Ever heard of nanopeptide mesotherapy? Is it really effective in helping you grow some hair and thus preventing baldness? Is it as good as promised/advertised or is it a scam designed to make you open your wallet? We’re told its an expensive procedure too. The treatment reportedly costs US$550/£350 per session. Hair regrowth requires a minimum of seven sessions and, after six months, you have go back for a session every month. If that price isn’t what our Aunt Edna calls “prohibitive” we don’t know what is. [Note: In the quote below, it is stated that you go back for a session every six months not every month.]
Anyhoo, a celebrity who swears by the effectiveness of nanopeptide mesotherapy is British journalist and broadcaster Andrew Pierce. Here’s what he wrote about his treatment experience in an article for The Daily Mail:
Each night during the treatment, I had to attach a hot water bottle to my head for 15 minutes to stimulate blood flow. This, the experts say, helps to secrete oil from the scalp which, in turn, pushes out the hair. The results are remarkable. My hair is thicker and stronger, and my bald patch has shrunk in just eight weeks.
Lee, who went bald when he was 30, says it’s too late for him to rescue his own hair: it only works if there is still a decent mane. But he has clients — male and female — who have suffered partial alopecia and even they have noticed an improvement. The treatment also helps those who have been through chemotherapy.
So, what did my good friends think? Impressively, all of them, independently, have remarked on the transformation.
After seven sessions, my treatment is complete. I have to go back in six months for a top-up, and every six months after that. I’m also using a special shampoo and conditioner and persevering with the hot water bottle when I remember.
So mesotherapy may have worked for Mr. Pierce but does this mean that the treatment procedure is effective for you and me? Not necessarily! In fact, the “evidence” that mesotherapy works is only anecdotal. There is no clinical study (or any kind of published study for that matter) which states that mesotherapy can cure hair loss. Venkataram Mysore neatly summarizes the state of research on this issue in his article (via pubmed.gov):
Data on its safety and efficacy in pattern hairloss have not been adequately and critically evaluated and documented in proper, peer-reviewed clinical trials.
Data evaluating the rationale and pharmacology of the combination of herbal and allopathic medicines used are not adequate. There are no clear-cut guidelines on the dosage and efficacy of the products.
Further, mesotherapy is not entirely a safe technique as publicized in lay media and can give rise to complications, as stated earlier.
It is also important to note that before it was advertised as a cure for hair loss, mesotherapy was originally advertised as a weight-reduction/fat-loss product and, even then, health authorities are doubtful as to its effectiveness. From an FDA consumer advisory:
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers about false and misleading claims being made about products used in lipodissolve, and about other misbranding of these products.
Recipients of lipodissolve get a series of drug injections intended to dissolve and permanently remove small pockets of fat from various parts of the body. The process is also known as injection lipolysis, lipozap, lipotherapy, and mesotherapy.
“We are concerned that these companies are misleading consumers,” says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “It is important for anyone who is considering this voluntary procedure to understand that the products used to perform lipodissolve procedures are not approved by FDA for fat removal.”