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Insight Into A Successful Hair Loss Regimen

There is much more that goes into creating a successful hair loss regimen than you might think.

Unless you are one of the lucky few who respond well to the first treatment you try and never have to worry about it again, it is likely going to take a lot of time, effort, research, and more before you will find the right combination of treatments that work for you.

After about 6 years, and not to mention thousands of hours of research, I have only recently (within the last year) been satisfied with my hair loss regimen. It covers all the bases I need covered and works well for me, but I am one of the lucky few.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are not able to find the level of success that I have had in re-growing my hair, and for many different reasons.

Whether it’s because they don’t know what treatments to use, how they work, or are having trouble implementing them into their routine, the fact remains that many people end up giving up on trying to overcome hair loss. And while biting the bullet may be easy for some, it is an inherently difficult thing to do: accept your hair loss and move on.

I created Prepare Your Hair with the intention of helping as many people as I can overcome their hair loss by actively trying to provide the most real, authentic, and accurate information possible, regardless of what I wanted to believe or how it might make people feel. In doing so I have been fortunate enough to gain a small audience.

As the brand and my audience continues to grow, I felt that it would be very beneficial to try and help some of the folks who are having trouble with managing their hair loss regimens. Therefore, today we will be talking about my personal hair loss regimen.

I will be detailing every treatment that I use, why I use it, how it works, and finally a tip or two on how I am able to integrate them into my daily routine. I am writing this article with the intention of hopefully taking some stress off you, the reader’s, back (trust me I know how hard creating an effective hair loss regimen that also fits into your daily schedule is, it took me nearly 5 years to do so!)

Let’s dive into the first treatment, and in my mind the most important one.


Dutasteride

I used to use finasteride, but when that didn’t work for me I opted for the stronger alternative: dutasteride. Now, I will say that I have been fortunate enough to have not experienced any side effects (yet that is anyways), but some people may not be so lucky. Again, this is what I use and everyone is going to respond differently to different treatments, keep that in mind as you read on.

Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase (5-AR) inhibitor just like finasteride, although, like I said, it is stronger and likely more effective (based on the research). This is because it blocks both type 1 and type 2 5-AR, while finasteride only blocks type 1, and is why it can block up to 90+% of DHT.

You can read much more in depth about dutasteride here.

Why I use it

I use dutasteride to block DHT: the most important aspect of overcoming hair loss.

If you do not actively block DHT, no matter what other treatments you use, you will not see growth (long-term) because hair loss will continue to progress.

Since switching from finasteride to dutasteride (after realizing I didn’t respond to finasteride of course) I have had great results.

How I integrate it into my routine

My doctor gave me a daily prescription for dutasteride. This made it easy to implement into my routine as I just take it every morning with my vitamins.

If you do not take vitamins, which you should be by the way, try to take dutasteride every morning with breakfast. Missing a dose, whether you are prescribed daily doses or once-a-week doses, will result in DHT levels rising and the potential for hair loss to worsen will increase.

Minoxidil

The second treatment on my list is minoxidil. It is almost as important as dutasteride because it helps with regrowth. Think of it this way: dutasteride stops hair loss from getting worse, while minoxidil helps regrow hair (i.e. they work in conjunction).

Minoxidil is classified as a vasodilator. A vasodilator is a medication that helps increase blood flow by opening (dilating) the blood vessels.

It is super important to increase blood flow (warning: many other treatments on this list work to do this) because blood carries vital oxygen and nutrients to your hair that is uses to grow and complete healthy hair cycles. Without adequate blood flow your hair will begin to die (miniaturize).

I would recommend reading this article so that you can understand how important blood flow is, how minoxidil works, and how it all relates to hair loss.

Why I use it

Again, I use minoxidil to increase blood flow to my scalp in order to give my hair all that it needs to grow long and strong. In fact, most of my treatments on this list are related to blood flow because I believe it is that important.

Minoxidil is also the most well-researched and potentially effective vasodilator for hair loss on the market (which is why it is one of only three FDA approved hair loss treatments).

How I integrate it into my routine

Consistency is key with any hair loss treatment, especially with minoxidil. One of the downsides of minoxidil is that your hair becomes dependent on it and if you discontinue use you will likely lose all the progress you made on it. But if you find a way to be consistent this shouldn’t be an issue.

For convenience, I would recommend using the foam instead of the liquid as it dries much faster and makes styling your hair much easier.

Depending on how long your hair is it may take up to an hour for the minoxidil to fully dry, which, yes, this means that you’re going to have to get up earlier in the morning to apply it before work (do you want your hair back or not? Then you have to be willing to go the extra mile). If I can do it so can you.

Minoxidil is recommended to be used twice daily, so get your ass out of bed in the morning, apply it, and you will have gotten the hard part out of the way, all you have to do now is apply if again before bed.

Low-level laser therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT for short) is the third treatment in my regimen. Although I do not consider LLLT as vitally important as the previous two treatments, I have seen positive results from using it, plus, it has been shown to be effective in clinical studies.

LLLT is a process by which your scalp is exposed to lasers that emit red light at wavelengths between 630 and 670 nanometers (the optimal wavelength for hair growth according to scientists) for about 30 minutes 3-4 times/week.

Even though LLLT has been proven to work, scientists still aren’t sure exactly how it works. It is theorized that is helps hair that is in the telogen (resting) phase of the hair cycle move in to the anagen (growth) phase by increasing blood flow (and you already know why blood flow is important).

Here is an article that talks about everything LLLT-related.

Why I use it

Luckily, I was able to afford a good laser helmet (a good helmet usually costs around $500), but you may be asking yourself “if you are already targeting blood flow with minoxidil, why use a laser helmet?” And to that I would answer: the more the merrier.

Although both minoxidil and LLLT work to increase blood flow, I know that neither of them are 100% effective (otherwise we would have a miracle cure and I wouldn’t be writing this article), and I also know how important having adequate blood flow to your scalp is if you want to overcome hair loss. By using both treatments in conjunction with one another, I believe that I am increasing the chances of being able to regrow my hair by targeting blood flow in multiple ways.

How I implement it into my routine

Using the laser helmet as directed required you to do 3-4 thirty-minute sessions every week (i.e. every other day). I like to switch off days between when I shower and when I use the laser helmet (more on that in the next section) as well as set aside 30 minutes every night for treatment (I prefer to use the helmet/shower at night, but if you’re a morning person just move the 30 minutes to when works best for you).

Ketoconazole shampoo

The shampoo that you use matters more than you think. Although ketoconazole shampoo is commonly roped in with finasteride and minoxidil as part of the “big three”, many people still disregard its importance.

Ketoconazole is an ingredient that has antifungal properties. It essentially works to optimize scalp health by killing harmful fungus that can cause dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

But, equally as important as using a shampoo with ketoconazole in it is avoiding one that is filled with harsh chemicals. Most big brand name shampoo’s contain many chemicals that, although they might make your hair look shiny, are terrible for your scalp and hair (and may even worsen already existing hair loss).

The shampoo I use and recommend is called Lipogaine (linked here). It contains all natural ingredients, some of which may even be able to topically block DHT and promote hair growth (and no I am not affiliated with them, their product just genuinely worked for me).

If you want to learn more about ketoconazole and its benefits you can read this article.

Why I use it

Isn’t it obvious? I use ketoconazole shampoo to A. protect my scalp against dandruff (which has been shown to worsen hair loss) but also B. because it is very easy to substitute it for shampoo that would otherwise damage my hair.

Even though the shampoo you use may not directly affect hair loss like the other treatments, I still want to do whatever I can to make the hair that I currently have as healthy as possible.

How I implement it into my routine

Like I said earlier in the LLLT section, I switch off days between when I shower and when I do LLLT treatments.

Research has shown that showering every day is bad for your hair because it strips your hair of its natural oils. By showering every other day, I can avoid that problem, and by switching off days between showering and LLLT I can ensure that I never miss either treatment.

Of course, some people need to shower every day, but for those folks I would recommend washing your body with soap (duh) and using only water for your hair (at least on off days, or as I like to call them: laser days).

Microneedling

Another very important treatment is microneedling (or derma rolling; a derma roller is a tool that you use to microneedle).

Microneedling is exactly what it sounds like: using small needles to penetrate your scalp. This causes what are called microwounds. Scientists are not exactly sure how microwounds help hair loss, although it is theorized that they either increase blood flow, stimulate collagen production, or both.

Even though microneedling may be able to help hair loss on its own, there is much more evidence showing that it boosts minoxidil’s effectiveness, which is why I use it. This is because the microwounds create a more direct channel for the minoxidil to reach the base of the hair follicle (where all the nutrients are absorbed).

Research has shown that microneedling can increase minoxidil’s effectiveness by up to 4 times!

Read all about microneedling here.

Why I use it

I believe that minoxidil is one of the most effective treatments that we currently have available, and if I can potentially make it 4 times as effective by microneedling, I am going to take that opportunity 10/10 times.

Microneedling is easy, relatively cheap, and has a lot of research backing its efficacy, all of which make it a no-brainer addition to the hair loss regimen.

How I implement it into my routine

I am unique in the sense that I prefer to microneedle more often than “experts” recommend (I put experts in quotation marks because there has been no research done to determine the optimal frequency by which to microneedle, and I just do what I feel works best for me). That being said, every other day I microneedle before my nightly minoxidil application. Using it before I apply minoxidil makes it easy to remember as it makes me think that I could (possibly) be improving my results by a factor of 4.

Inversion method

Yes, another treatment that helps increase blood flow.

The inversion method is pretty simple: you hang upside down so that your head is below your heart (I like to hang off the side of my bed) for 2-3 minutes, twice a day, to stimulate blood flow to the scalp.

When hanging, blood is rushed to your head which provides your hair follicles with a short, yet extremely beneficial influx of oxygen and nutrients that they can then use for growth. Hopefully at this point I have drilled into your head how important blood flow is for hair growth, this is just another easy way to improve that.

Want to learn more about the inversion method? Click here.

Why I use it

I use the inversion method because it’s a simple, easy way to stimulate blood flow, and not to mention its free.

Although the research around the inversion method for hair loss is somewhat limited, I can feel a tingling sensation in my scalp after doing it, meaning something is happening (it is the same feeling you get when you perform a scalp massage, which also stimulate blood flow). Plus again, it is so easy that I would be a fool not to set aside 5 minutes a day.

How I implement it into my routine

2-3 minutes a day is not a lot of time, which makes implementing the inversion method into your routine pretty easy.

For me, I make sure to do it every night after I have applied my minoxidil. By thinking about how I need to increase blood flow, it helps me to remember to use both minoxidil and the inversion method to do so.

Follicle Foundation



Finally, the last treatment on the list. If you have made it this far congrats, hopefully I have peaked your interest and you have decided that you will overcome your hair loss and take the necessary steps to do so.

Follicle Foundation is a hair supplement created by me (take a look here).

I used to take individual vitamins and minerals because other hair supplements were either overpriced or did not contain what I consider to be an optimal combination of ingredients. So, I took it upon myself to create my own in hopes that people will not only get an effective hair supplement, but also have a realistic idea of what it is specifically effective for.

Follicle Foundation essentially gets your hair in the best shape possible so that other FDA approved treatments can have the best foundation for which to work upon. The combination of scientifically proven ingredients fights inflammation, helps boost circulation, protects hair against damage, helps prevent dandruff, replenishes natural scalp oil and more.

Why I use it

I take it every day so that I can have peace of mind known that I am actively trying keep my hair as healthy as possible to give it the best chance to respond well to the other treatments on this list.

I do not, nor would I recommend, taking Follicle Foundation with the intention of it directly affecting hair loss. Although it may help a little, that is not what it is designed to do (and neither will other hair supplements, just an FYI).

How I implement it into my routine

Follicle Foundation is a 4-a-day supplement so it is easy to implement into your routine. Personally, I like to just take it with my other vitamins in the morning. Simple as that.

In conclusion

Hopefully you have learned something from reading this article. My goal with this article, and this brand, is to be as transparent as possible because when it comes to hair loss I believe that the phrase knowledge is power could not be more true.

If you are struggling with building a hair loss regimen that works, remaining consistent with your treatments, or are facing another pitfall that won’t allow you to regrow your hair, try pulling from this list. Of course, everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. But, at the very least I hope you not only better understand how some of these treatments work and why I use them, but also that you have gotten a grasp on just how much effort you might have to put in if you want to successfully overcome hair loss.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.