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Ten-year update

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by ropcat, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. ropcat

    ropcat Established Member

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    Two weeks ago, I reached my ten-year point on using finasteride. I thought I would drop by and give an update, since I haven’t visited these Forums in probably about six years. (In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t retrieve my forgotten password for my old posting ID because my Hotmail address linked to the account also expired from non-use years ago – hence this being listed as my “firstâ€￾ post, although I was always more of a lurker here than a super-frequent poster.)

    It was in 2000, when I was 21, that I first noticed my thinning, mostly at the vertex, and it drove me absolutely crazy. Not so much the amount I’d lost, but the prospect of it continuing and leaving me with a bald patch within a couple years. “I’m so young,â€￾ I thought. It’s hard for me to put myself back into that time period, and the amount of obsessive internet searching I would do – mostly on sites devoted to scams. I did discover this site in its very early phases, back when everyone could post without a password (I don’t think the pre-2003 HairLossTalk.com Forum archives even exist online anymore!). And, back in the days when “Kevin,â€￾ who I’m guessing is the same guy who still runs the site, would actually personally (and very generously) answer ignorant hair-loss emails from random people he didn’t even know, like me.

    Anyway, I learned here about finasteride. I also learned how to keep my costs low by quartering the Proscar 5mg tabs, way back before finasteride went generic. And I went through numerous crises of faith during pretty substantial cyclical shedding during the first, say, fourteen months or so. The shedding and general sense of accelerating thinning caused me to try adding topical spironolactone, which I quickly dropped because it was still only available as an extraordinarily smelly liquid. Other than couple ill-fated months with the spironolactone, finasteride is all I’ve ever used. I just don’t have the discipline for a topical treatment, but I’ve been religious about taking my pill every day.

    My results? I’ve held pretty steady for a solid decade now. Yes, I guess I do have a little bit less hair than when I started. The front hairline has gone back a bit, in the classic temples-first pattern. But not in a way that is very noticeable. The vertex is probably slightly thinner, although thicker than during some of the first-year shedding periods. Overall, I have a decent head of hair still. You wouldn’t know I had lost anything at all unless I pulled my hair sharply back in front, or unless the vertex was under a very bright light. That’s about where I was a year into treatment, or nine years ago. I would have been thrilled if I’d know when I started that I’d be in this situation today.

    So overall I’m quite satisfied with my ten years of finasteride. I’d stop to be relieved and grateful more often, too, but the fact is that I don’t even think about hair loss that much anymore – so I usually forget to be grateful and relieved. Sure, I pull and poke and wonder how long things will stay okay, how long until the thinning revs up again. But it’s more like a couple times a month rather than a couple times an hour. And now, since I’m a person with a job rather than the financially challenged college student that I was ten years ago, I know that if/when the time comes, I can try to deal with future loss through transplants.

    The point I’d like to convey with my success story isn’t that finasteride will work wonders for everyone (I’m not trying to write an advertisement for it!). But I do think it illustrates a couple of things that are frequently said on these boards – at least when I hung around here – and yet things that I often doubted in my early treatment phase. First, that people who actually do achieve successful maintenance with these treatments don’t hang around hair-loss discussion boards that much any more. Sure, a few do, in a generous attempt to help others. But most, like me, stop visiting sites like this every day; they’re not thinking about this stuff that much any more. So the “success stories,â€￾ much as they used to inspire me, miss a big part of the sample: the long-term “maintainers.â€￾ Second, something that folks around here used to counsel again and again when I was getting going with finasteride in 2000/2001: patience is important, and there’s no benefit in getting upset, depressed, elated, or anxious with the imagined changes of each passing day. And, finally, just that this stuff does work for some people, even for folks like me who are too undisciplined to adhere to exotic or complex regimens. I did only what I knew I could stick with – taking one pill every day, something with clinical trials to back it up – and let things play out from there.

    I’m lucky to have had the near-total maintenance I’ve had. I wish everyone else the same luck. I’ll try to stop back every “anniversaryâ€￾ of my treatment start-date, to give an update.
     
    Spanishlad likes this.
  2. Goatboxer

    Goatboxer Member

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    It's very interesting to hear from those on treatments long term, glad things have gone well for you and thanks for posting.
     
  3. MrBastard

    MrBastard Experienced Member

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    Started thinning as early as 21 and still manage to hold on for 10 years, good job :) Nice to hear its still hope
     
  4. Cassin

    Cassin Senior Member

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    excellent post!
     
  5. eXVee

    eXVee Established Member

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    Congrats on maintaining for 10 years. You're right about not obsessing too much over this.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. CBF

    CBF Established Member

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    ql man...nice to see this story....
     
  7. leandro

    leandro New Member

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    hi JAY79, did you develop any man boobs? as a side effect?
     
  8. ropcat

    ropcat Established Member

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    Good question -- but nope, none of that. Some minor increased acne over, say, the first month or two as my system adjusted, but otherwise no side effects over my ten years on the medication.
     
  9. frontal

    frontal Established Member

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    Wow!

    10 years?

    I just reached my 1st year.
    Long way to go.
    My frontal still not full yet.

    34 year old here.
     
  10. Odie

    Odie Established Member

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    Well done and thanks for coming back to tell us about your success.

    I have been on finasteride for 2 years now and am happy wih the results in the crown area. My temples are still somewhat receded but I have always had a more V hairline anyway.

    Whereas I used to think about hairloss every day now I think about it a couple of times a month. I don't visit very often anymore either , probably because it's not always on my mind anymore.

    Some day I may move on to minoxidil but for now the finasteride is working for me.
     
  11. reckless

    reckless Established Member

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    Hi Odie, how long was it before you saw regrowth from finasteride?
     
  12. Hoppi

    Hoppi Senior Member

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    Good stuff man :) glad it worked so well for you - thanks for the informative post!
     
  13. vegetablelasagna_

    vegetablelasagna_ New Member

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    21 years old. 6 months in and feeling down about the shed. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks!
     
  14. Spanishlad

    Spanishlad Established Member

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    This thread is an accurate example of what should be expected with finasteride, regrowth is a bonus and maintenance alone is success. Im 8 years in and my experience is very similar..
     
    Kirby likes this.
  15. isishearmyplea

    isishearmyplea Experienced Member

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    can we expect thinned hair to rethicken? i am Norwood 2.5 and reaching 3, you can imagine where my hair is thinner. what do you think?
     
  16. Spanishlad

    Spanishlad Established Member

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    I think to expect some thickening and hair generally looking healthier is realistic, however I am not the best responder and only achieved the desired thickening after including minoxidil in my regimen
     
  17. isishearmyplea

    isishearmyplea Experienced Member

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    kk . . . twice daily or once?? . . thanks spanishlad!!
     
  18. saja2148

    saja2148 Member

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    Bro thanks for coming back and telling us some good news
     
  19. Spanishlad

    Spanishlad Established Member

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    No worries :) I only got thickening and slight regrowth with twice daily application,

    once daily may be ok for just maintenance
     
  20. Koga

    Koga Established Member

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    I'm almost at month 12 on finasteride and I'm still losing a lot :/ Should I add dutasteride/RU/something else or wait a couple of more months? 'Funny thing' is it worked grrrrreat the first 3 or 4 months..
     

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