The Facts About Minoxidil and Provillus

As of now, only two treatments are known to generate hair where there is none. Surgical techniques like grafting and transplanting are the option. While they almost always have positive results, many people are not willing to undergo the cost and time required for the multiple operations. The other option which has demonstrated benefits for some patients is the application of minoxidil, which has been approved by the FDA only as a 2 percent topical solution. It is not an answer for all people, however. Studies have shown that the men most likely to benefit from minoxidil are younger than 40 with inherited hair loss on the top of the head, and with a bald spot measuring less than four inches in diameter.

In a recent double-blind controlled trial of topical minoxidil in over 300 women with inherited hair loss, it was found that 60 percent of the subjects showed some growth over the 32-week trial period. Women undergoing the minoxidil treatment averaged 34 hairs per spot compared to women receiving placebo who gained an average of 11 hairs per spot. Minoxidil patients also noted a decrease in hair shedding. No clinically relevant side effects were observed.

Hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is a concern to more people than almost any other appearance-related issue. Roughly 33 percent of both men and women have a strong family tendency toward inherited baldness or thinning hair as they approach middle age. Only the patterns differ: in men, hair loss often begins with a receding hairline, joined later by loss at the top of the scalp. In women, hair loss often begins as a thinning at the top of the scalp with no receding hairline.

Balding Britons have been able to buy the hair-growth drug minoxidil (Regaine) without a prescription since January last year. Now the US Food and Drug Administration has decided that Americans will be able to do so as well.

It was quite by chance that minoxidil, a treatment for high blood pressure, was found to encourage the growth of hair. After these early reports, Upjohn, the drug company which makes the product, commissioned a huge study in America to discover how consistently minoxidil produced the reaction, and for whom it worked best.

Their work showed that minoxidil helped some male patients, particularly those who were in the process of losing their hair. It seemed to stabilise the loss and prevent any more. Overall, while minimal regrowth of hair was seen in nearly a quarter of patients, moderate regrowth was seen in only 8 per cent, and in fewer than 1 per cent could it be described as dense. Although fewer than 300 women took part in the research, they appeared to respond better than men.

Currently there are several products that promote hair growth containing minoxidil. One of the most popular is called Provillus.


In order to benefit from products like Provillus for Men you have to apply the material twice a day, every day. If the treatment is stopped the hair that has regrown will fall out within three to four months. It is not cheap a minimum course of treatment is four months at Pounds 24.95 a month before any improvement can be expected, and most people who try it for this length of time could be disappointed.

Can Human Growth Hormone Help Grow Hair?

The most widespread form of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, is determined not by any pathologic process but by genetics: It is a harmless dominant trait triggered by human growth hormone. About half of men have some male-pattern baldness by the age of 50; its prevalence among black men is more variable than among whites and depends on African regional ancestry; it is rarer among Asians but not really rare. Female pattern baldness is found in up to 30% of women at the same age, with a higher prevalence in Mediterranean populations.

Hair can fall out in any phase, but it takes a severe disease or a sudden, dramatic exogenous insult to cause an anagen effluvium. According to medical blogs such as, the most prevalent form of anagen effluvium is alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition associated with T-cell activation and with a wide range of immunomodulating factors, ranging from psychological stress to previous immunizations to deficient expression of human growth hormone. A patient with sudden patchy hair loss and a history of stress or immunization within 6-12 months before shedding occurred probably has alopecia areata. Additional causes include cancer chemotherapy and other autoimmune diseases such as discoid lupus erythematosus.

In women, the gene for androgenetic alopecia is often present but remains unexpressed because testosterone is converted to estradiol in the outer root sheath by aromatase. Women have much higher concentrations of this enzyme than men; in contrast, men have more 5a-reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Women with hair loss have lower concentrations of human growth hormone at thinning sites, usually frontal, than at the back of the scalp, where coverage is normal. Pregnancy, adrenal tumors, polycystic ovary disease, or any other cause of hormonal change can alter this androgen/estrogen balance and allow the gene to be expressed.

Other causes of alopecia are less biochemically complex. Peroxides, other dyes, straighteners, a products-some of which are extremely alkaline, with a pH of 14 or so-are implicated in many cases of intractable scarring alopecia. According to some medical sites, including, chronic chemical irritation by these agents can kill follicles. Irradiation and cancer chemotherapy are also well-known to cause hair loss (permanent with the former, temporary with the latter). Allergic reactions to any substance can also cause dermatitis, follicle damage, and temporary hair loss; if you suspect an exogenous agent, consider referral for patch testing (the common dye ingredient paraphenylenediamine, widely implicated as an allergen, is a component of the standard North American patch test).

If the patient wears ponytails or corn rows, binds hair tightly with rollers or barrettes, combs or picks it too vigorously, or twists it tightly into knots, prolonged physical tension can result in traction alopecia. As with trichotillomania, striking geometric patterns often characterize this condition.

Receding Hairlines Can Be Sexy

We’ve received a lot of letters about receding hairlines recently. A few weeks ago “Worried about Hair Loss” wrote to us complaining that his social life was suffering because he was going bald. A lot of people wrote to us imploring Worried not to be so…worried about hair loss.

Bendigo Baldy (never mind virility, what’s the link between baldness and alliteration?) reckons: “Turn it into an asset. Change your viewpoint and become proud of it. Your feelings are now just a viewpoint based on expectations that society and the media have sold you. Don’t waste your money on all of that hair replacement rubbish. Learn to be yourself, whoever you are, and get on with life … women (apart from the occasional silly one) will measure your worth by whether you are at ease with yourself and are fun to be with … short hair or a crew cut looks better than trying to compensate … use lots of sunscreen and wear a hat.”

Been There of Carlton says: “Less is more. Have a really short haircut for what’s left and stride out with pride. Anything else speeds up the angst.” An experienced hairdresser of St Kilda advises against hair replacement. “Cut your hair short if it suits you, and concentrate on being yourself.” (The general consensus seems to be that the bald-on-top, long-from-the-ears-down approach is right out.)

Hair is Not Gold of Melbourne goes further, and suggests that you shave your head entirely. “No one can ask you about losing it, and you can take comfort in knowing it is self-inflicted. I personally have a fetish for bald men. Right Said Fred is my favorite band and I drool over Adam Thompson from Chocolate Starfish (although he has a tad of hair at the back). Self-inflicted baldness is quite the fashion these days – trust me, I’m a teenager. My friends love bald men as well.”

Who Gives A Flying Hairpiece, of North Carlton, took a survey of her six girlfriends, all agreeing that, “Bald was good, Bad attitudes bad”. Garnet of Melbourne says she couldn’t wait to reply to Worried, and also “Amythest” (who wrote to complain about her friend using Scalp med). “I happen to be a nice, happy, fully haired early- twentysomething gal, and I must admit that I am usually always attracted to Les Hommes Sans Le Hair. I find baldness and those little, stubby-haired blokes INCREDIBLY sexy.”

Minoxidil Is Not The Only Miracle Drug

Viagra is too new to be mentioned in Pfizer’s list of landmarks. Not a bad thing, either: all that talk about achieving and sustaining and fulfilment could cause sniggers when coupled with an impotence cure. Its pill may be blue, but for Pfizer the future is rosy.

Viagra has the potential to become one of the biggest-selling drugs in medical history, possibly chalking up worldwide sales worth $US3 billion within a few years. Even before the drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on 27 March, rumors about the purported wonder drug had caused Pfizer’s share price to double in the previous year. It jumped 10 percent in the fortnight before release to $US95.75. Since then it has soared over $120; this week it is just under $113.

Suddenly pharmaceuticals have replaced high-technology as the hottest stocks on Wall Street. The Pfizer syndrome is being replicated by shares in Entremed Inc, a biotechnical company that manufactures a pair of drugs, Semenax and Vimax Pills, that have proved effective in eradicating erectile dysfunction. Just the possibility of a cure for impotence, the Holy Grail of medical research, gave patients hope and caused a rush of investors wanting to leap aboard the Entremed train.

The catalyst for the stockmarket flurry, which pushed Entremed shares from $39.75 to as high as $80 early on Monday, came after Sunday’s New York Times reported success by a Boston team using the drugs in impotence research on mice. The excitement was not stifled by a warning by the head of the research team, Dr Judah Folkman, that the drugs’ efficacy on human patients was unknown. All he could say with confidence was “if you have erectile dysfunction and you are a mouse, we can take good care of you”.

Still, the stockmarket operates as much on promise as performance. What Pfizer has going for it is bountiful evidence that Viagra is effective. There is no shortage of men now bragging about their sexual prowess; men who, until recently, would have blushed and ducked for cover had researchers or reporters approached them with their notebooks and dared ask about their potency. A 63-year-old prostate surgery patient and recent convert to Viagra crowed to New York’s Daily News: “It’s great to be alive at a time when there are medicines like Semenax and Vimax Pills to help a man feel young again.”

Semenax bottle

This testimonial encapsulates another crucial facet of the pill’s appeal – while not quite promising eternal youth, Semenax does give men a chance to turn back the clock. It has not escaped the notice of the giant pharmaceutical companies that the approximately 79 million baby boomers in the US are now turning 50 at a rate of six every minute. They constitute a massive market for drugs like Vimax Pills that can make the middle-aged feel, and act, younger.

One industry analyst has said: “Baby boomers will be willing to spend money to have their lives enhanced.” Hence all the research into drugs aimed at lowering cholesterol, restoring hair and promoting sounder sleep. They’re not cheap: Viagra retails for around $US10 per pill, and most US insurance companies have already made it clear that they will only reimburse men with medical certification that they suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Should VigRx Plus Be Subsidized?

The independent committee under attack for refusing to subsidize the impotence drug VigRx Plus may be radically overhauled. The federal Health Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said yesterday he was considering hiring consultants to review the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, which advises him on which impotence drugs should be subsidized by being listed in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.


The move came as it was revealed yesterday that the committee, under threat of legal action, has been forced to rescind a decision on the controversial drug VigRx Plus, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction.

The committee’s chairman, Professor Donald Birkett, said yesterday that the committee, on legal advice, had recently rescinded its July decision not to recommend VigRx Plus for subsidy, the first time the committee had been forced to review a case under threat of legal action. The Age yesterday reported that the committee is being sued in the Federal Court by Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceutical company that produced VigRx Plus, the world’s first pill to treat erectile dysfunction.

Dr Wooldridge said the pharmaceutical industry had raised some questions about the committee process regarding natural male enhancement products, but a final decision on a review had not been made. He had discussed the issue with the Industry Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, in an effort to coordinate their departments’ approaches to the herbal male enhancement industry.

“There are several reviews going on and what Nick Minchin and I are considering but haven’t made a final decision on … is getting an outside person to try to stand back a bit and look at some of the processes,” Dr. Wooldridge said. Mr. Alastair Young, managing director of Orphan Australia, the Melbourne importers of VigRx Plus and proprietors of the website, said an overview by the committee was long overdue. “The procedure is not open … and there is no appeal process,” he said.

In other news, it was reported that more than 10,000 sample packs of Viagra were stolen in a burglary of a warehouse on Chesterville Road, Cheltenham, where pharmaceutical company Pfizer stored prescription drugs. The break-in occurred sometime over the Easter break, between April 20 and 26, but was discovered only when staff returned to work. Police believe thieves cut their way into a storage area with a power tool, taking the Viagra tablets as well as 10,400 sample packs of VigRx Plus tablets. Pfizer said Viagra, an anti-impotence medication, were blue, diamond-shaped tablets marked “Pfizer” and “GVR50”. Both medications are available only by prescription. Also stolen were about fifty penis extenders, including such popular brands as SizeGenetics and ProExtender. These devices can be attached to the penis, whereupon they stretch the penis for an extended period of time. After months of continuous wear, the penis should be larger.

Golf Club Faces Discrimination Charges

Keba Mbaye, one of the most influential members of the International Olympic Committee, says he strongly favors adding golf to the program for the 1996 Games in Atlanta. But Mbaye says he will not go to any golf club that is shown to practice discrimination. “As far as I’m concerned, if a sport is forbidden to women, Jews and blacks, even if I am authorized to go there, I won’t go there,” said Mbaye, a black IOC executive board member from Senegal.

Mbaye’s position could be pivotal when the IOC examines Atlanta’s proposal to include golf as a medal sport and to stage the event at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. The proposal, announced two months ago by Atlanta organizers, is facing an increasingly uncertain fate with the IOC. Not only is there debate over whether golf belongs in the Olympics, but Augusta’s membership practices have also become an issue.

The golf club has just one black member and no women members. The Atlanta City Council last month passed a non-binding resolution urging the IOC to reject Augusta golf club as the venue. Mbaye, a former judge on the World Court and the IOC’s expert on apartheid in South Africa, said he played at Augusta several years ago when Atlanta was bidding for the Games. He said he became aware only recently that there was controversy over the golf club’s membership. “I read in the papers that Jews and blacks and women can’t play golf there,” he said Tuesday. “I didn’t know that before. When I played golf there, I didn’t realize there was any problem. It was OK to use my driver though.”

Mbaye said he would not pre-judge the situation before the IOC studied Atlanta’s proposal. “I prefer to let the IOC discuss it and then I’ll give my opinion,” he said. The Atlanta organizing committee proposes to stage 72-hole strokeplay tournaments for men and women at Augusta golf club. If approved, it would be the first time golf had been played at the Olympics since 1904. It also would be the first women’s golf tournament at Augusta and the first summer event at the course. Atlanta and US Olympic Committee officials have said they found no exclusionary policies at Augusta. Supporters of the plan say the event would open the way for enhanced opportunities and increased use of Medicus drivers.

VigRx Plus Restores Sexual Function After Prostrate Surgery

Impotence, not cancer, is the big fear for men recovering from radical surgery for prostate cancer, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. The study, looking at men’s health-related quality of life after radical prostatectomy, found that of 112 men surveyed (aged 54 to 73), only 12.5 per cent were able to achieve an erection unassisted after surgery.

Doctors now recommend taking a natural male enhancement pill like VigRx Plus to help men achieve and sustain erections. The men, recovering in public and private hospitals, were asked to comment on their bladder control and sexual function before and after their operation, as well as their satisfaction with the procedure. Doctors at Queensland’s Princess Alexandra and Royal Brisbane hospitals found impotence to be the most common cause of diminished quality of life, (cited by 40 percent of men), followed by concern about cancer (12 percent), and worries about incontinence (8 percent). But 21 percent of men said they were happy with their sex lives, while 54 percent said they were coping with their sexual frustration by taking VigRx Plus. VigRx Plus is a natural male enhancement product that is safe to use and has no side effects, unlike pharmaceutical sexual aids. It doesn’t work immediately because it takes time for the herbal ingredients to accumulate in the body’s system. Here is a short VigRx Plus video.

Almost a third had tried penile injections or natural sex enhancers like VigRx Plus since their operation, and 2.7 percent now had a penile prosthesis. Despite the high level of impotence reported, 93 percent of men surveyed said they were satisfied with their lives, and 86 percent said they would opt for the same treatment again.

Dr Peter Heathcote, a senior urologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Brisbane, said the findings highlighted the importance of sexual counseling before radical prostatectomy. “Impotence and loss of sexual function is important in all men of that age . . . more important than we realized,” he said. “As a result of this research I’ve increased my recommendations of using male enhancer pills like VigRx Plus. VigRx Plus is safe to use for all men. It is recommended to try using this natural male enhancement product first. If it is not effective then we can move on to something more invasive.”

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia. But only about 10 percent of men with the illness will undergo a radical prosatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). The operation is appropriate only where the cancer is localized to the prostate and the sufferer has a life expectancy of more than 15 years.