Food Supplements, Hair
Lotions, Conditioners, Scalp Oil, Shampoos, Laser Combs, Prescription Tablets, Herbal
Question : Can food supplements, Emu oil, special pills,
herbal concoctions or laser combs really help us to re-grow lost hair ?
In a recent edition of the Daily Mail, Dr Andrew Messenger, a consultant
dermatologist and male hair loss specialist, checked out eight products that claim to prevent or reverse male
pattern baldness. Below is a review of his opinions.
Hairloss remedy type 1: Food
The food supplement reviewed was PK4 Hair Soya Protein Capsules by Phillip
Kingsley. It is claimed that the supplement, which contains amino acids, helps build proteins that lead to
optimum hair growth. Dr Messenger argues that although ingesting additional amino acids may make a difference
for someone with a severe protein deficiency, it will not have any impact on hair loss in a healthy male.
Hairloss remedy type 2: Hair Lotions
The hair lotion reviewed was Regaine, which is a brand name for minoxidil. It
claims to prevent further balding once hair loss is noticed, and even to stimulate re-growth. Dr Messenger
agreed that minoxidil can increase hair density when massaged into the scalp twice a day. Clinical trials show
an increase in hair density of around 10%, although it appears to be more in some men. He warns that treatment
has to be maintained, or hair density will be lost again. Overall score 8/10
Hairloss remedy type 3: Conditioners
The hair conditioner examined was Alpecin Caffeine Liquid Hair Energiser. The
manufacturer claims that caffeine protects weakened hair roots from the effects of testosterone, and prevents
hair loss. Dr Messenger does not believe that a conditioner could contain a high enough concentration of
caffeine to make any significant difference to hair roots, even if positive effects are seen in the laboratory.
Hairloss remedy type 4: Scalp Oils
The scalp oil featured in the article was Australian Golden Emu Oil, which is
said to promote hair re-growth by up to 45%. Dr Messenger suggested that the very limited testing of Emu Oil so
far did not constitute a clinical trail and until scientific evidence is provided he would not recommend
patients try this method to promote re-growth. Overall score 0/10
Hairloss remedy type 5: Shampoos
The shampoo reviewed by Dr Messenger was Profol Bio T Advanced Formula
Hi-Potency Shampoo by Julian Jay Hair and Scalp Clinic. It claims to control excessive hair loss using Biotin,
known as vitamin H or B7. Dr Messenger agrees that Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss but this is extremely
rare, and a healthy person using extra Biotin in a shampoo is unlikely to have any effect at all on hair loss.
Hairloss remedy type 6: Laser Combs
The Hairmax Premium was the laser comb reviewed, and Dr Messenger does support
its claims that it can stimulate regrowth to a certain extent. He believes that the laser transmitted into the
scalp can trigger hair follicles that are resting or inactive to actually grow a hair. Although this is a
relatively new technology, the clinical trials are promising. Overall score 6/10
Hairloss remedy type 7: Prescription
Propecia, a brand name for finasteride, was the tablet reviewed by Dr
Messenger. Finasteride tablets are taken once a day, and are supposed to prevent further hair loss and
encourage re-growth. Dr Messenger agrees that there is a great deal of clinical evidence to support this, and
that finasteride works by stopping testosterone being converted into DHT which is the main cause of hair loss.
He suggests two thirds of men will see a 10-15% increase in hair density, but that treatment must be maintained
to keep that benefit. Overall score
Hairloss remedy type 8: Herbal
The herbal remedy featured in the article was a Proto-col trichologen natural
food supplement. Its manufacturer claims that the plant extract saw palmetto, which is its main active
ingredient, can regulate levels of DHT which causes male pattern baldness. Dr Messenger states that although he
is familiar with saw palmetto, he knows of no evidence to suggest that it has any impact on hair loss.
Dr Messenger concluded that although there are some treatments that do prevent
further hair loss and promote re-growth, such as minoxidil, finasteride, and the laser comb, their
effectiveness should not be exaggerated. An increased hair density of around 10-15% is the maximum a man with
male pattern baldness could expect to gain from any of these treatments.