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IHRB Frustrated man

Dear Reader

This site was created to help people to understand how Mr Sam Cohen and his company IHRB operate. You can read a blow-by-blow account of the details starting with this link. The story below gives you a good introduction to the saga. In a nutshell, in my opinion, IHRB and Sam Cohen operate a 100% scam! I believe that it is an illegal con and a diabolical rip-off, not to mention a medical malpractice that has been proved after an investigation by the Health Care Complaint Commission.

I was one of their clients for whom the treatment did not work. I was refused a refund, which I was originally promised would be forthcoming if the treatment did not work. I have since been told by Sam Cohen that he has never issued a refund to anyone despite some clients taking him to CTTT (Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal). In every tricky contract, there is one humdinger of a clause that the average consumer would never spot. Agatha Christie would be proud of Sam’s contract. I am neither a lawyer nor a doctor. However, in my opinion, as a consumer and observer, there is one aspect of his defence that is laughable. This is outlined in this article called ‘The jewel in the crown’.

This site is ever-growing. It details what I have learned, and shows you how IHRB operates, and why you should think carefully about parting with your money.

One man who wrote to me under the nickname of ‘NOW BALD’ said the following, which sums it up perfectly: ‘Good on you mate. I was ripped off by Sam as well. The same thing. His jibber about his magic “Indian curries”, the illegal minoxidil formulas with very high and dangerous minoxidil content, medication without prescription and in other peoples names and the list goes on. I must have spent over $10,000 with Sam and the guy is a crook.’

You can read other comments here, and other sad stories here.

The truth behind how the ‘Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty’ operates is indeed fascinating. I have learned so much about this company, about Sam Cohen, and about their treatment, that I feel ashamed about the whole affair. However, it is my duty to share my experiences with you, because when I was searching the web in 2009, there was nothing to help me make an informed decision about this company. I wish that someone had taken the trouble to save me from making such a stupid mistake. The subject of hair loss can be a personal or embarrassing one. Yet, it is universal. Many of us go through it. This is why I could not understand why a subject that is so popular, was not well covered on the internet. We owe it to each other to lift the lid on companies who take us for a ride. Consumers need to be better informed. In the Google age, I was amazed that there was nothing out there to warn me about the schemes and the ploys, and about the basic medications available and how some companies exploit busy men and women who are worried about becoming bald.

I invite you to contact me if you are (or have been) a client of Sam Cohen or IHRB (Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty). This site is focussing on IHRB, but if you have information about other organisations, please share them. Please do not make any statements that are defamatory. Please state the facts and back them up with evidence. Interestingly, this article in the Sydney Morning Herald shows how tricky the whole thing is. Companies make all sorts of claims. In the end, the consumer is being misled. We desperately want to believe that there is a solution or a treatment, and we think that we will give it a go. Sure, it pays to try. No harm in trying and failing. It’s good to experiment. It’s good to know that we are doing something about hair loss. But in the end, after the truth surfaces, and we find out that we have been duped, it feels horrible, not because something did not work, but because we realise that we had been fools and idiots, and that a simple five-minute training session or a bit of research, would have shown us that we are making a stupid mistake from the start, and that we were blinded by headline promises that we later realise were false. You see, we kick our self not for being duped or conned, but for not understanding what’s going on. The pain turns inwards, and the shame comes down on us, not on the companies, because we realise that we are really the silly billies. How can we go and tell our friends about our horrid experience, when, after we finish the story, our friends will say, ‘You were such an idiot’. There is no sympathy when the evidence is clear. In hindsight, it is all so clear. And this clarity makes us feel that we were stupid, so we say nothing and just take it on the chin, while the likes of Sam Cohen has my $3,700! And we think that there are consumer laws to protect us. We presume that a guarantee is for real. We hope that the government will look after our interests. False, false, false. Pick up the phone now and call Consumer Affairs and say, ‘Hello, I am thinking of doing business with Sam Cohen and IHRB. Can you please tell me if people have complained about them in the past?’ You will be laughed at. We have no way of finding out about people who constantly torment others. So where is the government protection? It does not exist in this way for consumers. It only helps later, after frustrated consumers stick their neck out, expend a lot of time, money, and energy, and prepare a case, and take it to court. Meanwhile, there are privacy laws that are great for the honest person, and even greater for the crooks who go on cheating others for a lot longer than a smart society ought to tolerate. How do you think the likes of Bernard Madoff managed to con people out of $50 billion? Those whom he conned were so ashamed of themselves, that they suffered the losses in private and did not dare tell anyone. In whom could an executive confide about losing $2 million to Madoff? Imagine the publicity: ‘CEO of big company is conned out of $2 million. Can he really be trusted to run a company if he cannot run his personal affairs?’ And so the CEO tells no-one, while Madoff moves on and on and on to grab $50 billion dollars. That’s how it works. And we are all so gullible, especially when we are so hopeful. We do not want to lose our hair, so we give it a go. Well, you need to stop and learn, so that you can give it a go after you know the facts. Once you know the facts, you would never give your money to Sam Cohen or IHRB. It is absurd. And you will be the one to blame. In the end, you will be the one to lose your hard-earned money. And who is there to help you? It’s time we started to help each other.

Before I signed-up to IHRB (also known as I.H.R.B) I conducted a search on the web, and I found nothing other than endless advertorials by Sam Cohen. Silly sites would just regurgitate his media releases because he might have placed ads in their magazine, and these ads are cross-referenced via their domain name. It is sad that in this day and age, consumers had not taken the time to share their experiences. As a result, I ended up paying over $3,700 for the IHRB treatment, which I now realise is not worth the money. In fact, once you see how Sam Cohen operates, you will kick yourself. It is very clever. Sam Cohen relies on Minoxidil which you can purchase from the chemist as Regaine or Rogaine (no prescription required).

As at February 2010, my local chemist sold 4 month’s worth of the extra-strength (5% strength) bottles at $130. Over a year, you will need three packs, which come to $390. No doubt if you shop around you might find cheaper offers. (There are many Minoxidil products now selling for around $12 per bottle which lasts a month.) Later in the piece, Sam Cohen asks you to ask your local GP/doctor for Proscar or Propecia which is really Finasteride. A year’s supply of Proscar, using the generic brand Finnacar made by Sigma, sells for $79.95 which will last you 150 days. That’s 53 cents per dose. At 365 days x 53 cents, that comes to $193.45. Sam throws in herbs and a shampoo etc to make the package look bulky and mysterious. And he speaks about his special Indian Curries which he never reveals (we can only assume that it is part of the mystery so as to justify his fees). The medication from a chemist comes to $583.45. Yet Sam Cohen and IHRB charged me $3,700 (without even supplying the Finasteride, which my doctor advised against, and for which Sam would have expected me to pay separately). Others have paid more, and some have paid $3,500. It all depends on how much pressure is required to close the sale on the day. It was sold to me as a no-brainer. What have I got to lose, if it is all backed by a money back guarantee? Sadly, there is no guarantee. Sam told me himself that he has never given anyone any refunds because he said that his formula works 130% of the time. What a strange statistic. I will fill you in on all that nonsense soon. Sam has a story for everything. It is perfectly rehearsed. I will reveal all soon. For now, I just wanted to get this site up as soon as possible, and start inviting people to contact me. Then I will detail everything. It really is hysterical, as well as being sad.

I plan on writing about my experiences so that others who are suffering from hair loss, can be better informed. I will outline the facts step by step, so that you can learn about the options. The whole thing is very simple. It sounds overwhelming when people use fancy medical terms at first. In the end, it is simple. There is no magic cure. Some medications work on some people. You and your GP can sort it out. You do not need anyone else in the picture, other than perhaps a dermatologist if your GP is inexperienced in this area. The medications do not work for everyone. My GP and my specialist-dermatologist have advised me that in a third of patients, the medications simply do not work. In the other third, it just stops hair loss, but it does not promote regrowth. While in a third of patients, Proscar, along with Minoxodil do promote hair growth. But there are possible side effects, as long as your arm, including erectile disfunction, and hair growing in places you do not want hair.

I had paid using my American Express card, but sadly, when I was refused a refund by Sam Cohen (he is the director and 100% owner of the company), Amex did not assist me. Amex can only help members whose purchase was made less then 90 days prior. But IHRB’s treatment must go for 12 months, according to the IHRB contract, so in effect, it slips out of that net, and Amex simply does not care and does not listen.

Consumer Affairs contacted Sam Cohen on my behalf, and concluded that their Department could do nothing for me. I have never found the Department of Consumer Affairs useful. They just ring up and ask for a refund. If the supplier/merchant refuses, that’s the end of that. So that was a waste of time. Sam is way too clever for Consumer Affairs, who are toothless. I asked the lady, ‘Why do you, as Consumer Affairs, exist, if all you are going to do is ring him up and accept his position that the client does not deserve a refund?’ The lady said, ‘Well, sometimes a phone call from us makes them take notice’. In this case, Sam Cohen did not take notice. He has a great script. It takes ages of talking to him before he runs out of his scripted words. And then what does he do? When I was in his office, asking for a refund, he came up to me, with his fist clenched, and his Liberace-style rings pointed at my face, and he said, ‘I’ll F#cking smash your face in — call the police!’ He threatens me with a fist and verbal abuse and instantly calls out to the his daughter at the reception desk, ‘Call the police’. What a saga. So I stayed put, until the police arrived. I was not going to leave an office, while he and his cronies spin a story to the police. I wanted to be there. Imagine a police report wherein he spins more lies that I had threatened him and then left the building, when it was he who threatened me. Perhaps another of his well-rehearsed tactics. So I stayed there, despite endless threats to my face, millimetres away like a bully. He tried calling security companies, but I would not move. What a foul-mouthed intimidator he turned out to be. How awful. How disgraceful. In the end, I called the police (because his were taking way too long and he threatened to lock me in his fifth-floor office overnight!). The police turned up and took statements from us both. What an unpleasant affair!

At this stage, I am inviting anyone who has had any dealings with IHRB to contact me so that we can prepare a strong submission about this company and the way it operates. IHRB is doing certain things that make me wonder if the TGA, the Australian Medical Association, Medicare (and the PBS people), and the Pharmacy Guild and other authorities would not be interested. I shall research the facts and the legalities of these and report back later.

From day-one, I asked Sam to sign an agreement that he will not show my photos to anyone, because when I was in his office, he grabbed people’s files at random, and showed me their photos, while their name, date of birth, home address, and phone numbers were visible. Within minutes of his office calling the police, and I deciding to stay there until they arrived, Sam called out for two men (whom I later learned were clients) to come into the office and remove me by force (they soon pulled their head in), and within seconds, he showed them my photos. I reminded him that he had signed a confidentiality agreement, but he said, ‘I don’t care, I’m going to show everyone’. Of his ‘testimonials’ I wrote to one person whose face and head is featured in most of his ads and on his website, and that person said that he is now bald. So we will cover each and every aspect of Sam’s conduct in due course. I will explore his practice, his medications, his testimonials, his financials, and his ethics, after my team and I consult with authorities in every field, and after we send specimens to scientific laboratories and delve into his claims, one at a time. We will also contact the pharmacist who supplies some of his products, and see what transpires. I have a feeling that there are many things yet to come out of the woodwork.

Despite the almost 200 articles already published on this site,
there is more to come. This site is being updated slowly while we
process our legals, check our facts, and communicate with third parties.
Therefore, please read what is already published,
and return to this site regularly because there is much more to come.
We are posting more articles about IHRB (Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty)
and Sam Cohen and their bad conduct.

We already have the findings by the Health Care Complaints Commission into Sam Cohen and the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty at this link. In summary, the fundings of the investigation are that Mr Cohen, (and I quote the Commissioner):

“Supplied schedule 2 and schedule 4 medications to his clients contrary to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966.

“Supplied prescription only medication to clients using medication obtain under the prescriptions for other clients.

“Maintained bulk supplies of medications for dispensing to clients.

“Recommended loniten tablets as a hair regrowth medication knowing that it has not been approved for that purpose in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“Endangered the health and safety of his clients by providing them with medications without adequate safeguards.”

The Commissioner Mr Keiran Pehm also said, in a letter to me, that, “Mr Cohen’s conduct is in breach of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners (as enacted 1 August 2008), specifically clause 3(1) in that he has failed to provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.”

I hope to hear from you via If you have physical evidence, copies of documents, or photos, please send them also.

Thank you

Jonar Nader

P.S. Who I am, is somewhat irrelevant. However, I am placing my real name here so that you can see that I am not wasting your time. You can learn more about me via my official blog at where you can also click onwards to visit my official website.

P.P.S. IHRB is the name of the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty run by Sam Cohen of 9 Renwick Street Leichhardt (formerly of 105 Pitt Street Sydney)). It is also written as Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty or Institute of Hair Re-growth and Beauty.

The Health Care Complaints Commission has slapped Sam Cohen and IHRB with this Permanent Prohibition Order and issued this statement on its website on the 23rd of February 2011.

You can learn more here.