There has been an increase in the number of products being promoted as solutions to hair loss. These formulations and devices pander to the population's desire to find some way to halt this visible sign of aging. Businesses are attempting to take advantage of this demand. They offer products that are not efficacious and are often misrepresented.
Many of the so-called natural products actually contain minoxidil in some form, which is a clinically-proven hair loss remedy. Many of these treatments do not provide sufficient information on their formulations or will disguise some of their ingredients with terminology not recognized by the public. Almost unilaterally, there is a DHT-blocker listed (DHT is the known cause of non-traumatic hair loss Propecia is the only DHT inhibitor the FDA has approved for hair loss), but with no identification. Clinical trials are alluded to, but not supplied in many instances; substantiation of claims is usually lacking.
For example, Folliguard Extra, from Jungle MD, uses a system of a DHT blocker and scalp detoxifying shampoo. Its active ingredients are minoxidil 2% and saw palmetto. It costs approximately $200 for a three-month supply.
Thymuskin, from Biotechne Complex Inc., is sold as a three-month supply for $210. It is a solution that must be massaged into the scalp. It contains the extract of calf thymus glands and claims to boost immune function. The company admits that it is not effective for male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, the most common types of hair loss.
Procyanidin B-2 is a combination shampoo, lotion and primer as a regimen to deliver nutrients. It is a polyphenol compound, found in apples, which is said to act on hair epithelial cells as a growth-promoting factor. Their own study indicated “an increase in the number of hairs and the diameter of hairs in the designated scalp area compared to placebo.” No statistics or data were provided.
Better education on the proven methods of treating hair loss is needed. Hair transplantation, Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are the only clinically proven medical hair loss treatments.
Hair transplantation is the only permanent solution for hair loss. This procedure is a surgical treatment, which transplants viable hair from the donor area to the recipient locations.