Stick with it man! I made a post a few columns below yours here, and let me tell you, I'm something like 18 months in, and I'm still not where I want to be. BUT I can remember a time when my hair was just itching maniacally, and I was giving in to the urge to rub the scalp hard trying to relieve the sensation. It was a terrible disposition. Now? Almost never get an itch, and if I do, say after drinking a really sugary drink or getting acutely stressed at work, I have a tool, the SE, to calm that down. Its an amazing self treatment. Let me tell you, my father is bald, my 24 year old half brother is balding at a death-defying pace and at 34, I should be Norwooding hardcore. So I'm nearly 2 years in, and saw results far sooner than that, or at least I thought I did.
Let me break this up a little bit because your comments caused me to think of something. I just reactivated my facebook account tonight after about an 18 month spell. I didn't realize it was that long that I was away, but I realized it was because there at the top of my timeline were pics of me right around the beginning of my SE training. Like 2 months in I thought I was imaginging that my hair was getting fuller, but looking back, the front of my hair was looking very spotty. I was cleverly using my fingers to combine clusters of curly hair to cover as much space as possible, but there was STILL daylight there (scalp showing). NOW, I hae a new profile picture taken two weeks ago, and the front of my hair just looks way denser. Up close, I'm still unsatisfied because I know that although these new hairs that weren't there 18 months ago, they're still on the thin side, but that's how the hair cycle goes, when improving the scalp the follicles must go through the cycles in order from thin to thicker, theoretically. The fact that there is hair there when there wasn't before, even though I'm still greedy for thicker hair, is an AMAZING sign that there is a reversal taking place. My crown should be a baren desert right now, but although there is some weak hair there, there was quickly ceasing to be any in a very wide area about a year and a half ago.
TL;DR (too long, didn't read). Basically, stay with it forever. As a pharmacist, I'm going to recommend you stay away from minoxidil and for sure finasteride. Try to think logically using the knowledge that Tom has bestowed here. Hair doesn't really NEED minoxidil to grow; your hair was able to grow as a child without it, why not now? y advice is to stay away from drugs, get as much vital nutrition and exercise as possible, try to find ways to increase oxygen intake and keep stress and adrenals as flat lined as possible. When you're able to calm down any itching, try to slowly roll in the advanced exercise, which in itself is a whole other wonderful world. I could go on and on. Good luck!