I used minoxidil for some time (2 years) and I saw some results. But after two years, I think I grew tolerance to it. I never used Finasteride or any orally taken drugs but I believe it would be similar in that case. I just don't want to be committed to drugs to keep my hair. I rather losing it fast so with whatever left, I can get the surgery and be done with it.
That is the issue though John. If we continue losing hair after a hair transplant one could be left with an unatural appearance. If an appropriate transplanting pattern is utilised taking into account more loss as we age, then it has the potential to work.
I think planning ahead is the most important part, I wrote about it recently, there is a psychology behind this. This is a psychological issue for many and as you obsess more, you start losing your logic and you are more tend to act without thinking. You see great results and you want to have the same, so you don't question anything about it. And then you have maximum grafts from the surgery because you asked, and many clinics accept it because that is what the patient asked for and more grafts mean more revenues. I don't really blame them but from my point of view, it is taking advantage of people. Then after years, when there is a gap forming between transplants and back of your head, you can't get the surgery. Unfortunately. you are trapped with using topicals or trying extremes. I believe, that should be discussed everywhere and only that way, we can help people. When I talked to ISHRS surgeons, they blame those black market/shady clinics but I simply told them the same thing, we have to educate these people because it is difficult for them. There is a million of info out there and you don't know who to trust. Fake reviews, photoshopped/light adjusted before and after pictures and using people in forums to protect some individuals or attack the others who basically explain what happened to them is everywhere.
I am sorry for the long response but I believe this should be seen by everyone who comes here to get some decent information and everyone deserves to know the truth. Coming back to Minoxidil, I believe it can help the patient to hold the crown hair for a longer duration and it helps you buying time. After that, it is up to you, if you are like me, you just want to be done with it so I would rather lose it all fast and try to cover the area with topicals or fibres and then get the surgery. But for many others, they choose to buy as much time as possible which is very normal. I think it depends on your mentality
You are correct. There is an abundance of information out there, some factful and helpful, some misleading and downright dishonest, some too complicated to understand but for me, I feel quite safe on this site. The Black market is a factor in every sector. It is a small percentage but a dangerous one if you`re one of the unlucky people who gets tricked into using their services.
@Baldingman You are quite right that there is some misleading and dishonest information out there, all with the motivation of financial gain, which upsets me greatly. Anybody who has experienced hair loss and suffered with the consequences of that, would never then look to benefit from another individuals at their lowest point, often desperate for a solution.
Fortunately, forums such as this allow conversation and real patient results to be seen. It is a fantastic opportunity to become informed and educated.
Regarding your choice to avoid Finasteride, I totally respect. I personally do take Finasteride and have for years with suffering any side effects, but do I like the idea of taking a daily pill that affects my hormones? No. Definitely not. But, rightly or wrongly, I also know how I felt pre HT as a young man suffering hair loss, and that isn't a path I wish to walk down either.
I feel it is important to research, ask questions, read literature, consult with Drs and be patient. This way, in your own time, you can begin to make your own educated choices on what treatments/options are viable to you and which you are comfortable with pursuing.
Indeed, there is a LOT of false and fake information out there. I too have been using finasteride and other DHT lowering substances for almost 20 years. I never had any sides and I am happy with the results that it has provided me. In general, the argument can be made that most long term outcomes of hair transplants look better when using Finasteride. Due to the finite amount of donor reserves, it is not possible to replace all lost hairs beyond a certain level of hair loss.
Again, everybody must take their own decision. Read a lot, but do not base your decision solely on what you read online.