• Currently Using Propecia, Minoxidil, Saw Palmetto, Nisim Etc. – Should I Stick With This Program?

    I have recently read your book “The Bald Truth” and a lot of the information contained is what I had already have been doing over the year, but it was good to have it reinforced (Great book by the way). I am a 32 year old male currently using Propecia, with minoxidil (periodically) and an assortment of supplements including saw palmetto, B vitamin complex , silica, zinc, EFA’s etc.. along with treatment shampoos such as Nisim and a 2% ketoconazole prescription one. I have been on this regime for about a year and a half and have been really strict with the Propecia, and on and off with the rest.

    I have noticed that although I have hair on top, it is really thin compared to the rest. When it’s wet it looks like plugs of hair which I never had a few years ago. It is also in the classic balding pattern on the entire top section of my head. I was just having doubts with what I am doing as it dosent seem that the medication is doing anything and I don’t feel I have regrown any hair to noticeable degree.

    I just wanted to ask if you recommend I should stick with this program, and if there was anything else I could do to aid my battle as I thought it would have had some effect by now. I was considering trying to switch to Avodart, as it seems to be more potent, but then it is still pending approval from the FDA which makes me cautious.

    Any information you would have would be greatly appreciated as I find looking on the Net, a bit of a mindfield of contradicting arguments. It really gets me down some days that I feel I have no control over this.

    Thank you in advance,


    Dear Paul,

    You are correct concerning researching hair loss treatments on the internet, it is a minefield. The vast majority of hair loss information that’s provided on the web is complete crap. In my opinion and in the opinion of most experts, the products and services being promoted, even on websites appearing to be legitimate, are questionable at best.

    Before I continue, I would like to make clear that I am NOT a physician and this information is my opinion based on over a decade of experience being a consumer advocate for men and women suffering with hair loss.

    A simple rule of thumb when researching hair loss on the web would be to look for the American Hair Loss Association seal before taking the time to read the information provided on the site. The AHLA does not accept any financial support from companies in the hair loss industry, and only provides its certification seal to websites that provide legitimate information about hair loss and its treatment. Be VERY aware that hair loss websites, for the most part, are businesses and some have even lifted the AHLA seal in hopes of misleading vulnerable hair loss sufferers into believing that they are selling a legitimate product. Even if you see the American Hair Loss Association seal, always check with the AHLA before buying any product or service to treat your hair loss.

    As far as your treatment is concerned, the question is, have you lost any ground since you began treatment? If the answer is no, than you’re in good shape.

    After years of research and anecdotal information provided by my readers and listeners, I have come to the conclusion that the use of saw palmetto for the treatment of hair loss is a waste of time. In fact, we have found out over the years that by coupling Propecia and saw palmetto, some men experience an increase incidence of adverse sexual side effects. That’s not to say that will happen to you, but it has been reported.

    I’d like to reiterate that I am not a physician, but again if your hair loss has not progressed since starting Propecia then you are in a very good position, and one of the lucky 86% who respond well to the drug.

    We all want more hair and many hair loss sufferers have what I call “hairorexia.” If your hair is still looking pretty good I wouldn’t push the envelope in the hopes of thickening your hair up to where you were before you began the balding process. I think Propeica is truly a miracle drug for many, the problem is that we get greedy and forget how wonderful it is just to keep what we have.

    I’m not a fan of the kitchen sink approach, but if you are currently using Rogaine, I would not stop using it since this could throw you into a pretty bad shed. My advise would be to stick to the program unless you are really getting worse. If you find you are losing ground, you can always talk to your doctor about increasing your dosage of finasteride.

    Hope this helps!

    Spencer Kobren
    Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)

  • Can Creatine, Protein, or Differin Cause Hair Loss?

    I think what you’re doing is great Spencer!…Propecia stopped my hair loss at 20. I am 31 now, however, over the past 3 months I have lost about 30-40% of my density all over the top of my scalp, and the sides and back as well. I am still on Propecia and have scheduled a doctor appointment. I would like to list a few things that I started to do a few months ago that I think may have contributed to this:

    1. Differin cream (vitamin A derived)

    2. Working out with heavy weights along with taking creatine (No Xplode) and protein powder

    These two things are my main concern especially Differin. Also, I started using a self tanning lotion sunscreen (durascreen) since I work outside, and teeth whitening products all within the past few months. I know I sound paranoid, but I would like to know if you think any of this could contribute to my rapid hair loss. I’ve been a little stressed too, but no more than usual. However, I am really stressed now because of this. Oh yeah, I also tried adding Rogaine a few months ago, but stopped after 2 weeks…I am so depressed about this. I just found out about you and your show and I’ve listened the last few weeks. What a great thing you are doing, it is such an epidemic that totally destroys people. I could go on and on about how depressed and mortified I was when I started to lose my hair at 18. Thank You. – Mark
    – – – – –

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for the support! I’m glad to hear that you’ve done so well with Propecia these past eleven
    years. I have to preface my comments by letting you know that I am not a physician, but from what you’ve explained, I think that the use of Creatine supplementation might be what is affecting your hair.

    I’ll probably get a lot of crap from the bodybuilding community, but the truth is each body reacts diffently to this type of supplementation, and I do believe that creatine can effect hair growth and cycling.

    Here are my thoughts on the matter: We know that exercise when done properly and accompanied by good sleeping habits and a high protein, well balanced diet stimulates the release of hormones that promote muscle growth. These are known as anabolic hormones, which include testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone. When training, stimulation of these muscle growing hormones is what most athletes strive for. Unfortunately for men who are predisposed to androgenic alopecia ( male pattern hair loss), raising levels of testosterone can increase DHT levels.

    With that said, in most cases, the use of Propecia should cancel out the effects of any naturally occurring increase in testosterone since Propecia blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone into the follicle killing DHT, reducing DHT levels by about 70% in most individual who use the drug.

    Since each individual reacts differently to medial treatment, any increase in testosterone and HGH that you might be experiencing from the use of creatine theoretically could have put you over the preverbal edge as far as the ability for Propecia to effectively protect you against higher DHT levels. The 70% block in DHT might have been all you needed to stave off your male pattern baldness, but by increasing your hormonal output the dam might have burst, so to speak.

    Since creatine is known to increase or ability to exercise more efficiently, and exercise increases hormone release, it is expected that creatine should also indirectly increase the amounts of anabolic hormones produced while exercising.

    There have also been studies that have demonstrated that growth hormone was actually released in non exercising subjects within a few hours after ingesting creatine.

    So, my advice would be to speak to you doctor about your creatine supplementation, and perhaps raising your dose of finsteride if he or she sees fit.

    I’d don’t think you have much to worry about when it comes to Differin and hair loss, and I certainly don’t think that whitening your teeth will effect your hair.

    Hope this helps. Keep listening and spread the word.

    Spencer Kobren
    Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)

  • Propecia Vs. Avodart – What Is The Best Oral Treatment For Male Pattern Hair Loss?

    I have a question regarding the medications Propecia, Avodart, and natural supplement remedies for the treatment of male pattern baldness.

    I have early signs of hair loss where I noticed it within the past month. I am just losing a little in the frontal areas where the temple is. I am also 25 years old.

    My question is which is better for hair loss between, Propecia, Avodart (dutasteride), and or natural supplements such as (saw palmetto, nettle root, pygeum, pumkin seeds, beta sitosterol, lysine, green tea extract, grape seed extract)? I was even considering the natural prostate formula from the company of Life Extension with the majority of the above named supplements.

    I hear that Avodart suppresses both types of enzymes that convert to DHT, and I also hear that Propecia blocks just one enzyme that converts to DHT, and that all you need to block is that one particular enzyme.

    Avodart may sound better because insurance would pay for that. My insurance does not pay for Propecia because its considered cosmetic. I also know that those particular natural supplements that I mentioned block DHT, but I am unsure how good they are compared to Propecia and Avodart.

    Can you please tell me what I should use for the best possible oral treatment for male pattern hair loss? I want the best treatment possible because losing my hair is very upsetting to me.

    Thank You,

    This is a great question. I’m glad to see that you understand the importance of early intervention when it comes to successfully treating your hair loss, and it’s apparent that you’ve done a significant amount of research on the subject.

    First things first, lets rule out the BS. There are no natural supplements including, saw palmetto, stinging nettle, or pygeum africanium that have been clinically proven to be effective for the prevention and treatment of hair loss. NONE!

    The truth is, I wrote the first published chapter on the subject, The Power of Herbal Treatments in my first book The Bald Truth. Based on a couple of early scientific peer reviewed articles and discussions with well known members of the scientific community, I concluded the use of these natural supplements in conjunction with FDA approved medication, could in fact increase the likelihood of success in the treatment and prevention of hair loss. Much of these findings were based on the fact that these supplements do lower DHT in most individuals.

    After eleven years in the field, I can say with complete certainty that those early scientific hypotheses and my personal conclusions were wrong! Countless snake oil products were developed based on these early scientific findings published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of The American Medical Association. Unfortunately, none of these products have proven to be beneficial in the treatment of hair loss. In fact most “natural” products being marketed today are usually coupled with a topical formulation that includes the FDA approved drug minoxidil.

    It is my advise not to waist your time or your money on any product that is not clinically proven to treat hair loss or that is not FDA approved and recommended by The American Hair Loss Association.

    Now lets get to Dutasteride. Dutasteride is an FDA approved drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline and marketed under the brand name Avodart. Dutasteride is a dual 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) also known as an enlarged prostate. Dual means that the drug inhibits both Type1 and Type 2 5-alpha-reductase which is the enzyme associated with the conversation of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the main culprit in both the enlargement of the prostate and in the miniaturization of the hair follicle associated with male pattern hair loss. Avodart (Dutasteride) does work well for hair loss according to physicians and to those who use it, however, it is my opinion that this drug should not be your first line of attack. Not every hair loss sufferer will need to bring out the “big guns” to effectively treat their hair loss. Remember the more DHT that is suppressed the greater the possibility of adverse side effects. I advise all of my listeners to first speak with their doctors about starting treatment with Propecia.

    Propecia should always be your first line of attack. According to clinical trials you have almost a 90% chance of stopping the progression of your hair loss and a significant chance of regrowing hair that’s been lost within the past 5 years or so. If you fall within the small percentage of men who do not see benefits from Propecia you can always talk to your doctor about the possibility of using Dutasteride.

    Hope this helps,
    Spencer Kobren
    Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)



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"Spencer Kobren's nationally syndicated show "The Bald Truth" has a dedicated listenership that would have Rush Limbaugh pulling his hair out in envy." --Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


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