Anyone suffering the effects of an incurable and debilitating medical condition yearns for the promise of new and revolutionary treatment options and hair loss sufferers are no exception. Though often dismissed as insignificant by those who are unaffected by it, baldness and thinning hair can devastate the lives of millions of men and women susceptible to the effects of androgenic alopecia. The desperation to restore the flowing locks of youth make this demographic particularly susceptible to slick marketing campaigns promising to halt balding and regrow hair. One such product marketed in this fashion is Europe’s TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment. But, will hair loss sufferers find follicles behind the flash?
TRX2 Molecular Hair Loss Treatment is not a drug or medication. It is an herbal, dietary supplement taken orally. A glance at its ingredients list reveals nothing new or revolutionary. Each component is readily available at your local nutritional supplement shop, though you may not find the same concentrations of each in a single product. It's ingredients are listed below:
Ingredients: L-carnitine tartrate (800 mg), potassium chloride (191 mg), L-leucine (150 mg), isoleucine (75 mg), valine (75 mg), nicotinic acid (40 mg), and biotin (150 µg).
With these ingredients so readily available, one might wonder if the significant cost savings of purchasing them individually and mixing your own TRX2 at home is just as effective for hair growth. The official website’s FAQ addresses this notion with the following response.
“The benefit of taking TRX2™ Molecular Hair Growth Supplement singularly, as opposed to buying each ingredient separately, is based on several facts:
The precise amount and ratio of ingredients in our supplement are carefully chosen and engineered based on credible scientific studies. The ingredients in our capsule were specifically formulated to work in concert with one another and are manufactured in accordance with strict European quality controls. For the consumer, the convenience of taking all compounds at the optimum ratio in one capsule and delivered via our proprietary potassium channel stimulating complex is crucially important.”
Perhaps this is true. However, at a hefty €54.95 (about $72) for a one month supply, those seeking to save some money may want to give the home brew option a shot first.
Additionally, referencing scientific studies is an effective way to add legitimacy to a product but one must always consider the source. While the TRX2 website provides detailed data gathered from a “randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”, it is unclear who conducted the study and there is no mention of publication in a peer reviewed journal. Peer review is the industry standard for evaluation of clinical trial results and its absence is cause for concern.
TRX2 claims to stop hair loss and regrow hair through the “rejuvenation of potassium ion channels within hair follicles”. This theory is based on research suggesting that the opening of potassium channels is an important regulatory mechanism for hair growth.
A bold statement at the top of the TRX2 website states that it has been shown to regrow hair in nearly 9 out of 10 men and women. But, does TRX2 really do what it claims? The bottom of the company’s website provides a very important disclaimer.
“These statements have not been evaluated by the medicines regulatory agencies. This product is not a drug or medicine, and is therefore not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This patent-pending food supplement contains nutrients that help promote and sustain healthy hair growth. Results may vary and are subject to your individual metabolism. Regarding risks and side-effects please see the package insert and ask your physician or healthcare specialist.”
Careful wording in the above statement may give consumers the wrong idea. Helping to “promote and sustain healthy hair growth” is not the same as stopping hair loss or regrowing hair lost due to the effects of androgenic alopecia. A quality shampoo and condition can make hair more manageable and appear fuller.
While TRX2 contains "drug-free" ingredients that are all natural or synthesized as normal metabolites in the human body, there is a potential for certain side effects.
Some consumers of TRX2 have reported transitory gastrointestinal effects including an upset stomach. Thus, it is recommended to take TRX2 after eating. Additional side effects include the possibility of allergic reactions such as skin flushes. If any of these conditions occur, it is recommended to consult a physician.
It is also recommended that any potential customers suffering from digestive system disorders, diabetes or those who are glucose-intolerant consult with their physician before taking TRX2.
Moreover, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid taking TRX2 due to its lack of long term safety data.
The role of potassium channels in hair growth is still being investigated and it’s unclear if TRX2 truly has the potential to significantly affect these channels. However, there is a clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatment that is known to do so. Rogaine (minoxidil) has been used successfully by balding men and women for more than 20 years. The exact mechanisms by which minoxidil affects hair growth are not fully understood but it is a known vasodilator and has also been shown to enhance the flow of potassium ions. Given that minoxidil is relatively inexpensive, clinically proven and comes with very little risk of side effects, it may be a better option for hair loss suffering men and women.
Additionally, balding men should seriously consider adding Propecia (finasteride) to their hair growth regimen. Propecia stops hair loss at its core by inhibiting the production of DHT (the hormone responsible for genetic baldness) and is arguably the most effective treatment for male pattern balding currently available.
When it comes to “new and revolutionary” hair loss treatments, proceed with caution. There is nothing wrong with trying a new treatment provided it is safe and purchased from a reliable source. However, forgoing tried and true medical treatment s in favor of experimental products may result in further loss of precious and irreplaceable hair.