(The First Year)
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Month 1 - Oct 1, 1997 - Pictures
So after weighing all the options I decided to try Proscar and
Regain (Minoxidil 5%). I had sever scalp irritation with Minox 2% but heard that 5% didn't
cause as much itching, BTW it was true but read on. The Proscar and Minoxidil 5%
arrived in the mail from New Zealand and I wanted to document this whole experience. I was
planning on publishing the results no mater what the outcome as I learned so much from
other's results. I began with a hair cut and tried to cut it short and cover things up a
little it didn't work. I split the Proscar into 4's with a pill cutter and it worked
very nicely. I took 1.25 mg when I woke up about 11:00 am on an empty stomach. I also used
1 ml of 5% Minox with a damp scalp after shower and then another 1 ml before I went to
sleep at night on a dry scalp. For shampoo I used Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner. Almost
immediately after starting the treatments my hair began it's weird trip. The first day I
must of lost 50 hairs in the shower and that was it. The next day the normal 150 then 50
again. It went on every other day like this for the first week or so. I then started
recording my hair loss and made a graph of the loss.
I hadn't seen any results after the first week (I was impatient) and thought it would be a good idea to make an appointment with my original doctor especially with my treatment, the first time was the end of November, stay tuned. After about two weeks on the treatment I noticed the bottom of my temples had filled with fine white vellus hairs however the area above was still completely bald.
I though great I'll have hair on my hair line then two bald spots above my temples. One week later I noticed dark hairs coming in on this area. The top continued to thin out and the temples continued to grow more fine vellus hairs.
Month 2 - Nov 1, 1997 - Pictures
My pictures for month 2 don't look much different then when I
started. But this was the begging of the most amazing month for my hair ever. The only
changes in my treatment were that I started doing exercises after night time application
of Minox 5%, in hope to increase blood flow to scalp, and started taking Zinc vitamins
twice a week not really for hair loss but I had heard some good things about Zinc and
wanted to try it. After a week and a half things hadn't changed much the
temples seemed to pop out more short dark hairs and the top keep falling out but week two was AMAZING. I looked in the mirror one day and realized all more old hair on top was gone and it looked like I had shaved my head after I got out of the shower it was covered with short spiky hairs (I'd attribute them to the Minox 5% as I don't believe you are supposed to get results with Proscar this quickly). The hair on my sides and back was growing VERY fast I used to get two hair cuts a year here it was a month and a half later and I went back to my barber. I told her about what I was doing while waiting and asked if she could notice anything new she didn't really look as she got the scissors ready and said that is something I would notice better. She became to look at my hair and stopped with a strange look on her face. She said "we didn't shave the top or anything last time did we?" I said no and she replied that there were hundreds of little baby hairs growing everywhere up here. She was excited and couldn't wait to see if they grew up, I commented that she would recommend it to everyone if they "grew up" and she said no that she'd buy stock in the company. One week later my hair went flat. My hair has always been a little puffy, like everyone, but all of a sudden it was tight on my scalp. It curved down the same slope as the begging of my forehead and had no volume, It looked very strange but for the first time I could comb it neatly and when it was dry you couldn't see my scalp! It was and if hair got out of place there it was but it could be done. I went to see the doctor and brought my pictures. He was amazed also, and I ended up teaching him very much about hair loss. I felt like I should of charged him after explained all the different treatments and why something work and what the FDA was doing with all this stuff ect... He wouldn't give me a Proscar prescription but I got a Nizoral one which I wanted as my scalp was starting to flake but not itch to much. So I alternated Nizoral with Nioxin and even T-Gel every now and then for shampoo. The difference between the 2% and 5% as far as irritation for me was dramatic the 5% hardly bothers me at all. The Month ended with new found hope and my first appearance in public without a hat in 5 months, and all I got in this 30 minute escape was two "Did you get a hair cut?"
Month 3 - Dec 1, 1997 - Pictures
The only change in treatment this month was adding Nano shampoo to the mix twice a week. The hair continued to grow but also continued to be very flat. Towards the end of the month I felt growth on top was slowing down but volume was increasing. Top can be combed and complete cover scalp easily now. Back and front of top seem to fill up the most with still a little thinned in the middle of the top of my head. Hair on sides continue to grow and have left a halo effect of the shorter hair in the center of my head. The left temple looks great but I think I might of lost a little ground on the right. The right has always been much worse but now that the top is finally under control I will concentrate more on the temples again, they just kind of came in first when I was worried about the top, now the top is taking care of it self. The loss finally stopped and I stopped recording loss on the graph it was light in the shower, shirt and at night. About 50 in shower and not much at all else where it has been stable like that for a few weeks so I ads that is my normal loss and is well in the range of 50-100 hairs that we normally lose a day.
Month 4 - Jan 1, 1998 - Pictures
Lost the Zinc for this month but other then that changes in treatments or dosages. The second week of January almost as quickly as I lost my puffiness it came back in one day and I hate it. It is TOO puffy especially in back the hair is getting longer and now stands up about an inch before it folds over. This has made it appear thinner under bright lights in the back they it did when it was flat on the head. I've never had a control problem with my hair but it seems like after I use T-Gel or Nizoral the stuff goes crazy puffy and I can't keep it down. I haven't noticed much new growth the past month which is disappointing. The new hair continues to grow but slower then hair on side of head, loss is still only about 50 in shower and almost unnoticeable rest of day and in shirt and pillow. Really starting to look good. Looks cosmetically ok, hardly even think about it when I go without a hat and never notice people starring, I do get a lot of "Did you get a hair cut though. Last week of January shedding is increased slightly. Still no side effects. Ran out of Regain 5% from New Zealand but 5% Rogaine is now available OTC in the US! Yea. Bought 2 bottles for 50 bucks at K-mart. This change started the same time as the shedding, but I feel it is coincidental.
Month 5 - Feb 1, 1998 - Pictures
Started up with the Zinc every few days again, still rotating
shampoos between Nano, and Nizoral with occasional Nioxin and T-gel. First week slightly
increase loss continues. Second week, here's the shedding again, while it's not as much as
the initial "shedding phase" there is a definite constant increased daily loss.
The hairs I'm losing though are all inch long and very thin. I call them nothing hairs and
don't think the heavy loss of them is real cosmetically changing the progress I have made
as these hairs are so fine anyway. I hope they are just coming out because new thicker
ones are coming in. This could be the 4.5 month shedding phase I've heard a few people
talking about, because I do believe all these hairs are new since the treatment (well
almost all of the hair on my head are new with the treatment.
Month 6 - March 1, 1998 - Pictures
It doesn't stop, It doesn't stop. Every day every hour every
combful. Hair hair everywhere. Well at least it was nice knowing that I did
grow it once, but this is getting very bad. I'm not going anywhere without my hat
again. It still is better then when I first started... much better. But I was
getting so close! I hear about a 7-9 month shedding phase I think and hope that this
is it, but because I responded so quickly I'm having it from 4-6. If all these hairs
I'm loosing come back in thinker like they say I will be ecstatic. I'm still on 1.25
mg of Proscar, 5% Minox twice a day and I take Zinc every now and then no real
schedule. Shedding is about 150-200 in the shower. I can comb out 40-50 every
time and did a couple over 100 the other day. The hairs are wispy pigmented about
1.25" with a curl. And they all are coming from the top. Please send
Month 7- April 1, 1998 - Pictures
The month started with a shopping spree. I picked up a 3 month
supply of Rogaine 5% from Sam's Club for 50 bucks. You don't even have to be a
member there is just a 5% surcharge if you are not, but still a great price. I also
went to GNC and bought 600mg pills of NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine), this is the generic GNC
brand and was about 13 bucks for 60 capsules. The directions say take 1-2 Daily I
started taking one a day then switched to one every two days as I forgot more. I
also picked up 100 Saw Palmetto Capsules for 13 bucks also. They are 500 mg of the
berry powder. I was then told this is not the right stuff for fighting baldness
instead I want the kind that are standardized with 85% to 95% fatty acids. Well I
figured it can't hurt so I took one a day for a week then one every 2-3 days as I
forgot. The directions say take 1-2 up to 3 times a day, so I don't think it did
much. I also stopped taking the Zinc (I forgot the shedding had my mind on other
things). Well I know your all waiting for this. On April 1st exactly I got
out of the shower and checked my Nioxin hairsnare that usually is embedded with hundreds
of hairs and found nothing (well about 15). I was shocked but expected as I combed
my hair back to find the 100 in my comb, but it came back empty. Well I was
extremely happy this was the best day in 9 weeks of shedding but I expected that hey maybe
today is good tomorrow will be bad then good then bad and gradually get better. I
was wrong. The next day I also had only a dozen or so. This continued for a
week then stabilized at about 30 in the shower and when I comb out I get about 5. It
was amazing! It has been like this the entire month. The shedding is over,
the growing has started. And my one side effect that I also experienced the time of
the first rapid growth is back... My sex drive is through the roof. Not sure why but
even when I was shedding my libido was slightly increased and now it is very
increased. I hope this means growth is on the way, but right now I'm just happy the
loss has stopped. Still using Nano about 2 times a week, Nizoral about 3, Nioxin
about 1, T-gel about ½, and Panteen for thin hair about ½.
Month 8 - May 1, 1998 - Pictures
The shed has stopped and the growth is going along nicely. It is not growing as rapidly on top as it did the first time, but it is growing. The sides and back are especially growing fast. The hairline continues to fill in nicely and actually better then the top! about 2 inches behind the hair line is my weakest spot and I have really tried to intensify that stop. The first 3 weeks I didn't take any Saw Palmetto, NAC, or Zinc. Started once ever two days again towards the end of the month. Loss is stable at about 30 in the shower and 5 when I comb out. Dandruff has increased much this month and have started using Nizoral and T-Gel almost every day to fight it. It is not itchy at all but I skip a Rogaine application every now and then to try and help. I also ran out of Proscar and have a 6 month prescription for Propecia but found it to me 50 dollars a month and not covered by insurance. I finally bought a back of 30 5mg Proscar from firstname.lastname@example.org
Month 9 - June 1, 1998 - Pictures
This is the first month since January that I am once again going without a hat regularly and feeling fairly comfortable. The good news is the loss is still really low a little higher then last month about 100 a day and I haven't noticed much growth, but I haven't been looking very closely. The hair has once again "poofed" up. Under direct sunlight I can see scalp in the very back and right temple. In fact the only areas I am still not completely satisfied with are the crown and right temple, but I guess I can't be greedy. Treatment is still the same, but I still haven't made a regular schedule for the NAC/Saw Palmetto/Zinc, hopefully I will do that soon. The scalp itch has gone away and a didn't have any dandruff the first week but I see it's starting again. I have found I see more flakes on days when I use Nizoral or T-Gel. Got a hair cut on the 9th and cut it rather short on the sides but left the top long. It feels good. I colored it a little blonder to try and make the vellus hair on the right temple to make a little positive cosmetic appearance, but I feel the right temple is becoming a pain. I can see a little more scalp in the part with this cut also. 3 weeks into the month and I've started taking 500mg Saw Palmetto a day and 600 mg of NAC a day regularly. My sex drive has gone down to a normal level which makes me wonder if my growth will slow down again. The back hair keeps wanting to stand straight up and the front has gotten rather curly again. I have noticed for the first time that my thighs are not as hairy as they used to be (it's finally warm enough to wear short again) so I think that is a side effect of the Proscar. I'm looking forward to seeing my July 1st pictures.
Month 10 - July 1, 1998 - Pictures
I made a treatment change at the start of this
month. I had been finding that with more hair up there a lot of the Rogaine is being
soaked up by the hair and I am not getting the coverage I want with 1 ml applications.
Therefore because I don't have lots of money I decided to mix 5% with cheap generic
2% in a 2:1 ratio and use 1.5 ml at each application. This way I will still get 1 ml
of 5% on each application but have a little extra to get more coverage. Almost
immediately upon starting this I had tons of flaking (Although not much itching).
The snow storm has caused a lot of shedding and I'm fighting it full force with T-gel and
Nizoral everyday. I had a similar reaction to 2% a year ago when I tried it for a
few weeks except it was even worse. I usually have very little flaking from Rogaine
5%. Well I am going to give it a week or so more and if I still have a blizzard of
dandruff and a unhealthy scalp causing excess hair loss I will dilute the solution with
more 5%. I continue to use Saw Palmetto and NAC daily along with 1.25 mg
Proscar. Hair looks better then ever and if my pictures don't show this I have
really concentrated of my few hard to grow spots outlined in red here. Well the
dandruff stopped and I am going to stick with 1.5 ml of the mix. The right temple
still is the annoying spot but the other areas are progressing nicely. Some days
look better then others, but I feel completely comfortable when my hair is dry which is
something I never thought I would again. No other real treatment changes. Had
a small shed the third week of July then the last week went to almost no loss. My
shower hair snare had about 5 hairs on it which is absolutely crazy for me. Well
with summer here and wearing shorts I think my legs are a little less hairy so possibly
that is another side effect I am having from the Proscar. My hair has also gotten
very puffy and bushy this month.
Month 11 - August 1, 1998 - Pictures
Here it is August and it is amazing to think of the hopeless
condition I was in just a year ago. I'm loving life and growing hair. I'm
getting a little picky about my right temple but I guess I should be happy with what I
got. I'm looking into a Minox gel for it. Treatment is still the 5%/2% mix 1.5
ml twice a day and I've had no more flaking. 1.25 mg of Proscar in the morning, I
have started to skip it about once a week no real schedule yet. Saw Palmetto and NAC
when I feel like it. I also saw L'Oreal Body Vibe for thinning hair for only 3 bucks
for a huge bottle I figured why not. So far I am not impressed but check in later
for my complete review. Still using Nano, Nioxin, T-Gel and Nizoral cycle of
shampoo. First week of August has brought some shedding maybe 100 or so in the
shower but nothing major and it's usually a every other day thing. The shedding
stopped in the middle of august and growth growth growth. Hair is getting very bushy
and full. Am getting a lot of "There something different about you."
Even had one person come and and say "you have a lot more hair". A
little itching at the end of the month.
Month 12 - September 1, 1998
No side effects, only treatment change is that I have stopped using the 2%/5% mix and am just using 5% for no other reason other then I have been to lazy to go out and buy more 2%. It's embarrassing buying this stuff when your young. Almost a month and I couldn't be happier. I'm hardly ever wearing my hats unless I want to! Sure my temples are a little high but I see other college age kids all around me in the same position. I have run out of Nizoral and I'm mainly using L'Oreal Body Vibe, I don;t think it's the greatest shampoo but it's dirt cheap. The new hair has gotten very kinky and knotty which is something my hair has never done and it is curling quite a bit. Well at the end of the month I have starting to shed shed shed. Not to bad yet 200 or so in the shower and I can comb out at least a 100 but they are all the inch and a half long curly hairs from the top which makes me think I'm hitting the one year/11 month shed.
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