Going bald

Here’s something that has been bugging me for quite a while: I’m growing bald. I’ve always been cursed with rather fine hair and it will never look like a Brad Pitt hairdo, but there was something on my head and I was fine with that. However, the last few months I noticed that it’s getting increasingly thinner and the hairline is also receding rapidly. I curse at this. I hate it to the fullest, not only because I’m only 26 and things like this shouldn’t happen until you are forty or so, but also because I know that being bald for me is rather unsightly…

So, I’ve been thinking what I could do about it. The only thing that springs to mind is a hair transplantation. I’ve been looking on the internet for information about this and it looks quite promising. What I need to know from the Teemsters is if you ever had any experience with this either first hand, or through some relative or so. Is it really that painless as they make it appear to be? Will it really never fall out? Is it true that it is invisible so that it doesn’t look like you wear a toupet?

Also, how would you react if you knew that someone had this done? Would it be worth a snicker? Or are things like this accepted in society and would no one look any different at it?

In short, I need some reassuring that this is really what I want to do and I need you to take away my insecurities… Any opinions?

Shave your head.

Bald is beautiful, baby!

I’ve been thinking about that, but before I did, I scanned a picture of myself and edited out my hair. Trust me when I say, bald is not beautiful (at least not on me!)

I first realised I was losing my hair about two and a half years ago (a friend had taken some photos of a few of us playing football…I couldn’t help but wonder what that funny shiny thing was on my head). Now it’s thinner on top, I have a bald patch and I would be lying if I didn’t say I’d rather have my thick hair back again.

I was a little worried at first, frightened even. But I slowly came to realise that the problem lay with me…I just couldn’t imagine my good youthful self being bald! Of course everybody else had become well used to it and nobody treated me any differently. Now, I don’t mind. Really. Try and get used to it before you start thinking about treatments to rectify a natural process.

It certainly helps to develop a sense of humour about it. If people know that you are worried about the way your head looks, they’ll avoid the ‘embarrassing’ subject. Bring it up humourously yourself and it’s no longer a problem.

Now I shall return to my normal position of hanging upside down in the door way and continue rubbing virgin dandruff into my scalp.

I’m with the spoojer – shave it.

Tread very, very carefully into the land of transplants at your age. This fall I saw the most horrifying hair situation I’ve ever seen. A guy, say forty to fiftyish, who obviously had transplants when he was twenty to thirtyish, had this patch of cornstalky hair plugs sitting on the very top of his head. His natural hair had thinned considerably since the transplant, making the plugs oh so obvious because they had nothing to blend into; worse still was the fact that his hairline had retreated too, so the plug-patch was all alone up there, surrounded by a sea of shiney skin which was, in turn, surrounded by his crown of natural hair.

That, my friend, was not beautiful!

How about those “systems” where they glue the rug to the top of your head? seems like this would work…but, how long does this last, and doesn’t it itch like hell?

If surgery isn’t your thing, consider Propecia. According to information available on most any good website, it is the best treatment currently available for male pattern baldness and may stop–and possibly slowly reverse–your hair loss. Propecia costs about $60/month and requires a physician’s prescription. The most recent studies I’ve seen pronounce it safe, and rumors associated with it causing sexual dysfunction are greatly exaggerated. In fact, the incidence of sexual dysfunction is about the same as from the placebo effect, somewhere in the 2-3 % range and these effects are usually temporary. (Anti-depressants and certain meds for hypertension cause far more sexual dysfunction, according to the PDR.)

Propecia works by inhibiting one of two key enzymes in your hair follicles from producing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which, for not entirely known reasons, inhibits hair production in certain men (and women) and leads to the process known as “balding.” Studies show that Propecia works best in restoring hair loss in the crown area and is least effective along the temples. Why? For some reason, the hair follicles in the temple regions are just very vulnerable to DHT. By the way, Propecia works best in preventing hair loss and so-so in restoring it. Full restoration is rare and very few persons who have experienced significant hair loss can hope to be returned to their glory years of yore. Also this: recent studies indicate that using Propecia and topical minoxidil (5% solution) together may greatly improve the success rate. Minoxidil can be purchased in generic form and this combined regimen will probably set you back $75/month. (A good hair transplant will cost in the $5,000-$15,000 range, depending on extent of hair loss.)

The manufacturer of Propecia is currently conducting clinical trials on a second-generation product that blocks both enzymes believed responsible for male pattern baldness. Preliminary reports suggest it is quite effective–about 80+ % of tested subjects are reporting significant hair regrowth. Unfortunately, this super product will not be available for several years. In 10-15 years, far better (genetically engineered) treatments will be available and, within maybe two generations, hair loss will be a thing of the past. That said, few specialists think any products in the foreseeable future will restore hair on a slick-bald scalp. Good luck.

Don’t sweat it honey.

I don’t know if you should shave your head but just cut the rest of it short.


Sex appeal ain’t in the hair, it lies just a few inches below it.

tsunamisurfer this is truely valuable information. Thank you very much. Since my sexlife is nil anyway, this product might be just the thing for me. I’ll check it out.

I was never confident with the whole transplantation thing anyway. The thing that ** stuyguy** so elegantly wrote down was also one of my major worries with it. But since going bald is just not an option yet until another 10-15 years or so, it was the only thing I could think of. I never knew there was actually a medicin now that helps. tsunamisurfer, do you know by any chance if that product is also available outside the US already? (I’m not an American you see)

IMHO, if you are as paranoid about balding as most men are, it will show. I think the most important thing in the area of appearance is being comfortable with yourself. If you are, it shows. If taking action to thwart the balding will make you more comfortable with your appearance, go ahead. I’m sure the increased confidence will be apparant.

That being said, as a woman, I get tired hearing men whine about their thinning hair (my last two boyfriends were under 25 and had a pretty big receding hairline.) I personally don’t care about hair. While I love good hair on a man, I love men regardless of their hair. It is the insecurity that is unattractive to me. So, if taking action makes you more secure, by all means, pursue it.

I remember when my hair first started to thin, it was kind of hard to deal with. It might seem insecure to you, racerx, but if your appearance was suddenly and rapidly transforming beyond your control, how would you feel? Eventually, you get used to it, though. Now I just cut my hair crew cut short, don’t really think about it much except I’ve never really like wearing hats and on cold days you can really feel it. I considered shaving my head, too, but it seems like that would be a pain to maintain.
Best line I ever heard on baldness was spoken by my 9th grade homeroom teacher, in response to one of the female students in the class.

“Mr. Kissel”, she said, “You’re getting bald.”

“Yes”, he answered, “but only once a week.”

In my opinion, a guy who accepts his baldness is sexy. Wasting your money on transplants or medications is unsexy.

Speak of your hair (or lack of it) only with good humor. Cut it short or shave it off, and do not lament its passing.

My opinion, backed up by racerx and the people in this thread, is to let nature take its course and do your best not to worry about it. Romantically, women find self-confidence sexier than a full head of hair. Socially, no one really gives a damn if you’re bald or not. If they do, screw 'em.

tourbot makes a good point. My hair is receding very gradually. If I suddenly went bald over the span of a couple of months (I’m exagerating, I know), I imagine I’d be kind of freaked out about it at first, to put it mildly. Although, I wouldn’t seek any remedy for it; I’d probably just figure out what look works best for me (shaved, crew cut, regular length of remaining hair, etc.) and continue to be myself.

Hmmm, in the linked thread I said I’m at the Jack-Nicholson-in-“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” stage. Upon further reflection (har!) I’d say it’s not quite that far along, more like the Jack-Nicholson-in-“Easy Rider” stage. I’m not quite sure since it’s been a while since I’ve seen either of those movies.

This subject has been covered A LOT :-)…find a nice barber & get yourself a nice hairstyle.

Propecia? Ah, ha, sure, once you get the woman, you can’t do anything with her cause of the flaccid state of things :slight_smile:

Paranoid? Whining? What about “paranoid” women “whining” about their thighs, their butts, their waists, their boobs, their hair, etc. etc. etc.? Gimme a break! By your loose definition, we’re all paranoid and whiny. (Grin) I know I am.

For men/women, the worst part of hair loss is the process of loss itself. I think most people can handle the finality of being bald; it’s the complete helplessness one feels as a major part of one’s appearance is going downhill that’s so hard. Yes, we judge one another (and ourselves) too harshly. But, let’s also deal where our man here is–he’s upset. He’s not whining or paranoid. And, yes, some men (maybe some women, who knows?) look great bald. Others don’t.

Propecia is available almost worldwide. Call Pfizer (the manufacturer) and see if they are doing any trials locally. By the way, I said Propecia should NOT cause sexual dysfunction. A guy in his mid-20s should have NOTHING to worry about! (grin)

My hair started thinning at about age 20, and is still doing so (although now it’s a race to see if I’ll be completely gray or completely bald first). It was hard to deal with at first, and I was in serious denial for a while. Now I’ve moved on to acceptance - most other people just don’t care, and if they do so what?

Having said that I am a bit of a hypocrit. Given the choice I’d still have the head of hair I did at 16. After all, it’s much easier to shave and become bald than the reverse!

A final word of advice - if you decide to go with Rogain or Propecia, start right away. It seems they both do a much better job of retaining hair than restoring it.

Don’t worry about it. It won’t affect your mental abilities, sex life, or whatever else.

And it’s a built in idiot detector…

looks at head
Person: “You’re going bald!”
Me: “Thanks.”
Person: “Why don’t you do something about it?”
Me: “My wife thinks it’s drop dead sexy, that’s why.”
Person: “Oh.”
My advice? Get used to it. And buy a hat in winters. :slight_smile:

Our RX store has Rogain right on the counter, no RX needed. PRetty expensive, but its getting cheaper. They have a generic equivalent. Costs about $30/month for treatment.

Oh, don’t get it on your hands, you might get hair there too :slight_smile:

I have finally reached the point (after nearly 20 years of near-baldness) where I shave the top of my head. I’m
still fooling around with the amount of shaving I do.
Right now I have a sort of mohawk-like swath right over
the top. I’m wondering if I should shave the hair down
more, but I worry that there’d be too much 5 o’clock shadow showing.

Inside I mostly don’t think about it. But every time I look in the mirror I get a shock. I just think that I look kinda funny with my hair the way it is. Everyone wants to look their best, you know. And it’s not just to attract mates, it’s just part of our general self-image.

But I take it as a given that different people will be attracted to different things, so I don’t worry about it that much. I would like sometime for a woman to say that she’s attracted to me because she likes bald men!

You never get used to baldness, BTW. I’m 47 (going on 18) and I still dislike the idea.

I have been balding for years. I can’t stand the look of a comb over flap of hair so I wear my hair either very short or I shave my head. It doesn’t bother me, if someone I meet has a problem with balding then that is their bag.