HairSite Forum History
When I first started reading about hair loss online around 15 years ago, my favorite place to visit was probably www.hairsite.com. At the time, it had an excellent and very active hair loss forum. Unfortunately, this has not at all been true during the past several years. See link to the old retired-as-of-today HairSite forum. The domain name hairsite.com was first registered on February 24, 2017, almost 20 (!) years ago and I am pretty sure that the owner has always been the current one: David Tse.
The most surprising thing about HairSite was that of all the numerous English language hair loss forums out there, the hairsite.com forum had by far the most unique and somewhat convoluted layout. For most new visitors, it was often very frustrating to navigate this layout. The threads could be viewed via “board view” or via “thread view” if you were able to notice that (Took me months of visiting before I even saw those options and realized what they meant). Many times a subject would have many pages, but you had to see a small font “next page” option and remember to check out all pages. Adding to the confusion, it was often not clear how the HairSite forum software decided on when to move a new thread that you might have initiated to the top of a forum category versus keeping it lower down the page and less visible to visitors. On top of all this, there were 100s of valuable original content pages within hairsite.com as well as within the affiliated hairsite4.com that you had no easy way to access. Usually you just stumbled upon them by accident or when David linked to them in the forums.
Over the years, a number of people complained about the HairSite forum and website layout, but the owner David stuck to his guns and never revamped the forum. He did make some tweaks (e.g., this one in 2007), but he kept the overall unique layout and appearance of the threads and comments as is.
Some of the most prolific and interesting (often crazy — e.g., a guy named “Common Sense” or “CS” comes to mind) forum posters on HairSite were for whatever reason very attracted to its layout and never posted on any other “normal looking” hair loss forums out there on the web. HairSite was the first forum to have a very active hair multiplication section and perhaps that was a big part of its charm. I liked the fact that the HairSite forum was the simplest one out there and had relatively few “categories” (i.e., what some also call “sub-forums” or “subsections”). Most hair loss forums out there seem to have at least 20 categories.
Even in recent times, select posters have decided to post their very unique stories solely on HairSite, despite the fact that the forum has become much less active than most other English language hair loss forums out there. For example, last year I was lucky to stumble upon Christopher1’s experiment with a topical JAK inhibitor for AGA as well as his Kerastem treatment testimonial threads when considering the fact that I was rarely visiting HairSite at the time.
David has in general been very hands-off in terms of the links that he allows on HairSite (especially in the non-hair transplant sections) and he rarely censors discussions. Most forum owners are not so open minded. Even worse, some limit hair transplant related discussions to only advertising surgeons, which is a shame. e.g., if someone asks “who is the best hair transplant surgeon in county XYZ?”, people should be allowed to discuss any of the options out there, but some forums only allow discussion of advertising surgeons. I have not checked recently, but I presume that David still allows discussion of all hair transplant surgeons, advertisers or not.
Some of the Greatest Hits from the Past
Over the years, HairSite was without a doubt the best place in the world when it came to discussions about Dutasteride (brand name Avodart) and Dr. Coen Gho. Both subjects are among the 10 most discussed topics in the online hair loss world during the past 15 years, with only the former justifiably so. HairSite was also one of the best places out there when it came to the initial years of discussion related to Aderans, Histogen and Intercytex. In more recent years, HairSite has become the best place to read about the world’s three most experienced (in my opinion) follicular unit extraction (FUE) and body hair transplant (BHT) hair transplant practitioners in Dr. John Cole, Dr. Arvind Poswal and Dr. Ray Woods. All three of these esteemed surgeons participate on the HairSite hair transplant forum section and often make very though provoking comments. The latter two sometimes getting into entertaining soap opera type arguments with each other.
Many of the old HairSite forum comments and threads were often very interesting or comedic (especially in the hair multiplication and hair transplant sections), and it is too bad that I never saved my favorites (although a huge number of old links seems to be nonexistent today anyway). However, my favorite parts about HairSite entailed David’s extremely detailed and useful surveys and statistical summaries. David put in a huge solo effort in these compilations. I have linked to a few of these on this blog before. Below, I list some of my favorite efforts from David that are worth reading and I will update this list if I decide to spend more time on searching the archives. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find many that I remembered, and I think most of those were in blue colored pages within HairSite that seem to be gone now.
- The hair transplant patient summaries by surgeon is exceptional work, even though it only covers advertising surgeons who post before and after photos on HairSite. After clicking on “Details” next to a surgeon name, make sure to go to the top right of the new page to see all the results (e.g., Dr. Poswal has 10 pages of results).
- Over the years HairSite had a number of excellent pages on Dutasteride (brand name Avodart) user surveys, but this is the best one that I could find for now from the archives that are still visible.
- Interview with Dr. Monahan during a time when numerous people thought that Avodart was the cure for hair loss and were obsessed with this man.
HairSite Forum Finally gets a Real Upgrade, but Thankfully Remains an Outlier
At the beginning of this year, David announced that the HairSite forums and website were both getting upgraded. I was extremely pleased to hear that as I did not want HairSite to go extinct and felt like that was slowly happening to all the forum categories on there other than the hair transplant one. After some delays and hiccups, yesterday the new HairSite forum finally went live and what a nice surprise to see the final result. I encourage blog readers to join that forum if you have not done so already.
True to form, David has once again created the most unique and unusual hair loss forum out there (and the most simple one yet again). This time he has combined all main forum categories into the same page, with the “category” column indicating the subject matter (Note: I am using a desktop. Mobile view is very different). There is a selection menu on the upper left from where you can pick a category so as to only see threads for that particular subject matter if you so desire. You can sort the viewing order by clicking on some of the columns (both ascending and descending options available), but the default sort by the “Activity” column from most recent to oldest is probably best most of the time.
I love the “User” column icons with forum member first name initials, that are like what you see nowadays in phone text messaging apps. In this case, you can even hover over the icons to see who started the thread, who is/are the most frequent poster(s) in the thread, and who made the last comment in the thread. Very useful and succinctly presented.