Male-pattern baldness anonymous: My quest to regrow my hair 

Hi. I’m Adam, and I have a bald spot.

This is a different post than I would typically ever share. It’s about my hair. More specifically, it’s about where my hair used to be. I don’t love to talk/think about my bald spot, and it’s no mystery why. I can essentially ignore its existence if I so choose, and with the exception of the rare circumstance in which I come face-to-scalp with its reality, I do ignore it. Blissfully.

I have seen Rogaine in stores with no idea whatsoever of its effectiveness. I have always assumed that it would maybe work a little? But I see a lot more bald spots than testimonials about Rogaine, so…yeah. If there was a reasonable remedy to baldness, I don’t know many people who wouldn’t try it.

So if someone had told me I could try a solution like Rogaine, or even better than Rogaine, something that would regrow my hair (where it actually belongs) and it would not only pay for itself but generate revenue for my family, there is absolutely no way I would not have tried it.

Enter MONAT (mo-NĀT) into my life.

MONAT is a product line I never would’ve found on my own. It is actually a series of shampoos and conditioners and treatments and oils and lotions for hair, and the obvious, understandable inference is that it’s for women. Of course it’s for women. If you are a man or have heard much about us as a gender, you might be wondering how such a thing would  ever so much as enter my general sphere of awareness. Unshockingly, it was Beth who first heard of and expressed interest in MONAT, because most of the benefits—shine, repaired split ends, hair health, etc.—are more noticeable and important for longer hair.

But then I found out every product MONAT makes helps reverse hair loss.

And when I say MONAT reverses hair loss, I know how it sounds. I know it sounds like yet another false promise, a bald-faced lie if you will. Many products claim to cure male pattern baldness, but there still appears to be no cure any more effective than the combover. So I’m supposed to believe a shampoo can regrow hair?

Well, I’m just a couple months in, and I do believe it. I can see it. It’s not an overnight success, more of a “slow and steady unthins the hair” type of thing.

There is a lot of clinical data about the various MONAT products and their effects. If you’re skeptical, they’re worth looking into (every product has a link to clinical data on its page). I use their Classic Confidence system, which consists of a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner (MONAT Black) and their Intense Repair Treatment spray.

MONAT Classic Confidence system with MONAT Black shampoo + conditioner and Intense Repair Treatment

The Classic Confidence system from MONAT features accelerated hair repair and regrowth while also dramatically increasing the health and look of your existing hair.The MONAT site (this is Beth’s site . . . if you have an existing MONAT market partner relationship, PLEASE use your existing one) has a lot of before and after shots of the effects of the products, including examples of baldness reversal. But I want to show you my before and during shots, even though at this point they aren’t incredibly dramatic . . . except for me, it FEELS that way because the small but definite growth gives me so much hope.

Here are two shots essentially one month apart:

Wow, right? Or maybe just . . . wow? It’s just slight improvement at that point. I noticed just a bit of fill around the edges, but I couldn’t find much evidence of really shorter hair, new stubble, or the tiny pin pricks of black signifying emerging hair. No problem. It was early, and I was really encouraged with the growth.

Two weeks later, I was in the car and just decided to take a shot of the same spot with a small case of bed head and a huge flood of sunlight pouring directly on the top of my head . . . 

Looking at this for the first time, you may notice nothing, but I saw the little spots and tiny strands right away. Here’s a closeup:

Tiny specks. Tiny black, hair-coming-back specks and a whole bunch of really short stubbly hairs. Yeah, it’s still bald. Yes, it’s taking a long time. But the receding has stopped and I can see hair coming back!

If you’re interested, I encourage you to check back in, check out the products, or check out Beth’s group on Facebook for more information.

I’ll just offer you this one encouragement: I started this about two months ago. I expect it will take at least six months to really be wowed by the results. Every month you wait is a huge stretch of the journey. I wish I had started a year ago or more. I’m so glad I’ve come this far.

No Doubt

This is a post for you, the one struggling to know what you believe. 

This is a post for you, the one who has heard the phrase “make your faith your own” a million times, a million times attempting to make someone else’s faith your own. 

I’m here to tell you, if you successfully believed in what everyone’s been telling you to believe, that’s wonderful. 

I’m here to tell you, if you figured out on your own what you believe, that’s really great. 

I’m here to tell. you, if you have no clue what to believe, that’s a whole lot better than just okay. 

For most of my life, I clung to certainty like a giant spiritual teddy bear.  I looked at faith this way: if I wasn’t absolutely, 125% sure what I believed was true, it would all unravel. If there was the possibility that what I believed might be based on a lie, an error, a misconception, or even a really, really educated guess, that sliver of doubtfulness was enough to topple the entire construct of my belief system. I needed the truth to be absolute and absolutely hand-delivered to me on a silver* platter.

I would hear people make a similar argument all the time: “If we can’t trust the Bible to be 100% accurate and authoritative, the basis of our faith crumbles,” or “If the Genesis account of creation isn’t true, then how can we depend on any of the Bible to be true?” or comparable statements about every other faith known to man. If this one point is wrong, then the entire philosophy/religion/teaching is unreliable. 

But if faith has to be 100% certain and all doubt demands a rational answer to explain it away and any error or gap in crucial information causes a belief system to be completely unreliable, how is any of that still considered faith?

It took a long, painful, tumultuous time, but I finally got to the point where I was at peace with not knowing what in the universe was going on, and I discovered that it’s still possible to have a strong sense of morality and purpose. I learned that a lot of beliefs prove themselves to be wrong, and the hardest part is just letting go of them without losing faith altogether.

I’m trying not to speak so vaguely, but what can you do? This stuff gets tough to cover comprehensively.

I came to realize that there’s a big difference between absolute truth and absolute knowledge. 

But maybe the most important thing I’ve ever learned is that even after releasing my grip on a completely certain grasp of life, faith, and the anatomy of the universe, I still was able to maintain a hold on things I didn’t doubt at all.

I still believe love is the strongest, most enduring power we have.

I never doubted the value of people as individually significant and collectively magnificent.

I don’t doubt for a second that life is worth living and enjoying. 

I will never question the deliciousness of Reese’s peanut butter cups. 

There’s more. But that’s what I want you to remember if and when it seems like maybe your whole belief system is falling apart. If you’re not sure what you believe, it’s okay. You aren’t alone in not knowing. If you don’t feel comfortable admitting you don’t believe what everyone else around you believes, relax. You’re going to be fine. Keep it a secret, scream it from the rooftop, or just tell some random person online. 

It’s okay not to know what you believe. Just remember you can be sure of a few things, maybe even just one thing (whatever that one thing is may be for you) even if everything else is one giant confounding question mark. 
*or maybe leather-bound?