First time poster here. I was just hoping to get a little bit of feedback from some other users as to my current hair loss situation and my maintenance/HT options.
I’m 26 and in January (2018) I noticed that my hair in the temporal region looked a little thin. All the men on my Dad’s side of the family have gone completely bald so I’ve always been very obsessive about checking my hair for potential loss. Anyhow, I decided to go see a hair loss specialist here in Sydney Australia who recommended I get on Finasteride (1mg) three times a week (MWF) for 3 months and see how I respond. I took fin for two weeks in March and in that time I experienced a bunch of sexual sides (a lot of which I didn’t even realise you could even get until I read about them in forums after the fact). I experienced penile numbness, watery semen, loss of morning wood, loss of libido and weaker erections. I could still get it up and I was sexually active during that time but I’d say my erection quality was at about 80%. I also noticed that the sensation of orgasm was dulled. To make matters worse I experienced a pretty hefty shed in my right temporal region and my hair line definitely took a hit.
Naturally, I was pretty freaked out. My Doc had assured me that he rarely sees patients with side effects and that it was very unlikely I would experience any. So, I stopped taking fin and contacted my Doc again. He recommended I try fin again at 0.5mg once a week for a month and then increase 0.5 mg twice a week and so on until I reach a desirable dosage. He also said that because I was only thinning at the hairline and temples (and had no noticeable thinning/ miniaturisation in the crown or mid-scalp a lower dose would probably be appropriate). I was reluctant to get back on the meds but my hair situation seemed to be worsening and after a month of researching low dosage fin use and etc I decided to give it another go. But once again I got sides after two weeks. They were way less severe (obviously) as I was taking such a low dosage but I did lose my morning erections (although one morning I did have a semi) and spontaneous erections and I felt that my erection quality wasn’t quite there. Thankfully I didn’t experience any numbness or loss of sensation. As for libido I can’t really say because I stopped after two weeks which really isn’t long enough to tell. But it seemed to me that at such a low dose I really shouldn’t have been experiencing any side effects at all. So again I stopped the meds and spoke with my doc. He suggested that if I was that sensitive to the drug then I probably shouldn’t be taking it. However, he also emphasised to me that it would be worth trying it again and sticking it out for at least two months to see if the sides dissipate with continued use. He then rehashed that statistic about 50% of patients having their side effects subside after a year etc.
To my surprise though he then suggested that I could opt for a hair transplant and just fill in my temples and strengthen the hairline. He showed me some before/after results of patients around my age who couldn’t take meds due to sides but who he had completed an FUT and FUE on. I hadn’t even considered this an option because I thought that without meds an HT was a terrible idea.
I then began researching the HT route which lead to me discovering the Dr Rahal Clinic. I was blown away by the results I saw. I eventually had a Skype consultation with a patient advisor at Dr. Rahal. They said that they could easily fix my hair line/temples with an FUT. They recommended FUT because I wear my hair a little longer and it would also ensure I had plenty of hair left in my donor area for future procedures. They estimated I would need around 2000 – 2500 grafts to fix/reinforce my frontal third. They also recommended that I give fin another go and stick it out for longer this time to see if the sides go away, but they emphasised to me that I didn’t need to take fin to get great results and that I would likely be very happy with any work they did regardless of whether I’m on the meds.
Anyhow, I guess my main questions are as follows:
- Have any of you had a hair transplant without meds and if so how did it turn out? My understanding is that fin has no effect on the actual growth of the implanted grafts, it’s really just about preventing further loss of native hairs.
- Has anyone had any initial side effects on fin (specifically loss of morning wood) that eventually went away with continued use?
- Would it be worth trying 0.25 mg? At the moment my hair seems unstable. I’m constantly shedding. I can easily run my hand through my hair and come out with 8-10 hairs.
- And I guess ultimately I would love to know if you think it’s wise to get a hair transplant given my current situation? I thought this would be something I would be dealing with/considering in my late thirties but alas ‘twas not to be. Also, I honestly don’t think it’s worth going the HT route if all I can do are small conservative transplants that leave my hairline/temples looking thin. The appeal of Dr Rahal is that his hairlines are dense.
Any advice or feedback you would be willing to provide would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve also included some pictures for reference. There are photos of my hairline prior to any loss dating back to 2013 and then some recent shots so you can see the recession. My temples have definitely gotten worse since March. I have been very stressed about my hair loss so that may have contributed to this.