Have you ever wondered if its really possible to regrow your hair with the currently available treatments? Well here’s some proof that they work when used properly, and consistently.
And this person regrew his hair on Finasteride alone. Don’t believe it? We’ve got the pictures to prove it.
To be completely honest, the entire reason I started this website back in 1999 is because I ran into a couple guys who had regrown significant amounts of hair using a combination of antiandrogens, androgen blockers, and growth stimulants.
In fact, in writing this article I dug back into my archives and found the first two that motivated me to make this site:
This guy was using the kitchen sink approach. Finasteride as his foundation, with Revivogen MD and Tricomin as his “adjunct” products. As with everyone who sees success, he was patient through the sheds, and gave it 24 months. These were his pictures at about the 18 month mark.
But it was Jon Ross that really blew me away. His regimen? Something that would be come to known as “The Big 3”. In fact one might credit Jon Ross for teaching me the ingredients to what HairLossTalk would eventually call “The Big 3”: He used (1) Finasteride 1mg (2) Minoxidil 5% and (3) Nizoral Shampoo. And he gave it a solid 2 years.
Floored would’ve been an understatement. He looked 20 years younger. The very concept that guys who would’ve otherwise gone bald, didn’t have to, seemed revolutionary to me, and sharing that message to the world is why HairLossTalk was created.
Here’s yet another success story.
The pictures I’m going to show you convey his progression from 2 months on finasteride (left picture) to his results at 12 months. The great news is that finasteride typically does not top-out results until the 2-year mark, so the gains Chris has seen in his first year are still quite preliminary. And impressive.
In fact, the majority of the first year on most proven treatments involves a heavy readjustment period that can last months.
There is often a preliminary shed with any legitimate product that tends to begin at the 2 month mark, and can last up to 6 months or more. When you’re using antiandrogen treatments, an additional readjustment period for hormone levels also comes into play.
Hair cycles last months. This is why the process of losing hair takes years.
Accordingly, regrowing hair takes a long time, as each new crop of hairs cycles into growth phase, free of the previous androgen affliction.
Most people bail on treatments long before they’ve had a chance to truly work. I personally did not see a cessation of shedding on Finasteride until the 11 month mark.
Needless to say, I was on the verge of suing Merck for false advertising when a whole new crop of hairs sprouted up. Chris clearly saw results much more quickly.
Whether your antiandrogen approach includes the powerful S5 Cream, S5 Plus Cream, the more natural Revivogen MD, or the clinically proven Propecia, these treatments must be given a chance to work. A minimum of 1 year of consistent use. Optimal results are not seen until the 24 month mark.
In the left picture you’re about to see, Chris intentionally messy’d it up after a shower. He wanted to see how his hair would look “naturally” to really expose the thinnest areas. He intentionally didn’t comb it back because he was taking his baseline photo, and seeing his hair at its worst was the goal.
If you are just starting on a treatment regimen, I can’t stress the importance of taking pictures enough. The amount of games your mind will play with you over the next 1-3 years will be crazy, and photographs will keep you grounded in reality.
Especially during shedding periods, your mind will convince you that you have lost massive percentages of hair compared to Day 1. You are going to need a reality check, and pictures can provide that.
It’s recommended that you do exactly what Chris did.
Get your hair as wet as possible, and make it look its absolute worst. More importantly, make sure you are in the most well-lit area possible. Outside is better than any other setting. And have a friend or family member hop on a chair and take as many PERFECTLY focused photos as possible from all angles.
As you can see, most of Chris’s loss was around the hairline and temple areas. The right picture is after 12 months on finasteride (Propecia) only. And that’s the most impressive part.
Propecia (along with most antiandrogens like S5 Cream) is used primarily to maintain hair counts, and prevent further loss. A very small minority of Propecia FDA Trial participants saw significant regrowth. Most guys need to use growth stimulants in addition to finasteride to get those kinds of results.
12 Months on Finasteride Alone
Chris is only 20 years old. Some theorize that the younger you are, the better results you’ll see on treatments like Propecia, but that’s an unverified assertion. He began losing his hair at age 17, which is extremely young. As Chris mentioned in a recent post:
“I never really noticed the recession until it got pretty bad. The trait did run in my moms side of the family. Hair has been a huge part of my look and identity, so I naturally wanted to save it. When I finally mustered up the courage to see the dermatologist (I was 19), he recommended finasteride and minoxidil. After a lot of hesitation and nervous feelings about fin (side effects), I decided to try it.”
He managed to regrow quite a bit of what he’d lost. Most of the regrowth occurred in the temple areas, which is promising news for guys who have the horseshoe recession pattern.
Despite his doctors advice, he decided to take a more conservative approach and use only 1 proven treatment as his foundation. Finasteride. This is an approach quite a few guys (especially younger ones) prefer to take.
While the kitchen sink approach is appropriate for people with Chris’s extent of loss, younger guys who are hoping to maintain their hair for decades will often use the “end-to-end” approach. Starting small, with one treatment, and giving it a solid year before adding anything else.
If, like in Chris’s case you get outstanding results on just 1 product, you’ve just bought yourself as much time as that treatment continues to work, and can wait to add something else. In fact, you’ve likely bought yourself several years, and get the peace of mind knowing that even if this one stops working, there are still other options out there which you can add later.
In his own words: “I did not want to use topicals. I just liked the simplicity of taking a pill.”
Around 3 months is when he FIRST started seeing results. This is significantly sooner than most, who often begin their first Propecia shed at the 3 month mark.
At 3 months, Chris was already where it took me 11 months to get to: he saw little hairs sprouting along his temples and hairline. Needless to say, this is one of the most exciting elements of reversing your balding. The day you see the sprouts coming in.
This actually does happen, and thanks to the synchronicity of hair cycles, they’re often all the exact same length when you discover them.
Around 5-6 months is when Chris noticed the hairs began coming in thicker, and around 8-9 months, he started seeing larger quantities of hairs “coming back to life”.
By the time 12 months had arrived, he was looking great. “My whole head of hair honestly just looked much better. There was better density, shine, color, and just texture.”
Chris experienced two shedding periods, which is typical. For him they were mild, if not almost unnoticeable, but they occurred around the 3-4 month period, and right around 9 months as well.
Despite this, he says he doesn’t think he ever noticed any abnormally large amounts of hair falling out during the course. When his hair would fall out, it was most noticeable in the shower. On average he’d count about 15-20 hairs, with sometimes periodic increases.
“I think the biggest thing is focusing on the quality of hair that is falling out. I noticed within my first 6 months of treatment, the hair that was falling out was brittle, mangled, lighter and short. The hair falling out now (12 months) is much darker, thicker, and stronger feeling that before. If you are going through a shed, don’t panic…. it just means the drug is going to work!”
Chris is right. If you’re not familiar with the concept of shedding on effective hair loss treatments, we encourage you to read up on it.
If I had a dollar for every friend these days who “heard” that Propecia would ruin them sexually (or worse), I’d be rich. Thanks to a lot of opportunistic lawyers, and an extremely vocal minority, Propecia’s reputation has been tarnished.
Even the largest website on the topic of propecia side effects has been around 11 years and hosts only 4,000 members.
Lets look at that a little deeper.
According to Merck sales data between the years 2000 and 2008 alone, they had nearly 1.75 billion in Propecia sales. That’s just brand name Propecia, over only 8 years, and just in the United States.
It doesn’t include Finasteride users worldwide (which the website mentioned above does), nor does it include sales data since Propecia was released. The FDA gave the green light to Propecia in 1997, so it has been on the market 20 years.
In 8 years they did 1.75 billion in sales. Assuming a typical sales price of $60 for a 1 month supply, and assuming each person purchased did at least a 1 year regimen of Propecia (12 months), that means there were nearly 2.4 million Propecia users in that 8 year period.
Over a 16 year period we can assume 4.8 million users, and over a 20 year period – 6 million users. And that’s just the united states. Does it then become 16 million or more if we go worldwide?
Chris’s experience isn’t surprising:
“The ONLY side effect I have gotten so far is slower beard growth. I know this for a fact because it takes me almost twice as long to grow it out than before on the drug. I have had ZERO issues with my junk and my chest. My body hair has remained the same growth since before. I also workout almost everyday and have been putting on muscle at the same rate as before. Mentally, I haven’t felt any changes as well.”
There could be many reasons why this drug worked well for him, but he believes the two most influential factors were his individual genetics, and intervening “early”. “I didn’t wait long. I started the drug two years after I really started losing hair and I saved the hair that was still visible but miniaturizing.”
Did he regrow hair from sleek bald areas of his scalp? He says he’s not totally sure. He has a feeling those areas probably still contained hairs that hadn’t fully “died”, and he was able to revive them.
“To anyone going through MPB, just know that there is hope. Despite what some may say, I’m proof that you CAN get good results from Propecia alone. Just decide on a regimen and stick to it.”
“I honestly believe if I experienced this hair loss later in my life (late 20’s to 30’s) it really would not have had much effect on me psychologically or socially. But when it happens to you in college, I just feel that kids should get the liberty to at least live out their college days with nice hair. But I know that is far from what actually happens. Try not to look at your everyday and analyze it, as that will only make you more anxious.”
Some examples of clinically-backed antiandrogen alternatives: Revivogen MD, S5 Plus Cream, S5 Cream, Kourosh DHT
Some examples of clinically backed Growth Stimulants: Tricomin Spray, Laser Comb, Trichoceutical, Minoxidil
If you have any questions for Chris, please post them in the comments area below.
Kevin Rands is the Founder of HairLossTalk.com and President of Online Health Networks, Inc. a Miami based corporation providing consumer health education on the web. He is also the Founder and Principal Writer for DisrupterDaily.com, an online publication on disruption of health and tech sectors.
Since when is a toppik a growth stimulant?
Some examples of clinically backed Growth Stimulants: Tricomin Spray, Laser Comb, Trichoceutical, Minoxidil, Toppik
Good catch! Toppik is a cosmetic concealer product that sprinkles on to the hair and creates the appearance of thicker hair. It’s not a growth stimulant at all. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Fixed!