Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Non-Snake Oil Way to Regrow Hair?

Larry of the Three StoogesThis article will be the odd man out. It may be unusual for me to talk about a physical self-improvement matter since I spend so much time focusing on cognition and emotions, but this is a self-improvement blog, so all things relevant are on the table.

Anyhow, for a few years now I've been dismayed at how much I've thinned on the top. Even though I never have hair cutters take any off the peak, it usually never grows longer, except for my bangs hanging across my face. When my hair is patted down it shows the scalp's skin to an embarrassing degree, and since my sides grow so thick I end up looking like Larry Fine (from the Three Stooges, image above) at my thickest.

But ah! Man with Male Pattern Baldness are doomed to have it by genetic default, aren't they? Well, perhaps not.

While in a state of dismay over my thinness, I did some research and came across this very interesting article that argues male baldness is caused by the tightness of the scalp, and that the solution is to perform "scalp exercises," where one uses only the head muscles to move the scalp back and forth, for 5-10 minutes a day.

I thought about it for awhile, and while it sounds silly and has no hard science backing it up, I've been willing to take this author seriously since he makes an effort to display mixed testimony about his technique, and his perceptual evidence is persuasive. If my balding were really due to hormones and genetics, then why doesn't it affect the whole head at once? Why is the scalp thin while the sides and back are lush? When I pay attention to other men's hair, this logic seems to hold up frequently: Thin/balding on the scalp, thick hair preserved everywhere else.

Alright, as of about April 2013 I've dedicated myself to doing a long-term experiment. It doesn't cost money, and it's easy to do the scalp exercises incorporated into other activities, such as driving. The author states it may take a year or more for results to show themselves, but I've had the patience for it, and if successful it wouldn't be a pest at all to continue doing the exercises to maintain the mane.

Well, after many, many months, it seems results are showing themselves. It's still subjective, but after holding off on my estimate, I'm heartened to continue on.

First, I notice my hair falls out in smaller degrees when I stroke it. Perhaps that's the follicles getting stronger. Also, my scalp has been getting darker and darker as if there's more hairs and follicles filling up, and it's far more seldom that I get the embarrassing exposure of skin. Now the contrast of my top versus my sides is less noticeable. When I pull on my hairs and run my fingers down it, it seems like they're getting longer too.

I've been doing these exercises for about eight months now, and I certainly won't stop at this development! It's off the beaten path regarding popular conceptions of hair loss, but hey: This simplistic remedy may be a practical remedy nonetheless.

If I remember, I'll update again in April 2014 to see where I'm at and recommend you to consider exercises as well.

Though, one additional thought I add to the above author's is that it may be best to do it for 10 minutes at least, and to exert to move muscles as hard and as fast as you can to strive for some semblance of fatigue. More time dedication may mean faster results, and more exertion may mean a more meaningful loosening of the scalp.

If this be a non-snake oil way of growing hair back, then why not go for it?

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