The MPB Pill by Ken
"It's a myth," she said. "Men don't go bald, their hair reverts to its infantile state."
"So hair doesn't fall out?" I asked.
"No. If you look closely at someone who's bald on top, the hair is usually just really fine, barely perceptible. But there's hair there."
"And this pill does that?"
"We're trying to find a real cure for baldness. One of theories is that if we can create the situation, we can cure the situation."
"What would I have to do?"
"One pill a day in the evening. It will cause the hair on top to revert to its infantile state and you'll go bald."
"And it's safe."
She laughed. "It's safer than a multivitamin. Flintstones Chewables are more of a risk. Now, you can take two a day and it will speed up the process, but certainly no more than two."
"And when I'm done, you think you can reverse the process and it will grow back?"
"That's the plan. You in?"
I have a friend who works for one of the large pharmaceutical companies and she told me about a trial their company was running. It paid well and she thought I'd be interested in it. I could use the money and it's only hair. I'm 23 and have a full head of hair but always wanted to be bald. This seemed like a good way to do it.
"And how long would I have to take the pill?"
"One year. How long you take the pill will decide on how much you want to lose. If you take it longer, you'll end up with less of a fringe."
"But I'll be bald on top?"
"And how long will it take before I start to notice a change?"
"Within the first month, you should begin to notice it. If you start on the two a day regimen, sooner." She paused and looked at me. "So, you in?"
I nodded. "I'll do the two a day regimen, but I have to do it for a year?"
"To get the full payout, yes. But once you commit to a regimen, you can't change it or you'll lose the final payout."
I agreed and after about 30 minutes of filling out paperwork and signing my name about 20 times, they gave me my first month's supply. They took several digital pics of my hairline from all angles. I'd have to come in once a month for a refill and for more pics.
I started right when I go home and took my first pill and one at night. They were quite large and I'm not much for taking pills but I kept up with the two a day schedule.
I kept my regular schedule of trims at the salon where I go and for the most part, I didn't really see any changes. My regular stylist, Becky, wasn't there for my trim and had someone different. When I showed up for my first month's check up, they took more pics and showed me on the computer how much hair I'd lost. I hadn't seen my friend in a month and she was a bit surprised when I walked into the room.
"Wow, it's thinner," she said.
"I didn't notice much at all. You sure?"
She took more pics and we looked at them on the computer. THEN, it was obvious to me. "Wow, you're right. Maybe because it was gradual, I didn't really notice it, but I see it now." She gave me another month's supply and I went home.
A couple weeks later I went in for my regular salon appointment. Becky, my regular stylist, was in and I took the chair. She washed my hair and when she was trimming it made mention of my thinning hair.
"Yeah, I know. I just started to notice it last month."
"Boy, it's really thinned out since I last saw you."
"Well, it's just hair, right?"
She smiled. "That's what people say when they have hair. It changes some with they lose it."
"Well, we'll see."
"Have you thought of trying Rogaine or one of those things that keep people from losing their hair? Now is the time to start if you're going to."
"I don't think so. I've heard it's expensive and you have to keep using it for the rest of your life. I'm 23, that's a long time just to have hair on your head."
At home, I kept up with the pills and by the time of my second appointment with the pharmaceutical company, I'd noticed a bald spot forming at the back of my head and while my hair was thinning, my hairline was clearly receding. The pictures bore it out.
"What happens if I get to a point where I don't want to lose any more hair?" I asked.
"You can stop whenever you want, but if you don't go the full year, you lose that last payout. Remember we talked about this?"
So I left and kept up with my 2 a day schedule. They were taking a small blood test to insure that I was still taking two a day. I'd thought of getting my hair cut two about an inch long and getting a wig, but thought better of it. I was in, I signed my name and I'd have to keep at it.
After the third month, it was clear I was going to be quite bald on top. I still had hair but it was visibly thinning. My hairline had receded quite a bit and the bald spot at the back seemed to get larger by going lower down the back of my head.
At month four, I asked my friend if she could tell how bald I'd be after a year on the drug.
"The bald spot on the back had gotten pretty low, and if the rest of your hairline follows, you'll have a small fringe."
"Will it all fall out?" I asked.
"Not likely, it hasn't happened before. But keep up on the 2 a day schedule. It wont be much longer."
I went in for my haircut and Becky was really quite stunned. "Boy, you're really losing it. I don't think even Rogaine would help now."
"I know. I think we should go shorter than usual. Since I'm losing my hair, I don't want to get tempted into having a combover."
"Maybe about an inch and a half on top, a bit shorter on the sides?" I nodded.
When she was done, it was clear how thin my hair had gotten.
At the seven month mark, I had a clear fringe with just a trace of when I used to have on top. But there was still some hair, it was just very thin. The bald spot on back had stopped getting larger but I had about 2 inches of hair between the bottom of the bald spot and where my hairline ended on my neck.
At the ten month mark, I wanted to stop taking the pills but I was already that far into it so I had to keep at it. I was now bald on top, no hair at all (except the little 'infantile' hair I was told about. My fringe was still quite full but that was going to change, or so they told me when they checked my hairline and gave me a refill.
I was noticing the different looks I got from friends and coworkers. I mean, how many 23 year olds go that bald that quick. But most were nice and very supportive. Some were sympathetic, but I just shrugged it all off. It was my choice, after all, I just didn't tell anyone that.
Finally, the year was over and I went in for my last check and set of pictures. My fringe was all of 2 inches in width and had receded back to where I couldn't grow side burns any more. I stopped going to Becky and just went to a regular barber for a light trim.
"This is one of the most drastic I've seen so far on this trial," she said. "You probably should have just done one a day."
"I guess. But I like it like this," I said.
"It does suit you, but now you get the payout."
"Do you have a lot of guys doing this?" I asked.
"About 50 men, a half dozen women."
"Women? You're kidding?"
"Nope, women lose their hair too, you know."
"Do they lose their hair like this?"
"Some get close. I'm not quite as bald as you, but I'm close."
"I was one of the first to try it. I started almost 18 months ago so I've been done for the past 6 months."
"But you've got a full head of hair."
"It's a wig, silly." She pulled it off to reveal a hairline not unlike mine.
"So have they figured out a way of stopping hair loss as a result of all this yet?"
"Not yet, but they're working on it. But you know, even if they do, I don't think I'd go for it. I like my hairline like this," she said as she put her wig back on.
"I do to." Then I had a thought. "What are you doing for dinner tonight? I just came into some cash and we could go some place nice."
She smiled. "It's about time you asked me out. It's not because I'm now bald like you, is it?"
"No, but it is good selling point," I said.
I left and make reservations at a nice restaurant, that I knew would be the first dinner with her of many over the years. I caught my reflection in the mirror, with my fringe and very bald head. Yep, this was a good idea, would recommend it to anyone.