IS ANYBODY WORKING ON SOLUTIONS FOR WOMEN WITH THINNING HAIR/HAIR LOSS?

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS AND THE CONSIDERATION FOR WOMEN WHO ARE EXPERIENCING THINNING HAIR AND HAIR LOSS

By Robert Jew, CEO- Universal Biologics

 

Although the two most recent FDA approved treatments, Merck's Propecia® and Upjohn's Rogaine® 5% Minoxidil® Solution, include warnings to women prohibiting the use or (in the case of Propecia®) the mere handling of the drug, it is apparent that women are not sure whether they may use either product in the treatment of their thinning hair/hair loss condition. A female dermatologist approached me at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Conference and told me that it is safe for men and some women to use Propecia® and that the indicated side effects in men and women are of minimal concern. One of the major web sites involved in offering information and advice on hair "regrowth" treatments responded to an e-mail inquiry from a woman suggesting that she consider Propecia® and Rogaine® Extra Strength (or custom Minoxidil® 5% solution) and implies to be wary of other non-FDA Approved treatments that base their success on their own materials and data. Thus, the questions still remain: Is there anything really safe for women to use? and Why haven't companies developed a treatment that concentrates on women?

Since we at Universal Biologics believe that our natural treatment, HairPrime®, (among other such treatments) is safe for women and relies on the successes achieved by most of our current female customers and their letters of satisfaction, the latter question is more thought provoking and unsubstantiated.

It has been our experience in recruiting women for clinical studies and personal testimonials that women are reticent to participate in forums that expose their hair loss condition with someone other than their physician or other trusted hair professional. In my tenure with Universal Biologics, I have only encountered two women who were willing to participate in a double-blind clinical study to test a hair treatment product, but neither would agree to the Price-Menefee protocol (developed for hair growth evaluation in the Minoxidil® study) which requires tattooing a 1 square centimeter area on the scalp and cutting the hair from this area every 8 weeks for a period of 6-12 months. Furthermore, after contacting over 100 of our satisfied customers to secure a few testimonials for a syndicated television series on health, none of the women were willing to give a testimonial even with an offer not to disclose their names and to place them behind a screen to protect their identities. Finally, we have observed that women prefer to buy our products for treating thinning hair by phone or mail order rather than off the shelf at a salon. Why are women unwilling to participate in the open discussion and development of thinning hair and hair loss solutions?

To take control of your hair loss situation, you should FIRST, consult a dermatologist or other qualified professional to determine the exact cause of your hair loss before starting a treatment, especially a costly one. Hair loss or thinning hair may be the result of hormonal changes (e.g. menopause), hormone replacement, medical ailments, medicines, dietary habits, stress, etc. Thus, sometimes using a hair loss treatment product may be ineffective only because the product does not address the particular cause of the hair loss or the product is unable to overcome the effects of the factors related to the individual.

SECOND, you should research and understand the causes of your hair loss and verify the information you are relying on. You should especially avoid advice, claims or information that is clearly illogical (e.g. "Upon applying this product, you can see new hair sprouting out instantly.") or misleading. Furthermore, beware of false claims of conducting a clinical test and study that was actually performed in a "kitchen laboratory" or in less than subjective forums (e.g. "Tested on our own employees and relatives in our own labs."). Be sure to read carefully the research and claims behind the product and understand what they are claiming (e.g. In a test tube, in vitro, or using real live subjects, in vivo. Tested on animals or humans. Tested on scalp hair or arm hair.)

FINALLY, you must realize and understand that even the best and real treatments may take months to work, if at all, as such is the time nature has set for the human hair growth cycles. With a proven treatment that you understand to be related to your diagnosed condition, true compliance and a lot of persistence and patience, you may be successful in heading off your hair loss. The sooner you start taking steps to stop your hair loss the better your chances are to keeping what you have. It is up to you to empower yourself to find the proper solution for your hair loss and thinning hair. Fortunately, there are now new solutions, including natural herbal treatments, which offer new hope for women who are restricted from the use of the current drug choices available.


As for what alternative treatments are available for women, we are most qualified to disclose information on our own HAIRPRIME® SYSTEM FOR THINNING HAIR, although it is only fair to admit that we have received positive and negative feedback from our women customers who have tried our treatment as well as other topical treatments using high dosages of Minoxidil® prescribed by their physicians, azelaic acid, aldactone, spironolactone, retin-A, copper-binding peptides and phenytoin.

The following are important points to consider in determining whether women should view HairPrime® as a possible solution to their thinning hair or hair loss problems given that there are only two FDA approved treatments for hair loss:

  1. Regardless of the hair growth claims by Propecia® and Minoxidil®, no product grows hair. If it were so, then hair should grow on the palms of your hand and the bottoms of your feet when the product is applied. Hair grows from a healthy follicle. Products may only improve or enhance the environment, health and condition of the follicle to allow the hair to grow.

  2. HairPrime®, like Propecia® and Minoxidil®, only creates a better environment for growing hair. HairPrime® is effective using natural botanical extracts whereas the other two are synthetic. But most important is the fact that women are warned not to use or handle Propecia® and the additional strength Rogaine® with 5% Minoxidil® currently available is indicated for men only.

  3. Minoxidil®, originally intended to treat high blood pressure, was found to grow hair...HOWEVER, there is no evidence that it blocks the effects of DHT (the most accepted cause of androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as "male pattern baldness", which effects both men and women), thus the hair growth cycle is shortened. If the hair cycle is shortened, the hair will fall out after only 3-5 weeks growth, rather than the normal healthy growth cycle of 3-5 years. Thus, Minoxidil® may stimulate new hair growth, but it does not claim to extend the hair growth cycle to allow the vellus hair to convert to a non-vellus/terminal, melanized, mature hair.

  4. DHT has been identified by researchers as causing the premature completion of the growth phase of the hair growth cycle leading to the conversion of hair follicles from the terminal form (which produces mature, pigmented hairs) to the vellus form (which produces fine, short, "baby" hair). Thus, "thinning hair" results from the inability of the hair to live and grow to full maturity and "hair loss" logically results because the hair growth cycle is shortened causing the hair to fall out prematurely.

  5. Propecia®, employing Finasteride® (a drug originally developed in Proscar® to treat the prostate), is indicated in research to inhibit 5 alpha reductase Type II, thus blocking the conversion of testosterone into the androgen, DHT. HOWEVER, because 5 alpha reductase Type II is found mainly in the genitalia and Propecia® invasively inhibits its activity, the possible side effects of PSA masking and possible loss of libido in men are logical. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, it poses a serious threat to women of reproductive age as research has indicated that a deficiency in DHT may cause the inability of a male fetus to form sex organs. Furthermore, women after menopause may be affected by an increase in testosterone levels because the conversion of DHT is blocked.

  6. Thus, if you dismiss the clinical effectiveness of HairPrime®, as published in a dermatologist peer review publication, The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, or the other clinically proven (albeit not approved by the FDA) treatments, then women have only the choice of growing short, baby-fine hair that lasts only 3-5 weeks with the use of 2% Minoxidil® .

  7. HairPrime® is unique in that it is a SAFE, PROVEN, NATURAL TREATMENT that WOMEN AND MEN can use to convert vellus (fine, short, "baby") hair to non-vellus / terminal (mature, full-grown, pigmented) hair because of its 5 alpha reductase inhibition like activity which is TOPICALLY APPLIED. As a topical application, HairPrime® may seem cumbersome as it requires commitment, time and compliance to achieve satisfactory results; but after satisfactory results are achieved (as achieved by 80%-90% of those that have used HairPrime®), maintenance is much less time-consuming and the effects are long-term, not transient. HairPrime® is less invasive than Propecia®, although Propecia® may be easily ingested in seconds, with effective results for men.

  8. Although on average there is a milder expression of hereditary hair thinning in women, the emotional impact is often more devastating to women than men. Men (from Yul Brenner to Telly Savalas to Michael Jordan) have been able to transform their baldness into a fashion statement whereas women cannot. Yet, most of the marketing and development of hair loss treatment products are focused on men. Our informal survey of women who have used HairPrime® , even those who have achieved satisfactory results, reveal that women are so self-conscious about thinning hair that they will not participate in clinical tests or give testimonials, especially where it exposes their results in public forums. This is indeed a disconcerting phenomenon as over 50% of our HairPrime® customers are women.

  9. Women, on average, prefer to avoid invasive drugs in favor of natural treatments. If women use ethical natural products with success, men may benefit by adopting the women's approach to regaining aesthetic appearance as is the case where men have adopted the use of skin care products that were previously only used by women.

 

To summarize, the key is not so much as to grow (new) hair, rather it is to allow hair (whether new or old) to continue to grow healthy to full maturity. Thus, we prefer to say "HairPrime® Promotes a Healthy Environment for Hair to Grow" rather than claiming that it grows hair.

We hope that the treatment of women with thinning hair and the distinction regarding "Conversion To Terminal Hair" that we have delivered to the medical and scientific community (e.g. the IBC Scientific Conference - Short Hills, NJ - Feb.,1999, the 57th American Academy of Dermatology Conference -New Orleans - Mar, 1999) is clearly conveyed for your understanding and consideration. More important, we hope that after reading this article women will feel empowered to press for solutions that addresses their concerns.

 

 

 

 

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