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Don’t Believe Everything you See or Hear

Even in the medical industry you can’t believe everything you see or hear, so it is best for you to do plenty of research to determine what is factual amongst all the misrepresented products being thrown at you.

Traveling medicine men or salesmen selling elixirs and snake oils are a part of our cultural history. Hawking cure-alls and liniments for consumption and neurasthenia, hair loss and even love disorders, they traveled from city to city promising to cure what ails you. With the help of a shill planted in the audience who could vouch for the products - the blind could see again and the handicapped could walk - anything was possible.

Today there are modern equivalents of traveling snake oil salesmen selling miracle cures for those suffering with hair loss. Although tempting, many of these products and services may be all hype and no substance. Also, most of these products are not backed by the FDA.

What is the best way to check out the product's claims and determine the efficacy of these promises?
Use your 'buyer beware' radar and if something seems to be too good to be true, you know what they say - it probably is. On the other hand, they also say: Nothing ventured; nothing gained. So, if it doesn't set you back too many bucks, give it a try and see what happens, especially if it has a money-back guarantee.

If a product such as a shampoo or lotion promises: miraculous, amazing, sensational, etc., your radar should be going into overdrive. Use of multiple superlatives, should raise an eyebrow and your skepticism.

So-called miracle cures for hair loss have little or no scientific basis for their claims and have not been subject to clinical trials. If the product makes specific promises, what proof of product effectiveness is offered?

If it is a supplement or pharmaceutical product, make sure the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve it. Many products can be purchased over the counter or in health food stores that do not carry this approval.

The product needs to be regulated in order to ensure standardization of dosage, potency and efficacy. If their only proof of worth is: 'try it, you'll like it,' save your money.

There are many medical hair loss products and procedures such as hair transplants on the market. Questions to ask include: What is the rate of success and what are the risks of side effects? If it's a product, has it been tested in FDA-approved clinical trials?

As of June 2001, only two hair-restoration agents have been approved by the FDA - finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine).

If it's a hair transplant, there is no regulating body, but make sure your physician is board-certified and/or is a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).

If a product advertises 'safe and effective,' do your homework. All medicine and drugs have side effects. If a product denies or fails to mention side effects, that is a red flag.

However, it's possible to get good results from a good hair transplant or the medically supervised use of hair regeneration products. Be smart, do your homework, use your critical thinking skills and don't believe everything you read, or I have a bridge to sell you in New York.

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Thank you Dr. Bolton