4HB vs. MPB | Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body and Male Pattern Baldness

tim ferriss 4 hour body

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What Does the 4 Hour Body Have To Do With Hair Loss?

Love him or hate him, Tim Ferriss is a global phenomenon and master life hacker. While reading his book the ‘4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (4HB for short)’, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the wonderful world of Male Pattern Baldness (MPB).

In this article, I’ll focus on two of those parallels. The first is ‘The Minimum Effective Dose’ (or MED) which applies as much to gaining a better body as it does to administering a hair loss treatment. The second is ‘The Treatment Adoption Life Cycle’ (my term, not Tim’s). It could mean a baldness cure is closer than we think, or maybe even already out there.

For anyone not familiar with the 4 Hour Body, or Tim’s life hacking credo as epitomised in his first book ‘The Four Hour Workweek’, 4HB is an encyclopaedia of extremely short, shortcuts. Lose 2% of body fat in two weeks. Gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days (with four hours total gym time). Sleep two hours per day and feel fully rested, among others. 15 minute female orgasm anyone?

Minimum Effective Dose: The Life Hacker’s Secret to Success

Perhaps the single most important concept in the 4 Hour Body is the “minimum effective dose”. The MED is defined as the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. Anything beyond that is considered wasteful. To illustrate Tim uses the example of boiling water: “To boil water, the MED is 100°C (212°F) at standard air pressure. Boiled is boiled. Higher temperatures will not make it ‘more boiled’. Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something else.

The same goes for treating hair loss. Each of us will, in all probability, respond differently to any given treatment. The recommended dosage is therefore just that: recommended. By all means, start off there. But once you’ve achieved the results you want, experiment with reducing the dose to find the minimum that works for you. Why risk unnecessary side-effects, or waste money on applying extra product that doesn’t provide extra benefit (see also my article on ‘Hair Loss Treatment Side Effects: The Importance of Local Versus Systemic’).

The Treatment Adoption Lifecycle: Unless You’re World-Class or Rich, Join The End of the Queue

The second parallel I drew related to Tim’s discussion on the treatment adoption curve. Tim states that:

“Most breakthroughs in performance [and appearance] enhancement start with animals and go through the following adoption curve: racehorses – AIDS patients (because of muscle wasting) and body builders – elite athletes – rich people – the rest of us.
The last jump from the rich to the general public can take 10-20 years, if it happens at all. It often doesn’t.”

He goes on to suggest that government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “are at least 10 years behind current research, and at least 20 years behind compelling evidence in the field”.

What does this mean for Hair Loss treatments? Well, for a start, it makes you wonder whether the cure’s already out there. If that’s a bridge too far, it certainly makes me a little less sceptical when I hear posters in forums discussing some drug or other as a potential cross-over treatment or precursor to commercialisation for hair loss.

The Take-Away

The 4 Hour Body is worth a read, particularly if you’re into life hacks. There are several lessons for hair regrowth, as well as some pretty cool tips and tricks for keeping the rest of you in good shape, too. Keeping a full head of hair is only one part of the story. Throw in a trim and muscular physique, a need to sleep only two hours a day, and an ability to give her a 15 minute orgasm … and you’ve got the ultimate chick magnet.

With any luck I hope these concepts might prompt you to: i) never give up your search, or your hope, for a ‘cure’ and ii) be extremely wary of overdoing any treatment. Why risk unnecessary side-effects, and throw your money down the toilet, when you can get the same benefits for less.

If you want to share any other hair loss lessons you’ve gleaned from the 4 Hour Body, feel free to add them to the comments section below.

Get your copy of the 4 Hour Body here.
Get your copy of the 4 Hour Workweek here.

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