People often joke about whether they're having a good or bad hair day. The very concept of the "bad hair day" speaks to the role hair plays in many people's self-esteem.
This emphasis on hair in society is one reason why the market for hair loss products, even unproven ones, is so huge: Many people are desperate to prevent further hair loss and re-grow their hair.
Only two products: minoxidil (Rogaine®) and finasteride (Propecia®) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hair loss. But it seems like hundreds of products, including shampoos, hair sprays and vitamins, are said to play a role in preventing hair loss and/or re-growing hair.
People eager for an easy hair loss solution are often willing to give these products a try, and others may want to supplement their use of minoxidil or finasteride. Regardless, people are likely to wonder whether there is any research to support the claims of these other products, or if they're just quackery.
One of the reasons hair loss products can confuse consumers is that shampoos, for example, can be considered both cosmetics and drugs; the definition depends upon the product's intended use.
If a product is marketed to improve appearance, it is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces consumer protection laws. If a manufacturer claims that their product can re-grow hair, it should be considered a drug. While there is no approval process for cosmetics, the FDA has a rigorous drug approval process.
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