Identifying the Hair Scam
Before you start thinking of conducting time-consuming product research, you can do a quick Google search using the name of the product you desire to verify and a word "scam" or "fraud" connected with a "+" sign. The phrase using the "+" sign turns up more useful results than just typing "productname scam" or "productname fraud". If you find nothing alarming and decide to go ahead with your research, the first thing you should look at is the composition of the examined hair loss or grey hair remedy. You can visit the "product reviews" section on GreyHairLoss blog to find out whether your product has already been reviewed and refer to the "grey hair treatments" or "hair loss treatments" section on the main site, where many active ingredients that are found in such products are discussed. If no review of your product exists anywhere on the web and you are unable to find a product's breakdown into individual ingredients either, be particularly careful. You should check whether the individual active substances have undergone any credible testing, search for peer studies and verify the source. Often the only proof is a single sponsored study conducted on rodents or in vitro. There are only a few substances that have ever been clinically tested for treating hair loss. Only two of them have been approved by the FDA as medicine for promoting hair growth (minoxidil and finasteride) and there are two others that could be described as their derivatives (aminexil and dutasteride). Most other substances are used as cosmetics only and thus carry less credibility. There is no clinically proven remedy for reversing grey hair.
Since the US is the biggest national market for pharmaceuticals in the world, this site often refers to the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) as the world's highest authority for approving the drugs. Substances that have been approved in the US for treating baldness have often been approved by the equivalent health authorities in many other countries of the world.
Secondly, you should look for user references. You can find them on various hair loss websites (including this website) and web forums. This is not an easy task as there are countless sponsored reviews, false testimonials and spam. It requires lot of experience and many hours of research work to find out who is credible and who is cheating. In the ideal case a testimonial should be accompanied by scalp photos documenting the progress or lack of it.
The third thing to watch out for is the marketing campaign. If the product is promoted primarily by exaggerating the side effects of medically proven products and claims that it is an all-natural treatment, be sceptical. Check the product's website and try to read between the lines. If before and after pictures look too good to be true, they probably are. Some misleading statements that should arouse your suspicion are:
- Your follicles are blocked and/or malnourished
- You have poor circulation in the scalp
- Scalp inflammation causes baldness
- Your diet is poor in certain nutrients e.g. vitamins, minerals, etc.
- Stress is causing your hair to fall out
- Alcohol in hair products dries out hair and causes it to fall out
- Natural treatments are safe, drugs cause side effects
- Our formula is unique but it can not be disclosed due to commercial reasons
- This is an old traditional (e.g. Burmese) recipe for growing and/or greying hair
- This product promotes hair growth because it contains all the hair's vital nutrients
And lastly, if the product is promoted on the web, check the website to see whether you can find the owner's name and physical address. If it is not mentioned on the site, check in the whois directory. If the name of the owner is hidden behind an anonymous proxy server (e.g. WhoisGuard) be careful. No person or company that has discovered and now promotes their own unique product, promoted as the ultimate cure for baldness, and having honest intentions, would hide their name and address. If their name and address are protected, try to contact them through their contact page and ask who they are and why they opted to remain anonymous. Sometimes you find out that a website providing general advice on either grey hair or hair loss is run by the originator or the marketer of a certain product that happens to be subtly promoted on that site. In such instances, the advice provided on that product might not be entirely objective.