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Boots' 'Miracle Cure' Won't Halt Hair Loss

01/08/2013 10:16 BST | Updated 30/09/2013 10:12 BST
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'Hope for those with thinning locks' boasted a Daily Mail article this weekend - yet another story promoting miracle cures available on the high street.

This time it's Boots which has launched a three-treatment range, Hairgen. The shampoo, spray and supplement are said to target thinning hair and support re-growth, and has apparently sold out on the Boots website within days.

It's certainly not the first 'miracle cure' available, and I'm sure it won't be the last. What it is, however, is symptomatic of the huge demand for treatments for hair loss - with everything from disguising sprays to permanent hair transplant surgeries often on the list of solutions for sufferers.

I always warn my patients of the effects of wonder products like these - which is mostly that it's very unlikely to be of any benefit to their hair!

Essentially, there's no such thing as a miracle cure. I have never come across a product that restores lost hair, and there is certainly no scientific evidence supporting any product claiming to do so.

In my role as Medical Director of the Institute of Trichologists, I'm well versed on the huge number of hair loss treatments coming onto the market every week.

Not a single one has any benefit when it comes to re-growing hair that has already been lost. Only a small number - those containing finasteride or minoxidil - have any effect on slowing hair loss.

Hair loss is usually genetic and, for most people, no amount of shampoos, creams or drugs will halt or reverse it. The only permanent solution is a hair transplant. I perform hundreds of these procedures a year and always see a restoration of hair.

Most of my patients have tried one magic phenomenon or another before coming to me. Some of them have wasted hundreds of pounds on creams, shampoos and pills which have failed to re grow any hair, but left the person short on cash - and, often, low on self-esteem.

For many people, hair loss is an upsetting and stressful condition. The desire to cure it quickly is often overwhelming, which explains why so many people turn to the internet or the high street looking for a magic cream - often accompanied by a hefty price tag.

Hairgen, for example, will set you back £84.97 for a 125ml foam and spray, and a 200ml shampoo - and with each recommending that it be used for at least three months, it's easy to see how people can end up spending thousands.

The main active ingredient in Hairgen appears to be the herb, saw palmetto. This has been available to buy for decades and is a known blocker of the production of the hormone DHT, similar to propecia. However, it is fairly weak in this action and there are no scientifically valid studies to suggest it has a worthwhile effect on hair loss.

Men and women who are worried about their hair loss would be well advised to look properly into the options available to them by consulting their GP and, even, a qualified trichologist who is a member of the Institute of Trichologists. Hair transplant surgeons can prescribe proven drugs, such as propecia, which can help slow the rate at which hair is shed.

At my practice, the Farjo Hair Institute, we also offer genetic screening to clients. This allows us to predict the future likelihood of hair loss so we can be sure that the correct procedure is offered. Additionally, the test can potentially predict the likely effectiveness of propecia.

If you're worried about thinning hair, forget high street cures. You'd be better off spending your time researching viable solutions and investing in a reputable treatment - it's the only scientifically proven way to slow down or restore a thinning hairline.