Alleged scam

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Sam Cohen’s IHRB is, in my opinion, a scam that is pure money for jam. In a nutshell, here is how IHRB makes thousands of dollars for absolutely nothing at all. Mr Sam Cohen tells his clients to take a mixture of dangerous products whose unpleasant side-effect happens to be hair growth (on any random part of the body). He asks for $4900 and sends you to your doctor to request a prescription for Loniten (can cause heart failure), Retin-A (rips your skin open), Proscar (could cause permanent (for ever and ever) erectile dysfunction), and Minoxidil (could cause hair loss, if not instant death!). He keeps the money, while your doctor becomes responsible for your serious medical risks, especially in view of Sam overdosing you and telling you to do things contrary to all medical advice and warnings (so much so that the NSW Department of Health issued this public warning and media release and then served IHRB with a Permanent Prohibition Order.)

Is that brilliant or what? Actually, it is absolutely fantastic. IHRB places ads left-right-and-centre. In essence, Mr Cohen takes thousands of dollars to tell you to go to your doctor. I just don’t know how else to explain the simplicity of this absurdity. He charges thousands to tell you to go and buy dangerous unrelated non-approved products. This is money for jam.

He then takes photos of your head, and circles any area that is thinning or balding, and asks you to sign and agree that you do not expect any hair to grow there. I still can’t pick myself up from the floor about this one.

How can IHRB operate a business where all it dishes out, apart from lies, is nothing at all? For $4900 you get nothing. Of course you get some useless detergent which IHRB calls Organic Shampoo (which is detergent that contains ingredients that his own pharmacist says not to use). And you receive some tablets that are a waste of time and have been proved by the New England Journal of Medicine to be useless. And you are given Minoxidil that contains Retin-A that is illegal for him to dish out without a doctor’s prescription (as he dished out to me without my knowledge and without any warnings whatsoever and which caused me to lose more hair at a faster rate than ever before) and which medical experts say should not be done. (And even with a prescription, it would still be illegal for him to sell it or supply it.)

However, the nib of this brouhaha is Mr Cohen taking your money and just sending you out to your doctor so that you can obtain a prescription for Loniten. Why? Because medical experts have noticed that patients treated with Loniten tend to suffer hair growth as an adverse effect. 60% of patients using Loniten suffer hair growth, and that hair growth can occur on any part of the body.

Loniten is not design for hair growth. The sad side-effect is hair growth. Loniten is a dangerous drug. It has nothing at all to do with hair. So if you take Loniten, you are taking a strong, super-strong, dangerous medication that could cause heart failure, especially when the drug is not taken with two other special tablets including a diuretic, along with a diet ridiculously low in salt.

If you speak with Mr Cohen, he will defend his actions by saying that Loniten is Monixidil. And he will argue that Minoxidil is approved. This is culpable, bordering on criminal. But you see, he is in the clear, because if you had gone to your doctor to obtain a prescription like he asked you to, the negligence and responsibility would technically fall on your GP’s shoulders. And Mr Cohen has dozens of prescriptions to prove that doctors do prescribe it (after he misleads them with his irreverent logic).

Mr Sam Cohen of IHRB can’t seem to understand the differences between Loniten and Minoxidil. Actually, it does not suit him to understand. He does not want to understand. He puts patients’ lives at risk because he needs them to accelerate their hair growth so that he can appear to be the hero. He needs speedy cosmetic growth so that his clients fall outside of his twelve-month money-back guarantee. He charges thousands of dollars for nothing. Zip Zilch. It is stunning that he has been getting away with it for so long. He does not tell you that, when you stop taking those mega doses of Loniten and Finasteride, any hair that did grow, would fall out again (yet his ads admonish his competitors, saying that other companies out there lock you into a long-term regime. If you do not stay on Sam’s dangerous concoction, you will lose any hair that might have grown).

In any argument with Mr Cohen, he regurgitates his mantra by saying that Loniten is Minoixidil.

The popular hair regrowth product by Johnson & Johnson is called Regaine. I called J&J and asked them to tell me what is in Regain, and they said, ‘Minoxidil, ethanol, propylene glycol, water.’

Experts know that Minoxidil can, in some cases, for some people, promote hair regrowth. And so because we know about these benefits of Minoxodil, Mr Cohen will insist that Loniten can be taken by mouth, because Loniten is Minoxidil.

Taking something by mouth, is not the same as using Minoxidil as a topical solution which is dripped onto the scalp using an eye-dropper.

Arguing that Loniten is designed for hair growth is like arguing that crushing your car is a good way to make it fit in a tight space. Saying that Minoxidil-by-mouth is the same as Minoxidil-on-the-scalp is as bad as saying that nail-varnish-remover works on nails, so it must work even better if you drink the acetate.

Sam sells Minoxidil topical solutions at astronomical prices. His 15% version is priced at $900. However, my local pharmacist can make it and sell it for $70. How does Sam justify this? (IHRB’s $225 and $200 Minoxidil sell at other retail outlets at $7.) He says that his contains special Indian Curries — his supposed innovation that he claims is a world-first exclusive discovery. His first pharmacist would never answer my question about the Indian Curries and Spices, even after I summonsed the documents. He sent a barrister to the Tribunal to argue that he does not want to answer any of my questions set out in the Summons.


There is not a piece of paper or ad or brochure or contract or leaflet or webpage that does not mention Sam’s ‘world-first’ famous money-back guarantee. Even his business card states it. His whole sales ploy is, ‘You’ve got nothing to lose’.

I did lose my money. He would not honour his guarantee when I suffered a painful rash and more hair loss than ever before. He kept saying that my hair grew. What a dichotomy! Such a bold contradiction. No matter, he justified it by fabricateing new documents to lie about my contract and my treatment. He lied. Not 60% or 98% but a big fat 100%. What can be more disturbing than a liar who would fabricate documents and cheat. When I finally found a way to checkmate him (after it had cost me over 380 days of my life, full time, along with at least $80,000 in expenses) he knew that he was cornered, so rather than produce the documents in response to the summons, he paid me $3700, but not to appease me, rather, to slip through a loophole in the CTTT that made the CTTT believe that the case was closed and settled, despite my pleading with the CTTT. He slipped through, and they fell for it, and they just could not see the injustice of it.

The very next day after my CTTT travesty, I attended another CTTT case for another client who was beside himself when Sam produced forged documents, lying through his wig (Sam is bald and wears a wig), and fabricating stories. How can any Applicant win against that level of audacity? If the CTTT does not wish to challenge liars, then perhaps anyone can go, fabricate documents, and present them. A CTTT Member himself said that the CTTT is not about justice. He said, ‘We are just here to administer the law.’ Does it matter if anyone is lying? It does not seem to matter at all.

So that is how the guarantee works: there is no guarantee! Sam voids it and asks you to sign that you do not want hair to grow! And if you do not sign it, and take the matter to court, he will say that you did sign it, as I know he has done on three occasions for three different people. Well dear reader, I am not the swearing kind of guy, but if this does not justify a few F-words, I bloody well don’t know what does.

P.S. IHRB is the name of the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty run by Sam Cohen (formerly of 105 Pitt Street Sydney and now located at Leichhardt). 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.