Hair Loss Companies and their Stock Prices

I have updated this post several times since first publishing it in 2018. Scroll to the bottom half for all the recent updates on hair loss company stocks since 2020.

However, this week there is a far bigger story and phenomenon at play. One that could have huge implications on the stock market, overall economy and power of the much maligned hedge funds and billionaire class. Will David at least permanently dent Goliath in this battle?

The rise of WSB and YOLO Meme Stock Investing in 2021

This week, the stock market has witnessed insanity in the form of GameStop (GME) and its short squeeze. Courtesy of Wallstreetbets (WSB) and the idea that you only live once (YOLO). i.e., do not trade and hope for 8 percent annual returns so as to retire in comfort in decades. I can see the logic in both ways of thinking and living one’s life.

Note that many of the small-scale traders on WSB have other far larger societal goals. They want to collaborate and hurt large billionaire investors and hedge funds who make money of shorting stocks. The latter often do so with ulterior methods and access to illegal insider information.

While I am not a day trader, I got back into the stock market in the middle of 2020 due to good buying opportunities. Once I made all my purchases, I was hoping not to check any of my balances for a year. At that point, I could sell some stocks and avoid high capital gains taxes.

However, this 2021 phenomena of massive-scale collaborative purchases by small-scale investors (via discussions on platforms such as Reddit, Robinhood and Stocktwits) has me hooked.

Even hair loss sufferer Elon Musk got into the GME frenzy via Gamestonk.

As did Chamath.

It seems like YOLO meme stocks are here to stay and the SEC cannot do much about this phenomenon for now. Edit: Looks like this could change as GME stock went up almost 150 percent today. Biden team monitoring. Also, a number of platforms limited trading in GME and other such stocks on January 28th. Robinhood got a beating for doing so in the media.

I do enjoy seeing some of the short-selling hedge funds being clobbered by a bunch of Redditors. But ultimately, I fear a whole bunch of young inexperienced investors losing all of their savings in this almost pyramid scheme type game.

Too bad our favorite micro-cap hair loss companies are not in the radar of these WSB fanatics/trail blazers. Social media has become a big deal in influencing stock prices of smaller-sized companies. Unfortunately, Replicel is not getting any respect and complained as such yesterday. Meanwhile,  Histogen’s stock price has almost doubled since the beginning of 2021.

Balding Investors Saving for Hair Cloning

Almost every week on this blog, at least one person discusses the stock prices of hair loss companies that are publicly traded. Same goes for our hair loss chat. Considering how expensive hair cloning  or hair multiplication will be (e.g., Dr. Takashi Tsuji and what could have been), many of  us will need to hit the jackpot.

I wanted to write this post for many years, but there were some issues that prevented me from doing so:

  • Is it worth covering companies such as Allergan, for whom hair loss related products represent a tiny fraction of overall revenues? i.e., unless they come out with a truly game-changing hair loss cure, their stock price will never be affected significantly by any new minor hair loss treatment product.
  • Does it make sense to include the numerous companies working on alopecia areata (AA) related treatments? The vast majority (over 95 percent) of hair loss patients suffer from androgenetic alopecia (AGA). A condition that is also known as male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss.
  • What about pharmaceutical companies working on brand name or generic versions of existing products such as Finasteride, Dutasteride and Minoxidil?
  • How about manufacturers of products such as laser hair growth caps, combs and helmet devices? Or even hairpieces, shampoos, concealers and so on.
  • How about companies involved in the manufacturing of hair transplant related tools and devices? Especially hair transplant robots such as ARTAS?

For the time being, I am only including companies that are of most relevance to our ultimate goal of a hair loss cure. Perhaps I will modify this in future if a company develops a moderately effective hair loss product. Some currently privately-held companies (e.g., Samumed or Dr. Tsuji/RIKEN partners Kyocera and Organ Technologies) will be added to the below list if they go public.

It seems like we regularly see situations where a company makes a big positive announcement about its hair loss product development, only to see little change in its stock price movement. Or sometimes even an unexpected decline in its share price despite the good news. Finance and investing experts among this blog’s readers can try to explain such developments when they occur.

Hair Loss Company Stock Prices

Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS) — Perhaps of most interest during the past year. Fast moving relatively new US-based company that is working on both AA and AGA treatments. 2020 Update: Not true anymore :-(

Allergan (AGN) — Working on a number of hair loss products such as Bimatoprost and Setipiprant. Hair loss segment accounts for a small portion of overall sales. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. 2020 Update: Allergan invested in several other new hair loss companies in 2019. More importantly, they invested in Stemson Therapeutics in 2020.

Cassiopea (SKIN:SW) — Its Breezula (formerly CB-03-01) product is causing some excitement in 2019 per one of my industry contacts. 2021 Update: Their closely related acne product Winlevi will be released in the US in 2021.

Conatus (CNAT) — A new entrant in 2020 after its merger with Histogen. Edit: Seems like Histogen (HSTO) is still also traded separately.

Follicum (FOLLI:SS) — Highly professional Swedish company, with its main area of focus being on its hair regrowth product. Follicum’s Phase 2 clinical trials will be completed in 2021.

L’Oreal (OR:PA) — World renowned cosmetics leader headquartered in France. They are working on 3D printed hair and grey hair reversal treatments.

PolarityTE (PTE) — Previous ticker was “COOL”. If their skin product succeeds, only a matter of time before this US-based company develops a hair loss product. Extremely fast moving new company with highly experienced and qualified key staff members. 2020 Update: PolarityTE common stock offering. Unfortunately, the stock price plummeted almost 50 percent today after that news.

PureTech Health (PRTC) — Although headquartered in the US, they are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Their hair loss segment is represented by Follica, which has been teasing us for over a decade. But is expected to commence Phase 3 trials in 2021.

RepliCel (REPCF) — A Canadian company that has been in the news in the hair loss world for a decade. Replicel’s drastically larger Japanese partner Shiseido (see below) is of much more interest to us when it comes to a hair loss treatment. However, for speculators and day traders, Replicel may be an interesting play.

Shiseido (SSDOY) — A Japanese cosmetics behemoth that is especially significant in Asia. Basic adenosine based adenovital shampoos and other related products represent a major portion of their overall sales. Besides working on a hair loss cure based on Replicel’s technology (with marketing rights in Asia), Shiseido also has its own highly experienced in-house hair loss research team.

Hair Loss Companies Stock Price Trend
Hair loss companies and their stock prices.

Disclaimer:

I am not a financial advisor or finance professional. As of the time of publishing this post, I do not own shares in any of the above companies.

At-Home Microneedling for Hair Loss

Microneedling (also known as collagen induction therapy) entails wounding and skin disruption to induce hair regeneration. In my prior posts on Follica, people often made informative comments about at-home microneedling and dermarolling for hair growth.

Update: January 21, 2021

New Microneedling and Hair Loss Studies

— In February 2021, a study from Korea found that a newly developed home-use microneedle device enhanced the penetration of 5% Minoxidil. Patient self-assessment scores showed the highest satisfaction in the Minoxidil + Microneedling combination treated group. However, the excess hair count in this cohort after 6 months treatment (twice per week) was not statistically significant.

— In December 2020, an interesting letter summarized a pilot study on using Follica’s proprietary microwounding device to treat female pattern hair loss (FPHL). The results were very positive, and I covered them in detail here.

— A September 2020 study from Iran concluded that microneedling at a depth of 0.6 mm was more effective than at a  depth of 1.2 mm. This is quite surprising, since most doctors and hair loss sufferers tend to recommend the higher number. For example, in the below video from 2020, the doctors suggest derma-rolling or micro-needling at a depth of 1-1.5 mm.

— A June 2020 study from China found Microneedling and Minoxidil combination treatment to be superior to either one by itself. The underlying mechanism involves activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

December 25, 2019

My original post on using dermarolling in combination with Minoxidil was published all the way back in 2013. More evidence on the benefits of microneedling for hair loss reversal came in 2017, courtesy of Dr. Rachita Dhurat.

At-Home Microneedling for Hair Growth

Intentional scalp injury and wounding has been known to induce follicular neogensis via stimulating the dermis’ natural wound healing process. Over the years, there has been a lot of online discussion about DIY at-home microneedling and dermarolling to treat androgenetic alopecia.

I was planning to write a post on this subject in the past, but kept delaying it till today. For one, there are numerous hair loss forum and Reddit threads on this subject running into 100s of pages. Moreover, when it comes to microneedling for facial skin rejuvenation related applications, there is even more information available online. Including numerous reviews and before and after photos.

According to a summary of  papers on microneedling, the procedure can help numerous dermatological conditions. These include skin rejuvenation (via increases in collagen and elastin); reduction of acne scarring, wrinkles, fine lines, stretch marks and surgical scars; improvement in undesired skin color changes such as melasma; and enlarged pore reduction. Note that in 2016, a Japanese research team found age-related hair loss to be caused by reduced collagen.

An increasingly common use entails using microneedling or skin puncturing for better transdermal drug delivery. In the hair loss world, many doctors and surgeons are using microneedling in tandem with application of hair growth serums, Minoxidil, PRP and Exosomes.

Needle Depth, Device Choice and Safety

Among the key questions when trying out at-home microneedling on the head:

  1.  What is the appropriate depth of needles for microneedling on the scalp for hair growth? For thinner facial skin uses, fine needles of 0.25 mm and 0.5 mm depth seem to be preferred. For thicker scalp skin, many people recommend 1.5 mm to puncture the skin and epidermis sufficiently. Reader “PinotQ” mentioned a possible treatment regimen of 1.5 mm once a week, and 0.5 mm daily for maintenance. A September 2020 study from Iran found a depth of 0.6 mm to be more effective than a depth of 1.5 mm.
  2. What device is the best? There are hundreds of dermarollers and dermapens on sale online. A large number of those seem to have great reviews. It seems like most people prefer dermarollers to dermapens when it comes to the scalp, although the lower price of the former could be a factor. While the dermaroller needles enter the skin at an angle, dermapen needles enter vertically. Each device and delivery method has advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Safety precautions, including: making sure that the needles are sterilized and clean to prevent infection; not using too much force when rolling the device to avoid damaging the dermis; aftercare and cleaning up correctly in case of bleeding or other skin injury.
  4. How often to use the dermaroller or other micro needling device? Can one get away with just once a week treatment? Note that some people may easily bleed or have overly sensitive scalps, making microneedling impractical or even dangerous. For those with seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis of the scalp, it is best to consult a dermatologist before starting treatment.

Dermarollers and Dermapens

Microneedling Dermaroller Device
A Dermaroller for Microneedling.

Note: Dermarollers are very cheap on Amazon. However, sizes range from needle depths of 0.25 mm to 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm. The rolling drum size can also vary significantly. You will need to read the comments to this post before deciding on the best product (s) for scalp hair growth purposes.

Dermapen Microneedling Pen for Hair Growth
Dr. Pen Dermapen.

Many people also use handheld motor powered dermapens (more expensive) for microneedling. These are also known as micropens. An alternative product that some people praise is called the dermastamp (or derma stamp).

For more information, see this article on dermaroller versus dermapen. These two devices are also sometimes termed as microneedling roller v/s microneedling pen.

User Reviews on Microneedling at Home

Ultimately, the point of this post is to benefit from crowdsourced reader comments about this subject matter all in one place. I might even start microneedling myself in 2020 if I get more motivated after reading about people’s experiences.

Follica’s recent statement seems to indicate that many kinds of wounding and skin injury can regenerate hair. Follica’s tried and tested in-office version and device will likely be the most effective. But for the time being, at-home use will have to suffice.

If you find any links to microneedling before and after hair growth photos, please post them in the comments.