Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 17:41:37 +0800
From: Chris Utterback <robertu.PC.JARING.MY>
Subject: Re: Thinning Hair

>My hair is thinning and receding. I know this is partly due to a natural process, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do to slow or even reverse the process. For example, I heard one can reactivate dormant hair follicles by applying herbal formulas and/or with some treatment of acupuncture. Has any of this been verified? I would really like some feedback. Many thanks.

I just have to repeat what a very wise doctor once said when asked about baldness cures to date (including minoxidal). *If there was truly anything that kept someone from going bald or regrew enough hair to not look bald then every other treatment would disappear overnight and this wonder cure would be used by every balding man (or woman).* Think about it.

Since balding is thought to be caused by the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone at the follicle level there is good reason to think that saw palmetto may work, in the same way that the Rx drug, Proscar works. Both are DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blockers. But few physicians, if any, have used this herb for MPB (male pattern baldness) and though hardly the dangerous drug that Proscar is, saw palmetto still should be used with a qualified health practitioner's supervision.

Also some receding is normal as you age. At 50, my husband has a very thick full head of hair --- and recessions!

From: Chris Utterback <robertu.PC.JARING.MY>

> I have very thin hair on top, mostly. I have a book with recipes for hair and complexion, by a woman who was on one of the talk shows about 8 or 9 years ago, on TV. I bought that book----it takes a little time (a couple months) maybe less... from following stimulants and shampoos (external use only) which did work miracles---. It lasted about 2 years---my hair was unbelieveably thickened. It felt wonderful---and looked great, also. I used different combinations of herbs, oils, aspirin, even Vodka! on scalp. The after-treatment feeling was most wonderful---invigorating to say the least.

The book was probably *Riquette's Grow Hair in 12 Weeks* It has herbal recipes and the treatment program that you described. Thank you for your comments on how this program worked as even thicker looking hair is a plus. There are two ways of making hair look thicker. Coat the hair shaft or raise the cuticle layer. Perms and colors do this quite well. In fact that was one of the only benefits when Upjohn began marketing Monoxidal (Rogaine) to women. It mysteriously made what hair was present look thicker.

But, again I must point out that if any one *cure* worked for baldness (this means that the *cure* grows enough hair to NOT make you look bald -- it's not enough to just grow a few new strands) then everyone with thin or balding heads would use this and all other treatments, such as Rogaine and hair transplants (which by the way are the single best cure if done by a competent surgeon-harder to find than you think) would disappear immediately. There is the potential to make an obscene amount of money with hair loss treatments-herbal or otherwise. You really don't think Upjohn (and subsequently every medical school across the US) is looking for a baldness cure because they are touched by the amount of distress that alopecia causes people, do you? They want to make money. Why do you think that Upjohn worked so hard at getting the FDA to approve Rogaine for over-the-counter purchase? Because they could reach more customers without going through doctors. Their big mistake was going through doctors instead of hairdressers as their original marketing plan intended.

If an herb makes you or your hair feel better, by all means, use it. As I once heard Susan Weed say, *placebos work 40% of the time. Perhaps we need more placebos.* : )

(Thinning hair is one of the signs of rampant hypothyroidism. --Henriette)