I have been suffering from hair loss for around 15 years (with some years of modest regrowth or maintenance in there due to medication). During that time, I have followed all the major hair loss forums on a relatively regular basis (barring a few lengthy breaks), and read numerous news articles related to hair loss. Every year, there have always been a few new discoveries and technological breakthroughs that have caused excessive levels of excitement on the message boards. To date, every single instance of these instances of hope have led to nowhere. The cure has always been five years away.
In 2013, a person by the name of Dr. Vivek Nigam from Mumbai, India has taken over hair loss message board discussions unlike anything that I have ever witnessed. In the past, Dr. Ray Woods (who popularized the follicular unit extraction — or FUE — method of hair transplants) and Dr. Coen Gho (who has been working on hair stem cell transplants) became incredibly popular in online message boards, but the speed with which Dr. Nigam has taken over the online world makes Dr. Woods and Dr. Gho seem like tortoises! The most incredible thing is that Dr. Nigam seems to have very limited experience in the hair loss world, whether as a surgeon or as a researcher. In the past, Dr. Nigam was focusing on helping people lose weight.
I was debating on whether or not to devote my second ever blog post to Dr. Nigam. In my opinion, there is a very good chance that Dr. Nigam is yet another conman/shill/charlatan in the hair loss world. There is no shortage of such characters in this industry, and I will describe some of the major ones from the past in future posts.
However, I have been impressed with Dr. Nigam’s persistence and totally out of the box approach to helping us balding people. In the western world, there have been many hair loss researchers who have been excellent presenters of their ideas and who have managed to raise millions of dollars for start-ups, but who have then disappointed us.
Perhaps it is now time to hope for a cure from the eastern world? Whether from China, India, Japan, South Korea or elsewhere. Hair loss is much less acceptable in those places than in the US, and men in those countries suffer from hair loss to a lesser extent than their western counterparts. This makes hair loss sufferers in these eastern countries even more distressed, and I am certain there will be increasing funding for hair loss research in those countries as they get wealthier (especially the world’s two most populated countries: China and India). The best part is that testing and approval procedures in those countries are far less stringent, meaning that phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials can proceed at a faster pace.