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Hair Loss: What I’m Doing About It

I’m 37 years old now and the hair on the crown of my head is thinning. 

I did some research, talked to experts, and started taking some medicine to mitigate future loss and instill new growth.

Here are the resources that were helpful to me and what I’m doing now.

My Hair Loss Plans And Next Steps

I spoke to a dermatologist, my doctor, asked a lot of friends, and then hired Bauman Medical from the below podcast to do a medical consult with me.

Based on all of that advice, I’ve decided to begin the following:

  • Daily 1-1.25 mg Finasteride (generic Propecia / Proscar)
  • Daily 1-2x topical application of Minoxidil (generic Rogaine) 
  • Daily hair healthy vitamin supplement (Nutrafol on Amazon, but if you wanted to save money you could take any good biotin and saw palmetto)

Medical Advice: A Helpful Podcast

Hair thinning and loss affects almost 100 million Americans!

This podcast is what helped start my renewed interest in taking a proactive role against future loss:

The science of male and female hair restoration

I’m a paying subscriber to the Peter Attia podcast and he’s become my go-to “guru” for health stuff lately. Listen to the podcast here or read the show notes 📝  

I’m worried that this blog post is sounding like a scam with hair loss stuff, but it’s a real problem that affects a lot of people and not a lot of guys that I know talk about it. So 🤔 whatever. YOLO. I’m writing about it. 

Video: Try Guys Get Microblades and Hair Implants

My friends Amanda and Chelsea told me about this show and these episodes. I really enjoyed them! 

Having surgery like this is typically a last resort. I will wait to do this until after I’ve tried some medicine first.

Other Hair Loss Things I Considered

Lasers

The dermatologist and Bauman Medical said this actually works to stimulate the hair follicles and results in new growth. The tech has greatly improved over the past 10 years. You need to do it every day and not off and on. Because of my travel schedule, I’ve decided not to start wearing a laser cap. But if I didn’t travel so much, I’d seriously consider making an investment in a low-level laser system like this one on Amazon ($599).

PRP (but new WARNING!)

This is a medical procedure where they draw blood and then spin it up (or down?) then re-inject it into your scalp. It works really well, but it is very expensive. From Bauman Medical, it costs around $3000 and lasts 14 months. You’d have to get it almost yearly. This is a very effective treatment and is best for people who have more advanced hair loss. Perhaps I’ll do it in a few years.

Update 9/16/2019: I’ve heard negative PRP experiences from enough people that I’ve edited my comments above. The medical science on PRP is not definitive, and several folks I spoke with had zero results despite expensive procedures.

NEW: Going Bald

Several of my friends emailed me after I published this to say: Why not just let nature take its course? Why not go bald?

I think I’ll wait a little while to go that route. But their comments were quality so I’m sharing them here.

From a tech founder:

I ended up letting nature take its course – not because of a fear of side effects from Finasteride, but from the belief that my body is sovereign/divine, and if it wants to express itself in this way, without hair, then so be it. There are no negative health effects from baldness. It’s one of the few existential culturally-driven naturally-occurring appearance concerns.

Three of my key takeaways that may be helpful:

(1) Everybody notices that you’re losing your hair, but nobody really cares.

(2) I used to worry that I wasn’t as attractive to women without hair. And there’s real science to back this up. But this doesn’t tell the full story. (Nick’s note: all of these are edited for brevity, but this point especially)

(3) If and when you decide to take the bald plunge, you’ll look so different that it forces an identity reboot and a fascinating re-evaluation of what it means to show up in the physical world.

From Charlie, a VC:

When I was in college, a friend of mind fought his hair loss super awkwardly… hats, combing in weird directions, etc.  Then, one day, he just showed up bald and he looked great.  It wasn’t because somehow objectively bald heads looked better–it was just because he was done fighting.  The mental burden placed on us by society that you need to look a certain way was gone.

Bald > Balding

I made a decision that if I ever went in that direction, I would just shave it immediately and that’s what I did at 25–and TBH, I wish I had done it earlier.  I don’t think I ever felt more confident–and I think about all the time and mental energy I wasted on it. It will absolutely change how people react to you, because now you have one less thing to worry about and it shows.

Conclusion

Hair loss continues to be a taboo subject. It affects over a billion people on earth. Many men are fine to lose their hair as they age. I bet I will be some day, too. But for now I like my hair and want to keep it a while longer.

It was fun to go down this rabbit hole of research, talk to smart people about it, and then make changes in my life (taking medicine) to hopefully change something about myself.

Have you thought about hair loss, taken some of these medicines, or explored transplant? Let me know in the comments or send me an email to hello@nickgray.net

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2019-09-16T09:33:05-04:00 August 23rd, 2019|General|