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Definite success with rogaine and spironolactone - update after 7 years of treatment

Discussion in 'Success Stories and Positive Outlook' started by Rachel1971, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Rachel1971

    Rachel1971 Guest

    So I'm back after two+ years for another update. Below, I pasted my original post from 2012 titled "A moderate success story over 5yrs in the making". I don't get on this site very often anymore and am not sure of the best way to edit/add to a post so forgive me if I'm doing this wrong!

    In 2006 (mid-thirties) I noticed a small thinning spot above the forehead. I'm in the medical field and immediately started researching and trying different things. I had to go back and re-read my old posts to recall what things I tried and when, here is a quote from a post I wrote 2 yrs into treatment. "
    I first noticed thinning hair in the front in the fall of 2006...(I was 35)...I wasn't sure what to do at first and started with the laser comb in February of 2007, no real change with that so I started Rogaine Foam once a day in July of 2007, yes, I had a small dread shed but it was over quick and no more problems since, and my hair seemed to be getting a little better. In December of 2007 I started yasmin, and then in April of 2008 I started Spironolactone 100mg twice a day. By the summer of 2008 I really started to see improvement."

    After 7 years, I can tell you the the combo of full strength rogaine/minoxidil foam (5% "for men" formulation) once daily AND 200mg of spironolcatone daily (100mg in the morning and 100mg before bed) have mostly REVERSED the hair loss to the point where I can hardly tell myself when looking carefully in the mirror and even when combing my hair straight up. I can now style my hair any way that I want without worrying much about showing a widening part. If I part my hair down the middle, I sometimes add a little brown eye-shadow by brush to the part-line, but I used to HAVE to do this for camouflage and now I just do it when I think the style calls for it. I would say that the improvement in my hair thinning/loss has continued slowly and is still going! I would estimate about an 80% improvement compared to when I first started trying things 7 years ago.


    In the beginning (2007) I was using a laser-comb and continued for years but gave it up completely shortly after writing the last post in 2012 because I just didn't think my results were related to it and it was one more thing to do after a shower. I do also take Yasmin birth control but I may consider changing this to a different low-androgen pill because of the slight increased concern for clots with Yasmin. I was also off any birth control for a while a few years back with no effect to my hair whatsoever. I'm in my forties now and do plan to continue oral contraceptives until menopause. I am a small, thin woman with baseline "low" blood pressure and have had ZERO bothersome side effects from the Spironolactone nor from the rogaine. I did have a mild shed from the rogaine at the start which is typical. I think I have noticed slightly more colorless "peach-fuzz" facial hair on my cheeks but this is not noticeable to anyone (even up-close) and does not bother me at all, I am just reporting it for your info as I recall reading that this can be a side-effect of rogaine. I also wash my hair with Nizarol AD shampoo one time a week. I'm not sure how much this helps, but I figure it's a good idea according to the literature. I really believe that the combo of rogaine 5% and the spironolactone are the main reasons for success and I don't plan to change that regime at all. I was very thankful for this forum at the start of my hair-loss and I want to keep "giving-back" by posting updates that inspire hope in others. See my post from 2012 below:



    A moderate success story over 5 yrs in the making


    It was about 5 years ago that I first noticed hair thinning in the "typical" area, right above the forehead in an area about the size of silver dollar. I was horribly upset and depressed and I just could not believe it..I was mid thirties and no history of female hair loss in my family that I knew of. It took a while for me to do some research and figure out what to do. I saw a female dermatologist who told me that she herself had been using rogaine full-strength/men's formulation for over 20 years since she felt her hair was too thin when she was younger, (and she currently has amazing, thick hair in her fifties) she told me to start rogaine and spironolcatone, which, eventually I did. First I wanted to try the lasercomb for a few months by itself, but this produced no obvious change, so several months later, I started rogaine foam (for men) per the dermatologist recommendation as well as continuing the hairmax laser comb. Within the next few months I added spironolactone at a lower dose but eventually went up to 100mg twice daily in 2008. It was a gradual process because I didn't want add too many things at once to see what worked. So the whole process took about 6 or 8 months to get into a regular routine (and a year to get up to the full Spironolactone dose as I was worried about possible side-effects). I also used Yasmin birth control for most of this time (I just went off a few months ago for un-related reasons). Other than stopping the Yasmin, what I have been doing regularly is rogaine foam (for men) once a day after showering, the spironolactone 100mg twice a day, and the lasercomb a few times a week, only in the thin area--so it takes very little time. Now, about 4 1/2 years after this routine I have definitely noticed a marked improvement--my hair thinning/loss is somewhat reversed whereas before treatment, when I combed my hair straight up in the front I could see the thinning circular area under the light, now, when I comb my hair up, it is much less noticeable, proof that something (likely the rogaine) is working. I suspect the rogaine for re-growth along with the spironolactone to prevent further loss are mostly responsible. I'm not sure about the lasercomb, but I still do it since it is fast and can't hurt. I had a little shed when starting the rogaine but nothing too awful and no shed after the initial start-up. I have no side-effects from the rogaine or the spirololactone despite the fact that I am on the small/thin side with low blood pressure to begin with. I part my hair on the side which hides the thinner area pretty effectively. I haven't been on this forum for quite some time--over two years I think--but I know how important it is to hear about success stories and I wanted to share mine. I still worry now and then about when/if these treatments will stop working for me but now days go by without me thinking about alopecia when I used to think about it all day, every day years ago. I wish everyone on this forum a great new year! -Rachel (This was the original post from 2012)​
     
    #1 Rachel1971, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2014
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  2. speedpuppy

    speedpuppy Established Member

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    :jump::bravo: Not only is it awesome to hear about the excellent results you have had, it is also wonderful that you have taken the time to return & post such an encouraging report! Thank you so much for doing so & I wish you continued success with your treatment!

    And a very Merry Christmas to you, too!
     
  3. rva207

    rva207 Established Member

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    Thank you Rachel! I really needed this today.
     
  4. Ginger1113

    Ginger1113 Established Member

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    Rachel1971'..thankyou so much. I too needed to hear this so badly. I gave been on Spironolactone for over 7 months. I have been taking a dose of 150 for 4 months. Did not notice any regrowth but know it takes time. I have thinning on my part but worst above my forehead like you. It appears to be receding. I started rogaine 5 percent womens foam once daily just over a week ago because I feel like the thinning could be getting worse. I gate it thinning in my bangs area. Anyways I know what you mean about combing it straight up and it looking so thin. I am so tired of worrying about it. Just want it to get thicker. If you don't mind can you tell us what were you diagnosed with? Was it Androgenetic Alopecia. I am 45 and gave been diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia. Thinking about upping my Spironolactone to 200 but I like you am worried about side effects. I am small and weigh less then 100. Also tend to have low blood pressure. But I am not really having any bad side effects on the 150. Congrats to you and wish that all of our stories could have such a happy ending. You give us hope .thankyou. Also wondering how long until you noticed decent results? Merry Christmas.
     
  5. Jemsgirl

    Jemsgirl Established Member

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    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for comin back to update us. But do you think it's possible that Yasmin helped your hair grow back. It says you took it in your initial post and that you are still on it. You did mention coming off but for how long during the 7 years have you been off birth control. I'm so tempted to go on birth control even with two blood clotting disorders I have. It just seems like most people I've read about with success say they are using rogaine, Spironolactone and some type of birth control. I hope you find time to respond. Again thank you for updating us. We need hope!
     
  6. JeHope

    JeHope Established Member

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    Rachel! thank you so much for sharing. I too am on rogaine and 200 mg Spironolactone and have had fantastic results. I have been on this regime for 2 1/2 years. My question to you is do you still have periodic shedding?
     
  7. Rachel1971

    Rachel1971 Guest

    Hi Ginger, Yes, be hopeful! It probably took me at least 8 months to a year to notice regrowth that was significant and it has continued to improve over 7+ years. I originally started on a lower dose of Spironolactone but quickly went up to 200mg daily based on the available medical literature. I don't know if I was ever formally diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia but I am certain that's what it is. It has been such a long time now that I forget all the exact details with different doses of Spironolactone, etc. I am also small and weigh about 105, my blood pressure is always in the 90/60 range (even before I started Spironolactone). I have had absolutely no problems with 200 of Spironolactone daily. I'm also in the healthcare field and did a lot of my own research and Spironolactone is actually not a terribly effective diuretic, I don't even notice any increase in urination. After posting the other day, I thought of one other thing that the Spironolactone has likely contributed to and that is some increase in breast size. For someone small like me this has been a good thing. I can't say it is the Spironolactone for certain but I know it is a possible side effect. It may also be years of taking birth control, but I'd still wager it is the Spironolactone. Just hang in there, keep going with rogaine 5% and consider increasing the Spironolactone to 200mg daily. I bet you will have success! I used to think about my hair loss CONSTANTLY when it first started, now I hardly think about it at all and that has been such a huge blessing!

    - - - Updated - - -

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't think I have had any major shedding, but then I never really did. I first noticed that I was getting a thin spot just above the bang area many yrs ago, I wasn't noticing any shedding then either (other than the normal amount in the shower). The only time I noticed increased shedding was when I first started rogaine and even then it was not too bad. I do notice that if I skip washing my hair for a day, I have double the amount of hair in the shower but I remember that from my teens even.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't think the Yasmin hurts and it may be a piece of the puzzle but in my case, I think it is a small piece. My understanding is that Yaz and Yasmin are unique because they have androgen blocking properties BUT if you're already taking an adequate dose of Spironolactone, then I'm not sure how much additional help it gives (other than the hair-protective effects of estrogen). I think I went off yasmin for about a year during and noticed no difference in my hair. I would be super-cautious about taking any birth control if you have clotting disorders (as I'm sure you know). If you don't have success with Spironolactone and rogaine and you get the blessing of your doctor, maybe it would be worth adding the pill too.
     
  8. Ginger1113

    Ginger1113 Established Member

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    Rachel, thank you for taking the time to respond back. I am considering upping Spironolactone to 200 will just have to keep checking my potassium levels. Only been on rogIne nit even 2 weeks. Just keeping my fingers crossed. Thank you for the hope. Was your hairline receding too?
     
  9. Blue Panda

    Blue Panda Established Member

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    Thank you for sharing! It's always wonderful to hear a success story and gives us hope that something might work for us too :) I haven't started anything yet but due to start Spironolactone after Christmas (put it off in case of sides until after the day).
     
  10. MEvsHAIR

    MEvsHAIR New Member

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    Loved reading your story, Rachel. Your situation sounds nearly identical to mine, although in addition to the frontal thinning, I've had some thinning along my part, too. And like you, mine started mid-thirties. I have taken 200mg Spironolactone, 5mg Finasteride, 5% Rogaine and 1000mg Metformin (PCOS diagnosis many years ago, before hairless occurred) since May, so about 5 months. I had quite a bit of regrowth on my crown a couple of months after this, which I really attribute to the Rogaine. Was very exciting. I'm not seeing quite as much on the frontal portion, though. I'm wondering if Rogaine works better on the crown versus frontal/hairline area. At any rate, I'm cautiously optimistic.

    I'm curious- did you ever consider adding Finasteride? Or did you research it at all? I know there has been little testing on it for women. Just curious.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome, uplifting story!!
     

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