My hair regrowth story...
I want to share with you my hair regrowth story.
I was hesitant to share this, because a good story should have a good ending, and my hair regrowth story hasn’t ended yet.
My hair still isn’t perfect. But the main thing is, it’s a lot thicker, fuller and healthier than it was a few years ago.
The photo above (on the left) was taken in 2013 when my receding hairline went very far back, and my hair was very thin on top and at the crown. The photo above (on the right) was taken in 2018.
Amazing isn't it?
Most people think hair loss gets worse with age, or you need to take drugs like finasteride or minoxidil to make your hair healthy again.
I'm going to show you how both those myths are wrong.
As you can see, my hair now is thicker, healthier and stronger than 5 years ago. The quality, lustre and thickness of the hair are all better now.
Yes, I still have a bit of a receded hairline, (which is slowly filling in) but it’s much, much better than it was a few years ago which is amazing considering that hair loss gets worse and worse every year you don't do something to fix it.
It took me over 5 years of trial and error to discover these 8 steps and put them together so they worked effectively. If you want to skip directly to a section then click on a step below, or continue scrolling to read more about my story:
As a result of these 8 steps I no longer worry about my hair.
Before, I was worried that each month my hair was getting thinner and balder, I was worried about it looking thin when it was wet or sweaty, and I was always worried about people taking a picture of me in case it showed my thinning hair.
Now I don't worry anymore because as time passes my hair looks better and better every 6 months. These 8 steps are my hair care regimen that make that happen.
And this is happening without drugs like minoxidil or finasteride or an expensive hair transplant.
With that said…
Hair regrowth takes a long time!
If I had expected to see results in the first few months I would have quit this regimen (that actually works!)
Hair just doesn’t regrow very fast at all.
I knew that hair regrowth takes time so I decided to stick with any new treatment for at least 3 months before expecting to see any positive results.
The second reason this regimen works so well is that I stacked up the different treatments so they work in a complimentary way together.
If I had tried just one of these steps alone it’s very unlikely that would have made a big positive change. There are many different factors that can cause hair loss. There are also many factors that can cause hair regrowth.
By removing as many of the ‘hair loss factors’ and adding in as many of the ‘hair growth factors’ as possible, that is how I was able to get my hair growing healthy again.
Some of these 8 steps use products that me and my team here at Hairguard created. We created these products because we weren't happy with anything on the market - nothing stood up to our standards.
I’ll point out which ones I use and it’s up to you whether you use the same products or choose different ones.
One other thing...
I have genetic hair loss, (male pattern baldness) but you might be different. If you're not sure then I recommend taking our hair loss quiz here.
So, let’s start with step 1.
1: Scalp massages
Everyday I try to do 10 minutes daily of scalp massages. This is probably the most important step, so make sure you don’t skip it.
Male pattern baldness is primarily caused by tension in the scalp, by using scalp massages (and a ‘weird’ device which I’ll explain in the next step) we help reduce this tension, and so the hair can regrow.
Without reducing this tension the hair has a much, much harder time to regrow. But by removing the tension, the hair can regrow much more easily. This scalp tension squeezes the dermal layer reducing blood flow and increasing DHT.
It makes all the other hair loss treatments much more effective. With the addition of 10 minutes of scalp massages per day, that’s when I really started to notice more hair. I want to show you exactly how to perform the scalp massages, so we made some video demonstrations. Video 1 is above and you can view the rest of the massage videos here.
Multiple published studies have shown that consistent scalp massages regrow hair.
Okay, now you know how to perform the massages, let's move on to the next step.
Let me show you a very useful device that further reduces scalp tension, increases blood flow and boosts hair growth. This ‘weird’ device is pretty incredible…
Step 1 summary: Scalp massages are a proven way to regrow hair (for genetic hair loss.) Watch the full video demonstrations below to learn how to do them properly. 10 mins daily.
2: Using a growband
This step is all about further reducing scalp tension, and at the same time, increasing blood flow and growth hormones to the hair follicles.
For me, this step made a big difference. I can really feel my scalp become flushed with blood and oxygen when I use a growband.
Just like the scalp massages, I use the growband for 10 minutes each day (usually after the massage session.) This device helps lift up the scalp around the perimeter allowing more blood to flow into the top of the scalp.
(Watch the video above to see how it works.)
It also helps stretch the tissues at the back and massage those muscles. By reducing the tension at the back, the hairs all over the head have much more room to grow properly.
Using the growband is simple…
Place it on your head where it sits comfortably.
Put it in the position where inflating it causes your scalp to rise up. Inflate until you can feel your scalp being firmly squeezed upwards, hold for around a few seconds, and then deflate.
Continue this cycle for 10 minutes. What you want to aim for as a good indicator that the growband is working is when you inflate it your scalp rises upwards and when you deflate it your scalp moves downwards. This shows it’s in the right position.
Sometimes I’ll adjust the position of the growband slightly so that it stretches different parts of the scalp. Don’t over-inflate the growband so that it squeezes too hard. You’ll know when to stop pumping it because your scalp won’t be rising up anymore.
Scalp massages and using the growband were very important to my hair care regimen. I wouldn't recommend skipping them. Or if you don't want to use a growband then make sure you spend longer on scalp massages.
Step 2 summary: A growband helps reduce scalp tension, boost blood flow and reduce DHT. It works the same way as scalp massages to regrow hair but is easier to do. 10 mins daily.
3: A topical stimulant
Every evening before going to bed I’ll apply a topical hair stimulant. We created the Scalp Elixir for exactly this purpose. The Scalp Elixir was the first ever Hairguard product and is made to help block DHT and stimulate hair growth topically when sprayed on to thinning or receding areas of the scalp.
I’ll spray the Scalp Elixir onto areas of my scalp that are thinning or receding before bed time and massage in and leave overnight to work on the hair follicles.
Every single ingredient in the Elixir has been chosen specifically to aid in hair regrowth without damaging the hair follicles in the long term.
The liquid is designed to absorb easily into the scalp without leaving a mess and since all the ingredients are natural there are no associated side-effects like you might get with minoxidil.
For example, one compound used in the Scalp Elixir is Safflower extract. In a head-to-head competition with minoxidil after 30 days the hair regrowth score of safflower was double that of minoxidil.
Safflower extract hair count:
Minoxidil hair count:
The Scalp Elixir is easy to use, free from chemicals, easy to rinse out and effective. Since you've spent time and energy reducing the scalp tension, now is the time to use a powerful topical stimulant to push the hair follicles into growth phase.
Step 3 summary: Apply a topical stimulant to the scalp before bed time (for maximum time on scalp.) Helps activate hair follicle growth phase, boost blood flow etc.
4: Hair nutrition
Nutrition was also an important part of getting back my hair. I reduced my intake of inflammatory foods such as gluten and vegetable oils.
I also tried to avoid foods with a high glycemic index that would cause my blood sugar levels to spike. It will be much harder to regrow your hair if your diet is unhealthy, but it doesn’t need to be too complicated or difficult to eat the right foods.
I increased my intake of anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, bone broths, organ meats and seafood. Inflammation can be a trigger for hair loss (that’s why I removed inflammatory foods from my diet) but anti-inflammatory foods also help lower inflammation.
There’s a full list of good, okay and bad foods to eat for hair regrowth in our nutrition module, so take a look at that if you’re wondering about a specific food. Eating nutrient dense foods is also important to make sure you don’t have a nutrient deficiency that could be stunting your hair growth.
Nowadays there are so many foods that are full of wheat, corn and rice which are not nutrient dense at all. They even take nutrients from our bodies instead of giving them to us. Zinc is a common deficiency in people with hair loss, especially those who are very active.
That’s why I added a couple of oysters each week to my diet. They are very rich in zinc.
Step 4 summary: Avoid inflammatory foods, and eat more foods for hair nutrition such as bone broth, oysters, liver. See full list of good, okay and bad foods below.
5: Hair probiotics
The Hairbiotic is our probiotic that has been designed to improve healthy hair growth.
Probiotics help introduce healthy bacteria back into the gut, and some studies have shown that some specific strains of probiotic have improved hair health considerably.
If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, eaten foods with preservatives or drunken tap water with fluorides in then the chances are you might have killed some of the beneficial friendly bacteria in your gut that help protect your hair.
Without these friendly bacteria you could lose hair much more easily. I take 1 capsule of the Hairguard Hairbiotic each day in the morning with water.
The Hairbiotic contains 6 strains of probiotic which can help improve hair health. These strains of probiotic that we’ve chosen also help increase Vitamin D synthesis. This is important because Vitamin D deficiency is often a big factor in hair loss.
Step 5 summary: Take a daily probiotic with probiotic strains with proven ability to improve hair health. Avoid chemical preservatives, fluorides and other things that harm the microbiome.
6: Stress reduction
High stress levels are big factor for hair loss. Sometimes high stress can be easy to fix and sometimes you’re just going through a stressful period caused by an uncontrollable event.
If the stress is caused by some on-going lifestyle factor then this is something you’ll need to address and try and change over time.
Taking the time to setup your life to minimise chronic stress is something that will benefit your health and your hair in the long term.
Here are a few things I did that have helped me, although I could do better I’m sure. Breathing, meditation and regular exercise where the most useful for me.
Without exercise I feel my body starting to get very stressed out. Doing a 3 minutes of daily breathing exercises also helped me a lot. Reducing phone electronic screen usage before bedtime helped my sleep better which in turn reduced my stress levels.
Writing down repetitive negative thoughts of self talk on paper to get them out of my head was also useful. Primarily I setup my lifestyle to reduce stress by doing things like reducing my commute and eliminating, automating and outsourcing repetitive work tasks.
One easy way to decrease your stress levels is to take an herb called Ashwaganda.In studies Ashwaganda helped reduce cortisol levels by 30%. Our Hairguard Supplement contains Ashwaganda, so with the daily supplement I feel less stressed and my hair generally grows quicker from all the additional nutrients and minerals in the supplement.
Step 6 summary: Be proactive about reducing your stress levels by getting good sleep, organising your life to minimise stress and reduce unconscious tension.
7: Water quality
This step is all about the water that you drink and shower in. The quality of the water makes a big difference.
In this section I'm going to explain how low quality drinking and showering water can be a cause of hair loss.
I'll also explain how drinking more good quality water can help with dandruff and brittle hair.
If you have dry, brittle hair or dandruff then dehydration could be one of the causes.I know, it sounds too simple to be true, but better body hydration = a more hydrated scalp and hair.
Let me repeat this. If you have dandruff, or if you have dry and brittle hair, often the solution can be as simple as drinking more water. I recommend 2 litres per day on top of your normal beverages.
And, if you’re drinking unfiltered tap water (or any kind of low quality tap water) then I would guess you’re not getting enough water because most tap water tastes pretty bad and our body just doesn’t really want to drink too much of it.
(Do you like drinking water? - if the answer is no, it's because the quality of the water you're drinking is not good enough)
Try and drink at least 1 litre of filtered water early in the morning upon rising. This will help make sure you get through your 2 litres per day.
Drinking more water helps reduce dandruff and improves brittle hair. It also helps the liver do it’s job properly which in turn will benefit your hair considerably.
My regimen simply involved making sure I drank 2 litres of filtered water each day, in addition to any other beverages I consumed. There’s more info about water and hair loss here. Pro tip: add rosella petals to your drinking water for better taste and an added boost of nutrients and minerals.
Also, this is really important; in some places around the world it is really important to filter your shower water.
Some tap water can be very damaging to the hair follicles. It varies by region though. I’ve found that some places after I shower my scalp is incredibly itchy, dry and my hair is flat and stripped.
Test your shower water and see if your hair feels thin/lifeless/itchy after showering. If so, install a shower filter or only use filtered water on your hair.
In some places my hair is fine after showering without a filter.
Use filtered or bottled water to wet your hair if you think that your shower water might be making your hair lifeless/thin/itchy.
Step 7 summary: Drink at least 2 litres of high quality water per day. Filter your water if necessary. Filter your shower water if necessary to avoid chemicals and hardness of tap water.
8: A hair growth shampoo.
Please, stop using chemical laden shampoos. A shampoo which contains chemicals (anything on the ingredients label you can’t pronounce) will kill you hair follicles over the long term.
Most shampoos contain these harsh chemicals because they are needed for the shampoo to smell nice, have a nice texture and make a nice foamy lather.
Unfortunately, the same chemicals that give the nice smell, texture and foam are also destructive to hair follicles. Most shampoos use the same foaming chemical that they use in car washes to give a nice foam.
In fact all of those chemicals damage the hair follicles, strip away protective oils, cause dandruff, and damage the scalp. I use the Hairguard Shampoo, and I only use it once a week. It contains no harsh chemicals and is packed with natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be beneficial in hair regrowth.
One example of these beneficial ingredients is Oleuropien which is completely natural and yet it beat minoxidil in a head-to-head study for hair regrowth: See here the hair length after 28 days comparing Oleuropein, minoxidil and a control:
OP = Oleuropein
MXD = Minoxidil
CON = Control
We researched every single compound that had shown positive hair growth results in scientific studies and the best ones we put in the shampoo. I use the shampoo just once per week though, as it’s important not to remove too much of the protective oils from your scalp.
Keep in mind though that this is only a shampoo.It’s not a miracle cure, and shampoo doesn’t stay in contact with your scalp for very long so its effect is limited. That’s why my hair only started regrowing once I added in all the steps (or as many as possible.)
Step 8 summary: Try not to shampoo more than twice per week max and use a shampoo that doesn't contain chemicals. Use a natural shampoo with proven hair growth stimulants.
Be patient - consistency is key
Dr Alan Bauman of the Bauman Medical Group in Florida says that: "A staggering 50% of hair loss can occur before it's noticeable to the human eye"
So by the time you notice you're losing hair you may have already lost maybe half of it. But the reverse is also true. With a good hair care regime your hair could be thickening, strengthening and generally becoming more healthy, without it being very noticeable to start with.
What you're doing is making a difference, it's just that difference isn't noticeable to the human eye for the first 6 months or so. The key is to keep going whilst the hair builds strength and thickness, and whilst the motor of the hair follicle (the dermal papilla) build back up again to full strength.
What you're doing won't be visible to start with, but if you keep going the results start to compound and will eventually be visible to you and others. For example, you might be 2 months into a hair care regime that works and start to become demotivated because you're not seeing any real difference to your hair.
In reality though your hair is growing, thickening and strengthening, it's just not noticeable to the human eye yet. Keep going and don't give up. What you're doing is making a difference. Also, keep in mind that new hairs do grow slowly.
For example, it takes a new born child approximately 2 years for their thicker hair to grow in, and think about how quickly a baby is growing. Adults are no exception, except cellular replacement takes even longer, and the same goes for the dermal papilla cells, the root and motor of the hair follicles.
Even with the absolute theoretical perfect solution for hair loss, I doubt that it would have full affect within less than 2 years simply because of the way the root of the hair follicle needs to build back up again to full strength before it starts producing a thick, healthy shaft of hair.
It took 5 years of trial and error to get to this point, but those 8 simple steps are what are making my hair grow all over again.It might seem like a lot, but it’s really not too hard once you’ve got in the habit.
Plus you overall health will benefit massively.If you have any questions about one of the steps or the regimen overall then please write a comment below and I’ll try to answer it ASAP. Again, I want to emphasise, this isn’t too hard. I’m a kinda lazy person and busy with stuff too.
Once I had the habit of these 8 steps I started to enjoy doing them. It’s rewarding and enjoyable to see my hair health getting better.
More steps = better results. If you really want the best results possible do as many steps as possible and stick with it for at least 6 months. (Don’t quit after 2 months if you don’t see lots of new hairs because this will take longer than 2 months.)
Also… I wanted it to be super easy to get the product delivered to your door every 2 months so you didn’t mess-up your regimen and lose valuable days that would set back your hair regrowth. That’s why you can now choose automatic delivery every 2 months (and save 15% in the process).
It’s super easy to stop, pause, skip or modify any subscriptions within your account area with a few clicks. That’s it! Let me know what questions or comments you have by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible.
Will Slator - Founder of Hairguard