Home | News | Find a Doctor | Ask a Question | Free

Appropriate Scalp Scraping Tool


#1

Apologies for the long post, but here goes…

In an earlier thread, I mentioned how I got some dramatic results from a combination of a Tretinoin/minoxidil solution. I strongly believe I actually had hair regrowth at locations where there was bleeding as a result of constant scratching on my behalf. I recall very vividly that there was bleeding, followed by scabbing and then oddly followed by new hair growing from the same spots where the scabs were. What confused me back in 2003 was whether or not the “hair” I was seeing was some sort of long-term (or possibly permanent) scarring on the scalp or if it was actual hair. After asking some doctors at the time, I came to the conclusion that scratching to the point of bleeding in combination with Tretinoin/minoxidil does not lead to hair regrowth (!); the docs I spoke with were in somber agreement with this conclusion (mind you none of them didn’t even look at my scalp!). Because the reality of the hair loss was so devastating to me at the time, I merely attributed my results to self deception because of hope…but I vividly recall having patchy regrowth in place of my patchy scabbing!

It’s worth noting that the “wounding” I inflicted upon myself was over a three week time span before there was any noticeable bleeding. After about four weeks, I had clawed my scalp quite nicely to the point that I thought I might have permanently damaged my scalp.

Discouraged, I started researching hair transplantation and decided that I should discontinue whatever I’ve been taking at the time (the hair transplant results seemed so much better). Well I never got around to the hair transplants and instead I’ve accepted the hair loss and lately the shininess…

Inspired by Baccy and his “proof of concept” (Baccy, the two pictures you posted blew my mind considering my experience from 2003), I plan on reordering the same concentrations of Tretinoin/minoxidil that I previously had but this time I plan on using something more appropriate other than my finger nails to both provide relief from the scratching and to wound the scalp.

If anybody can recommend something useful or something similar to what is described in the Follica patent (they had some reference to some sort of tool that can roll on top of the scalp for wounding), then I will be sure to order everything, and post before/after pics. I’m trying to obtain a tool that can be used on a scalp that has hair already - in other words, I’m not shaving my head anytime soon! I think something like a loofa wouldn’t be good because it looks like it might accumulate bacteria easily and at the same time rip some hair out. I’m asking for some creativity here because I’m trying to approach the problem from a different angle.

Back in 2003 I was a NW3V (although my hairline was still strong), but now I’m a NW5V. In a couple of years, I’ll certainly be staring at a NW7 in the mirror (unless there is something that can be done about it). The only thing I am taking right now to treat hair loss is Nioxin shampoo, but I can hardly consider this a treatment. I tried Propecia in 2004, but had some really nasty reaction to it after 1 week.

The concentrations of Tretinoin/minoxidil I used in 2003 to get the results were 0.0025%/2% respectively; keep in mind that my scalp looked like it was clawed by some wild animal. I realize that in light of the Follica patent and what Baccy has done with all of the EGF inhibitors and what-not, that what I’m proposing is a bit overly optimistic and perhaps a little ludicrous. But I cannot help but think that no doctor in their right mind prior to 2007 or perhaps even today would prescribe something to a patient that not only causes extreme discomfort but also bleeding, hence perhaps the lack of using this avenue as a treatment.

So I wonder what is the absolute bare minimum to get the results from this process? If Baccy and others represent one approach to this experimentation, why not have experimentation from another angle of approach?


#2

I don’t know about an appropriate scalp scraping tool. Perhaps a cat slicker? Ouch.

I do want to back you up on something though. The story you told wasn’t silly. In fact, I’ve got something similar.

A few years back I started having a lot of trouble with a few bony cysts that started growing on my scalp. Eventually they perforated the skin, and I ended up having to dig them out. But basically I spent a lot of time scratching and picking at the area.

To my amazement, I regrew an area of new hair in about a quarter-sized area around the cysts. Maybe a little bigger. Even now, years later, you can still see it to some extent. I, too, thought perhaps I had discovered a cure for baldness somehow, but everyone I talked to about it thought it sounded crazy. Still, they couldn’t deny the little patch that was three times as dense as the surrounding area.

When I heard about Follica, my heart leapt. If they can perfect the procedure, I believe it will truly make a difference for all of us. And hats off to Baccy and the rest of the DIY crowd for their experiments!


#3

Did you apply anything to your scalp that might have aided in regrowth?


#4

Just an inconsistent use of 5% minoxidil, all over the scalp.


#5

If you are good with knife-honing stones and fine-grit metal
sanding paper, a double sided stainless pet tooth scraper
seems to have a very good shape for starting out with, and
could easilybe appropriately sterilized.

These have conveniently positioned scrapers on each end
which are about 3mm wide by .5 mm thick, and can be pretty
easily sharpened and rounded slightly for a tool that
is more precise and sharper than a fingernail but otherwise
would function similarly (yes, I have made one but as far as
effective results I cannot speculate with any certainty)

Whether or not it would be effective in the end in producing
the types of results that Baccy observed so far seems up in
the air.

Since the underlying theory appears to rely on controlling
the differentiation process of stem cells which might be
originating from follicles, the size of the disrupted area
and distance over which these cells can migrated might all
be playing a big role in things.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the minimum size of an effectively
treatable area turned out to be quite small, though?


#6

While we’re on the subject of interesting ideas for tools,
anyone using the popular 30 gauge diabetic lancets for
needling might be interested to note that the protective
plastic caps that they come with can be modified by
cutting one in half laterally (such as with a hobby knife)
and reattaching it to provide a collar to control the depth
of the exposed lancet.

In this way, it’s not necessary to continuously control
the depth of the lancet if a single effective depth can
be determined, and the depth-adjusting collar can be
reused as lancets are discarded.

I’m not claiming that this is an extremely effective tool,
but I’ve definitely noticed some results although they
are not really sufficient (at least not without some additional
combined topical treatment) to be excited about.

» If you are good with knife-honing stones and fine-grit metal
» sanding paper, a double sided stainless pet tooth scraper
» seems to have a very good shape for starting out with, and
» could easilybe appropriately sterilized.
»
» These have conveniently positioned scrapers on each end
» which are about 3mm wide by .5 mm thick, and can be pretty
» easily sharpened and rounded slightly for a tool that
» is more precise and sharper than a fingernail but otherwise
» would function similarly (yes, I have made one but as far as
» effective results I cannot speculate with any certainty)
»
» Whether or not it would be effective in the end in producing
» the types of results that Baccy observed so far seems up in
» the air.
»
» Since the underlying theory appears to rely on controlling
» the differentiation process of stem cells which might be
» originating from follicles, the size of the disrupted area
» and distance over which these cells can migrated might all
» be playing a big role in things.
»
» Wouldn’t it be nice if the minimum size of an effectively
» treatable area turned out to be quite small, though?