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Incredible shed after good gains at 2 years (big 3)

Discussion in 'Shedding Shedding Shedding' started by the_good_fight, May 31, 2013.

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  1. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    Hey everyone, just wanted to share my current experience with shedding/loss after being on the big three for 2 years.

    I've never written here, just been a reader and have really been helped by the support provided. Would appreciate some more support here, going through a very aggressive shed (at least I hope it's a shed!) and it's been devastating.

    I'll post separately about my story, but here's a quick run down:

    Currently 33. Started treating at 31 (watched it slowly go for a decade, wish I acted sooner!) Was a NW2-3 at the time of treatment. Noticeable loss in temples, some diffuse loss, beginning loss in crown. Had very good success on big three up to 18-19 months. I did discontinue rogaine for a short period, then noticed it was definitely helping b/c I had some loss, but nothing drastic. So continued on with it 1x per day.

    My Regimen for the past year or so:
    1mg/1.25mg finasteride (every other day)
    2% nizoral daily wash
    5% Rogaine foam (1x daily) - I started with 2x for the first 8 months or so, but sometimes would miss the 2nd one, so I just committed to 1x per day to be consistent

    I would say I retuned to where I was at about 26 yrs old at the height of the treatment's effectiveness- so some modest re-growth with strengthening/thickening of existing hairs. It appeared it had halted the progression of male pattern baldness, and I had some regrowth. I have thinner/finer hair, but doctor exam showed above average hair counts on sides and back. I'm a good candidate for transplant at some point w/ SMP (scalp micro-pigmentation) if I wanted to.

    Shedding previously didn't seem to be too severe, if it was happening I was seeing gains anyways, and the baseline of hair appearance at the time was worse than the peak of where I was a few months ago, so it's potentially just far more noticeable now and I did indeed have an early shed.

    Today

    I'm now at about the 6 week mark of the most significant shed, ever. I have all over loss on top, and my hairline in particular has been drastically hit. It's to the point where I would say I'm back to baseline, possibly a little worse. May 11th was my 2 year mark, and it started about 3 weeks before it.

    I have pictures from a vacation I took in the Dominican in March, and it's unbelievable how much I've lost since then. I feel like if I didn't use concealers to go out, people would easily remark that I'm losing my hair. I used to be able to not use them if I wanted when it looked its best.

    The only difference now from baseline is that I have concealers (which I never used before treatment), so I can cosmetically hide some of the loss, but not for much longer if the shed continues. I've been grappling with what happened- it feels like the Finasteride just stopped working. I checked expiry dates— all good.

    I'm thinking that it may have been when I switched to 1.25mg/daily for awhile b/c I didn't have time to refill my 1mg prescription. Could have possibly shook things up and caused the shed. It also could be that it's at 2yrs, and I've got a synchronized shed happening. Could be a confluence of these factors.

    Regardless, it's really rough.

    I'm hanging in there though, making sure I stick to the regimen tightly and do my best to wait it out. At this point I feel like the summer is going to feel long and that the best I can hope for is some recovery by Christmas. If anyone has had this kind of event at or after 2 years and seen recovery I'd love to know- would really give me some strength right now.

    Fighting the good fight ;)

    ----

    Additional thoughts: the hair remaining definitely feels stronger than when I was baseline. When I was baseline most of my hair was being attacked by DHT, and was thinner. So I take that as a positive. Though the hairs falling out (100-200 a day) are a mix of thicker and miniaturized.
     
  2. azuri

    azuri Established Member

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    Have u added any intensive exercise (weight training) into you lifestyle lately? This can trigger some shedding, especially if you are adapting high intensity cardio to lose weight at a rapid rate. In my case i decided to boost my weight training and cardio, including some fat melting supplements, stop finasteride (big mistake), this approach certainly made me shed more than ever and ive have been on the big 3 for years now (your age and trying to maintain a nw2ish). After 6 months now back on finasteride, using minoxidil religiously 2 x day, im finally seeing some results (i think).

    Does male pattern baldness run in your family?

    I would stick it out with the big 3 as sheds, as life shattering as the may seem, do pass after a while and expect some post regrowth. The big 3 is the only proven approach as we speak. Its very unlikely that you will lose a significant amount of hair whilst on the big 3. Stick it out.
     
  3. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    Thanks ;) no really big change in exercise, been going to the gym 2-3/wk for over a year w/o issue. No intensive training, just general fitness.

    Yes, male pattern baldness runs in my family on both sides. It's fairly aggressive on my mother's side, and it's that version I'm fighting (my dads side is vertex pattern).

    Day after day here I continue to experience the shedding. Getting close to shaving it all with a #1/2 soon.

    Continuing With the regimen, I'll continue it for at least another year before I can determine if it can continue working for me.

    Just going to be a tough summer.

    Getting married next August, would love to have a little hair in those photos ;)
     
  4. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    Update!
    Just wanted to post an update— another 2 weeks of shedding, though it now appears to be slowing. Being VERY consistent about meds (1mg finasteride in the morning before 10a, Rogaine 2x daily 12 hours apart, shampooing with only nizoral, no hair products).

    At this point I'm fairly certainly I've got 4-6 months before I'll see any visual improvement in my hair and its density. Trying not to be too pessimistic or optimistic, but most of the shed hairs I could find are NOT miniaturized, they were regular ol' club hairs.

    I'm definitely below baseline now, however the hairs remaining appear to be the hairs I had when I started— as if the thicker hairs I've just lost were the ones I grew in the 2 years of treatment.

    Additionally, the pattern balding I have is showing more now than ever, but the shed is all over the top of my head (no loss on sides or back). It looks like it's just more 'exposed' due to the diffuse shed.

    I have to say though I was shocked, and I'm still a bit terrified, it's going to be very interesting to see what happens with continued meds over the next 6-12 months. I'm really curious to see if this is temporary or the male pattern baldness is just winning and I have fairly aggressive male pattern baldness that's picking back up after being suppressed for 2 years.

    I'm going to wait and see what happens shed wise, but I'll post pics here for ppl to show what's happened.
     
  5. armin

    armin New Member

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    I have experienced the same thing. after using minoxidil with success. suddenly I lost all I had got. I don't really know the reason. but I think minoxidil loses it's effectiveness after a period of time. I would be glad if any one with the same experience share his or her story.
     
  6. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    Just wanted to chime in and let everyone know that at almost 5 months, I'm noticing a little regrowth, but nothing significant. Looks like it's going to take at least a full year if it's going to all come back the way it was when I had the shed.

    In my experience, just stay with the medications, in the same manner as they worked for you previously. It's really a game of patience, hair growth is slow and it's frustrating. But stick with it. Really, it's all you can do.
     
  7. yort

    yort New Member

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    Did you say that you switched your medication and that's when your hair began to fall out? What have you been taking, brand name Propecia? Please elaborate.- - - Updated - - -
     
  8. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    I had been integrating 5mg finasteride after taking generic finasteride for 1 yr, and brand name for 1 yr— the switch from brand name to generic 1mg did not cause a shed.

    I'm slowly recovering now, would say about 70% of what was lost has come back, but it seems to be a bit thinner and definitely volume is down over pre-shed.

    I know its anecdotal and completely based on observation, but I know my hair and my fiancee agreed completely when the shed happened that it was significant.
     
  9. jasperhobbs

    jasperhobbs Member

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    The same thing happened to me after being on finasteride 1.25 over 10 years and keeping the hair I have. Major shedding that has finally stopped but significant diffuse hair loss all over my head that I hope grows back. I have added minoxidil 5% foam along with dermarolling to hopefully accelerate regrowth.

    I a 52 years old with a family history of hair loss. No change in lifestyle or anything stressful to trigger the shed. I had thyroid checked and no problem there. wondering if it is telogen effluvium.

    Jasper
     
  10. the_good_fight

    the_good_fight New Member

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    I think the medications cause periodic effluvium, though some report better gains recovering afterwards (6-12 months) while others say they didn't gain anything back. It feels like my hair cycles are lined up, with waves of hair moving into telogen at the same time.

    I'm certain I've lost hair around the hairline in the temples (NW3) but some of it was already miniaturized when I started treatment, so I may just have finally lost it).

    In general the shedding stopped and I've held on to much of the original hair. I'd say overall thickness and density is down after peaking at 2yrs, but I have recovered somewhat.

    Concealers and thickening hair products go a long way to making up for it thankfully.

    I'm hoping with a dedicated regimen and more time I'll see some more gradual improvement. But I'm happy to just keep fighting- I'm pretty sure if I stopped everything tomorrow within 18 months I'd be a NW5.

    Bottom line: the medications work. They're the only thing you can do, and you have to focus on being happy with the results, no matter what they are, because you can be certain that you'd be looking much worse not being on them.
     
  11. zzzzz

    zzzzz Senior Member

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    try dutasteride or adding a small amount of RU to supplement the finasteride if you are not satisfied with results
     
  12. Hair-loss Obsessor

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    @the_good_fight

    Any updates after these years? I have almost the exact same scenario that just started for me. Last month I had great now, now wild shedding. Wondering if it will stop or come back. The wondering what comes next is the worst
     
  13. Scoobysnack

    Scoobysnack Established Member My Regimen

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    Would recommend switching from topical or oral min, even if its low dose oral. My hair doctor explained that the way oral min is metabolised it gives a boost to your oral finasteride and vice versa. They have an extra synergetic effect that only happens when both are taken orally.

    You can check with others here, most will agree that oral min is more effect than topical min and if you're also taking oral finasteride, then even more so.

    Switch to oral min asap, start low 2.5mg and go from there.
     
  14. Hair-loss Obsessor

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    Thanks for the advice. The Doctor wasn’t too interested in prescribing it. Getting a new GP this year with an insurance switch, so maybe a different answer. Still shedding, but it seems to be slowing a bit
     
    Scoobysnack likes this.

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