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My Hair Loss Story
My battle with hair loss started back in college over 20 years ago. Never did I think I would have to worry about losing my hair. But looking back I now understand why. My grandfather was bald on my mom’s side and my dad has thin hair in the front and a bald spot in the back. What was in store for me, who knows, but one thing was for sure, I was going to do everything I could to keep my hair from falling out. I have a big head and I would look stupid bald.
Back then I had long hair and after a shower I would always comb my hair straight back. Well I started to notice that I had tons of small hairs that would stick up straight while the rest of my long hair was combed straight back. I laugh just thinking about it because I actually thought that it was new hair growing. Well it was the exact opposite; it was hair receding and falling out. And it was going at an extremely fast rate; it was like the hair loss switch was turned on.
I grew quite accustomed to looking at my hair in the mirror analyzing the situation. I would spend at least an hour or so a day combing my hair and seeing it get thinner. The hair in the front (the temple region) was getting thin, invisible looking, limp, and it was receding at a rapid rate. I was also actually seeing what would become an almost bald spot on the back of my head. Overall, I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I would constantly be in the mirror trying to downplay the situation. Oh it is going to stop. There is no way I could be going bald.
Well it was happening; I was losing my hair. When losing your hair, you start to shed more and grow less. I was finding hair all over the place. My brush was full of hair all the time and my pillow had hair on it also. And the shower drain was no picnic either. I had hair everywhere falling from my head. It was the first time in my life that I felt like I was getting older/aging.
I started to look for answers and solutions. Back then the Internet was new so the only way I knew how to look was in papers, books, magazines, phone books, and on TV. I was desperate; my hair was thinning quite fast and I was willing to try anything to save it. I felt alone and helpless.
After weeks of research, I found a Canadian company that had a shampoo, conditioner, and a topical solution used for hair loss. I called and ordered it. I used it for a couple of months, but it didn’t work. My hair was still thinning and receding, so I stopped.
After that I started to look again and I found a business about an hour away that had a treatment for hair loss. Their primary business was hairpieces but they added a service for those that had hair to save. It was a combination of some home use products and a weekly in-office treatment. The in-office treatment was the same products but it included using, what I now know is called, a Darsonval Violet Ray. It was a glass rake looking thing with a handheld base that simulated the hair follicles. It was an electrical current, which was put directly on the scalp. A picture of the device is to the right here.
The products they used were crap, but the rake device did bring back the color of my hair. Prior to treatment, the hair on the top of my head almost looked translucent. The treatment period wasn’t enough time to let me know if it was stopping the hair loss, but it did bring the color back and I believe it did slow the hair loss down. However, I couldn’t continue the treatments because of the expense; I was a college student with no money.
I did however want the glass rake device. I talked to numerous hair stylists and beauty supply stores trying to find one. At the time I didn’t even know what it was called, I just knew I wanted one. Looking back, I laugh because the thought of calling the place that treated me to find out the name of the device didn’t occur to me until it was too late; the business closed. So in the end, I had no luck finding a violet ray but I kept my eyes and ears open.
I kept looking for answers for months at a time. I came across numerous products and I tried the one’s that made sense at the time, but nothing worked. I even went to another hairpiece clinic that was local. He told me to massage my head and use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for thinning hair, and that product was called Nioxin. It makes sense to use a shampoo and conditioner that is made for thinning hair, so I started using it. But at the end of the day I was still losing my hair and I was still averaging an hour a day in the mirror studying the situation and I still kept looking for answers.
After months of praying another answer came. Rogaine was just released on the market. This was a topical solution applied directly on the top of your head twice daily. I quickly went to my doctor for a script. My doctor was already using the product and proceeded to tell me he would have a full head of hair eventually. He didn’t realize it only worked on the back of the head. I didn’t want to shatter his dream so I didn’t tell him. However, what had become a very thin, but not completely bald, spot on the back of my head was now full of hair again. Yes, victory is mine! Well almost. The front was still thinning and receding on the sides.
The main ingredient in Rogaine is Minoxidil, which was used to treat high blood pressure. Well doctors and scientists realized that patients on this medicine were re-growing hair. So after clinical trials the first and only topical solution for hair loss was released on the market. It was only a partial answer for hair loss, but I realized something. Minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp and the scalp and hair follicle absorbs the treatment and it works. So you can treat hair loss by applying treatments directly to the scalp. I started applying different extracts to my minoxidil that were potentially related to hair loss and it was helping, I could see the difference on my hairline. I became quite the chemist, but hey, desperate times calls for desperate measures, but it paid off.
Within a couple years or so of using the Rogaine with my own additives another medicine came to market: Propecia. The day I realized it was now available I went to my doctor for a script. It was funny because he didn’t know what it was so we had to call the drug company to get the prescription information. I also had to do the same thing at the pharmacy. I like to think I was the first person to try it since becoming publicly available.
Propecia was a 1mg once a day tablet that I started to take with my morning vitamins. Propecia’s main ingredient was Finasteride, which was used in the treatment for an enlarged prostate. Well in treating the prostate the scientists and doctors realized that it was re-growing hair on balding patients. So they did the research and the clinical trials and the end result was the first and only pill to treat hair loss. The downside of taking a pill is side effects, which for this medicine was erection problems. I was so focused on saving my hair I could care less of the risk. Luckily I didn’t have any side effects, but I knew people that did, scary stuff!
After that I didn’t worry about my hair loss for almost 8 years because it worked. I stopped using Minoxidil with my additives and just used Finasteride 1mg. It stopped my hair loss and I actually regrew hair in the front. However, stopping the Minoxidil caused my scalp in the back to thin somewhat, but I was fine with that, it was the front I was concerned about.
Well seven to ten years later something changed. I am not sure if it was my age or the effectiveness of the Propecia, but my hairline started to slowly recede again. What got me noticing it again was when I would comb my hair back (yes I still had long hair) I began to notice short hairs on the temple. It was receding. The hair was getting shorter and shorter and was changing color to a weak, translucent look.
After realizing what was happening I was back in the mirror all the time studying the situation and telling myself that it is going to stop receding. In addition to spending time in the mirror I also started to spend time on the Internet searching for options. I found options and tried the ones that made sense to me, but nothing worked. This was also my first-time researching options like non-surgical hair replacement and hair transplants. I knew what each was just from seeing it on TV, but now I actually made an appointment to speak with someone, just in case if I was to lose my hairline, I wanted options.
I learned a lot from each visit, but I also realized that my hair loss wasn’t too bad and neither of them would touch me until it was worse. From that day forward I thought highly of each business. It was Hair Club for non-surgical hair replacement and Medical Hair Restoration for hair transplants. Non-surgical hair replacement is real human hair bonded to your scalp and a hair transplant is surgically moving hair from the back of your head to the top. Either one of these businesses could have taken my money because of my fear of losing my hairline. But they didn’t take my money; instead they said to call them when my hairline was more receded.
It is interesting that both Hair Club and MHR recommended laser hair therapy. Laser hair therapy is using a low level laser to stimulate the hair follicles to produce hair. In my research I found numerous companies that made some type of laser hair comb, even full head laser devices used in clinics, but one company stood out, it was Lexington International.
Lexington International made a hair laser called the HairMax Laser Comb. They had completed successful clinic trials to prove that it works. This is a small hand held home use device that you use every couple of days for 15 plus minutes. I purchased the HairMax Laser Comb to give it a try since they spent money on research to prove it works.
Around that same time, I began working as a marketing director for a non-surgical cosmetic company. One of the company’s services was a laser machine for hair loss. It was the same type of laser as Lexington’s only it was a full head device. So for about 4 plus months I was alternating between both devices. There was just one problem, it drove me crazy having to lay there using the device every other day for almost 30 minutes. I was using it longer and more often than they suggested but I felt I needed it to be effective. However, I didn’t have the patience to sit there and use the device for that length of time, and it didn’t matter because I didn’t see any results.
That got me looking again for the device I forgotten about, the glass rake. In my search for the glass rake I found out its true name the Darsonval Violet Ray. It was a happy day for me. A quest that started years ago came to an end. I found one just like the picture above on ebay and I bought it.
I would use it every three days for a couple of minutes. The device has never gone through clinical trials like the HairMax Laser Comb, but the idea of stimulating blood flow with an electric current made sense to me and made me want to give it a real trial. My personal clinical trial proved successful. I now sell them on this website and have people all over the world using a violet ray for hair loss. It doesn’t work for everyone but it has helped a lot of people.
I think back years ago when I first started losing my hair; what a journey it has been. I wasted so much money trying to save my hair, but at least I found some answers that work. I am now over 40 and I have a full head of hair.
What have I learned from my experiences? There are a lot of products out there, that I have tried, to treat hair loss and a lot of them don’t work. When researching hair products, ask yourself, does it make sense? Have the ingredients been researched and successfully used for hair loss? I started this website to share my story and to help others that are losing their hair. Let my knowledge and guidance help you.
I have tried every product I discuss and sell on this website and many others that didn’t make it on the website. You can read about my experience with each product at the bottom of each product page. You can also read about my criteria for selecting a hair loss product on the “10 Important Questions to Ask When Selecting a Hair Loss Treatment” page. What you see on this website is the best of the best. Just because one product doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean another will not work also. There are no one hundred percent’s in medicine. It is impossible to find a specific hair loss treatment that works for everyone. During my testing of the different treatments I sell I saw it personally. So if you try MHN 9 and it doesn’t work don’t give up. Quit using MHN 9 and let’s try something else. That philosophy is what has allowed me to keep my hair.
Look at my experience with Propecia. I have been on it for so long that my hairline started to recede again. That is when I realized no hair loss treatments works forever; a treatment will eventually become less effective and you will need to make a change. I am proactive and determined to keep my hair, so I made that change and added the violet ray, and other topical formulations, to slow the recession to almost a stop.
I will continue researching and testing products to find the ones that I feel can and do help others. My goal is to educate fellow hair loss patients on hair loss and to let them know of the best options to stop their hair loss and regrow hair. I also don’t want you or anyone with hair loss to feel alone and helpless like I once did. Do everything you can to stop your hair loss to save what you have and hopefully regrow some of what you lost. It is a much easier process to save the hair you do have verses losing it all and then trying to get it back. But the great thing about this day and age is you have options, regardless of how bald you are.
Thank you for reading about my experience with hair loss.
Sam Jordan, Editor-in-chief.