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The Battle Against Balding: Hair Loss Protocol for Guys Who Want to Keep Their Hair

I'll never forget it. There I was looking in the mirror after consuming Lysergic acid diethylamide (heh) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The conversation no guy wants to have with himself.

"I'm losing my hair."

Ruined my trip, but we won't go down that road. No, this is how after nearly 10 years of fighting against the dreaded receding hairline, I'm finally winning the battle without any pharmaceuticals.

If you've looked into hair loss treatments, you've likely found the primary options like Rogaine, Propecia, hair transplants, or even PRP. Some of these work, and some better than others, but they also carry the risk of gnarly side effects or require you to commit to using them for the rest of your life. Neither of those things interest me, so I've spent way too much time scouring the depressing hair loss forums, learning the biology behind hair loss, and trying out various alternative methods.

Below you'll find my hair loss protocol for how I went from balding at 22, to a decent head of hair at 32.

A few key points before we start:

  • This will seem like a lot, but it's just become a part of my routine and costs me about 7 minutes per day on average.

  • Some of these tools are more important than others; I'll rank them in order of my perceived effectiveness.

  • I'm not interested in using pharmaceuticals or anything that I have to use every day forever.

  • I'm not a scientist, medical professional or any of that. My terminology will probably piss off anyone who is, so make sure you look into this stuff for yourself.

Hair Loss Protocol

1.) Microdermabrasion - aka "Derma-roller"

derma roller for hair loss treatment

You've probably seen these on ads for growing your beard, or maybe even heard that they are good for hair growth or younger skin. Microdermabrasion (in this case) is the act of using tiny needles to essentially injure the outer layer of skin, causing your body to increase blood flow to the injured area in order to heal. That increased blood flow brings with it healing and increased collagen, essentially rebuilding your scalp.

Utilizing this tool has been easily the most effective treatment. It'll take at least 6 weeks before you start to see a difference, but you'll be able to tell it's working when you notice there's almost a "padding" between your scalp and your skull. Your scalp is getting more blood flow, and that's priority number 1 when regrowing your hair.


  • This does NOT feel good. As you can imagine, poking through your skin with micro needles f***ing hurts. I usually draw a little blood, which is fine.

  • I do this 1-3 times a week after a hot shower and clean hair. Don't overdo this and actually do more damage to your scalp.

  • Make sure you clean the hell out of the tool you use - you don't want an infection.

  • Do NOT use any oils or other topicals after this until the micro-injuries are healed.


I use a stamp instead of a roller. Rollers can slide around more, causing more real damage to your scalp. You can get a stamp for like $7 on Amazon. Research the length of the needles to decide which will be right for you.

Red Light Therapy (Laser Comb)

laser comb red light for hair loss

Red light therapy is a type of "photomedicine" which uses different wavelengths of light that interact with cells in your skin. I advise you to look into RLT in general (I use it on my balls everyday for increased testosterone, and yes there are studies confirming it's efficacy), but this has been the longest standing tool I've used in my war against the receding hair line.

Specifically, red light between ~640-~800nm interact with the mitochondria in your cells to increase ATP for available energy and activating signalling proteins like cytokines to promote healing. This puts your hair follicles into a constant growth phase called the "anagen phase".


  • This works incredibly well in tandem with the microdermabrasion. Micro injuries + increased healing capabilities and blood flow. I do it right after the needling.

  • This feels like a chore sometimes because it takes about 12 minutes per session.

  • I do this 3-5 times a week, usually in bed while reading before I go to sleep.

  • It will take probably two months of consistent use to notice a difference, but you'll find that your hair is more stout and thick.

Topical Caffeine

topical caffeine for hair loss

Oddly enough, this was the final piece to my puzzle. While listening to an Andrew Huberman podcast, he mentioned it and I was blown away by it's efficacy. While more research is needed, one study of 210 men found that treating hair loss with caffeine vs. minoxidil (Rogaine) was only 1% less effective, and therefore statistically noninferior to minoxidil.

You can get a couple months worth on Amazon for about $25.


  • This will make your hair look a little greasy when applied - do with that info what you will.

  • Don't do this too soon after microdermabrasion. I give myself at least 12-24 hours before applying.

  • I use this 2-3 times per week, usually in the mornings.

Topical Oils with Scalp Massage

With all this work you're putting into your hair and scalp, you'll notice your hair looking thicker, but not always as healthy and as soft and shiny as you'd probably like. To combat this, I use a combination of coconut oil, lavender oil, and black seed oil after a hot shower, and massage it into my scalp. These oils carry different benefits with them including nutrients, increased blood flow, and shine.

I'll also use peppermint oil in my shampoo from time to time. This is known to increase blood flow, but heads up, it feels pretty weird and will ruin 15 minutes of your life if you get it in your eyes. Don't say I didn't warn you.


  • I do this oil mix with scalp massage about 3 times per week.

  • Really get into the scalp massage. You're forcing blood into the scalp which will feed your hair follicles what they need.

  • My mixture is about 3 parts coconut oil, 2 parts black seed oil, 2 parts lavender oil.

Vitamins & Supplements

Like every other part of your body, your hair needs nutrients to live off of. A few key ones shown to help with hair are biotin, collagen, and saw palmetto extract.

You can find your own hair vitamins pretty easily, but I use a daily men's vitamin from SelfEvolve which has a ton of Biotin.

To all my brothers fighting the good fight, I sincerely hope this helps.

Feel free to send me a message by clicking the chat icon here or my Instagram @jeremymcgrew_ and I'll be happy to share any info I left out of here.

Side note: I KNOW you've got a friend or two you've lamented on this subject with...if you found this helpful, share it with the homies.

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