HairLossTalk is back with new information, news, and updates that I am excited to tell you all about. The last several months have been filled with redesign work, and new content creation. So we haven’t really begun reaching out to our subscribers consistently just yet. But we’re about ready to go, and I (founder of HairLossTalk) will be publishing a weekly blog with a synopsis / mashup of everything new going on that I hope will be useful to you. This is the first of those posts.
First off, I owe everyone a very sincere apology. If you hadn’t noticed, HairLossTalk has been stagnant for nearly 7 years. No updates. No new news. Outdated pages, and content. And aside from the Discussion Forums, the place had pretty much turned into a ghost town.
[Quick note – there are a LOT of links on this article just because there’s so much to cover. I hope you’ll forgive that they will each open a new browser window. Future posts won’t have so many links!]
We fully redesigned the Site, so that you can now navigate the entire thing on your mobile device or tablet. We upgraded the Discussion Forums, added a new Chat Room, and worked hard to update our Mens Hair Loss Treatments and Women’s Hair Loss Treatments guides.
Even more exciting however, was the Hair Loss Research scene I stumbled upon when reviving this community in 2016. I was both amazed by the research projects currently under way, and at the same time fully embarrassed that I knew nothing about them. But the stuff that is going on right now is truly inspiring.
Hair Loss Research Pipeline
We’ve gone from a decade or more of complete stagnancy in the hair research world, to a whole new universe of stem cell and high tech projects that may result in some innovative new treatments and possibly even a cure. First order of business was to build a Hair Loss Research Pipeline page, which, with the help of our forum user Swoop turned out incredible. If you haven’t yet, take a look at it on your desktop sometime too. Each item on the list can be clicked, and it will take you to the Project Page for each company. There you’ll see all the articles and updates we’ll be posting for each one, ongoing. Encourage you to bookmark those pages and keep an eye on them, as I commit to always keeping it current.
The site has been around for over 17 years. That’s a long time. In that time we actually had over 200,000 subscribers, but as life goes on, and emails grow old, a lot of those people were unreachable. So we began a reconfirmation campaign and scrubbed our list, which extended back to day 1 in 1999. After all the bounces and unsubscribes over the past couple months, we’ve ended up with a solid subscribership of over 65,000 people with roughly 10-20 new subscribers daily.
If you’re subscribed to the hair loss news service we’ve set up, then you’ve begun receiving the latest articles we’ve put out over the last few months. This was a ramping up phase for us. We are still looking for writers, and familiarizing ourselves with everything going on in the industry. If you’re not subscribed yet, please do so.
Also please “Like” our Facebook page and Twitter as a lot is coming in the next several months that you won’t want to miss. Make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube Channel as well. Shoot, we even have an Instagram account which you should REALLY follow, for those times when I’ll be going to conferences, running around taking selfies with Angela Christiano, photo bombing a hair transplant demo, or catching the alcohol-inspired shenanigans at the after parties. You don’t think I’d really do it? Just watch…
The big news in the last week was the return of S5 Cream. Topical Spironolactone, which isn’t available in the United States is now available through an overseas affiliate. I can’t count the number of HairLossTalk members who were up in arms when it was discontinued a few months back. Including myself. I’ve used it intermittently for the last 10 years after quitting Propecia, to try and help maintain my own hair. Even though there always seem to be a few forum trolls who say that everything “sucks” (and that was no exception this month when we announced that Topical Spironolactone 5% was available again) I am extremely excited for everyone who was relying on it to maintain their hair.
I have to say, in an industry where 90% of the options are complete scams, it frustrated me to no end that a couple guys on the forums were actually talking trash about Topical Spironolactone as a treatment concept in general. I can’t count the number of verified purchasers who emailed me personally over the last 4 months to tell me that their hair was falling out “like crazy” after they ran out of the S5 Cream. This was no placebo effect. If you’re going to demonize something, focus on the scams that are so abundant in this scene, not the very small handful of products with solid science backing them!
Because of all those emails of newly falling hair, I felt a moral obligation to find someone, somewhere in the world, who could make it. And I took this very seriously as well. I made sure that the manufacturer was someone with an established reputation, who had the facilities to “cook this stuff up” the way it needed to be made (it actually has to be heated and mixed properly, using the appropriate chemistry).
When I found someone, I literally emailed them the keys to the kingdom. The entire recipe from the previous manufacturer, and sent email after email verifying that procedures were being followed “to the T”. I look out for my users, and care very deeply for everyone’s success. The company that makes this product, and the even more impressive S5 Plus Cream that they formulated all on their own, began finally shipping new orders a few days ago. So a whole bunch of people are extremely happy right now, and should be receiving their products soon.
As mentioned above, there is so much going on in hair research that its difficult to even keep up with it. Anyone out there interested in helping us scour the web for new information, please don’t hesitate to comment below. To cover the most important stuff:
There was a pretty big conference in Miami near the end of 2015 that one of HairLossTalk’s favorite members “Hellouser” was kind enough to attend. He set up a GoFundMe campaign that people generously donated to, and was able to go, all expenses paid. And he didn’t dissappoint. Upon return, he was loaded with new information, audio clips, interviews and more. You can see his incredible thread here: Hellouser at Hair Congress 2015.
Hair Congress 2015
As part of that (and I dropped the ball on this one hardcore) he was also kind enough to transition all of his video content to the HairLossTalk YouTube page. We got a few of them moved over and transcribed, but funds were low and I wasn’t able to cover the expenses tneeded to keep going.
On the topic of funds – time for a shameless plug: If you want to help support this site, you can do two very important things for us: (1) Try to get some of your products from our online store and (2) Link to our home page from your blog or website as a valuable resource on the topic of “hair loss”. Make sure it goes to HTTPS://www.hairlosstalk.com/ as we are now awesome with the SSL certificate for your security. This plays an integral part in this community thriving like it did back in 2007, and will help immensely.
If you run a hair loss blog or website, or a hair transplant clinic or research site, please put a meaningful link to HairLossTalk.com up. https://www.hairlosstalk.com PS: Meaningful means making the text link: “hair loss”.
Still, from the conference, some good content for the hair biology nerds out there to enjoy:
Be nice and subscribe to the HairLossTalk YouTube channel also. We will be bringing hot ladies and sexy man videos in the future, talking about their hair loss. Promise. Definitely don’t want to miss that. Also maybe kitten videos. Kittens with hair loss.
Few names illicit such an emotional response from “those in the know” right now. Dr. Tsuji heads up the research team at Organ Technologies which is working on what many have labeled the most promising research project in the pipeline. A procedure that has the potential to make hair loss a minor inconvenience, at most. Its all very complex to explain, so I’ll just summarize with this: Unlimited numbers of your own hair, injected into balding areas, with the ability to control their color, density, and shaft thickness.
Dr. Takashi Tsuji
It’s been hailed as the next generation hair transplant procedure where your own cells are multiplied after a very non-invasive cellular extraction from your own scalp. We first introduced the partnership between organ tech and kyocera, and more recently got a status update from the CEO of Organ and researchers from the team at Riken on their Hair Primordiums Project. You can bookmark their project page and check back periodically for article updates as well.
A couple articles put together by one of our users, Swoop, made their debut’s last month as well. He did some digging into the data behind Rogaine – studies I myself hadn’t even seen before. Pretty interesting seeing exactly how many hairs you can expect to grow after “X” number of months on Rogaine.
As a hair transplant patient himself, he shared some of his thoughts on the ugly duckling phase of hair transplant surgery. It was really interesting to learn that hair transplants aren’t over when you walk out of that operating room. Be sure to check out both of these articles so that you can keep yourself informed on all your options, and better understand how some of the most important hair loss treatments work.
Still catching up on all the new research, we covered the hair regeneration project from Shiseido in the race for the cure for hair loss. This one is remarkably similar in nature to the Kyocera / Riken / Organ Technologies research, with some important differences that I won’t bore you with. Both however are heavily funded by major corporations that have their dirty little fingers in countless health and beauty industries, so as before, I encourage you to bookmark the Shiseido RCH-01 Asia project page and keep an eye on it for ongoing updates as we publish them.
Histogen is also in the news lately as they continue to research and test a new topical treatment for hair loss which has shown significant promise in smaller trials already. Known as Histogen HSC (Hair Stimulating Complex), we did an interview with Dr. Gail Naughton to discuss the current status of the project, and some tentative timelines for what to expect in 2017.
Their initial photos were shockingly impressive, but a lot of forum users expressed some rather intense skepticism, since the person presenting the photos was a physician who was caught doctoring photos on another project he was involved in. Prior to the interview a lot of the forum users asked me to bring this up, but I opted to not burn bridges, and keep the focus on the promised upcoming formal trials.
It wasn’t too long after that when we heard from Dr. Naughton that they’d secured an additional $6m in funding for HSC from Huapont Life Sciences, to help fund the new studies, and later we announced their deal for commercialization of Histogen HSC in China. All good news and forward progress. As always, please bookmark the Histogen Hair Stimulating Complex project page to keep apprised of our updates.
Yeah for real. An actual cure. And not the kind you read about in an article and when you reach the bottom, they passively mention that it may actually work but they’re not sure, and you’ll have to wait 15 years to find out. This one actually works. Today.
People who took the medication saw 100% restoration of all their hair within 16 weeks of starting. So the question now with these JAK3 inhibitors is whether they’re going to be safe to take long term. And what’s the lowest dose needed for results.
JAK3 Inhibitors Cure Alopecia Areata
On the plus side, people already take them in higher doses for other autoimmune conditions, so the safety profile is fairly well known. But with Alopecia you’d have to take it forever to maintain the hair. It falls out as soon as you stop.
So what about Androgenetic Alopecia (typical male and female pattern baldness) or thinning hair? Aclaris and Dr. Angela Christiano have said that they’re considering a topical formulation to see how it may work with this non-autoimmune form of hair loss. A lot of forum users are skeptical, and some outright laughing at the idea. But they’ve dubbed the Alopecia one ATI-50001 and the thinning hair one ATI-50002 so please bookmark the project page to keep an eye on them.
Without a doubt the most entertaining story we’ve done in 2016 centers around the Samumed hair loss treatment project. I had an absolute ball writing this article after reading up on this company, which by the way is ALSO right here in San Diego (along with Histogen, and a few others, so please expect me to stalk them on a regular basis on your behalf).
Samumed Project Team
The article linked-to above explains it all, but needless to say this company is funded out the wazoo and that bodes will for the legitimacy of the technology they’re pushing, which spans not only hair loss treatment but the regeneration of organs throughout the body. Sometimes I wish these companies were publicly traded so I could get in early…
You can bookmark the Samumed Hair Loss Treatment project page to keep an eye on our updates.
Finally, I took a rather skeptical look at another company called HairCell which purports to be developing a hair loss treatment. For some reason my BS-O-Meter went off when I looked a little deeper into their company. Specifically their Vimeo page full of strange, somewhat cheesy videos on what they claim to be developing. Its ironically similar to Samumed in the sense that it is a technology intended to help all sorts of system-wide organs.
But like I said … something just struck me as disingenuous about it all. As a result, they haven’t been added to the Pipeline page, but I will definitely make sure we update you with any leanings towards legitimacy coming from them. I’ve been known to be wrong in the past…
I had a couple pretty unpleasant encounters with some folks from the Post-Finasteride Syndrome world recently. If you’re not aware of what that is, its basically a handful of websites with people who report having long-term side effects from Propecia. As with most topics from politics to religion, moderate, rational, grounded thought quickly gives way to extremism.
I should say very clearly that I do strongly believe that a certain percentage of guys have side effects on Propecia, and a relevant number of those have ongoing issues with both their hormones and sometimes neurotransmitters responsible for mood. But what I care about is data. Fortunately, Swoop sent the following study to me which was just recently published (July 2016).
Its the best kind of study in my opinion, because it is a meta-analysis of propecia side effects. That means they analyzed all the data out there, as well as including speculative and subjective reports from discussion forums online. I think you should check it out if you care about remaining rational on this topic: Adverse Effects and Safety of 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors (Finasteride, Dutasteride): A Systematic Review.
It’s clear that there are some very strong opinions on Propecia side effects, and I know firsthand that medical science is sometimes incredibly wrong in its conclusions. But for the time being, I need to stand by my opinion that:
First, every medication has severe side effects in some people. Aspirin actually has “suicide” and “death” listed on its post-marketing side effects list. Does that mean you’ll stop taking it when you get a fever of 104? Second, Propecia is remarkably good at telling you whether it’s going to cause problems for you. I don’t believe they happen “without you knowing” or that you’ll wake up one day forever impotent. I believe severe side effects are very rare, and people who experience them should discontinue treatment or risk doing long term damage.
Lastly, its important to remember the absolutely devastating effect hair loss has on people. There actually are people out there who may be suicidal if they don’t stop their hair loss. And millions more who simply lose hope in life, and their future, because thinning hair destroys their self esteem and social status as well. It’s disappointing to me that we can’t find a rational, middle ground on this issue.
So that’s it for now everyone. As mentioned, I will be doing these either weekly or every 2 weeks, so if you lack the time or interest to read all the specific articles, you can always just read this one and get the overall scoop on what’s going on. I’ll make sure to include some drama and other things which will ensure that you laugh, cry, and walk away from HairLossTalk wondering how the hell you ended up on a “hair loss newsletter list” that actually entertains you.
Check out the Subscribe page and you can enter your email (even if you’re already subscribed) then select the topics that are of interest to you. There should be a new one there for “Editors Mashup” or “From the Horses Mouth”, or some other far-too-creative title for this thing I’m trying to do. That’ll be this combo article which will come out frequently.
Kevin Rands is the Founder of HairLossTalk.com and President of Online Health Networks, Inc. a Miami based corporation providing consumer health education on the web. He is also the Founder and Principal Writer for DisrupterDaily.com, an online publication on disruption of health and tech sectors.
been using finasteride(propecia) for more than 25 years…still have most of my hair…rarely do I see hair on my pillow…and ABSOLUTLEY no side-effects whatsoever!. No-one is going to make me beleive it’s not right for me. And yes at one point in my life I was actually suicidal becuase it was looking like I was going to be bald. Been taking finasteride ever since and to this day still not sure if it’s the finsateride that’s stopped my hairloss, but it DID stop(or at least slow down to normal aging hairloss)….and alive here today to talk about it!