Hair loss was a huge deal in my life and it began near the start of my adulthood.
I noticed thinning at the crown when I was 19 and by 22 it was noticeable to other people as well.
I recall a barber telling me that I would be completely bald by 30, based on his experience of seeing these patterns emerge on other men. An uplifting haircut that one.
As you can imagine this had a significant mental impact due to the age it started. I was still at college at the time and trying to make progress with in both my social and dating lives. The idea of sticking out like sore thumb due to hair loss, being quietly rejected socially and by girls…. it developed into a major mental hang up.
One that did not seem to have an available fix.
I developed an obsessive depression about it for several years.
I would see it in every reflection, I would take innumerable pictures and videos from all angles to confirm that yes, it was an issue. Because my initial loss was mostly happening in the crown, I would spend a good hour perfecting my hairline with combing and gels, only to take one camera shot of the ‘o-zone hole’ on the back of my head and have any confidence I gained from my efforts drain instantly.
The effects of this insecurity manifested in different ways:
- I was less keen to go out in public because I did not want to be seen.
- I never wanted to be in photos with my friends. Often, I would duck out of shot at the last minute. (I also became convinced my friends did not want to be in photos with me. Even though it was clearly me that was causing the dearth of said photos.)
- I had hopelessness with regards self-improvement and dating. Afterall, what was the point of improving my looks or putting myself out there when there was this gaping deficiency I could not fix. I reasoned that after my hair was gone that my dating and social hopes would be over.
And all this mental anguish was wasting my time because I was frustrating myself over a reality that I was not properly confronting.
So, at some point, right when it began to get impossible to hide, I started looking for solutions.
At the start I pinned my hopes on restoration. The options that are currently available are either chemical or surgical. Surgical restoration was not within my budget at 21 but I was down to give chemical treatment a try. I went online and did my research, mostly via forums and self-improvement blogs for men. From there I found out that the most basic stack for restoring and protecting yourself from hair loss was:
Minoxidil, finasteride and ketoconazole.
Minoxidil can be bought in shops as Rogaine/Regaine. Ketoconazole shampoo likewise is available in most chemists. Finasteride will depend on where you are. In most places a prescription is necessary.
I did notice some success with these at first. Mostly I believe due to the minoxidil.
There is a good amount of science and anecdotal evidence out there that backs up this protocol as an effective one. But I was not a hyper responder and at best it slowed down my loss rather than restoring my previous hairline. As the hair loss continued, despite chemical intervention, I fell further into hopelessness.
I can imagine after reading up to this point you might be surprised to hear my hair loss no longer bothers me. And it has not exactly grown back by some miracle.
No instead of divine intervention, my breakthrough came from upgrading my style/fashion.
One year ago, I made the drastic decision to accept I wasn’t happy with how my life was going and I chose to seek help. I met an online friend of mine, who would later become my mentor. Sat in a coffee shop near Melbourne Central we broke down every relevant aspect of my life and formulated an action plan for how to proceed.
We had, for the most part, settled on my goals and the areas of my life to focus on. Near the end of our discussion, I felt the need to halt the conversation mid flow. I had to inform him of the one thing that I was most self-conscious about and felt would always limit my potential in life.
He stopped me and said: ‘It’s your hair, right?’
He then took of his beanie and showed his own hairline that was excessively receding into a widow’s peak, with large dead zones in the temple areas back to the middle of his scalp.
‘I’m not going to lie to you and try to make you feel better about something that obviously sucks. Your hair looks bad. But just do what I do and wear a cap or beanie.’ he said with a shrug.
It is hard to explain how much this helped. And I think to my friend it was just a throwaway line and suggestion.
But from there I immediately took action buy buying myself a decent baseball cap.
I literally went shopping straight after for that purpose.
Bringing headwear into my style, as a staple, solved the following issues:
- My insecurity about being in pictures
- Being on a night out, or around public spaces in general
- My insecurity about going on dates and being immediately shot down for my hair
Having good style means achieving your best presentation and I accepted that my best presentation involves hats.
Now my goal is to spread the incorporation of hats into men’s style to all those that might benefit. If that’s you then my blog will help.
The Hatfish x