Hair Loss Conspiracy Theories

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  • Fixed by 35
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2010
    • 618

    Hair Loss Conspiracy Theories

    On a number of less reputable websites, I have frequently come across conspiracy theories about hair loss. Some make absolutely no sense (such as the one that claims some shampoos cause hair loss but the manufacturers won't admit it - yeah, because everyone being bald is great for business and there's no need to change the formula!) and others are just illogical (a hair transplant surgeon/pharmaceutical company has a cure for baldness but won't release it because they're making too much money.

    I think this negativity distracts us from the real villains in the hair loss industry. This includes the super villains, who sell those awful e-books for about $30 which tell you to put olive oil/lemon juice/crap on your head; the minor villains, who sell things to 'unclog your pores' or 'strand by strand' hair replacement and dodgy laser procedures; the well meaning idiots who sell all natural solutions that make your remaining hair smell funny and the 'market fillers' who sell things that probably work to some extent, but contribute to stopping hair loss in the same way that a single sand bag stops a flood. They are market fillers because they sell combinations of natural remedies such as saw palmetto and nettle root which are cheaper than buying the supplements separately, and therefore fill the demand in the market. There are other odd villains, like hair transplant surgeons who would be better spending their time laying turf too.

    Picking on good hair transplant surgeons and pharmaceutical companies is just plain wrong though. I'll run through the basic conspiracy against the likes of Glaxo.

    Apparently, they make so much money on Propecia, that if an effective cure was released, they'd stop making that money. Uh, right. For this argument to ring true, Propecia would have to be a damn sight more useful than it actually is. It would also have to be useless to treat BPH. Neither of these happen to be the case.

    Propecia has been a commercial diappointment. Most men (maybe as many as 90%) continue to go bald naturally, because they're too embarrassed to use a hair loss drug that at best normally retains the remaining hair for up to a decade. Nor do they want to spend money for disappointing results. It just looks desperate (it takes confidence to admit your desperate, I have no shame!). Propecia is far more useful at fighting BPH and the company covers its costs doing that.

    If a company like Glaxo created a drug that actually completely reversed balding or stopped balding at it's current state, they'd sell it. They'd sell it because they'd known men would pay shed loads of cash for it. Even better, sold at a decent affordable price, almost every balding man would buy it. Their customer base would rise significantly.

    Besides which, Glaxo are far more interested in exploiting the exploitable in developing nations; well educated markets of people with lots of legal rights are harder to exploit.

    The same must be said for hair transplant surgeons. Even if transplants became obsolete tomorrow, these guys are medical doctors. Hell, it's in the public interest for them to go out of the hair loss business because there's a global shortage of medical professionals! I'm sure many transplant surgeons would happily move into another field if hair loss was eradicated. And if one of them discovers the cure, they will be very rich indeed - do you really think they'll withhold it from their clients for the benefit of their competitors? What sort of business model is that?

    Anyway, rant on conspiracy theories over.
  • Delphi
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2009
    • 546

    #2
    Very true! Iíve been reading four hair loss forums for almost two years and this is the only one that I believe is legitimate. About six moths ago I posted a question that the forum moderator seemed to take personal issue with on a hair transplant forum and was PMed incessantly asking me why I chose to question the authority of one of their paying hair transplant doctors. I couldnít believe how nasty the moderator was. It bordered on harassment and intimidation. It was totally unprofessional and a real turn off. I wonít mention the name of the site out of respect for this forum, but needless to say I donít post over there anymore. It is a hoot to read though because itís like a soap opera over there. Not a place I would want to get hair transplant information from but funny to read.

    I could not agree with you more about the conspiracy theorists who dominate the other sites. Many of the posts are ridiculous boarding on clinical paranoia if you ask me.

    Good post!

    Comment

    • clee984
      Senior Member
      • Feb 2010
      • 254

      #3
      Originally posted by Fixed by 35
      pharmaceutical company has a cure for baldness but won't release it because they're making too much money.
      I work for a major pharmaceutical company, and you're absolutely right, they REALLY ain't that clever! Trust me.

      That's why they call it drug "discovery"; because that's exactly what it is. It's luck. They don't know what they're doing, not really. The famous example being viagra - it was originally tested for treatment of blood pressure, the researchers only discovered what it actually did when the human test subjects were asked to return their unused pills. All the female subjects complied, but all the men refused.

      But with the human genome project and the increase in computing power and all the fancy ass stuff they do with RNA interference, I think people will be surprised how quickly medical technology is going to improve in the near future. Baldness included.

      Comment

      • Fixed by 35
        Senior Member
        • Mar 2010
        • 618

        #4
        Hmm, so my hunch that the solution will be topical injections or more advanced surgery could be wrong then! I'd always assumed drugs had run their course with dutasteride and that hair follicles were too dead to hope for any more from them.

        Comment

        • clee984
          Senior Member
          • Feb 2010
          • 254

          #5
          I'm afraid I'm not an expert, but I would tend to agree with you, that the solution will probably involve stem cells and hair multiplication/cloning. Basically a hair transplant as they are now, except with an infinite amount of donor hair. That's just my guess. There's cause to be optimistic anyway, if you ask me.

          Comment

          • Fixed by 35
            Senior Member
            • Mar 2010
            • 618

            #6
            Definitely. It'll put my mind at ease about starting the hair transplant route. I couldn't believe how thin my hair looked when I got out the shower today, I knew it was thin but it was weird, in long thin strips. It's like I have stripy baldness! Is that a type of pattern?

            I think I'm in the shedding phase on dutas, so here we go....

            Comment

            • KeepTheHair
              Senior Member
              • Mar 2010
              • 1215

              #7
              That sucks man...my hair is looking thinner each time I look at it...



              Do you tihnk its a good idea to just buy finasteride online? from here http://www.minoxidil.com

              or something?

              is that even legal lol

              Also... how would I know if it is affect by other stuff I take? Is this safe? Can anyone help me out here what do I do.


              geez plz help me

              Comment

              • Anonymousman
                Junior Member
                • Nov 2009
                • 6

                #8
                I thought the main premise behind hair loss conspiracy theories associated with propecia (and rogaine) was that although propecia isn't effective as we all would like it to be, it pretty much requires a lifetime commitment to take. Thus, people on the drug, have to continue to go to drug stores to "re-up", for lack of better words, which pretty much ensures that the company manufacturing the drug has a continuous influx of money from lifetime users. Whereas, if aforementioned company came up with a permanent solution that wouldn't require continous consumption of the product until the consumer's death or very, very, old age, then they wouldn't get as much money (dunno if I concur with this, but this is something to the effect of what I had read elsewhere, I believe).

                But then, one could posit that if a Tx was more efficacious, then it would become very popular (moreso than propecia or rogaine) and said pharm company would get even more money than they were getting from the substandard product.

                I believe in the statement that "money is the root of all evil"; one can allude to the paradigms of the military and prison industrial complex to see how money is an absolute corruptor. I don't think that it is COMPLETELY implausible that pharmaceutical companies are untouched by such corruption. Not trying to discredit the assertion of this thread, just saying......also the term "conspiracy theory" always elicits negative connotations and images of Michael Mooresque figures critiquing every facet of everything....In a Utopian world, people's actions would be only motivated by positively impacting people's lives; however, most everything in this world is for the most part, primarily driven by the bottom-line. Hell, I recently read an article somewhere, about the much lauded FDA, in which a researcher was conducting fraudulent studies and they were being published as fact, sure this wasn't the first time this happened.......

                With that being said, I will reluctantly shell out my 60 something dollars a month on propecia and buy my rogaine until something better comes out or I can get a hair transplant, and even after I get a hair transplant, I will continue to take propecia

                Comment

                • clee984
                  Senior Member
                  • Feb 2010
                  • 254

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Anonymousman
                  people on the drug, have to continue to go to drug stores to "re-up", for lack of better words, which pretty much ensures that the company manufacturing the drug has a continuous influx of money from lifetime users. Whereas, if aforementioned company came up with a permanent solution that wouldn't require continous consumption of the product until the consumer's death or very, very, old age, then they wouldn't get as much money
                  Yep, that does make perfect sense, from a business point of view. But they aren't that devious or clever, even if they wish they were!

                  It's like 9/11 conspiracy theories - regardless of who would or wouldn't benefit, or would or wouldn't be willing to do what, ask yourself one question: who would do all the necessary paperwork? Seriously. The logistics involved would be staggering. The idea that a pharmaceutical company has a cure but sits on it so as to make more cash, assumes that there is some evil genius somewhere (probably stroking a white cat), with some grand design. There isn't. Pharmaceutical companies are no different from anyone else, they're just flailing around, doing what they do, hoping to get lucky.

                  And actually, that the ship doesn't have a captain is why we have problems like climate change, arms deals etc etc. Because big organisations don't have a grand plan. They're just individuals trying to get through the day.

                  Comment

                  • Fixed by 35
                    Senior Member
                    • Mar 2010
                    • 618

                    #10
                    I thought the main premise behind hair loss conspiracy theories associated with propecia (and rogaine) was that although propecia isn't effective as we all would like it to be, it pretty much requires a lifetime commitment to take. Thus, people on the drug, have to continue to go to drug stores to "re-up", for lack of better words, which pretty much ensures that the company manufacturing the drug has a continuous influx of money from lifetime users. Whereas, if aforementioned company came up with a permanent solution that wouldn't require continous consumption of the product until the consumer's death or very, very, old age, then they wouldn't get as much money (dunno if I concur with this, but this is something to the effect of what I had read elsewhere, I believe).
                    This argument seems like 'common sense' ('common sense' being that thing that stupid people have to compensate for their lack of intelligence ). However, if you think about it, there are a lot of flaws to this argument.

                    First of all, contrary to the premise of this conspiracy theory, most balding men do not buy Propecia or Proscar or, if they do, they quickly become disappointed with the result and can't be bothered to continue with it. I think the statistic is approximately 3% of men with androgenetic alopecia buy Propecia, Proscar or Avodart. Many of this number are buying generic drugs because they are cheaper. Considering another study shows about 25% of men find hair loss severely distressing and a further 55% find it moderately distressing, the sales results are disappointing to say the least.

                    The trouble is, the drug doesn't really work that well at regrowth. It also doesn't tend to work for longer than about 10 years (in other words, men only really continue using it for 10 years, not for life). Also, there are side affects which put men off using these drugs. All in all, most men cannot be bothered with it. If a better solution was available, the market would be much bigger and sales would do better. It would also be more cost effective to produce more of the drug because of economies of scale.

                    Propecia costs what it does because its ingredients and manufacture is expensive. The company also takes a large profit from it, true. But the profits are disappointing enough that I am certain if something more effective was developed, it would be on the market. Besides, the drug company is really not that interested in what it can make from private sales - the big bucks are made selling drugs to the national health services of countries and large private hospitals. Dutasteride is evidence of the limit of the drug company's current knowledge. They are clearly keen to pursue hair loss drugs further, but they'll have to be a lot better than Propecia to be worth pursuing.

                    In my opinion, the drug companies don't try to fleece us because they don't have the means to. Sure, they fleece the third world for AIDS drugs because they can. Governments and their countries are worth fleecing; Joe Public isn't.

                    Comment

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