James’ Story: How I Beat Hair Loss

Male pattern: 40% of men start noticing hair loss by the age of 35

Male pattern: 40% of men start noticing hair loss by the age of 35

Recently I noticed there seemed to be an increasing number of commercials advertising ways to combat hair loss for both men and women. Regaine products, The Belgravia Centre and The Advanced Hair Studio are three that spring to mind.

So I began to research the issue – and realised why they had apparently increased: almost two-thirds of the population may suffer some sort of hair loss during their lifetime.

According to the Belgravia Centre’s website, 40% of men have noticeable hair loss by age 35, 65% by age 60, and 80% by age 80. It also affects roughly 50% of women.

Causes include genetics, illness, medication, stress, poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances and various other triggers, some unknown. The effects can be devastating to an individual’s confidence, with 60% of sufferers saying they would rather have more hair than money or friends.

On a positive note, various treatments are available, including the products Propecia and Minoxidil, which are clinically proven and medically approved.

Minoxidil is the main active ingredient in Regaine. Their website explains that this reinvigorates shrunken hair follicles so they increase in size and regrow thicker hair over time. It works by helping the blood flow to the hair follicles and increasing follicular size and hair shaft diameter, stimulating and prolonging hair growth.

While I was reading this, I remembered my friend James telling me about Minoxidil. He is very open about his “magic hair pills” and how effective he has found them in treating his hair loss, and how it has boosted his self-confidence.

So, without wishing to promote any particular product or to encourage people to disregard any potential side effects, here is James’ story, in his own words.

“I could feel my hair thinning around the age of 25 and, as I’d always had a fairly dramatic mop, it was pretty obvious. In true male style, I stubbornly pretended not to notice even though it was clearly getting worse.

Follicle challenge: James' crown after eight years' ongoing treatment to reverse and ward off hair loss

Follicle challenge: James’ crown after eight years’ ongoing treatment to reverse and ward off hair loss

My mother, who normally is very complimentary, whatever state I may be in, started dropping hints. When she said: ‘Have you thought about a transplant, dear?’ I realised I probably shouldn’t ignore it any more. I didn’t want to have surgery, so I looked for medication.

There’s loads of information online, so it was easy to find out. Around 2008, I started taking a daily combination of 1mg of Propecia pills and Minoxidil topical 5% lotion. Propecia is the brand name for Finasteride and Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Regaine and Rogaine, just considerably cheaper.

You may need a prescription for Propecia, depending on where you are in the world, but Minoxidil is easily found on the Internet and can be bought cheaply in bulk. Propecia used to be around £25 a month, Minoxidil around £60 for a year’s supply.

Results were quick. Within around six weeks my hair had thickened up, and I haven’t lost any more in eight years!

There are a few warnings about side effects but I never experienced any negative symptoms. The only problem is the Minoxidil can leave your scalp itchy and greasy.

I have stopped the Propecia, without noticeable difference, but I have no reason to think I’ll stop taking the Minoxidil. It takes very little time to apply and it’s cheap. I shall keep going as long as it works!

It’s been great for my confidence. My Dad has been almost totally bald since I’ve known him so, genetically, I’d be doomed without it! It’s simple, effective and cheap. Why lose your hair if you don’t have to?”

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