hair loss

Minoxidil Shampoo Pros and Cons

Minoxidil Shampoo

Minoxidil Shampoo - Good Idea or Not?

written by Matt Dominance

In this post you will find out:

  • What is M. Shampoo?
  • Effectiveness of Minoxidil-enriched Shampoos
  • Minoxidil Shampoo vs topical Minoxidil (Pros and Cons)
  • 3 Ways to boost Minoxidil effectiveness for non-responders
  • Conclusion

What is Minoxidil Shampoo?

It is a shampoo enriched with Minoxidil (usually 1% or 2%). Brands known for offering such shampoo are Foligain or less known – Bioken. 

 

Minoxidil Shampoo with 2% Minoxidil
Biotin Shampoo with Minoxidil
Biotin Shampoo with Minoxidil

Combining Shampoo with Minoxidil - Good Idea?

Minoxidil in a Shampoo

We know that shampoos with parabens and sulfates are bad for the overall health of our hair and skin.

We also know that DHT blocking shampoos containing useful Ketoconazole are scientifically proven to slow down hair loss and reduce/get rid of dandruff. 

But is Minoxidil really a must have ingredient in your shampoo?

Well, Minoxidil is known for prolonging the anagen (growing) phase of the hair follicles on the whole body not just on the scalp.

It can do so by opening potassium channels and also up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which helps in maintaining dermal papilla vasculature and hair growth

How long should the Minoxidil Shampoo stay on the scalp?

In this study they also observed how soon Minoxidil 5% can stimulate cutaneous blood from in the scalp after one time application

minoxidil stimulates cutaneous blood flow in human balding scalps
Minoxidil 5% is able to stimulate cutaneous blood flow in the balding scalp within 15 min after application

We have to note, that only 0.25ml of 5% Minoxidil has been used in this study. 

Trying to achieve similar results with a Minoxidil Shampoo would require at least 1% Minoxidil concentration per each ml of the shampoo.

Furthermore, you would have to leave the shampoo on the scalp for up to 15 minutes.

How effective is the Minoxidil Shampoo 1%?

This study from 2015 investigated the therapeutic effect of Shampoo with Minoxidil 1% for 4 months.

It was a  double-blind placebo controlled trial with 60 subjects.

The treatment group used the Minoxidil Shampoo every other day for 4 months. The control group used a similar shampoo but with no Minoxidil in it.

Patients were also evaluated on a monthly basis.

Minoxidil Shampoo study

If we take a look at both parameters – vellus hair and terminal hair improvement, we can clearly see an increasing trend in the treatment group. In the placebo group on the other hand, it seems that the amount of vellus hair also improved in about 13% (21% in the treatment group). 

The amount of terminal hair increase however, seems to significantly improve between the treatment and placebo group.

The study unfortunately took only 4 months. Could we further assume increasing improvements in the terminal hair and vellus hair counts in the treatment group?

It seems that further studies are going to be necessary.

How does Minoxidil enriched Shampoo compare to Minoxidil 5% topical?

Before we try to compare the same active ingredient used in 2 different product variations, let’s take a look at what makes the active ingredient Minoxidil potent for hair loss:

  • Using Minoxidil with a proper application frequency
  • Allowing long enough absorption duration
  • Using Minoxidil in high enough concentration

The half-life of topical Minoxidil averages at 22 hours, which means that at least once a day application is required to maintain the ideal stimulatory benefits. That’s why it is recommended to use products with 5% Minoxidil at least once a day and sometimes even 2x a day.

Could you use MX Shampoo every day?

Although patients with very oily scalp and excessive sebum production could get away with shampooing their head every day, not everybody could do so without drying out the scalp and disrupting the ideal pH balance.

If we assume the usual shampooing frequency of 3-4x per week, and compare it to usual topical Minoxidil application of 1-2x every day, we get superior hair follicle stimulation by using Minoxidil with higher frequency than 3-4 times per week. 

How long will be the absorption with a Shampoo vs Topical solution containing Minoxidil?

Shampoo absorption will normally last no longer than 5 minutes while a topical solution can be left on the scalp for many hours.

minoxidil absorption chart

Minoxidil absorption over time has been researched in this study which discovered a more rapid absorption rate of 50% within the first hour of application followed by a less rapid absorption rate (another 25%) between 1 – 4 hours. 

We can assume a 100% (close to 100%) absorption within 8 hours. 

Minoxidil application intervals in this study were every 12 hours.

This makes it impossible for the MX shampoo to beat topical MX 5% in terms of absorption duration.

In order for this to be a fair battle, we need to get a shampoo standardized with 5% Minoxidil in each 1ml of shampoo. Why is it important? 

Significance of 5% concentration over 2%

Long term effectiveness of 5% Minoxidil has outperformed the 2% Minoxidil.

By comparing the effectiveness of the Minoxidil Shampoo 1% (as it was described in the previous study) to 5% topical solution (FDA approved MX solution for androgenetic alopecia), the latter one will likely win the battle! 

Minoxidil Shampoo for non-responders to the traditional Minoxidil 5% solution

It has been shown, that patients with a very low activity of sulfotransferase enzyme on the scalp are less likely to have a less favorable clinical response to Minoxidil. That’s the reason why only every other person can actually regrow hair after using Minoxidil 5%.

Sulfotransferase enzyme is responsible for converting the inactive ingredient Minoxidil to Minoxidil Sulfate (MXS). By applying Minoxidil on the scalp, this conversion happens topically. 

This study on individuals with low/no sulfotransferase activity on the scalp has shown that applying Minoxidil Sulfate directly helped improve their clinical response. The concentration of MXS solution was 10%..

The problem with MXS though, is its instability. Therefore it should be supplied in a small package.

Individuals with little to no clinical response to traditional 5% topical Minoxidil in the past who are considering Minoxidil shampoo, should rather do the following:

 

3 Ways to boost Minoxidil effectiveness for non-responders

1. Minoxidil Solution enriched with Tretinoin

Topical tretinoin application influences the expression of follicular sulfotransferase. It has been shown in this cohort study. Another study compared Minoxidil 5% vs Minoxidil 5% + 0.01% Tretinoin and also confirmed potential benefits of including tretinoin in the topical Minoxidil formulations. 

Among very few available Minoxidil solutions with Tretinoin I’d suggest this one with 0.025% Tretinoin called Dualgen – 5R (Minoxidil 5%, Tretinoin 0.025%, Azelaic Acid 5%, Adenosine, Biotin and Caffeine).

Although topical application of Biotin hasn’t shown any significant stimulatory benefits on hair growth, Adenosine and Caffeine have been shown to positively affect the anagen (growing) phase of the hair follicle.

2. Minoxidil Solution enriched with Diclofenac sodium 0.5% and Tea Tree Oil 5%

In this study, they created a special micro-emulsion with Minoxidil 5%. Micro-emulsions are mixtures of liquid, oil and surfactant. 

Minoxidil study

Topical Diclofenac 3% is often times used as a treatment for Actinic Keratosis. This skin condition develops over time due to sun overexposure. This study accidentally included males with Actinic Keratosis who were also suffered from androgenetic alopecia. 

As a side effects of this treatment improvements in terminal hair growth was observed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any topical micro-emulsion with Minoxidil incl Diclofenac sodium which is commercially available. 

The good new is, that Diclofenac sodium has been shown to be pretty stable. In this study they found out that a suspension with Diclofenac sodium stored in 60ml bottles for 93 days still retained 99.5% of its original concentration. 

3. Derma rolling or Micro-needling

Using derma roller regularly in conjunction with Minoxidil therapy helps open the pores in the skin and results in better transcutaneous absorption.

In the Derma Roller (DR) and Minoxidil (MX) study on 99 patients (50 in the DR+MX group and 44 in the MX only group), they observed:

8.5% increase in the mean hair count after 12 weeks in the MX only group

40% increase in the mean hair count after 12 weeks in the MX+DR group

In this article you can read more about how to use a derma roller, best derma roller frequency, and how to clean it after every use.

 

 

Conclusion

Although adding extra Minoxidil into your Shampoo could be superior compared to not including it there at all based on this randomized placebo-controlled trial, the additional benefits of such a shampoo should be still taken with a grain of salt before further research will be conducted.

There is also no reason to use such shampoo if one is already a user of topical Minoxidil 5%.

Short shampooing times compared with relatively long Minoxidil absorption time is really unfavorable for the efficacy of all Minoxidil-containing shampoos. 

For a more effective hair loss prevention regimen it would be much more advisable to use the standardized 5% Minoxidil solution topically together with the Ketoconazole Shampoo to maximize the results instead. This is the Shampoo I use myself and recommend.

Also you can read more about why Ketoconazole Shampoo is good for hair loss prevention here.

Individuals who were previously non-responders to conventional MX 5% are likely to get no additional benefits from using Minoxidil-enriched shampoos. In such case, additional use of tretinoin, diclofenac sodium or MXS can be considered for better clinical response to Minoxidil.

the big 3 of hair loss

The Big 3 of Hair Loss Prevention

The Big 3 of Hair Loss Prevention

written by Matt Dominance

If you are new to my website, make sure you read Medical Disclaimer before you continue reading this article.

3 Simple Steps to Prevent Early Balding

In this short post you will find out what are the 3 best anti hair loss treatments you can start using once you notice the first signs of male pattern baldness!

These treatments have been selected based on:

  • Their proven effectiveness in multiple clinical studies 
  • Friendly cost of a monthly supply 
  • Treatments are easy to stick to

1. Ketoconazole Shampoo

Ketoconazole shampoo is known for providing extra protection against dandruff, which could be responsible for scalp inflammation and additional hair loss. Ketoconazole could benefit not only to kill dandruff but potentially block DHT topically and thus slow down the hair miniaturization. 

The shampoo with Ketoconazole I use is the Revita Shampoo with 1% Ketoconazole in it. I’ve been using it successfully for more than 2 years by now. 

I have been noticing reduced hair loss several days after shampooing. My daily shedding tends to increase a little, if I don´t apply Ketoconazole shampoo for more than 5 days.

Ketoconazole seems to improve the proportion of anagen hair folliclesfights seborrheic dermatitis and promotes hair thickening.

2. Minoxidil 5% and Derma Roller

Minoxidil is a hair stimulant which supposedly works by opening potassium channels via topical application on the scalp. This treatment is FDA approved and for it to be successful, patients have to apply it consistently at least once a day on a dry scalp. 

This medication also prolongs the anagen (growing) phase of the hair follicle and delays the hair shedding. It also comes with initial shedding stage (first 1-3 month of using Minoxidil).

Minoxidil – induced shedding is completely normal and it is a sign that this medication is working.

In case you want to try another hair stimulant which comes without the initial hair shedding, you can check out my article about Stemoxydine and how it compares to Minoxidil.

Derma-rolling is another great tool to have in your hair loss prevention toolkit. Regular use of the derma roller or derma pen has been shown to boost the absorption of Minoxidil 5% and thus increase the hair regrowth potential of Minoxidil treatment.

If you decide to combine these two together, make sure you don’t apply Minoxidil product on the scalp earlier than 24 hours after your derma rolling session.

In this article I explain how I practice derma rolling as well as its additional benefits compared to using Minoxidil alone.

3. Finasteride

Please consult your doctor before taking Finasteride/Propecia as it requires prescription!

Finasteride is the 2nd FDA approved medication next to Minoxidil with only one difference – it requires a prescription from a doctor (dermatologist, or a hair transplant doctor). Side effects from Finasteride incl. decreased libido, erectile dysfunction or depression are linked to inhibition of 5 – alpha – reductase.

Inhibition of 5AR enzyme is the main mechanism of action by Finasteride. It’s the reason why this drug can successfully prevent hair loss. 5 AR converts Testosterone into more potent Dihydrotestosterone DHT and thus acts as a precursor of male pattern hair loss by genetically predisposed individuals.

This drug has to be taken orally once per day. Usually 1mg is the standardized dose prescribed by doctors. 

However you can also take anywhere from 0.25mg to 1mg to successfully block the DHT on the scalp.

Taking 1mg is recommended to achieve a faster Finasteride accumulation in the scalp tissue and thus faster hair loss prevention.

Here you can check out my experience with Finasteride and results after 1 year of use!

Are you interested in a hair transplant but don´t know where to start?

daily shedding

5 Early Signs of Balding

5 Early Signs of Balding!

written by Matt Dominance

If you are new to my website, make sure you read Medical Disclaimer before you continue reading this article.

In this post you will find out:

  • What are the 5 early signs of genetic hair loss?

Balding Sign 1 - Check Your Daily Hair Shedding Rate

daily shedding

Excessive amount of hair lost on your pillow after you wake up/in your shower could be a sign of shortened hair follicle growth cycle.

Normally, we tend to lose 50-100 hairs per day as a result of natural replacement of the old hair with the new hair. 

Telogen Effluvium together with Androgenetic alopecia are the most frequent hair loss conditions men experience. Both of them shorten the anagen phase (growth phase) of the hair follicle. Additionally, Androgenetic alopecia also progressively miniaturizes the hair follicle over time.

Hair shedding doesn´t mean permanent hair loss yet!

 

In order to monitor your hair shedding properly, make sure you always check your pillow and shower drain. Then compare the amount of hairs shed with the natural daily hair replacement rate –  50 – 100 hairs. 

Using dark colored pillow if you have blonde hair or white pillow if you have dark hair can be the counting easier.

 

Balding Sign 2 - Check Your Balding Relatives

simpsons

Balding family members can potentially tell you more about the severity of your current hair loss condition.

By looking at the hair of your dad, uncles, and grandpas you can get a better understanding of what to expect.

Do they have signs of balding? How does their hairline look? Is it dense or thinned out? Can you see any hair loss forming shape on their hairline or crown of the head?

Any thinned out areas or patchy spots on their scalp could suggest an underlying Androgenetic alopecia condition.

Make sure you also try to classify each of them on a Norwood scale. If you don´t know how this scalp works, look it up online and do the assessment on your relatives. 

To put it simple, Norwood scale starts with NW1 (no balding), NW2 (first signs of receding hairline) and end with a NW7 stage – hair only left on sides and back of the scalp, like Dr. Phil has.  

 

Balding Sign 3 - Itchy and flaky scalp

Itchiness and flaky scalp are signs of skin inflammation which can lead to additional hair loss until the inflammation is resolved. 

Perifollicular inflammation – for example, can be easily spot around the hair follicle during scalp examination with a trichoscope.

 

itchy scalp

Balding Sign 4 - Your hair takes longer to grow

Anagen phase is normally 2-7 years long. During this phase, hair follicle grows longer and longer.

A healthy hair follicle shouldn’t normally fall out sooner than that (unless it’s affected by progressive miniaturization – Androgenetic alopecia or suffers a sudden shock).

Individuals with genetic predisposition to balding have increased percentage of hair follicles, which suffer from shortened anagen phase.

This leads to having less hair actively growing on the scalp at any given time.

 

hair growth cycle


Telogen phase is normally 3 months long and during this time the hair follicle falls out and remains inactive. 

This phase belongs to a natural process of replacing the old hair with the new hair. 

Normally, the hair follicle switches from the telogen phase right back into the anagen phase, but there are cases when it doesn´t happen automatically.

In some cases the hair follicle can get “stuck” in the Kenogen phase which acts as a transition between the growing (anagen) and resting (telogen) phase.

Individuals with androgenetic alopecia condition can also suffer with prolonged kenogen phase and thus experience slow hair growth.

Balding Sign 5 - Hair becomes harder to style

style hair men

Having trouble styling your hair can also mean that your hair may be naturally thin or it’s way too thick so no products can successfully hold it in place. It should only worry you if you used to style your hair without issues and now – because of hair thinning you can´t do so as effortlessly anymore.

The miniaturized hair will be thinner and softer and it won’t be able to sustain the same volume anymore. Using the same amount of hair products on it will make it look over-processed or over-styled.

Thinning hair is also more likely to fall out when people try to spike it up with hair styling paste or gel.

Hair thinning on the hairline or vertex exposes the scalp and that´s why many men decide to use hair fibers or concealers.

derma roller and minoxidil to regrow hair

How To Use Derma Roller and Minoxidil to Regrow Hair

How To Use a Derma Roller and Minoxidil to Regrow Hair!

written by Matt Dominance

In this post you will find out:

  • What is a derma roller?
  • Optimal derma rolling frequency for hair regrowth! 
  • How to use derma roller?
  • Best derma rollers types! 
  • Conclusion

What is a derma roller?

Derma roller is a small device with hundreds of tine micro-needles which are meant to promote controlled tissue injury through the formation of micro-channels in the skin.

Another benefit of derma rolling on the scalp is promotion of stem cell activity in the hair bulge area.

derma roller matt dominance

Science behind micro-needling for hair loss

derma roller study
A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study

Anti hair loss therapy with the derma roller is used to induce collagen formation, neovascularization and growth factor production of treated areas.

Micro-needling is a technique that promotes controlled tissue injury through the formation of micro-channels.

Scientific evidence suggests that micro-channels created by derma roller promote the absorption of anti-hair loss products applied topically e.g. Minoxidil (Rogaine), topical Finasteride, etc.

Micro-needling with a derma roller 1.5 mm can improve hair count on a treated area without adding any topical products! Study

Derma Rolling Frequency based on Derma Roller type

Frequency of using a derma roller for hair regrowth depends on the size of its micro needles!

The longer the micro needles are, the lower the frequency. The shorter the micro needles, the more often you can use it!

 

derma roller routine
Zoom in (Weekly Derma Roller Routine)

How to Derma Roll

  1. Choose a derma roller of your choice (preferably 1.5 mm)
  2. Start rolling it on your scalp in a longitudinal, vertical, and diagonal directions until you experience pinpoint bleeding (erythema)
  3. Your derma rolling session is finished. Wait 24 hours before you apply Minoxidil (Rogaine), topical Finasteride or any other alcohol- or propylene glycol-containing topical product which might irritate your scalp.

When you can start seesing results?

First hair regrowth can appear after 12 weeks of doing derma rolling. In this study (below) they compared Minoxidil 5% + Micro-needling with the derma roller 1.5 mm vs Minoxidil 5% only and after 12 weeks the hair regrowth in the derma roller + Minoxidil 5% group was already significant (better than in the Minoxidil 5% group).

 

derma rolling and Minoxidil
A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study

Is derma rolling painful?

When the roller’s needles are only up to 0.5 mm long, the procedure is essentially painless.

The pain increases as the depth of needle penetration increases. Either if you increase the rolling pressure or use a roller with longer needles than 0.5mm.

It also depends on the thickness of epidermis and dermis layer which influences the overall pain.

How many hairs can you regrow?

This will depend on 2 factors.

  1. How many hairs have you already lost? If you have already clear bald spots on your scalp (or spots with vellus hair – 2 mm long hair), derma roller won´t help you regrow any new hair in these areas. Derma roller only works on the areas with terminal hair incl. terminal hair which started to miniaturize recently.

  2. How well do you respond to conventional treatments like Minoxidil 5%? Since derma roller potentially acts as a transcutaneous penetration enhancer, it will greatly benefit all patients who are positive responders to Minoxidil. We know that combining Minoxidil + Derma roller can regrow more hair than using Minoxidil or Derma roller separately. 

Derma Rolling for non-responders to Minoxidil and Finasteride

This study observed (unfortunately only) 4 patients who failed to respond to conventional therapy for treating male pattern hair loss – Minoxidil 5% and Fiansteride 1 mg.

Case 1 - 6 months after Derma Rolling

Case 1 — A 30-year-old male was suffering from AGA since 8 years. He was on oral finasteride and topical 5% minoxidil regularly since 4 years and also had underwent hair transplantation surgery 2 years ago. He reported an arrest in hair loss but was unsatisfied in terms of cosmetic scalp coverage. 

case 1 before
Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy
Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy

Case 4 - 6 months after Derma Rolling

A 40-year-old male with female pattern type III of hair loss was taking conventional therapy for over 3 years but unsatisfied with respect to new hair growth

case 4 before
Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy
case 4 after
Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy

3 Dont's of Derma Rolling!

1. Respect the proper Derma Rolling frequency!

If you roll more than you need, then you may transect some of your scalp hair. The more frequently you roll, the more often such transection with derma roller can occur. 

When the hair is wet it is more flat and this id won´t stand up and potentially get in a way of the microneedles. 

2. Don´t apply Minoxidil right after!

You´ll still get boost in your hair regrowth if you apply Minoxidil 24 hours later so don´t rush with it. 

We known that Minoxidil contains alcohol, some versions even Propylene Glycol which have been shown to be skin allergens causing irritation by some people even without prior derma rolling. 

By using it right after derma rolling you´ll experience stinging, and skin drying , which makes the healing slower. 

Rather use vitamin A or vitamin E rich oil. Vitamin A influences 400–1000 genes that control proliferation and differentiation of all major cells in epidermis and dermis, and Vitamin E is an anti oxidant that supports skin health (almond oil). 

During the micro-needling studies they also used saline or betadine for cleansing the scalp after the derma rolling session. This also applies to any alcohol and PG containing topicals and even topical Finasteride which often times contains alcohol or PG as a penetration enhancer. 

3. Clean your roller properly after every use!

Forgetting to take a proper care of your derma roller can promote spreading bacteria and potential infection next time you use it. 

The better you take care of it, the longer you can use it. 

Most of the studies done on derma rolling and micro needling have been done in clinics or medical institutions where the micro-needling device like derma roller is going to be properly sanitized after the session or the pin needles of an automated micro-needling device like derma pen are being used only 1 time for each patient. 

For home use, I know many of you are re-using the same derma roll.

 

 

Diffuse Hair Loss in men and women

Short-term vs Permanent Hair Loss

Short-term vs Permanent Hair Loss

written by Matt Dominance

This blog post is a summary from my YouTube presentation on Short Term and permanent types of diffuse hair loss! 

You can also watch my video here!

3 Types of Diffuse Hair Loss

Short term vs long term hair loss difference
Hair Loss vs Hair Shedding

Diffuse Hair Loss as Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium Causes
Short Term Hair Loss Example

Diffuse Hair Loss as Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Chronic telogen effluvium

Diffuse Hair Loss as Androgenetic Alopecia

Diffuse Hair Loss as Androgenetic Alopecia

Diffuse Hair Loss as Androgenetic Alopecia

Diffuse Hair Loss Patterns
Diffuse Hair loss and permanent Hair Miniaturization

Working Out – Good/Bad for Hair Loss?

Working Out & Bodybuilding - Good/Bad for Hair Loss?

This article will help you better understand the role of Testosterone and DHT while working out. 

Do bodybuilding, fitness and working out in general influence your hair loss in any way? 

The main factor influencing your hair loss whether you´re  doing fitness or bodybuilding or HIIT, sprints, athletics, is your susceptibility to MPHL (male pattern hair loss) is your hair follicles sensitivity to androgens (mainly DHT and Testosterone). 

There is nothing which can influence the progression of your hair loss faster than the degree of your hair follicle sensitivity to DHT.

Genetic predisposition to Male Pattern Hair Loss

Your genetics decide whether your hair follicles get inflamed by the DHT or not. 

This results in the shortening of the anagen phase and simultaneous prolongation of the telogen phase, combined with hair follicle miniaturization. 

Before DHT interacts with the androgen receptor of your hair follicles, there are the isoenzymes: type I. and type II. 5-alpha-reductase which convert your free Testosterone into DHT. 

These isoenzymes responsible for DHT exist in every human body. 

The bad thing is that the local activity of 5 – alpha – reductase isoenzymes in the hair follicle is way to high. 

Enhanced activity of predominantly type II. 5 AR in the hair follicles causes its progressive miniaturization and dysregulation of a proper hair growth cycle. 

This defect can be partly mitigated by drugs like Finasteride (FDA approved for hair loss) and Dutasteride (not FDA approved for hair loss). 

These drugs work as 5 AR inhibitors and this let less DHT to be converted from Testosterone.

Genetic maple pattern hair loss susceptibility = androgen receptors of the hair follicles are sensitive to DHT (over-expression of type II. 5 – alpha – reductase in the hair follicle) as well as higher daily production rate of DHT in patients susceptible to hair loss (study).

Heavy working out + steroids = Hair Loss?

Bodybuilders no Hair Loss?

Bodybuilders from the 70´s and 80´s are a great proof of having good “hair genetics”. These guys really pushed working out to another level. 

Many of them also used anabolic steroids like Dianabol, exogenous Testosterone, Growth Hormone and many other anabolic substances boosting their protein synthesis, speeding up their recovery, increasing appetite and thus being able to train harder, recover faster and build more muscle.

Anabolic Steroids = Faster Hair Loss Porgression by the susceptible ones

Using anabolic steroids increases the amount of androgens in your system. 

By men with male pattern hair loss susceptibility (having androgen-sensitive hair follicles) faster hair loss can be expected if using anabolic steroids. 

Which steroids are more/less hair loss friendly?

 It depends on how androgenic these anabolic steroids are. For example Testosterone (androgen produced naturally in your body) has an androgen index of 100. 

The less androgenic the steroid is, the less likely it is to cause any undesirable side effects like hair loss, acne, sleeping difficulty, increased body hair growth etc.

These Bodybuilders were avoided by the "Hair Loss Gene" despite of Working Out for decades

Below you can see a very simple and trivial proof of  why Bodybuilding, Fitness or any heavy Weightlifting can´t cause your hair loss. 

It can only speed it up by predisposed individuals who are also using highly androgenic types of anabolic steroids. 

Lee Priest no Hair Loss from Steroids and Working out
Arnold Schwarzenegger no Hair Loss from Steroids and Working out
Dorian Yates no Hair Loss from Steroids and Working out
Bob Paris no Hair Loss from Steroids and Working out

Most of these bodybuilders have been working out for decades and taking steroids on top of that. 

Almost none of them experienced hair loss in their 20´s or 30´s. First signs of hair loss can be observed in their late 30´s and 40´s. 

It´s known for example, that by the age of 35 two thirds of American men have some degree of male pattern hair loss. 

By the age of 50, around 85% of men have significantly thinner hair in general.

Were the Bodybuilders from the Golden Era on any anti-hair loss preventative treatment?

I doubt that. In  the 70´s and 80´s there was no Minoxidil, Finasteride, PRP, RU58841, different topical formulations of Dutasteride or Finasteride, no hair fibers. 

Once a bodybuilder has started noticing hair loss back in the days, it was almost impossible to stop or reverse it as nowadays. 

Hair transplants were already common but they were too obvious because of the old school plugs. 

If somebody would have gotten a hairline transplant back in the days, it would have been pretty obvious.

Hair Transplants in the 70´s and 80´s

Injecting 1000 mg of Testosterone per week since the late 20´s and still no visible hair loss until the early-mid 40´s?

In the video below Dorian Yates reveals his steroid cycle he was on during his peak career. If you start watching the video from the 7th minute on you can hear him mentioning 1000 mg Testosterone per week. 

If we assume that some of his Testosterone converts to DHT in the same ration as by a non-enhanced athlete (5% – 7% of T converts to DHT), we´ll find out that his plasma DHT levels had to be really high back than. 

So had to be plasma DHT levels of other bodybuilders (mentioned before) who were also injecting Testosterone. 

How come they haven´ experienced any noticeable hair loss until they were in their 40´s and 50´s?

These bodybuilders are living examples of the importance of genetic predisposition to MPHL. 

It becomes obvious, that despite lifting heavy and  taking anabolic steroids which increase your T and DHT levels, you still may not experience hair loss. 

Why? Because you are either not susceptible to male pattern hair loss at all, or you are susceptible but the level of your hair follicle tolerance to DHT is very high. 

Can supplements like Creatine and Whey Protein cause Hair Loss?

No. Not creatine, no protein shakes and no pre-workouts have a thing to do with the typical male pattern hair loss 95% of the time. 

Male pattern hair loss is genetically predisposed and can´t be blamed on using supplements. 

It´s important to differentiate between a permanent male pattern hair loss condition and temporary hair shedding though. 

Temporary hair shedding can be experienced be over-consumption of low-quality supplements in rare cases. 

For example gainers packed with sugar and low quality carbohydrates or low quality whey protein. 

Only 1 single study on Creatine and DHT in 20 college aged men

This study showed 56% increase in plasma DHT levels by 20 college-aged rugby players. They were put on 25g of Creatine per day for 7 days followed by 2 more weeks of 5 g Creatine per day. Their Testosterone levels remained unchanged. Unfortunately, no information about hair loss was given in this study since it wasn´t any hair loss – related study.  

Conclusion: Hair Loss and Working Out

If you are a natural bodybuilder, you produce around 5-6 mg Testosterone per day (on average) which corresponds with the 300-1000 ng/dl T range in healthy males. 

Even if you could somehow manage to double your T naturally and thus also DHT production (theoretically) . 

It still wouldn´t automatically mean hair loss – just because of elevated T and DHT levels as many people may thing. 

Yes, you can keep working out even if you are already experiencing hair loss. 

The problem is when a guy susceptible to hair loss – he has enhanced 5 – alpha reductase activity in his hair follicles responsible for increased formation of DHT in his hair follicles. 

 Once you know you are the type of guy who is susceptible to some type of pattern hair loss. 

You should avoid using steroids without a proper anti hair loss management protocol. 

Although increased T levels and this elevated DHT formation as a result of steroid use may not necessarily lead to hair loss, they may – specially by individuals susceptible to hair loss.  

The best way you can find out how sensitive your hair is to DHT is by observation. 

The androgen sensitivity threshold can be different by every guy who has the predisposition for it in the first place. 

Some guys will be able to completely tolerate 20-30% increase in their DHT production as a result of working out or even taking T, while other guys won´t even have to work out and lose their hair anyways. 

There are plenty of men wit average plasma T and DHT levels, yet their hair follicles are being progressively “eaten up” by the enhanced formation of DHT – predominantly in their hair follicles as opposed to men with no MPHL condition with normal DHT formation in their hair follicles.

Topical Finasteride Before and After Results

Topical Finasteride Liposomal Gel 2.5% before and after results!

written by Matt Dominance

If you are new to my website, make sure you read Medical Disclaimer before you continue reading this article.

I have been using topical finasteride gel 2.5% – (non FDA approved hair loss treatment), and applying daily (1ml) on my crown area and mid-scalp for almost 6 months from September 2019 – February 2020.

Before I share with you my results, let me list out some pros and cons of using the Liposomal Topical Finasteride:

Pros 

 
  • Liposomal delivery allows a high ability to penetrate the first skin layer and keep the active ingredients in the desired areas (depot effect with a slower and more sustained release of finasteride into the scalp)
  • I have experienced significant decrease in rate of hair loss after 6 months
  • No smearing or greasing the hair because it gets absorbed very quickly
  • It doesn´t contain any Propylene Glycol or Alcohol which might cause skin irritations by some individuals or dry scalp

Cons 

 
  • High dosage of Finasteride active ingredient per 1ml. 25mg of Fiansteride active ingredient per 1 ml of liposomal gel can be considered rather high. 2.5% solution = equivalent of 25 mg of Finasteride active ingredient per 1ml (prescribed dose)
  • Systemic absorption is not entirely excluded and there is no study which could confirm 0% plasma permeation of this liposomal finasteride gel either
  • Some individuals on forums using this gel have mentioned side effects + long term accumulation of Finasteride in the system is likely even by very low systemic permeation of this liposomal gel
  • High price. Monthly supply costs 45-50 Euro excl. shipping cost
  • Short shelf life – 6 months

My Topical Finasteride Results: Month 0 – Month 5.5

Before starting with Topical Finasteride

  • Thinning hair on my crown area and portion of my mid-scalp. 
  • I have never used Finasteride before (oral/topical), only Minoxidil
Hair Loss Before starting Topical Finasteride
topical finasteride 1 month update
topical finasteride before and after 2 months
topical finasteride before and after 3 months
topical finasteride before and after 4 months

5.5 Months after using topical Finasteride (liposomal gel)

  • Hair loss stabilization on my mid-scalp and crown
  • Less hair fall on a daily basis
  • Only slight hair thickening so far
  • Some of my hairs started to look slightly darker on the crown area as a result of hair thickening
Hair situation after using Topical Finasteride for 5.5 months

Does Topical Finasteride work?

Shortly, yes. It worked for me right from the start. During the first month of using it I already noticed reduced shedding compared to my usual shedding rate.

However, if you are a diffuse thinner like me and you need to apply topical finasteride on a large surface of your scalp, I recommend you to use a more liquid version of finasteride.