Pervasive problems provide ample opportunities and incentives for inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and marketers to find and sell a solution. And few problems are more pervasive than hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, hair loss (or alopecia) affects about 85% of all men by the time they reach 50, and women make up about 40% of those who suffer from hair loss. Just because hair loss is common and far-reaching, though, does not mean that all people offering solutions are honest actors.
There is, unfortunately, no shortage of snake oil salespeople, pseudo-scientific claims, and half-baked quick fixes on the market. And if you’re desperate to stop your hair loss and/or grow it back, it’s easy to fall victim to these scams. Don’t waste your time and money and don’t put your health at risk -- here’s our advice for how to spot scam hair loss products.
There is plenty of truth to the cliche, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Indeed, while hair restoration technology has advanced significantly over the years, a reliable hair loss cure has yet to be discovered, and even proven products have variable results. As such, any product or company claiming to provide guaranteed results, complete hair regrowth, fast or immediate outcomes, etc., should be met with suspicion. The truth is that hair loss and hair regrowth are complex matters and highly dependent on one’s individual genetics and biology. Do not trust manufacturers that aren’t transparent about this reality.
While it’s fairly easy to notice when a product is overselling its efficacy, it is far more challenging to pick apart exactly what a given hair loss solution is claiming, and whether or not information has been omitted, skewed, or manipulated in any way. The more you know about how hair loss and various treatments operate, the better you can pick apart and verify these claims.
For instance, the male sex hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the leading cause of baldness in men and a major cause for female hair loss, too. Blocking this hormone is a key way for stopping and hair loss for those with a genetic tendency for this condition. Shady marketers might mention DHT but fail to provide complete information regarding whether their product actually blocks DHT. The technical language might impress some customers, but it will ring hollow for those who understand exactly what they’re looking for and why.
Ultimately, the best way to spot scam hair loss products and actually find an effective hair loss treatment is to know what works. Digging for information online can be fruitful, but can also open the door to misinformation. So, the best way to find reputable, effective products is to go over options with your dermatologist. They can tell you that topical minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia), which is taken orally, are the two major hair loss treatments available. Your doctor may also tell you about surgical hair restoration treatments, such as follicular unit transplants (FUT), follicular unit extraction (FUE), and follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS), and laser therapies that may promote hair growth in some patients.
While millions of people regularly seek a solution for how to stop hair loss, there is no universal or guaranteed way to do so as of yet. Still, there are many proven ways to slow down hair loss and even restore it. The key is knowing how to separate the snake oil from the real solutions. By learning more about hair loss and hair restoration, reading labels and claims carefully, and speaking with a dermatologist, you can find the hair loss solution that’s right for you and safe to use without wasting time or money.