I'm a 25 yo male, my hair has been falling out massively over the last six months! My hairline is receding and it's concerning me. I want to do what I can to stop it, I'm willing to pay, but I don't want to waste my money.
For those not familiar with the science of Hair Loss, basically your body converts Testosterone to Dihydrogen Testosterone (DHT). This happens to everyone, but some people (like me) have DHT receptors on their hair follicles, and when DHT comes into contact with the follicles, it reduces blood supply and then shrinks it until the hair stops growing. I have a science degree so I feel I can speak with some certainty about this.
I went to Ashley and Martin (you've probably seen their ads), but their treatment was very expensive. I noticed they only offered four things for about $3000+ if I remember correctly for a year's supply of the following
1: Finasteride 1mg tables
2: Minoxidil topical serum (5%)
3: Pau d'arco Herb
4: Laser Treatment
I figured I could do it myself and save cash and time. I managed to do so for only ~$400 per year.
Here are my thoughts on each of the Ashley and Martin components:
4: Laser Treatment: is probably useful, but I'd suspect it would only delay MPB (male pattern baldness). It's also expensive and you can buy lasers online to use at home which may do a similar job. But given that is this also time consuming, although my intentions would be good, I think I would forget to use it (you have to use it for like 15 mins a day) so I decided not to buy a laser. My friend actually bought the Ashley and Martin treatment package, had good results, but only got the laser treatment a few times because he was too busy to get the others, so I suspect the laser's impact is minimal.
3: Pau d'arco Herb: My research suggests it seems to be a placebo at best. I have not bought any.
2: Minoxidil: Useful, but only delays MBP, it increases blood flow, which increases hair regrow. I like that it is topical (less side effects), I've used it, I cannot comment on how successful it, but I feel like it works, I notice my skin goes red which means vasodilation has occurred. You can get a 6 month supply for around $60 on eBay.
1: Finasteride: This really worked for me, after about 3 months my hair loss effectively stopped. I got a prescription at my local GP. Tablets are about $25 a month if you get a genetic brand. If effectively gets rid of DHT by blocking the enzyme which converts testosterone to DHT.
However DHT is actually a useful hormone in the body for other things (though this is not fully understood), so it has side effects. Most importantly, some people report a permanent sexual dysfunction (which never recovers, even after taking the drug!). When I noticed my that sex drive was a little reduced and that my erections didn't seem to be as strong as normal, I stopped taking Finasteriade as a precaution. But about 3 weeks later… the hair loss started again!!!!
So now I'm faced with choice… to risk loosing my libido… or to lose my hair.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Has anyone experienced success with another treatment? Please share!
Edit: The herb was Saw Palmetto! My bad! Not Pau D'Arco. Some have suggested giving it a try after all. I will do so :)
Thanks so much for all the compassion and advice! Wasn't expecting it :)