Following is everything I currently take on a daily basis to maintain my hair growth. I have the genes for MPB from both parental sides and have successfully halted its progression and attained significant re-densification several years ago. My protocol is extensive and incorporates elements that I also integrate for not only hair growth that also have well documented age reversal benefits. The basics of this protocol allowed me to transition off finasteride in 2004, and still see significant hair density increases. Based on the feedback I have received for many years, I can confidently state that it is not necessary to take everything I take to reverse Androgenetic Alopecia. As long as you address the contributory mechanisms of DHT, inflammation, diminished O2 perfusion and fibrosis, your results will accrue, often rapidly, over time. Beside each of my protocol recommendations you will find a brief rationale based on the specific mechanism addressed. My dosage recommendations are sufficient enough to have a chance of actually working, which is a persistent issue with several over-priced, heavily marketed, albeit well conceived hair growth nutraceuticals such as Nutrafol. I hope you find this to be a useful reference.
My Current Regime
Use any of the following either singularly or in any combination. Generally the more treatments concurrently used, the better and more rapid the results. These recommendations are listed in order of importance based on documented mechanisms along with my response and the feedback we have accumulated over the years.
Emu Oil and Nizoral (ketoconazole) shampoo, 2 simple, longstanding and inexpensive topical compounds are actually potent enough by themselves to arrest and often reverse the course of AGA. In addition to these I periodically cycle in both the Anti-aging Scalp Serum which up-regulates diminished hair follicle stem cell activity, and Dr Proctor’s Advanced Hair Regrowth Formula, which integrates N-Oxides and Copper Peptides.
Low Temperature Processed Emu Oil – Emu Oil was patented for hair growth in 1998 by Dr. Holick of Boston University. One or more topical applications daily (or night) Topical Emu Oil exhibits a profound anti-inflammatory effect, stimulating rapid growth. Vellous growth is typically seen in a matter of weeks, becoming terminal with continued use. Especially effective in the hair line.
2 % Nizoral (ketoconazole) shampoo – 3 times a week. Neutralizes inflammatory cytokines associated with hair loss. Inhibits DHT binding to receptor sites. Leave on 5 minutes prior to rinsing. Requires prescription in the U.S. OTC in other countries.
Astaxanthin/Palmetto Guard combination – 1 capsule of each a day. This cost effective combination blocks DHT production, inhibits DHT binding at receptor sites, body wide, protects against skin aging and inflammation via multiple mechanisms. It also lowers serum levels of DHT and Estrogen, while simultaneously increasing Testosterone, a plus for aging men with hair loss.
Optimized Resveratrol Elite – 250 mg. – 1 capsule. Works as an adjunct to Curcumin Elite to neutralize neurogenic inflammation to stimulate hair growth. Also has other mechanisms that promote hair growth. Works in concert with Curcumin Elite to stimulate hair growth via reductions in neurogenic inflammation.
Curcumin Elite – 400 mg. – 1 capsule. This is a medicinal staple in Ayurveda addressing multiple mechanisms of Androgenetic Alopecia and compounded with fenugreek, is 500x more potent than Turmeric alone. Curcumin Elite regulates and reduces TGF-B1, the primary inflammatory messenger involved in Androgenetic hair loss. Also inhibits 5 alpha reductase type 1 and 2. Works in concert with Resveratrol to stimulate hair growth via reductions in neurogenic inflammation.
Taurine – 1000 mg. – 1-3 capsules. Prevents and ameliorates existing fibrosis in the hair follicles, which has been implicated as the primary causative factor in long standing hair loss. Combined with Phytosterols, Green Tea Extract and Grape Seed Extract, it is Patented by L”Oreal as an oral treatment for hair loss in Europe for both genders.
Ginkgo Biloba Certified Extract – 320 mg. – 1 capsule. Enhances and protects peripheral micro-circulation to the hair follicles, the diminishment of which strongly contributes to Androgenetic Alopecia and is wholly responsible for senescent or age related thinning. Similar effects can be attained with both Bilberry and Grape Seed Extracts. Those over 55 should consider an intervention that addresses the age diminishment of peripheral microcirculation.
Collagen Peptides for Hair, Skin and Joints – 1 Scoop (10 Grams). Peptides provide the building blocks of strong hair and deliver moisture to the scalp. Collagen peptides are composed of the amino acids essential for keratin formation, they neutralize free radical damage to hair follicles, prevent/reverse hair thinning associated with aging, increase both growth rate of hair and hair shaft diameter in all hair loss conditions, including both Androgenetic and Autoimmune conditions.
Sensoril Ashwagandha – A stress relieving Adaptogen that supports the hair growth cycle by decreasing stress, improving sleep, modulating cortisol and decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Rhodiola largely accomplishes the same and can be used either instead of, or in addition to Ashwagandha.
Theaflavin (Black Tea) Extract – 350 mg. – 2-3 capsules. Reduces serum DHT in animal models by 72%. People have reported significant drops in their own blood levels of DHT of 50% or greater with just 1 capsule.
Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones (recommended to be combined with Cayenne Pepper) – 135 mg. – 1 capsule. Rapidly lowers serum levels of DHT, dramatically when combined with Green Tea Extract. Facilitates the production of Equol, a naturally occurring antiandrogen which handcuffs DHT, with continued use. Production of Equol is further enhanced with the concurrent use of Green Tea and Sea Vegetables. In this formulation, the Isoflavones are compounded with Soynatto Fermented Soyfood (organic, Non-GMO) 435 mg, which greatly enhances the bioavailability and absorption of the Isoflavones. One capsule of this combined formulation is the functional equivalent of 3 – 4 capsules of standard Isoflavone Extracts.
Cayenne Pepper – 600 mg, 1 capsule. Cayenne Pepper, when combined with Soy Isoflavones produces significant hair growth effects, due to its effects on systemic and peripherally expressed IGF-1. The IGF-1 raising effects of this combination on hair follicles are even more pronounced than finasteride. IGF-1 increase is thought to be possible downstream effect of 5AR/DHT inhibition most directly responsible for induction of hair growth. This is also the mechanism responsible for the dense scalp hair growth often seen with Growth Hormone Injections.
Mega Green Tea Extract – 725 mg. – 1 capsule. Provides potent antioxidant activity, reducing androgen induced inflammation. Production of Equol is facilitated when combined with Soy Isoflavones. Normalizes SHBG levels, which are lower in those with androgen mediated hair loss. Is used in conjunction with Taurine as a patented treatment for hair loss by L”OREAL. Sharply reduces serum DHT (by 80% in mammal models) when combined with Soy Isoflavones.
Super Absorbable Tocotrienols – 250 mg. – 2 capsules in divided doses. Combats the underlying causes of hair loss, supporting otherwise healthy hair follicles that genetic disposition, advancing age, high concentrations of DHT (the male hormone dihydrotestosterone) and inflammation mediated fibrosis may cause to weaken, degrade or shrink. Super-Absorbable Tocotrienols, a natural, orally administered, bio-enhanced tocotrienol complex, can be taken to maintain youthful hair thickness and growth.
Ultra Natural Prostate Formula (Men Only) – 2 capsules. A multi-component side effect free, anti-androgen that blocks DHT production, inhibits DHT binding at receptor sites, body wide. It also lowers Androstenedione, a prominent, often unaccounted for, androgen, involved in balding via the usage of the enterolactone precursors Flax and Norway Spruce lignans. Boswella, a 5 LOX inhibitor also reduces androgen mediated inflammation. Ultra Natural Prostate Formula gives slightly more protection against Androgen action in AGA vs Palmetto Guard.
Biotin – 600 mcg. – 1 capsule. Biotin may also promote growth of new hair, since it is used by cells generally. It plays a key role in the Krebs cycle – the sequence of reactions in which oxidation of acetic acid provides energy for storage in phosphate bonds, such as in adenosine triphosphate. Biotin plays a key role in hair health, helping to keep it thick and strong.
Optimized Carnitine – 1400 mg. – 1 capsule. In a recent study with humans at the University of Lubeck in Germany, L-carnitine was shown to promote hair growth. L-carnitine stimulated hair shaft elongation and reduced hair cell death. The authors of this study conclude, “Our findings suggest that L-carnitine stimulates human scalp hair growth by up regulation of proliferation and down regulation of apoptosis in follicular keratinocytes in vitro. They further encourage one to explore nutraceuticaln (oral) administration of L-Carnitine as a well-tolerated, relatively safe adjuvant treatment in the management of androgenetic alopecia and other forms of hair loss.” Optimized Carnitine with GlycoCarn combines three advanced forms of carnitine in one single formula to help you optimize energy output and hair growth.
Branched Chain Amino Acids – ( L-Leucine-1200mg., Isoleucine- 600 mg, Valine-600 mg) – 4 capsules. The branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) L-valine, L-leucine, and L-isoleucine helps replenish membrane potential,enhance cellular protein synthesis and stimulate the synthesis of potassium channels in hair cells. As a result, BCAAs have been used with success with other cofactors, Biotin and Carnitine to facilitate hair growth.
Ginseng Energy Boost – GS15-4™ Fermented Asian ginseng extract (root), 1 capsule, 200 mg. Both human and animal data demonstrate a hair growth stimulation effect of orally administered Ginseng Extract, actually outperforming finasteride in animal data. The fermentation process of GS15-4 increases absorption of its active constituents 15X.
Vitamin D – 5,000 iu’s . There is a well documented prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in those with AGA, vs non balding controls. Low vitamin D levels are thought to play a role in the onset and severity of AGA.
Zinc – 50 mg. OptiZinc (Zinc monomethionine) Zinc as a potent inhibitor of 5AR, and those with AGA are established to have lower levels vs controls.
Applewise – 1 capsule, 600 mg, 50% Extract. A study in Italy showed increased hair growth, density, and keratin content, after 2 months of Apple Polyphenol administration. Several studies have demonstrated their effect as a nutraceutical on human hair growth and tropism. Applewise contains a more potent dose of Apple polyphenols than the Italian formulation used in these studies.
My personal protocol is admittedly aggressive, perhaps overly so, but it does readily produce results. For a variety of situational reasons, you may not be inclined to integrate every component listed. The following combinations at sufficient doses will effectively neutralize both inflammation and DHT, and generally reverse the course of AGA , giving you some significantly streamlined alternatives.
Emu Oil, Nizoral Shampoo, Palmetto Guard, Astaxanthin: Quells inflammation, reduces DHT blood levels and additionally inhibits its binding to receptor sites.
Emu Oil , Nizoral Shampoo, Mega Green Tea Extract, Taurine, Grape Seed Extract: A higher dose replica of L’Oreal’s patented hair growth nutraceutical, “Hair Mass”
Emu Oil, Nizoral Shampoo, Theaflavin Extract,Mega Green Tea Extract, Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones, Ginseng Energy Boost: Phytochemical components from Asia that have documented DHT reduction, (via Equol production) hair growth stimulation effects. Compared with their American and European counterparts, Asians have a significantly lower incidence of MPB.
My diet, in a nutshell, consists of intermittent fasting, or in my case time restricted eating, with a largely plant centric diet that heavily emphasizes healthy fats, such as Coconut and Olive oils. My fasting window is 16-18 hours a day, with a 6-8 hour feeding window in the evenings, akin to what is popularly known as the “Warrior Diet”. Eating this way supports scalp hair growth by raising Growth Hormone and IGF-1. While being plant centric, I am also gluten free, as gluten is conclusively associated with inflammation (along with DHT, the primary driver of hair loss).
An epidemiological study with a sizable cohort found that frequent exercise was associated with less severity in AGA. My regime optimizes the benefits of exercise for hair growth by doing amongst other things;
High Intensity Interval Sprints (HIIT) in a fasted state in the a.m. Both HIIT and fasting stimulate GH release. The combination gives a pronounced elevation that in addition to helping hair growth, reduces abdominal fat and enhances muscularity.
Gravity Boots: Another likely highly beneficial mechanical intervention is the use of inversion, or hanging upside down with the use of gravity boots, which I do daily after each workout. The increase in circulation is highly beneficial for hair growth.
Hatha Yoga: reduces cortisol
Kettlebells: increases IGF-1
Much, if not all of what I do here is also part of a general age reversal lifestyle, that if data are any indication, will significantly slow down and reverse many aspects of what is considered to be “normal” aging.
For more information on either your hair growth and/or age reversal regime- feel free to reach out.