The First Sign I Was Going to Deal With Hair Loss
Is that a new freckle? My 24-year-old self wondered, as I crouched over the sink to get a closer look in the mirror. It was on the side-head, where my forehead transitions into my temple. I don’t remember that freckle. Was it always there? Yes. It was. Only now revealed by the absence of hair. It was at this point I knew: I needed to figure out how to deal with hair loss.
I’m El Chuckarino. I’m not a doctor, but here I share my personal experience to help you assess your own hair situation sooner rather than later—and find a solution if needed.
It Wasn’t Supposed to Happen This Way
I’ve had great hair for as long as I can remember. Thick. Full-bodied. Lucious. At 19 years old, the mother figures in my life would tell me I had nothing to worry about, I had good, thick hair, like my father.
Sounds great to me. Dad didn’t have to deal with hair loss, and neither did Dad’s dad at 85+ years old. I’m set.
Then I saw that freckle. Chuckling to myself, ha, man, it’s probably nothing. I mean. I’m EL CHUCKARINO, the guy with the thick hair. I couldn’t possibly be introduced to this at such a young age. Maybe I’m just seeing things. I’ll wait it out. That’s what I’ll do. When people go bald they go bald pretty quick, right? Ya, psh…that ain’t me.
A few months later, I’m going to Hawaii with my girlfriend (now wife), got a fresh haircut, and my flow on top is looking a little light. Man, it is looking a little light. Will she notice? Is it…noticeable?
Don’t Forget About Mom
I heard that somewhere. From a friend, or someone in my family, or a blog about men’s hair. Maybe it was all three. Don’t forget your mom’s side of the family. How about Mom’s dad? How’d he turn out? The simple fact was that he passed from cancer a long while back, and constantly wore hats. Not a whole lot of data there.
Then I saw it. My future. At 56 years old, my mom’s brother had nothing but a slim peninsula of hair straight down the middle of his head.
Researching Hair Loss
Alright, I’m going incognito mode on this one. I don’t want anyone to know I’m researching how to deal with HAIR LOSS, or going on sites like Hims or Keeps or Googling products like minoxidil and finasteride. It’s the type of thing you start to do and then think to yourself, “do I even have time for this?”
Well, guess what. The clock is ticking.
I spoke to my trusted advisors in the hair department, El Rubio and El Moreno, and they offered sage advice: take the same picture in the mirror once a week for three to six months. Then you’ll know for sure.
Maybe you’re like me, and you’ve got hair on your scalp, but maybe the front isn’t putting up such a great fight. So let me make this clear:
If you notice a bunch of baby hairs near your forehead like the picture here…
If admitting you have to deal with hair loss isn’t hard enough, the next step is to navigate a sea of witchcraft and snake oil before you get down to the brass tax.
Minoxidil and finasteride, previously known as Rogain and Propecia. If you know anything about these products, you know they do indeed grow your hair back and help you keep it. However, you need to take or apply them every single day, lest you risk losing all the hair you grew back. More on that later.
At the same time you’re grappling with information from people who say minoxidil only grows hair back on the top of the scalp. Or that side effects of finasteride may include a decreased sex drive, trouble getting or keeping an erection, ejaculation disorder, increase in breast size and tenderness, or skin rash.
So let me get this straight…I have to apply this stuff to my head every single day and it will only prevent a complete skull cap, leaving my forehead to my uncle’s fate? Or, take a pill and lose my sex drive? That doesn’t sound sexy at all.
Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight
I’m 26 at this point, and I really don’t want to use minoxidil or finasteride. There’s gotta be another way. Something to ease me into this. Something less risky. Maybe I just like, need some vitamins and maybe a better shampoo. Then you hear about a vitamin called biotin.
“My husband takes biotin,” or, “my boyfriend takes biotin and it helps.” Ok, that sounds promising. No side effects, but upon further review…
The Shampoo Isn’t Doing It Either
Ok, I thought, I’ll take the vitamin and the shampoo and see if that will get me by. Besides, I deal with hair loss in the front, and I’ve been told minoxidil doesn’t help with hair loss on the front. For about a year and a half, I thought this strategy was holding the line.
But slowly and surely, the line continued to fall back.
The Phone Call That Saved My Hairline
At 27 years old, my brother and I were on the phone. I was telling him I won’t use minoxidil because it wouldn’t help with the front of my head, and I wasn’t willing to risk the side effects of finasteride.
“Did you even try??” he asked. “Well, no they just…”
Then he cut me off. “Dude, it worked for me!! My hair grew back fast.”
If it worked for my brother, it was worth trying.
It took about three months of applying minoxidil to my head every night, but he was right. My hair grew back. No side effects to speak of. All I do is rub this ointment on my head every night, and I’m living the good life.
Every Day, Forever, or Else
There’s no better feeling than seeing your hair roar back with a vengeance, especially if you believed it was gone forever. For me it was a boost of confidence, restoring a familiar feeling of regularity. The compliments from loved ones don’t hurt either.
A word of caution, however, with minoxidil for hair loss. You must continue using it daily, forever, or as long as you want to keep that regrown hair. If you stop using it, you risk losing the hair that grew back.
That may sound daunting, but you know what’s more daunting? Growing your hair back, then losing it all over again, and with it the confidence you had regained. That’s why I enjoy rubbing minoxidil on my head every night: knowing it makes a difference in my life every single day.
Here at The Longhairs, we aim to inspire confidence among guys growing their hair. If you are suspicious of hair loss, go see a doctor, or consult a telehealth company. The sooner you deal with hair loss, the more hair you’ll be able to save, and even grow back.
Don’t fuss around with kid’s toys (biotin/gummies/shampoo). Deploy the big guns early, and tackle it head-on. It will take about three months to see the results, but once you do, you’ll be happier for it.
You can do this.