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How I Stopped Hair Loss And Regrew Hair (For 19 Years And Going Strong)

When I was seventeen, my parents bought the family a camcorder for Christmas and to test it out, I decided to record a music video to the song “Video Killed The Radio Star,” which mostly consisted of me moving slightly while the camera was set to the strobe effect. I wanted to look like I was from the late 1970s, so I put on some hair gel. As I did that, a clump of hair came out from near my temples. I looked in the mirror and everything looked fine. Okay…nothing to worry about…

This image roughly shows the zones of regrowth I have experienced. The segments closer to my scalp are earlier regrowth. Farther are later.

This image roughly shows the zones of regrowth I have experienced.

Fast forward to my freshman year in college. One day while I was showering in the horrible dorm showers, I noticed a lot more hair than usual in the bottom of the shower. Later that day I looked at my hairline. It looked different than it had back in January. It had receded in the front of my scalp, across my forehead and temples, and a small bald spot was developing in the back.

I suddenly started to get worried. I was only eighteen. I couldn’t believe I was starting to go bald. At the time, I already considered myself at a dating and social disadvantage, and I hated that I may have had to add baldness to that. My dad went bald at a young age, and I always worried I would be next. And, my twin brother Jonathan was going through the exact same thing (not a surprise).

I have always been proactive, and fortunately the FDA had literally just approved minoxidil for over the counter use that month. I went to the local K-Mart and bought a month supply of the 2% solution, since that was all that was available at the time. A few days later Jonathan decided to as well.

Luckily, since I started using it early enough, that alone caused frontal regrowth as well as growth at the vertex. I have used minoxidil 2% since fall of 1996, and my head has just as much hair as it did then. In fact, in recent years, my hair has actually gotten thicker, and I’ll explain how. Jonathan has used the exact same treatment and experienced the same positive results.

I make no guarantees (so consult your doctor!) of general safety or effectiveness for what I list below. It is simply based on my experience.

I list all the anti-baldness treatments I have used, along with discussion related to them, and they are all available over-the-counter (minus Retin-A), and cost next to nothing. Note that the key to effectively stopping and treating hair loss is to catch it early. In fact, a lot of my success is related to the fact that I caught it in its earliest stages.

Minoxidil

I have faithfully used generic 2% minoxidil since 1996. When I started using it, my hair loss stopped immediately. Within a few weeks I noticed small, fine, hairs coming in.

Within a few months, I saw normally colored hair growth around my temples and front of my scalp, and I assume in the back as well (since minoxidil has actually been proven to cause growth there). That hair remains to this day (well, not the exact hairs but you get my point).

vitaminsWithout being on sale, minoxidil sells for around $20 for a three month’s supply. Most guys today use 5% minoxidil, which is just as cheap, and more widely available than 2%, but with theoretically more risk of side effects. The instructions say to use a dropperful (1 ml) twice a day. I am down to once a day (if that) thanks to using other treatments. So, for about $20, I get what amounts to a six month supply. Right now you can get generic 5% minoxidil for under thirty dollars on Amazon, for a six month supply.

Now I add Retin-A to my minoxidil because it seems to increase its effectiveness. However, that is only available by prescription. If your doctor will prescribe it, you can add some to your minoxidil bottle.

Minoxidil likely works by bringing more blood to the scalp. It doesn’t address the main cause of male pattern baldness, which involves DHT. This article briefly explains how DHT causes baldness if you want to know. So, minoxidil may result in diminished returns after a while for a lot of users.

Also, one side effect of using it regularly is dry scalp. I had extremely dry scalp after using it. The solution? This thing called a “pocket hair brush,” which I call a “head scraper.” Give your scalp a vigorous once over with it every few weeks to a month, and you’ll notice you’ll pull up a lot of dead skin. It also may stimulate the scalp and clear any gunk on your scalp that may be hypothetically worsening your hair loss.

Some people claim other side effects, but the fact is that it is a commonly used, over-the-counter drug. While not risk free, it is generally thought to be safe when used topically.

Internal Saw Palmetto And Plant Sterols (Phytosterols)

This small study showed that a combination of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol (a specific plant sterol) taken internally (I assume) had positive results in treating hair loss. This is because saw palmetto and plant sterols may block DHT. I have taken saw palmetto extract since around 2001, and plant sterols since about 2007. I take a daily saw palmetto and sterols a few times a week.

I have noticed no negative side effects from taking these chemicals. Granted, I don’t take a whole lot compared to what others do, but I can say that they haven’t negatively impacted me.

Since starting this, I began cutting my minoxidil usage down to once a day, and nothing on my hairline changed. If anything, I saw an improvement in my hair count, so I continue taking them internally.

Topical Saw Palmetto and Plant Sterols

In 2011 I decided to start applying these elements to my scalp topically. That actually resulted in an expansion of my frontal hairline, for the first time since 1996. I mix some water and coconut oil, heat that in the microwave, and then whisk in a few sterol softgels, saw palmetto softgels, and sunflower lecithin powder. It turns into a yellowish gel.

After using this, my frontal hairline expanded about 1/4 inch, particularly on the front right and left sides near my temple. And, that is using this very lazily, i.e. about once a week. I am currently expanding my usage of this to three times a week and seeing what happens.

Nizoral (Ketoconazole)

I just started this, but a few studies suggest that this anti-dandruff shampoo may be just as effective as minoxidil in treating hair loss. That doesn’t mean it will be magic, but could be a cheap part of a hair-loss program.

Nizoral is available from Amazon and drug stores. Online advice from successful users seems to be that the OTC concentration (1%) works well. Shampoo with your regular shampoo first, rinse, and apply the Nizoral. Massage in your scalp and leave on for about three minutes. Use it every third day. Sadly, in some people it can cause hair loss, so watch out for that side effect.

I will update this article if I see any noticeable improvement or side effects.

Other Supplements

I’m not convinced much else that is available over-the-counter will help with baldness, except perhaps topical azelaic acid. This means that I don’t think various supplements like Biotin or Silica will have much of an effect. I do take a lot of supplements, but I don’t think any of them directly impact hair loss, except the two I mentioned above. I do take Stinging Nettle for allergies from time to time, and it may inhibit DHT, but likely no better than the two I mentioned.

I have not mentioned Proecia/finasteride (aka Proscar) in this article. The reason is that I haven’t used it. It is available only by prescription. It is proven effective, and works in the same way saw palmetto and phytosterols hypothetically do, by blocking the effects of DHT. Some people swear by it, while a small percentage of others claim it ruined their lives by causing horrible side effects, including sexual performance related ones. Personally I avoid any pharmaceutical if I can.

Remember, this is just my experience. But, whatever I’m doing, I’m doing right. I have kept my hair 19 years after seeing it start to recede. A good friend of mine started balding at exactly the same time. He dismissed it. He is completely bald. There is nothing wrong with that, and he owns it perfectly. However, there are things you can do, especially if you catch it early enough!

High Testosterone Women and Dating

kate moss

She’s beautiful, but note her long fingers and angular face.

We’ve all met women who seem a little different than their fellow females. They may look a little more masculine, and even appear more like men in their attitudes. There may be a simple explanation: they had more testosterone exposure in the womb, which shaped their developing brain to be more masculine. Many even have more testosterone in them now than other women. These women are high testosterone or “High T” women. Other ladies, on the other hand (the majority) are higher in estrogen .

Since most women are higher estrogen, the usual dating advice we give applies to them. This article will explain the traits of the rarer, high testosterone women and what that means for dating them.

Traits of High Testosterone Women

The hormone that makes men manly is testosterone.  What makes women feminine is estrogen. However, all sexes have varying amounts of both chemicals in their bodies.

Higher estrogen men tend to look and act more feminine (e.g. baby faces, man boobs, etc.). Higher testosterone women tend to look and act in more masculine ways. And a lot of “high T” women have had higher levels of testosterone since they were in their moms’ wombs.

So, High T women typically have more mannish features: taller, bigger hands and feet, lacking curves, more prominent jawbone, deeper voices, etc. In fact a recent study showed that higher testosterone exposure in the womb leads to manlier faces in women.

This isn’t to say these women are ugly or extremely manly. In many cases the more masculine features are there, but subtle. And, the women are still objectively pretty.

The biggest differences, however, seem to come in how high testosterone women think and act. They process their thoughts like men and act more like men. High T girls are more competitive, take more risks, pursue power, compartmentalize their emotions, are more sexually aggressive, and have different tastes in men. They also may tend to be tomboys, something which, like the other traits mentioned above, likely goes back to prenatal testosterone exposure.

While it is debated, some research suggests that you can tell if a woman had higher testosterone exposure in the womb by looking at her fingers, and their relationship to one another. People with higher testosterone exposure in the womb will often have ring fingers longer than their index fingers (most men and high-T women). People with higher estrogen exposure will will often have longer index fingers than ring fingers. Look at the images below. The first is David’s hand. The second is his daughter’s.

More Prenatal Testosterone Exposure – Ring finger is longer than index

More prenatal estrogen exposure in the womb: longer index than ring finger.

High Testosterone Women And Dating

When dating High T women or trying to date them, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. While these tips are specific, the one overarching theme is that these ladies think and act more like dudes. Not completely, but enough that it can change the dating game with them quite a bit.

You’re not dealing with a man stuck in a woman’s body. They still have the emotional and mental traits of women. But, you probably are dealing with a girl who, especially at times, thinks and acts a lot more like a man than most other women on the planet.

High testosterone women tend to be more assertive and aggressive with other women and even men. This could be a good thing for guys who are more passive.

Unlike with high estrogen women, the guy may not have to do the majority of the work in approaching and closing. He may not have to do much at all! High T women sometimes aggressively pursue men.

These women are also sometimes less bound by the traditional confines of female taste. A lot of men aren’t choosy about the women they pursue, so long as they are pretty (at least for casual purposes). High T women are similar. They’re often willing to date shorter guys, fatter guys, and other men who may not receive favorable treatment from women with more traditional tastes.

It sounds like the high testosterone woman would be a dream come true. However, that’s not really the case. Because, just like with some high powered men, these woman can be hard to please over the long haul and have a tendency towards promiscuity. She might choose you, but not for long. She also may ultimately need a man a lot more powerful than herself, and that probably isn’t very many men.

This means, when dealing with high testosterone women and dating, that you’ll always have to bring your A game and keep it up. Some guys find it exhausting and have a hard time keeping the relationship strong. However, other guys like High T women because they find them exciting and unique.

When approaching a high testosterone woman, you can probably be rougher around the edges and more direct than usual. Use your lines and routines, but you’d better make sure they aren’t corny or sappy. Approach her in a similar way as you’d approach a man you’d like to meet, but one that looks like a hot female. It’ll likely impress her and be more effective.

So, hopefully you can better understand high testosterone women and even date a few. Many of them are fun and awesome people. They can also be pretty different from their fellow females.

Six Quick Steps To Meet and Win Over Servers, Clerks, and Cashiers

Image From Freedigitalphotos.net

Have you ever gone into a restaurant or department store, and observed certain guys that seem to “own the place?” They know pretty much everybody who works there, and the employees look forward to these guys’ visits.

I am one of those guys. When I walk in to most places, everybody knows me and aims to get my attention. There are ways you can easily win over those employees, using the same techniques you use to win over others. However, winning over cashiers and clerks is even easier than meeting random strangers, because you are expected to approach these workers, so there is no fear of the approach.

Step One: Pay Attention

Most people don’t pay attention to the world around them, and if you do, it will benefit you tremendously. When your teacher told you to pay attention, you may have scoffed, but paying attention socially provides many benefits.

The main reason you have to pay attention is to find things to talk about. The typical openers of “how are you?” or the response “fine, thank you” will make you appear like every other boring customer or patron. Sure, you’ll be likable enough, but you’ll ultimately be unimpressive and not memorable.

Paying attention is just simple observation of the present environment. Listen to the conversation or interaction that is happening in line before you at the check-out. Read the clerk’s body language to determine whether she is having a good or bad day. See how her and her fellow employees interact. You’d be shocked at the hundreds, even thousands, of details in an environment you probably miss, but that provide interesting things to talk about.

I met a girl at a Tim Horton’s this way. All my brother and I did was observe the funny hat she was wearing for black Friday (with a few humorous comments), and now we talk to her every time we stop by. We even went to her wedding a few years later.

Why does all this matter? Well, it’s time to go to step two.

Steps Two, Three, and Four: Just Say Something, Show Interest, and Use Their Name

Steps two, three, and four are related, so I combined them. When someone says “hi” or “how was your day?” you probably don’t remember them the next day. But when that person asks you about something that interests you, you will remember him and maybe even look for him in the future. Next time you go out, take an interest in the servers or cashiers. If you take an interest in them and their lives, you will stand out from most people they meet.

First you have to observe something about them, which is where the previous step comes into play. For example, maybe they have a cool tattoo, or look cold. Maybe a rude customer just walked out. Maybe you heard them volunteer information about themselves to you or another customer. Either way, genuinely talk to them about whatever you observe. For example, “wow, that’s a cool tattoo!”

And remember, you have to say something if you want to stand out. Most cashiers and servers are professional, which means they are likely reluctant to initiate any conversation except the basic “how are you?”

So, it comes to you, and the good news is that it is easy. So, say something. Anything! It can be anything, but has to be something more than the usual banter related to making a transaction. For example, “thanks for the hamburger” or “yes I want fries” doesn’t count.

You have to say something that makes you stand out in a positive way. It doesn’t even have to be funny or particularly insightful, but it will be better if it is. You can ask a question, such as “is it always this cold in here?” or you could venture to the funny like “do they always have the thermostat set to Antarctica in here?” (if it’s a girl, and she gives you a crappy response, you could always go a little more “advanced” and respond “ahh, the same temperature as your personality” but be sure to say it with confidence and flirtatiously, or you will just look creepy).

Note that even a statement about the current temperature shows interest in the person and their situation, versus some canned line. But either way, you are standing out from most people, and demonstrating interest and confidence two signs of someone that is popular.

Also, call them by name once (don’t overdo it). Studies show people love the sound of their name, and calling them by it shows interest. Another little trick I use is to use their name tags as conversation topics. If their name is unique, weird, or they have decorated their name tag, you have instant conversation.

Step Five: Ask a Follow Up Question

Most conversations end because nobody knows what to do next. Now, you know what to do! You have to follow up with your statement. A good follow-up continues the interest you are taking in the person’s life. Did you say something about the cool tattoo? Then, ask “who did it?” or “why did you get it?” It helps if you have a genuine interest in the topic at hand. But even if you don’t care that much, still ask a follow up question, because it always continues the conversation.

Step Six: Do it all with confidence and charm

You have to be confident when you interact with other. This means confident and relaxed body language, with a vocal tone that is clear and commanding. If the person blows you off (which will happen), just don’t worry about it, and, by your relaxed body language, you will convey that you really don’t care, which will make them want to interact with you more.

However, you have to also have some charm. Confidence without charm can just be annoying.

Human nature is such that people prefer compliments and interactions from people with value. Having a high level of confidence and charm means that your interactions will go over even better.

The Truth About Religious Women And Dating

stained glass windowIn college I became involved in a campus Christian group. The girls there all talked up their religious values as they pertained to dating.

Many of them swore off “dating,” preferring to use the term “courting.” They promoted extreme versions of chastity: many refused to even hold hands before marriage, while others insisted they were “embracing singleness” for an indefinite period of time as part of their religious calling.

However, despite these verbal declarations, what they actually did was different. Once they met a guy they really liked, their views changed. Girls who swore up and down they would never “date” ended up doing just that. Ladies who insisted that the celibate life was for them, ended up married within a few months.

I’m not writing this to condemn or judge religious people. I’m certainly not claiming that all religious women are hypocrites. However, I am saying that when it comes to women, evolutionary biology still holds: human nature wins. In spite of grand pronouncements and sincere beliefs, females (like males) still have sexual needs and follow basic behavioral patterns. So, if you meet a religious woman, and she starts saying she “doesn’t date” or won’t cross certain romantic lines, and you want to date her, keep reading.

For some women, stated religious beliefs are “tests” (often called “shit tests”) for men. They want to see how far a man will go in trying to date them. The guys who hear “I don’t date” and give up, fail. Those who hear “I don’t date,” yet don’t care about that supposed hindrance, have a chance at success. For this group, you simply have to push it a little. At this point, religious belief is an excuse just to weeds out the losers. She may be doing this subconsciously and not even be aware of it.

If she says, “I don’t date” in this situation, I suggest using a line like, “I understand where you’re coming from. I thought for a while God didn’t want me to date, but then I knew if God created someone as hot as me, he wouldn’t want me hiding my light under a bushel.” It is funny and calls her out a little bit on that behavior (and it passes her test).

However, some women genuinely hold to religious beliefs, study spiritual texts, and regularly attend worship services. For them, religion isn’t an excuse, but an important part of their life. But, they’re still not impossible to win over, even if they throw out the religion card initially.

First, they are still women. The same rules hold. They may try to suppress their urges and deny the rules, but that doesn’t stop the existence of either the urges or the rules. In my experience, all women, whether atheist or fundamentalist Christian, or anything in between, still are attracted to charming, powerful, high value men. If that is you, then you can win over anyone, even the girl in the hair bun and jeans dress (if that’s your thing).

Second, for some religious women, their religion changes the dating game little. I know many women who are very religious on the outside, but behave no differently than non-religious women in reality. They date the same number of attractive bad boys as everybody else. So, trying to date them will be just as easy (or hard if you don’t know how) as dating anyone else.

Third, some religious girls are very sincere about their anti-dating beliefs and will take more effort to win over. For the vast majority of these girls, it’s still very possible unless they’re taking their first vows to enter the convent (even then, it’s possible). Obviously, as a guy, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to accept the challenge. If you really like the girl, then it may be worth it to go through the effort. If it’s not, then find another girl, and that alone may be enough to suddenly propel your “I don’t date” friend into looking at you romantically.

So, if you like a girl who’s very religious, don’t give up. It may take more effort, but she’s just as obtainable as any other female. That is, of course, if you know the right techniques to begin with (and project attractiveness).

The Little Known Secret To Mental Success

Want to be smarter and more successful? Most guys (and gals) do.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magical solution that could make you more popular and make you more mentally powerful?

Change is never easy and being successful in anything requires changing many aspects of your personality. But, there’s good news.

Recent scientific research has shown that there is an activity that can do all of the following:

  • Increase focus (on the level of ADHD medicine)
  • Help you make better decisions
  • Give you a better memory
  • Let you become more efficient at any activity
  • Make you more successful at work throughout your life
  • Be as effective as Zoloft at treating depression

Also, this activity is credited by many CEOs and other leaders as being an important part of their success.

What is this “secret?” Is it a pill? Is it a food? No!

It’s cardiovascular exercise! Most people know the physical benefits of it, but few are aware of how it boosts their mental performance.

If you don’t have an exercise program, then go out and start one. We love Beachbody products, especially the Insanity program. It’s pretty intense, so consult with a doctor, especially if you’re out of shape.

Read more about the fascinating mental benefits of exercise at the Men’s Health website.

The Alpha Male, Beta Male, and the Jerk

big cartoon man

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Humans are socially complex, and that includes men. Although it’s not based on hard scientific studies, and there is a lot of variation among men, we can typically put guys into three general categories: alpha male, beta male, and jerks.

Remember, these aren’t necessarily hard scientific categories, because humans are much more complicated than other animals, who generally are grouped into categories based on the alpha-beta dichotomy. So, before you comment about how humans aren’t animals, etc., keep in mind I agree it is difficult to categorize humans in this way (although, yes, humans are animals).

Nonetheless, I do believe these classifications fit with evolutionary biology and anecdotal evidence. Some people blend the types or possess more than one in different situations. With that said, here are the three categories that can be helpful in assessing a guy’s social and career success levels. And they’re at least helpful for guys wanting to make personal change.

The Beta Male

The first type of guy is the beta male (Click here for more information). Although the stereotypes of beta males in popular culture may not be totally accurate, they generally hold. The overarching trait of the beta male is passivity or agreeableness. He isn’t forceful, assertive, or a leader. He prefers to follow others, or at least ends up that way. He is the “nice guy” who also finds himself dateless a lot.

At their best, beta males are friendly guys who are easy to get along with. They can often be good fathers, ideal sons, and helpful friends. Since the beta is a “nice guy,” we can apply the common wisdom about “nice guys” to him: he finishes last.

At their worst, beta males can be unmotivated, lacking in passion, needy, and whiny. However, betas aren’t passive robots. Some can be passive-aggressive or even outright aggressive if pushed. They usually lash out at family and friends, not the authority figures they resent.

Beta males are often unpopular with women because they’re bland and lack an edge (it’s the “nice guy” thing). They don’t fit the evolutionary desired leadership traits of provider and protector, so they typically get friend zoned. While it’s true beta males can get girlfriends, they often struggle when they’re younger because the younger women like edgier guys.

Beta males are usually the guys in a social group who blend in. Sometimes their contributions socially are so minor that other people may barely know they are even around.

The Jerk

The second type of guy is the jerk. These guys can be aggressive, confrontational, and have serious anger problems. They may have some good social skills at times (like charm), but can easily digress into inappropriate behavior and be overly and inappropriately sexual. They are often much more feared than loved. When it comes down to it, jerks are very self-centered, typically insecure (bravado more than confidence) and lack empathy.

Sometimes people think jerks are alpha males. They are not. As I discuss below, a true human alpha male is much different than a dominant bully.

At their best, jerks can be charming. They also have a veneer of confidence and power. This is why other men sometimes like them and women typically find them attractive over a boring beta male. However, they rarely maintain the façade of confidence and poise for long. That leads to their worst side: violence (physical and emotional), control, and intimidation.

Jerks can be thought of leaders, but in a negative sense. They often get what they want through verbally and physically abusive tactics. People will do their bidding, but out of resentment or fear.

The Alpha Male

The third type of guy, the one we believe guys should strive to become, is the alpha male (as truly defined, not the jerk). An alpha is the leader of others, but in a way that inspires and makes others. He’s confident, funny, and relaxed under pressure. Women love him because of his natural charm and confidence.  He is the fun, yet decisive boss at work, and guys want to be his friend (and also want to be him, because the social and monetary benefits of being him are significant). He is empathetic and caring, but also has appropriate boundaries, because he understands human nature.

The alpha male, as we define it, is the middle ground between the jerk and the beta male. He has the best of both their traits. It’s why the alpha male tends to be admired in most societies. Whatever you think of their views, Eisenhower, Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Clinton, Buddha, Socrates, and many other male leaders of many philosophies were and are alpha males. They were and are strong, confident, and inspirational, but not aggressive and belligerent. They have led by making life better for other people.

Here is a good video on alpha males in humans:

We now offer a page entitled how to be an alpha male with general tips, but all our articles actually are focused on that in some way.

While there are other types of guys (see our omega male article), these are the three primary categories of men you will encounter.