Help! I’m losing my hair!
I first noticed I was losing my hair when I was about 27. I’ve always had a pronounced forehead, but I became aware of my widow’s peak becoming more and more ‘Jude Law’ almost on a daily basis. Over a period of a couple of years my hairline began to recede even further; where once had resided a thick mop of fair, curly hair, my locks looked thinner, wispier and more lifeless. Eventually it felt like there was more hair in my comb, on my pillow and blocking up the plug-hole than there was at the front of my head.
Any men out there who have suffered a similar experience will appreciate how I was feeling. After all, I was still in my twenties and all of my older male relatives still had fine heads of hair. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I felt distraught., embarrassed and under-confident. To make matters worse, I’m an actor. I’m in an industry that is obsessed with the way people look. You have no choice as a performer but to be image-conscious and I certainly became more self-aware.
Mirrors began to hold a morbid fascination. I would pull my hair back as tightly as possible to inspect for new areas of thinning. I even kept a weekly log of measurements from the top of my nose (in between my eyebrows) to where my hairline began (to monitor the recession). It sounds slightly crazy doesn’t it? But the worry was overwhelming.
I suppose you could say there was a silver-lining; I had not yet seen any evidence of male pattern baldness on other areas of my scalp. To this day (I’m 34 now) the crown of my head still sports a fairly generous crop. After an initial few years of what seemed like accelerated hair loss, things also seemed to even out somewhat. I have no doubt that I’m still losing my hair, but the rate at which it is falling out seems to have slowed a little, for which I am grateful.
The way my hair looks currently is still very thick at the sides and the back, a decent coverage on top, but pretty thin in front with a very evident widow’s peak.
Since I first began going bald I’ve tried several methods of preventing and disguising my receding hairline.
Haircuts for a receding hairline
I’ve never quite taken the leap into a fully shaved head , but have had very short-cropped styles on many occasions. Most of the time though, I’ve tended towards brushing my hair into a fringe (or bangs as they’re called in America). Because I still have some hair at the front and a fair amount on top, this style worked well for me. Here’s an article I wrote about the different styles you can try out if you’re dealing with hair loss.
Personally, I found it really frustrating that my hair could only ever be cut really short or brushed forward. I’d never been wildly experimental with styles even when I had a full head of hair, but the lack of versatility was now driving me mad. There was no way I could get away with a side parting or sweeping my hair back.
Minoxidil and Propecia
I tried out Minoxidil combined with Propecia for about a year and a half. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these products, Minoxidil is a topical solution that is medically proven to prevent further hair loss, but has limited results in growing back lost hair. It is FDA approved and manufactured under the brand name Rogaine. Propecia comes in tablet form and does a similar job. The best results come from using them in combination with one another. For further information about these products, click the link below.
The reason I gave up on Minoxidil and Propecia was the financial commitment. It was very expensive; for the 18 months I was using the products, I spent around £3,000. I could live with that if it was a one-off payment and then your hair was guaranteed to grow back and never fall out again, but the problem with these treatments is that they only work with continued use. As soon as you stop applying Minoxidil and taking Propecia, your hair will return to its normal state within a couple of months. That’s a lifetime of taking drugs and paying through the nose for it and all for limited results. I was never going to have as much hair as I had when I was 21. In those 18 months, I certainly experienced less hair loss and a little regrowth but the financial implications were too serious for me to continue.
I’ve done a lot of research into having a hair transplant and I’ve been for two consultations and even gone as far as booking a session once. The reasons I never went through with it are as follows;
1, Surgery scares me.
2, It’s very very expensive.
Generally the technique used to perform hair restoration surgery is based on extracting healthy hair follicles from a strong donor area (such as the back of the head) and implanting them in the area where baldness is occurring. The trouble is there are a few variations on this method all of which seem to have very mixed reviews. If the hairs are extracted individually it seems that only a small percentage of them will actually regrow once implanted, whereas what is known as the FUE strip technique can result in an unnatural look. One of the clinics even put me in touch with a past patient who extolled the virtues of his surgery, but how can you be sure who to trust? There are many people out there who are willing to take your money in return for a shoddy service.
This is not to say that I will never re-consider. In fact, a hair transplant is still very much on my radar for the future; it’s a one-off payment and the results should be permanent. I just want to wait until I am certain my hair loss has reached its conclusion, otherwise I could end paying out for remedial surgery over and over again.
Why I eventually settled on Toppik Hair Building Fibers
Let’s get one thing clear; Toppik is not medication. It will not make your actual hair fuller than it is. It will not prevent or halt hair loss or male pattern baldness. What it does is give the appearance of a thicker head of hair.
Toppik is a powder (thousands of tiny fibers) that comes in several shades to match the colour of your actual hair. I use the medium brown variety. The fibres cling to the hair you still have in the thin areas and give the impression of more density in those areas. I tend to apply it at the front of my head where my hair loss is most extreme. Here’s a video that will demonstrate the power of Toppik Hair Building Fibers.
The reason I love Toppik is that it is an affordable solution; a month’s supply normally costs me around £15. It also gives really natural looking results. You can’t see the fibers even at very close range. The only way anyone would guess you were using the powder would be if you asked them to inspect your hairline with a magnifying glass. Toppik is easy to apply; you simply sprinkle it on the thinning areas and spray it in place.
The best thing about this product for me is that it gives me back some of the versatility that I missed before I discovered Toppik. I used to be a huge fan of hats and when I wasn’t wearing one I really one had one option for a hairstyle; even when I was brushing my hair forward I was extremely self-conscious. Now I can wear my hair in a variety of ways and my receding hairline is hardly noticeable. That’s the best thing about Toppik; it doesn’t claim miraculous permanent results, but offers a practical daily solution for men suffering with the lack of confidence so often associated with male pattern baldness.
As I said, Toppik won't re-grow or thicken your hair, but I use it in conjunction with natural, affordable methods of thickening my existing hair and couldn't be happier with the results.