Sunday, November 21, 2004

Hair Loss the Easy Way!

I previously mentioned that I've noticed a lot of hair loss recently. While my girlfriend assures me that A: she doesn't want to marry a bald guy, and B: I've been losing hair for a while, I've recently discovered some interesting facts.

I was researching information on Propecia and Rogaine. Propecia was my first choice, because it's just a pill you take (one more pill along with my vitamin supplement and allergy medication would probably go unnoticed in the morning) and because it causes some men to experience certain side effects that I don't know how well I can describe considering that my younger brother reads my blog. Let's just say that, as time goes by, a particular appetite of mine hasn't been decreasing as I was led to believe it would, and is in fact getting stronger every year. If I thought this particular appetite was intense when I was, say, 18 years old, I had know idea how bad it would become 12 years later. It's supposed to be declining! And it's not as if I can find any medication that would serve, intentionally, as ... well, as an "appetite" suppressant. There's not enough money in this particular niche market (it's the same with reduction surgery; nobody offers it). Pfizer makes an appetite ENHANCER, of course. What a world we live in.

Anyway, now that I've shared far too much and everyone reading is cringing and asking WHY? WHY?, it turns out that Propecia ideally works on baldness that forms on the back of the head, which I don't have (yet...?). Rogaine (called Regaine, here, which I thought was a knock-off marketing strategy, but it turns out that I'm just ignorant) is the same way. Neither works for baldness that starts above the temples.

So, in researching these drugs, and their availability here in Japan, I found a site that talked about hair loss in Japan. It's actually very common, and so far no one I've found knows why.

Is it the water? There's definitely SOMETHING in the water. I wouldn't want to drink it un-boiled, and there is a tendency for crusts to form on anything that is exposed to water on a regular basis (you should see my toothbrush...) (Note to self: buy whole-house water filter)

Is it the shampoo? The Japanese have much thicker hair than westerners, that's for sure. However, I have the word of a native Japanese who traveled abroad to America that American shampoos are stronger. Maybe it's just a chemical incompatibility between the two.

Is it the food? The climate? The stress of living abroad? Lots of hypotheses, few answers, and no word on whether it will grow back if I leave the country. Hmm...

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