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It was a couple of months before my twentieth birthday when I first looked in the mirror and noticed that my hairline had started to recede. At the time, it was only noticeable to me, but I did the math and quickly realized that my hair situation was only getting worse with time. My hairline gradually kept on receding year after year, until age 24 when the next, more serious stage of hair loss became apparent to me. My hair had begun to start thinning where it had already receded.
My confidence had already taken a pretty good hit years before when I had first discovered my receding hairline, but for a quiet young man with already shaky self-esteem, this new revelation cut deep. It wasn't so much that I was destined to lose my hair as countless men do, it was that the process had already begun far sooner than I could've ever expected.
I vividly remember commuting on the train to work at that time and carefully examining every other man's hair that was within my immediate surroundings. Not only was it premature, it felt bitterly unfair. The situation only progressed for the worse over the next two years. At 26, I still remember walking through a department store in Seattle only to catch a glimpse of my reflection as I passed a large mirror. I tilted my head downwards slightly, and to my horror I could quite clearly see all the way through my remaining head of hair and into my scalp.
To add further insult to injury, my new girlfriend and I were sitting together one evening, and as she looked at me she innocently asked, "What's wrong with your hair?". That moment broke me. It was right then and there that I became hellbent on finding a solution. As I reflect back now, it isn't a surprise that my hair was falling out. For various reasons, that was the most stressful time in my life, and I was quite literally falling apart at the seams.
Chronic life stress, a terrible diet, poor sleep, no vitamins / supplements, and unknowingly wasting away my vital energy (more on this later) all created the perfect storm in which I had found myself drowning in. I was too broke for a hair transplant, and yet something deep within me longed for a natural solution. Call it a hunch, or maybe intuition, but in that time my primal instincts began to awaken.
Reverse Hair Loss Naturally
For the first time in my life, I started to consider what I was putting into my body. I immediately swore off all processed food, refined sugar, refined flour, and industrial seed oils. Prior to this, I had accumulated a number of other health issues aside from hair loss that went away almost overnight when I decided to commit to a whole foods diet. I was onto something, I could feel it at a cellular level. Meat, eggs, fish, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, bone broth, and a heavy dose of fruits and vegetables became the cornerstone of my diet.
Within a month, under the right bathroom lighting I could see tiny baby hairs sprouting on my head where I hadn't seen any signs of life for years. The diet worked! I was visibly shaken at my discovery to reverse hair loss and simultaneously overjoyed. All my life I had been told there's no cure for male pattern baldness, and yet I was now living proof that it could be overcome.
I continued eating this way for several months, and to my delight my thinning hair began to thicken, at least enough that my hair situation was no longer a noticeable issue to others. Yet I was far from satisfied. I began to ponder what else I might be able to incorporate into my diet to give me better results. I had halted my hair loss full stop, but I wanted to see my hair line rejuvenated.
My Current Natural Hair Regrowth Regimen
My wife is Chinese, and I have visited China as well as nearby Asian countries several times now. The first time I made the journey to China was during this same season of life, and I made an undeniable observation. It occurred to me that Chinese men are far more likely to keep their full head of hair all through life than Western men are. However, here in Canada I personally know quite a few second generation Asian-Canadian men who have experienced classic male pattern baldness.
My conclusion was that although genetics play a strong role in the likelihood of developing hair loss, the local diet seems to be a significant determining factor as well. In China I witnessed higher soy consumption than anywhere else I had been to at that point in my life. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise given that my wife's hometown is in Anhui province, which is the birthplace of tofu. While soy is often demonized or even ridiculed in the West, it is prized and respected in the East. In China it's tofu, in Japan it's natto.
I started experimenting with organic versions of both on a daily basis, and saw the improved results that I had been looking for. It turns out that soy is an extremely effective natural DHT blocker, so my intuition hadn't betrayed me. I've made sure to include some form of organic soy in my diet every day for the last 7 or 8 years now. While I personally know other men my age who once had more hair than me, my hair is now in better condition than theirs and I believe soy is one of the main reasons that I've been able to preserve it.
Jing Foods & Supplements
My education in China didn't end there. Several years after my soy discovery, I became interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help me resolve a frustrating skin condition which opened my eyes to a wealth of health knowledge that is frankly common sense to the Chinese people. The most powerful takeaway I gained from a hair loss / growth perspective is the concept of Jing. Jing is the vital essence (or life force) in our body which is carried in sperm and blood, and produced by the kidneys. The kidneys play a central role in hair growth, so when Jing is strong in one's body it is also reflected by a person's great hair. In contrast, if a person has a kidney deficiency or weak Jing, hair loss is likely.
Thankfully, Traditional Chinese Medicine has long known which foods and supplements replenish Jing. They are as follows:
- Spirulina (be careful about potential insomnia side effects)
- Eclipta Prostrata
- Sesame seeds, especially black sesame
- Kidney (Beef, Pork, Lamb)
- Goji Berries
- Raw Milk (Cow, Goat, Sheep)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Royal Jelly
Apart from diet, there is one extremely effective (not to mention difficult) way to preserve and build Jing as a man, and that is semen retention. Semen as it turns out, is the fluid believed to contain the most Jing in a man's body. How long do you need to retain your semen to reap the benefits you ask? Taoist adherents have actually developed a few different formulas, but this one makes the most sense to me:
Your Age X 0.2 = frequency of ejaculation in days
Is it easy? No, of course not.
Is it worth it? In my experience, yes it is indeed worth the effort.
I will mention that the semen retention formula listed above is the bare minimum amount of time that your body needs in order to regrow hair effectively. Hair growth becomes outright phenomenal when semen retention is practiced longterm (three weeks or longer) in conjunction with consuming Jing foods and supplements on a daily basis.
So what am I doing nowadays as a 35 year old man to keep my hair growing? The short summary is I make sure to consume some organic soy and Jing foods + supplements on a daily basis, all while practicing semen retention to the best of my ability. I have also made it a priority to stomp out chronic stress in my life, and I still focus on a whole foods diet in general. And that's really it. I know that there are a million different takes and voices on the internet who have had success doing vastly different things than me, but this is my personal experience and it's served me well to reverse hair loss. I hope it does the same for you.