Updated: Feb 15
Minoxidil: How to, why it's important, and my story:
-It's a vasodilator meaning it increases blood flow to the scalp
-Can help grow vellus hair on hairline and crown (online searches will say it only works on the crown. This is because no scientific studies have been conducted on the hairline, and its is only FDA approved for the crown so they are not legally allowed to say it works on both, but it worked on both for me!)
Personally I like to use the foam because once it dries, it acts as a paste would to hold my hair in place and allow for styling. I have tried liquid minoxidil and in my experience, it left my hair greasy and unmanageable. I have allocated an extra hour every day in the morning to allow it to dry. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. (I wake up an hour earlier because I know i need to put Rogaine in before work.) It is also very important that you use it in conjunction with a derma roller.
How I apply it: Derma roll first. I then take a quarter sized amount of foam and apply it directly to both temples and gently massage into my scalp for about 30 seconds. Next, I repeat that same process for my crown.
Apply once in the morning and once at night. It may be hard to adjust to allocating an extra hour in the morning at first, but the key is always consistency when it comes to battling hair loss, I cannot stress that enough.
Derma Rolling: How to, why it's important, and my story:
-Micro needling penetrates the dermal layer of the scalp which is just deep enough to stimulate new cell production without causing pain
-Increases blood flow to the scalp which again = more nutrients in follicles
-The main attraction of micro needling is that it increases the absorption on minoxidil into the scalp, making it more effective
How I use the derma roller: I derma roll every day in the morning and at night right before application of minoxidil. During the morning roll, I roll vertically up and down 2-3 times in every spot of my temples and my crown, applying light pressure, but not too hard as to not inflict pain on myself, and then I apply minoxidil right away after. The evening routine is similar except instead of just rolling vertically, I also roll 2-3 times horizontally in every spot and try to cover every problematic area. It is very important to use isopropyl to clean the derma roller after each use! If you don't your scalp may get infected.
I have been derma rolling consistently for about a year. Derma rolling is best used alongside minoxidil. One important factor with this is that you get the right sized needle for hair loss (0.25-0.5mm, I personally use 0.5.) I provided the exact link to the one I use because there are many options out there but the one I use is relatively cheap and has worked well for me. One thing that I have found very appealing about derma rolling is that it is generally used to target the temple area more.
Low Level Laser Therapy: How to, why it's important, and my story:
-LLLT or low-level laser therapy uses clinical strength lasers and LEDs to stimulate the scalp and all lasers are at the wavelength 650nm, which is the optimal wavelength for hair growth
-LLLT extends the anagen (growth phase) of hair, which in turn reduces hairs in the telogen (resting phase) resulting in more coverage
-It increases blood flow to hair follicles
I have been using the iRestore laser helmet for roughly a year and a half as of (9/22/2019) and I can say the results have been spectacular. Unfortunately laser helmets are pretty pricey, usually costing between $500-600 depending in where you buy it (the link I provided was the cheapest I could find it at the time.) It is important to note that there are other brands of laser helmets, but I spent many hours reading reviews and researching to make sure I was getting the best product, especially when I was going to be spending that much money. There are many legitimate testimonials on the iRestore website, as well as on amazon that helped me make the right decision.
One very important thing to be noted is that you have to wait for your results. It has been shown that the maximum growth period begins at 6 months. This is due to the time that it may take for hairs to move into the anagen phase, of course everyone is different and it took me the full 6 months to start seeing real results, but when I did they came fast and it reinforced that my patience was worth it. Unfortunately, there will most likely be a shedding phase. This can be hard to get through, but trust me it is worth the wait (iRestore also has a 6 month money back guarantee!)
How I use iRestore: Clear instructions on how to use are included but I thought I would still tell how I use it. 25 minutes every other day, RELIGIOUSLY. Unless there are extreme circumstances, I make sure that I never miss a day. Sometimes I will wear the helmet backwards to allow for more temple coverage as well. Make sure to set aside 30 minutes every other day.
Update: they have a new version of the helmet that was recently released. I am hoping to get my hands on it soon!