RIP Bryan Shelton — Hair Loss Researcher Extraordinaire

I would have preferred to continue making optimistic posts related to new hair loss cure related developments, and was in fact not planning to post at all today. However, I just learnt that one of the all-time legendary personalities of the hair loss forums, Bryan Shelton, passed away on September 16th, 2013. He was only 63 years old and had stopped posting on hair loss forums during the past year. I was curious as to what had happened to him and guessed that he must be sick, since in all the years I have frequented hair loss forums, Bryan was one of the few constants. Perhaps the only constant, when excluding the people who ran or owned these forums.

Bryan seemed to have more hair loss and hair related knowledge than any other poster out there.  I say “seemed to” because once people such as Bryan cross a certain threshold of expertise in this field of study, I am not the best person to figure out the legitimacy of what they are saying. Some of Bryan’s posts were at a level that was too complicated for me to comprehend fully without doing a lot of research. Luckily, most of Bryan’s posts involved presenting interesting ideas, offering advice when asked, or legitimately correcting people.  Bryan was usually correct as far as I could tell.

I was surprised to learn that Bryan had no college education. Even more impressive, Bryan  tended to do a lot of his research at libraries. I suppose it is not surprising, considering that he grew up in an era without the internet. When a journal article could not be found online, Bryan would find it at his main local library.

I encourage readers to search for Bryan Shelton’s posts on all the hair loss forums and message boards out there. On several, he has close to 9,000 posts! As you will see from his posts, Bryan’s expertise will be greatly missed. For me, Bryan’s demise represents the end of an era during which hair loss medications, hair transplants and wigs were our best hope. Hair multiplication, hair cloning and stem cell related treatments now seem much closer to becoming a reality. It is too bad that Bryan will not be able to witness the final cure when it arrives.

It says a lot that I never met Bryan, never saw his picture, and maybe only interacted with him on the hair loss forums one or two times in all these years. Yet I think enough of him to type such a lengthy obituary.

Dr. Nigam and Dr. Mwamba to Collaborate

The phenomenon from the east that is Dr. Nigam just keeps growing. Just a few days after my first post on Dr. Nigam, Spencer Kobren (the famous host of The Bald Truth radio show) conducted an interview with Dr. Patrick Mwamba that all of this blog’s readers have to listen to. In my more than a decade of following hair loss news, the only other thing that has caused so much excitement on hair loss forums was the release of Avodart (Dutasteride) after FDA approval in 2002.

Virtually every other interesting development during this period of time was an obvious scam, or was a development whose success and fruition would not be seen “for at least 5 years”, or was a development (e.g., body hair to head transplants) that offered some hope at an improved appearance, but nothing resembling a cure.

Unfortunately, Avodart was not as significant an improvement over Propecia (Finasteride) as hoped. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Dr. Nigam’s exuberance and unique collaborative approach in this field finally lead to a groundbreaking development in this industry in the coming years.

Cheers to Mr.’s in vitro, in vivo and the previously neglected de novo. And to Dr. Nigam for improving my understanding of both Latin and Biology.

A Hair Loss Blog