These are the top and hot names in hair loss but what makes each one different to the next and how can you tell which one will actually work? Hair restoration is a personal endeavour and only you can decide which product will suit your needs but below you’ll find the essential facts and information about each product so you can make a well-informed decision.
What’s in them?
PROPECIA is a medication that requires a prescription and is designed to be taken once a day. Each tablet contains finasteride 1mg, monohydrated lactose (110.4), microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinised starch, sodium starch glycolate, docusate sodium, magnesium stearate, talc, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide (colour E171), yellow and red ferric oxide (colour 172).
PROCERIN is a natural supplement available as a tablet and topical solution that you can buy over the counter. It is designed to be used once in the morning and once at night and contains a blend saw palmetto, nettles, zinc sulphate, vitamin B6, gotu kola, magnesium and azelaic acid.
PROVILLUS is also a natural supplement and two tablets should be taken each day, half an hour before a meal. The active ingredients include saw palmetto, nettle root, zinc, biotin, vitamin B6 and uva-ursi.
How do they work?
All three products were designed to treat hair loss but to fully comprehend how each product claims to do that, you’ll need to know more about the causes of male pattern hair loss.
Propecia has been proven “to interrupt the development of male pattern hair loss and [help] reduce further hair loss and re-grow visible hair” by inhibiting the formation of DHT in your scalp.
Procerin claims to block DHT (dihydrotestosterone) without interacting with testosterone. “Procerin targets the specific chemical process that transforms the male hormone testosterone into the hair-attacking byproduct DHT”.
According to Provillus, it “aggressively seeds your scalp” to create the optimum environment for healthy hair growth and supplies the hair follicles with nutrients “required to bring damaged, dead hair follicles back to life.”
Where’s the proof?
Propecia is the only pill approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss in men which means it has been through a long and rigorous process to prove not only efficacy but also safety. A five-year clinical study of 279 men found:
- Nine of 10 men who took Propecia had visible results – either regrowth of hair (48%) or no further hair loss (42%)
- Two out of three men who took Propecia re-grew hair and all men not taking Propecia lost hair.
The results were measured by hair count and assessment of photographs by an independent panel of dermatologists.
A 90 day observational clinical study of 32 volunteer subjects “experiencing some level of thinning hair and or hair loss” was conducted by Procerin. At the end, 21 subjects were photographed, assessed and questioned and the study concluded that:
- Twenty out of 21 men were at least somewhat satisfied with the results they got from using Procerin, and more than half were very satisfied with their results
- Three-quarters of the men in the study said Procerin was effective in slowing or stopping hair loss
Provillus does not mention any clinical trials or success rates despite marketing their product for hair loss prevention and hair re-growth. Additionally, there have been no external studies on the effectiveness of Provillus in treating hair loss.
Who are they designed for?
Propecia was developed to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss on the top and middle front of head and should only be used by men.
Procerin was specifically developed for men only. The benefits are said to be greatest for men whose hair is still growing but is starting to thin or recede as its effectiveness for men whose hair is no longer in a growth phase is limited to retaining existing hair.
Provillus is suitable for both men and women but nowhere is there any mention of who receives the best results.
When can I expect results?
Due to the very nature of hair growth, all hair loss treatments take time.
Propecia can generate results in as little as 3 months but most men have to use Propecia for at least 6 months before seeing visible results.
Procerin recommends that men use Procerin for at least 1 to 2 months before they can expect to see significant results.
According to Provillus, their supplement provides “all the vital elements for faster growing, strong and beautiful hair” but it does not mention how long it will take before its effects proliferate.
Any side effects?
Propecia can cause a reduced desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen in about 2% of men. However the side effects go away when the treatment is stopped and decrease with time for those who continue.
Procerin can cause mild stomach discomfort but taking the tablet with food can remedy this. Men with sensitive skin are advised to use the topical lotion only once a day for the first week.
Provillus claim there are no known side effects in their supplement however, it may be beneficial to note that one of its key ingredients (saw palmetto) can cause mild gastrointestinal distress.
Should I be sceptical?
Propecia is an FDA-approved treatment and thoroughly proven to prevent hair loss and re-grow hair on the top of head and anterior mid-scalp area which is more than either of these other treatments has achieved.
Procerin claims to block DHT however, while some of the ingredients in Procerin may have some anti-DHT properties, none have ever been formally tested to work as a hair loss treatment. What’s more, the Procerin study was so small that it’s hard to discern the true efficacy of the product.
Unbelievably, Provillus provides no facts or evidence to indicate that it can be used as an effective treatment for hair loss and its claim to “bring damaged, dead hair follicles back to life” is purely false. There is presently no evidence to indicate that once the hair follicle becomes dormant, it can be brought “back to life”.