I never saw myself as the bald guy.
I’m the guy who started going gray at 16—I couldn’t be the bald guy, too. So hair loss wasn’t really on my radar until my late 20s after getting a short haircut. I was shocked to see the first clear signs of thinning and a receding hairline in the barber’s mirror!
I felt self-conscious for a few years. Starting the day I got married, I actually grew my hair past my shoulders as a “last stand” because I knew if I didn’t try it then, I’d never have the chance to do it. I grew dark, thick curls that I was proud of, but I ended up rocking a man bun half the time to cover the bald spot that was widening at the crown of my head. When the long-hair-with-a-bald-spot situation got too creepy, I had my wife shave it all off. Sad day.
Recently, my anxiety about balding has transitioned to motivation to maintain the hair that I do have. I’m in my mid-thirties, I’m a dad, I’m not getting any younger, so that’s why I’m addressing my hair loss right now. I’ve done my research and here’s what I’ve found.
The Deal With Hair Loss
If you’re like me, the term “male pattern baldness” is practically derogatory. Not what I want to be associated with. Genetics play a big role in it, which is probably the case for me, paired with a season of life when stress was so high I was practically watching my hair fall out in real time.
For others, it could be due to the use of harsh dyes or relaxers, or even an unbalanced diet. It’s important to talk to your doctor if your hair loss is significant or sudden, as there are illnesses and nutritional deficiencies associated with hair loss.
I’ll give the bad news first: there isn’t one. The good news: there are treatments that stop it in its tracks.
Minoxidil is a safe, FDA-approved formula that serves as a treatment for any type of male hair loss. Minoxidil is the generic name for Rogaine, which is available over the counter. It works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which strengthens and stimulates them. This leads to the hair growing thicker and fuller, which makes it less likely to fall out permanently. Minoxidil has proven to be most effective at the crown and top of the head, more so than receding occurring at the temples.
Of course there are also options out there like hair transplants, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), and finasteride shampoos and pills. Those aren’t for me for reasons involving cost, discomfort, and invasiveness, plus a lot of repeated visits to a doctor’s office.
Why I’m Using Keeps
Let’s revisit that minoxidil solution I mentioned above. It’s a topical serum that you can apply a few different ways, and it’s scientifically proven to grow thicker, longer—even just more—hair. Keeps offers it in a small bottle that you apply with a dropper, and I’m hoping that in 3-4 months I’ll see a difference in the sparse spot at the crown of my head.
Keeps feels like the best route for me because it’s affordable ($10 per month), I can do it myself by applying it twice per day, and I can easily bring it with me when I travel.
When I’m Starting
I’m going to get going with Keeps right now. The thing about going the minoxidil route is the sooner you get started, the more of your own hair you can preserve. Waiting longer just means more hair loss that you can’t undo.
Are you experiencing hair loss? If you’re going through male-pattern balding of any sort, and you aren’t sure where to begin, start by finding ways to soothe your stress and balancing your diet. Mention something to your doctor to rule out larger medical concerns. And then join me in this simple treatment to keep the hair I have, thicken what’s there, and stimulate regrowth as I go about my day-to-day life.