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Hair Loss Treatments

How to Evaluate Hair Loss Treatments

Most hair loss suffering men and women want to regrow hair however, the problem is there are so many hair loss treatments on the market, it's virtually impossible to know which one's work and which one's don't. Can we really trust the commercialized advertisements we hear on the radio and see on the television? The truth is, marketing at best overemphasizes the truth in order to sell a particular product whether related to hair loss or something entirely different. So balding men and women must extend their research far beyond commercials if they are going to understand how a so called remedy actually works, if at all.

So which products actually work to regrow hair?

To date, there are only two FDA approved hair loss medications on the market: finasteride (marketed as Propecia) and minoxidil (marketed as Rogaine). Both hair loss medications work differently however, both have been clinically studied and have proven both to help combat future hair loss and occasionally regrow hair. Another promising hair loss treatment is ketoconazole found in shampoos such as Nizoral and Revita. Ketoconazole is said to be a weak inhibitor of Dihydrotestosterone or DHT (the hormone responsible for hereditary baldness).

But what about hair loss products? And how can I evaluate hair loss treatments that come out in the future? Is there a way to determine the efficacy of these remedies?

I want to take the time to present the criteria I use in order to draw a conclusion as to which products work and which don't.  Keep in mind that this is not a perfect methodology, but it can act as a guide for you as you are evaluating new treatments for hair loss. 

I often make decisions about a hair loss product based on a combination of three things: 

  • Scientfic evidence (Is there scientific evidence that the product may be of some benefit to fight against hair loss?)
  • Public evidence (What are others saying?).
  • Personal experience (Products I’ve tried before)

The combination of the above will help to determine whether or not a product has any level of efficacy. Clearly however, one should be driven to try a product (personal experience) based on the available scientific and public evidence available. All three don't have to exist in order to conclude whether a hair loss treatment works. The combination of scientific and public evidence might just be enough to conclude a product has some level of efficacy but until it's tried personally, a decision can't be made as to whether or not it will work for the individual losing hair. Let's take a look at all three below.

Scientific Evidence:

What do the research studies say?  Are there clinical studies out there?  What were the test scenerios like?  Are the results convincing?  Are the clinical studies performed by companies that have a financial interest in the product? The answer to this last question should lead a hair loss sufferer to do additional research. The answers to all of these questions should lead us to consider the public evidence.

Public Evidence

Please note that I’m not talking about commercialized claims to success.  I’m also not talking about public testimonies on commercial websites.  But what are real patients saying about this product?   For example, you may want to search for a product on our hair restoration discussion forum to see what our members are saying. 

Be careful, however, not to believe everything you read.   Spammers and solicitors alike can meander around public hair restoration forums looking for any opportunity to promote their hair loss scam "miracle cure" product.  Instead, be sure to evaluate the evidence before you.  Did the member post photos of their progress?  Is this a well respected member of the online community? 

Remember:  If there is CONVINCING evidence out there that a hair loss product works for some…it might just work for you!

Personal Experience:

Let’s face it…most of us have been duped before and have tried a number of hair loss miracle cure products.  Whether or not a product works for the balding individual is the most important factor. One must be careful however, not to conclude that a hair loss product won't work for anyone just because it doesn't work for them however, if there is scientific and public evidence out there that it works for some, and it doesn't work for you, then what good is it to you?

Putting it all together:

In order to determine whether a hair loss treatment has any merit, I’d say that public and scientific evidence should be considered the highest.  This is what will ultimately help you to consider trying it.  Based on personal experience alone, one can only conclude whether or not a given hair loss product works for the one who tried it.  A positive personal experience, however, would overrule the other two criteria whereas a negative experience doesn’t necessarily discount the other two.

Bill Seemiller - Managing Publisher