The amount of money that is traded in the hair loss industry exceeds a billion dollars. That is how big the hair loss business is in the United States of America. In fact, this industry is growing rapidly in other parts of the world as well. Given the tumultuous growth of the industry, you would think that Americans have made unbelievable progress in the field of creating accessible and affordable hair loss solutions. Unfortunately, the hair loss products that are there on the market today are not much improved from the ones that your parents may have used about a couple of decades ago. If anything, you now have a greater variety of mediocre and sub standard products which are quite profitable because people are desperate to find an overnight solution to their hair loss problems. If only people were a little more informed about the ins and outs of hair loss treatment, then so many spammers and fraudsters would not have flocked the market by selling snake oil.
FDA Approval and Clinical Testing
Many of the hair loss products that you find in the market today are not even approved by the FDA. Majority of them are products that your hair loss consultant or physician would not recommend you to use. Despite that, consumers still keep purchasing these products in an attempt to instantly reverse the ill effects of baldness. You can’t really blame the consumers here. The lack of information has turned them into hungry sharks that would bite at anything that dangles. Some people go on to purchase FDA compliant products without realizing the mistake that they are making. For those of you who are not aware, FDA compliant and FDA approved are two completely different things. For a product to be FDA approved, it must pass tests designed by the FDA. For a product to be FDA compliant, it just needs to claim that it follows the standards prescribed by the FDA. It is a matter of fact versus unproven claim. Moreover, there are only a limited number of products in the market that can be worthy of being labelled as clinically tested or proven. In fact, according to some experts, Finasteride (Propecia/Proscar) and Minoxidil are the only two drugs that you can completely rely on.
Finasteride is a specific type of drug which is sold in the market under the brand name of Propecia (previously referred to as Proscar). The product is distributed across the country by a very well known pharmaceutical producer called Merck and Co. The product has obtained FDA approval and can be used for treating enlargement of the prostate glands as well as for reducing the rate of hair loss. The men who participated in the clinical trials noticed that the use of Propecia resulted in a considerable growth of hair. Once the pharmaceutical company were made aware of this, they decided to develop the finasteride drug till it became the perfect treatment for androgenic alopecia (more commonly referred to as male pattern baldness). It was approved as a treatment for hair loss by the FDA in the year 1997.
Some hair care experts believe that lowering the amount of DHT in the body or slowing down the production of this chemical is the only known method of stopping the horrible effects of male pattern baldness. It is also worth noting that male pattern baldness accounts for more than 90% of all cases of male hair loss in the United States of America. If you take 1 mg of finasteride on a daily basis, then the DHT levels in your body will be brought down by a whopping 60%! In the clinical trials, it was proven that finasteride was able to effectively impede hair loss in about 86% of the men who participated in the experiment.
Minoxidil and Finasteride are not too different from one another in terms of the impact they have had in the hair loss industry in the United States. Much like Finasteride, Minoxidil was originally used to treat a completely different medical condition. Used for alleviating high blood pressure, Minoxidil soon exhibited a side effect of enhanced hair growth. The hair growth took place in unexpected places such as the cheeks, the foreheads and the back of the hands.
Researchers needed to come up with a way to use minoxidil in increasing the growth of scalp hair. They finally decided to create a product that could be applied topically on whichever part of the body where hair growth was desired. Success is not guaranteed with the use of minoxidil. During the clinical trials, the results produced varying degrees of success in different individuals. However, it was good enough in the eyes of FDA, which is why it was approved as a treatment for male pattern baldness.