10 Important Questions to Ask When Selecting A Hair Loss Treatment
1. Are the studies on the active ingredients in your hair loss product credible?
Most of the products that I have come across over the years all claim to be backed by research and patient trials. Unfortunately, most people don’t read the claims made and accept what is said and moves on. Don’t be most people because a majority of those studies are not worth the paper they are printed on. For example, I know of a product that claims it is backed by a double-blind study. What people don’t bother asking is how many people were in the study? The answer is 12, nowhere near enough to make claims of true product success.
Another important question to ask about research on a product’s ingredients is, has the study been published in established medical journals or mainstream medical media? Conducting a study and then placing it on one’s website for display doesn’t count. On 4hairloss.org we have studied and test numerous products, but I tell people upfront that it is an informal study that we are doing with our customers to learn more about the product. It’s one of the things we use to decide to keep recommending a product. We do it when we feel we need more information than what the product maker is telling us. For me, a study that has been officially published and picked up by medical journals and mainstream medical news media lends creditability.
The ingredients in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen have been well studied and you can see information on some of these studies on this website. Minoxidil and caffeine are two of the most studied ingredients for hair loss. If you do a Google search you will find all sorts of information. The study that shows how Azelaic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, and Vitamin B6 inhibits DHT by 90% has been published in multiple journals in the U.S. and abroad, including the British Journal of Dermatology. All of the ingredients in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen have been well accounted for.
2. Does your hair loss product give you enough information about the product to make an informed decision?
One of the most important things a company can give you about their product is information. I have seen so many products come and go over the years. They dump a bunch of ingredients in a mixing bowl and spend a bunch of money on marketing, but there is no real science or reasoning behind it. And the information they provide about the product is very little. They are here today and gone tomorrow. However, in the short-term, the product sells because people that are desperate don’t need too much influence to try the product.
We want to give you as much information about our product as we can. I encourage you to read through the entire website before making a purchase decision. If something is missing, please tell us. We want all our customers to be well informed.
3. Are the active and inactive ingredients in your hair loss product from a trusted and reliable source?
Over the years I have come to realize not much is made in America anymore. Everything from the action figures I collect to the mountain bike I ride on the weekends comes from places like China. And most of the time there is nothing wrong with that because they are quality products. However, I feel different when it comes to medicine or lab-created ingredients. Different countries have different standards and the United States actually has some of the strictest standards in the world when it comes to medicine. Which I believe is a good thing. But with international trading sites like Alibaba, a lot of red tape can and is bypassed and because of that so is the quality.
A topical product that I used for a number of years, by a doctor, sourced ingredients from China because it costs much less. When I learned that I was bothered because in my eyes quality should come first and then cost.
All of the ingredients in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, both active and inactive, are sourced by large and reputable companies, all approved by the FDA for sale and use in the United States. Therefore, all the ingredients are made using the strict guidelines set forth by the FDA.
4. Does your hair loss product give you the reasons or purpose of each ingredient in their product (both active and inactive)?
I have tried so many products over the years, many with no success. During my journey, I came to realize that it is important to know all the ingredients in your hair loss product. Most companies will tell you the active ingredients. Less common is being given the list of inactive ingredients. Although, if you ask, I hope they will give you a list of all the ingredients, both active and inactive.
As time went on I really started to pay attention and always asked for a list of all the ingredients. To master hair loss, I would look up the ingredients. What was my conclusion? It was “why?”. Why does your product have three types of oils in it? No wonder it is so greasy on the scalp. In addition, you will always find a few ingredients in your hair loss product that serve no clear purpose. So always ask about each ingredient and why it is in the formulation.
The active ingredients in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen are Azelaic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin B6, Caffeine, Minoxidil, and Retinol. These ingredients are discussed in detail on this website. Please visit the other pages to learn more these breakthrough hair loss ingredients.
A lot of time and effort went into selecting the right combination of inactive ingredients that were to be used as the base solution for mixing or dissolving the active ingredients into. We experimented with numerous combinations of ingredients and whole base solutions. We have patent pending status on two very good base solutions that are made up of different inactive ingredients but share very similar characteristics in terms of consistency, smell, and chances of scalp irritation.
When using minoxidil as an active ingredient it is very common to use inactive ingredients like alcohol. We steered away from any formulations that used alcohol as a main ingredient because that can be harsh on the scalp, giving you a higher chance for scalp irritation; I learned that from a previous minoxidil product I used for several years that was destroying my scalp.
Of the two base solutions we worked with, the base solution we decided to use for now is a type of liquid foam. This mixture was specifically designed for minoxidil based formulations, so the active ingredients dissolve well in the solution. We also like it because it dries on the hair and scalp like a hair gel, so it is not greasy. It does contain ingredients that can cause scalp irritation, but the concentrations are low, so less chance of irritation over the other conventional choices we were considering. I have been using it for a few years with minimal to no scalp irritation.
When dealing with inactive ingredients and base solutions a very important consideration is whether or not it would dissolve all the active ingredients and have them stay dissolved. I mention stay dissolved because during our trial of different inactive ingredient combinations some combinations worked at first, but then the active ingredients wouldn’t stay suspended or dissolved in the solution. That is fine when you can simply shake the bottle, but some of the active ingredients in the failed base solutions would clump together so shaking the solution to put the actives back into suspension would not work.
The list below are the inactive ingredients for the base solution and the function of each ingredient:
Decyl glucoside – nonionic surfactant.
Denaturated ethanol – solvent
Disodium EDTA – chelating agent
Glucose – energy source for the hair growth and cellular activity
Glycerin – humectant/emollient
Hydrolyzed soy protein – increases the ability of the hair to bind moisture and improves the hair strength, reduces damage due to bleach, perming, or combing
Lactic acid – acidifying agent
Panthenol – humectant/emollient
PEG-8 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides – emulsifying agent
Phenoxyethanol – antimicrobial preservative
Pisum Sativum (Pea) Sprout Extract – R&D/proprietary information
Polyquaternium 10, 78, 11 – surfactant, preservative
Propranediol – emollient & penetration enhancer
Propylene Glycol – emollient
Sodium Benzoate – antimicrobial preservative
Sodium Lactate – humectant
Sodium Metabisulfite – antioxidant
Water – solvent
Zinc Pca – humectant
5. What is the consistency and other characteristics of your hair loss product?
The consistency and other characteristics of your hair loss product are some of the most overlooked questions in the industry. Most companies give no information on how it feels on the scalp and hair or how it smells. Is it greasy? Does it leave a residue? Is it sticky like a hair gel? Does it smell bad? I am not sure if this is something companies just overlook or they just don’t consider them important. Most of the time you find out the consistency and other characteristics of the product in reviews or message boards. To me, these questions are some of the most important questions to ask.
With any hair treatment, there will always be something you have to deal with, whether it be a side effect of an oral treatment or a consistency or other issue from a topical treatment. There is a water based product that I like, it didn’t work for me though, and even though it was water based it still had an issue, it left a film on my hair.
There is another product that I have tried, which I feel is probably one of the most potent hair loss remedies on the market today, that leaves your scalp an absolute mess, it is very greasy. I stopped using it after a few weeks. I had to wash it out every morning and it still left a residue. It was also very strong smelling. My girl hated sleeping next to me because of it. Not to mention I had to sleep with a towel on my pillow so I didn’t ruin the pillow and pillowcase. Nowhere in the product literature did it mention that. After that experience, asking about the consistency and other characteristics of the product are some of the first questions that I ask.
With 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, the consistency of the product was one of our most important considerations. We did a lot of research on other products that I have tried and that I liked the consistency of. We also researched the ingredients of the products that I didn’t like the consistency of. By looking at each ingredient we were able to decipher and understand what ingredients caused what consistency. We selected the ingredients that would give us the consistency we would want in a product and hopefully the same consistency our customers would want also.
The consistency of 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen is it leaves a stickiness, almost like a gel or mousse, on your hair. I felt this is the easiest consistency to deal with. It dries, so it doesn’t look greasy, and it allows you to style your hair into the desired position. I wear my hair up and back and it stays in place. The other reason I choose this type of consistency is when you use a hair gel it stiffens the hair and makes it look thicker. On the opposite end is a product that is greasy or oily, that consistency makes the hair look thinner, which is also why I dislike products that make your hair look greasy.
Now I know for some people, this consistency may not work for you. However, don’t let that discourage you from trying 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen. In the instructions that come with each order, I give helpful tips, that I have learned over the years, to help manage the consistency of 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen. Again, I choose stickiness as the consistency because it was the best consistency for me to lessen and manage, and I believe you will feel the same way also.
Another characteristic with topically applied formulations is it may irritate your scalp. Irritation of the scalp is the most common side effect with topically applied formulations. There are products I like and have used over the years that were too abrasive for my scalp. My scalp would get irritated, itchy, and some time would peel like a sunburn.
There is a minoxidil-based product that I used for several years. It was one of the few products that I feel worked for me. The consistency on the hair wasn’t too bad, it was sticky like a hair gel and it dried on the scalp so the scent would disappear. The problem I had with it is scalp irritation, it burned my scalp. Every few weeks I had to stop using the product for a few days and use aloe vera to heal my scalp. What really astonished me about the product is they recommend using it 4 times a day. I used it twice a day because at 4 times a day my scalp would have melted off.
When designing 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, scalp irritation is something I really focused on to try and cut it down to a minimum. In all my research of the active and inactive ingredients in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, the only one I really paid attention to in response to scalp irritation was Retinol or Vitamin A. Using it can make the skin sensitive to the sun, but the concentration is low and I have had no issue in the past when using Retinol. I have been using 4hairlossMen for a while now and haven’t had any scalp irritation issues. But, overall, for some people scalp irritation it may be an issue when using 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen. However, don’t let this discourage you from trying 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen because the instructions that come with each order offers helpful tips that I have learned over the years to lessen the irritation.
The third characteristic with topically applied formulations again relates to the base solution the active ingredients are dissolved into. The base solution we choose is a type of liquid foam. We choose this because it mixes well, doesn’t smell too strong, and there is a less likely chance of scalp irritation. If you shake the bottle of 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen the solution will “foam” or “bubble up”, like soap for example. When you apply 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen on the scalp it will get into your hair also and it will look like you have soap suds in your hair and on your scalp. And when you massage 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen into your scalp it will continue to foam or bubble up. Don’t be alarmed by this because once you stop massaging it into your scalp the foam will dissolve quickly and you will not see the bubbles or foamy-ness anymore.
The fourth characteristic of topically applied formulations that we will discuss is whether it leaves a residue on the hair and scalp. The oily product that I mentioned before leaves a residue on your hair and scalp, even after washing it out with shampoo. When I tested the product, I had the same problem, it is such a thick and oily solution that it is hard to completely wash out. For people that order that product from me, very few reorder it after the first try because of it. My products, 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, don’t have that issue, the product washes out with water or shampoo and doesn’t leave a residue.
The last characteristic of topically applied formulations that we will discuss is the scent of the product. All topical products have a scent and most of the time it is a medicine type smell, some are unique and hard to describe. However, the important thing to consider when it comes to scent is whether it is strong smelling and whether it subsides after application. Some products add a scent to their formulation in an attempt to make it smell better because its natural scent is very strong smelling. I laugh about that because if the product’s natural scent is strong smelling, how well it is going to be to try and cover the smell with flowers or vanilla.
One of the products I have mentioned before has an added scent put into it because its normal scent is unpleasant and strong smelling. The result doesn’t help. When I used the product I could smell it all day. Part of the problem is it never fully dries on the scalp and that makes the scent last longer and stronger than a product that dries on the scalp.
When creating 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen the scent is another characteristic I really paid attention to. When testing different solutions to mix the active ingredients into we used the one combination that gave us the most desirable outcome. The 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen scent is a medicine type scent; it is hard to describe and it is a unique smell, but it isn’t strong smelling. Since 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen dry on the scalp the scent fades. When I apply 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, after a short while I don’t smell it anymore. However, if the scent of 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen bothers you the instructions that come with each order offers helpful tips that I have learned over the years to lessen the smell of the scent.
6. How does your hair loss product work to stop hair loss and get regrowth?
Over the years, I have learned that there are two main ways to fight hair loss, stimulate growth and block the production of DHT. For a number of years, I was able to stop my hair loss by just blocking DHT by using Propecia (Finasteride). But in later years my hair started to thin and recede again and Propecia was longer as effective, so I had to add a product that stimulates the hair follicle to produce hair also.
There are other ways to fight hair loss in addition to stimulating growth and blocking DHT. You can use a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated to clean the scalp of residues like DHT. You can also a product that helps thicken the hair shaft and opens the pores; we use Retinol in our formulation which does this. However, without blocking DHT in the hair follicle, or stimulating the hair follicle to produce hair, it’s only a short-term fix.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you select a product that stimulates the hair follicle and blocks DHT. 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen do both. The combination of Azelaic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, and Vitamin B6 has been shown to block DHT by 90%; there is a link to the study on this website. Nothing inhibits DHT better. 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen also use two of the most powerful hair growth stimulators on the market, Caffeine and Minoxidil. These two stimulators also happen to be two of the most studied ingredients on the market, which you can see some of the articles and studies on this website.
However, I encourage you to be thorough and use a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically formulated for hair loss. I recommend one that removes DHT from the scalp and one that also nourishes, thickens and stimulates the hair. My favorite is Revita, made by DS Labs or Nioxin. Again, the main point I am trying to make here is blocking the DHT and stimulating the hair follicle must come first.
7. Does your hair loss product tell you what to expect when using the product?
This is the hardest question to answer and most hair loss products avoid the question. The reason is it varies by person. In my experience, I have come to realize you need to give any product 3 to 5 months to see results. You can get results quicker, and some people do, but I always tell people you didn’t lose your hair overnight and it is not going to come back overnight, it is a gradual process. I don’t sell individual bottles of 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, I sell in 90-day supplies and I do that because if you are only going to give a product 1 month, 1 bottle, to see results, you are wasting your time and money. If you are going to try 4hairlossMen or 4hairlossWomen then give it a 3 to 5-month trial. If you haven’t noticed any results in 3 to 5 months, then it is time to try another product.
I have tried so many products over the years and I have some conclusions that I have come to realize about what to expect when using a topical hair loss product like 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen, that I will share with you now. Please note: This is my experience with topical hair loss products that I see in myself and other people that I have helped, your experience may be different.
When losing your hair, you can see the difference in hair that is receding vs not receding. When hair recedes, it is the follicle shrinking and slowly dying. While normal hair grows, the opposite happens with receding hair. The hair is slowly getting shorter, thinner and colorless. A common phrase is “limp hair”. It’s the hair that will not do what you want it to do. I can tell when a topical product is having a positive effect on me within three or four months. What I notice is the receding hair starts looking lively again. The receding has stopped and the hair is gaining strength, size, and color. It also combs the same way as the rest of my hair and it quits looking weak and limp. It’s not overnight, it’s gradual.
Your hair goes through phases or cycles. Everyone loves the growth phase of course. But with hair loss, the shedding and resting phases get longer and the growth phase shortens. When using a hair loss product that stimulates growth, like minoxidil or caffeine, it takes time to change the cycle. Over time the growth phase will become longer and the shedding and resting phase will shorten. That is another reason why the results are gradual and you need to give any hair loss product 3 to 5 months to start seeing results.
When a product is working for me I always see existing hair gaining strength and the reversal of receding hair first. However, as time elapses the hair on the vertex of my scalp starts to look denser. Hair on the vertex or, “the classic bald spot”, tends to grow quicker than my hairline. It is that way for most people. For me, denser means thickening of existing hair and the start of regrowth.
Re-growing the hairline is harder to accomplish, the success rate is lower and it takes longer than that of the vertex. For me, I have been able to slow the receding hairline to almost a stop, but have always gotten more regrowth on the vertex. However, I am constantly changing the product to test new products and many of them haven’t helped to stop the receding on the hairline. I will use a product for 4 months and if it doesn’t work I will switch back to a product that has helped and get some regrowth but not all of the hairline will come back. That is why I always tell people if you find a product that works keep using it, if able until it doesn’t work anymore.
At some point, the forward progress will stop and your results will plateau. This stage is called “it is as good as it gets”. For me, it has always been around a year or so. The product is still working because I am not losing hair anymore and I got regrowth. But if you look at my hair closely, I have a slightly receded hairline and a thin patch of hair on the vertex. It has been that way for years now. But I keep using the hair loss products to keep the results I have gotten.
In my over 20 years of fighting hair loss, there are two other points I want to mention. For some people, over time, your miracle hair loss product will become less effective and you may start losing your hair again. When I started my hair loss journey for a number of years I was on Finasteride and Minoxidil. However, over time it wasn’t enough. I had to switch treatments to keep the results. Back then I added the violet ray which helped for years. But then my hair started to recede again so now I use topical treatments like 4hairlossMen.
This process of a treatment becoming less effective doesn’t happen to everyone but it does make sense. Doctors are always adjusting patients’ medicines or switching medicines to get better results. It’s the same thing with hair loss. For some, your body will get used to the treatment and it will become less effective, so at some point, you find another treatment that helps and you will stop using your current treatment.
The other point I want to make is side effects of your hair loss treatment. No matter what the treatment is sometimes there will be side effects. I have had numerous customers that have stopped using Finasteride in pill form because of unwanted side effects.
The nice thing about topical hair loss products is there are not many side effects. The only common side effect is scalp irritation. Some people have sensitive skin and some topical products can cause your scalp to become red, itchy, and sometimes make the skin peel on your scalp. A great example is the minoxidil base product I mentioned earlier. Every so often I had to stop using the product and heal the scalp with aloe vera.
If your scalp becomes irritated, or any other side effects, on any product, you should stop using the product and consult with your doctor. With 4hairlossMen, I have not had any issues with side effects, including minimal to no scalp irritation. But that doesn’t mean it will not be an issue for you.
8. Is your topical hair loss product being effectively absorbed into the scalp?
This is a very important question. You can have the best ingredients in the world and have it combined to make one of the strongest hair loss remedies in the world and it doesn’t work because the active ingredients are not being absorbed into the scalp and hair follicle.
One of my favorite products that I mentioned before has 3 or more oil-like ingredients in the formula. When using the product, it leaves your hair and scalp greasy. The consistency of the product is thicker than water and I just wonder how effective it is in reaching the hair follicle. The product works but I wonder if it would work even better if it had a water-like consistency. Water flows down and it fills in cracks and holes. This consistency is much more effective in reaching the hair follicle.
We want to make sure our product is absorbed into the scalp and reaches the hair follicle. To achieve this characteristic, we did two things. One, we made sure the consistency of the product is water like so it flows and fills, and two, we added Retinol as an active ingredient. The reason we put Retinol in 4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen is that it opens the pores and softens the skin to allow more of the product to be absorbed into the scalp and hair follicle.
9. How is your topical hair loss product applied onto the scalp?
Hair loss products that are applied topically are typically done in one of 3 ways: spray, foam, or by a medicine dropper.
Applying a hair loss product by spray or foam is less effective and creates more waste than by applying using a medicine dropper. The problem with foam and sprays is that more product reaches the hair than the scalp itself. In addition, it is harder to distribute a foam or spray over the scalp than it is using a medicine dropper. That creates more waste because you are using more pumps to cover the entire scalp.
4hairlossMen & 4hairlossWomen is applied by medicine dropper because more of the product reaches the scalp and you use less product to cover the entire treatment area. I always recommend and prefer using a product that is applied with a medicine dropper. However, there are products that require a spray or foam because some of the ingredients require an airtight seal until application on the scalp. For those products, you don’t have a choice.
10. Is your current hair loss protocol working?
Whenever someone wants to treat their hair loss I always make sure to know whether or not they are currently using a hair loss product(s). One of my top rules is if you are currently using a hair loss product and you like the results then keep using that product and don’t switch. However, if you are not getting the results you desire or there is something about your current product that you don’t like (ie. the scent or unwanted side effects) then it is time to try something else.
Most hair loss products don’t ask this question because they want you using their product. Over the years, I have come to realize that if I am getting good results from a product, and I like it, then I don’t switch to another product. My reason for this is I have come to realize that the effectiveness of hair loss products will decrease over time, and at some point, you will want to make a change out of necessity. I have had to make protocol changes multiple times over the last 20 plus years because of this. Therefore, only change your hair loss product because you need to and not just because you want to.