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Dr. Yechiel-Elsom Research Topical maker invited to forum for Q\'s (Please Read)


#1

Because Ive become more and more interested in the Topical route I thought it would be a good opportunity to invite Dr. Yechiel, the maker of ELSOM RESEARCH Formulas and Topicals to the Topical forum.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS:

The fact is that only two drug types (with some variations) are currently approved as treatments for hairloss, either for re-growing hair or for reduction of hairloss. Only these drugs can be associated with medicinal claims such as “my product causes hair to grow” or “my product is reduces shedding of old hair”. The reason for this is the interpretation of the law by the FDA, which is a law enforcement agency in the US and not, as some may perceive, a scientific peer-review agency. Other countries have similar regulatory agencies; because we are located in the US, we must comply with the regulations of the FDA.

The FDA’s protocol and procedures for approving a new drug are the only protocol and procedures which can result in permission to apply medicinal claims to a product. There are many other alternative protocols which are scientifically valid and can prove or disprove the usefulness of a certain ingredient or product, but it is not legal to attach medicinal claims to a product, even if found useful and valid, unless the FDA has legally approved it as a medicine. Not everything which is legally approved as “working” factually does work and not everything which has not been legally approved as “working” is factually useless. In the same way, a person with unusual abilities to present a case in court will not be allowed to practice as a lawyer, but any mediocre lawyer who is bar-certified can present a case in court and act as a lawyer. So, factually there are wonderful “lawyers” without formal education and lousy lawyers with formal education. There is one difference however:, some demagogues can persuade people that they are great lawyers and lose the case for them, while scientific evaluation is as qualified (and can be even more qualified) as a professional opinion regarding the usefulness of a certain ingredient or product.

The government tries to protect people from bad products and services, but the price for that protection is that in this process many wonderful inventions and potential cures fall victim to the regulatory process, which is a critical factor in the enormous expenditure of money and time for new drug development (in my opinion, a more important factor in making drugs expensive than even drug companies’ greed). This is also the main cause of the shockingly small inventory of potentially new and exciting medicinal candidates, and the main cause for reinventing and reshuffling old drugs instead of developing real new drugs. There are also potential patent infringement issues which also limit the spectrum of claims. Nevertheless, everyone must abide by the law. People who are not selling either of the two approved baldness drugs and who claim that their product cures baldness or reduces shedding of hair are breaking the law, even if they can show scientific evidence to support their claims. It is possible to phrase claims in a way that does not confront the law; such language may look somewhat evasive or indirect (“improves the appearance of” instead of “cures”) but the truth is that most direct language is forbidden for use by most people who sell products. However, customers and especially those concealed behind forum names can say and ask almost anything.

So, I will welcome any question which is about ingredients and products as long as people don’t ask questions I cannot legally answer, such as “Does your product cure hairloss?”

Our products are compatible with people who have hairloss issues and can improve the appearance of scalp and hair. This is the utmost extent to which I can use terms like hair, scalp, and hairloss in my answers. I can point out physical and chemical benefits which can be attached to certain ingredients on a theoretical basis “if that ingredient can actually reach a certain point in the scalp”. I expect people to speak to me with respect and I will ignore any question which is disrespectfully phrased; my expectation of respectful discourse applies not only to me but to other participants in the discussion, and I will not appreciate the use of my opinions as weapons to hurt someone else. I may need some time to answer certain questions which involve potential conflict of interest, proprietary issues, or legal status of a certain claim; other questions I can answer more quickly, but I do have a company and a life to run so my replies may not be immediate.

My goal in this exchange is primarily educational. I want to provide the people on your forum with some scientific background and with an insight that will help to sort out your expectations about hairloss issues into several categories:

  1. Realistic and achievable goals;

  2. Foreseeable developments and advances in understanding of hairloss;

  3. Potential quantum-leaps with medicinal relevancy to hairloss;

  4. Long-term, potentially-achievable, goals;

  5. Excursions into the realm of science fiction.

I believe that as we start this we will be able to sort out more issues as they present themselves, assuming everyone wishes to participate in good fate and not to act as saboteurs. I am quite hopeful that saboteurs will be identified on their first attempt and will be prevented further access to this particular dialog.

Thank you for organizing this exchange.

Dr. Yechiel

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#2

So can I just post my questions here? Basically I want to know what is the most effective vehicle to deliver dutasteride topically? I used to puncture the gel cap and apply the gel directly to my scalp but I want to know if there is a more cost effective to apply dutas topically.


#3

Hello, abcxyz,

You are asking how to concoct dutasteride into a topical.

Technically speaking, it is easy. It will formulate into vehicles such as liposomes or nano-spheres and can also be solubilized in certain continuous carriers (non-vehicles).

Legally speaking, this ingredient is a drug and was never approved for use against hairloss, and you should use it only with your physician’s guidance. Breaking open a capsule of the drug and attempting to apply the contents topically is not likely to be effective if in a solid form or a powder but could somewhat absorb if it is in liquid form and for that you should be very cautious. In addition, the company which has patent rights for this compound or for its anti-baldness application and which did run (and may run again) human studies of the compound has to approve your use of their product for some or all applications (depending on the coverage of their patent). In the US, physicians are licensed by their state and can dispense materials as drugs or cures in their state (only) even if that material has not received federal approval (FDA approval) for the purpose it is being dispensed. It is a lot of power and the law may be somewhat different from state to state, but even physicians have to abide by patent laws. So, talk to your physician but I cannot advise you how to formulate dutasteride into a potent and useful topical unless it is approved by the parties who have legal interest in this compound and its advancement into topical use.

Take care.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#4

As you know Ive been talking about the immune response for a few years and how its is one of the major factors involved in hairloss.

Ive come across this extract in one of the other forums which Bryan has kindly posted ( I hope you dont mind me posting this Bryan, I’ve ommitted your comments )

"
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 May;48(5):752-9.

“Transplants from balding and hairy androgenetic alopecia scalp regrow hair comparably well on immunodeficient mice”

Krajcik RA, Vogelman JH, Malloy VL, Orentreich N.

“Human hair follicles were grafted onto 2 strains of immunodeficient mice to compare the regeneration potential of vellus (miniaturized, balding) and terminal (hairy, nonbalding) follicles from males and a female exhibiting pattern baldness. Each mouse had transplants of both types of follicles from a single donor for direct comparison. Grafted follicles from 2 male donors resulted in nonsignificant differences in mean length (52 mm vs 54 mm) and mean diameter (99 microm vs 93 microm) at 22 weeks for hairs originating from balding and hairy scalp, respectively, corresponding to 400% versus 62% of the mean pretransplantation diameters. Follicles from the female donor transplanted to several mice also resulted in nonsignificant differences in length (43 mm vs 37 mm) for hairs from balding and hairy scalp, respectively, during a period of 22 weeks. The mean diameter of the originally vellus hairs increased 3-fold, whereas the terminal hairs plateaued at approximately 50% of pretransplantation diameter, resulting in a final balding hair volume double that of the nonbalding hairs. This report shows that miniaturized hair follicles of pattern alopecia can quickly regenerate once removed from the human scalp and can grow as well as or better than terminal follicles from the same individual.”

“…The phenomenon occurring in the xenograft experiments reported here is quite different and dramatic: hypotrophic anagen and telogen hairs from balding scalp exhibiting only vellus hairs in situ regenerate very quickly. By six months, the ratio of the diameters of grafted to pretransplant vellus hairs exceeds 3:1 (Fig 3). Histologic examination of post-transplantation follicles from balding scalp also shows fully developed anagen follicles at six months (Fig 2). The regeneration of vellus follicles occurs just as quickly on male as on female mice (data not shown); this suggests that a factor or factors other than androgen withdrawal may be involved but does not necessarily rule out that differences in androgen levels, availablity, or both between human beings and mice account in part or entirely for the rapid vellus-to-terminal transformation of balding follicles. For instance, the activity of the 5a-R enzyme(s) may be greatly reduced or absent in the transplanted follicles, thereby, limiting exposure of the follicles to DHT. The accelerated transformation of vellus follicles on immunodeficient mice might correspond to responses seen in balding men treated with oral finasteride who are exceptionally good responders. However, in our clinical experience, females with AGA, including the female in study II, frequently have normal androgen and androgen-binding globulin levels for their age and sex. It is difficult to argue that lower systemic androgen levels in the female mouse environment (or higher in the male mice) causes the rapid regeneration of vellus hair follicles from the human female. Therefore, the existence of an inhibitor factor other than androgens, particularly in women showing diffuse/pattern alopecia, that is lacking in the nude mouse seems plausible. This could be some other steroid, hormone, cytokine, neuropeptide, or an immunologically related factor.”

Dr Yechiel, Can you please post your thoughts on this study as it suggests that the immune Response is a very big factor?

Do you think a topical can be put together to normalise the scalps immune response in MPB based on natural ingredients?

Regards
Pete


#5

» Hello, abcxyz,
»
» You are asking how to concoct dutasteride into a topical.
»
» Technically speaking, it is easy. It will formulate into vehicles such as
» liposomes or nano-spheres and can also be solubilized in certain continuous
» carriers (non-vehicles).

Thanks, what about systemic absorption using liposomes or nono-spheres as vehicles? Do you have any studies that prove liposomes or nano are indeed the most effective in reaching the follicles underneath the skin?


#6

Hello, abcxyz,

Yes, liposomes and spheres are vehicles and they can be generated in various sizes, including nano-sizes. Compared to general carriers, vehicles can be better controlled to reach their intended targets and to reduce exposure of the ingredients they carry to other areas in the body. General carriers are not likely to be well controlled because they are basically solvents and amount to the larger parts of the formulation. They penetrate if they can and don’t penetrate if they cannot and the dissolved actives must rely on their own penetration abilities. Because they are formulated in very large quantities they are not likely to be controlled by other materials in the formulation which will be relatively at a very small concentration in comparison.

As to systemic absorption, it can be controlled to a large extent by adapting the vehicles to such a purpose. However, in the case of dutasteride there is indeed a concern. Dutasteride has an effect similar to Propecia on hair growth when used at the at 0.5mg per day, which is the effective dose for treating enlargement of the prostate, though Propecia only blocks one isoform of 5-alpha reductase and dutasteride blocks both isoforms. However, at 2.5mg per day dutasteride generated an initially better hair count than 5mg per day of Propecia. I have no data that the improvement persists with longer-term treatment.

The concern is that dutasteride is effective in an extremely miniscule dose (0.5mg) given orally and sufficient for the entire body. This indicates that the affinity of dutasteride to 5-alpha reductase is very high and since in a topical the doses may be higher, even a tiny amount which may enter the system can be of a concern. Actives which are effective in higher doses will be safer in a topical formulation. Dutasteride will require a special vehicle system that has almost zero systemic penetration, and that is no minor task. In my opinion, botanical alternatives, even if they have less affinity to the 5-alpha reductase receptors, and maybe because of that, are the safe choice for topical application because you can use enough to overcome the affinity issue and you don’t have to worry about skin being hermetically (impossibly) sealed from the rest of the body. For such alternatives, it is possible to formulate products with excellent penetration which will have virtually no penetration beyond the skin. This does not apply to dutasteride, because for dutasteride it has to be proven that there is not systemic absorption and the regulatory notion that cosmetic products don’t have systemic absorption cannot apply to dutasteride unless it is proven first (because it is a drug and not a cosmetic product).

Of course, when you use non-drug topicals with natural blockers of 5-alpha reductase, you cannot make a claim that such actives will actually block 5-alpha reductase in the skin by the finished product when applied topically, because that will be a medicinal claim. However, such products will be safe to use and you may see great results as to the appearance of your scalp, whether or not claims are attached.

Thank you.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#7

Hello Pete,

The article tells us a story about an interesting experiment but I have several reservations and comments about the conclusions and would suggest supplementary experimentation which can reduce the level of uncertainty.

Hair grafting is a common procedure and it entails removal of healthy follicles with visibly good-looking terminal hair and transplanting them in scalp areas where the follicles are not very happy and successful and which display vellus hair or no hair at all. Did anyone try transplanting hypotrophic (miniaturized) hair follicles into a scalp area with healthy looking hair and follicles, replacing the good follicles taken from well growing areas with the hypotrophic hair follicles? I don’t believe that it was done but my knowledge in the field of hair transplantation is sketchy at best and is not sufficient to make such a determination. However, if such an experiment is done it will help shed some light (I know that the term “shed” is not the best term to use on this forum but we are talking about light and not hair) on a great puzzle of hairloss, a puzzle which the study you quoted only made more urgent to try and focus. From an ethical point of view I don’t believe that such an experiment presents a major issue when adequate information is given to human volunteers.

Let’s begin by critically analyzing the article. The article contains 2 parts. One is that healthy follicles are transplanted into mice of a breed which cannot reject the transplant because they have a genetically defective immune system. These mice are kept in environmentally controlled cages and if they are exposed to regular air in a room or eat ordinary food they will die of contamination. These mice are used in a multitude of experiments where a host is required not to have immunologic reactions under the conditions of the experiment. Of course, single follicle grafting is performed on a regular basis on humans where hair is removed from a certain area of the scalp and transplanted into the same person in another area of the scalp where new hair are desired. In such cases there is also no rejection of grafts since they are taken from the same person. We also know that they can grow well and survive for a long time even after being transplanted into a balding scalp area. We also know that even bodily hair (not from the scalp) can be successfully transplanted in the scalp of the same person and grow quite long, much longer then they grew before on the body. This is however a recent achievement and not yet a very popular procedure. But we see one thing for sure: the balding scalp area can maintain and grow hair. The experiment with the mice also shows a new point which is the second part of the article. Miniaturized follicles can recover and grow as long as they are still alive (a notion I keep repeating in many of my comments to posters on our own forum and to emails by customers). So here is the deal: If the miniaturized follicles are actually normal and can potentially recover and grow if placed in a supporting environment, and the balding scalp area is actually a supporting environment which can support growth of normal follicles and hair, why do follicles undergo miniaturization at all?

Let’s now go back to my suggestion to take a miniaturized follicle and transplant it into the scalp of the same person it was taken from but in a scalp area in which normal hair is growing. What do you think will happen? The answer to that may shatter the current thinking in this field which is loaded with emotions and despair and cynicism and conventional thinking which is sold to stressed customers who try to hold on to any hope which is wrapped with “science”. In this respect, this article is a very important, experimentally speaking, and that is not something we see very often in current years. On the conclusions I will comment shortly (or not so shortly). If the miniaturized follicles will recover and grow nice, healthy hair as in the mice, it will generate shockwaves at 8.5 on the Richter scale. If they don’t grow, then the experiment with the mice can still be better explained and the conclusions better supported.

Let’s assume that it happens, miniaturized follicles normalize and grow normal hair after being transplanted to a rich hair-growing area on the scalp. The next step is another experiment. Miniaturized follicles are transplanted to another nearby area on the scalp which is as bald and barren as its original location. Let’s say that it was transplanted only 2 millimeters distance from where it was located naturally. Will it now grow? We know that the follicle can grow and we know that the receding (balding) area can support growth, so what will it be?

If the answer in both cases is that the miniaturized follicles will not grow in either hair-rich or balding scalp areas, we may consider the possibility that the explanation of the authors about immune-response free-zone in the mice should gain significant weight (among other explanations because there are may factors involved in baldness). If however, the miniaturized follicles will normalize and grow healthy hair after being transplanted to either hair-growing areas in the scalp or to a nearby location which is also bald, then we have a new almost-unifying concept which can include much of the currently peculiar behavior we hear rumored around hair growth and weird “hair growth” procedures such as injury to the scalp, irradiation, and others, and may give them some direction where they can do more good and less harm (which is not the current case). I will just say that the explanation may be not that the mice are lacking a mysterious compound which shrinks follicles in the scalp but rather that the mice have something that the miniaturized follicles are deprived of in the scalp, but that could exist elsewhere throughout the scalp.

I would like to stop at this point and mind-challenge some readers to suggest their insight into this apparent contradiction. Remember, the follicles are fine and the scalp is fine, so what is going wrong? After some suggestions and insight from readers, I will be happy to get back to the subject and conclude it and maybe to suggest an “almost unifying theory” if there still is any need for my intervention after the readers’ comments. Such a theory can hold together many of the apparent contradictions we observe in the hairloss field regarding chemical and physical treatments and provide new directions for research and development of new ingredients or procedures which can target hairloss and be more successful than what is currently available…

Thank you.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#8

» Hair grafting is a common procedure and it entails removal of healthy
» follicles with visibly good-looking terminal hair and transplanting them in
» scalp areas where the follicles are not very happy and successful and which
» display vellus hair or no hair at all. Did anyone try transplanting
» hypotrophic (miniaturized) hair follicles into a scalp area with healthy
» looking hair and follicles, replacing the good follicles taken from well
» growing areas with the hypotrophic hair follicles? I don’t believe that it
» was done but my knowledge in the field of hair transplantation is sketchy
» at best and is not sufficient to make such a determination.

Yes, that was done by Orentreich in his 1959 study of autographs. His work laid the foundation for hair transplantation, because he demonstrated that balding hair follicles display “donor dominance”. Balding follicles transplanted to hairy areas of scalp continue balding.

» The experiment with the mice also shows a new point
» which is the second part of the article. Miniaturized follicles can recover
» and grow as long as they are still alive (a notion I keep repeating in many
» of my comments to posters on our own forum and to emails by customers). So
» here is the deal: If the miniaturized follicles are actually normal and can
» potentially recover and grow if placed in a supporting environment, and the
» balding scalp area is actually a supporting environment which can support
» growth of normal follicles and hair, why do follicles undergo
» miniaturization at all?

The key parts of your question are the words “potentially recover” and “supporting environment”. We know that balding follicles continue to go bald, regardless of the part of the body to which they are transplanted. The results of the mouse experiment are obviously completely different, however, and complicate things tremendously by introducing transplants onto a foreign body which is completely devoid of an immune system. That would appear to suggest the possibility of an immune system attack on balding hair follicles in humans, but I’d really like to see that mouse experiment duplicated by other researchers, before drawing any firm conclusions.

» Let’s now go back to my suggestion to take a miniaturized follicle and
» transplant it into the scalp of the same person it was taken from but in a
» scalp area in which normal hair is growing. What do you think will happen?

It won’t grow.

» The answer to that may shatter the current thinking in this field which is
» loaded with emotions and despair and cynicism and conventional thinking
» which is sold to stressed customers who try to hold on to any hope which is
» wrapped with “science”. In this respect, this article is a very important,
» experimentally speaking, and that is not something we see very often in
» current years. On the conclusions I will comment shortly (or not so
» shortly). If the miniaturized follicles will recover and grow nice, healthy
» hair as in the mice, it will generate shockwaves at 8.5 on the Richter
» scale. If they don’t grow, then the experiment with the mice can still be
» better explained and the conclusions better supported.

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about shockwaves on the Richter scale! :slight_smile:

» Let’s assume that it happens, miniaturized follicles normalize and grow
» normal hair after being transplanted to a rich hair-growing area on the
» scalp. The next step is another experiment. Miniaturized follicles are
» transplanted to another nearby area on the scalp which is as bald and
» barren as its original location. Let’s say that it was transplanted only 2
» millimeters distance from where it was located naturally. Will it now grow?
» We know that the follicle can grow and we know that the receding (balding)
» area can support growth, so what will it be?

It won’t grow in EITHER case.

» I will just say that the explanation may be not that the mice are
» lacking a mysterious compound which shrinks follicles in the scalp
» but rather that the mice have something that the miniaturized follicles
» are deprived of in the scalp, but that could exist elsewhere throughout
» the scalp.

I think the answer is closer to the first possibility than the second one: the mice are lacking an immune system which may be attacking the hair follicle. However, I’d still like to see that experiment duplicated by others.


#9

Dr, do you know of any studies which prove that nano minox is indeed superior to regular Rogaine foam or Rogaine 5%?

I hear people using nano minox but results are mixed.


#10

Hello, Bryan,

You have clarified an important issue by saying that experiments such as transplanting miniaturized hair follicles into a scalp area with healthy-looking hair and follicles (in humans) or to a very nearby location within the scalp are in which only vellus hair or no hair at all is growing have been performed. Thank you for providing this information and I would ask if you also can provide several references which document such experiments and results. In particular I am interested in experiments where single individual hair follicles were transplanted, because transplanting larger slices of skin with many hairs from one area of scalp to another is very different from transplanting individual hair as far as modifying the environment of the follicle. Transplanting a large slice of scalp tissue to another location of the scalp maintains the original surrounding environment of the hair follicles. It is like moving a flower pot from one area on the porch to another area on the porch. Nothing has changed for the plants which are growing in that pot, provided that the light conditions are similar. However, if you take a plant out of a pot, wash away the original dirt down to the bare roots, and plant it into a new pot and different dirt, you have significantly changed the conditions and the immediate environment in which that plant is growing. That is also why I gave an example of moving the follicle “2 millimeters” away which will mainly apply to individual follicles. So I am interested in any “bad follicle” – to – “good scalp location” or “bad follicle” – to – “bad scalp location” transplant, but in particular where individual “bad follicles” trimmed to the minimum essential size were transplanted to “bad scalp locations”. Such transplants indicate substantial change in the immediate surrounding environment of the follicle, so that the support mechanism of the new scalp location is more critical to the survival of the follicle than if a large slice of hair-carrying skin were transplanted. I believe that this individual follicle transplant technique originated in Japan during the forties but because of the bad blood in those days it did not filter through to the USA until it was practically reinvented many year later. I believe that they now call this procedure the “gold standard” and I wonder if this name has any thing to do with the cost of that procedure. I believe that the experiment in the mice was performed using individual hair transplant methods.

The experiment in the mice alone is already a 6 on the Richter scale, proving beyond a doubt that “bad follicles” are recoverable. This was a notion held by quite a few scientists and I have suggested an aging model for loss of functioning of hair follicles which is indeed a multi-factorial model (which includes inflammation as a contributing factor), so that as long as follicles are alive they are potentially recoverable. However, few experiments prove things. Most of experiments provide supporting data or indications but the term “to prove” is not common in science. In the experiment with the mice they actually proved that miniaturized follicles are recoverable. This is the only point they actually proved in the experiment, but a very important point. The only question is if the human scalp is naturally capable, or can be conditioned to become capable, of supporting recovery of miniaturized follicles, but there is not a question any more as to whether miniaturized follicles can recover; that was unilaterally answered. Again, please suggest to me some references about attempts to transplant, support, and recover “bad follicles” in human scalp.

As for the possibility that the immune system is the culprit, even the authors of the article are suggesting it vaguely and are not stressing the point, and rightly so. There is indeed a connection between hair growth and the immune system. You see, these immune-deprived mice are also nude which means that the same genetic defect which deprived them of the immune system also deprived them of hair and they don’t have any hair on their reddish almost new-born-looking skin. This can happen when the genetic locations of the immune system and hair growth are very close to each other. In the case of the mice, we can see that the lack of an immune system is actually connected to lack of hair but it does not mean that it cannot work in some cases in the opposite direction as well. There is also no doubt that inflammation is an important factor in hair loss, aging, loss of teeth, and many other debilitating diseases, though losing hair usually requires more than inflammation alone; I believe it is a multi-factorial process.

Inflammation is an immune response of a certain type, but the entire immune system entails more factors. There is no proof in this article that the immune system is the reason for follicle recovery. The use of nude mice is coincidental (selected to prevent rejection of the implant) and if indeed that special feature of supporting follicle recovery happened by that same lucky coincidence by which the selected mice had to be without functioning immune systems is still as questionable after that experiment as before it. Do people who received new organ transplants and have to be continuously injected with immune-system depressants grow more hair then other people? Do people with AIDS, with a defective immune system, grow more hair (for example, when they refuse to take drugs which may also contribute to hair loss just like cancer drugs do)? Do people who take anti-inflammatory medicines grow new hair that gives a nice scalp coverage? All we have so far from all “successful treatments” is not many cases of impressive success, many less-than-impressive successes, many cases of no success at all, and even with more hairloss.

You are suggesting to repeat the experiment, which is a logical suggestion, but maybe to try and use different size tissue implants which can help determine if the role of the new hosting skin is provided by lateral or vertical support and nourishment to the new implant; if large skin implants with miniaturized follicles don’t recover while individual miniaturized follicles do recover, the necessary nourishing support may be lateral and not vertical. On the other hand, we know (and I personally know such a person) that when people recover from hairloss related to anti-cancer drugs they many times grow more hair than they had before. The person I know is an old man with a scalp that was over 90% bald, and the remaining hair almost all gray. After a series of radiation and chemotherapy where he lost all his remaining hair, he progressed and his cancer was practically cured. Shortly thereafter, he grew almost a full head of hair and most of the new hair was dark. Five years later, he is starting to lose hair again and the hair is graying, but he still has most of his new hair and overall, his hair is still quite dark. This can be related to a very controversial phenomenon which is observed in many experiments. I would name the phenomenon “Better Recovery After Damage” (BRAD), and would suggest that what we should be looking for is “Better Recovery After Controlled Damage” (BRACD), where the term “Controlled Damage” rather than just “Damage” is the name of the game. This theory appears to be a more successful (though very dangerous) theory than some other theories and rumors. Dangerous, because people who try to damage their own scalps by mechanical or chemical means often cause irreversible damage which can no longer be recovered, ending more bald and with a bonus of added scars on their scalp. Controlled Damage is an interesting, risky, and promising area which will have to mature into a new field in science before it can be practically and safely utilized. Why did I bring up this example? Because it is also proof (not a mere indication) that the human scalp can support recovery of miniaturized non-functioning follicles and with no sign of hair growth throughout most of the scalp (and luckily for him, with a decent immune system). This example also connects to my “almost unifying theory” about aging and hairloss, and I will eventually get to it. Thank you for your contribution to the discussion, and please suggest the relevant references which I indicated above.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#11

Hello Helpmeout,

Minoxidil 5% is an OTC (over-the-counter) drug and is available in many generic formulations; Rogaine is the trade name of a formulation which contains minoxidil. The rule about OTC generic drugs is that they have to comply with the monograph describing the original approved formulation. In this regard they have to use the exact concentration of the active ingredient as in the original approved drug; the idea behind approval of generic OTC drugs is that they are identical to the original formulation in the way they act. If they claim that their drug is more effective, they will have to go the route of new drug development, even if they use the same percentage. If they change the percentage, they will also have to go through a new drug development route. Because of the FDA-induced difficulties in developing new drugs, which makes development of new drugs monstrously expensive and time-consuming, people don’t want to venture too much on that route if not necessary. So, you cannot claim that one OTC product is more effective than another. If one does research this point and finds that their product is more effective than his competitors’ product and publishes that, he is jeopardizing any further sales of his product because it may be now under the new drug development category.

This is not to say that all OTC drugs are identical, only to say that they are identical legally, in terms of what they can claim to do. Factually, there is no doubts that the so called “other ingredients” can make a big difference in the overall activity of a product. You are permitted to say that your product is cosmetically superior to that of your competitor (feels nicer, not irritating, not greasy, etc.) but you cannot advertise superior drug performance. So, you will not find literature that directly addresses the question you posted, as to whether nano-minoxidil (of unspecified brand) is superior to Rogaine foam. You will also not find literature that explains what exactly the term “nano-minoxidil” entails, beyond its great sounding name. Is it better at penetrating and targeting live skin tissue where minoxidil is supposed to work? If they make such a claim, their product becomes a new drug development project. They may choose not to say too much about the “nano” mechanisms involved (if any, because use of the term “nano” does not necessarily imply that nano-technology is involved or represented in any way in a product).

All I can do is volunteer my own opinion. Foam is one of the pioneering forms of topical formulations and can be also nano-technology-enhanced. Foam has a very large surface area in contact with the scalp (it is basically tiny bubbles) and so, it is a very good enhancement over a thick liquid formulation. Regarding the “other ingredients” in the formulation (which you may like or not) it is possible to come up with a foam formulation for scalp with friendlier ingredients if the company feels that they should do so. As for nano-minoxidil, it depends which product you are referring to. There are many “nanos” out there and some are great and some are less than great and some just like to print the word “nano” on their label and look at it for a long time. I will not bash any manufacturer or products or say that one is superior to the other. I am involved in manufacturing myself, and it is not my role to undermine other products on the market; we don’t manufacture drugs, not even OTC drugs. What I suggest is that you identify different minoxidil drugs which have the term nano attached to them and look at the entire ingredients list. See if there are ingredients you don’t like, and you can also give them a one-time chance and decide later which works best for you.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#12

What natural topicals would you say that support hairgowth well in MPB cases?

Regards
Pete


#13

Hello Pete,

There are many topical products for scalp of which only two products are medicines for hairloss: minoxidil and finasteride These two are sold by many different names and because of their chemical structures they are also suitable for topical applications. There may be other medicines which may be given off-label to patients by their physicians but I will not get into this aspect here. Among the non-medicinal products you may find many which have ingredients or carriers or vehicles which may be of interest to people with hairloss. Though not medicines, they may support healthy-looking scalps which can be of interest to people in general and more so to people who suffer from hairloss.

“Natural” can mean a wide range of things, including “non-medicinal”, in which case everything other than the two available medicines would qualify. You may have a more subtle meaning in mind: an article I wrote for the Journal of Topical Formulations, at http://www.topical-formulations.com/topical/200502/natural.htm, may help you specify which of the many interpretations of “natural” in use these days is a good match for what you mean in this case.

In any case, I cannot speak for products of other manufacturers, natural or otherwise. This will be most appropriately done by those respective manufacturers. However, I know that there are some excellent products out there and some less-than-excellent products which may also be helpful. I am not familiar with products which can actually cause any harm because most products are “made for” the company which sells them under their own name by an experienced custom formulating company. Just try to avoid preparing your own concoctions. I mean, if you are not a mechanic you may still change a tire on your car but when it comes to fixing the brakes you should go to a person who really knows what he is doing and has the right equipment and materials to do it with. Formulating products is very complex and is not what many people perceive it to be. It is not at all about mixing ingredients together, though there is some mixing involved. I mean, you don’t just throw some ingredients in a blender and come up with a skincare product. You need substantial knowledge of chemistry and in biology and it takes many years of practice before you can do any of that. Formulating vehicles is another level of complexity in which even experienced formulating companies may come short. Applications of nano-technologies in formulations is again another level of complexity, and more diversified knowledge is required for the process. So, don’t do it at home.

We have quite a few products for scalp and hair which are not medicines, and I also developed the dynamic-synergy theory which seems to be confirmed more and more by customers and by our own observations. It is a six-month regimen supply of eight different products which you alternate according to a scheduling table we developed to time the use of each of them. It is on the expensive side if you count it as a one time expenditure but not so high for a six-month supply. The dynamic-synergy theory is discussed at some length in the Journal of Topical Formulations at http://www.topical-formulations.com/topical/200807/dynamic-synergy.htm, and summarized in the regimen kit’s product information page at http://www.elsomresearch.com/learning/how2/scalpcare-regimen.htm.

If you wish to go for a less ambitious regimen, the principle can still apply: alternate between at least two or three products but don’t alternate randomly. I can suggest some pairs of our products which go well with each other and cover a broad range of highly beneficial scalp ingredients and vehicles.

Alternate each day between the following products in each of the pairs you select:

  1. EquiClear™ and NanoScalp®

  2. JuveLine™ and Equisomin™, (add Micellarin™ Green shampoo 2-3 times a week when applying this pair)

  3. ZormaZor™ and NanoScalp® (add Micellarin™ Green shampoo 2-3 times a week when applying this pair)

  4. Giga-C™ and NanoFibrin™ (use Micellarin™ Green shampoo each time you apply NanoFibrin)

  5. scalpXtreme™ and Micellarin™ Green shampoo on alternating days.

Our six-month regimen includes all the above products other than scalpXtreme, but any of the pairs you select will improve the appearance of your scalp significantly. If you wonder about the specifics of each product they are well explained in our website; if you select pairs, you thoroughly cover the issues which may be relevant to unhealthy-looking scalp. So, you can choose a suitable pair for you by selecting the products with ingredients which are more appealing to you, or with vehicles you may prefer, or to avoid some if you don’t like a certain ingredient in them, but they will all give most people \very good results. With the full six-month regimen, you may get the best possible results as far as good-looking and good-feeling scalp and hair are concerned.

Take off one day a week of any non-medicinal product and let your scalp rest for a day. If you use a medicinal product, don’t take a day off without consulting your medical specialist first.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#14

» Hello Pete,
»
» There are many topical products for scalp of which only two products are
» medicines for hairloss: minoxidil and finasteride These two are sold by
» many different names and because of their chemical structures they are also
» suitable for topical applications. There may be other medicines which may
» be given off-label to patients by their physicians but I will not get into
» this aspect here. Among the non-medicinal products you may find many which
» have ingredients or carriers or vehicles which may be of interest to people
» with hairloss. Though not medicines, they may support healthy-looking
» scalps which can be of interest to people in general and more so to people
» who suffer from hairloss.
»
» “Natural” can mean a wide range of things, including “non-medicinal”, in
» which case everything other than the two available medicines would qualify.
» You may have a more subtle meaning in mind: an article I wrote for the
» Journal of Topical Formulations, at
» http://www.topical-formulations.com/topical/200502/natural.htm, may help
» you specify which of the many interpretations of “natural” in use these
» days is a good match for what you mean in this case.
»
» In any case, I cannot speak for products of other manufacturers, natural
» or otherwise. This will be most appropriately done by those respective
» manufacturers. However, I know that there are some excellent products out
» there and some less-than-excellent products which may also be helpful. I am
» not familiar with products which can actually cause any harm because most
» products are “made for” the company which sells them under their own name
» by an experienced custom formulating company. Just try to avoid preparing
» your own concoctions. I mean, if you are not a mechanic you may still
» change a tire on your car but when it comes to fixing the brakes you should
» go to a person who really knows what he is doing and has the right
» equipment and materials to do it with. Formulating products is very complex
» and is not what many people perceive it to be. It is not at all about
» mixing ingredients together, though there is some mixing involved. I mean,
» you don’t just throw some ingredients in a blender and come up with a
» skincare product. You need substantial knowledge of chemistry and in
» biology and it takes many years of practice before you can do any of that.
» Formulating vehicles is another level of complexity in which even
» experienced formulating companies may come short. Applications of
» nano-technologies in formulations is again another level of complexity, and
» more diversified knowledge is required for the process. So, don’t do it at
» home.
»
» We have quite a few products for scalp and hair which are not medicines,
» and I also developed the dynamic-synergy theory which seems to be confirmed
» more and more by customers and by our own observations. It is a six-month
» regimen supply of eight different products which you alternate according to
» a scheduling table we developed to time the use of each of them. It is on
» the expensive side if you count it as a one time expenditure but not so
» high for a six-month supply. The dynamic-synergy theory is discussed at
» some length in the Journal of Topical Formulations at
» http://www.topical-formulations.com/topical/200807/dynamic-synergy.htm, and
» summarized in the regimen kit’s product information page at
» http://www.elsomresearch.com/learning/how2/scalpcare-regimen.htm.
»
» If you wish to go for a less ambitious regimen, the principle can still
» apply: alternate between at least two or three products but don’t alternate
» randomly. I can suggest some pairs of our products which go well with each
» other and cover a broad range of highly beneficial scalp ingredients and
» vehicles.
»
» Alternate each day between the following products in each of the pairs you
» select:
»
» 1. EquiClear™ and NanoScalp®
»
» 2. JuveLine™ and Equisomin™, (add Micellarin™ Green shampoo 2-3 times a
» week when applying this pair)
»
» 3. ZormaZor™ and NanoScalp® (add Micellarin™ Green shampoo 2-3 times a
» week when applying this pair)
»
» 4. Giga-C™ and NanoFibrin™ (use Micellarin™ Green shampoo each time you
» apply NanoFibrin)
»
» 5. scalpXtreme™ and Micellarin™ Green shampoo on alternating days.
»
» Our six-month regimen includes all the above products other than
» scalpXtreme, but any of the pairs you select will improve the appearance of
» your scalp significantly. If you wonder about the specifics of each product
» they are well explained in our website; if you select pairs, you thoroughly
» cover the issues which may be relevant to unhealthy-looking scalp. So, you
» can choose a suitable pair for you by selecting the products with
» ingredients which are more appealing to you, or with vehicles you may
» prefer, or to avoid some if you don’t like a certain ingredient in them,
» but they will all give most people \very good results. With the full
» six-month regimen, you may get the best possible results as far as
» good-looking and good-feeling scalp and hair are concerned.
»
» Take off one day a week of any non-medicinal product and let your scalp
» rest for a day. If you use a medicinal product, don’t take a day off
» without consulting your medical specialist first.
»
» Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
» President
» Elsom Research Co., Inc.
» email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
» voice: 210.493.5225
» paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
» online:
» http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in
» skincare
» http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order
» retail products
» http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
» http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal

Hi Dr,

If I was to pick 2 shampoos and one topical to help support growth in hairloss which would recommend and what are the products modes of action?

Do you have any before and afters shots of the benefits of the shampoo /topical regimes?

Regards
Pete


#15

Hi Dr,

One of the other posters ( Jacob )uses, what on paper seems like a pretty good shampoo product.

What do you think of the ingredients of the product?

The link also shows great before and after pics!

Regards
Pete


#16

» they should do so. As for nano-minoxidil, it depends which product you are
» referring to. There are many “nanos” out there and some are great and some
» are less than great and some just like to print the word “nano” on their
» label and look at it for a long time. I will not bash any manufacturer or
» products or say that one is superior to the other.

Thanks, I wish you were less “politically correct” :slight_smile: in the end, all I want is some advice on how to pick a good nano product.


#17

Hello, helpmeout,

I don’t think it is at all appropriate for me to recommend one or another product by another manufacturer, especially since, as OTC products, all minoxidil-containing topical formulations must be considered to be identical: legally, they can compete on price, packaging, customer service, etc, but not on claiming that their formulation is more effective than their competitors’. However, you are asking now which OTC minoxidil product is “nano”?

One minoxidil-containing topical OTC formulation which may be plausibly understood to use nano-technology is Lanadil Nano Serum. It is 2% minoxidil and is intended for women. This is not to say that other products claiming to be “nano” do not have some merit in their claims, but those claims must be critically evaluated: these days, “nano” has replaced “micro” as a non-specific suggestion of “small”, and in the same way the V.W. Microbus was hardly microscopic (but smaller than a city bus) and the ipod nano is hardly nanoscopic (but smaller than other ipods), much product labeling uses “nano” in a suggestive rather than a precisely descriptive way. Lanadil Nano Serum contains a large bulk of ingredients which are not in the natural category even by a stretch, but in its favor the formulation does not use alcohol and does appear to be produced via nanotechnology; this of course assumes that the manufacturer’s information has a good correlation with the product they are selling.

A full investigation of which “nano”-labeled products really use nano-technology is beyond the scope of my time here, but if you have specific questions about how one can recognize whether a formulation was produced via nano-technology, I will attempt to respond with my suggestions if you list the relevant company names and their products of interest. I also suggest that, to help compensate the scalp with nurturing ingredients after the relatively harsh treatment of a minoxidil-containing medicine, you should use some additional scalp care product. The common notion that initial increased shedding from minoxidil is a good sign of upcoming new hair (and therefore the more the shedding the better the product) should be taken with more than a grain of salt and the prescription or high-level minoxidil which is supposedly more effective may have stronger side-effects as well. So, when you deal with medicines consult your medical practitioner about all of this.

By the way, I was often accused of having a “big mouth,” so being recognized as politically correct is something new and exciting for me which I will treasure for a the rest of this day. I sign my full name to all my public statements, including forum postings, so I must be aware of not saying anything to hurt myself or my company; also, I don’t believe that being polite and avoiding insults or ‘put-downs” is the same as being politically correct. Quite on the contrary, politically correctness is not about manners, and sticking to one’s own unpopular ideas may be enough to prompt politically correct people to label anyone who disagrees as less than a decent person. Anyway, if you have some products you wish to compare, on the basis of their use of nano-technology, natural, good, or bad ingredients, etc., just list them and try to include their entire list of ingredients for further evaluation. I can make some comments on how they differ in concrete ways, but I’m not going to recommend one or another.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal
roduct.


#18

Hello Pete,

By the ingredients, the shampoo looks like a decent product. The content of alcohol (denatured alcohol) is low, probably less than 1%, and it utilizes a combination of different detergents and foam boosters which are likely to make it feel nice on the hair and scalp. I am not sure how much of the botanical extracts are actually in the product because it is not clear whether the extracts are inserted into the shampoo as powders or as liquid. If the extracts are inserted as liquids, their relatively high placement on the ingredient list is not indicative of their actual content because we don’t know their actual dilution in the liquid extract. If they are inserted as powders, their content is quite high by their relative placement and should affect the color of the shampoo significantly: it will be a very dark shampoo. However, they add caramel to the shampoo, which has a very dark color, and so it is not possible to estimate high/low content of the botanical extracts by color alone.

The positioning of biotin quite high in the ingredient list is puzzling to me. For an 8oz container, they would have to use something around 2-4 grams of biotin to justify this placement in the order of ingredients. Pure biotin is an extremely expensive ingredient and such an amount of pure biotin may cost more than what they charge for their finished product. There are biotin products on the market which contain 1% biotin but are defined as “biotin” since the rest of the material is a starchy matrix which dilutes biotin for easy integration into oral vitamin formulations; this works for oral formulations because biotin is required in miniscule amounts, several micrograms in a multi-vitamin tablet or capsule. If the material which was used is indeed a dilution of biotin than the actual question “What is the dilution factor?” is pertinent. The pictures appear look encouraging, and if they represent the general customer experience rather than simply some good pictures they obtained which could exist regardless of any treatment these customers had, it is even more encouraging. My concern is that the company may be hurt by regulatory institutions because they make direct medicinal claims on their shampoo. I don’t know if their shampoo is a medicinal shampoo but hairloss/hairgrowth claims are only approved for topical minoxidil and I did not notice minoxidil in the ingredient list of that shampoo. I believe that customers who like the products of that company and wish them to be sold for a long time should tell them about this concern. I know how tempting it is to make medicinal claims and how hard it is to resist them especially if I know that a product is absolutely marvelous, but I believe that this is going to change only to be stricter. Overall it looks like a decent shampoo and it is priced quite reasonably, provided that the botanical extracts and biotin are indeed present in significant concentrations.

Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
President
Elsom Research Co., Inc.
email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
voice: 210.493.5225
paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
online:
http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in skincare
http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order retail products
http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#19

This seems like a rather silly response. Dutasteride is already being formulated into a topical form in a product called MDF Samson. Product comes from a US licensed compounding pharmacy. Pretty sure this does not violate patent laws. Is this guy just on here to sound smart and try and sell his dubious herbal crap?

» Hello, abcxyz,
»
» You are asking how to concoct dutasteride into a topical.
»
» Technically speaking, it is easy. It will formulate into vehicles such as
» liposomes or nano-spheres and can also be solubilized in certain continuous
» carriers (non-vehicles).
»
» Legally speaking, this ingredient is a drug and was never approved for use
» against hairloss, and you should use it only with your physician’s
» guidance. Breaking open a capsule of the drug and attempting to apply the
» contents topically is not likely to be effective if in a solid form or a
» powder but could somewhat absorb if it is in liquid form and for that you
» should be very cautious. In addition, the company which has patent rights
» for this compound or for its anti-baldness application and which did run
» (and may run again) human studies of the compound has to approve your use
» of their product for some or all applications (depending on the coverage of
» their patent). In the US, physicians are licensed by their state and can
» dispense materials as drugs or cures in their state (only) even if that
» material has not received federal approval (FDA approval) for the purpose
» it is being dispensed. It is a lot of power and the law may be somewhat
» different from state to state, but even physicians have to abide by patent
» laws. So, talk to your physician but I cannot advise you how to formulate
» dutasteride into a potent and useful topical unless it is approved by the
» parties who have legal interest in this compound and its advancement into
» topical use.
»
» Take care.
»
» Elishalom Yechiel, Ph.D.
» President
» Elsom Research Co., Inc.
» email: innovation@elsomresearch.com
» voice: 210.493.5225
» paper mail: 4510 Black Hickory Woods, San Antonio, TX, USA, 78249
» online:
» http://www.elsomresearch.com/ — to learn about nanotechnologies in
» skincare
» http://www.new-equilibrium-skincare.com/cosmeceuticals/ — to order
» retail products
» http://www.the-formulator.com/ — to order personalized products
» http://www.topical-formulations.com/ — to read the Journal


#20

» This seems like a rather silly response. Dutasteride is already being
» formulated into a topical form in a product called MDF Samson. Product
» comes from a US licensed compounding pharmacy. Pretty sure this does not
» violate patent laws. Is this guy just on here to sound smart and try and
» sell his dubious herbal crap?

Well said, his answers are super long but at the end he doesn’t give you any pointers about other products or recomendations besides his own products.

Where do you get your MDF Samson and about how much is it? Are you currently using it, if yes, good results from it? Side-effects?

Thanks!