HairLossTalk was founded by a single 25 year old male in 1999 who had a desire to help hair loss sufferers. Focused entirely on scientifically-backed treatments, all content has been written with the curation, assistance, and guidance of some of the top names in dermatology and hair research. Everyone from Kevin J. McElwee to Angela Christiano, to Dr. Marty Sawaya, Dr. Richard Lee, and countless others have played a role in what you see today.
This website is first and foremost a consumer-based community that acts as a conduit / liaison to the Medical world. We provide information and resources from the dermatological research communities, treatment options, surgical solutions, and more. This site is run by someone who has no ties to the hair loss industry outside of running the site. While we have partnered over the years with several companies and individuals who we felt offered reputable, honest products, we are proud to say that no content is influenced by any advertiser or affiliate.
Back in 1999, when I was 25, my hair started thinning. I scoured the internet for information on what would help me keep my hair. Instead found a cesspool of snake oil and spray-on hair ads. The one redeeming source of information I found was a usenet newsgroup on the topic of hair loss, where many guys (including myself) were posting questions, but getting no responses. The lack of viable information on the web, and the seemingly useless newsgroup bothered me. I wondered what would happen if I threw together a one-page chat room and invited everyone there. Maybe I could get the information I needed by drawing people together, and do something helpful for others in the process. So I did it. And people responded.
For nearly 4 months the weekly “hair loss chats” were surprisingly well-attended. People began encouraging me to buy a domain name and actually set up a site. My first inclination was of course “HairLossChat.com”. So, being young and naive, I sent an email to several hair loss websites announcing that I was going to be buying the domain name soon, and that I hoped they’d help us get the word out. Since money was tight I needed to wait until my Friday paycheck to pull the trigger, but when Friday came, I found that it had already been taken. One of the sites I’d emailed (hairloss.com) had bought it before I could. When I inquired as to why they did this, they said they “owned” the term “hair loss” and were therefore entitled to own hairlosschat as well.
That was my first introduction to the general mindset that pervades the players in the hair loss industry. It was that event which I believe really focused my intentions. I had a pure, genuine desire to help people, and I was confused why anyone would want to mislead people who were feeling desperate. There were 16 year old guys in my chat room who were suicidal and crying themselves to sleep at night because they were becoming “disfigured” (prematurely bald) and foresaw a future of loneliness. Yet all over the web I saw snake oils being advertised, blatantly doctored before-and-after photos, and lie after lie for the purpose of selling ineffective products to an uneducated public.
It was obvious that a site grounded in solid science was needed. The industry also needed someone who would not be swayed by the almighty dollar. Someone who would stick to core values in the face of financial gain associated with compromise. I knew just the person. So I built HairLossTalk.com. I decided to gather all the smartest people in the industry (researchers and medical doctors) and began building content that could be trusted.
One day I received pictures from a guy by the name of “Jon Ross” who had used Propecia and Rogaine together (a novel concept at the time) and had amazing results. This is when I realized exactly what HairLossTalk offering to the consumer public was going to be. It astounded me. He looked 10 years younger even though he had aged 5 years between the before and after photo. All because he grew his hair back. It struck me that absolutely nobody knew about this. Nobody had a clue this could be done. Back in 1999, nobody had ever heard of anyone actually growing their hair *back*.
Content went up based on PubMed research, FDA trial documentation, and consultations with as many scientists as could be reached. We built a knowledge base explaining the legitimate, beneficial methods for treating hair loss, and how to identify scams. We added discussion forums, and a News Center. With the help of doctors we settled on three major types of hair loss treatments: (1) Clinically Proven (2) Unproven but Scientifically Efficacious and (3) Snake oil. There simply were no “how to” guides on how to actually treat hair loss, so I built one for men. And one for women.
Consumer Education, Information, and Community is what this site has always been about. We want to educate people. We want you to leave this site with information that will help you avoid scams. We want you to meet others who share your worries. We want to connect you to the surgeons, dermatologists, and research projects that will make a positive difference. What I want to stress most is that HairLossTalk isn’t a faceless corporate entity run by people in suits. Just a regular person who knows how to convey accurate medical information to a group of people who want solutions.