The Journey (abbreviated)
If you’re not interested in the background story, you can skip straight to ‘The Solution’ section below where I describe exactly what worked for my hair loss. For an even quicker read jump straight to ‘My Treatment Plan’.
I was 28 years old when I first noticed I was losing my hair. Time stopped at that moment. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror for an hour, an evening, maybe a night. Trying to convince myself it was a trick of the light. The way I’d styled my hair. The shampoo I’d been using. Ultimately coming to the conclusion that my hairline had, in fact, retreated.
The coming months and years confirmed the diagnosis. From that moment in front of the mirror, until eight years later, my emotions would be range-bound. Oscillating between anger, depression and frustration. On the rare occasions I’d forget, I was quickly reminded when my daily rituals once again placed me face to face with the enemy. Sixty by sixty centimetres of reflected misery. Also called a mirror.
All very melodramatic. All highly unreasonable. But nonetheless a reasonable description of how I felt. From that day, to the day I discovered the treatment below, I was obsessed with finding a solution for my hair loss. This is what worked for me …
After eight years, and having almost given up hope, I found myself sitting across from an ad in the subway. The company was called Hair Loss Control Clinic. Like every other hair regrowth specialist they claimed to have over 90% success rate in regrowing lost hair. In desperation, I made an appointment.
The consultation began with a brief explanation of the ‘treatment protocol’, followed by a scan of my scalp using a microscope (not unlike an ultrasound). The microscope’s used to verify whether there are a sufficient number of follicles capable of producing terminal hair (the normal hair growing on your head).
How? If a follicle can still produce vellus hair, which is exceptionally fine and almost invisible to the eye, then it can normally be stimulated into producing a normal, terminal hair.
Generally speaking, if you’ve lost hair within the last eight to ten years (with four to five a good bet, and eight to ten an outlier), there’s a reasonable chance your dormant follicles haven’t miniaturized to the point where they can’t produce healthy hair. See the ‘Hair Loss Explained’ section for a more thorough explanation.
After verifying that I had a sufficient number of ‘live’ follicles, in addition to those still actively producing terminal hair, they pronounced me a good candidate.
I paid my money, booked in 4 x 2 weekly check-ups to measure progress, grabbed my products, and left. Then immediately wondered if I’d been conned. The third appointment would prove I wasn’t.
I was prescribed the ‘Ultimate II Hand Held Laser with HLCC Comprehensive Treatment Program’. The range of products and dosages were designed to get results as quickly as possible. The confidence you get from seeing results fast gives you the boost you need to continue with the program (and before you really start to think this is another expensive con). After 3-4 weeks I started to ‘feel’ an improvement in my hair’s appearance. By six weeks that feeling was unmistakable.
My Treatment Plan (The First Year)
Try the products and dosages suggested below for the first 6 – 12 months, or until you get the results you want. Then start to work back towards something like the current treatment plan I describe in the next section. I’ve also given you the second stage dosage under the column ‘Next Dosage (6-12 mths+)’ as a follow on step towards the reduced treatment plan.
|Product||Description||Initial Dosage||Next Dosage (6-12 mths+)|
|Ultimate II Laser*||Low Level Laser Therapy. The Utimate II is the cheaper model. There is also a significantly more expensive Ultimate 25 Laser as well as Laser Hats now available.||10-15 minutes daily.||10-15 minutes, 2-3 times per week.|
|Re-Stim (5% Minoxidil w Carrier Lotion)||Liquid. Topical. Applied topically (direct to the scalp) with a dropper. Carrier lotion helps to neutralize the alcohol in Minoxidil, and promotes better penetration, less scalp irritation and dryness.||1ml in the morning; 1ml at night (at least one hour before bed).||1ml once a day.|
|HLCC Scalp Therapy||Liquid. Topical. Improve the scalp environment, by dissolving sebum build-up, enabling penetration of Minoxidil and the other topicals listed here.||Twice daily.||Once daily.|
|HLCC Scripts Complete||Vitamins. Oral. 500mg of Saw Palmetto and 8 other DHT inhibitors. 180 tablets (3 mth supply) or 60 tablets (1 mth supply).||1 tablet in the morning; 1 tablet at night||Same as initial.|
|SLS & DEA Free Shampoo||Shampoo. Topical. Without sodium laurel sulfate and DEA.||Once daily. Substitute for your normal shampoo.||Same as initial.|
|Vitamin Plus Conditioning Treatment||Hair Conditioner. Topical. Rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals.||Once daily. Substitute for your normal hair conditioner.||Same as initial.|
|Hair Therapy Coenzyme||Gel. Topical. Said to stimulate production of protein, reduce activity of the sebaceous glands and neutralize the activity of Alpha-Reductase (the enzyme responsible for the transformation of testosterone into DHT).||Twice daily.||Once daily.|
To purchase any of the above, go to http://www.hlcconline.com.
My Current Treatment Plan
In 6 years of using the products above I’ve experienced no side effects that I can discern. Even so, I’ve also experimented with gradually removing certain products and reducing dosages to a point that maintains my hair the way I want it. Why? One, it’s less expensive. Two, it saves time on your routine. It also reduces the chances of side-effects. Given you’ll likely be using these products long-term, these are all benefits worth achieving.
You’ll likely find that benefits from the initial treatment plateau at some time during the first 3 – 12 months. At that point I recommend experimenting with a reduced program to maintain ‘peak state’.
Here’s what’s currently working for me. If you want the full ‘reduction plan’ – between the next stage outlined in the table above and my current treatment plan in the table below – you can e-mail me using the address at the bottom of this page.
|Re-Stim + (5% Minoxidil with 5% Saw Palmetto)||Liquid. Topical. As above, with the addition of 5% Saw Palmetto. Said to be more effective than Minoxidil alone (not sure I buy it but have made the switch anyway).||0.5ml morning; 0.5ml evening.|
|HLCC Scalp Therapy||Liquid. Topical. As above, to potentiate the Minoxidil.||Once daily.|
|HairMax LaserComb*||Low Level Laser Therapy.||As and when the mood takes me; normally no more than once per week.|
Future Treatment Plans?
I’m currently experimenting with 0.5ml of Minoxidil once daily, combined with a daily dose of Maximum Growth Therapy (MGT) – HLCC’s natural alternative to Minoxidil. I’ve been trying this for the past month and haven’t noticed any increase in hair loss. Whilst it’s too early to celebrate success, so far so good. I’ll provide an update in a couple of months.
The next step will be a complete switch to the HLCC ‘All Natural Hair Loss Treatment Program’. I’d recommend that if you haven’t already started using Minoxidil, and you’re in the early stage of hair loss, you try this program first. Give it 3 – 6 months (if you’ve got enough hair) and then try my initial treatment plan above if it doesn’t work.
I’ll also provide an update on the all natural approach once I get to a point where I can compare notes.
Until then, if you decide to try any of the above treatment plans, please let me know how you get on: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Note that due to damage during travel (and the desire to get a replacement fast) I switched to the HairMax Laser Comb after the first three months of treatment. Far easier to get the replacement whilst in the UK than to order a replacement online through HLCC at the time. I’ve been very happy with both the style of the comb and its longevity (despite a lot of travel which invariably produces numerous bumps and knocks). See my review of the Hair Max Laser Comb here.