To us, that meant any product with zero proven ingredients, case studies, or FDA clearance — which shrunk our list by a whopping 180 contenders. That’s right, there are only three treatments that have actually been cleared by the FDA and supported with clinical studies: finasteride (commonly marketed as Propecia), minoxidil, and laser treatments. And, since finasteride is prescription-only, it left us with two.
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This is a bestselling shampoo on Amazon. The list of ingredients is extremely lengthy. The product contain a number of natural organic DHT blockers (including saw palmetto) and various nourishing hair vitamins. Additional beneficial ingredients include amla oil, argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, green tea extract, niacin and biotin.
The Rogaine rep we spoke to explained that the different packaging (and therefore different prices) has to do with the FDA-approval process: “We discovered in clinical trials that the hair loss patterns between men and women are different,” she said by way of explanation. “Men typically have that bald spot on the crown of their head, where women generally have a general thinning throughout, but concentrated more on the top of the head. So for FDA approval, we had to come up with two different, gender-specific products, so the directions were more explanatory.”
He reasoned that in a world where 75% of women say they wouldn’t date bald, the bald man who forswears hair plugs, periwigs, toupees, sombreros, simply has to try harder. “We have to dress a little better, make a little more money and have a little more charm just to compete. And we do. Have a conversation with a bald man sometime. Go ahead. Do yourself a favour. Tell me you don’t walk away impressed.”
Approved by the FDA and available in over-the-counter form for both men and women, minoxidil has been found to work in two out of three men. However, and this is a huge problem, if you stop using it, then your hair will actually fall out again and potentially faster than before. Plus, you might not even notice any changes until you’ve been using this medication for at least four months!
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.
Unfortunately nutritional supplements are hit and miss. While the risks of side effects go down which is attractive, clinical data is sparse. In most cases the individual has to conduct their own experimentation. At 6 months a pop for a fair trial, this is a time consuming process. Time is a very limited commodity especially in the hair loss game. As we know, it is easier to do preventative maintenance than reverse hair loss. Nevertheless, natural DHT inhibitors like saw palmetto and nettle have worked to prevent hair loss in some users.
It’s also possible that some of Harklinikken’s users are women whose hair would have grown back even if they’d done nothing. Many women who arrive in a dermatologist’s office with prior diagnoses of female pattern hair loss actually have what’s called telogen effluvium. That’s a period of acute shedding of hair — meaning up to 60 percent of hair — three months after a triggering event like pregnancy, significant weight loss or starting or stopping hormone medications.
The thing is that these big drug companies have shelled out millions and even billions of dollars to research, develop, market and then sell a drug-based product that consumers want. Therefore, they will do everything in their power to protect and guard their products against any drug-free alternatives. The kicker is even if said alternatives are cheaper and safer for consumers, while also achieving the same goals for them! This is the crux of claim enforcement, which is really about claim ownership and claim protection from the perspective of the big drug companies.
Hair transplantation involves harvesting follicles from the back of the head that are DHT resistant and transplanting them to bald areas. A surgeon will remove minuscule plugs of skin that contain a few hairs and implant the plugs where the follicles are inactive. Around 15 percent of hairs emerge from the follicle as a single hair, and 15 percent grow in groups of four or five hairs.
Hair loss is often distressing and can have a significant effect on the patient's quality of life. Patients may present to their family physician first with diffuse or patchy hair loss. Scarring alopecia is best evaluated by a dermatologist. Nonscarring alopecias can be readily diagnosed and treated in the family physician's office. Androgenetic alopecia can be diagnosed clinically and treated with minoxidil. Alopecia areata is diagnosed by typical patches of hair loss and is self-limited. Tinea capitis causes patches of alopecia that may be erythematous and scaly and must be treated systemically. Telogen effluvium is a nonscarring, noninflammatory alopecia of relatively sudden onset caused by physiologic or emotional stress. Once the precipitating cause is removed, the hair typically will regrow. Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder; treatment is aimed at controlling the underlying psychiatric condition. Trichorrhexis nodosa occurs when hairs break secondary to trauma and is often a result of hair styling or overuse of hair products. Anagen effluvium is the abnormal diffuse loss of hair during the growth phase caused by an event that impairs the mitotic activity of the hair follicle, most commonly chemotherapy. Physician support is especially important for patients in this situation.
I recently published an article covering a story in the press of SkinTE helping to possibly save the life of a burn patient (see Articles). In that post I shared an image from SkinTE’s website which shows an application for hair growth. What some may not be aware of is the fact that Dr. Denver Lough, CEO of PolarityTE, has done some legitimate hair follicle research while at Johns Hopkins University. Whether or not this will increase the chances of a “HairTE” product to become a success, we can’t say. However, it may be of interest to recall two peer reviewed articles that Lough and colleagues published involving the proteins LGR5+ and LGR6+ stem cells and hair growth.
In Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” Kuntzman’s theory is bolstered. Wolff writes that Ivanka Trump “often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate—a contained island after scalp-reduction ­surgery—surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.”
Rub the gel-like sap/juice of the aloe vera leaf directly on your scalp. Leave it on for a few hours and then rinse with lukewarm water. Do this three to four times a week. You can also mix a tablespoon of aloe vera gel with wheat grass juice to boost hair growth. Wheatgrass is also rich in protein, vitamins C and E and other minerals. Drink the wheatgrass juice mixed with aloe vera extract for two weeks to stop hair breakage and minimize hair fall.

I noticed significant thinning, and hair all over the sink every morning, from breakage; I use a flat iron sometimes, and my hair is color-treated. I have since started using coconut oil to help manage my frizzy damaged naturally curly hair. It acts as a wonderful styling product, it lends shine and manageability, has also stopped the breakage, you just have to be very careful with the amount that you use. I also use castor oil and rosemary essential oil on my scalp at night and wash in the morning….egg is supposed to be useful for its proteins (must rinse after 20 min with cool water!!) And mayonnaise too, but I haven’t tried that. Best of luck, Friend….


Our hair is part of what we call the integumentary system of the human body, which also includes the skin and nails. Hair is, in fact, a type of modified skin. It is made up of keratin, a form of protein, and is produced in tunnel-like structures in the skin called follicles. Inside the hair follicle is the hair bulb that is comprised of cells that deposit keratin and melanin, which is responsible for giving your hair its color. The hair that breaks through your skin from the follicle is the hair shaft. The shaft is basically composed of dead cells comprised of keratin fibres. In fact, the totality of hair on our head is a huge lump of dead cells, which explains why we don't experience any pain when we go for a haircut. 

A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.

Instead, you may want to add vitamin D (about $15) to your shopping cart. A vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate hair thinning and make it almost impossible for any over-the-counter product to reverse hair loss, says Dhaval Bhanusali, a dermatologist in New York City, who recommends taking 5,000 international units of D3 a day (and it’s generally beneficial for bone health in women over 40). “There’s also a link between low iron and zinc levels and temporary hair shedding, called [telogen] effluvium,” says Rogers.


You might be surprised to know that some of those shampoos, conditioners, and styling agents have harsh chemicals that do a number on your hair. You may want to consider switching to softer hair care products that are designed to slow down hair thinning in men. DHT-blocking shampoos and conditioners containing ingredients such as ketoconazole and pyrithione zinc have shown some promise in helping reverse hair loss by potentially disrupting the production of DHT, the hormone linked to male pattern baldness. These
PolarityTE is a biotech company based in Salt Lake City, UT that kind of launched onto the scene late last year. Shortly after the company was formed it announced that its innovative lead product ‘SkinTE’ would be launching a limited release in several hospitals across the country. The launch of SkinTE came abruptly with no previous clinical trials for the product. This is due to the fact that SkinTE is based on autologous materials, which means they come from a patient and are applied back to the same patient. There is, of course, some manipulation done to the skin sample which is taken from a patient, but the FDA has deemed it to be minor enough not to need lengthy trials to reach the market.
Happy Friday from Follicle Thought and I hope you are enjoying March Madness basketball. That being said, please also enjoy this video of Deion Sanders, NFL Hall of Famer who recently had a 5,000+ FUE hair transplant, showing off his new grown-in hairline. Video was posted by his barber. With all the technical details and the day-in, day-out watch for new hair growth technology it is important we take a moment to enjoy the lighter side of things. Sit back and “get a side shot of that thing.” 😂

Researchers from South Korea have identified a new peptide called PTD-DBM which exhibits wound healing and hair regeneration effects in preclinical studies. The research is being led by Professor Kang-Yell Choi of Yonsei University. Choi’s team identified the peptide PTD-DBM which targets a protein called CXXC5. The interaction of these two proteins leads to stimulation of the Wnt pathway, which then initiates hair follicle neogenesis. Choi hopes to develop this peptide further into a potential hair growth drug candidate. A research paper about these findings was put out by the team earlier this year. Source article about this development here.
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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.
When you're investing considerable time and money on a mix of hair treatments and cures, the last things you should be doing are those that will only aggravate your condition. Likewise, when your hair has finally grown back, the last thing you would want is for you to go through another horrific episode of hair loss. Preventing further - or another case of hair loss, and stopping it before it actually happens should be your goal.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
A company not previously discussed in online news, SWITCH BIOTECH, has sights on developing a drug for androgenic alopecia. As you will see, the company is still in the very early stages of developing a therapy for AGA, however they are a knowledgeable dermatology-focused company and have a unique method of drug development. Here’s a quote from their website about working on AGA:

Anagen is the growth phase. This lasts for about 3 - 5 years, where you can observe your hair growing half an inch every month. Full-length hair from this phase is about 18 - 30 inches long. Studies show that this phase may also be affected by other factors. Asian hair, for example, has been found to have a longer anagen phase. Weather is also a factor; hair growth can be faster in summer than in winter.
Many pharmaceutical companies and researchers are in the search for a hair loss cure. This is because 7 out of 10 men and 4 out of 10 women suffer from androgenic alopecia (genetically caused hair loss) in their lifetime. In the United States that amounts to around 80 million men and 40 million women currently suffering from hair loss. Of course, a permanent cure would relieve a huge percentage of the population.

Along with male pattern baldness, there is also a condition known as female pattern baldness, in which hair thins on the top of the head. Less is known about this type of hair loss, but it is more common in women who have been through the menopause. Female pattern baldness cannot be treated with finasteride (as with male pattern baldness), but it can be treated with minoxidil. Minoxidil is rubbed into the scalp once or twice a day and should start to show results after about four months. After ceasing treatment with minoxidil, hair loss should resume within a few months.

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