Monthly Archives: June 2015

What Is AGA Hair Loss – And Can It Be Stopped?

So, what is AGA hair loss?

Male_pattern_baldness

This is another attempt to explain some fairly scientific mumbo-jumbo (similar to my the DHT post) in layman’s terms. As you’ve probably come across the term AGA if you’ve been researching hair loss.

AGA stands for Androgenic Alopecia (or Androgenetic Alopecia, depending on who you talk to). Androgens are male sex hormones and alopecia means ‘hair loss’, so basically, in normal speak, it’s Male Pattern Baldness. So thus, ‘AGA hair loss’, refers to the hair loss from Male Pattern Baldness. Simple huh?!

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Ok…but…like what actually is it?

Check out my post on DHT where I explain the process a little more thoroughly. But in a nutshell, what’s happening is testosterone is being converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by an enzyme called Alpha 5 Reductase. DHT is the evil hair killer which shrinks hair follicles and causes Male Pattern Baldness.

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Tell me more

Well, it’s by far the most common form of hair loss, and affects as many as 70% of men and 40% of women over the course of their lifetimes. That’s over half the planet! So you’re very very far from being on your own.

In men it’s usually focused above the temples and on the crown of the head. There’s even a scale called the Hamilton-Norwood scale which determines the extent of it:

Hamilton_Norwood_scale

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Oh God! So what can we do to stop it???!!!

Fear not! Help is at hand! I was starting to thin dramatically, as you can see from My Photo Diary page and after some success with Minoxidil. I opted, largely out of laziness (though after extensive research I must say) to try oral Finasteride aka generic propecia, in tandem with Nizoral shampoo which contains Ketoconazole. Check out my reviews for them here which details more about how they work and how effective they were for me.

HERE IS MY FINASTERIDE REVIEW

HERE IS MY NIZORAL REVIEW

I couldn’t recommend these products more highly. I was truly starting to freak out and my confidence was at an all time low because of my obvious hair loss (I felt like everyone was looking and talking about it. They weren’t, I’m sure!).

They’re a surprisingly cheap tandem to keep my hair intact and I really truly count my lucky stars that I found them in time!

New Honest Hair Loss Help Facebook Page

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Hi gang,

I’ve just set up a new hair loss Facebook page. And I’ve also started my own discussion group there. So check it out here and please add me as a friend. And join the Honest Hairloss Help group here. I’m absolutely determined to bring as many people as possible to the website and make people aware that stopping hair loss is possible.

Join me at Facebook.com/HonestHairlossHelp and join the new group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/588156944658961/?pnref=lhc

How To Stop Hair Loss Now video has gone live – Well, how to stop hair loss quickly anyway

Hi folks,

I’ve just uploaded a video version of my photo diary on how I stopped my hair loss on to Youtube.

I know that it won’t show how to stop hair loss NOW, as in this minute.

But it will hopefully direct some traffic to the site for people who are looking to find out how to stop balding and will find my site useful. And obviously start the process of how to stop hair loss now. I’m sure there are many people like me who scoured Youtube as well as google looking for real hair saving stories.

Dihydrotestosterone hair loss – What Is Dihydrotestosterone aka DHT?

Dihydrotestosterone hair loss

Right, so this isn’t exactly the most exhilarating or exciting post. But it explains what dihydrotestosterone aka DHT is, and explains its role in hair loss, in layman’s terms.

So, in spite of it not being compelling reading, it’s nonetheless important to virtually everyone who visits this site. And I’ll do my best to explain it in English, as opposed to medical jargon, though inevitably there’ll be a bit of that!

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What Is Dihydrotestosterone?

There’s a more complicated answer to this question, but for the purposes of this article, on a website concerned with hair loss, I’ll keep it simple. It’s an androgen hormone which is responsible for hair follicles (amongst other things). Some of you may know that the medical name for ‘male pattern baldness’ is ‘androgenetic alopecia’ (often also called ‘androgenic alopecia’). So you may have spotted the link via the word ‘androgen’. Again, for the purposes of this post, we’re steering clear of looking at DHT and its relevance to the prostate, male genitalia etc, and instead focusing on its impact on hair follicles. Free testosterone is converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Which is most numerous in the scalp and prostate. So those with higher levels of 5-alpha reductase are more prone to androgenetic alopecia. Basically, in layman’s terms, DHT is the devil! For the hair on our scalp at least!

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So what does it do to our hair?

 

DHT is the major contributor to Male Pattern Hair Loss. It works by inhibiting IGF1 in the dermal papillae. IGF1 is a hormone. It’s similar in molecular structure to insulin. Essentially, DHT inhibits hair shaft elongation and promotes the regression of hair follicles. Basically, in layman’s terms it kills our hair! Those of us who have experienced male pattern baldness anyway. Which I’d imagine is anyone on this website!

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Can Dihydrotestosterone hair loss be stopped?

This is the $6 million dollar question! Actually it’s the multi-billion dollar question! Having done so myself, I can conclude that YES, it can. So there’s no time like the present to get stuck in and start trying to reverse that hair loss. I have nothing to gain by telling you this is possible, I’m not selling you any products. See for yourself how I did it. THIS is how I stopped my own balding. And here are my reviews of Finasteride and Nizoral, the wonder products that I used!

If you’re not convinced by me, then simply take a look at the countless studies over the years that have shown that male pattern baldness is indeed reversible. Such as this one which states “Our finding that AGA (Lenny note – that’s androgenetic alopecia), in the clinical category of nonscarring alopecia, demonstrated preservation of hair follicle stem cells suggests potential reversibility of this condition.”

READ MY FINASTERIDE REVIEW HERE AND MY NIZORAL ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOO REVIEW HERE

Finasteride Side Effects – stopping finasteride adverse side effects?

All good in the hood!

Fortunately, having been on Finasteride for a while now, I can report that I have suffered absolutely ZERO side effects from the drug. It took me a long long time to come around to trying it out, because of my finasteride adverse side effects fear. I was happy with the progress of the minoxidil that I was using. But I have naturally irritable skin and dermatitis and dandruff issues so I decided to eventually bite the bullet and ignore the existence of finasteride side effects and just go for it. My attitude was “ah, it’ll never affect me”. And instead of this being a cautionary tale, thankfully, I was right. It didn’t. And it still doesn’t, several months in. The big clincher for me was that even the most severe finasteride side effects, weren’t really very severe. Apart altogether from the low statistical numbers of people actually suffering them. So from the most severe downwards, here they are:

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Most common

(And by ‘common’ in this instance, it’s not actually common, these can affect between 1 and 10 people per 100 who use it)

– Erection difficulties (both in achieving and maintaining erections)

– Lower volume of ejaculation

– Decreased libido (low sex drive)

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Uncommon

(between 1 and 10 people per 1000)

– Tenderness or swelling of male breast tissue

– Allergic reaction resulting in a rash

– Other ejaculation disorders

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Unknown Frequency

(these effects are extraordinarily rare. As well as difficult to even clearly link to finasteride usage)

– Palpitations

– Depression

– More severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the lips, throat, tongue or face

– Pain in the testicles

– Hives or itching

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>>>READ MY FINASTERIDE REVIEW HERE<<<

Conclusion

Personally, I tend to ignore any side effects that aren’t listed as ‘common’. Because it’s such a low low percentage chance of them ever affecting you.  And you can unnecessarily freak yourself out way too easily. And I’d actually apply this to every drug. All of which have side effects. And many of which have far more severe side effects than finasteride. I’ve taken some drugs before that have crazy and horrific things listed in their side effects. So when I bore this in mine I just felt it was worth it. I mean, being honest, the only one that really worried me was the erectile dysfunction one, as obviously every man values that. But there hasn’t been the faintest hint of it. In terms of lower levels of ejaculation, I’d actually have no problem with that even if it had happened. I’m not trying to get anybody pregnant. And I’m not sure I’d even notice this side effect if it had happened, to be honest. I don’t exactly weigh ejaculations! In terms of the sex drive thing I just trusted that my libido would remain the same. And it has.

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Stopping finasteride adverse side effects

In my opinion, every drug has side effects, and finasteride side effects are a) very low in terms of percentage chance of them ever affecting you and b) very mild in the grand scheme of things even if they did. And in terms of stopping finasteride adverse side effects you can simply stop taking the drug. It could even be worth consulting with your doctor as to whether there are other ways of combatting side effects in the highly unlikely event that you were to suffer them, so that you can still keep taking finasteride.

READ MY FINASTERIDE REVIEW HERE.

HONEST NIZORAL ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOO REVIEW – Does Nizoral Shampoo Stop Hair Loss?

Product: Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo

My rating: 9.75 out of 10

Cheapest place to buy: ebay.com

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So why would an anti-dandruff shampoo help stop hair loss?!

Funnily enough, it’s actually a side effect. The active ingredient within Nizoral that does the job is called ketoconazole. And Nizoral contains ketoconazole. The primary role of Nizoral is to stop dandruff. But it was soon realised that it had the added bonus of stalling hair loss, and in many cases, promoting hair re-growth!

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Will it work if I’m already completely bald?

Anecdotal evidence based on many user reviews would say it won’t. And as I’ve said on many of my other posts, there’s no guaranteed one size fits all scenario. It’s possible that very little will work if you’re already fully bald. And while I sound negative here, I don’t want to promote unrealistic expectations of the product either.

However, there have been numerous clinical trials and extensive tests which strongly support not just the slowing and stopping of hair loss, but in many cases active hair re-growth. And hair thickening, i.e. the expansion of the diameter of each individual hair.

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Clinical trials you say?

Now for the nerdy stuff. This bit feels like the exact opposite of when Homer Simpson makes the sign below! Very unsexy!

But it’s also very important. So here it is…

-In 1998 a study was published by a group of Belgian researchers in the swiss journal, Dermatology. Essentially, what they found was that 2% ketoconazole was effective in stimulating hair growth when used in mice (who they had shaved). You can read more about this study here. But the results showed that ketoconazole increased hair density and size. And also decreased sebum (which clogs up hair follicles and leads to hair loss).

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Mice? Seriously?

Okay okay!  Although there were other studies that backed up the same hair stimulation in mice…you want to hear about the human ones more…of course!

-A 2002 study in the Journal Of Dermatology looked at men with androgenic alopecia and different combinations of treatment and concluded that ketoconazole was effective in stimulating hair growth.

-A 2002 study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that ketoconazole increased the mean hair shaft thickness and also discreetly decreased the sebum output on the surface of the skin.

-A 2004 study in Medical Hypotheses concluded that ketoconazole is effective in stimulating hair growth, particularly in tandem with oral finasteride by inhibiting DHT.

There have been further studies done since then which bolster the evidence further.

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Pros and cons

In terms of cons, some people have claimed that it has irritated their scalp. But conversely, many more have reported that it has actually alleviated irritation in their scalp.

From a personal point of view it very much alleviated it. Particularly when I was using it in tandem with Minoxidil. Some people would claim the cost is a con. I actually think when you break it down to how long it lasts it’s very minimal. Just a small amount, left on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing, would last me a month or two. And it lathers very easily and goes a long way.  At a push, the cost is enough to make me lose half a point on my overall score. But it’s really really worth it!

UPDATE: I have since found a great source for cheap Nizoral Shampoo with  2% ketoconazole and have thus corrected my score to 9.75%. See link below for best deals. MUCH cheaper than buying in a local pharmacy.

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Conclusion

Here’s the biggest selling point of all for me. When I stopped using it for a couple of months I could see, very very slowly, and only very slightly, that there was a little bit of thinning in my hair. And when I started using it again, my hair thickened back up. For me. The dream ticket is using Nizoral in combination with oral finasteride. I’m also definitely a fan of the effectiveness of Minoxidil (the key ingredient in Rogaine/Regaine). But because of its slight inconvenience, I’m going to continue with these two as long as everything remains hunky dory! So far so good!

As I’ve stated in many places on this website, I don’t work for Nizoral, or Rogaine/Regaine or any Propecia producers (I even recommend generic Propecia in my review). I don’t work for anyone at all in the hair industry. But if you’re experiencing hair loss, in my opinion, these are the three best products to try. And a combination of Nizoral 2% and finasteride, the key ingredient of Propecia, is the easiest and best tandem. The least that you should do, if you’re suffering from male pattern baldness, is try them out. These two are also the most inexpensive way of combatting hair loss. It’s a massive ringing endorsement of 9.75 out of 10 from me! Great product! Definitely worth it!

>>>FOR THE BEST CURRENT DEALS AND OFFERS ON NIZORAL CLICK HERE<<<

UPDATE

I used to order my Nizoral from Amazon.com but it was only 1% ketoconazole. There’s a far more effective Nizoral 2% that can be purchased on ebay. I’ve been ordering it from Thailand and they’ll also do free delivery. By far the best way to do it (if you live in the western world and face the same prices that I do). It’s exactly the same stuff. Click on the link above which will bring you to the page with the best offers available.

HONEST FINASTERIDE REVIEW – What Is Finasteride? And Does Finasteride Work?

Product: Finasteride aka generic propecia

My rating: 10 out of 10

Cheapest place to buy: Reliable Rx Pharmacy

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What does it do?!

In essence, finasteride stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body.

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And what is DHT?

I plan on dedicating at least one more post to DHT, possibly more, so I’m reluctant to get too bogged down here. But essentially it stymies the health of hair follicles by shrinking them.

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So, does finasteride work?

In a word, at least for me anyway. Yes!

As you can see from My Photo Diary page. I was overwhelmed by its effectiveness. Especially because I took an awful lot of convincing in order to take the plunge and try it out. I had freaked myself out by googling terms like “finasteride severe side effects” and “stopping finasteride adverse side effects” and so on. In fact, so freaked out was I by the side effects concern, that I’ve decided to add an additional post after this product review discussing finasteride side effects. Because I’d like people to be able to add their own comments and stories to that post. Others may not have had the same positive experience as me.

Ultimately, I bit the bullet and tried it because I realised that virtually every single drug in existence has known side effects. And this shouldn’t be enough in itself to put one off. Especially because, in the grand scheme of things, the side effects are relatively minor. And if everybody avoided drugs that had side effects then nobody would ever take them! I’m just getting my disclaimer out here early though, that this is my own experience, and it doesn’t mean a) everyone will be side effect free and b) that it will work for everyone. Everybody has a different physiology. But it’s been phenomenal and side effect free for me.

I trawled the various different online pharmacies and can wholeheartedly recommend these guys, they’re the cheapest, best and I now use them myself – Reliable RX Pharmacy who have a ton of generic propecia offers.

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How to take finasteride.

It couldn’t be more simple really. You eat it. The above are a few 5mg tablets cut up into the normal daily dose. With a pea as a size reference!

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What is the finasteride dose? And is there a maximum finasteride dose?

Broadly speaking, the recommended dose for treating male androgenetic alopecia, i.e. male pattern balding, is a 1mg finasteride tablet daily. The pharmacies near me all stock 5mg finasteride tablets so previously I would get the pharmacist to cut the tablets for me (really awkward to do on my own at home!). Usually would take about twenty minutes. So allow time. However, what I’d strongly recommend is doing what I do now and ordering them online. You can get 1mg or 5mg tablets and don’t have any of the fuss. Click here for the best promotional generic propecia offers. Order it only after you’ve confirmed that you’re suffering from male pattern balding. See my What To Ask The Doctor section for more information regarding this.

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Ease of use:

It’s a tablet. You eat it. Enough said!

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My verdict:

There’s not a great deal to discuss with such a simple product. Suffice to say, I would give this a resounding 10/10. It literally saved my hair! And it’s very inexpensive. I’ve had no side effects and it’s seriously easy to take. It sits beside my bed and I pop it in my gob each morning. Boom. Done. Buy it buy it buy it!!

And please comment below when you’ve tried it or if you have any questions!

How To Thicken Hair – Introduction

Emails

I’ve started receiving emails from people who aren’t keen on commenting in the comments section (though please do comment so we’re all in on the conversation!). One of them asked a brilliant blizzard of questions revolving around how to thicken your hair. It’s the great question that everyone who fears balding asks themselves, how to make my hair thicker. His questions inspired my next few blog posts. The distinction here, between how to stop hair loss and in this instance, the best way to thicken hair, is that the various different methods of actively thickening the hair can differ from my own best method of stopping hair loss. And that there’s a distinction between how to make thin hair thicker and how to make thin hair LOOK thicker. One can make hair APPEAR thicker without necessarily making your hair thicker. I want to establish how to thicken hair in a safe and effective way. Some of the items I’ll be looking at are:

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Can home remedies make your hair thicker?

I will look at natural hair growth remedies for men and try and find proven natural hair growth remedies and homemade natural hair growth remedies. There have been innumerable attempts at beating balding through natural homemade hair loss remedies and I will be looking at how much truth there is to their efficacy. There’s an awful lot of urban legend out there and some homemade hair loss treatments that simply don’t work! I want to find natural hair growth home remedies that have a proven track record of working, and try and pinpoint the best natural hair growth remedy. If indeed there is one. I will include things like herbal hair growth remedies and other oft queried (and off-center) things such as 1) does baking soda thicken hair? 2) does castor oil thicken hair? and 3) does olive oil thicken hair? Essentially, I want to have an answer to whether natural hair loss remedies can work.

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Can products make hair thicker?

I will look at topical hair loss solutions here. As in, is there a shampoo that makes hair thicker? Is there such thing as legitimate hair thickening treatments at all? If so, what are the best hair thickening products? Is there a good hair thickening gel? And/or a hair thickening cream?

I will be primarily focusing on the various alleged ‘good hair growth shampoo’ products on the market. As opposed to treatments like Minoxidil. Which I hope to tackle elsewhere. Is there a ‘best hair thickening shampoo’? What is the best thickening shampoo? And so on.

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Other treatments for hair loss

Is there such a thing as hair thickening vitamins? If you’ve read my nutrition for hair section then you’ll know the answer. Are there hair thickening pills? Again, I would obviously be partial to these, which you can see if you read My Photo Diary. I also want to look at other myths and truths, such as questions like ‘does shaving make hair thicker?’.

Finasteride dose – 1mg finasteride tablet daily

So what’s the Finasteride dose for stopping hair loss?

1mg finasteride tablet daily is all that you need.

Here’s a photo of the quartered Finasteride pills that I would take each morning (before I started ordering them online)!

 

I’ve put a pea beside them for size reference to show how small they are. It’s just one of those little fellas each day. Very easy! The finasteride dose is very small and uncomplicated. Just a 1mg finasteride tablet daily and Bob’s your uncle!

READ MY FINASTERIDE REVIEW HERE.