As you can appreciate, everyone’s hair, scalp, and health, is different.
For this reason, it might be best to start out by visiting your doctor/GP. If your doctor is not skilled in hair loss and hair regrowth, ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist dermatologist or a hair doctor; meaning someone who specialises in this area, including a hair transplant specialist. In this way, you can ask your specialist about the options on the market. But first, your specialist might have to examine you, your blood, your scalp, your medical history, and might ask you about all the medications you are taking. You see, medications are no child’s play. They look like simple tablets, but they do special things. For example, if your specialist puts you on Finasteride (such as the product Propecia) you need to know that it can cause your blood pressure to change. And this might be ok, so long as you and your specialist know that, if you are taking Viagra, for example, you now have two tablets in your body, pulling in opposite directions. If you are too shy to tell your specialist about you taking a product like Viagra, then speak with your GP and explain this, so that it can be managed and controlled. You cannot put stuff in your body, where the person prescribing one thing, is not aware of the other.
Any treatment that your specialist might recommend has to be weighed-up against your personal medical/physical condition. For example, why are you thinning, how are you thinning etc? This needs to be inspected, before you can be confident of using any product on the market.
The possible medications for hair regrowth might differ for men and women. Especially for women who plan on starting a family. Some medications are not suitable for pregnant women. So much so, that the company that makes one of the Finasteride tablets has a warning on the information sheet that says something like, if you are pregnant, you must not so much as touch a broken tablet. Touching is enough to potentially cause the genitals of your unborn baby boy to become deformed.
Some people respond well to Minoxidil. Others respond well to Finasteride. No decent studies have been conducted on using both, but some doctors do suggest using both, just in case they work well together.
My specialist had told me that Minoxidil works well for 33% of males. It helps to regrow hair. Yet for another third, it does not regrow hair, but it does help to stop hair loss. He also said that the final third receive no benefit. If Minoxidil is suggested to you, you can purchase this from a pharmacy, and I would suggest that you stick to the reputable brands like Johnson & Johnson’s Regaine which comes in various forms and different types and strengths. Read the information sheet in the box. Know what the potential side effects are. You can always call Johnson & Johnson or go to their website and send them questions. Ask a lot of questions. Some doctors might suggest that you take a higher dosage of Minoxidil. Anything higher than 5% would need to be compounded for you by a compounding pharmacist. (Below is some information about how you can find a compounding pharmacist near you.) It is very easy.
I do not understand how going to any of those external hair regrowth companies can help you. From what I have observed, they are playing on people’s fears and locking them into unethical contracts, selling useless shampoos and rubbish, while charging so much money for nothing at all. And if their formula does work, then it works because they use known medications that your GP can prescribe, so why do you need those companies out there? In my opinion, any business that plays on people’s ignorance is an unethical business. For example, if your computer does not work, and you come to me to help you fix it, and I find that it contained viruses, would it be ethical to charge you $3,700 to clear it out, and ask you to come back again and again every time for me to clean it out at such rip-off prices, or should I charge you $60 for my time and recommend that you purchase a virus-checker at $99 from a third party? You see, if it is obvious that there is a good solution out there, it would be unethical for someone to withhold the information from you, just because you do not know what a virus is, or what a virus-checker is. If, after telling you all about the available software, you still do not understand, then perhaps you can enrol in my $300 training day. Or if you simply could not be bothered, then I would be happy to do it for you at $60 per visit, plus $40 per hour’s work plus delivery every time you want me to help you to keep your computer in good condition. However, now it is all in the open, you know what your options are, and you can make an informed decision. In this scenario, the likes of Sam Cohen would say that no-one in the world has his virus checker, and that he wrote the program himself, and that his program is the only one that does not damage your hard disk while removing the viruses. Of course this would be a lie, but one which you would believe, as I believed that he had special Indian Curries that have helped people. All those testimonials are from ill-informed people who might hit the roof when they eventually find out that they have been supporting and endorsing a man who has been ripping them off (but they might not care so much because he can silence them by giving them free products).
In terms of hair, of course you must consider your lifestyle, and what kind of stresses you put your scalp through each day. Of course looking after your hair, skin, diet etc are all part of the mix.
If they are going to work, these products can take up to 12 months to kick in. So you need to be patient.
If you are unlucky with these products, you might need to consider grafts and such like, and I do not know enough about these, but I do know that my Specialist seemed to recommend someone whom he knew and whom he said was professional and competent. So I presume that there are good modern techniques being used. However, only go to really reputable surgeons for this one.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If someone tells you to stand on your head and put Indian Yogurt on your feet, ask to see the long-term medical, clinical studies. If any company suggests anything to you, and cannot show you the trials and studies (not with 5 people in Florida, but strong decent ethical real scientific unbiased studies), then I would urge you to stay away from that person and that remedy. But you know what such shonks and scammers say? They say, well look, it does work, and to help you to make up your mind, I will give you a money back guarantee. If they say this, put it to them this way, ‘Give me the treatment at no charge, and if it works, I will pay you.’ They will laugh at you. They can’t trust you. And that’s because they know that they can’t be trusted, so they presume that no-one can be trusted.
And finally, and equally importantly, I also would stay away from anyone suggesting any medication or product that they sell themselves. We need independent advice from medical practitioners who are not wholesalers and resellers. When anyone gives you advice and then tries to sell you their own concoction, run!
Oh and I hope that it goes without saying: I would not use any product if it has not been approved by the TGA. And by approved, I mean approved. Not a product that has an ‘L’ number from the TGA. An L number for a product just means that the product has been listed. This is a misleading term. A listed product means nothing. Any product, including Indian Yogurt can be listed with the TGA. Don’t be fooled. You need real products from real companies who have invested well to pass the stringent TGA approvals. Oh sure, those approval processes are long and expensive, but there are reasons for this. If a company does not want to stand up to scrutiny, it does not deserve my business. Mr Sam Cohen wanted me to take Loniten, which is a TGA-approved product, but NOT for hair growth. So this is another slimy trick. A TGA approved product must only be used for the purpose of its existence. Loniten can cause heart failure. It is a special drug. But then someone will argue that Loniten contains Minoxodil, and so Minoxidil is approved for hair regrowth. Stop there. Rubbish.
If you splash paint on your finger, and someone suggests Turpentine or, in an emergency, petrol, to help to shift that paint, then you can get away with it in most cases. Fuel on your finger might do the job and might not kill you. But to go one step further and to suggest that you drink the petrol, is becoming absurd. And if you argue the point, the scammer will say, ‘Oh but Turpentine and petrol work and are approved on your finger, so it stands to reason that you can also drink them…’ Absurd! Minoxidil on the scalp, as a topical lotion, is a different ballgame from Loniten in the body. It is not approved. The logic does not stack up. Oh and the manufacturer and all the medical experts say, NOT FOR BLOODY HAIR REGROWTH. How else do you want me to put it?
I feel sorry for you, because I was in your position, and I was stupid. Luckily, my GP was smarter than me, and he stopped me from make more mistakes. But Mr Cohen told me to ditch my GP, and he wanted to send me to one of his doctor friends.
Simple. See your doctor and/or a specialist dermatologist with experience in hair. Only use proven products. Only use big-brand products that are TGA approved. Simple.
And please cut out the middle-person. If your Doctor gives you a prescription, go and find a ‘Compounding Pharmacist’. Go direct. Do not even go through a normal pharmacist because they will only increase the price. I called a compounding pharmacist and he did not know me from a bar of soap. He quoted me $90 for a product that IHRB sells at $350. And the pharmacist said that it would be cheaper ($80) if I ordered three bottles at a time. So if you order 12 bottles, you can be so much better off. And he said he can do it all via mail if you post the script to him. He adds $8.00 postage. I have no idea how IHRB justifies $350 for 7% Minoxidil solution. Another bottle that Sam sells for $900 is available at a local pharmacy for $70. Sam Cohen says it all relates to his Indian Curries. Ask Mr Cohen to show you the scientific proof that his Curries exist, and also ask for the results of any independent, reputable clinical trials that such curries work. This is all a waste of time, because they do not exist. In my opinion, IHRB is running a scam.
I wish you well. Jonar.
Why not buy your medications directly from the compounding pharmacists. I have started to compile a Directory of Compounding Pharmacists so that you can know where to find them. See below for information on how to Buy Direct.
If your GP has given you a prescription for certain products to help with your hair-loss, why would you want anyone like Sam Cohen to fill it for you, rip-you off, and possibly tamper with the medications? Why not go directly to a compounding pharmacist? Clients who have asked Sam Cohen this questions, are told that Sam’s formula contains his special Indian Curries. This is a lie. Therefore, why pay $350 for a product that you can buy-direct at around $80 or $90? (By the way, Sam Cohen’s 15% Minoxidil sells for $900. Yet my local pharmacist sells it at $70.) Compounding pharmacists are friendly, caring, and ethical operators who have the qualifications and the training to deliver a quality product to you. Many can assist you by phone and via mail order, so all you have to do is post your prescription to them. Of course you must be sure that you are well advised by your GP and or a specialist hair doctor. And it goes without saying that not all compounding pharmacists are skilled in the area of hair-loss products. Some do it better than others. I have not used products by the pharmacies listed below, so I cannot vouch for their products, but at least we know that they are qualified, have been in business for a while, and are familiar with Minoxidil. So that is a good start for you to engage in a conversation. In due course, I will post a few articles to help you to ask the right questions when it comes to Minoxidil. For example, how to make sure that the formulation does not crystallise.
At the bottom of this page is the beginning of a Directory of Compounding Pharmacists who can assist you. Indeed, any pharmacy can assist you. However, I would suggest that you deal directly with the compounding pharmacy. This means that you are buying direct, without any mark-up being added to your medications.
To get the Directory started, I asked my local chemist, and he gave me the name of a compounding pharmacist whom I have listed below after seeking his permission to do so. I contacted Mr Ng and found him friendly and approachable, and he took the time to explain a few things. So don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Please note that I have no vested interest in any of these pharmacies. I do not benefit from any of them. I do not receive any kick-backs, discounts, or commissions. There is no fee charged to be included in this Directory. I am completely out of the loop. Don’t forget that you can always ask your local chemist to place the order for you. I am just trying to cut-out all the middle-folk so that you can enjoy the best price, straight from the source. Do tell the compounding pharmacist about your current medications, and do return to your GP for regular check-ups. Be sure to note any possible side-effects so that you can immediately recognise any symptoms. Take photos so you can compare the progress of your scalp, otherwise it would be difficult to see any improvement just by looking in the mirror each day. Some medications can take many months before you start to see improvements. Some medications might not work for you, so discuss your options, and consider trying other products. Your GP and your Pharmacist can offer alternatives if you feel that what you have been taking has not worked for you. Not all medications work for all people. Experimentation might be required.
Another way to locate your nearest compounding pharmacist is to consult Google and search for ‘compounding pharmacist’ or ‘compounding chemist’.
DIRECTORY LISTING FOR NSW
Customcare Compounding Pharmacy. Open 7 days.
Mr Horacio Ng B.Pharm. 644 Old Northern Rd (PO Box 3481) Dural NSW 2158.
Phone 02 9651 3547 or 1300 725 868. Fax 02 9651 5293 or 1300 726 858.
Email Info@CustomCarePharmacy.com.au . Web www.CustomCarePharmacy.com.au .
DIRECTORY LISTING FOR VIC
Dartnell’s Compounding Pharmacy. Mon-Fri 9:00 to 5:30. Sat 9:00 to 1:00.
376 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills Vic 3127
Phone 03 9888 5899. Fax 03 9888 6911.
Email Info@DartnellsPharmacy.com.au . Web www.DartnellsPharmacy.com.au .
Nationwide Compounding Pharmacy. Mon-Fri 9:00 to 5:30.
841 Glen Huntly Rd, Caulfield South Vic 3162
Phone 03 988 5899. Fax 03 9532 8900.
Email NationwidePharmacy@Bigpond.com . Web www.NationwidePharmacy.com.au .
DIRECTORY LISTING FOR SA
The Green Dispensary Compounding Pharmacy. Mon-Fri 8:30 to 5:00
Antony Condina. 46 Beulah Rd, Norwood SA 5067
Phone 08 8363 7322. Fax 08 8363 7244.
Email ACordina@GreenDispensary.com . Web www.GreenDispensary.com .