow. It's also possible it could release tension caused by muscles near the scalp which attributes to scalp tension. Dropped treatments: Lipogaine The Big 5 - Weekly (Added September 4th) Scalp Exercise - Based on Tom Hagerty (WARNING! Improper technique of scalp exercises will cause rather bad forehead wrinkles) no perceived benefit but I sometimes do it still although rarely in the case there is actual benefit. DRS 2mm Derma stamp 140 needle Added 1st of November (it was garbage) Random treatments I've tried throughout: Sunflower Oil, lemon juice, miconazole, white vinegar, sunlight exposure, eggs, vegetable oil, inversion method Exact Products I bought - Dr. Roller 192 Needle 1.5mm $20 Dr. Pen M5 + 12 needle cartridges $50 Oraganic Care Anti Dandruff Shampoo - $3 Nizoral 2% $35 Finasta 5mg $50 (lasts 4 months quartered) Wasted money - DRS Dermastamp 2mm 140 needle -$20 Lipogaine The Big 5 -$50 Genetic Factors with me There is a link between balding and acne which I had a lot of in my teens along with incredibly greasy hair and skin. I likely have higher estrogen levels, I have a rather feminine complexion and minor man boobs and other feminine qualities. I also have little qualities indicative of high testosterone and supposedly the ratio of T to E being imbalanced can play a part in balding. I have a lot of body hair which indicates high levels of DHT, you'd expect this to be opposite if I had high estrogen levels but it's the other way around and supposedly you want to reduce estrogen levels. I forget the explanation but I'll try link an article if I get time. I started balding at puberty which is when I was around 12 years old. There is a strong genetic factor for balding in my family, my younger brother is already a NW2 and my sister has a fairly bad receding hairline although her one is filled in with small light hairs as opposed to completely bald. Commonly asked questions - Adding soon -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jumping on finasteride starting September 20th, I've seen good results from an all natural approach so far and I'll definitely be sticking to the rest of my regime in conjunction with finasteride. I've seen good regrowth within my time frame with the most part of it being in only 3 months but this is still a long time and I'm coming back from being a NW4, at my current rate it will take years to regrow my hair and I understand as I get older my balding rate will only accelerate. I need all the help I can get as I'm wasting my youth and the sooner a full recovery the better. I've also been growing even more body hair despite basically being a gorilla on the parts of my body with hair. I have a thick patch of long blonde hairs on my shoulder with some having pigmentation that looked exactly like my regrowth area, there are already a few big dark terminal hairs that look like pubes on my shoulder that I consistently pluck but I'd never have the time to pluck this many. Funnily it was actually this that made me instantly pull the trigger on finasteride as opposed to hairloss. Hair on the front is okay but as soon as it goes onto the shoulders and down the back it's a no from me. I'm extremely close to having a satisfactory head of hair, it's thick enough to cover all my scalp and the fringe is thick enough to not show my shitty hairline in most conditions. If my hair got slightly thicker even retaining what I've regrown would be enough for me but I'm expecting to regrow much more. All of those little blonde hairs I've grown out on my hairline using my current regime will quite likely go terminal jumping over to finasteride I feel. I won't be using minoxidil since it's overly priced and not that effective, it also comes with numerous other issues. Based on my research finasteride isn't all that harmful and the side effects are fairly minimal compared to other drugs for various conditions unrelated to hairloss, basically every single drug I looked at had some form of side effect that was usually more of a problem than any potential ones from finasteride. A majority of the side effects experienced on finasteride have also been found to be placebo. There is no alternative to using finasteride and the reason is that the side effects from finasteride don't come directly from finasteride itself, it comes from inhibiting the production of DHT so any natural oral alternative will have the same side effects experienced as finasteride if any. The only reason people experience less or no sides with oral alternatives is that it's just simply less effective at inhibiting DHT so the side effects are less likely. There are 3 main ways you can get around using finasteride if it's not for you though. Increase blood flow to the follicles to promote hair growth that outpaces your balding rate Decrease chronic scalp tension to reduce DHT's inflammatory response which leads to balding Use various topicals that have been shown to decrease scalp DHT (essential oils, formulated shampoos and Morr-F) There are various ways you can tackle these things but it's a bigger topic and I don't feel like expanding on it right now, these options are obviously less effective than finasteride but shows there are at least other ways to combat DHT aside from oral finasteride. StudiesJust a new section I made to keep track of studies for personal recollection. Molecular Characterization of Microneedling Therapy. Microneedling causes - A downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines Upregulation of the known chemokine eotaxin (CCL11). CCL11 regulates cell activation and contributes to angiogenesis Angiogenesis which is the formation of blood vessels is likely what's actually regrowing hair when microneedling. Scalp Blood Flow In Balding Men "The difference was statistically significant (p much less than 0.001). A reduced nutritive blood flow to the hair follicles might be a significant event in the pathogenesis of early male pattern baldness." Fibrosis In Balding Scalps Fibrosis was found in the scalps of balding men, this directly inhibits blood flow. Involvement of Mechanical Stress in Androgenetic Alopecia Mechanical stress caused by the chronic scalp tension due to factors like head shape play a part in the balding process with DHT being used as an inflammatory response which leads to the build up of fibrotic tissue in the balding areas. "Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these treatments would be limited to hair loss prevention and regrowth of follicles without advanced perifollicular fibrosis. The Androgenetic Alopecia pathological process ends by the complete destruction of some affected follicles, but most of them remain as vellus-like hair, so a large recovery is possible in theory. However, these therapies would face one of the biggest challenges of medicine today: Reversing a fibrotic process." It's quite unlikely you're able to regrow hair in a completely bald area although if you're able to get longer vellus like hair in that area chances are you will have a great recovery. It could be also possible that anginogenesis is able to achieve these vellus like hairs. Microneedling alone was found to be more effective Minoxidil alone Regrowth 24weeks: Minoxidil only 18.8/cm2 Microneedling 23.4/cm2 Microneedling + Min 38.3/cm2 Hair regrowth noted at only 1 week This reflects my experience as I typically noted new hairs forming by around 8 days, I had always thought I just grew hair faster than most people here but supposedly it's normal. Initiation of new hair growth was noticeable by around 6 weeks in Microneedling group and by 10 weeks in Minoxidil group. Rapid growth in the existing hair was seen at week 1 in the Microneedling group than Minoxidil group Immediate Massage Stimulates Muscle Regeneration Angiogenesis and Decreases Fibrosis After Muscle Injury Hair count results show a modest and sustained improvement in hair growth with daily use of a 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo over a 26-week treatment period.