With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
However, the high incidence of androgenic alopecia is caused by the male hormones. Testosterone in the scalp is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes the follicles to shrink in size, therefore inhibiting the growth of hair, which eventually leads to baldness. However, hair follicles on the sides and back of the head do not have as much DHT compared to the top, hence why hair loss is concentrated on the crown of the head. Interestingly, DHT is known to help in the growth of the beard and hair on the chest, a reason why most bald men have hairy chests and grow their beards much faster.
Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry. Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons (these straighten hair by using high heat) and curling irons.
Cloning has seen many false starts and wrong turns, Christiano told me. Now her team is building “an artificial skin with a dermis and an epidermis, with molds made to mimic the dimensions of hair density,” she explained. “When the artificial skin matures we pull out the pre-formed hairs and insert them into the skin.” Bernstein is convinced that, in the next ten years, cloned hair will happen. “And then the supply and demand problem is solved,” Bernstein said. “Without Bernanke!”
SM04554, Samumed’s topical for androgenic alopecia, is one of the company’s late stage programs. The other late stage program within Samumed is their drug for osteoarthritis. Phase 3 trials are very costly so the numbers here make sense for Samumed to be pushing forward. This news would indicate we should be hearing about Samumed initiating a phase 3 trial for the commercialization of SM04554 in the near future.

Hair changes about as fast as grass grows, which is to say it’s extraordinarily slow and not visible to anyone checking impatiently in the mirror every day. But during regular follow-up appointments, Harklinikken uses high-tech equipment to photograph and magnify the scalp and count new hairs and active follicles, which motivates users to adhere to the regimen. Too many people give up on treatments like Rogaine and low-level-light devices before they’ve had a chance to work, Dr. Senna said.
Patel said the problem with those treatments is that they have not been subjected to large or head-to-head research. There's great variation in how doctors give the plasma treatments and in laser-based devices, so it's hard for patients to know whether they're getting a proven regimen. Nutrafol seems promising, he said, but he does not think that company-funded research showing its effectiveness has been replicated. He has not recommended it yet.
This particular research which was published in the Nature journal showed that a synthetic version of sandalwood, called Sandalore, binds to the OR2AT4 receptor in hair folliles and prolongs their anagen (growth) phase. The hair follicles studied were treated in a petri dish. Paus has subsequently announced that a completed clinical trial of 20 female volunteers using a topical version of Sandalore showed a reduction of daily hair loss. There is also another larger clinical trial ongoing now which hopes to confirm the effect and announce results in early 2019. Paus has gone as far to say “there is even a chance that this might be able to bring the hair back.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Certainly a company with a unique background and game plan, HairClone has received some recent media attention. The UK biotech startup was featured in this month’s publication of “Consulting Room” online magazine. In the article both Dr. Bessam Farjo and Paul Kemp of HairClone provided insight as to the company’s current progress and plans for the future. Things seem to be coming along well for HairClone and we should expect to hear from them again within the next several weeks. Full story is on Articles main page.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. Its applications are many, and some researchers believe that it may help with hair loss from alopecia areata. How? The needles inserted into the scalp may help stimulate hair follicles and promote regrowth. More research needs to be done in this area, but consider asking your doctor for a referral to a licensed acupuncturist if this treatment sounds appealing to you. (Learn more about acupuncture for hair loss.)
Traction alopecia. Unlike the other two that are caused by genetic or natural factors, this condition is self-caused and occurs most in women. Hair loss happens because of the continuous and constant pulling on the hair that puts pressure on the follicles. Pressure on the hair, brought about by wearing tight hair styles, braiding, weaving, or even hair treatments like bleaching, causes the follicles to loosen their grip on the shaft and eventually cause hair to fall out, leaving bald spots on the scalp or very thin hair strands.
"Firstly, even the very good ones won’t get to the root of the issue - pardon the pun - and prevent or treat male or female pattern baldness which is caused by genetics, nor deal with hormonal issues at the heart of female hair loss. But they can help make the hair you do have stronger and healthier. And they can be useful in putting a hair loss regime in place, along with medication like Minoxidil or Finasteride and/ or a hair transplant.
This medication goes by the name Avodart. It is used for the treatment of BPH also known as enlarged prostate. However, there are a large number of users using it for the off label purpose of treating hair loss. Remember the 5 alpha reductase we mentioned that Propecia blocks? Well there are two types of 5 alpha reductase. Type I and Type II. Whereas Propecia has only been shown to block type II, Avodart blocks both types. This effect overall lowers DHT levels even more, further reducing the risk of damaged hair follicles. However, it faces the same limitations as Propecia. It must be taken daily and may lose its effectiveness overtime.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
According to the press release, a fast track designation is “intended to facilitate the development of new therapies for serious conditions and with the potential to address an unmet medical need. A company with an investigational medicine receiving Fast Track designation may be eligible for more frequent communications with the FDA and may receive an expedited review of the new drug application.”
Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
Trichotillomania may be difficult to diagnose if the patient is not forthcoming about pulling at his or her hair. Patients typically present with frontoparietal patches of alopecia that progress posteriorly and may include the eyelashes and eyebrows. Bare patches are typical, and the hair may appear uneven, with twisted or broken off hairs. Trichotillomania may lead to problems with self-esteem and social avoidance. Complications include infection, skin damage, and permanent scarring.18
Hollywood has made movies about it. Industries have made billions from it. And if the volume of scripture is any indication, the Almighty God must have placed great value on his creation of the head of human hair. After all, He gave Samson—the strongest man of whom the Bible tells—his immense strength through his hair and declared a woman’s hair "a glory unto" her in the 11th chapter of 1 Chorinthians.

Alopecia areata. This condition, called patchy hair loss, is the opposite of pattern baldness. Whereas in the former, thinning hair follows a pattern, alopecia areata is marked by smooth and bald patches anywhere on the scalp. The bald patches are circular, and can be as small as a pencil eraser or as big as a quarter. It begins with one or two spots that multiply on other parts of the head. The condition is caused by an autoimmune disease where the antibodies mistake the hair as the "enemy" and start attacking it, resulting into hair loss.


Researchers from UCLA in the lab of Jing Huang have recently shown that certain molecules which activate the cellular process known as autophagy also drive hair follicles into the anagen (growth) phase. The researchers studied different metabolite molecules and other molecules which are FDA approved and on the market as drugs. The most recognizable drugs from the study were metformin and rapamycin, one is a diabetes medicine and the other an immunosuppressant. Dr. Huang says her lab is looking to study these drugs for human hair growth soon. In my opinion, results from that study are something to look out for. Full article on the Articles page.
No one wants to deal with premature balding, thinning hair, or outright hair loss, but these conditions affect many people, both men and women. If you’re one of those people, understand that you don’t need to deal with the anxiety and embarrassment of losing your hair. There are many hair loss shampoos on the market that have been proven to work—and they can work for you, too.
Natural hair that is subjected to constant physical trauma from excessive brushing or combing, tight braids or ponytails, or extreme scratching or massage can cause hair at the temples to become weak and to stop growing to its normal length. Clean shaving, especially for men, can cause white bumps to appear on the area where the hair was shaved short, and at times can become infected with pus and leave permanent scarring, affecting hair growth.
There have been recent discussions on Italian hair forum websites that indicate the Brotzu lotion may very well be moving ahead and preparing for imminent release. After commenter “Ahmed” brought it to my attention, I went back to check the Bellicapelli forum (the site which had the information on the Brotzu presentation at the Sitri Congress in April). I found a response from user “carlitos71” on this page which seems to display the new theories on the Brotzu lotion.

The most common form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, or, in other words, male or female pattern baldness or hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is genetic and affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. Among white women in the U.S., an average of 19% are affected by female pattern hair loss, but that percentage increases with age. The prevalence is nearly doubled in Australia at 32% and much lower in Korea and China at < 6%. As of 2015, no studies had been done on the prevalence of female pattern hair loss in Brazil or Africa.
You might think, "It's just hair", but think about this: What would you do if you wake up one day without a single strand of hair on your head? However, as we've mentioned, hair loss is a natural physiological process. In the hair growth cycle, old hair has to be shed in order for new hair to grow. As we age, our body's capacity to produce hair also slows down, similar to when our bones stop growing at a certain point in our lives.
Hair multiplication. Similar to the idea of cloning, this treatment involves taking out donor cells from the hair follicles and then growing and multiplying them in a laboratory. Once sufficient samples have been multiplied, these hair cells are then injected into the bald patches to stimulate hair growth. As a relatively new treatment, hair cloning is still in its research phase.
Men’s Rogaine Extra Strength Solution is the liquid version of our top pick. It didn’t make our final cut because it includes propylene glycol, which causes irritation in roughly one-third of its users. With that said, Dr. Wolfeld finds that it can be even more effective in practical daily use. In his experience, “the solution can penetrate and get into your scalp a little bit better” than the foam — especially if you’re not taking the time and effort to apply the foam correctly. This seems crazy to us since the foam so quickly dissolved into a liquid in our tests, but if you’re worried, try a one-month supply of the liquid and make the switch to foam if you notice any irritation.
Another type of hair loss is alopecia areata, in which hair on the head (and sometimes on the body) falls out in patches. In most cases this type of hair loss resolves itself within a few months, however in some cases it can lead to more severe forms of hair loss such as alopecia totalis (loss of all hair on the scalp) or alopecia universalis (loss of all hair on the body). Alopecia areata is most common in people aged 15-29 and there are various treatments for it: minoxidil, corticosteroid injections, topical corticosteroid creams or lotions, dithranol cream, immunotherapy and light therapy. However none of these can be thought of as a cure for alopecia areata, as they are only temporary solutions.
Thanks so much for the guidance! After further research I have to agree with you 100%. Lipogaine Big 3 does containe ketoconazole, which would eliminate the need for Nizoral, however the shampoo only contains a few hair loss/thinning related ingredients. The Big 5 contains 17 and just seems like a better overall product. That plus Nizoral twice weekly seems pretty solid to me.
Thyroid medication. Hair loss as a result of thyroid problems will only be solved by treating the root cause. This means that you need to take medications for hypothyroidism in order to address the hormonal imbalance in the body. The most common medication for thyroid problems is levothyroxine, a synthetic version of thyroxine (thyroid hormone). Since the medication is used to address the thyroid problem and hair loss indirectly, the medication has to be continued even when you've gotten better or your hormone level has gone back to normal in order to continue hair growth.
“I also reached out to Histogen and Follicum a few weeks ago as well thanking them for all their hard work in bringing a safe and effective treatment to people all over the globe with hairloss issues and expressed how much we all value these companies. I held back from asking about market release as you had suggested. I received a very nice reply from Histogen.”
Hair loss in alopecia areata occurs in three different patterns: patchy alopecia is circumscribed, oval-shaped, flesh-colored patches on any part of the body; alopecia totalis involves the entire scalp; and alopecia universalis involves the whole body. Evaluation of the scalp may reveal short vellus hairs, yellow or black dots, and broken hair shafts (which are not specific to alopecia areata). Microscopic examination of the hair follicles demonstrates exclamation mark hair (i.e., hairs that are narrower closer to the scalp and mimic an exclamation point; Figure 44). Nail pitting is also associated with alopecia areata.

Hey Frederique, I removed it because it was no longer available for some reason. I’m not sure how well can these shampoos work if you are going through chemo. How you consulted your doctor about it? Ask if minoxidil is safe for your situation. It may be the best solution for your case since your cause for hair loss is not due to DHT. But please don’t take my word for it, consult with a doctor first. 

There’s also a women’s version (Women’s Rogaine Foam) — but a three-month supply costs $22 more online. The only difference between the two products are the instructions; women are instructed to apply once a day instead of twice. If you’re a woman who doesn’t feel like paying extra for marketing, the men’s product will suffice. A cheaper generic version is Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam, but with a longer history on the market and more customer testimonials, Rogaine is our first choice.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Many other women, though, start noticing thinning hair on top of their heads. Doctors say the defining sign is a widening of the part. The hairline itself is usually intact, but the hair becomes less dense behind it. Doctors will often run a battery of tests to make sure there are no treatable medical conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, tumors, or hormonal problems. "Ninety percent of the time, it's normal," Patel said.
×