• Setting Hair Restoration Goals

    Setting goals may be the most challenging aspect of planning hair restoration.  Many of us can be emotionally devastated by our hair loss.  We tend to want to fix what’s missing right now.

    Until hair cloning, hair multiplication, gene therapy, or anything else becomes viable and affordable, we are left to work within the confines of our available donor supplies.  And for the sake of our discussion, our references will be to scalp donor.   Hair harvested from other regions of the body are methodology still in their infancy stages and because of the lack of consistent results (yields), we cannot and will not rely on it as a realistic or feasible donor source.  Hopefully that will change in the near future.

    Hair restoration is an all encompassing term and extends beyond the realm of surgery.  First and foremost, patients have to decide if they will use the available medications approved by the FDA for treating MPB. Interestingly enough, the earlier an individual decides to begin treatment after formal diagnosis, the better overall results achieved including regrowth.  These medications are Propecia (men only, finasteride 1mg daily), and Rogaine (minoxidil 3% & 5% strength).   Why is this an important element in setting one’s goals? We know that MPB is a progressive disorder in its nature so without the effective use of hair loss medications, the loss will continue in its predestined course.  Read more ›

     
  • 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,
    Paul

    ——————–

    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!

    Regards,
    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,
    Eric

    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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