Head games

When I was in Barcelona in June, my wife and I had dinner with another couple—my wife’s female friend and the friend’s … well … sperm donor. It’s a long story. Anyway, I was meeting the guy for the first time. Although he and I are only one year apart, he assumed I was 15 years younger than him, mostly because of the color of my hair. And it’s true: my hair is the same color as when I was in my 30s, thanks to the supplements I take.

A well-known joke in the fitness community—funny because it’s true—is that great conditioning attracts only guys, not girls. I don’t mean attract in a romantic sense, but more like how a guy working on his car in the driveway attracts other men from the neighborhood to see what’s up. Biceps and the rest are necessary to attract women, but not sufficient. Just a foot in the door.

In any event, I can tell you that my daily stack of vitamins and minerals is making enough of a difference to impress a middle-aged guy in Spain.  

There is an undeniable connection between mineral intake and hair color. Modern farming practices have depleted the soil of minerals, so almost everyone suffers from deficiencies. I take the minerals below for the non-hair reasons I explain, but the side effects are amazing.

  • Boron: supposed to raise testosterone levels.
  • Magnesium: involved in hundreds of chemical processes in the body; supplementation can improve everything from rheumatoid arthritis to insomnia.
  • Zinc/Copper: Zinc is critical to functioning of the immune system. Zinc interferes with copper absorption so you need to take additional copper with your zinc to maintain the correct balance.

I wrote earlier this year how I quit taking finasteride so that I’d be eligible to give blood (and lower my ferritin levels). The compounded finasteride my doctor was prescribing me had a bunch of other stuff on the label, so I figured I’d keep taking those nutrients too, separately in supplement form.

  • Biotin (B7), Riboflavin (B2), and Folic Acid (B9) were all included in my prescription medication. I take a B vitamin complex to hit all these in one pill.
  • L-lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot make it. L-lysine helps the body build collagen, which forms the basic structure of the hair follicle.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane is a naturally occurring chemical produced in the body. MSM is probably more of a long-shot, but the concept is that MSM helps strengthen the bonds between keratin molecules. Keratin is a type of protein that is a key component in skin, hair, and nails.

Having dumped finasteride, I’m holding onto my hair by using topical minoxidil. I question whether this regimen is even necessary, however. I read somewhere that a balding animal is nature’s way of signaling poor health. I wonder how much of that biology applies to humans, and whether the reverse is also true.

I am completely on board with the conspiracy theory that, quoting myself:

Our caveman ancestors—eating only organic, all-natural, non-modified food; absorbing abundant sunlight that shined even on their privates; enjoying stress-free lives with no alarm clocks interrupting their sleep—were all 7 ft. tall with perfect teeth who lived to be 400 years old.

To that, let me also add: Our caveman ancestors all exhibited a thick full head of hair, that remained the same color from age four through the next several hundred years of their lives.

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