Two weeks ago, I reached my ten-year point on using finasteride. I thought I would drop by and give an update, since I havenâ€™t visited these Forums in probably about six years. (In fact, itâ€™s been so long that I canâ€™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 â€“ hence this being listed as my â€œfirstâ€ 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 Iâ€™d lost, but the prospect of it continuing and leaving me with a bald patch within a couple years. â€œIâ€™m so young,â€ I thought. Itâ€™s hard for me to put myself back into that time period, and the amount of obsessive internet searching I would do â€“ 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 donâ€™t think the pre-2003 HairLossTalk.com Forum archives even exist online anymore!). And, back in the days when â€œKevin,â€ who Iâ€™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 didnâ€™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 Iâ€™ve ever used. I just donâ€™t have the discipline for a topical treatment, but Iâ€™ve been religious about taking my pill every day. My results? Iâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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. Thatâ€™s about where I was a year into treatment, or nine years ago. I would have been thrilled if Iâ€™d know when I started that Iâ€™d be in this situation today. So overall Iâ€™m quite satisfied with my ten years of finasteride. Iâ€™d stop to be relieved and grateful more often, too, but the fact is that I donâ€™t even think about hair loss that much anymore â€“ 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 itâ€™s more like a couple times a month rather than a couple times an hour. And now, since Iâ€™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 Iâ€™d like to convey with my success story isnâ€™t that finasteride will work wonders for everyone (Iâ€™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 â€“ at least when I hung around here â€“ and yet things that I often doubted in my early treatment phase. First, that people who actually do achieve successful maintenance with these treatments donâ€™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; theyâ€™re not thinking about this stuff that much any more. So the â€œsuccess stories,â€ much as they used to inspire me, miss a big part of the sample: the long-term â€œmaintainers.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 thereâ€™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 â€“ taking one pill every day, something with clinical trials to back it up â€“ and let things play out from there. Iâ€™m lucky to have had the near-total maintenance Iâ€™ve had. I wish everyone else the same luck. Iâ€™ll try to stop back every â€œanniversaryâ€ of my treatment start-date, to give an update.