Hair Regrowth is an important topic for many. Tracy-O has written quite a lot on this subject on the MyEvanesce Forum and she’s given me permission to share it with you. Here’s some of what she’s said:
One thing we do know for sure at this time is that M2F TG/TS people who are taking anti-androgens and estrogen along with a treatment regimen for MPB, have significantly better chances of recovering from MPB than males who are not taking anti-androgens and estrogen. This is well documented almost all over the place. I am seeing this play out in my own experience with treating my condition. My temples are filling in, though significantly slower than the rest of the areas that are filling in (vertex and mid-anterior). It takes time. A long time. A very long time. Those commercials/adds for products claiming to regrow hair in a matter of weeks and months are lying. It is not biologically possible to recover from MPB in a matter of weeks and months. Even hair transplants take a year and a half before the full benefit of the operation is known. That’s a long time to wait before seeing the results of a very expensive operation (Between $8K and $10K).
One way to help determine what stage you are is to print out some copies of that chart and ask several friends to circle the picture that they feel looks most like your hair pattern.
If you really are stage I or II or somewhere in between, I really don’t think you need to use Minoxidil. But as long as you have testicles you should use Nizoral A/D and/or T/Gel shampoo. Neither of those shampoos are “growth stimulators”, but each can help arrest hair loss.
As much as I do advocate Rogaine (Minoxidil) for M2F TG/TS folks who are stage IIIv through stage V, those with stage II and no vertex hair loss should probably wait to see what the feminization regimen will do before starting on Rogaine. Because you may not need it, or it may not do you any good anyway.
The chances/likelihood of recovering from frontal hair loss is very slim (less than 10%), but still a possibility none the less. Though both my temples are filling in very slowly, my left temple is filling in at a faster pace than my right temple. Pushing our testosterone down gives us an advantage in that area that most males suffering from hair loss do not have. If those areas are totally bald – as in completely void of velus hair – the follicles are either dead or dormant. If they are dead they will never regrow hair again. Only a hair transplant will be able to fill them in. If they are dormant, the only things that have a chance of waking them up to regrow hair again are growth stimulators such as Minoxidil and/or Low Level Laser therapy. One “rule of thumb” you can consider is that areas that have been totally void of velus hair for ten years or more are likely full of dead follicles. If it has been less than ten years, the follicles in those areas may only be dormant.
So with that said, examine those areas very carefully. If you can see velus hair (peach fuzz) in those areas, just give it time and see if they start to fill in. We are talking about time that is measured in months. So wait till you have been on your full feminization regimen (Evanesce, Feminol, AndroEase and Calm Companion) and those medicated shampoos for at least a year. Then re-evaluate your scalp.
Only time will tell (if your temple hair will come back completely), and it does take a very long time, at least a year before you know if you are making progress in that department.
If you are sure you have vellous hair in those areas, I would strongly suggest getting a HairMax Laser Comb.
Low Level Laser therapy — specifically the HairMax Laser Comb — for hair loss treatment does wonderful things. It stimulates dormant hair follicles to start growing hair again. It improves the health of your scalp. And it makes the individual hairs grow thinker and stronger. It does not make dead follicles come back to life… Nothing that’s currently available on the market can do that, but there is a procedure awaiting FDA approval that can – – – supposedly.
I simply cannot recommend the Laser Comb highly enough. I know doctors are very divided on it – but I also know it has worked for me. Those doctors who insist it can’t work and call the doctors who recommend it quacks are just being jerks for the sake of being jerks. They are not looking at the results. They are simply criticizing the technology. Why? I do not know.
If you are stage IIa, stage III, stage IIIv, stage IV or stage V with skin types I through VI, and can afford a Laser Comb, get one and use it as directed. I know it is expensive, but I personally feel it is worth every penny of its very high price. Do not get one of those inexpensive generic Laser Combs. None of those have passed FDA approval. Only the HairMax Laser Comb has done that, and that is one of the reasons why it is so expensive.
Other supplements that may be helpful are Evening Primrose Oil and Essential Fatty Acids (Fish/Flax/Borage oil). The Phoenix Project sells both and Natures Bounty also offers both.
Remember, this takes a long time. Any regimen you choose to take to deal with it needs to be a commitment of at least a year. If it works for you, you will need to stick with it until your testicles are removed or for the rest of your life.
If you have had ANY thinning in the vertex at all, whether it became completely bald or not, you are stage IIIv. I am not saying that to alarm you, I am saying that because every M2F TG/TS person needs to understand these stages and what to do about hair loss (both prevention and how to reverse it).
Also, vertex hair loss is directly linked to another “male-only” problem, the prostate. Any born male who has suffered vertex hair loss, even if its only “thinning”, should think very seriously about taking a quality Saw Palmetto complex every day. Especially born males over the age of 35. Natures Bounty makes a very good one. And there is an equally good Saw Palmetto Complex available here on this web site. Natures Bounty also makes a multi-vitamin product called Hair, Skin & Nails that may be helpful to a M2F TG/TS person, especially if she has suffered any hair loss or “thinning”… I keep putting thinning in parentheses because thinning IS hair loss.
I use the Nizoral A/D shampoo on Tuesday night and Friday night. An additional benefit to using Nizoral A/D shampoo is it makes the individual hairs thicker, stronger and very pretty. It usually takes about six to eight weeks to see that, unless your hair is very long. The longer your hair is, the more time it will take to notice any difference or benefit in your hair quality from using these medicated shampoos.
Minoxidil is a topical hair regrowth treatment for male patterned baldness. It is one of only two drugs that have been proven to regrow hair. If you have suffered hair loss or thinning up top, you may want to think about adding Minoxidil to your feminization treatments.
Minoxidil, Retinol and Ketoconazole are the only “medications” I am using as part of my feminization treatment – because I have a bald spot and thinning that needs to be treated… I don’t want to be a bald lady…
I use the Monixidil as directed on the package. I use Retinol cream on my bald spot and temples at bed time – then put Minoxidil on those same areas of my scalp. Retinol by itself is not a hair loss treatment – but Retinol has been shown to help Minoxidil work better. The main downside to using Minixidil is once you start using it you have to keep using it for the rest of your life. Though many people can step down the dose to only once a day after a few years. The second downside to using Minoxidil is that it is not very convenient. Why use it if there is a possibility that you may not need it?
Another product that has been shown to help Minoxidil work better is Nizoral shampoo (Ketoconazole). In fact, I have read studies showing that the prescription version of Nizoral (2% Ketoconazole) twice per week works as well for women with hair loss as 2% women’s Minoxidil twice per day. That impressed me so I use the OTC version of Nizoral (1% Ketoconazole) twice per week.
In any and all cases of hair loss for M2F TG/TS people, the very last option anyone should consider is a prosthetic “hair system”. The second to the very last option is hair transplants. The third from the very last option is to use Rogaine. And always, always, always do what you can to regrow what you can if you can BEFORE having hair transplants. Only those who have stage VI hair loss or worse should be considering a prosthetic hair system.
I hope this information is helpful to you.