8+ months SE

Questions and comments about this weird approach to hair loss
Shh
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:49 am

8+ months SE

Post by Shh » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:21 pm

Hello,

I started the SE a bit over 8 months ago and thought I would give an update. I'd love to be able to say it's stabalized but it's a bit more complicated than that. A couple of months in (too early to see results) I saw a dermatologist who recommended women's rogaine as a means to tell what was causing the hair loss, which had been
diagnosed alternatively as AA and CTE by a few different dermatologists, a family doc, and an endocrinologist. He suggested that I use it for just a few months. If I saw a positive effect and came off it and the loss did not reoccur then the cause was likely TE. If it did start up again, then it was likely AA. The thought of having a better idea of what was causing the loss (excessive shedding for nearly 2 years) was as appealing as any effect the rogaine might have had. It started working much faster than expected - within 1 month I had a lot less loss and soon after, growth. About 3 months in, it made my scalp itch like crazy and I slowly came off it. Been off it now for a few months and recently the loss started up again. I had kept up with the SE 20 min every day this whole time. I guess I was hoping that, because of doing the SE, even if the cause was AA that when I came off the rogaine, that the loss might not start up again. Going home for Christmas I got a look at the hairlines of the men and women in my family and started to lean in the direction of AA being the cause and committed myself to continuing the SE even if CTE was somehow diagnosed as the cause.

If that weren't complicated enough, last year (late 2011) right around the time I started the rogaine, my loss had slowed dramatically. And right around this time
(mid-April, 2012) last year it started up again. So I don't guess I can even say that the rogaine really helped at all - maybe it was just some sort of seasonal effect, though I don't understand why the loss should slow in the winter like that.

At this point, I am planning on continuing the SE. I read some posts here that made me realize that maybe I should be doing the SE for a longer time each day while I am still trying to get it to stabilize. So I am going to do it for 15-20 min in the evenings and another 10-15 in the mornings. I haven't been great about diet over the past few months either, so I will work more on that too. That's not to say I was just eaing crap these past months - but it's been good food punctuated with junk with some regularity...and probably too much alcohol too. And if none of that helps, maybe I will look into the rogaine foam - I understand it tends to cause less scalp irritation.

I have been wondering, if someone were to do the SE over the long term but also decides to use a product like rogaine, do you think that person could get good results using less of the product than someone who does not do the SE?

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions I would be happy to hear them! Tom, thanks again for providing such a great site!

Tom Hagerty
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Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:58 am

it's been good food punctuated with junk with some regularity...
There's nothing wrong with eating a little junk food occasionally as long as it's not too junky. I mean you can't live your live as a purist eating alfalfa sprouts and drinking organic soy milk. But I think you should include in your diet some super foods that might encourage hair growth - yogurt with both live and active cultures, brewer's yeast powder, cod liver oil (just a teaspoon), Brazil nuts, brocccoli, and the list goes on.
do you think that person could get good results using less of the product [Rogaine] than someone who does not do the SE?
I don't think anyone really knows the answer to this. If the result of the combo - the scalp exercise plus less Rogaine - is more and better hair, that would seem an optimistic outcome. But I would be concerned with two things:

1. Both Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are subject to "resistance." The body builds up a tolerance to these drugs after a period of time and the drugs become less effective. If fact some people who previously responded to the drugs, no longer respond after three or four years. In other words, the efficacy of the drugs will probably diminish over time. I'm sure, though, this will not surprise you. It happens with many drugs.

2. Even if your hair responds to the combination of the scalp exercise and Rogaine, when you stop using Rogaine, there will be a shedding of hair, sometimes quite a large shedding. This can be depressing.

Shh
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:49 am

Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Shh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:50 pm

there will be a shedding of hair, sometimes quite a large shedding. This can be depressing.
I don't doubt it - I'm losing a ton of hair now and it sure doesn't make me happy! I am planning on keeping up with the SE indefinitely, but it's my understanding that after a certain point, if it hasn't worked then it isn't going to. If I reach that point, that is when I might consider something like minoxidil. At 8 months in, even with the messing around with minoxidil, I feel like I ought to be close to seeing some kind of effect, if it's going to happen. I would really much rather try to control this without a life long (or however long it works) commitment to a drug treatment though, so I'm game to keep on with it.

I've seen you mention the cod liver oil a lot. My dr recently recommended taking fish oil supplements for an inflammatory eye problem (another reason to switch more to the anti-inflammatory diet!). Are these interchangeable as supplements?

Tom Hagerty
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Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:42 am

if it hasn't worked then it isn't going to.
By "work" you mean either stabilize your hair loss or grow new hair in the thinning areas. It's true that if you don't see any improvement in a year or even a year and a half, the scalp exercise is not going to work for you. When I started to do the scalp exercise I expected big things fast, like hair - magical thinking. I did see an improvement in my dandruff condition and in my itchy scalp but I did not grow hair. The exercise made my face look better, though, so I stuck with it. In eight months or maybe it was closer to a year my thinning temple area filled in - a gratifying surprise. (I never had any bald spots.) One more case history. A man who works in the TV industry in the UK had absolutely no hair growth for over two years but he continued doing the SE because it toned his upper face. As an unexpected bonus his hair started to grow again after no visible progress for two years. I never saw photos of this 40-year-man so perhaps his testimonial was pure BS. But it did have the ring of truth. So what can I say. Should I tell you to give up and use the chemicals for the rest of your life. That's a call you'll have to make.
I've seen you mention the cod liver oil a lot.
Both fish oil capsules and cod liver oil capsules have the omega-3 fatty acids - the powerful kind - EPA and DHA. Vegetable sources of omega-3 like walnuts and flax seeds do not have EPA and DHA. But I prefer to take the real cod liver oil instead of the caps. I take only a teaspoon, though, because cod liver is high in vitamin A (also vitamin D). You don't want to take too much vitamin A. A teaspoon is just right. I get Twinlab Norwegian cod liver oil. It's molecularly distilled which means no mercury.

Shh
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:49 am

Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Shh » Tue May 14, 2013 5:39 pm

Wow, 2 years and then it worked? That's incredible. I can't help but think in two years, I won't have much left to stabilize! BTW, not sure if it was clear in my original post, but I meant if the SE didn't stabilize loss/regrow hair, would continuing to do the SE while using a treatment like minoxidil possibly mean being able to use less minoxidil and getting the same results compared to using minox and not doing SE. I think you answered that question though. Just wanted to clarify.

I think that maybe I am starting to see some stabilization. I am still losing probably 3X more hair/day than I should, but last year it more like 5X, so I guess that is some progress....

I have a question about the SE that might be kind of nitpicky, but it's had me wondering. I often do the SE with one hand on top of my head because I like to be able to feel how much the scalp moves. Makes me feel better about actually doing it right. I find that if I put a little downward pressure on my scalp as I am doing the SE I can get the burn in the occipitalis muscles. I got that every time when I first started but much less often now that the muscles are in shape. But when I do the pressure thing, I don't get as much movement in the scalp. So I was wondering if you have any idea whether getting the muscles to work up a burn or getting maximum movement of the scalp is better in terms of suffusing the muscles with blood/flushing out DHT, etc?

Tom Hagerty
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Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Tom Hagerty » Wed May 15, 2013 10:46 am

to use less minoxidil and getting the same results...
I'd like to think that if you did the scalp exercise often and correctly and ate nutritious foods, you could cut back on the minox and still see good results. But that is more magical thinking. How could anyone possibly know this? The main thing I would be concerned about is using any topical or systemic drug for the rest of one's life. Now if I had stock in a pharmaceutical firm that produced drugs that people had to take for the rest of their lives, I'd be optimistic. Big money has a corrosive effect on one's beliefs. Even the moralistic, non-smoking Margaret Thatcher was forced to admit that she took millions of dollars (pounds) from the cigarette industry in exchange for her support in getting tobacco products into underdeveloped countries.
flushing out DHT...
I used to believe that a stronger blood flow to scalp tissue might possibly flush out some DHT. It's too bad that there is no evidence for this. From a mechanical perspective it seems to make sense. But from a biological perspective it's just not true.
I often do the SE with one hand on top of my head...


This is a good idea. The exercise done this way works the scalp muscles to the max. I think it might stimulate angiogenesis - the growth of capillaries in the scalp, in and around the hair follicles.

Snaggy
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:29 pm

Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Snaggy » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:39 am

think it might stimulate angiogenesis
Is this a good or bad thing?

NickSE
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:20 am

Re: 8+ months SE

Post by NickSE » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:32 am

Snaggy wrote: Is this a good or bad thing?
It's definitely a good thing. Angiogenesis means new capillaries, in this case around your hair follicles. The nutrients they bring with blood are fundamental for hair growth. However, I don't think this is enough to reverse baldness. But you know, "every great journey begins with a small step". Angiogenesis may well be your first step.

Tom Hagerty
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Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Tom Hagerty » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:40 am

The nutrients they bring with blood are fundamental for hair growth.
If the diet is good - full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients - the capillaries will deliver these molecules to the base of the hair follicle where hair production begins. But how about if the diet is not so good - full of the many toxins that are found in processed food and junk food. Also, environmental toxins from smoke and polluted water may work their way into the bloodstream.

Just as an aside, I recommend getting a water tester (around $25). The test is for total dissolved solids (TDS). I live in the Columbus, Ohio, area. The water out of the tap here is not good. I would never drink it.

I think the scalp exercise is more effective if you have a healthful life style - nutritious food, clean water, a lot of exercise, and of course no smoking.
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Snaggy
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Re: 8+ months SE

Post by Snaggy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:19 pm

Cool, Thanks a lot guys. Interesting Stuff :)

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