Hair Restoration Products – Which Are Scams and Which Work? Elisabeth Leamy Goes Undercover on Dr. Oz
Dr. Oz invited Elisabeth Leamy on to the show to talk about hair restoration scams as well as treatments that really do work and the ones that Elisabeth recommends for both men and women. Dr. Oz asked Elisabeth Leamy to do an undercover investigation in the hair restoration industry and she took this as a challenge because for her it was personal. She said that in 2008 she began to notice her own hair was thinning at a rapid pace. She used to use large ponytail elastic bands, but had to start using the smaller ones, and even then those began to slip. She said that her thinning problem was “diffuse”, meaning all over her head. This made her feel very self conscious, especially due to the fact that she was a correspondent for Good Morning America during the time when hair loss became an issue for her.
So, Dr. Oz asked her to investigate and here is what she has found (either through personal experience or by research) of what works, and what is a scam.
This is the first thing that Elisabeth tried when she started losing hair. She said that biotin helps many women but for her it didn’t work well for her hair loss. She did add however, that biotin did make her hair and nails grow faster.
Worth it? – It could be.. Biotin supplements do work for many women and are definitely not a scam, but not all women get the results that they desired. For Elisabeth Leamy, Biotin did not work well for her.
Minoxidil 2% or 5% for Hair Loss Prevention
Elisabeth Leamy tried Minoxidil but only used it a few times. She said that she was afraid of Minoxidil getting on her face, which she said can cause hair growth on her face! Considering that you are supposed to apply Minoxidil (also known as Rogaine) twice a day, this was not an answer for her. She also said that she has naturally curly hair and the Minoxidil applications made her hair feel greasy, messy and was hassle to maintain.
Is it worth it? – It may be for some women, but you have to be willing to adhere to the twice a day maintenance regime for the rest of your life. For Elisabeth, this hair restoration method was not worth it.
Elisabeth went to a dermatologist in her area that prescribed her Spironolactone, which is actually a diuretic drug originally intended to treat high blood pressure. However, it’s also used off label as a treatment for women’s hair loss. Spironolactone is thought to stop hair loss by blocking androgens, which is a form of testosterone. Unfortunately, Spironolactone didn’t help Elisabeth and in fact gave her the side effect of feeling light headed. Upon further research, Harvard Health Publications say that spironolactone is only effective is if your hair loss is being caused by too much androgens. Most women don’t have this problem. However, some do so if you suffer from hair loss you may want to get your levels of DHT checked.
Tip : Elisabeth noted in her Dr. Oz blog post that Evening Primrose Oil may be an effective alternative to spironolactone because it can also block androgens.
Is it worth it? – If your a woman who produces excessive DHT, then it may be. You should be tested to find out. Speak with your doctor.
Thyroid problems can cause you problems from head to toe. Losing hair and gaining weight are two of the most well known side effects that thyroid conditions can cause. Elisabeth had a complete thyroid test done on her and the results and she found out that she has Hashimotos thyroiditis, the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. Guess what one of the main symptoms of Hashimotos is? Yes, hair loss!
Elisabeth said that she fears that she had hashimoto’s for years but went undiagnosed. She said many doctors rely on just the TSH blood test because it’s cheap and easy, but it misses people who have Hashimotos! She mentioned that you should get a FULL thyroid test. Ask for testing for all six of these tests :
- Thyroglobulin antibodies
- Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies
- Free T3
- Free T4
- Reverse T3
The good news is that if you have Hashimoto’s, it is highly treatable. Most doctors will treat yo with T4-only thyroid medication like levothyroxine. However, this doesn’t work for everyone and it didn’t work for Dr. Elisabeth Leamy. You may want to ask for a natural thyroid medication that is derived from pigs that contain both T3 and T4.
Worth it? – Yes!
Halo Couture Extensions
After Elisabeth got her thyroid condition under control, her hair came back to a degree but not to the point where she was totally content. She mentions that she used to have really thick hair, and it just didn’t come back like it was before. One day before doing a show a make up artist was doing her hair. The make up artist asked her if she has heard of Halo Couture Extensions before. Elisabeth had not. She did notice however, that the makeup artist’s hair was absolutely beautiful. She said that she was “30 something” and had long model type of hair. She asked the hair stylist how she knows about Halo Couture Extensions considering she had great hair. The make up artist said, “Because I’m Wearing Them!”
After seeing the Halo Couture Extensions on that woman, this made Elisabeth make an appointment to be fitted for a “Halo”. You have to make an appointment at a salon so they can match your hair color. The extensions are hidden under your hair from the crown of your head (the also have a Halo Couture for women suffering from hair thinning on top)..
Elisabeth LOVES Halo Couture Extensions. She said that she has worn her extension on shoots in the Windy City of Chicago, in an updo, and even out dancing. She said that her Halo Extensions were a great confidence boost for her and feels like Halo Couture Extensions are most definately worth it for women looking for a hair restoraton product that really works!
Viviscal Professional Strength
The Halo Couture Extensions solved Elisabeth’s length and thickness problem in her hair (along with her thyroid medication), but her hair around her temples was still thin. So, now she had to find a fix for this problem. A dermatologist recommended Viviscal Professional Supplements because during clinical trial testing, they worked particularly well around the temple area.
Elisabeth said that the Viviscal supplements were not an overnight fix. It took about six months but they does work. They are the #1 hair growth supplement sold worldwide and are backed by 5 clinical tests. She did add that the Viviscal supplements are on the pricey side so it’s not for everyone. She feels that the supplements are worth it if you can afford it. In the link I provided I found them for $27 for 60 pills, which was cheaper than I thought they would be to be honest. They also have over 4 stars review on Amazon with well over 1000 reviews so that is a good sign as well.
iRestore Hair Growth System
The iRestore laser device is FDA approved and you wear it for 25 minutes every other day (it’s like a helmet that you wear). Elisabeth said that the helmet is actually really comfortable and she forgets that she even has it on! She said that the iRestore website describes that you can expect a reduction in hair loss but it take several months. At six months you will know if the iRestore Growth System will work for you.
Is it worth it? – Elisabeth is still testing with this product, so she can’t quite say as of yet. Stay tuned!
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