Hi everyone, first time poster. Feeling embarrassed and frightened

Hi everyone,

It’s now been 3 weeks since I experienced a tidal wave of brainfog similar to the kind I had daily when taking topical Finasteride. The sensation of cloudiness - like my head’s been stuffed with cotton - hasn’t left me since around March 20th. It coincided with me getting quite sick.

Here’s the crazy thing though - I haven’t actually taken Finasteride in almost 2 years.

Hairloss hit me REALLY hard in my early twenties. My self esteem fell through the basement, and I became quite psychologically ill. When I finally shaved my head in 2020, I became reclusive.

In 2022, a careless remark about my appearance from a family member stung so deep, that I decided I HAD to do something about my hair loss…I started saving for a hair transplant, and looked into meds.
To this date, virtually everything under the sun has given me some horrid side effect.

By the time I got my HT in November, I had whittled my options down to a regime that would make most people laugh.

This included topical Alfatradiol, pumpkinseed oil at 500 mg (I was prescribed that earlier for an overactive bladder), Keto shampoo, and a couple growth stimulants.

Everything else - including topical Saw Palmetto - always seemed to create the same neurological side effects.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. If I look at what changed in that week, I can point to the addition of two other topicals - one was new, the other was used before and could have no way of effecting me like this.

CosmeRNA - likely a quack cosmeseutical out of south Korea - and bloody Stemoxydine - almost certainly a quack treatment from L’oreal.
The latter is a growth stimulant I’ve tried before, with no side effects.

Regardless - having dropped pumpkinseeds, the Stemoxydine, even nightly melatonin - I still feel this familiar pressure in my head (familiar as a side from Fin), slightly blurred vision - though thankfully, my thought process hasn’t been so horribly damaged, as it always felt with topical Finasteride, Dutasteride or SP.

I’ve been in a loving relationship now for a year, and it’s just RECENTLY dawned on me that my sexual appetite (which, to be fair, isn’t exactly volcanic), performance, and size have felt chronically diminished this last year.
Maybe I’m putting the puzzle pieces together far too later here…this past one is a tricky issue, as my body image issues around hairloss previously led to a sense of avoidance around sex.

I hope any of this makes sense. I feel very weird every day. It feels like there is a foreign presence in my head - a sort of foggy intruder. I’m doing my best not to panic. But I also thought it best to reach out to the people who know best about this.

Any thoughts anyone? They’d be greatly appreciated.


Sorry to hear that you’re having a bad time.

Unfortunately, some of us have problems with hairloss treatments. The vast majority act in a very similar way so essentially, you’re likely to have problems with all of them.

We know that often people can go through a series of steps where each treatment break and commencement can trigger new or a worsening of side effects.

At this point, hair loss treatments are likely unsafe for you. You might like to take a look at recommendations from hairloss websites (I expect you have already) and avoid them all, including particular foods and supplements. Essentially they all work very similarly with varying degrees of potency, and it would appear that your body is unable to function well under their influence. Don’t risk more side effects that may be long lasting.

Most people see improvement with time, but unfortunately a treatment is not yet available. The team at PFS Network (which this forum is connected to) are working on understanding the science of things. If you’re friends with a generous mill/billionaire, please let it be known - progress could be quicker with more resources. If you’re able, consider a regular donation.

Sorry to repeat myself, but to sum it up, you ought to consider that hair loss treatments are likely not going to work for you without side effects. There are many side effects that are unimaginably bad and those that are affected by them would happily trade places with you. Don’t risk your health with further experimentation.


Thank you so much for your reply, Greek. I know you are giving very sound advice.

It’s just unthinkable that drugs in this genre - even over the counter substitutes - can create such horrendous Cascades of side effects.

The brainfog. I’ve never known anything like that in my life.


Yeah I have a lot of body image problems myself which is also what led me down this road. I don’t even want to look in a mirror at it myself but we unfortunately down have any safe hair loss treatments right now, my only hope is a very good wig. I know that familiar foggy “this is not my brain” feeling too, it’s one of my worst symptoms along with the weird present but not really feel-able too often sex drive if that makes sense. It’s like I can feel something is still turned off but I don’t know what, I was able to get a window of it sexually when I attempted that “dolichol deprivation” theory on here but it didn’t stick and made some thing worse.

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I don’t know if it’ll help, but I had brain fog at one point that was so bad that I remember trying to copy numbers from one spreadsheet to another and finding that almost impossible.

I didn’t do anything special, but fortunately it passed.

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Only thing I know that may help a bit and is probably safe due to not taking anything/applying anything to the skin is dermarolling. Aside from that nothing is safe.

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Oh WOW. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

When I was still trying topical Finasteride, I remember forgetting out to untie the knots in aprons at work. I remember a coworker approached me and looked at me quizzically. I managed to say “…I can’t…”, and nothing else. Not even the mental clarity to finish the sentence.

Really, really glad to hear you recovered from that state.

Don’t even get me started on how utterly embarrassing work has been, I been working this entire time and I wish though things are starting to look up brain fog and speech wise I could just wipe my memory of each shift. I get a lot of issues with finding the right words and sounding out words properly/controlling my vocal tone, it’s better or worse on different days with some fluctuations I can’t tell the origin of. People are always so weirded out by it and I just want to scream that I’m sorry that I can’t control it. Some days I just open my mouth and there goes my first and last impression with that person. Probably lost so many would be connection with people because of it.


I’m really sorry to hear this.

I had two weeks of normal functioning, but it’s returned - thankfully (currently) mild - but always kind of forgetting where I am, what I’m meant to be doing, what the next rational step is.

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