How Adegen Started
Our story began in 2001 in a small suburb of Columbus, Ohio.
I grew up always really being into my hair even from a young age. I played soccer with an undercut and shoulder length hair and was ironically voted “Best Hair” my senior year in the high school yearbook.
I know, I peaked too early…
I never thought I’d have to worry about hair loss because my grandfather on my mom’s side had the best, thick, and dark full head of hair you’d ever seen. And I always heard we inherit our hair genetics from your mother’s side of the family, so I thought I was safe.
Unfortunately, as soon as I graduated high school at 18 years old, I started noticing my hair line and the hair around my temples seemed a little bit thinner. I shrugged it off because I couldn’t even imagine the possibility of losing my hair, my identity.
By freshman year in college, Go Green!, my hairline was in full white flag retreat. Followed by balding around the crown and overall thinning.
My mom and aunt are both compounding pharmacists and we have three medical doctors in my immediate family. This was 2001 and the two current, and still only, FDA approved solutions were Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). I started using them both religiously, but kept losing my hair.
I couldn’t understand, how is this the FDA approved solution for hair loss and I’m still losing my hair?
I literally freaked out! If anyone has gone through the experience of losing their hair they can understand the emotional rollercoaster and impact on your self esteem it can have.
I felt like I was losing my masculinity. I felt like I wasn’t going to be attractive any more. Or that I wouldn't be able to attract the woman of my dreams because losing my hair would make me less desirable.
I remember being 20 years old and my 21st birthday was a few months away. You always dream of your 21st birthday being this big party and celebration, but I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get a date. My self esteem and confidence hit a new low.
I absolutely dreaded going to get a haircut because I would see myself in the mirror and was embarrassed everyone was noticing how I was losing my hair, so I would wear hats all of the time.
My depression turned into an obsession. I spent countless hours reading every research and medical journal on the topic of hair loss I could find. I tried every “hair loss” shampoo, topical solution, vitamin, herb and natural remedy you can imagine while spending thousands of dollars on the same empty promises floating around the internet today.
I even took off label prescription drugs. I read in a blog some people were taking oral minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine. It’s a strong high blood pressure drug and I experienced rapid heart rates and arrhythmias.
I had to stop, but I noticed it seemed to have a small benefit and increased the thickness and health of my hair. And that sent me on this crazy journey of trying to understand what is the real and actual cause of hair loss.
I started learning about other treatments and ingredients that were being studied and tested showing benefit against hair loss, but were not available in the United States because of FDA regulations.
I flew to South Korea (the cosmetic capital of the world), to Germany, other European countries and Canada meeting with doctors, PhDs, chemists, dermatologists, medical device manufacturing companies all just trying to find answers and solutions to my own problem.
What I discovered was something that no one, not even doctors or the latest medical publications explained.
That the real one and only cause of hair loss is caused by a restriction of blood flow to the hair follicle. And that hair loss is actually a disease just like cardiovascular disease, but it can be treated, prevented and reversed to a great extent.
If you’ve done any research yourself on hair loss, you’ve probably read that hair loss is genetic and caused by the hormone DHT that is derived from testosterone.
But the truth is that is a symptom and not the actual cause. In fact, DHT is a natural and healthy hormone that our body needs to function properly. That is why there are so many negative side effects with Propecia (finasteride) and other products focused on blocking DHT.
Depression, extreme chronic fatigue, brain fog, slow healing were all side effects I experienced when taking Propecia (finasteride) and it’s stronger relative dutasteride, both focused on lowering DHT in your body.
The worst part was that they didn’t even stop my hair loss.
So the big and important question is, why hasn’t there been any innovation in hair loss? The last FDA approved solution, finasteride, was 1997. To put things into perspective that is 10 years before the first ever iphone comes into existence.
Well on Friday July 7th, 1989 the FDA issued a “Final Rule Action” that states any product that says treats or stops hair loss is subject to and must file and be approved for a “new drug application”, aka FDA approval.
The problem is that it's insanely expensive. How expensive? Tufts University which specializes in FDA compliance published an article in the Journal of Health Economics that the average cost of FDA approval is $2.5 billion dollars.
Yes, Billion with a B.
Think of all the companies we use today that have changed the world. Apple, Uber, Facebook, Microsoft, Google… All of these companies started in either a dorm or garage. Innovation starts on a small scale by people that are passionate to solve a problem.
This makes innovation impossible in the hair loss industry. Can you imagine if we were using the same cancer treatments or surgical procedures from 30 years ago?
Here is the other problem, the hair loss industry is estimated to be a $5 billion dollar annual industry. So even with the insane $2.5 billion cost, there are a lot of big pharmaceutical companies willing to invest because the market demand is there.
But to protect their investment, they would need a patent. And to get a patent with the FDA the ingredient or drug chemistry can have never been studied or shown to have any previous benefit. And also maybe more importantly it cannot be a natural ingredient.
So there is no incentive for these large companies to find a solution because it would be financial suiside and their obligation is to their shareholders to make a profit. There is literally no real research and development going into hair loss at a corporate level.
The final problem is companies have figured out they can still make millions of dollars and in some cases billions of dollars by dancing around the FDA and selling off patent, 5% generic minoxidil and finasteride with fancy packaging and advertising.
Hims just received a $1 billion dollar evaluation. They sell the same 5% off patent minoxidil solution you can get off the shelves at Costco or CVS for a fraction of the price.
I tested the number 1 top selling hair loss shampoo on Amazon. The main ingredient they are claiming to stop hair loss tested out at 0.01%. Just enough to make a label claim, but absolutely nothing to do for the benefit of the person desperate to actually solve their problem.
I started adegen because I know how to stop and reverse hair loss safely and permanently. My hair is healthier and thicker than it was in highschool and not only that I feel better without any negative side effects.
But also because I can relate to people who have lost hope that a real hair loss solution even exists. I am a firm believer we are put on earth to help one another and that serving and creating value for others is what really creates happiness and joy in our own lives.
I have persevered for you and will do everything I can to help you achieve the same results I and countless others have achieved.
Our goal is to not only offer the most effective hair loss solution available but be completely transparent as well.
Thank you for being part of this movement and I want you to know I take serving you very seriously and doing everything I possibly can to serve you at the highest level.
Hair loss is history®,
Founder & CEO