Hair-Loss Solutions for the Community Part II

Hello readers! My package has finally come in and I am very excited to add my new products to my daily routine.  As I stated in my last post I have ordered three products including Tugain (minoxidil), Nizral (ketoconazole), and Finpecia (finasteride).  I will include a photo of these three products so that if any of you decide to order them you can know what you are looking for.

These products are known as the Big 3 in hair-loss solutions circles.  Almost every review, blog post, and blog comment I have researched related to this issue swear by this regimen.  The main reasons why the Big 3 is so popular has to do with how they help a person solve their hair loss issues.  Finasteride works by inhibiting the body’s ability to produce DHT, a hormone which, when synthesized by the enzyme 5a-reductase, causes the hair follicle to shrink.  This results in abnormal hair production and eventually the hair will cease to grow, causing baldness.  Ketoconazole shampoo helps by acting as an anti-androgen, combating the androgen DHT at the scalp level, and also anti-inflammatory on the scalp by reducing the inflammation the results from the exchange between DHT and 5a-reductase.  Minoxidil is thought to work by opening potassium channels, widening blood vessels, and thus allowing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the hair follicle acting as a hair growth stimulant.  It should be noted that the ways the all three of these products work have only really been theorized.

As for the prices of these items I have included the following:

Finpecia 1mg – 90 tablets – $15.04

Tugain 5% – 1 bottle – $15.02

Nizral shampoo 30ml – 1 bottle – $2.41

Shipping – $25.00

Total- $57.47

This is the cheapest prices I have found for these items and especially for the quantity of finasteride that I got.  The medications do come from India, but a lot of generic forms of drugs are made in India and by Cipla which the Tugain and Finpecia clearly show this labeling and the Nizral shows the Johnson & Johnson labeling.  I ordered these medications from alldaychemist.com.  They do not require a prescription as they fall under some weird loophole in the law that I still do not fully understand in which a person may receive medications without a prescription from overseas as long as they are not more than 3 month quantities and for personal use.

The regimen itself is often debated and augmented by each individual, but the one most recommended, both by users and according to studies and packaging directions, includes the following:

1mg Finasteride 1x daily

I ml Minoxidil 2x daily (This comes in liquid, foam, and gel form)

Ketoconazole 2% 2x-3x a week

I encourage anyone to do their own research on this regimen before committing as to be well informed about all facets of this regimen. I also do not recommend doing this without a physician’s supervision.  There can be some negative side effects that accompany these medications.  For example, the alcohol in the minoxidil and the active ingredient in the ketoconazole solution may cause scalp irritation, flaking, itching, and other such ailments.  The finasteride can cause several sexual health related symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, reduced sperm count, and also reduced ejaculant volume.  These side effects are not all inclusive and again encourage everyone to do their own research and take the necessary precautions before starting this regimen.

I am by no means and expert on this subject, but I do look forward to putting all my research to good use and document my experience with these products.  I hope to keep everyone informed as I begin this journey and also hope to continue my research so I can further inform any thinking about trying these and other product related to hair loss prevention and solutions.

Hair-Loss Solutions for the Community

The majority of my blog posts that I have created so far have been very heavy in nature and I wanted to create something a tad bit different.  One of the biggest areas that one begins exploring when starting their transition, in regards to lifestyle, is the area of beauty.  This can include various facets such as makeup application, fashion (which deserves its own special category), and also hair.  Because individuals such as myself, who are biologically male, are prone to male pattern baldness, concerns with hair can be very important to address.  I use to have very thick hair as a child, but in the last 5 years or so I have noticed a significant thinning of my hair, particularly the thinning of the hair strand itself, as well as a receding hair line.  This makes me very sad because appearance is something that usually important to just about everybody and these things make me feel like I have to work harder to feel beautiful.  It isn’t so much what other people think of me that I am concerned with, however, but how I feel inside.

I have grown my hair out the last few years and have made such progress, but my thinning hair has made things a little difficult.  Putting my hair up, something every girl with long hair does almost daily, is something that makes me feel self conscience because one can see the tell-tale “M” look of my hairline that remind at least myself of the fact that I am a biological male.  Because my hair stands are thin my ponytail is also thin in diameter, and it makes me look longingly at other girls who have such thick tresses and thick ponytail that look so adorable.  On me I feel it makes me look like an old Latino trucker that has refused to cut their hair because they are holding on to that last remembrance of their younger years.

Maybe this last part is a bit dramatic, but nonetheless I still feel self-conscience when it comes to my hair.

I, in the recent years, have stumbled upon research about the miracle pill of the male pattern baldness world that is finasteride (Propecia).  This pill is supposed to counteract the causes of MPB and help individuals with this ailment keep the hair that they still have while also offering a hope of re-growing thicker hair strands.  All the research supports the use of this drug for the purpose of helping with the problems of MPB, and the use of this drug combined with two other products, ketoconazole shampoo (Nizoral)  and minoxidil (Rogaine), has been shown to produce very favorable and amplified results.

I have a shipment of these three products, often referred to as the Big Three in the hair-loss world, and will be adding them to my daily routine in the hopes of favorable gains in my quest for healthier and more desirable hair.  I will try to update my progress on this journey so that maybe others in my shoes can perhaps find a solution to the same problem that I have.  I will most likely list the prices and sources of these items on my next blog that I write about this topic, but for now suffice to say that I am pretty excited to start this routine and look forward to seeing the end results.

LoveXOXO,

Hayden

Who Deserves Acceptance?

As I sit here on my couch with my three dogs piled around me and my feet aching from the long shift I just finished at work I ponder what I should write about.  I have been pondering this question for the past few weeks and Lord knows I need to come to a decision as it has been some time since my last entry.  There are so many topics that I can go on and on about, but that is not the point of my blog.  Although my blog is centered around transitioning from male to female, I believe that everything I write about falls under this category because it is useful advice for anyone and especially those going through the same things as I am.

I may not write about hormones, facial feminization surgery, and other cosmetic and medical procedures that are central to the male-to-female transitioning life, but that is because they are things that are not central to my life.  As I have stated in previous blogs, I do not really fit the stereotypical mold that is a MTF trans-individual and I think this is perfectly fine and very important when showing the world the many diverse faces of the LGBT community and more specifically the trans-community.

This last thought is important to me because recently I read a couple of posts on Facebook about two celebrity individuals that have recently joined the community.  One of these people, Bruce Jenner, has just recently come out as a trans-woman.  It should be noted that Bruce has chosen to keep her new female name for her new identity private.  A second person, who at this time I cannot 100% verify, is the mother, June, from the television show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo who came out as bisexual.

The Facebook posts regarding these two individuals troubled me because they were very negative.  This negativity was not sole focused on the fact that they “came out” and did not stem from strictly heterosexual individuals.  I was appalled to read members of my own community stating such things as “the straights can keep her” in regards to June all because June does not fit the stereotypical bisexual or LGBT individual.  This notion was easy to tell based on the comments about how she was ‘disgusting” and how much of a “red neck” she is and how the community would never want her.  The same kinds of comment were made about Jenner and how she did not look “pretty enough” and did not have the “look” to blend into the community and also comments about Jenner’s alleged breast implants and how they looked bad.

Can I just say, when the hell did someone have to look a certain way in order to identify themselves as one thing or the other?  And another thing.  Why is this kind of shaming, stereotyping, and prejudice coming from members of the LGBT community in the first place!  It angers me that some of the same people screaming for equality and acceptance are the same people persecuting others who are saddled with the same plight and fighting the same fight.  Who really deserves acceptance? I say everybody.  Acceptance, in my opinion, isn’t agreeing with another person or group indefinitely when speaking in terms of love, but accepting and welcoming a person or group as a fellow human being that deserves respect and love as a human.  Of course there will always be groups that we feel should not receive this such as hate groups and the like, but there is a difference between accepting behavior and accepting and loving a human, or at least that’s what I believe.  This may be due to my faith and Christian background, but for this I will not apologize.

The point I really want to make is that we all have quirks and differences that diversify us and can be cause for persecution so why would we, especially when we expect and fight for equality for ourselves, try to isolate, discriminate, persecute, and strip the very basic identity that is human being away from others that we see as different than us because doesn’t that make us the same kind of person that we despise in our oppressors?

XOXO,

Hayden

Doctor Disclosure is a Necessity

This blog entry’s discussion comes from a TED video featuring Leana Wen.  Wen discusses many things in her presentation, but in summary, she talks about an initiative that she started which allows doctor’s to disclose certain information such as sources of revenue and personal opinions about various healthcare topics such as smoking or having children.  Wen advocates for total transparency.  This is very important in our world today because many doctors may be affiliated with certain drug and medical device companies and may receive revenue from these sources.  Wen discusses that it is important to know if your doctor is affiliated with certain drug and medical device companies because it may inform patients about whether their doctors are creating treatment plans based on their best interests or just based on their affiliations and revenue sources.

Now, before anybody starts complaining about how “they can’t make doctors do this” let me say that this is just an initiative and not a government mandated process, but like Wen says, why wouldn’t a doctor want total disclosure and transparency available to their patients? I know for myself it is a very good thing considering I am not the typical consumer of healthcare services.

Being trans* has its own drawbacks in various aspects of our society and this includes healthcare.  I have personally been victim to this when I had a doctor talk me out of a certain test because, and this is in my opinion, he did not want to deal with a trans patient who happened to be pre-op/non-op.  This experience has made me very wary of seeking medical advice as I am not sure I will receive the best possible care.  With Wen’s initiative, however, I may be able to seek out health professionals who share the same beliefs as me and who I know will give me the best possible care and attention.

This is important for everybody, though, as everybody deserves the best healthcare possible.  Unfortunately, there are too many healthcare professionals who do not give their best care due to conflicting beliefs and affiliations.   Although everybody is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, this should not prevent patients from receiving the best care possible.  With full disclosure and transparency, however, the ideal of equal and exceptional care for every individual can very much become a reality.

I have included a link to Wen’s TED talk for more information on her “Who’s My Doctor” initiative.

XOXO,

Hayden

Leana Wen: What your doctor won’t disclose #TED : http://on.ted.com/e0jQG

New Beginnings

Hello Dear Readers,

It has been a long time since I have last blogged and I do apologize for that, but life happens and I know you guys will appreciate that.  So much has happened since my last blog.  I have been promoted into management at my current job.  I have been working to reconcile some of my hang-ups from the past and have made great progress.  I am entering my last year of school and will finally have my bachelor’s degree by the end of the year.

One of the many things that I have been working on is my self-identity.  I have claimed the identifier of male-to-female trans-individual for the last couple of years and have really dug deep inside myself to find out who I am.  I have struggled a bit trying to find a happy resolution between that identity and how I define that label.  Many people who I have shared this part of my life with have often questioned me about many factors that surround this life I have chosen.  One of the most frustrating things I have found, however, is questions about why I am not more feminine.  Usually what people mean by this last statement is simply why I choose not to wear heavy makeup, or makeup at all for that matter, and why I choose not to dress in frilly dresses and wear heals.  In short, these people basically call into question my identity based on stereotypical views about what it means to be a certain gender.

Not that I owe anyone any explanations, but I do have some answers to these questions.  First of all, I do not feel that I am one binary gender, but like to think of myself as a third gender.  I adopt many masculine and feminine traits, as do much of the people of this world, and I feel that this is okay for me.  It is fine for others to adopt gender binaries and social constructions of these binaries, but for me, gender labels are not that important, but what is is the quality of person I present to the world.  I feel that I while I can adopt many traits from the vast gender spectrum, I am female-dominant.  That is why I choose to refer to myself as transgender, male-to-female trans-individual, and androgynous.  Labels are very much able to be interchanged in my personal world.

Secondly, I love being as natural as possible in most areas of my life.  Sure I wear makeup now and then, but I do not need lipstick and eyeliner to truly be myself.  I also live with family that I am not entirely out to so that also makes it difficult for me.  A little Bare Escentuals foundation and bronzer go a long way.  I also am of a larger stature and build than most women, trans and cis.  I am 6’2 and of the Amazonian variety.  Most women’s clothing, both tall and plus-size, just do not fit me well.  If I find a top that is big enough it usually is too short.  Jeans are usually not an issue besides the fact that I have a short waist and it is hard to find jeans that fit my inseam.  Because of this I choose to wear androgynous styles.  Did I also mention that material things and gender stereotypes do not define me as a person? And do not even get me started on heels.  I love them.  I wish I could spend my whole paychecks on them, but unfortunately I wear a size 13 in men’s shoes and the cute women’s shoes that I do find that I can fit into are outrageously priced.  It doesn’t help that with most heels I would be over 6’5 as well.  So in short, I prefer cute flats, flip flops, and Chelsea boots over 6 inch stilettos most days.

I used to get upset when people questioned me about things of this nature because I felt it made me less of a person and that I would always have to live in this weird limbo of being-a boy-that-most-people-thought-was-a-girl-because-I-couldn’t-adapt-to-others’-standards, but I was wrong! I am learning to love myself for who I am, every inch of me, every un-painted surface, every non-styled body part, because that is what is healthy for me.

I challenge my readers to do the same.  Love yourself for you.  If you like to wear ten pounds of makeup go for it girl although I wouldn’t recommend it for skin health reasons!  If you like to wear military boots with that skirt strut your stuff chica!  Be who you want to be and do it with love!  And to all the negative people who say that you are wrong for loving yourself just as you are I have two words for you guys…Bye Felicia!

XOXOX

Hayden

Dating While Transitioning: Is it Such a Good Idea?

OH MY LANTA! I cannot believe that I have allowed my blog to sit for an entire month without not so much as one re-blogged link or article to keep my blog current and for that I truly apologize.  My last blog did take a lot out of me, emotionally, and this last month has been spent really looking inside myself and figuring some things out.  I cannot say that I am 100% right now, but I am getting there 🙂 . Along with dealing with my undulating depression I have also been trying to deal with the loneliness I have been dealing with ever since I decide to move three hours from my only friends to be closer to family.  Although I am very grateful and appreciative of their love that they have shown me, I cannot help but be sad that I cannot express myself fully while being here.  Because I am not “out” to this side of my family, I had to sort of stop all things related to my transition.  No makeup (although this does not make one a woman), no women’s clothing, no referring to myself as a female, no talking about my transition, and no friends that have supported me during my transition.  Although this is a choice that I have made not to come out to this side of my family, they do know that something is up.  I have grown my hair out and paint my nails and have continued my female persona that has existed since I can remember much to my mother’s dismay.

This has got me thinking.  How does my transition relate to my dating life? Not that I have much of a dating life.  Here is the gist of my dating life:

1. I have only had one real-life boyfriend.  He was a drag queen and this was back when I identified as a gay male.

2.  The only guy that I have ever loved was one that I met online through a social networking site for trans-individuals.  I was young and stupid and decided to go along with all his too-good-to-be-true promises although deep down I knew better.  He ended up leading me on and also talking to other girls.  He also may or may not have been who he told me he was as I later found out he had tons of different profiles he used.  Serves me right for being so naive right?

3. Any straight guy that becomes interested in me soon loses interest upon learning about my transsexuality.  It is either this or he wants to be strict FWB under the radar.

4. I do not have a never-ending list of partners, which I am actually proud of, but due to this I am somewhat inexperienced when it comes to relationships and dating.

5. I have never been on a date and have never had a boyfriend during my adult life.

With all this being said, it is not like I do not talk to guys from time to time, but most of them are internet trolls that are only looking for sex.  I have yet to meet anyone who has actually wanted to try to get to know me in hopes of developing a committed relationship with me.  Although for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to fall in love, I do not know if I even know what love is or if I am even suited for it right now.

Because I am still in the middle of my transition with things on hold for right now, I wonder if I should even think about dating. I mean what kind of guys would be willing to date me in the middle of my transition and stick it out with me for as long as it takes.  I am not so “passable” as some of these other 5’8” 100-something pound girls that are out there (NO HATE CHICAS! ❤ ) so a guy that would want to date me would have to accept the fact that I would never pass 100% and that that is okay with me as I am more androgynous and non-binary in my style anyways.

This guy would also have to deal with the fact that I have yet to come out to my mother as trans and that she still thinks of me as a gay male and will for the rest of her life.  She will not have it any other way.  To this day she refuses to accept that my brother is gay and will lie to other people when they ask about me and my brother.  FYI My mother may sound evil or mean, but she is really so sweet and probably the most important person in my life besides God.  She just has her opinions on things and her own beliefs and who am I to tell her she has to change them?  The important thing is that she still loves me and would do anything for me and the same goes in reverse.

So much for staying on topic! Anyways, this is the problem that I have been contemplating for a very long time.  The question is not only is it possible to date during transition, but is it fair? Is it fair to put oneself or their partner through that complication? Is it even plausible to expect someone to stick it out in the name of love?

I guess I will find out if I ever get a Prince Charming interested in me one of these days.  Until then, however, I have to speak from my own perspective born out of the experiences that I have taken part in so far in my life.  It would take a very secure and strong person to date a trans-individual just beginning or in the middle of transition and stick it out with them. Unfortunately, I feel that most men (I speak from only my own perspective) have a prefabricated idea of what a transwoman is and should be so if they were to become interested in a transwoman still in transition they may be quite disappointed when they compare this real person with the fantasy woman they have been told to like and want.  This leads me to believe that dating while transitioning may not be such a great idea unless one can find a very secure and strong partner to date that is willing and able to stick it out to the best of their abilities and love you the same before and after transition.

Respect and lots of love ❤

XOXOXO

Hayden

A, B, C, and D-[pressed] *Trigger Warning*


Actual conversation I had today:

Manager: The bandage on your nose doesn’t look too bad.

Me: Yeah. It just makes me feel like I had plastic surgery!

Manager: Yeah, well I am sure that isn’t the first place you would start huh? *laughter*

Me: Guess not. *silently thinks to myself if he were making a joke about my transsexuality*

Actual conversations I have with myself:

“Are you sure you are a woman? You do look so manly still. Maybe you should stop now and just deal with it.”

“Notice how that man called yous sir? You will never pass as a female.”

“Do you think that God lets people like you into heaven?

“Why the hell would a man ever want to be with you? You don’t dress girly. You don’t look all that feminine. You are too tall. Your feet and hands are too big.  You can see your facial hair up close.  Men only like girls who they can take out in the daylight or show off to their parents. Do you think that that person is you?

“Isn’t it weird how you have never had a real boyfriend and the only men that are interested in you and talk to you are the ones who message you online asking for sexual favors and initiating sexually fueled conversations?  Maybe that is all you will be good for to a man.  Be prepared to be alone the rest of your life.”

“You will never be able to come out to your mom because you know she is very against any of “that stuff” and would disown you before she would ever even begin to think about even possible accepting or seeing you as anything other than her first born son.”

“You will never get a job doing what you love because you will never pass as a female and no one would even want you as a man because you can’t even pass as that. You are a freak.  You act so strong and give such great advice to everyone else and tell them to be who they are and don’t worry what anybody else thinks but you can’t even take your own advice you hypocrite! You should be so very ashamed of yourself.”


Unfortunately, one of the many potential consequence of transitioning, and even just being human, is depression and unfortunately, mine is coming back.  I have never really properly dealt with my depression as I have never found a therapist close enough that has experience with the trans community and I do not feel that I have anyone close enough that I trust to vent to.  Those that I do trust enough to vent to who live far away from me are too precious to me for me to risk burdening them with my petty problems.

I know depression isn’t petty.  I know as a psychology major that depression is a very serious disorder that can take control over a person’s life.  I know as a competent and sensible person that I have people who I can talk to. I know as a transsexual that the risk for depression related to transition is very serious and that I should find a trusted professional to entrust my physical and mental health to so as to ensure the most positive and healthy transition for myself.  Despite knowing all these things I still cannot find a way out of this slump.

I have been battling depression for many years now.  Before, I never knew the exact causation of my depression and cannot say that it is one single thing or that I know all the catalysts for it. It comes and goes in wave. Some days are really good.  Some weeks. Some months.  Then the bad days, weeks, months come and I feel myself drowning again.  And then it is gone.

I have never really had anyone that I could really talk to about this.  It is not that I do not trust certain people. Without trying to sound too saintly, I really hate the thought of burdening my loved ones with my problems as I fear that it will cause them to become depressed. I also feel that it may cause others to look at me as weak, pathetic, or even unstable.  It is the stigma attached with any mental disorder that causes me to remain silent, but I am putting an end to this.  I refuse to allow myself to wallow away in my sorrow and misery.  I refuse to allow myself to saturate in my sadness.  Instead, I am speaking out here, not in the hopes that I may reach someone and become a beacon of light to them or them to me, although this would be a very great thing, but simply to vent and have a little mini-therapy session (selfish of me I know!).

If you are reading this, thank you for reading it.  I know talking about this subject may make others feel uncomfortable, but I hope that anyone, regardless of being trans or not, who has little to no insight into depression may be able to simply get an outside view of it.  It doesn’t have to enlighten you or teach you something, but it is important that it is witnessed.

I am lucky, though.  I feel the this makes  me human and that it, in some way, connects me to this world and to the rest of humanity.  In some ways this suffering is transformed into some beauty.  Maybe not a joyous beauty, but more of a sad, real, gritty beauty that can only be experience in the reality of humanity’s shadow.  I am lucky, too, because I can see past my pain and look towards a brighter tomorrow.  I am not riddles with the parasitic killer that is suicide. Unfortunately, a lot of other imperfectly perfect souls out there weren’t so lucky.  So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I remember you guys, and so as to not let your guys’ departure from this world be in vain, I battle on to that brighter tomorrow and look forward to another blessed day filled with whatever God decides to gift me with.

<3<3<3

Hayden

 

 

Excuse me, Sir…Ma’am….erm Sir?

So recently I have taken on a second job working at a restaurant in a truck stop. While the work isn’t all that fabulous and wonderful, I do not mind working there as I love working with people and I have some very funny co-workers. Unfortunately, being a transsexual who is in the middle of their transition has proven very difficult in regards to communication and interaction with my customers and co-workers. Although I have explained my situation to most of my co-workers, they still do not fully understand and continue to mis-gender me as a male. Also, although most of my customers greet me as ma’am at first, a lot of them then change it to sir and then sometimes continue to switch back and forth. Now, I do not expect complete strangers to automatically know that I am a transsexual, but it is very depressing to be misgendered hundreds of times a day. It also doesn’t help that I have to use my male name and be a male on the payroll. It certainly doesn’t help that I cannot afford hormones or hair removal either and let me just say that although I get quite a close shave, at the end of the day that five o’clock shadow creeping up on me can be oh so evil. GO AWAY YOU DAMN PESKY BEARDO! I guess I am just going through it right now. I feel that I will never be taken seriously as a woman and will never be able to live the life that I want to or as long as I live in the horrible state of Nebraska. Janella, I am looking at you! Maybe one day things will be different and gender will not matter so much. Maybe once I finish with my degree I can get a more respectable job as a therapist dealing with clients that are going through the same kinds of things as I am and perhaps I will have all the answers for them, or at least some good advice. Now I am just rambling. I guess I will end this post by saying that I am so thankful that I have been working on my own inner strength and confidence so that no matter what the world calls me all that matters is what I think of myself.

It is none of my business what others think of me. All that matters is that I love and like me.

Remember that loves ❤

XOXOX

Hayden

Step 2 — Find A Higher Power

Step 2 of the AA 12 Step Program states that ” [We] Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I believe that this can be a useful step in transitioning. This can work in two ways. The first does deal with religion. Coming from a Evangelical Christian family, I was raised to believe that the way I feel about myself is a sin and that I will burn in hell for it. Growing up, I did not understand that I was transgender, but rather, thought I was gay. I had read in the Bible many times that homosexuals would not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and was deathly afraid that I would burn in hell for liking guys. Later, when I came to understand that I was actually a straight female trapped in a male gendered body, I became really confused where I stood in the sight of God. I do believe in God and have quite a good relationship with him, although it could use some improvement, but since starting my transition a few years ago, I am still struggling to reconcile my transsexuality with my Christianity and relationship with God. I have come to find that reminding myself that there is a higher power that will restore my sanity is a comforting notion. It doesn’t have to be just religion, however, that one can use to help restore balance. Meditation is a great technique that can be used to help balance and focus oneself.

This is where the second part of this step comes in in regards to transitioning. No matter what confusion, imbalance, disorder, chaos, or insanity one may be going through during their transition they have to believe that there is a great power that will restore everything to a harmonious state. This can be in the form of God, religion, meditation, or even improving the strength and character of oneself in order to become a strong, confident, and well balanced individual that can take control of their life.

Remember, we do not have absolute control over our desired gender orientation, but we do have the power to believe in strength and improve ourselves so that we can be the best person we are capable of being. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow.