Meet Helen, our contributor today! I reached out to Helen as she is a fellow hair loss sister and fellow Canadian. She is fairly well-known in the hair loss community and does amazing product reviews on her platforms! I asked her to weigh in about her decision to treat her hair loss which was triggered by chemotherapy.
“Hi! I’m Helen, also known on YouTube as Shrimpy McGee. If you’ve ever looked up info for women’s Rogaine and minoxidil tips, you might have seen me there.
“Fun coincidence: Like Elle, I’m a Canadian.
“I totally understand that Rogaine and minoxidil are not right for everyone, and there are so many valid reasons why. But for me, they were, and continue to be, absolutely great for my hair journey.
“There are a couple reasons why I am a devotee, the most prominent of which is that I never suffered any Rogaine side effects. Not even one. But I did have to wait patiently for about 4 months for growth. When it worked, it really worked! And it’s still working.
“I use it once a day in the morning, and I only buy Men’s Rogaine foam or men’s generic minoxidil at the 5% strength. It’s available over the counter. Don’t let the packaging and warnings fool you, the men’s and women’s at 5% strength are identical. I made a video about this if you ever want all the reasons as to why, and Rogaine doesn’t hide the fact, either (https://youtu.be/FusmS1P_urY).
“One of my audience members tells me that in Korea, they are only sold as one product and they are not gendered. Two thumbs down for the “Pink Tax.”
“The other reason I use minoxidil is that I never really discovered toppers until I was well into hair regrowth. If I did, I probably would have switched over to them and never bothered with minoxidil! They just give hair such a lush look. And if we’re real, all the celebs are using alternative hair from Ariana Grande to Mindy Kaling, so why shouldn’t we? The stigma is lessening every day.
“You see, the things to know about minoxidil is it can cause (temporary) hair shedding, itchy scalp and irritation and the kicker: once you start, and if you grow hair, you can’t stop using it or else that hair will fall out. And of course, it doesn’t work for everyone. Also, not everyone wants to be medicated for hair loss.
“For me, it’s a worth-it tradeoff. I really love how my hair looks now, it’s grown nicely, and realistically considering I am post-menopausal, this is as good as it’s going to get when it comes to bio hair.
“Every day I am flooded with minoxidil and Rogaine questions in my Instagram DMs. I try my best to answer everyone! I’m even starting to get sponsorship offers, but the products are always things I would never recommend. Maybe not scams, but not things that people say work.
“So in August of 2020, I started a Patreon support page. Over there, I offer exclusive posts for my supporters delving into topics that can be a little too hot for YouTube. Please do consider supporting me there if you can, it’s the place where I can offer much more one-on-one help in a private setting. https://www.patreon.com/shrimpymcgee
“But either way, know that we are all in this together. The hair loss community is one of the best, sweetest and most affirming groups of women online. And a thank you to Laura aka Elle, for the work that you do and for sharing your experience…and for letting me contribute here!”
So if you read part 1 of the “Making the decision whether to treat your hair loss” series, you know that Helen and I have had very different experiences with minoxidil. Our hair loss experiences are also vastly different so again I stress that it is important to get a proper diagnosis and follow-up with your qualified healthcare practitioner regarding medical management and side effects. Helen has been consistent with her treatment and is lucky enough to have benefitted from it!!
Thank you for your contribution, Helen!
Stay tuned for part 3!