T Nation

Hair Loss

Ok, so I’m losing my hair. I’m 20. This sucks ass. I’ve never used anabolics. I know some of you guys out there must be losing your hair as well (odds are…) and I want to know what you are doing about it. I’ve got some Rogaine, but is there anything else that I can do/take to stop this? Personal experiences, what works what doesn’t, anything. This is a serious kick in the junk guys, I’m not exactly thrilled about this. Thanks boys.

Check around some hair loss lites for the best info. Propecia has about the best rate of success on its own (apparently 80%). Its a daily pill that is pretty expensive but I hear you can buy procsar(?) much cheaper and use a pill cutter to get the right dose of I think 1mg of finasteride per day. The down side with this is benefits only last while you take it and possible side effects include reduced sex drive (likely) together with birth defects in children conceived while on it and the newly discovered one - swollen and tender pecs (???). Plus I hear it can limit your gains from bodybuilding (reduces DHT which is what leads to baldness but is also said to help in some way in size and strength gain). I took it for a month or so in a baldness false alarm and found myself unusually caring wanting to watch heaps of romatic movies :wink: so I suspect that some of the T that would normally be converted to DHT is converted into E :open_mouth: - no thanks. There are other organic ones I think (Saw Palmetto?). If you are really worried, Id try the propecia but it can take 8 months for any benefits to show. Otherwise there is an anti dandruff shampoo which one study says can help if used daily (it uses minoxidil) and stay away from T increasing supplements. Be imaginitive with hair styles (buzz cut??) and head wear (a la Fred Durst) and if its still a problem in years to come, with the mega bucks you save not using propecia for decades get some cool toys to make you happy (or the best hair unit thing money can buy).

I was in the same predicament. I had perfect “TV anchor” hair through high school, and the first two years of college, then it happened. I lived with it for a while. Shaved my head in the summers because I was a lifeguard, now I’m 28 and I’ve been shaving my head every week for the past 3 years. Nizoral is the anti-dandruff shampoo that is also supposed to reduce hair loss. I’ve been using it for a while, and I haven’t lost any more hair. The girls like the shaved head, and I’m not vain enough to do anything about it (piece, plugs, etc.)

I’m also 20 and I started to notice a receding hair line around last March but I didn’t bother to get propecia because I was misinformed by everyone including one of my doctors. But here’s what I know after talking to some people in the pharmaceutical world and from my own experience(7 months): It prevents T from turning into DHT(the stuff that will make your hair fall out), actually increases your total T(only a little though), and will keep your hair on your head. In regards to decreased sex drive its really not that profound. For instance, you don’t get boners in the middle of class for no apparent reason, but that is really the only sign I’ve ever noticed of decreased sex drive. I never heard or read anything about more T converting to estrogen, and DHT is not necessary to weightlifting(I think its supposed to be counterproductive). If you still want to try it go ahead without worrying about the “horrible side effects”. One bad thing though, your doctor will tell you that if you ever discontinue use in the future, within a year, your hair will be as if you never took propecia at all. Anything else you want to know just post again. Hope this helped.

I’m 26 and began to thin at about 22. I started taking Propecia about 6 months ago. So far I’ve noticed that I have much less hair fallout, but haven’t noticed it regrowing yet. I know that you have to give it a year or two before you can notice hair regrowth. You can also buy it through a few online places for much less than your local drug store. I get a three-month supply for $119 through the drugstore site. And you can join the Perks Program to get $10-20 rebates each time you buy a 90-day supply.

I started losing my hair when I was 16! Son of a bitch, I thought. I wore hats everyday, for everything, and would avoid anything where I couldn’t wear a hat. I was know as the guy with the baseball cap, and everyone wondered why. Then, time came, I got a job, and couldn’t wear a hat anymore, so I shaved it all the way down. I got funny looks for a little while, and got the most vicious sunburn on my head while playing basketball because I didn’t think about that since I’d just shaved it. Well, after tanning my head and face a bit, and a little clothing and attitude change, I actually grew into the look, and I get more chicks than ever. They love it. It is quite a step though, but I recommend it. I really did have an entire life change with it. I’ve been shaving it since I was around 20/ 21, and Its great. but… I’m thinking I don’t want to do this forever. When I get to like 30 or so, I’m gonna wish I had some hair, cause you really do look a lot older. I turned 24 3 days ago, and when i was 21, people were though I was 30! One of my clients had a hair thing done, they take the seeds I guess from the back of your head and plant them on top. no plugs or anything else. took 3 surgeries, and he’s rocking with an almost full head of hair that look incredibly real. You would never know its fake. The downside is it costs about $6,000 and takes about a year to grow in.

Nate: You really do have to give Propecia at least a year before you start seeing results. Watch out, though, because you’re about to enter the dreaded and unpredictable “shedding” phase, meaning that your formerly dormant follicles will suddenly begin to regrow hair. If and when this occurs, you’ll see an increase in hair loss for a short period, and then within about three months you’ll begin to see hair regrowth. I’ve seen (or read about, I should say) people freak when they enter the shedding phase and stop using Propecia, which is about the worst thing you can do. Take my advice and just grin and bear your way through it; you won’t regret it.

Bob, thanks for the advice. I’ll be sure to stay on Propecia when I start noticing fallout. It sucks because I used to have such long, thick hair. I didn’t think I would lose it even though my dad is bald and MPB runs on both sides of the family. And of course my brother has the opposite problem, he has the proceding hairline! Bastard! Not only that, but he’s taller than me. Damn, I really got screwed in the genetics department! What can you do?

Nate: I first noticed my thinning hair about three years ago. We’d just bought a new Subaru Outback with moonroofs, and while driving it home I looked up and saw the sun’s reflection off my head (through my obviously thinning hair). It’s probably a bit vain, but I instantly freaked and started doing as much research as I could on hair loss treatments. Six months later I was taking Propecia, and I’ve had a lot of success with it. In fact, I now get compliments on the thickness of my hair, and I’m doing a lot better than a friend of mine who started using Rogaine at the same time I started Propecia (he switched about three months ago :-). Propecia rules…

I’ve been taking 1.25mg/day of finasteride
for several months now. I also have blood
tests done regularly. And I want to clear up
some finasteride (propecia/proscar) myths.

First, it is effective for both stopping hair loss, and regrowing new hair. Even though I've only been on it a few months, I'm already experiencing both shedding, and new hair growth. (I had 1/4" frontal hairline recession - caught it early. I am also using a product called "Dr. Proctors Hair Regrowth Formula" - as well as saw palmetto. That is everything I'm taking for hairloss.)

Second, not only did finasteride NOT decrease my sex drive, when I first started taking it, I noticed a slight *increase*. That has since subsided. Blood tests revealed that it reduced my DHT levels from "high normal" to "low normal." It also slightly increased both my total and free T levels. It DID NOT increase my estrogen levels at all. (Ha!)

Taking finasteride at the 1.25mg/day dose has not effected my erectile function AT ALL. However I experimented one time with taking a whole 5mg (proscar) tab at once, and that dosage caused about 1/3 - 1/2 less firm erection. I don't do that any more. :-)

Finally, DHT DOES NOT play any significant role in your bodybuilding effort. It has no effect in muscle tissue. I've not noticed either any benefit or harm to my BB efforts from taking finasteride.

I pay $30 for 15 proscar tabs and cut them into quarters (1.25mg). One pack = 60 dosages, or two months. That works out to $.50/day. My hair is worth $.50/day. :-) I have not noticed ANY other side effects at all. I think any potential side effects have been greatly exaggerated. If you want to keep your hair, go for the finasteride.

Have any of you bothered to ask your barber or hairdresser? You mite be suprised to know that there are none drug alturnitives available.I’m sure most would agree that prevention is by far easier than cure. Nioxin is a product I have used for 7 or 8 years now and it’s brobably the only reason I have hair. I just wish I had had this stuff back when I was 22.

One more thing I learned, never wear baseball type hats. Once I stopped this bad habit my hair thickened up. Also shampoo-ing twice a day minimum (just normal OTC stuff) should help.

I agree with Free’s post in its entirety. In fact, I made a markedly similar post on 06-Mar-2001 under a thread entitled “Propecia”. Once again, a little research could have avoided the posting of inaccurate information. (Where for art thou Whopper when we need him?!)

Bob, I appreciate the mention, hoever I made the decision to go bald with pride. I have blonde hair, and I keep it very short (military style) First off, it allows the hair loss not to bother me too much, secondly, I think it makes my body look bigger when I keep it very tight on top. I refuse to be a slave to a pharmaceutical company for the next 50 years of my life, so I am just letting it go. Besides, I give the vixen a grease pencil, and she can play tic-tac-toe while I am down there…lol It keeps her entertained. I am curious tho…has anyone had any success with those replacements that implant your own living hair on the thinning spots?

Ive also read that DHT plays no part in mass or strength gains but have read elsewhere that it plays a role. In relation to sex drive and E levels, I’d imagine side effects are likely to differ from person to person so I guess blanket statements are a little inapropriate. My T levels are generally high and the reduction in sex drive etc in the first few months were dramatic. In any event there seems to be very firm view about this drug here but I do recall the newest side effect warning (I think its on the propecia site) about tender and swollen pecs which dont seem to be answered by the consensus view. Has anyones research covered or touched on this? Hard to imagine increased T without any effect on E (as this would occur independant of the drug).

I think I should have added below that I plan to start taking propecia again in coming months or years because even my perceived side effects would have been worth it for a thick head of hair.
I agree with the washing hair twice a day post below. I think it may help to clear DHT that is binding to the root.
I have also wondered whether the lower average T levels resulting from weight lifting could slow hair loss. Any thoughts?

Dre, I agree. I don’t think blanket statements
on side effects are appropriate because
everyone will react differently. Last time I
got my T tested (w/o using any products that
would increase the readings) my total T was
around 700 ng/dl. The increase in T from the
finasteride was mild, so I suspect that’s why
(in my case) the finasteride didn’t also
increase my E levels. In any case, I haven’t
experienced and pec/nipple tenderness, so
personally I’m not worried about it. And it
certainly hasn’t effected my training results.
But that’s just me. Other people may react
differently.

I’m largely repeating myself from a prior post, but… It’s not necessarily the increase in T (thus E) that causes gyno in certain instances. Rather, it’s the fact that DHT is a potent anti-estogen, and, as you know, taking finasteride reduces DHT. DHT also has some effect on the sex drive, but the amount thereof is inconclusive. In studies performed prior to market, side effects for finasteride were no greater and no more frequent than those of the placebo group. Further, I believe that the gyno being reported is either (1) users of aromatizing AAS who damn well should have known better and/or (2) an adverse placebo effect due to the rumors of such occurences. In no cases has finasteride been shown to have either positive or negative consequences for natural weightlifting gains, although there have been some anecdotal reports of bodybuilders who used AAS with finasteride and had no gains whatsoever (personally, I don’t believe it for a second).

The T increase from finasteride use likely isn’t enough to raise E levels , much like 4AD.Swollen and tender pecs is a side effect of many drugs that seemingly have no effect on the endocrine system , so it’s too easy to blame E , and besides prolactin and progesterone are two hormones others that won’t do your tits any favours.

Whopper, I had the surgery where they take living donor hair from the back of your head and “plant” it on the bald areas. It’s not as bad as it sounds, pain was minimal(local pain killer and valium). I actually watched the “operation” by an overhead mirror. Only drawbacks? Expensive: I had 3 different surguries costing over 10 G(Canadian). Also, some nerve endings were cut on the top of the head which haven’t come back(the doctor said they would but they haven’t). Would I do it again? Definately!! I feel much more self-confident and have been told I look 10 years younger. Also, the hair growth was slow enough that no one(except for my wife)knew I had anything done. It was either that or “Hair Club for Men” and those hair “systems” actually cost more than hair transplant surgery over your life due to maintenance, tightening, etc. Plus I have my own living, growing hair with no visible scars. End of commercial.