About the Founder
Welcome! My name is Rob English. I’m a researcher, medical editor, and the founder of Perfect Hair Health. I started this website seven years ago to showcase evidence-based approaches to slowing, stopping, and reversing hair loss with both natural and conventional treatment options.
My interest in hair loss began in 2007 – right after I was diagnosed with androgenic alopecia. Since then, I've spent thousands of hours researching hair loss – its causes, treatments, and misconceptions. I've distilled complex hair loss science into dozens of articles. I've also published five peer-reviewed papers on androgenic alopecia: one on its pathology, one on an experimental therapy, one on methodological concerns of scalp biopsies, and two systematic reviews.
The hair loss industry isn’t serving us:
Perfect Hair Health was founded because it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to find a path to hair regrowth that prioritizes your health and preferences over profit and pride.
Our mission is to provide science-based hair loss education and guide our customers to individualized treatment plans that work.
My professional diagnosis
My Medical Diagnosis: Androgenic Alopecia
At the time of my diagnosis (2007), my doctor told me that hair loss was caused by a male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). He also said that pattern hair loss is a chronic, progressive condition – and that unless I started minoxidil, finasteride, low-level laser therapy, or considered a hair transplant, it would only worsen.
These treatments felt expensive. They also felt out-of-scope for a high schooler. And, after reflecting more on finasteride in relation to my age and its potential side effects, I ended up throwing out my prescription the next day. I was young, worried about what I saw online, and I didn’t yet know how to read clinical studies or separate facts from fiction.
However, I wanted to do something. I also knew that if I didn't take any action, my hair loss would continue. So I opted for a low-level laser therapy trial and I started applying minoxidil twice-daily.
I continued minoxidil for six years. I also experimented with laser combs, diets, supplements, topicals, and nearly every "natural remedy" I found.
The entire time, my hair loss continued to worsen.
2005 (Pre-Hair Loss)
Two years before my diagnosis. I apologize for the photo quality. This is actually a video still (I didn't take regular photos of my crown before noticing hair loss).
2012 (Hair Loss Worsening)
This was at a holiday party. Yes, I am in a Santa costume. Yes, I am still balding. Soon after this photo was taken, I quit minoxidil.
My hair recovery, one year after dropping minoxidil and starting a regimen built on research in wound-healing and mechanotransduction.
My hair recovery, 3 years after quitting minoxidil. Results seem to be sustaining.
My hair, 5 years after stopping minoxidil and 3 years after tapering my regimen. Most of the changes seem to be holding.
Turning to Research
While in college, I wanted to better understand why these treatments weren't working for me. As a student, I had access to medical and scholarly journals. So I used my free subscriptions to start reading studies and literature reviews on androgenic alopecia.
This soon turned into a full-time obsession.
After a few months, I began to appreciate the complexities of hair loss science. And within a year, I realized that hair loss literature (along with public knowledge on the subject) is filled with paradoxes, misunderstandings, and a lot of unanswered questions.
DHT, hair loss, and hair growth
Experts agree that DHT is causally linked to androgenic alopecia. But we don’t yet know why DHT is also linked to hair growth in the chest and face.
Hair loss and high testosterone
Many men think their hair loss (AGA) is due to high testosterone. It's not. Evidence shows that young men with AGA have similar hormonal imbalances to females with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
How, exactly, does DHT cause hair loss?
In vitro studies show that DHT causes apoptosis in dermal papaillae cells. At the same time, no one is quite sure of all mechanisms governing this process. DHT's exact mechanisms of action remain elusive.
Uncovering Targets Beyond DHT
It became clear to methat the DHT-hair loss argument is more complex than most doctors imply.
Yes, genetics are involved. So are male hormones. And DHT certainly can cause hair follicle miniaturization. But if we expand our scope beyond DHT and look at other changes observed in a balding scalp...
- Increased Inflammation
- Increased reactive oxygen species
- Increased prostaglandins
- Increased fibrosis
- Reduced blood, oxygen, and nutrient supply to hair follicles
- Overexpression of androgen receptors
We can also start evaluating targets beyond targeting DHT through 5-alpha reductase inhibition.
Abandoning minoxidil and trying a new approach
After six years of minoxidil, I decided to change my approach to fighting hair loss.
Specifically, I was interested in emerging research in the fields of wound-healing and mechanotransduction. These therapies were demonstrating success in reversing similar histological changes seen in androgenic alopecia. I’d also read a paper demonstrating hair count increases in androgenic alopecia by taking the scalp perimeter muscles out of chronic contraction.
So I built a regimen around what I was reading: aggressive massaging across the top of the scalp (to stimulate acute inflammation) along with presses across the scalp perimeter to target these same muscle groups. Simultaneously, I dropped minoxidil. It wasn't working for me anyway.
Within a year, I saw significant hair improvements. And these results have mostly sustained.
Why I started perfecthairhealth.com
In 2014, I started this website to share with others my approach to improving hair loss, the supporting evidence, and my hair recovery. Since then, I've connected with thousands of people. I've published five peer-reviewed papers about hair loss (from its causes to its treatments). And all the while, this site's success stories have continued to grow.
We’ve now grown into a community of science-loving, results-oriented people. We're focused on uncovering the science behind hair loss, how to reverse it, and keeping up with the latest research.
Yes, FDA-approved drugs are great options for many people. But for others, these drugs might not fit with someone’s worldviews, or perhaps cannot be tolerated. This site hopes to provide you with the evidence you need to make informed decisions on your treatment plans – all to maximize your hair regrowth based on your needs, preferences, and unique hair loss case.
Publishing my findings in scholarly journals
In 2016, a Reddit user told me that if some of my research interests held any merit, they should stand up to the process of peer review. I agreed. So I decided to write a manuscript describing a hypothesis on androgenic alopecia: its possible accelerators, its rate-limiting recovery factors, and why DHT-reducing drugs are mainly limited to stopping the progression of hair loss (rather than fully reversing it).
A few months later, that paper was accepted into a medical journal. You can read it here.
Next, I wanted to understand just how effective our standardized scalp massages were for others. So, I worked with two statisticians, setup a study, got approval from an Institutional Review Board, and started collecting data. Then I turned our findings into another manuscript and submitted it to a top-20 dermatology journal.
Two months later, that paper was also accepted. You can read it here.
Since then, I've acted as a peer-reviewer for scholarly journals. I've taken on work as a medical editor. I've interviewed hair loss investigators as part of our private membership site. I've joined the editorial board of a dermatology journal. I've published more papers. Now I manage a small team of researchers dedicated to progressing hair loss science in a direction that serves the consumer.
How to Use Perfect Hair Health
Free Resources and Content
We make our peer-reviewed research available for free and distribute new content weekly via our email list, Youtube channel, and website articles.
We provide this information so that all readers can become savvy consumers in the hair loss space, avoid costly treatments that might not work for them, and take research-based next steps on their hair recovery journey.
Paid Membership Program
The resources and support inside the membership program allow you to tailor a Regrowth Roadmap- a customized plan to fight hair loss based on your health history and treatment preferences.
This paid program fast-tracks you to hair loss science most relevant to you. It includes all of the guides and personal support you’ll need to implement your Regrowth Roadmap –– so you can save yourself from years of trial-and-error, and thereby years of wasted time, money, and hair.
Final words of advice
I started fighting hair loss in 2007. Back then, online forums rarely touted finasteride. Instead, they were filled with horror stories of its side effects: brain fog, low libido, gynecomastia, you name it.
While finasteride isn’t right for everyone, its side effect profile is often overstated online. This is due to the Yelp effect: people are far more likely to review a restaurant after having a negative versus positive experience... especially under conditions of anonymity.
My exposure to these stories led me to throw out my finasteride prescription. I’m thankful that I saw success outside of the drug model. But I also want to my story to stand apart from your decision to pursue (or not pursue) any intervention.
After all, if I'd known then what I know now about finasteride’s benefits and risk profile, I likely would’ve started taking it, achieved decent hair growth, experienced no issues, and I might have a different career right now.
So, as you navigate your options – both natural and conventional – keep this perspective in mind.
There are no hair loss gurus
This site is an educational resource for hair loss sufferers. We are scientific communicators, not hair loss gurus. We don't pretend to have all the answers, because no one has all the answers.
We also don't get dogmatic about natural versus conventional approaches. Instead, we prioritize your understanding of how to best fight hair loss:
- Where any intervention ranks on the hierarchy of evidence
- How long you should try it before determining if it works
- What (if any) alternatives exist, and if they're more cost effective
- How the speed of your hair loss should influence your treatment choices
- Why scalp inflammation (if present) must be addressed
- When health ailments do (and don't) impact hair loss
...and so much more. Because when you have the answers to these questions, you can start paving a path toward hair regrowth based on the evidence, and on your terms.
How to contact us
Any questions about our free resources or membership program? Enter your email to contact us.