scam web sites or advertisements emphasize personal letters of recommendation
for their products. It is possible that these letters are entirely
false or the individuals were paid to make these claims but it may
be that the letters are actually real unrequested testimonials from
satisfied customers. Then it must be a legitimate product that actually
works right??? Wrong!!!
First, most alopecias are not a gradual progressive hair loss.
Most, including androgenetic alopecia, develop in spurts and then
stop. There may even be some improvement for a short time before
the hair loss begins again. Someone using a hair growth product
might falsely attribute this slow down or temporary reversal to
the use of the compound. Once their letter is on file there is no
way they can retrieve it should the long term use of the product
reveal that it is actually entirely worthless.
Second, people who want to believe will believe. When real drug
companies test products for hair regrowth they run at least two
methods of analysis side by side. One method is entirely empirical
evidence. They mark an area on the volunteer's head and count the
hair density in the area before and after treatment to see if there
is improvement. The other analysis method they run is more subjective.
They give a questionnaire to the volunteer and ask how the volunteer
tester perceives the drug is working. Most human trials of drugs
for alopecia are classic double blind studies involving a group
that receives the drug and another control group that receives an
innocuous placebo compound. No one knows whether they are using
the drug or placebo. Frequently what is found is that volunteers
on the drug or placebo indicate they believe they have regrowth
of hair, but when comparing their positive comments to the hair
count/density data it is revealed there is no actual improvement
and there may even be a deterioration. Call it optimism or an over
active imagination, it is an important factor for professional advertisers
and scam artists.
Third, one or two people may really have hair regrowth, but out
of how many that tried the product? Testimonials from five people
with hair regrowth out of ten people who used the product is a 50%
success rate. Testimonials from five people out of a thousand who
used the product is a 0.5% success rate.