In a recent article, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported the story of Sheree Kleinhuizen, who was experiencing significant hair loss and growing concerned over the amount of hair that she was losing on a daily basis.
Sheree collected the hair in plastic baggies and brought them to her doctor, but she was told that her hair loss was caused by stress and would cease in a few months’ time. When her hair loss did not abate, Sheree went to see a hair care professional, who sold her a “medicated” hair loss product called Therapro.
Although the lost hair did not grow back, Sheree did stop experiencing any further hair loss. However, it is unclear whether her use of Therapro truly affected Sheree’s hair loss in any way.
“There is nothing in those products that can stop hair loss or will regrow hair,” said Kobren, whose own hair-loss concerns led him to start the organization. “There is definitely a placebo effect, and it can be coincidental.”
Jennifer Williford, who works as a physician’s assistant at Southwest Michigan Dermatology, supports the notion that Therapro may have had a placebo effect for Sheree. Although Williford wasn’t familiar with Therapro, she explained that patients often mention products that supposedly stop or reverse hair loss. Many such products are based on herbal remedies.
There is a good chance that Sheree Kleinhuizen’s hair loss ceased due to a placebo effect of the product she was sold. It’s also possible that her hair loss was truly stress related and when her stress eased, so did her hair loss.
The only FDA-approved hair loss products for treating hereditary hair loss are Rogaine and Propecia. Rogaine is an external treatment used by both men and women. Propecia, which is a pill, is only approved for use by men.
Spencer Kobren also noted that hair loss is a $3.5 billion industry and that “Ninety-nine percent of products and services that claim to help with hair loss (or) prevention are bogus, questionable at best.”
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