Alternative Hair Loss Treatment

A number of alternative oral and topical products are marketed daily as effective hair regrowth solutions.

  • Alternative Hair Loss Treatment Options

    alternative hair loss treatment

    ancient hair loss

    To date, the only two FDA approved hair loss treatments include Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). However, a number of alternative oral and topical products are marketed daily as effective hair regrowth solutions.  Though there is no question that marketing often over-reaches in order to sell a product, the real question balding men and women ask is, is there any proof that these products are effective in treating baldness?  What is the chance of regrowing hair?

    Topical Hair Loss Products, Treatments and Cover Ups (Concealers)

    For centuries men and women have been rubbing hair loss products including solutions, ointments, treatments and concoctions on their thinning hair in the hope of stimulating hair regrowth. In ancient Egypt it was popular to rub the fats of various animals, including lions, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, ibex, serpents and geese, onto the scalp as a hair loss cure.

    Hippocrates had a personal interest in finding a treatment for baldness as he suffered from hair loss. He developed a number of different treatments, including a mixture of horseradish, cumin, pigeon droppings, and nettles to the scalp. These concoctions failed miserably and he became prominently bald. These and other treatments failures have continued to disappoint balding men and women.

    Today’s Topicals - Snake Oils or Legitimate Hair Loss Products?

    topical hair loss treatments

    Today topical hair loss products such as special shampoos, conditioners, Rogaine, various scalp treatments, and cover up products can offer a potentially helpful adjunct to more effective and proven treatments such as Propecia (finasteride), Avodart (dutasteride), and or surgical hair restoration. However, many of the claims made by these topical treatments are unproven and even false.

    What About Oral Hair Loss Treatments – Do They Work?

    In addition to a multitude of topical hair loss treatments available, there’s an abundance of oral supplements that are conjectured to treat baldness.  Most oral solutions include ingredients that attempt to stop hair loss by inhibiting the production of DHT, the hormone responsible for androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness).  However, much like topical treatments, very little proof exists for the majority of these claims.

    Many products such as Provillus, Procerin, and Extreme Hair Therapy include both an oral and topical solution that attempt to stop hair loss at its source while working to stimulate hair follicles.  But how effective are these topical, oral and all-in-one solutions?

    To learn more about various Topical Hair Loss Products, click below

    DHT Blockers– These topical such as Revivogen, Crinagen, Progesterone Creams, and Xandrox claim to minimize the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) present in the balding scalp. They are applied directly to the scalp.

    Growth Stimulators- These topical solutions claim to work by stimulating hair growth. They include Rogaine, Tricomin, Folligen, Proxiphen (along with Prox-N and Nano Shampoo) and Retin-A.

    Azelaic Acid– An active ingredient found in popular topical hair loss treatments such as Xandrox and Provillus conjectured to inhibit the production of DHT.

    Superoxide Dismutase– These topicals such as Tricomin, Proxiphen, Proxiphen-N and Folligen, claim to stop hair loss by reducing Super Oxide and also stimulating hair growth and reducing tissue inflammation.

    Anti-Inflammatories- These anti-inflammatory treatments claim to reduce itching, flaking, redness, and inflammation that may increase hair loss. These topical treatment options include Tricomin, Folligen, Proxiphen and Proxiphen-N, Betadine and T-Gel and Nizoral Shampoo.

    Cover Ups / Concealers- Topically applied scalp/hair cover ups like Toppik, Prothik, and Couvré can do a surprisingly good job of masking and minimizing a person’s appearance of being bald. These topical concealers and “cover ups” act by reducing the contrast between a hair loss sufferer’s thinning hair and balding scalp, while increasing the volume and fullness of the thinning hair.

    Rogaine (Minoxidil)) – Applied twice daily to the balding areas, this treatment has only been shown to work in the crown (back of the head). It is the only topical treatment for hair loss that is FDA approved.

    Propecia (Finasteride)– An FDA approved oral hair loss solution proven to inhibit the production of DHT, the hormone responsible for genetic male pattern baldness (MPB).

    Provillus– A popular oral and topical solution containing FDA approved hair regrowth solution minoxidil and a number of all-natural ingredients that supposedly inhibit the production of DHT

    Saw Palmetto– A popular herbal treatment contained in many marketed hair loss products including but not limited to Provillus, Procerin, and Extreme Hair Therapy (EXT)

    Extreme Hair Therapy (EXT) – A nonsurgical 5 step hair loss treatment process provided by Hair Club

    Xandrox– Topical hair loss solution containing azelaic acid and FDA approved hair regrowth solution minoxidil

    Revivogen– Topical hair loss solution containing a number of all natural ingredients said to inhibit the production of DHT

    Crinagen – A topical spray containing ingredients said to inhibit the production of DHT

    Progesterone– A synthetic form of the female hormone progesterone that has been used to treat female hair loss

    TRX2- TRX2 is marketed to hair loss suffering men and women and claims to help promote and sustain healthy hair growth through potassium channels.

    To learn more about these and other treatments, see what real patients are saying about them on our hair loss forum.

  • Anti Inflamitories

    Anti Inflamitories Nizoral

    In fighting hair loss, there may be certain unwelcome side effects produced. These side effects are the results of the body's natural immune response. These effects can increase hair loss, if not controlled.

    But with anti-inflammatory hair loss cure products, such side effects as itching, flaking, redness, and naturally, inflammation, are reduced. These topical treatment options include Tricomin, Folligen, Proxiphen and Proxiphen-N, Betadine and T-Gel and Nizoral Shampoos.


    Here’s one shampoo that fits in with any treatment option.

    Nizoral, made for men and women, is available in any grocery store. Nizoral is effective at reducing itching, inflammation and other side effects of other treatments, such as Propecia. The shampoo also maintains scalp health. Plus, research has shown that using Nizoral for an extended period may help to treat male pattern baldness (MPB) and female pattern baldness (FPB).

    It’s advised that you apply Nizoral once every three days, in rotation with your normal shampoo. However, as Nizoral’s effects can last for several days, it is a very inexpensive treatment option. After one month of use, you should then use Nizoral once every 1-2 weeks. The shampoo should be applied to wet hair and scalps. You should then leave it in for 3-5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

    T/Gel Shampoos

    T/Gel is the brand name for a variety of shampoos and hair loss cure treatments. Primarily, these products are designed to treat such scalp problems as dandruff, itching, flakiness, and excess oil.

    The Original Formula shampoo contains 2% Neutar ®, which is essentially 0.5% Coal Tar. There’s also T/Gel’s Fine/Oily Hair Formula, Extra Strength Formula, and Stubborn Itch Control Formula. These varieties all feature Neutar, a patented product, which dissolves into the scalp as it treats the previously mentioned symptoms.

    T/Sal® Maximum Strength Therapeutic Shampoo features 3% Salicylic Acid. This effectively treats the crusty scalp build-up of psoriasis, as well as problems caused by excessively oily skin. This product should be used at least three times a week, unless other wise directed by your physician. T/Gel’s Healthy Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also contains Salicylic Acid, specifically 1.8%. There’s also T/Scalp® Therapeutic Anti-Itch Liquid, which features 1% Hydrocortisone. This is meant for treating severe dandruff.

    The prices for these products vary, but generally, a 16oz. bottle of the Original formula retails for about $13.00.

    Nioxin shampoo and conditioners

    If you have fine or thinning hair, you may want to consider the Nioxin family of hair products. These all-natural cleansers, conditioners, treatments and styling products are free of any drugs.

    Nioxin can improve the hair’s health by cleansing the scalp’s skin, strengthening the hair follicle and energizing the cellular activity. In addition, Nioxin is supposed to restore the scalp’s proper moisture balance. On average, the Nioxin products take about 45 days to show their effects.

    Nioxin has not been found to have any effect on DHT. However, by keeping the follicles healthy, these products may help delay hair loss. Because there are no side effects, the products can be used everyday. Nioxin typically costs $30-$125 per month.

    Click to learn more about Hair Cover Ups

  • Avacor. Is it worth the price?


    One product you used to see quite often in advertising is Avacor. According to Response magazine, Avacor was the third best selling product on the Internet in April, 2002. Avacor was originally manufactured by Global Vision Products. After being taken over by new management, it is now being manufactured by Avacor Products LLC.

    Like most products that advertise 'Stop Hair Loss and Regrow Hair!', Avacor contains the only FDA approved topical drug minoxidil. Avacor, like other products with similar claims, mixes FDA approved drugs in their generic form with other ingredients in a multiple regimen of products like shampoo, lotion and vitamins.

    Avacor historically cost approximately $239 for a two to three month supply and over $1000 for a year’s worth.  New prices are much more reasonable which range from $180 for a 3 month supply to $400 for a year’s supply of the men’s and women’s formula. Note that the ingredients in Avacor can be bought over the counter at your local store at a fraction of the cost for which they are sold in Avacor. However, they do offer 24/7 customer service and a 90 day money back guarantee.

    Marketing Practices

    Avacor, like other products with similar claims, has taken a lot of slack over the years for their controversial marketing tactics. Avacor has a checkered past and has previously been the focus of lawsuits and investigative reporting by major media like ABC news. Recently however, new management has taken over and claims they are very serious about selling quality products at more reasonable prices, without the hype and controversial marketing strategies. In looking at their website, while Avacor still uses slick marketing language to promote their products, the vast majority of their claims are much more realistic.

    Avacor includes 3 distinct products that claim to provide “total hair care”. This includes a 'Scalp Detoxifying Shampoo', a 'Physicians Topical Formulation' and finally a 'Nutricap'. Avacor's Nutricap ingredients consist mainly of common herbs like saw palmetto, gingko biloba, keratin, resveratrol, and bilberry. While conjectured to inhibit the production of DHT, none of these ingredients are FDA approved or proven to stop hair loss. Avacor’s Physician’s Topical Formulation however, does contain 5% of the FDA approved hair regrowth agent minoxidil.

    Other than minoxidil, no other ingredient is proven to regrow hair. A number of studies have been done that suggest saw palmetto inhibits the production of DHT, like Propecia. But, unlike Propecia, it has never been proven to stop or reverse hair loss.

    Avacor Products

    Avacor admits on their website that the only product proven to regrow hair is the Avacor Physician’s formulation which includes the FDA approved ingredient minoxidil (5% for men and 2% for women). The other products claim to provide hair with the essential nutrients for healthy hair growth but are careful not to claim to prevent the progression of male or female pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Perhaps this is why the Avacor Physician’s formulation can now be purchased separately. Costs of the Physician’s Formulation are still, but only a little more expensive than Rogaine topical hair loss treatment, one of the first and most popular topical minoxidil products.

    The Avacor Study

    At this time, Avacor’s proof comes in the form of the FDA approved study showing that minoxidil can stop and reverse hair loss.  No other study is provided with their product.  Their website also is much more realistic as to what their product line can accomplish for hair loss suffering consumers.

    Confidence in Products and Services

    Before you consider spending hundreds of dollars for any product or service, do a review. Legitimate products will have legitimate studies and have been reviewed on many quality websites. Doctors with real talent and satisfied patients will be able to show you dozens of photos and allow you to talk with past patients. Proven physicians will make available their resumes along with their formal education and associations they belong to.

    It is always best to review a product or doctor for information on their background before you make a decision for something as important as hair loss and hair restoration.


    At the very least, the Avacor Physician’s formulation will be as effective as the Rogaine liquid formula or generic minoxidil. However, to date, both Rogaine and generic minoxidil are more cost effective than Avacor.  The nutricap, shampoo, conditioner and other products may promote healthy hair and provide it with volume, but make no claims of stopping hair loss or regrowing hair.

  • Azelaic Acid

    Azelic Acid

    Azelic AcidAn Active Ingredient in Several Topical Hair Loss Treatments

    Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in whole grains that contains a mild antibiotic designed to “clean” skin.  It is also said to be a potential inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase in human skin.  A reduction of this enzyme may reduce the amount DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body and therefore, have a similar effect to finasteride; the active ingredient in FDA approved oral hair loss solution Propecia (finasteride). In theory, applying azelaic acid to the scalp may prevent or eliminate the binding of DHT to the hair follicle receptor, preventing hair loss and potentially stimulating hair regrowth.  Azelaic acid can be found in many prescription acne medication and topical hair loss products like Xandrox and Provillus

    Combining azelaic acid with FDA approved hair regrowth solution minoxidil in a single topical product in theory, may prove to be a more powerful hair loss treatment for androgenic alopecia than minoxidil alone.  This is why some conjecture that Xandrox may be a more effective treatment than Rogaine (minoxidil)

    Azelaic acid has not been clinically proven effective as a standalone treatment for treating genetic female hair loss and male pattern baldness. It has also been known to irritate the scalp when applied topically.  Though there is a low percentage, azelaic acid may interact with other medications.  Be sure to consult your physician before using azelaic acid while on other medications.

  • Crinagen Hair Loss Treatment

    Crinagen Hair Loss treatment

    CrinagenCrinagen is an all natural alcohol-free topical scalp spray clinically backed to reduce the amount of DHT (dehydrotestosterone) in the scalp. It contains no alcohol, and has displayed no side effects. Crinagen is also equally safe for men and women and is most effective in men and women with thinning hair. In addition to blocking scalp DHT, they both are reported nourish the scalp’s hair follicles. Crinagen usually displays its effects on average in five months.

    How It Works:

    The product's main ingredients are Saw Palmetto, Zinc, and Azelaic Acid. All 3 ingredients are reported to reduce the production of scalp DHT and nourish the scalp's hair follicles.

    Developing Realistic Expectations:

    Crinagen has not been clinically proven nor approved by the FDA. Thus, like Revivogen and Tricomin, Crinagen should be used only after seriously considering proven treatments like Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil).

    Don't expect immediate results. It's recommended to use Crinagen for at least 6 to 12 months before determining its effectiveness. Documenting your progress with bi-monthly photos can help you determine whether or not Crinagen is working for you.

    Hair shedding is a common symptom the first few months and a sign that the medication may be working for you. It's crucial to push past this stage with continued use for the recommended period of time.

    To date, only surgical hair restoration is proven to grow hair in completely bald areas. You are invited to have a free virtual consultation with one of our prescreened hair restoration physicians.

  • DHT Blockers - Inhibiting Hair Loss at its Roots

    DHT Blockers

    There are several topical treatments like Revivogen, Crinagen, Progesterone Creams, Kevis 8 and Xandrox that claim to minimize or block the amount of dyhydrotestosterone (DHT) present in the scalp.

    DHT acts as a catalyst for the hair loss process as it binds with the receptor sites in hair follicles that are genetically vulnerable to hair loss. Over time, this process of DHT acting on the genetically vulnerable hair follicles hurts their ability to grow healthy hair.

    The success of these topical treatments in reducing DHT levels in the scalp has not been clinically proven. However, the possibility of reducing DHT only in the scalp region rather than through out the entire body as with Propecia or Avodart is appealing.

    Click to learn more about how to stop hair loss with Hair Growth Stimulators

  • ElectroTrichoGenesis (ETG)

    Electro Tricho Genesis

    Brilliant Hair Loss Treatment, or is it a Scam?

    ElectroTrichoGenesis (ETG), also known as Cosmetic TrichoGenesis (CTG), is a little known hair loss treatment that makes some very lofty hair growth claims. How does ETG work and is it really clinically proven to treat androgenic alopecia(genetic balding)?

    How ElectroTrichoGenesis (ETG) Works

    ETG is promoted as a safe, painless and non-intrusive. Treatment is administered via an “ergonomically shaped couch with a semi spherical hood” manufactured by Current Technology Corporation in Vancouver, Canada.

    The patient reclines on the chair and the hood (with disposable liner) is placed over the head but does not make contact with the scalp. This special hood contains electrodes that deliver “specified pulsed electrostatic energy” delivered passively to the scalp by the low-level electric field generated within it.Electro Tricho Genesis

    ETG is believed to stimulate the regrowth of hair through the positive influence of the pulsed electrostatic field it generates. This field is said to stimulate “changes within the hair bulge and the follicle, stabilizing hair loss and stimulating new hair growth”. Patients receive a single 12 minute session weekly.

    Is ETG Clinically Proven?

    The following three studies on the efficacy of ElectroTrichoGenesis (ETG) as a treatment for thinning hair have been published in peer-reviewed journals:

    Maddin, W. Stuart; Bell, Peter W.; James, John H. M. (1990).
    "The Biological Effects of a Pulsed Electrostatic Field with Specific Reference to Hair Electrotrichogenesis". International Journal of Dermatology29(6): 446–450.

    Benjamin, Benji; Ziginskas, Danute; Harman, John; Meakin, Timothy (2002).
    "Pulsed electrostatic fields (ETG) to reduce hair loss in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast carcinoma: A pilot study". Psycho-Oncology11(3): 244–248

    Maddin, WS; Amara, I; Sollecito, WA (1992).
    "Electrotrichogenesis: further evidence of efficacy and safety on extended use". International Journal of Dermatology31(12): 878–80

    According to the 36-week comparative, controlled study conducted on male subjects at the University of British Columbia and published in The International Journal of Dermatology, 96.7% of those treated experienced cessation of hair loss and/or hair regrowth. Decreased hair loss was seen as early as 4 to 6 weeks but many patients required more time for results.

    The pilot study conducted on women undergoing chemotherapy for breast carcinoma and published in  Psycho-Oncology,showed that twelve out of 13 participants had good hair retention throughout the chemotherapy period and afterwards with no reported side effects.

    As with the clinically proven medical hair loss treatments Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride), ETG is said to be most effective in the early stages of balding.


    Although the data put forth in this article seems to paint ETG as a clinically proven and highly effective hair loss treatment, it’s important to note that the procedure is not new. The studies referenced above were published more than 13 years ago. If ETG truly works to stimulate hair growth and suppress the advancement of hair loss, why has it not become a fixture in the world’s leading hair restoration clinics? Where are all the glowing, unbiased reviews?

    With no reported side effects, there may be no harm in giving ETG a try if there is a provider in your area and the fees are reasonable. However, balding men and women are encouraged to consult with an experienced and reputable hair restoration physicianin order to diagnose the cause of their thinning hair and learn about the outstanding medical and surgical options available today.

  • Extreme Hair Therapy (EXT)

    Extreme Hair Therapy

    Extreme Hair TherapyIs this hair loss treatment effective?

    Extreme Hair Therapy (EXT) for thinning hair is a 5 "step" hair loss treatment solution created by Hair Club that claims not only to rejuvenate your hair, but "rejuvenate your life".  Making claims to be FDA approved, EXT claims to stimulate hair regrowth in thinning areas by keeping hair in the anagen (hair growth) phase longer.

    Balding men and women seeking hair loss solutions should be careful to do their due diligence in researching all products they are considering.   Is this one of the hair loss products that really works to treat baldness?  Can Extreme Hair Therapy really deliver what it promises?

    Below we take a look at each of the 5 “steps” and separate treatments and analyze whether or not EXT can remedy alopecia in men and women.

    What is the 5 Step Process of Extreme Hair Therapy?

    Step One: Moisturizing or Revitalizing Cleanser
    This moisturizing shampoo is rich with vitamins and works to cleanse the scalp. Though it claims to revitalize and strengthen thinning hair, the ingredients are not listed on their website. Many hair rejuvenators and thickening agents (commonly referred to as volumizing shampoos) help to make hair appear thicker as they take on hydration and swell. Unfortunately, these thickening agents do nothing to stop the progression of male pattern baldness, even if it temporarily makes the hair shaft appear fatter.

    Step Two: Enzyme Scalp Cleanser
    Claiming to be a “new breakthrough”, this organic formula removes sebum oils that can sometimes hinder hair growth. Though sebum buildup, excessive dandruff, and scalp dermatitis are sometimes responsible for certain non-genetic types of balding such as diffuse alopecia or telogen effluvium, it does not promote androgenic alopecia (hereditary male or female hair loss).

    Step Three: Energizing Conditioner
    Adding nutrients such as proteins and wheat amino acids, this conditioner helps to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth. It should be noted that nothing in this step claims to stop hair loss or stimulate hair regrowth.

    Step Four: Hair Revitalizing Complex
    This dietary supplement containing Vitamins B3, D, and E, Biotin, saw palmetto and nettle root is taken twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Some of these ingredients can also be found in several other hair loss products such as Provillus, Procerin, and Avacor.

    Though some of these ingredients work to treat benign prostatic hyperplasis (BPH) in men by inhibiting DHT (the hormone responsible for female and male pattern baldness), no formal clinical studies have been performed on successful hair loss treatment. It should be noted that tocotrienol molecules in Vitamin E may effectively treat alopecia but its counterpart tocopherol (commonly found in alternative herbal hair loss treatments such as HairMax MD), is not supported.  Additionally, because there are no regulations on herbal medications in the United States, the daily recommended value and dosage in Extreme Hair Therapy is based on something other than FDA regulation.

    Step Five: Minoxidil (2% or 5%)
    Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine and Xandrox) is an FDA approved hair regrowth formula and is used by many balding men and women with great success. Because Extreme Hair Therapy includes this, they are legally allowed to claim it to be FDA approved.


    Unfortunately, this information is not available on the Hair Club website. Upon calling the toll free number for this information, we are told that we must schedule a consultation with a Hair Club specialist. Customer service representatives are apparently not provided with this information.

    Side Effects and Warnings:

    No EXT side effects are reported on the Hair Club website however, Minoxidil may cause scalp irritation or redness, chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, faintness, swelling of the hands and/or feet, and unwanted facial hair growth.  Be sure to discuss the use of herbal medication with your physician before taking them. Saw Palmetto should be avoided by pregnant women with hair loss.


    The only FDA proven ingredient in Hair Club’s Extreme Hair Therapy hair loss treatment is Minoxidil.  Though Saw Palmettoand nettle root may be effective in treating men with an enlarged prostate by inhibiting DHT, no formal tests have been performed on them.

  • Folexen (S-equol)

    Folexen S-equol

    Folexen S-equolA Viable Alternative to Propecia in Treating Hair Loss?

    Folexen S-equol , produced by Australian manufacturer Eclipse Nutraceuticals is considered an "all natural" hair loss treatment that boasts an impressive 87% success rate for preventing and reversing the effects of male pattern baldness with virtually no side effects.  Folexen S-equol has also been a hot topic of discussion on our popular hair loss forum. But, does this self-described "nutraceutical" live up to its hair growth hype?  Is Folexen a viable alternative to Propecia for treating the effects of male pattern baldness?

    What is Folexen S-equol?

    According to the FAQ on Folexen's website, the active ingredient S-equol is "a metabolite of a natural isoflavone called daidzein, which occurs in soybeans and some other food products".

    Isoflavones are an organic compound produced almost exclusively by various bean types. In populations that consume large quantities of soy protein, studies have shown a lower incidence of breast cancer and other common cancers because of its role in influencing sex hormone metabolism and biological activity.

    As a metabolite, S-equol is the product that remains after the isoflavone is broken down or "metabolized" by the body.

    In addition to its active ingredient, Folexen contains the following GRAS (generally recognized as safe) inactive ingredients: starch, maltodextrin, allantoin, propionic acid. It may also contain hypromellose (vegetarian capsule).

    But is there any evidence that S-equol  works to treat hair loss?

    How Folexen S-equol Allegedly Works to Treat Baldness

    In the body, testosterone is converted to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) via the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5AR). It's widely known that androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) results when genetically vulnerable hair follicles are exposed to DHT which then binds to the receptor sites of these follicles causing them to weaken and shrink over time. This shrinking process is known as miniaturization.

    The recognized leader in the battle against the balding effects of DHT is the clinically proven and FDA approved drug Propecia (finasteride). Propecia works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT, potentially slowing or even reversing the effects of androgenic alopecia. However, approximately 2% of males who take Propecia experience debilitating sexual side effects.

    Unlike finasteride, Folexen's rumored ability to suppress hair loss and potentially regrow hair is based on the theory that S-equol can bind strongly to free DHT molecules, prohibiting them from binding to the hair follicles' receptor sites. Because Folexen does not suppress the conversion of testosterone to DHT, there is no resulting increase of testosterone in the body and therefore, no sexual side effects. But are there any clinical studies supporting that S-equol can truly prevent DHT from binding to hair follicle receptor sites and prevent hair loss?

    Clinical Studies

    Folexen's website references four articles in peer reviewed journals. Two of these studies center on S-equol's effect on prostate health while the other two don't appear to reference S-equol at all.

    At this time, there appears to be no scientific data presented supporting Folexen's efficacy as a hair loss treatment.

    Side Effects

    The company claims that the product is virtually side effect free: specifically noting that it does not cause gynecomastia (enlarged breasts), erectile dysfunction or any of the other side effects that are experienced with some other treatments.

    Some users however, did report mild diarrhea that dissipated within one week of commencing treatment.

    What is the Recommended Dosage?

    The recommended dosage of Folexen is 4 capsules per day (two every 12 hours), totaling 10mg of the active ingredient. Eclipse claims that the product has been tested safe at much higher concentrations (up to hundreds of milligrams) and there is some speculation based on available data that it may, in fact, require a dose as high as 100mg to match the Propecia's hair growth results.

    Where to Buy Folexen S-equol

    Folexen is only available by mail order from Australia. A bottle of 100 2.5mg capsules (25 day supply) costs approximately $40 USD + shipping but there is a discount for purchases exceeding 4 bottles and again for 9+ bottles. However, it's easy to see that even in bulk this treatment is several times more expensive than purchasing generic 5mg finasteride and quartering the tablet, as many finasteride users do.

    As a natural product and not a drug, there are no shipping restrictions. Estimated delivery time is two weeks.


    Time will tell if Folexen S-equol proves to be an effective weapon in the fight against androgenic alopecia or simply another product in a long line of expensive disappointments.

  • Hair Growth Stimulators

    Hair Loss

    Reviving Thinning Hair

    These types of treatments work by stimulating hair growth. However, they can't stop hair loss completely as they don't address the root causes of hair loss. Products that act to stimulate hair growth include Rogaine, Tricomin, Folligen, Proxiphen (along with Prox-N and Nano Shampoo) and Retin-A.


    Tricomin pack

    Tricomin, which is used by men and women, is a topical spray that has undergone a wide variety of scientific testing. The spray’s main ingredient is copper, which has been proven to be beneficial for hair.

    The FDA has conducted some clinical studies, with the subjects applying the treatment twice per day for 24 weeks. These results were shown to be very positive. However, the product’s parent company, ProCyte Corporation, chose to release Tricomin as a cosmetic. They wanted to avoid the FDA approval process, which tends to be very lengthy.

    Tricomin may be an effective option for those who want a treatment that’s undergone scientific testing, yet isn’t drug-based.

    The product can be used safely by men, women and children. It’s also non-irritating and has no known side effects. Tricomin can be used for any type of hair loss

    The product should be sprayed to damp or dry hair twice each day. But if you’re using another topical treatment, such as Rogaine, you should wait a few hours before applying Tricomin. This is because the scalp may turn a greenish color when mixed with other products. However, this discoloration isn’t permanent and washes out. And like other treatments, Tricomin needs to be used regularly to maintain its results.

    Besides the spray, Tricomin is available as a shampoo and conditioner. They should be used as an addition and not as a replacement, though.

    For more detailed information of Tricomin Follicle Therapy Spray, Shampoo and Conditioner, click here.



    The makers of Tricomin make this product, available as a cream, lotion and spray. It was originally designed as a skin repair cream in the Dermatology Department at the University of California at San Francisco.

    However, a 41-year-old woman with severe hair loss re-grew lost hair in two and one-half months with the cream. The company, Skin Biology, has since marketed this cream, which also contains copper-peptide as a hair loss treatment. The blue-colored copper-peptide complexes are meant to improve hair vitality and the health of the scalp and hair follicles.

    Folligen products are meant for both men and women. They feature a cream for hairline application, spray for overall use, and lotion for bald spots. While Folligen may work on its own, its best results may be seen when it’s used with products like Rogaine.

    Essentially, Folligen’s products soothe irritated scalps. They also relieve the itching and burning associated with Rogaine. However, the Folligen spray may cause itching or burning. Also, because the cream and lotion are bright green, it’s better to use them at night, while covering your pillow.

    And while you can wash Folligen off easily, it’s not advisable for people with very light blonde hair to use the product. They may develop a greenish tinge to their hair.

    Proxiphen, Proxiphen-N, NANO Shampoo

    Proxiphen is a prescription formula topical cream that has not yet received FDA approval. It combines the power of minoxidil and other chemicals. The cream should be applied everyday for the first 8 - 12 months, and after that, every other day. Proxiphen is dispensed only when a physician gives a diagnosis of hair loss.

    Proxiphen-N, the non-prescription Proxiphen is less expensive and is also not as strong. It’s advisable for patients to use minoxidil with Proxiphen-N.

    NANO (nicotinic acid N-Oxide) shampoos and conditioners are an excellent compliment to your existing minoxidil treatment. They contain NANO, which is a minoxidil-like hair growth stimulator. They also have agents that stimulate hair growth. These products are beneficial when used with Proxiphen and Proxiphen-N.

    In order to see some results, Proxiphen-N and the NANO products need to be diligently used for at least 8-10 months at the very least.

    A one-month supply at prescription strength is about $100. A 2-month supply of Proxiphen - N will cost $59.95. A 90-day supply of NANO Shampoo and Conditioner will cost $39.95 and $29.95, respectively.


    Retin-A (also known by its scientific name, tretinoin gel 0.1%), is a topical treatment that’s primarily used as an acne medication. However, research has shown that Retin-A, either by itself or with Rogaine, may grow some hair in those with male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.

    To use Retin-A, you should apply a thin layer with a gauze pad or cotton swab to the affected areas at bedtime. Remember to wash your hands immediately after using the product! You should also take care not to get any Retin-A near the eyes, mouth, or open cuts. The medication may irritate sensitive skin.

    It should also be mentioned that if Retin-A is used more often, the results will not improve. Rather, the side effects may increase. These effects include an immediate warming of the skin. Other skin problems may include peeling, itching, scaling, redness and maybe mild stinging. Luckily, once your skin adjusts to the medication, these effects should subside.

    Retin-A may also cause increased sensitivity to sunlight as well as wind and cold. For these reasons, you should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and sunlamps. You should also use effective sunscreens, and wear protective clothing.

    In regards to pregnant mothers, research hasn’t shown any risk of birth defects, as of yet. Nevertheless, physicians recommend using Retin-A during pregnancy only if necessary. You should also consult your doctor before breast-feeding. One tube of Retin-A Cream can be purchased for about $28.00.

    Click to learn more about Superoxide Dismutase (SOD's)

  • Kevis 8 Hair Loss Treatment Product Review

    Kevis 8

    Kevis 8Is it Effective in Treating Baldness?

    Hair loss suffering men and women are always seeking new and credible treatments and with good reason. Medical science is still years from producing a true hair loss cure and current treatment options are vastly limited. Women with hair loss have even fewer options than their balding male counterparts when it comes to proven, non-surgical hair loss treatments. Additionally, there is no shortage of cunning charlatans waiting to take advantage of the unwary consumer. Thus, when a new product like Kevis Hair Rejuvenation Formula comes along claiming to be a “permanent” solution and “the most successful and potent hair loss treatment on the planet”, potential customers would be wise to remain skeptical.

    Kevis hair loss treatment is not an entirely new solution. In fact, their website states that it has been sold throughout Europe and Asia for over 25 years but has only been available in the United States for 15 years. This is simply the 8th generation of the formula; hence their new name Kevis 8. But how can such an impressive treatment exist for 10 years yet remain virtually unknown to roughly 70 million balding American men and women? What’s even more surprising is that Kevis claims that published clinical studies give this solution for baldness an average success rate of 92%. So why are so many people still seeking viable hair loss treatments today?

    Kevis 8 is a drug-free topical lotion developed and manufactured by Italian pharmaceutical company, Farmaka, and distributed by Kevis Rejuvenation Programs in North and South America and by Pfizer in Europe and Asia. As such, it does not come under the regulatory supervision of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is applied directly to the scalp and can be used by both men and women. Ingredients are listed as:

    Water, SD Alcohol 40-c+SD Alcohol 3-c, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolized Glycosaminoglycans (Thioglycoran), Panthenol, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Hyaluronic Acid (H.U.C.P.), Thurfylnicotinate HCL, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Biotin, Fragrance.

    H.U.C.P is a high concentrate of pharmaceutical grade hyaluronic acid which purportedly aids in the breakdown of accumulated DHT in the follicle and creates a binding effect in the follicle's receptor sites preventing further DHT buildup. Kevis also lists the ingredient Tricozyme™. Tricozyme is a protein enzyme that they claim attaches itself to free-floating DHT molecules rendering them “inactive and inoperable”.

    Kevis claims that results from using their product are “permanent”. Once hair follicles are protected from the effects of DHT they will remain DHT resistant for life. Thus, their claim is that once the desired result is reached, there is no need to continue using Kevis.  This is a hefty claim considering all other non-surgical balding solutions are required to be used for life in order to experienced continued benefits.

    In an effort to demonstrate its efficacy, Kevis provides complete, downloadable copies of seven clinical studies conducted by various institutions in France and Italy and provides summaries of each. They also offer several before and after photos (including those of company founder and President Brian Reichenberg) and written testimonials. What seem to be conspicuously missing are references to third-party studies and publications in peer reviewed journals. Without these critical components it’s impossible to verify the company’s hair growth claims.

    Balding men and women may want to stick with clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatments.  For men those treatments are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). Rogaine is also approved for use by females. However, women should not ingest or even come in contact with finasteride due to the risk of specific birth defects. Men and women who are unable or unwilling to use these drugs can find credible alternatives.

    When it comes to purchasing and using hair loss treatments, there is much more at stake than your hard earned money. Dedicating months or years to ineffective treatments may result in the unnecessary loss of valuable and irreplaceable hair follicles.

  • Laser Treatment

    Laser Treatment

    Is it Effective in Stopping Hair Loss?

    Use of low level laser therapy (LLLT) devices for treating hair loss has been heavily debated for some time by reputable hair restoration physicians and patients on our hair loss forum. While some physicians reject its use entirely, others use laser hair treatment as a regular part of their practice. Additionally, some physicians believe that laser light therapy can assist with postoperative healing after hair transplant surgery.

    History of Laser Light Therapy

    Shortly after the first working laser was invented in 1964, a researcher from Semmelweis University of Budapest named Andre Mester developed a theory that exposure to cold laser light (similar to UV radiation emitted by the sun) may eventually lead to cancer. To test his theory, Mester shaved a group of mice and trapped some of them in a cage with constant cold laser light exposure leaving the other half unexposed as a control group. To his surprise, the light didn’t cause cancer in any of his animal subjects. Instead, mice that were exposed to the laser light therapy grew back their shaved fur much faster than the control group. Mester named his discovery photo-biostimulation. His theory was that somehow, the laser light had stimulated the hair cells into an accelerated state of hair growth.

    Laser Therapy as a Hair Loss Treatment

    Today, low level laser therapy is being used as a hair loss treatment. To treat baldness with laser light therapy, laser rays are directly applied to the scalp by a mechanical device so that red blood cells are stimulated. Lasers are said to work by converting ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate), releasing energy and causing cellular metabolic changes. During this process, additional nutrients and oxygen are provided to the scalp assisting the normal chemical processes performed by those cells, increasing overall blood circulation. Lasers, when applied to the scalp and hair, have been said to improve overall hair quality, promote hair growth, and increase hair shaft diameter.

    laser comb

    Laser treatment devices have a similar appearance to a hood hair dryer which is placed over top of your head. The low level laser toll will rotate allowing laser rays, usually red in color, to be discharged into your scalp. Hand held devices such as the Hairmax comb have also been developed and resemble a brush in appearance.

    Promoting healthy hair growth however, is not the same as the regrowth of miniaturized hairs brought on by genetic female hair loss or male pattern baldness (MPB). So what clinical evidence exists, if any, that laser therapy is an effective treatment? Below we take a closer look at the available data including exclusive interviews of leading hair restoration physicians.

    Varying Opinions of Well Respected Physicians

    Physicians have long shared varying views on whether or not laser treatment is viable. While some well respected physicians reject its use entirely, some believe that LLLT can provide marginal benefit for men and women suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic baldness). Additionally, some physicians believe that laser hair treatment can assist a hair transplant patient’s postoperative wound healing process and expedite hair growth.

    Dr. Charles (one of our well respected members of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians) believes it may provide similar hair loss prevention benefit to Rogaine in the mid vertex area and crown. Benefits in the frontal area include an increase in overall hair quality rather than hair loss prevention.

    Dr. Charles believes LLLT works better when combined with Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). Like Propecia and Rogaine, he believes low level laser therapy may help some patients more than others and works better in patients with only minimal thinning hair.

    Dr. Charles believes in helping balding men and women develop and maintain realistic expectations and he doesn’t oversell its benefits. Because lasers are free from side effects, he always tells his patients that the biggest risk is the money. Dr. Charles believes more research on laser hair treatment is needed.;

    Dr. Williams of the Coalition has been using laser hair treatment as a regular part of his practice for over 2 years and feels quite confident in its success in some patients. In his experience, LLLT promotes healthy hair growth and can increase hair shaft diameter of miniaturized hair affected by genetic female hair loss and male pattern baldness in some patients.

    Dr. Williams offers 16 free laser therapy sessions to local males following hair transplant procedures and encourages his female transplant patients to undergo laser light therapy for one full year at a highly discounted rate. Dr. Williams usually notices faster transplanted hair regrowth and a quicker resolution of postoperative telogen effluvium or “shock loss”, if it occurs.

    Because androgenic alopecia is a progressive condition, Dr. Williams encourages male patients to use Propecia while encouraging out of town females to use the Hairmax laser comb to help maintain their existing hair. Dr. Williams would like to see more formal studies defining the benefits of lasers as a hair loss treatment, but he is encouraged by his experience with it to date.

    Dr. Alan Feller (also a member of the Coalition) is one doctor who remains skeptical. "Medical lasers work in only one way, and that is to deliver energy to a target. When it strikes the target the energy is absorbed and converted to heat. That's it". Dr. Feller believes that more compelling evidence is needed to promote low level laser therapy (LLLT) as a hair regrowth solution or to stop hair loss.

    Recent Scientific Studies

    study presented at the last International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) meeting in Las Vegas (2007) by Maria A Muricy, MD, confirms increase in hair shaft diameter, fullness, and overall quality with laser hair treatment alone. Additionally, some statistically significant evidence reveals that low level laser therapy when combined with 5% minoxidil (the active ingredient in FDA approved Rogaine) provided noticeable cosmetic benefits for women in particular. However, this study also showed that laser hair loss treatment alone produced no statistically significant new hair growth in both men and women.

    Laser Hair Therapy and FDA Approval

    Another important issue to consider is the significance and meaning of the FDA clearance (not approval) of the Hairmax laser comb. Though some have proposed the Hairmax laser comb was only approved for safety, apparently the FDA did require Lexington International (who funded the study) to provide it with a study on its efficacy (effectiveness) in treating baldness. But this study and its results have not been released to the public since Lexington International had the option of submitting the study to the FDA privately. The obvious question then is – why would Lexington hide their study from the public if it proved the efficacy of laser hair regrowth?

    While the Hairmax laser comb device was found by the FDA to be safe based on its “substantial equivalence” to previously approved laser light therapy devices and thus “cleared” (not “approved”), it was unclear to what extend the FDA reviewed or cleared it based on its effectiveness in treating hair loss. To learn more about the FDA standards for “approving” food and drugs and for “clearing” medical devices visit

    It appears that much of the laser hair treatment industry is now promoting their devices as “FDA Approved for Hair Loss” as if they are on par with the two only FDA approved hair loss solutions Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). However, until laser hair treatment provides compelling public evidence of its effectiveness in treating hair loss, it is quite possible that the effectiveness of low level laser therapy may be oversold by some companies. We expect that time will tell.

  • Nettle Root Extract

    Nettle Root Extract

    Contained in Several Popular Hair Loss Treatments for Men

    Nettle root extract can be found in a number of popular hair loss treatments, such as Provillus and Procerin, and at your local health food store as a standalone product. Conjectured to effectively inhibit the production of DHT, below we examine whether or not nettles are as effective as Propecia (finasteride) in blocking DHT and stopping the progression of male or female pattern hair loss.

    DescriptionNettle Root

    “Nettles” is the common name for Urtica Dioica, an herbal plant also known as the Stinging Nettle. This perennial herb is often eaten in many parts of the world and is often added to soups, salads or cooked as greens, though less frequently. Nettle leaves are long and pointy, but only the shoots and top of the plant are eaten. Nettle plants have dark green leaves and typically grow about 2 or 3 feet tall and its flowers are covered with tiny stinging hairs that contain an irritant. Allergic reactions are common if they come in contact with human skin.

    Use of Nettles

    Nettle root extract was found to partially block 2 enzymes by researchers such as R. Hartmann.  The first is 5-alpha-reductase that when combined with testosterone, produces DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone responsible for androgenic alopecia hair loss. The second enzyme is aromatase, which makes estrogen.  Combining nettle root extract with another herbal agent pygeum has been found to inhibit these two enzymes more effectively than either one alon It was shown that nettle root extract had to be used at high dosages in order to effective whereas lower doses of pygeum worked well.  Prostatonin, the combination product of nettles and pygeum have been used to treat BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy).

    Studies by researchers JJ Lichius and others have shown a reduction in prostate growth in mice when large doses of nettle extract were taken orally. Combining nettle root extracts with saw palmetto berries in BPH patients reduced the amount of testosterone and estrogen. Conversely, it has been conjectured that nettles can block testosterone from binding to the sex hormone globulin, a carrier protein that binds testosterone and limits its bioavailability in the body. As a result, nettles have been called an aphrodisiac since it may help maintain testosterone levels.

    Other uses of Nettles include treatment for arthritis, asthma, kidney, urinary tract infections, and last but not least, baldness.

    Nettle Root ExtractNettle Root as a Hair Loss Treatment

    Like many other herbal supplements with some clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in treating enlarged prostates (BPH), some have claimed that nettle root extract may stop hair loss and maybe even aid hair regrowth.  Because Propecia (finasteride) works to stop the progression of male pattern baldness by inhibiting the production of DHT, it is conjectured that nettle root extract may be of similar benefit.

    Nettle root is a popular ingredient taken orally in a couple big name hair loss products such as Provillus and Procerin.  Some have also conjectured that applying nettle root extract topically to the scalp may also facilitate new hair growth. Because many topical irritant type products are used to treat alopecia areata hair loss, some suggest nettle root extract applied topically may be effective in treating it. Those who conjecture its efficacy to treat baldness recommend doses of 500mg or more daily.

    Though some have declared that nettle root extract may be an effective hair loss treatment, no clinical controlled studies have been performed proving its efficacy for androgenic alopecia (genetic female hair loss and male pattern baldness) or alopecia areata. 

    Possible Side Effects of Nettles

    Despite claims made that “all natural” herbal supplements are free from side effects, nettle root has its share of warnings. When topically applied, irritation of the scalp or an allergic reaction can occur. When taken orally, it can cause upset stomach, burning, difficulty with urination, bloating and edema.  Nettle root extract should not be used in patients with heart or kidney problems, due to fluid retention properties.
    Those who want to try nettle root extract as a hair loss treatment should proceed with caution and consult their doctor before using it.

  • Does Nourkrin Hair Nutrient Work to Stop Hair Loss?


    Balding men and women considering any hair loss treatment should take caution to believe the many magnificent claims made by today’s advertising. Far too often, a lot of time and money is wasted on questionable treatments with little or no proof of success.
    Nourkrin hair nutrient claims to promote hair growth and strengthen thinning hair in 80% of men and women suffering from almost any hair loss condition other than the self-inflicted trichotillomania (hair pulling) or traction alopecia. Below we evaluate Nourkrin, the "clinical study", and its ingredients to find out whether or not this hair loss treatment lives up to its promises.

    What is Nourkrin?

    Nourkrin recommends using their complete regime of products for at least 6 months for the best results. This includes extra strength, Man, and Maintain oral tablets, a shampoo, a conditioner, and a scalp lotion.  Nourkrin claims their products can promote hair growth in men and women suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic baldness), alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis, and telogen effluvium. This is a very bold claim considering each balding condition occurs for varying reasons.


    The active ingredients in the extra strength tablet include shark cartilage and shellfish extract containing glucosamine.  Other active ingredients include silica kieselguhr (a natural form of silica), horsetail extract, acerola cherry extract with vitamin C, microscyrstaline cellulose, immunogloblin G protein, and fatty acids. In addition to the above, the Man product contains Omega 3 fatty acids and Fenugreek designed to improve scalp circulation. Maintain includes additional marine life proteins, minerals, silica, and vitamin C. The scalp lotion contains marine life protein extract compounds and aloe vera.

    Nourkrin claims that the primary active ingredient glucosamine can rebuild and grow new tissue, including dormant hair follicles - suggesting successful hair regrowth. Though clinical studies prove that glucosamine might be effective in reducing joint pain, increasing joint lubrication, preserving joint space, protecting cartilage breakdown by inhibiting specific enzymes, stimulating cartilage matrix repair, and other anti-inflammatory actions, we couldn't find any evidence to support claims that it can stop hair loss or promote hair regrowth.

    Clinical Study

    Nourkrin conducted a clinical study of 60 people who took their products for 12 months. All subjects were over 18 years of age and suffered from at least some form of hair loss for at least one year prior to the study. During a 6 month double blind clinical study, 30 subjects took Nourkrin while the other 30 took a placebo. After 6 months, the 30 participants taking Nourkrin continued taking it for another 6 months while the 30 on the placebo were switched to Nourkrin for 12 months.

    In the first 6 months, Nourkrin reports that 77% taking their hair loss treatment experienced an increase in hair growth and shaft thickness. After 12 months, 75% reported a decrease in overall thinning hair. 90% of women in the study reported overall hair improvement after 12 months. The hair counting method showed an average increase in hair count of 45 percent during the clinical study.

    Though the above study sounds impressive, we don't know a lot about the participants nor can we be certain of the reliability of the study. All participants suffered from some form of thinning, but its cause for each patient hasn’t been disclosed.  Additionally, clinical studies are considered more credible when they've been conducted or verified by third parties not interested in its financial success.

    Another problem is that none of the active ingredients in Nourkrin are proven to stop hair loss. Therefore, their study is the only one balding men and women have to support such claims.

    Possible Side Effects

    Anyone allergic to shellfish should avoid using Nourkrin. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not use Nourkrin hair loss products. Consulting with a doctor before using this treatment is advisable.


    Nourkrin recommends taking 2 tablets daily for at least 6 months. Men and women over 176 lbs or those who smoke are advised to take 3 tablets daily. After 6 months, dosage can be cut down to one a day. Nourkrin also recommends using the shampoo, conditioner, and scalp lotion daily. The scalp lotion may be best applied in the evening and left on overnight.


    60 tablets of the extra strength tablet costs about $75, the Man $65, the shampoo and scalp cleanser $12, the conditioner $13, and the scalp lotion $30. All in all, the Nourkrin Hair Recovery Program can get pricey after 6 months. FDA approved products like Rogaine (minoxidil)only runs approximately $15 a month or less and male treatment Propecia (finasteride)costs approximately $60 per month, not as expensive as Nourkrin.


    Nourkrin boasts a big game, claiming high rates of success in reversing hair loss in men and women caused by varying conditions. Their clinical study also confirms its success rate however; the reliability of this study has not been verified by third parties uninterested in its financial success. Additionally, no clinical proof exists that any of the ingredients found in Nourkrin work to treat baldness.

    Whether or not Nourkrin is the "real deal" is hard to determine with little evidence to support its claims. Therefore, those considering this treatment should proceed with caution and may want to consider exhausting proven treatments like Propecia and Rogaine first.

  • PABA – Popular Ingredient in Several Herbal Hair Loss Treatments

    Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) has been called the anti-gray hair vitamin and is considered one of the lesser known members of the vitamin B complex family (despite the fact that it’s not really a vitamin at all).  PABA is a non-protein amino acid and isn’t essential in the human body.  It can be found in foods such as liver, whole grain, yeast, and kidney and is listed as an active ingredient in several popular herbal hair loss treatments such as Provillusfor women and Procerin

    The potassium salt in PABA called POTABA is available on prescription. POTABA is indicated for Peyronie’s Disease and scleroderma. The dose for Peyronie’s disease and scleroderma is very high (12 grams daily in 4 to 5 distributions) and must only be used under medical supervision. Because of the high doses needed to achieve clinical efficacy, patient compliance is typically poor.

    But can PABA actually treat male pattern baldnessor genetic female hair loss?

    Some tests conclude that PABA when combined with other elements such as folate, biotin, and pantothenic acid, may restore pre-maturely graying hair to its natural color.  Some anecdotal reports suggest it might also stop hair loss, however; there are at least as many reports that contradict this.  Moreover, we haven’t seen any evidence to suggest it can stimulate new hair growth or hair regrowth.

    PABA comes in doses of 100mg, 250mg, and 500mg as a standalone product.  However, since no formal clinical studies have been performed on PABA for hair loss, a suitable dosage is mostly speculation.  Additionally, since no regulations have been placed on herbal medication, one should proceed with extreme caution before taking any herbal supplement.  Consulting with a doctor is advised.

    Side Effects and warnings:

    Some manufacturers of herbal replacements to medication would have you believe that herbal treatments come without potential side effects.  However, this is a farce. 

    The following side effects have been reported from consumers of PABA: Anorexia, vomiting, nausea, hypersensitivity, fever and rash (particularly with larger doses). These symptoms went away when PABA is stopped.

    Ironically, Provillusonly includes PABA in the woman’s formula.  However, women should know that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should avoid using PABA.

    For those with renal disease, PABA should be used with caution.  PABA should be stopped if hypersensitivity develops. Those taking pharmaceutical doses of PABA must be under medical supervision.

  • Procerin for Hair Loss: Product Review


    Procerin is one of the top selling “all natural” hair loss products on the market today and is often an attractive alternative to drugs like Propecia (finasteride)and Rogaine (minoxidil). Procerin comes in both a tablet and topical form that can be ordered together or separately depending on your hair restoration goals.

    Men and women suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic female hair loss / male pattern baldness) have elevated levels of the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in their body.   Procerin’s claim to fame is that it naturally blocks this DHT without reacting with testosterone like the drugs Propeciaand Avodart (dutasteride).  This allegedly allows Procerin to stop hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth without unwanted sexual side effects.   Procerin is so convinced their product works, that they offer a 90 day money back guarantee if you don’t receive your desired hair growth results.  But how many balding men and women have successfully restored their hair with Procerin?

    In order to fully evaluate the efficacy of this product, we must further explore each ingredient to determine whether or not this hair loss treatment delivers what it promises.  Below you will find a list of ingredients and information that will help you determine whether or not Procerin is right for you.

    Oral Ingredients:

    The Procerin tablet includes a number of alleged “all natural” DHT blockers including saw palmetto for hair loss, zinc sulfate, pyroxidine, magnesium, and a proprietary blend of gotu kola, nettles, pumpkin seed, eleuthero root, muira puma root, and uva ursi.  Many, but not all of these ingredients are also found in the highly popular hair loss treatment Provillus.

    Oral saw palmettoand nettle root extracthave been used as “all natural” alternatives to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or enlarged prostates.  Theories have thus been produced that they might also effectively treat baldness and alopecia.

    Some studies suggest that Zinc when combined with Vitamin B6 may be able to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT in the skin.

    Pumpkin seed oils contain the ingredient delta-7-sterine that has been said to protect the prostate by competing with DHT.  Therefore, it’s suggested that this ingredient might help reduce the risk of genetic hair loss.

    Eleuthero, uva-ursi, muria puma, and horsetail are said to promote healthy hair growth, hair expansion, and a clean scalp.  However, promoting healthy hair growth is not the same as stimulating new hair growth, hair regrowth, nor does it indicate they’re effective hair loss treatments.

    Topical Ingredients

    The Procerin topical solution contains saw palmetto extract, gamma linolenic acid, grape seed extract, azelaic acid, avocado oil, and nettle extract.

    Azelaic acid when applied topically has been conjectured to inhibit DHT.  Some anecdotal evidence suggests oral saw palmettomay inhibit DHT however; no such evidence exists for topical use.  Though nettles are typically consumed orally, some speculate nettle root extract may help fight alopecia areata when applied topically.

    Possible Side Effects

    One false assumption is that “all natural” hair loss products don’t have potential side effects.  Procerin reports directly on their website that reported side effects include mild stomach discomfort and from the topical formula, skin irritation.  Additionally, be sure to research each ingredient carefully as some side effects are possible in larger quantities.


    Currently there are no standards on dosages of herbal medications in the United States.  In addition, no formal clinical studies have been performed on them for treating baldness.  Therefore, the suggested daily value listed on the ingredient package is based on something other than government regulation and scientific study.


    The discounted cost of the combined formula for a 1 month supply of Procerin is about $50 and is discounted when you buy in bulk.  It is also cheaper when you buy in bulk.

    Conclusions and Our Opinion

    Though we can appreciate the aspiration for balding men and women to use herbal products as an “all-natural” replacement for Propecia to treat androgenic alopecia, we’ve seen no third party clinical studies that support the ingredients in Procerin can successfully stop hair loss or stimulate hair regrowth.  Due to the lack of compelling evidence in these other conjectured hair loss solutions, it may be more beneficial and cost effective to spend your money on Propecia (finasteride) for men only and Rogaine (minoxidil) that has helped balding men and women worldwide for years.  For men who have experienced sexual side effects with Propecia, Procerin may at the very least, be worth trying as an adjunct treatment to Rogaine.

  • Progesterone

    This hair loss product, meant for women, is a synthetic form of Progesterone, a hormone and steroid that occurs naturally in the ovaries. The body uses the Progesterone treatment to control a variety of functions. These include the regulating of the menstrual cycles, anticancer properties, the slowing and prevention of bone loss and ensuring the female sexual organs’ health. Another important function of Progesterone is to maintain the hormone balance of estrogen.

    But in regards to hair loss, Progesterone treatment is an effective DHT-inhibitor. However, there has not been much research conducted as to Progesterone’s impact to male and female pattern baldness (MPB, FPB). What research was conducted showed that it may be effective at stopping hair loss, but not at hair regrowth.

    Nevertheless, topical Progesterone has been used by some European dermatologists in Europe to treat MPB and FPB. For this, they only used 1% or 2% topical concentrations, and no more than 40mg a day. Researchers believe that higher doses could cause menstrual irregularities.

    Topical Progesterone is available as capsules, vaginal creams and suppositories. Patients use the medication by rubbing it into the body’s soft areas, such as the breast, abdomen, inner thighs and the palms of the hands (which is thought to be the most effective area).

    It’s advised that women use about 1/8-1/2 teaspoon, once to twice daily, for 21days. Physicians also advise women to stop using the medication for 5-7 days each month. They also advise women to change the application areas periodically.

  • Recoverup: A Revolutionary Stem Cell Treatment or Hair Loss Hype?

    Female hair loss

    It seems that lately, new hair loss treatments based on “revolutionary scientific research” hit the rumor mill on a monthly basis. Some of these treatments come to light via reputable scientific journals while others, like Recoverup, materialize one day with a flashy website, a lot of promises and very little verifiable data. Recoverup is a UK based company that claims to offer stem cell treatments for hair loss through clinics in Taipei, Taiwan and Penang, Malaysia. According to their website, this treatment is so quick and easy it can be performed in a single day with startling results visible in only one month. Does this sound too good to be true?

    Recoverup’s baldness treatment process claims to rely upon Autologous Adipose Adult Stem Cells (AAA). Unlike controversial embryonic stem cell treatments, Autologous Adipose Stem Cells are derived from the patient’s own fat cells through a small liposuction procedure and are then grown into a culture to increase volume. These stem cells are then “differentiated” with “growth factors” and injected into the scalp in order to induce new hair growth. This multistage process from extraction to injection can be performed in two appointments scheduled in the same day.

    The question is, does Recoverup’s baldness treatment really grow hair? They state that “Empirical data indicates patients would expect to see at least 40% of all treated areas showing one of four results; (1) darker hair (2) thicker hair (3) faster growing hair or (4) more hair per follicle. Overall the effect is of more volume, and density, in those areas which were treated.” However, the Recoverup website offers very little in the way of photo documentation. The few photos that are presented are of poor quality and covered in text making them very difficult to evaluate.

    The estimated cost for the one day hair loss treatment is between $8,000 and $13,000 depending upon the area to be treated. However, if the area to be treated is sufficiently large enough to merit a second day of treatments then this fee increases. Recoverup states that the long-term effects of the treatment are unknown and are dependent upon such factors as the patient’s age and quality of the source stem cells. “However, as a general guide, in other areas of stem cell treatment, data indicates approximately 3-5 years of positive results from each treatment.”  Recoverup does offer a 30-day money back guarantee if a patient experiences no new hair growth but is also quick to point out that the results will vary. One can imagine quibbling over whether or not a single follicle that didn’t appear to exist prior to treatment would constitute success under their definition. In summary, assuming Recoverup’s AAA stem cell treatment does stimulate hair regrowth, a patient can expect to pay upwards of $13,000 plus travel expenses to Asia for a treatment that is, by their own estimates, about 40% effective and may last between 3 and 5 years. This hardly sounds like an attractive alternative or even supplement to today’s state of the art, ultra-refined follicular unit hair transplantation combined with the clinically proven medical treatments Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). It is recommended that patients approach all unproven, “revolutionary” medical treatments with cautious optimism. Androgenic alopecia is progressive and avoiding proven surgical and medical treatments in favor of experimental procedures may lead to further hair loss.

  • Saw Palmetto

    Saw Palmetto

    The "Active" Ingredient in Many Popular Hair Loss Treatment Products

    Many popular hair loss treatment options today such as Provillus, Procerin, and Avacor contain the “active” ingredient saw palmetto. It can also be purchased as a standalone supplement in most nutritional stores. But the age old question of whether or not it can effectively treat baldness in men and women with alopecia is still heavily debated. By taking a look at the scientific evidence available we are able to draw some conclusions as to its potential benefit for those with thinning hair.

    What is Saw Palmetto?

    Saw Palmetto berries are a deep red fruit that grow wild on palm trees in warmer climates, typically found in the Southeastern United States. The liposerolic berry extract is typically used as an herbal supplement for the promotion of a healthy prostate.

    Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Study:

    Similarly to finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia and Proscar), studies have shown that when taken orally, it may be an effective anti-androgen by lowering dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the body by blocking 5 alpha-reductase enzymes. Additionally it is said to block receptor cites on cells which is required for cells to absorb DHT.

    Tests have also been performed on its use in the treatment of benign prostatic disease, which similarly to androgenic alopecia, depends on the production of DHT.

    It is also noteworthy to state that a small preliminary study in 2002 was performed as reported by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine(2002;8:143-52) that shows a select group of 19 men between the ages of 23 and 64 taking either (400mg of saw palmetto and 100mg of Beta-sitosterol) or a placebo orally. Those who took the herbal combination had 60% improved hair growth over those who took the placebo. There have been no studies to date indicating the efficacy of saw palmetto applied topically for male pattern baldness, female hair loss, or anything to date.

    In our opinion, there are two potential difficulties with this study:

    • Many scientists would argue that the control study group was too small to determine any real efficacy and improved hair growth could have happened by chance. A larger study therefore may be necessary to determine any level of real efficacy.
    • “Improved hair growth” is not the same thing as newhair growth and hair regrowth, nor should it necessarily imply that it works to stop hair loss
    • There are no regulations or suggested daily value as to how much saw palmetto would be required to successfully treat baldness. The appropriate dosage therefore is questionable.
    • The above study was only performed on saw palmetto taken orally. Hair loss products that promote topical use for baldness are basing their belief in its efficacy on something other than published clinical evidence.

    The Dosage:

    But if there are no current standards on dosages of herbal medications in the United States, how do these popular hair loss treatments produce an appropriate dosage?

    Clinical studies on Benign Prostrate Hyperplasia (BPH) have used a dosage of 320mg of the berry extract daily (either one 320mg pill or 2 X 160 mg pill). A daily dosage of 480 mg of saw palmetto berry extract was not found to be any more effective in a six-month study. If the entire berry was used, up to 1000mg or 2000mg would be required to reach the same goal.

    The theory therefore is that if saw palmetto can successfully treat an enlarged prostate similarly to finasteride, it can effectively treat hair loss with a similar dosage Many popular “baldness cure” products contain approximately 1500mg of the berry which is equivalent to approximately 240-320mg of the berry extract.

    Side Effects and Warnings:

    One false assumption is that “all natural” treatments don’t have potential side effects. It is stated that use of saw palmetto has not proven to be safe for women with hair loss during pregnancy and lactation. Medical supervision is suggested for women of childbearing age. Similar warnings are listed about Propecia.


    Based on some anecdotal evidence, saw palmetto is said to treat baldness because of its tendency to act like finasteride by helping those suffering from BPH. However, authentic clinical studies have not been performed to date that support this claim. Dosage and how it should be used (orally or topically) therefore is based on conjecture rather that scientific evidence.

  • Scalp Med Hair Loss Treatment for Men and Women

    Scalp Med hair loss

    Scalp Med TV infomercials, like many hair loss products, claim to sell FDA approved hair loss products. Pictures, videos, and testimonies on television show hair loss sufferers regrowing hair even when men and women were completely bald. Is this really what balding people can expect from Scalp Med? Below we examine Scalp Med and unlock the mystery ingredients and whether or not any clinical proof exists that this hair loss solution can treat baldness.

    Scalp Med includes 3 distinct products including topical Vitadil-5A for men or Vitadil-2A for women, topical NutriSol-RM, and Cortex Enlarger hair thickening spray.

    Vitadil-5A for men or Vitadil-2A for women is a topical solution that contains the proven hair regrowth solution minoxidil, also found in Rogaine and Xandrox. It's also said to include a unique delivery agent formulated to increase the absorption of 5% minoxidil for men, 2% for women.

    Scalp Med is a bit more vague as to the ingredients found in the NutriSol-RM topical and the Cortex Enlarger thickening spray. While NutriSol-RM topical is designed to add essential nutrients to the scalp for healthier hair, the Cortex Enlarger hair thickening spray's primary purpose is to temporarily fatten the hair follicles making hair appear thicker.

    Scalp Med is upfront that the ingredients found in the NutriSol-RM shampoo and Cortex Enlarger hair thickener will not stop hair loss or cause hair regrowth.

    Scalp Med also offers a detoxifying cleanser kit which includes a detoxifying shampoo called Panthenol-DX Scalp Detoxifier. This shampoo is designed to deeply cleanse the scalp without stripping the hair of its natural oils and nutrients. Unless your thinning hair is due to pollutants or toxins affecting natural hair growth, Panthenol-DX Scalp Detoxifier won't stimulate new hair growth. Scalp Med's Panthenol-DX does nothing to stop the natural progression of genetic female hair loss and male pattern baldness.

    To supplement Scalp Med's hair loss treatment program, Scalp Med offers a Mega-Multi Vitamin to increase overall body health.

    Scalp Med can legally claim that it's product contains an FDA approved ingredient since Scalp Med does contain minoxidil, which is a FDA approved topical treatment for hair loss. However, Scalp Med its self has not been granted FDA approval. Though Scalp Med's other products may work to promote healthy hair, it's the minoxidil that gives balding men and women any hope of restoring their hair.

    scalp med resultsUnfortunately, Scalp Med's marketing infomercials makes it appear that completely bald men and women have hope of regrowing a full head of thick and healthy hair. However, the words “Results seen are not typical” can be seen in small fine print at the bottom of your television.  Additionally, Scalp Med's website FAQ makes it clear that no non-surgical hair loss solution is proven to grow hair in completely bald areas.

    There are several proven success stories that minoxidil can stimulate hair regrowth in areas of thinning hair. Therefore, Scalp Med's Vitadil-5A should be as effective as 5% minoxidil just as Vitadil-2A should be as effective as the 2% solution.

    Scalp Med is about 3 times the cost of minoxidil. A two month supply of Scalp Med is approximately $160.00. Discounts are available if you buy in bulk. However, even in bulk, the net cost ends up around $64 per month as opposed to the $20 per month cost of Rogaine. Generic minoxidil costs even less.

  • Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

     micro pigmentation

    A Cosmetic Tattooing Procedure to Conceal Hair Loss

    Scalp Micropigmentation, the process of tattooing thinning or bald areas of the scalp to resemble shortly cropped hair, has been met with high amounts of enthusiasm from patients seeking alternative ways to mask and conceal their hair loss. This artistic and minimally invasive procedure, also referred to as SMP, provides men and women suffering from hair loss with an illusion of fullness or the appearance of thick, shortly cropped hair. SMP results (not the procedure) are often compared to topical concealers such as Toppik, DermMatch and Nanogen, because they also help conceal baldness and make thinning hair appear thicker and fuller.

    Although scalp micropigmentation is increasing in popularity, it is still a new and evolving practice and its mystique may leave interested patients asking several important questions.

    How does scalp micropigmentation work? What are the benefits, limitations and potential risks associated with the procedure? Who is a suitable candidate? What are the costs associated with SMP? What happens if consumers don't like the results? Is the ink associated with scalp micropigmentation permanent? Are all SMP practitioners equal or do some produce better, more natural looking results?

    How Scalp Micropigmentation Works

    Scalp Micropigmentation is the artistic application of tattoo-like ink or pigmentation "dots" to bald or thinning areas of the scalp to recreate the appearance of shortly cropped hair (or "stubble") by a trained practitioner. SMP practitioners are typically experienced in the art but often aren't medical professionals or hair restoration physicians. Scalp micropigmentation is typically used for one of three purposes. These include:

    • Creating the illusion of fullness or density to thinning hair by applying cropped, hair-like tattoos in between and around thinning hair.
    • Creating the appearance of closely cropped or shaved hair on an otherwise bald scalp.
    • Camouflaging a pre-existing hair transplant scar. Typically, this is a rare, but stretched, linear scars from follicular unit hair transplantation procedures via strip harvesting (FUT) can sometimes require revision.

    Scalp micropigmentation ink is normally placed in the superficial dermis, a layer of skin between the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and subcutaneous tissues that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. However, SMP practitioners often place ink at varying depths. Some practitioners are now beginning to use a “sweeping” technique when tattooing, in order to create a more three-dimensional appearance on the scalp.

    Depending on the size of the balding/thinning area and the desired appearance, the procedure can take anywhere from 1-8 hours, and can now be completed with both permanent and temporary SMP ink.

    According to Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Robert Bernstein, the key to further achieving a natural result with SMP lies in holding the inking tool at an appropriate angle, controlling the depth at which the ink is placed, monitoring the amount of ink deposited at each site, and selecting appropriate ink tones.

    To read more of Dr. Bernstein's input and discussion related to SMP at the 2012 annual ISHRS Scientific Meeting for hair restoration physicians, visit "Scalp Micropigmentation (Scalp Tattooing)at the 2012 ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) Scientific Meeting".

    Permanent Versus Temporary Scalp Micropigmentation (Advantages and Disadvantages)

    Defining and understanding the difference between permanent and temporary ink is important for any consumer considering the procedure.

    Permanent scalp micropigmentation is performed with micropigmentation ink that is not designed to fade or change over time. The ink is placed slightly deeper in the scalp tissue, and the procedure can be performed with ink containing both colored and black pigment.

    Advantages of permanent SMP include the ability to undergo a single SMP treatment without frequent “touch ups" and potentially lower long-term costs.

    Disadvantages include the possibility that the ink will eventually fade to a green or blue hue (due mainly to the black pigment used in permanent SMP ink) and the inability to reverse the procedure without laser pigment removal (i.e. “laser tattoo removal”) if the work is unsatisfactory.

    Temporary scalp micropigmentation is performed with ink that is specially designed to gradually fade and disappear within 6 to 24 months after the procedure. The ink is placed into a superficial layer of the scalp, which allegedly helps to define the pigmentation and decrease the probability of “blurring” ink. Temporary SMP is performed with ink containing no black pigment. Because black pigmentation can eventually fade into a blue or green tone, it would inevitably produce an unnatural looking result as it gradually fades and disappears, and should be avoided.

    Advantages of temporary SMP include: the ability to redesign or discontinue the process (when the ink fades after 6-24 months) if the results are not satisfactory; the decreased rates of ink blurring, running, and definition loss with the superficial placement into the scalp; and the ability to use the three-dimension technique (which was designed by Beauty Medical in Milan, Italy, and is now utilized by several leading clinics recommended by this patient community).

    Disadvantages of temporary SMP include ongoing maintenance and costs associated with undergoing subsequent SMP applications every 6 to 24 months, and the possibility of discoloration as the ink fades (though the temporary ink is purposely designed to fade evenly and without discoloration).

    To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of permanent and temporary SMP, visit "Temporary Scalp Micropigmentation: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Clinics Currently Offering the Procedure".

    Scalp Micropigmentation Costs

    The cost of SMP is variable and depends upon the type of procedure (temporary versus permanent), size of the procedure, and the practitioner/clinic performing the micropigmentation. While rates typically vary and change, permanent SMP can cost anywhere from $800 for a small procedure and $6000 for a large one. The cost of temporary SMP is approximately half the cost of permanent SMP and typically ranges from $500 to $2500 depending on the size of the procedure. Subsequent procedures, which are needed 6 to 24 months after the initial results fade are typically 50% of the original costs.

    What Makes a Good SMP Candidate?

    Although a wide variety of men and women are interested in scalp micropigmentation, the procedure is actually only ideally suited for a small, select number of hair loss consumers.
    SMP is likely best suited for individuals interested in aiding the appearance of density in shortly cropped, diffusely thinned hair, and for patients trying to camouflage a hair transplant scar. It may also be suitable in creating a greater illusion of fullness in those who've already undergone surgical hair restoration.

    SMP consumers should also consider a naturally asymmetrical hairline design and “fading” effect (from decreased pigmentation in the hairline to denser, increased pigmentation in the middle scalp) if hairline restoration is performed. This approach will likely create a more natural result in eligible candidates.

    Creating Realistic Expectations

    While scalp micropigmentation may be a useful adjunct therapy for a select group of consumers interested in concealing their hair loss, it should be approached with realistic expectations and performed by a trusted clinic. Individuals considering the procedure must remember that SMP is a two-dimensional process and cannot provide the texture and growth of real hair. Undergoing SMP without respecting its limitations may create unrealistic expectations and disappointing results.

    Evolving Procedure or Just a Fad?

    Is SMP just a fad or will it continue to evolve and cultivate additional interest from hair loss sufferers and hair restoration physicians?

    While some hair loss experts are quickly embracing the procedure, others are more resistant, and liken scalp micropigmentation to less popular "niche" treatments like hair systems, laser caps, and topical concealers. Whether or not it will continue increasing in popularity and retain its momentum is not yet clear.

    Hair restoration is a rapidly changing field and new and evolving therapies may eventually render scalp micropigmentation and other hair loss treatments obsolete.  Altogether, only time will tell whether SMP is a lasting adjunct therapy or a passing fad.

    Clinics Currently Offering Scalp Micropigmentation

    As of January 2013, the following hair restoration clinics recommended by this website are offering some form of Scalp Micropigmentation: Hasson and Wong (Drs. Victor Hasson and Jerry Wong), and Shapiro Medical Group (Drs. Ron and Paul Shapiro).

    Dr. Feller, Dr. Lindsey, Hasson and Wong, and Shapiro Medical Group trained with Beauty Medical and offer the temporary SMP procedure; Dr. William Rassman performs his own variation of Scalp Micropigmentation with permanent ink.

    Note that in many cases, a trained technician and not the physician will be performing scalp micropigmentation.

    This website does not currently recommend one SMP clinic over another. Those considering scalp micropigmentation as a tool to conceal hair loss and create an illusion of hair are encouraged to do their own diligence in researching each technique, practitioner and clinic.

    To discuss scalp micropigmentation with hair loss sufferers and other interested parties and to view results showing before and after pictures, visit the Scalp Micropigmentation Forum.

  • Superoxide Dismutase (SODS)

    Superoxide Dismutase (SODS)

    Excessive DHT in the hair follicle causes specific immune responses. These responses cause the cells to release a substance known as Superoxide. This substance combats against any viruses, cells, or foreign tissues. SOD's claim to fight hair loss by reducing the presence of Superoxide.

    As a result, the body is less prone to reject any offending hair follicles, which helps to ward off hair loss. SOD's actually treat hair loss in more than one way. Besides reducing Superoxide, they also stimulate growth and they have anti-inflammatory properties. SOD’s are topical, as well. They include Tricomin, Proxiphen, Proxiphen-N and Folligen.

    Click to learn more about Anti Inflammatories

  • Spectral.DNC by DS Laboratories: A Breakthrough Hair Loss Treatment?

    Spectral DNC by DS Laboratories

    As the field of medical hair restoration continues advancing and evolving, hair loss sufferers look toward new, cutting edge clinics and corporations for faster, more effective, and less invasive hair loss treatments. In various but not all cases, the breakthroughs achieved through oral medications and topical solutions (seen in proven hair loss treatments like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are fantastic.  Thus, hair restoration entities continue striving to create the next advancement and bring the world closer to a “hair loss cure.” However, for each hair restoration treatment that’s proven safe, effective, and efficient, it seems as if a dozen others are rejected for being unproven, inefficient, or unsafe.

    For this reason, it’s always advantageous to thoroughly research the newest hair loss solutions and determine whether they are safe and effective, or if they fail to live up to the high expectations set by the current gold standard treatments such as proven solutions Propecia and Rogaine.   Below, we evaluate whether Spectral.DNC, a topical solution created by Divine Skin Laboratories (DS Laboratories) can help stop hair loss and regrow hair.

    Spectral.DNC is a topical treatment formulated by DS Laboratories which claims its “the world’s most effective topical hair loss treatment.” But can Spectral.DNC live up to these lofty claims and offer a more effective solution, or will it suffer the fate of many therapies before it and fail to gain the approval of the hair restoration patient community?

    According to DS Laboratories, Spectral.DNC is applied (as an atomized mist or liquid) to the balding scalp twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Along with a series of vitamins and herbal supplements (herbal extracts, copper peptides, and a vitamin complex), the active ingredients in Spectral. DNC are 5% minoxidil, Aminexil (SP94), and Retinol. Since minoxidil is also the proven, active ingredient in topical Rogaine, Divine Skin utilizes a frequently asked questions feature on its website to explain how Spectral.DNC is different and more effective than minoxidil. According to Divine Skin, it’s the two other active ingredients – Aminexil and Retinol that make Spectral.DNC more effective than Rogaine.

    Aminexil (or Aminexil SP94) is a compound currently featured as an active ingredient in a line of healthy hair shampoos by L’Oreal. Aminexil is allegedly helpful in the treatment of perifollicular fibrosis – a pre-mature aging of hair shafts caused by inflammation and an overproduction of collagen proteins. It’s worth noting that while some reputable sources have researched its connection to perifollicular fibrosis, it hasn’t been conclusively linked to hair loss (especially androgenic alopecia hair loss), nor is Aminexil proven to treat perifollicular fibrosis. Furthermore, Aminexil is not recognized or approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for any type of hair loss.

    DS Laboratories indirectly counters these statements by sharing the results of a “worldwide” study which demonstrated an 8% increase in hair growth and a 6% increase in hair shaft diameter in hair loss sufferers using Aminexil (compared to a placebo group). This study however, is not without its limitations.  This study was conducted in 1994, only contained 130 participants, lasted for 42 days, and doesn’t appear to be published in any sort of peer reviewed publication. Because of this, it’s difficult to evaluate whether or not the addition of Aminexil as an improvement over simple 5% minoxidil. But what about the Retinol?

    Retinol (and its derivatives) is a form of Vitamin A, often used in medical dermatology for maintaining healthy skin and treating specific types of acne. Allegedly, certain forms of Retinol act as hair restoration drugs (after periods of long term usage) by preventing hair loss hormones from binding to target receptors and killing healthy hair follicles. While evidence of these claims was difficult to find, many Retinol users claim that the drug is harsh on skin and utilizing it in the scalp would cause irritation and require small, likely ineffective dosages. Much like Aminexil, there’s no solid evidence to suggest that Retinol makes Spectral.DNC a more effective hair loss solution than Rogaine or other minoxidil related products. Interestingly enough, while copper peptidesare listed as in inactive ingredient, research supports that copper peptides may play a role in transforming thin vellus hairs into thicker terminal hairs, increasing follicular size, and regenerating healthy scalp skin.  However, because copper peptides aren’t listed as an official “active ingredient” by DS Laboratories nor do we know its concentration, it’s difficult to gauge its efficacy within Spectral.DNC.

    The only proven and FDA approved ingredient in Spectral.DNC is 5% minoxidil. While minoxidil is safe and efficient, it’s unclear what the additional ingredients in Spectral.DNC may actually accomplish. Furthermore, the cost of Spectral.DNC runs between $35.00 and $45.00 for a month supply, compared to around $ 25.00 for a three month supply of generic 5% minoxidil.  According to DS Laboratories, the only known side effects revolve around minoxidil (which are no different than those associated with Rogaine).  Although minoxidil is relatively safe and effective, it’s been used as a hair loss treatment for decades.

    Those hair loss sufferers considering using Spectral.DNC as a treatment for thinning hair can feel confident knowing that they will, at the very least, obtain similar results to using minoxidil 5%.  Until the other active ingredients are peer reviewed, whether or not Spectral.DNC is more effective than Rogaine 5% is mostly conjecture.

  • Stemcelex – A Revolutionary Stem Cell Hair Loss Treatment?

    Stemcelex – A Revolutionary Stem Cell

    Stemcelex is the newest product in a long line of hair restoration therapies claiming to “cure” hair loss via stem cell therapy. Given the recent onslaught of news regarding stem cell based hair loss treatments, injectable baldness cures, and research breakthroughs, it’s not surprising to see new therapies claiming to aggressively fight hair loss through these same mechanisms. However, is Stemcelex truly a stem cell based, regenerative hair loss cure, or is it another therapy simply riding the recent wave of interest in these types of non-invasive, revolutionary treatments?

    At first glance, Stemcelex seems quite impressive. The product website is filled with scientific explanations, graphs, charts, and diagrams explaining the science behind stem cell based hair restoration. Stemcelex even states its affiliation with Dr. George Cotsarelis, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center who, along with a talented research team, recently discovered that the bald scalp does not suffer from a lack of stem cells, but rather a dysfunction in the pathway to properly activating stem cells to produce hair. The finding was significant and Dr. Cotsarelis’ involvement and the seemingly detailed science look promising, but what about Stemcelex itself? Does it utilize these scientific breakthroughs and offer an effective treatment for hair loss?

    Unfortunately, despite the impressive name recognition and detailed explanations, Stemcelex doesn’t appear to live up to its lofty hair restoration claims. Despite claiming to “activate” the dormant stem cells described by Dr. Cotsarelis, Stemcelex does not offer any sort of feasible molecular/stem cell based therapy. The website cleverly explains the science behind stem cell inactivation and the promise of reversing the dysfunctional pathway, but instead of reinforcing Dr. Cotsarelis’ view that cures for reversing the inactivation pathway are not yet understood, Stemcelex claims to actually fix the stem cell inactivation through a series of unproven homeopathic and herbal treatments for hair loss.

    So, what is actually inStemcelex? The treatment involves a three day cycle of different lotions and topical treatments for baldness applied twice a day.

    Day1: On the first day of the hair restoration cycle, a topical lotion made from Jaborandi Pilocarpus is applied twice after washing and thoroughly drying one’s hair. According to Stemcelex, Jaborandi Pilocarpus is a parasympathetic activator (it excites the nerves that cause the body to “rest and digest” during periods of relaxation) that rids the scalp of excess oils and dandruff that impede healthy follicular hair growth. Furthermore, Stemcelex claims that Pilocarpus naturally darkens and thickens existing, native hairs. According to the experts, Pilocarpus has no reproducible pharmacological applications and any evidence that it actually thickens and darkens hair is anecdotal.

    Day 2: The second day of the cycle involves Veratrum Lobelianum, a family of herbs commonly used in Chinese medicine.  Stemcelex claims these herbs can penetrate the scalp and activate the necessary molecular signaling to “regenerate” the hair follicle stem cells. Furthermore, Veratrum allegedly down-regulates or prevents the production of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone directly responsible for male pattern baldness. According to the research, members of the Veratrum family have been used in everything from a Native American poison to a drug researched in human blood pressure.  Currently, they are used in cancer treatments. Although the science behind cancer therapies indicates that the drug could have some molecular benefit in signaling cell activation and inactivation, there has been no research or evidence suggesting that Veratrum is useful in fighting, reversing, or preventing the effects of male or female hair loss.

    Day 3: During the third day of the Stemcelex cycle, a kelp based topical extract is applied twice daily to provide nutrients to the “new hair growth” and also ensure that the scalp remains clean and healthy. This step of the treatment doesn’t claim to be more than a simple dose of nutrients useful in good scalp hygiene.

    After reviewing the active ingredients behind Stemcelex, there is no evidence to suggest that Stemcelex is an effective hair loss treatment at this point in time. The idea of activating the dormant stem cells is important to finding a molecular cure to hair loss, but despite understanding this importance, Stemcelex doesn’t offer any concrete stem cell reactivation agents. It’s possible that Veratrum may prove useful in cell signaling and reactivating dormant cells, but the current research and evidence simply don’t support its use at this time.  Furthermore, Stemcelex charges a hefty $99.85 for a month supply of the treatment which may keep even the most curious and enthusiastic hair loss suffering men and women away.

    Altogether, the idea of reversing dormant hair follicle stem cells is important, but therapies for effectively stopping and rewiring this pathway do not seem to exist at this point in time. Unfortunately, this seems to nullify the claims made by Stemcelex and prevent it from becoming a stem cell hair loss cure.

  • TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment from Europe

    TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment from Europe

    Revolutionary Hair Growth Formula?

    Anyone suffering the effects of an incurable and debilitating medical condition yearns for the promise of new and revolutionary treatment options and hair loss sufferers are no exception. Though often dismissed as insignificant by those who are unaffected by it, baldness and thinning hair can devastate the lives of millions of men and women susceptible to the effects of androgenic alopecia. The desperation to restore the flowing locks of youth make this demographic particularly susceptible to slick marketing campaigns promising to halt balding and regrow hair. One such product marketed in this fashion is Europe’s TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment. But, will hair loss sufferers find follicles behind the flash?

    TRX2 Ingredients

    TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment is not a drug or medication. It is an herbal, dietary supplement taken orally. A glance at its ingredients list reveals nothing new or revolutionary. Each component is readily available at your local nutritional supplement shop, though you may not find the same concentrations of each in a single product.  It's ingredients are listed below:

    Ingredients: L-carnitine tartrate (800 mg), potassium chloride (191 mg), L-leucine (150 mg), isoleucine (75 mg), valine (75 mg), nicotinic acid (40 mg), and biotin (150 µg).

    TRX2 Scientific Studies?

    With these ingredients so readily available, one might wonder if the significant cost savings of purchasing them individually and mixing your own TRX2 at home is just as effective for hair growth. The official website’s FAQ addresses this notion with the following response.

    “The benefit of taking TRX2™ Molecular Hair Growth Supplement singularly, as opposed to buying each ingredient separately, is based on several facts:

    The precise amount and ratio of ingredients in our supplement are carefully chosen and engineered based on credible scientific studies. The ingredients in our capsule were specifically formulated to work in concert with one another and are manufactured in accordance with strict European quality controls. For the consumer, the convenience of taking all compounds at the optimum ratio in one capsule and delivered via our proprietary potassium channel stimulating complex is crucially important.”

    Perhaps this is true. However, at a hefty €54.95 (about $72) for a one month supply, those seeking to save some money may want to give the home brew option a shot first.

    Additionally, referencing scientific studies is an effective way to add legitimacy to a product but one must always consider the source. While the TRX2 website provides detailed data gathered from a “randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”, it is unclear who conducted the study and there is no mention of publication in a peer reviewed journal.  Peer review is the industry standard for evaluation of clinical trial results and its absence is cause for concern.

    Does TRX2 Work?

    TRX2 claims to stop hair loss and regrow hair through the “rejuvenation of potassium ion channels within hair follicles”. This theory is based on research suggesting that the opening of potassium channels is an important regulatory mechanism for hair growth.

    A bold statement at the top of the TRX2 website states that it has been shown to regrow hair in nearly 9 out of 10 men and women. But, does TRX2 really do what it claims? The bottom of the company’s website provides a very important disclaimer.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the medicines regulatory agencies. This product is not a drug or medicine, and is therefore not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This patent-pending food supplement contains nutrients that help promote and sustain healthy hair growth. Results may vary and are subject to your individual metabolism. Regarding risks and side-effects please see the package insert and ask your physician or healthcare specialist.”

    Careful wording in the above statement may give consumers the wrong idea. Helping to “promote and sustain healthy hair growth” is not the same as stopping hair loss or regrowing hair lost due to the effects of androgenic alopecia. A quality shampoo and condition can make hair more manageable and appear fuller.

    TRX2 Side Effects

    While TRX2 contains "drug-free" ingredients that are all natural or synthesized as normal metabolites in the human body, there is a potential for certain side effects.

    Some consumers of TRX2 have reported transitory gastrointestinal effects including an upset stomach.  Thus, it is recommended to take TRX2 after eating.  Additional side effects include the possibility of allergic reactions such as skin flushes.  If any of these conditions occur, it is recommended to consult a physician.

     It is also recommended that any potential customers suffering from digestive system disorders, diabetes or those who are glucose-intolerant consult with their physician before taking TRX2.

    Moreover, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid taking TRX2 due to its lack of long term safety data.


    The role of potassium channels in hair growth is still being investigated and it’s unclear if TRX2 truly has the potential to significantly affect these channels. However, there is a clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatment that is known to do so. Rogaine (minoxidil) has been used successfully by balding men and women for more than 20 years. The exact mechanisms by which minoxidil affects hair growth are not fully understood but it is a known vasodilator and has also been shown to enhance the flow of potassium ions. Given that minoxidil is relatively inexpensive, clinically proven and comes with very little risk of side effects, it may be a better option for hair loss suffering men and women.

    Additionally, balding men should seriously consider adding Propecia (finasteride) to their hair growth regimen. Propecia stops hair loss  at its core by inhibiting the production of DHT (the hormone responsible for genetic baldness) and is arguably the most effective treatment for male pattern balding currently available.

    When it comes to “new and revolutionary” hair loss treatments, proceed with caution. There is nothing wrong with trying a new treatment provided it is safe and purchased from a reliable source. However, forgoing tried and true medical treatment s in favor of experimental products may result in further loss of precious and irreplaceable hair.

    To share your thoughts and experience with TRX2 on our hair loss forum, join the discussion “TRX2: Any Feedback?”.

  • Viviscal Hair Loss Treatment Product Review - Can it Really Promote New Hair Growth?

    Viviscal Hair Loss Treatment

    Viviscal's hair growth vitamin and dietary supplement taken twice daily promises to "reverse hair loss" and grow thicker hair in both men and women experiencing balding and thinning hair.  Its primary activeingredient, AminoMar C™ Marine Complex, is said to be a proprietary blend of ingredients and proteins that "provides the essential nutrients needed to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth".

    The entire Viviscal product line includes an "all natural" dietary supplement, a shampoo and conditioner, and a scalp lotion.  Viviscal is promoted as being 100% natural, drug-free, gluten-free and safe from harmful side effects. But can Viviscal deliver on its promises to reverse hair loss and grow new hair?

    In 2011, Viviscal advertisement was banned in the United Kingdom by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) who deemed that its claims to maintain optimum hair health were unproven. The ASA concluded:

    "Because the evidence sent did not show that the ingredients in Viviscal had been shown to have a positive effect on hair health, we concluded the claims that the product could 'nourish hair follicles' had not been substantiated' and ruled the advert cannot be broadcast until it is changed."

    However, as with many similar products promising to grow hair, substantiating their hair growth claims may not be a simple task.

    Viviscal’s manufacturer does reference a number of studies that seem to support their claims of growing thicker hair. For example, the results of "Scientific Pilot Study #1" on 40 hair loss suffering females with an average age of 35 concluded, "Viviscal was well received by test subjects and the analysis of hair counts showed a mean reduction in hair loss of 46% in only 10 weeks." Additional studies are cited on Viviscal’s website.

    Recently, we learned that Dr. Glenn Charleshas publicly endorsed Viviscal.  Dr. Charles has an outstanding reputation for performing state of the art hair transplant surgery and is a highly esteemed member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians.When asked to comment on his public endorsement of Viviscal, Dr. Charles stated:

    "I have never had any hair loss patients display any negative effects. I describe it to my patients as a natural supplement that can promote a healthier scalp and hair. It may also, in turn, slow down the hair loss process. I tell all my patients that there are no guarantees with this product.  Although most patients believe that they did have improvement after using this product, I admit that some patients do not see any noticeable changes that either they or I can identify."

    Other hair loss experts are not as optimistic regarding Viviscal’s hair growth potential. Coalition member Dr. Bill Rassmanof Los Angeles states:

    "I am skeptical of the photographs (results) and the changes shown make me doubt what the Viviscal marketing department wants me to see. Viviscal reportedly contains ‘special marine extracts and a silica compound’ - and yet I’m to believe this will regrow hair? If these photos were real, the product would have taken over the market years ago."

    It's also important to note that Viviscal does notmake any claims on their website that their products can reverse the effects of genetic hair loss.  Instead, it simply states, "Viviscal works to reverse hair loss due to stress, poor nutrition, and many health related ailments".

    So is Viviscal an effective hair loss treatment? More research may be needed before this question can be effectively answered. 

    While there may be no harm (potential side effects) in trying it, at an average cost of $600 per year there are certainly more affordable and proven treatments available. The only clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatments currently available are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). While Rogaine may be used by both male and female patients, Propecia is safe and approved only for male hair loss sufferers. Always consult your physician before adding any treatment to your hair loss regimen.

  • Xandrox


    This hair loss product is a 5% custom solution that combines Minoxidil with Azelaic Acid. Developed by Dr. Richard Lee, a hair loss physician, it’s available by prescription only.

    Xandrox’s two main ingredients tackle hair loss in two ways. The minoxidil stimulates hair growth, while the Azelaic Acid, which contains the 5 Alpha Reductase enzyme, blocks DHT. However, while minoxidil is a proven hair loss treatment, Azelaic Acid is only proven as an acne medication. Many patients feel that Xandrox is preferable to Rogaine because it’s less greasy.

    As of yet, Xandrox has shown few side effects, and may cause less itching and flaking than Rogaine.

    There may be some burning irritation though, due to the Azelaic Acid. But one type of Xandrox counteracts this side effect. It contains a Betamethasone Valerate, a corticosteroid.

    However, you need to know that corticosteroids may cause problems. Short-term use is pretty safe, but if used long-term, they may cause thinning of the skin or skin damage. It may also lead to brittle bones or diabetes. For this reason, it’s recommended that if you have no itching problems that you should use the Betamethasone-free Xandrox. It is available, and it works as well as regular Xandrox.

    There are other types of Xandrox, including the Day Formula, the Night Formula, and Xandrox 12.5%, a cream that’s used for more stubborn areas, such as the frontal hair line, and contains 12.5% Minoxidil. One ml of Xandrox should be applied twice per day, and a routine should be established.