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Hair Transplant Alternative: Saw Palmetto?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

saw palmetto hair growth

The fruit Serenoa Repens produces Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto is an extract of it. Saw Palmetto has plenty of fatty acids and phytosterols. Considered by many to be an alternative medicine for different kinds of indications, most notably benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

People who are diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) have enlarged prostates have difficulty urinating to the point that patient may need prostate surgery for it.

The part Saw Palmetto plays in hair restoration has been well researched. Incredibly, for a lot of people, Saw Palmetto is a plant-based treatment which, up to a certain point, can reverse the hair loss process or delay hair loss. Saw Palmetto’s bio active ingredients block the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

So, on the hair follicle level, Saw Palmetto is able to halt the process of hair loss. In addition, Saw Palmetto promotes the increased thickness of miniaturized hair, helping them grow longer. In mechanism, the Saw Palmetto effect is sort of similar to finasteride or other DHT blockers. Available in oil extract, Saw Palmetto can be used topically on hair scalps or as pills to treat prostate enlargement.

Chronostim – A Hair Loss Treatment

Monday, November 16th, 2009


Hey Doc:

My hair is as thin as the state of economy; I’m trying to figure out how to make it stronger. Two products I tried are, Chronostin, suggested by my barber; the other one was recommended to me by my psychiatrist: it’s called Minoxidil, Estradiol Vateral, Esopropyl Acohol.

I’d like to hear your expert advice on these products, doc?

Yours truly,


I commend you for seeing a skin doctor. As part of your dermatologist’s diagnosis, I’m quite certain he took a look at you to see if there was miniaturization of hair leading to hair loss in men. Let me add that combining minoxidil with other hormonal medications hasn’t been proven to be a solution to hair loss. You were probably diagnosed with male pattern baldness and then the doctor decided to recommend it. Since that’s what happened, you might also want to try finasteride, a medication much more powerful compared to Minoxidil, based on a few research publications.

The other product, Chronostim, I don’t know what that is. But, being the dedicated doctor I am, I did some of my own research on it. Chronostim is a product that says it is able to act on a group of factors playing a part in hair loss. It has both morning and nighttime treatments.

It contains sabal enriched lauric acid (seborrhea regulating ), tocopherol Nicotinate (microcirculation stimulating, oxygenating bulbar), glycyrrhetinic Acide bta (reinforces the activity of 5-alpha ductase), excipient alcohol-silicone, perfumed- hypoallergenic.

Chronostim, called NIGHT, contains a semblance of Ruscus, enriched in Neoruscine (stimulating of the VEGF), Diguanosine traphosphate (GP4G – cellular stimulant), Piroctonolamine (cleansing, anti-irritant), excipient hydro-alcoholic, perfumed-hypoallergenic.

Clear as the Los Angeles smog, right? To give it to you straight, these products haven’t been proven in any way whatsoever to aid in the treatment of men’s hair loss.

May I be so bold to say, if I were in your shoes, I’d continue taking finasteride (Propecia), if your dermatologist is okay with it. However, if you continue to experience hair loss, a hair transplant would be the best answer.


Dr. Mohebi

Scalp Med – Hair Loss Treatment or Scam?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
hair loss productQ:

Dear Parsa Mohebi,

I hope you’re doing great. I hope you also remember me – it’s —-. I visited your office in January in Mission Viejo, California. I am currently in Dubai! Thank you for the letter which you sent me regarding the tests I should take. I appreciate the time you took out for me. I have taken the tests and wait for the results.

I wanted to ask you a question regarding the hair growth. Recently I was going through some websites and landed on a product called ScalpMed. I was quite alarmed at how this product worked (as it says it does). I am aware that there are numerous type of products available in the market but for some reason this really got me interested. Can you please have a look at it and advice me whether or not to take it seriously?


I appreciate for your time. Looking forward to hear from you!


The hair loss treatment industry is a multi-million dollar business. As such, there are usually companies offering much cheaper, short-cut type products which claim to have the same benefits as more mainstream hair restoration methods.

“I’ve tried hair loss products, but it didn’t work. I don’t think I’ll try it again.”

Most likely, that’s not a line you’ll hear in a commercial for a hair loss product on late night television. But that’s what I think of most of these infomerical-type hair loss treatment goods.

Given the high demand, hair loss products are numerous, but not always effective.

If patients ask me about hair loss products, I like to post them on this blog, as I’m sure there are a lot of people interested in reading about it. Scalp Med is a company which makes numerous products on hair thickening and hair loss treatment. Scalp Med likes to assemble different types of kits for their prospective customers, including a Detoxifying Cleanser Kit, Scalp Med for Women, and Mega-Multi Vitamins.

Like other companies in the hair loss industry, Scalp Med’s advertisements go as far as to say that they are FDA-approved. Any Joe Schmo can find photographs, legit testimonies, and other types of  “proof”  from balding clients who try to promote Scalp Med’s product.

There are various types of Scalp Med product, including topical Vitadil-5A for men, Vitadil-2A for women, topical NutriSol-RM, and Cortex Enlarger hair thickening spray. The first two Vitadils are topical solutions which contain minoxidil (also Rogaine’s key component). The claim Scalp Med makes is that they have formulated a unique delivery agent which is supposed to increase the absorption of minoxidil in women and men.

For the Scalp Med products NutriSol-RM and Cortex Enlarger thickening spray, we are sort of left in the dark about what exactly is contained in them. Except for minoxidil, the other ingredients contained in these products haven’t been proven to aid in the growth of hair and the health of hair. It’s important to note, the cleansing agents contained in a lot of these types of products do nothing to help a person grow their hair. No matter how clean hair is, it doesn’t help it to grow. Don’t believe the advertising.

I strongly urge you to find out whether your hair loss is treatable. It may stem from some other health condition instead of it being hereditary. If you’re a woman, and you know you have a typical type of female patterned hair baldness, then Rogaine may help.


Dr. Mohebi

Wedding in Two Months and Still Balding!

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

wedding hair loss baldingA patient sent us an email regarding his hair loss condition. He has male patterned baldness and it is still progressing. He already met with a dermatologist and had several studies done prior to the email and was even using Chronostim for approximately 3 months. Now that he’s used up the bottles of Chronostim, he has noticed no change is his hair loss situation. He wants to have a full head of hair and does not want to take hair loss medication for the rest of his life. Before we forget, his wedding is in 2 months.

Chronostim has not been clinically proven to correct or prevent male patterned baldness or any other form of hair loss. It should not be considered a replacement option for medications that have been both proven effective and FDA approved safe for consumption like Propecia (finasteride) DHT blocker.

We highly suggest that all patients experiencing any form of hair loss to be seen by a good hair transplant surgeon and have a miniaturization study done. If the condition is in fact male patterned baldness or androgenetic alopecia, finasteride should be a part of your everyday hair loss treatment plan.

Hair restoration surgery can restore the areas damaged by hair loss by transplanting healthy permanent hair from the donor. In this situation, however, neither of the aforementioned will make enough of a visible difference for the day of your wedding. These procedures take time to show their fullest effect. There are cosmetic options available like Toppik that can cover the balding or thinning areas of your hair through the use of microfibers. If anything, you can use that product for the wedding day while you either consider a hair transplant surgery or at least try using Propecia (finasteride) so that you may see true results a few months after your wedding.

Biotin Hair Loss Supplement

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Hair loss supplement Biotin is vitamin H (B7) with the chemical formula C10H15N2O3S (you don’t have to memorize it!). It is a water-soluble B-vitamin complex. B-vitamins or Biotin is necessary for healthy cell growth, the metabolism of fats and amino acids, and the production of fatty acids. It plays a role in the acid cycle or the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. It’s often recommended for use in strengthening hair and nails. It can be found in many cosmetic and health products for hair and nails as well.

Now that we understand Biotin a little bit better, now we can say whether we recommend it or not. Since Biotin is only a vitamin supplement, consumption of this product by healthy individuals will not result in a decrease of hair loss. In fact, intestinal bacteria are produced to consume any excess vitamins in your intestinal tract. Lack of vitamins and minerals may cause hair loss in people with mal-absorption but normal individuals need not worry.

Hair Loss Products

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

hair loss productWhat is the best hair loss product?  We are hearing many things about new hair loss products every day.  Many contain active ingredients that may help hair, some don’t have anything for hair loss treatment and some may be harmful for your hair.  Here is what one of my patients asked me and I answered in the blog about one of the hair loss product.

The patient has been experiencing male pattern baldness for some years now.  He used Rogaine, it worked at first but now no longer respond to it.  Propecia is tried too, but had to stop it for the side effects.  Patient is saving money to be able to get a good quality hair transplant and meanwhile is wondering whether or not hair loss products can help him keep his own hair.  In this case he is using Revivogen.

I generally research about all incoming questions by reviewing the websites for the hair product.  For similar patients, I really like to know what kinds of side effects you experienced with finasteride (Propecia), because finasteride is an effective hair loss medication, although it has been blamed unfairly for many side effects. I put most my Los Angeles and Orange County Hair Restoration Clinics patients on finasteride when they have significant miniaturization. Finasteride can help prevent further hair loss. Some of your hair loss might be irreversible by medication and you may need hair restoration surgery, but at least you can stop further hair loss by the time that you can restore your hair surgically. Revivogen is a hair loss product with some natural compounds that mainly inhibit 5-Alpha-Reductase. 5-Alpha-Reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydroxytestostrone (DHT). Prevention of DHT production can slow down hair loss in male pattern baldness.

Saw Palmetto Extract is a good component of this hair loss product, which is a DHT blocker and is used systemically for prevention of both hair loss and prostate enlargement. The efficacy of its topical product is not studied as extensively in large human experiments. Other components include a variety of fatty acids like: Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA), Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA), Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid without strong human research on their absorption from skin level as well as their efficacy on human hair growth. Other components such as Azaleic acid, Vitamin B, Zinc, Beta-Sitosterol and Procyanidin Oligomers have shown some effects on the DHT production in labs, but the extensive studies to compare their effect with more researched medical treatments for hair loss is lacking.

One problem is the absorption of the active ingredients, which is not studied extensively. I personally have not heard anything about any serious side effects of Revivogen, but I would rather have more information about long term studies, which are published in peer reviewed medical journals, before I can recommend the product to my patients. There are many hair loss products out there, which are safe, but you do not have a life time to go around and try them all to find out whether they have any effect on your hair or not.

A good hair specialist that you can trust can help you tremendously. Patient believe that since they are not spending much money on hair loss product and hair loss products are more affordable than hair transplant, but they don’t realize that most time they may not get any result from some hair loss products. Your hair loss doctor should be able to document the level of your current hair loss and miniaturization of hair and can come up with a master plan, which includes medication treatment, surgery and even cosmetic alterations that can make your hair look better. Side effects of the medications that you tried before need to be re-evaluated closely by your doctor.

You want to make sure that the side effects of finasteride are for real and don’t take away this powerful, FDA approved hair loss treatment. If you have no alternatives, your doctor may have some suggestions for your individual condition to preserve whatever hair you have with a hair loss product with minimal side effects.