So here it is! My diary (or my ‘hair log’ as I called it) of how I went about saving my rapidly dwindling hair!
Worth checking out the About Me tab above if you haven’t already, for a little more background…
As I say on the About Me page, I wasn’t exactly bald, but believe you me, my hair had thinned dramatically in a short amount of time and it was well on the way to becoming bald, before I took action.
Here’s my journey:
Log 1 – Jan 28th 2014
Got the heebie jeebies about the rapidly dwindling hair and went to see the doctor to ask his advice. I wanted to be pro-active and take action before it was too late. He started me off on a shampoo. I used this shampoo, Nizoral, for the first time just before the attached photo. Left it in my hair for five minutes. Nizoral is alleged to have a positive impact on hair growth because of the 2% Ketoconazole ingredient. There are other Ketoconazole shampoos on the market also. UPDATE: My Nizoral review here.
Log 2 – Feb 6th 2014
Have used Nizoral maybe three or four times since I got it. Have not really showered with other shampoos and had a couple of days of not showering at all during the spell since first hair log on Jan 28th (mainly hangover days). Hair looking grim to the naked eye. In my opinion! But obviously too early for any positive effects from the Nizoral.
Log 3 – Feb 16th 2014
Started on 5% minoxidil two days ago on Fri Feb 14th (very romantic!) so I’ve used it twice. Haven’t used Nizoral shampoo in probably a week or more. Just T-Gel and random shampoo recently.
Log 4 – March 2nd 2014
Two and a bit weeks into 5% minoxidil usage.
For the first ten days or so I was using it every day. Due to scalp irritation and flaking, the doctor advised me to do it every second day which I’ve done for the last week or so. So I’ll probably switch back to daily use now this week because the scalp has calmed down a bit. I unfortunately have EXTREMELY sensitive skin, including my scalp, and I’m prone anyway to constant flare ups with dermatitis and dandruff and flaky scalp. Been using Nizoral for the last couple of days and used about a week before, to try and diminish the flakiness. Used T Gel this morning and some coal tar shampoo that we had at home also during the week. Said to be good for flakiness.
Log 5 – March 25th 2014
Feeling very bald! Even though I’m not yet. Really hoping this starts working soon! I’m about six weeks in. They weren’t kidding that it thins the hair further at the outset before it starts to work. Though apparently the amount that it thins is also in line with how successful it will be for the individual. Apparently! Been pretty steady with the 5% minoxidil usage. Didn’t use it one day over weekend just gone and didn’t use for three consecutive days from March 14-16 cos of being away on a stag party and sharing room, but pretty much used it every day apart from that. Using T-Gel on hair mostly in this period over last week and a half cos been in girlfriends apartment a lot, and it’s all that she has. Was using Nizoral before that while away for week of March 8th-13th. Scalp still irritated. Had to dye hair which didn’t help the scalp one bit!
Log 6 – April 15th 2014
Been using 5% minoxidil five days a week for last two weeks. Weekends off to try and protect my sensitive scalp. Shampooing a little bit more with Revita but also with T Gel and Nizoral. Definitely seeing results now.
Log 7 – June 13th
Fairly regular use of 5% minoxidil. Seems to be working very well so far. Three months in. Hair definitely feeling thicker. Occasional day or two off when couldn’t use. Mostly while away. But mostly I’m all over it and keeping it regular. Maybe only two or three other enforced days off in last six or so weeks. Using Nizoral shampoo almost entirely for the last while. Fairly consistently. Only very occasional T-Gel usage.
Log 8 – June 25th 2014
Still going well. Dyed hair on Monday 23rd. So off minoxidil that day. But back on again from Tues 24th. Nizoral shampoo most days. One or two days of some Nioxin shampoo that’s in my girlfriends house.
Log 9 – July 28th 2014
Went through a bit of a non-minoxidil using phase about ten days ago for a few days. And switched to heavy duty coal tar T-Gel for scalp flakiness. Scalp has been itchy in last couple of days. The constant hair dyeing and the minoxidil aren’t a good tandem for the scalp! And my naturally irritable skin isn’t helping matters one bit. I think that bit of time away from it shows that you really need to keep up the usage because the hair felt a little thinner again once I had to temporarily stop.
Log 10 – Aug 18th 2014
First photo (above) – just minoxidil and no gel in hair
Second photo – gel (hard muk – orange tub) in hair.
Been a little inconsistent with the minoxidil over the last while. Didn’t have it in for two full days about four days ago. Scalp was a bit flaky and I had a wedding coming up so didn’t want dandruff. But still definitely working. It’s definitely feeling fuller. Only nuisance really is the sensitivity of my scalp to anything and everything, and just applying the minoxidil each day, obviously not the end of the world though. But because I have such a naturally irritable scalp and have always needed to use very chemical-free shampoos (oxymoron?!) and anti-dandruff/sensitive skin stuff, I started looking at alternative non-topical treatments to save myself some time.
BIG NEWS DEVELOPMENT.
Started using Finasteride about ten days ago or thereabouts. Maybe even two weeks. The daily dose is only 1mg per day. Been good at remembering the (partial) tablet each day. Had avoided because of fears over side effects but all good on that front. None of the alleged side effects have occurred. It comes in 5mg tabs in my local pharmacy, on prescription, and the pharmacist kindly cut each of them into four parts for me thus giving me 1.25mg per tab. Recommended dose is 1mg. But I’m sticking with 1.25mg per day. Probably going to be annoying having to go to the doc and get re-subscriptions if the tablets work.
The idea is to try and come off the minoxidil if the Finasteride works well. Because a tablet a day seems easier than harassing my dodgy scalp! But the minoxidil says that you can’t stop using it once you start it. So this could be sketchy. The Finasteride would have to do a lot basically!
Log 11 – October 30th 2014
Hair appears to be thickening even further! Eureka! Finasteride I want to kiss you! Certainly feels thicker now.
Have been on Finasteride for maybe about two and a half months or so.
Log 12 – 4th December 2014
I think I may be in love with Finasteride! Can you marry a tablet?! Don’t get me wrong, the minoxidil was really starting to work, but the two of them in tandem are like a dream!
It’s getting great results. So much so that I’m trying to wean myself off minoxidil. I’ve now gone three days without using the minoxidil and I haven’t noticed any thinning. Which is the concern with stopping use of it cold turkey. Apparently once you start using it you can’t then stop. So I’m hoping ultimately that’s not the case or that finasteride overcompensates so that it doesn’t matter that I’ve stopped the minoxidil. Another week or two and I expect that if I don’t notice any thinning then I can walk away from the minoxidil. Fingers crossed.
Log 13 – March 18th 2015 – FINAL LOG
The results have been dramatic since starting the finasteride. And it’s back as thick or thicker than it ever was. Plus so so so much easier taking a little quarter tablet than having to use the minoxidil foam or spray every day. Have suffered absolutely no side effects. Which are reported to be all sorts of things like libido dissipation and erectile dysfunction. Have had none. Finasteride has rocked my world! Apparently it doesn’t work for everyone, and I really thought that I had screwed myself by using the minoxidil which apparently once you start you have to keep using and can never stop (is that just the producers of it saying that, so that you buy more?!) and I thought that I’d at least have to keep up the minoxidil in tandem with the Finasteride but I stopped it months ago with no ill effects. VERY happy!
The before and after once again: