Think And Grow Hair

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think grow hair

A few months back, I posted about a fascinating bit of research that revealed you can literally “think” yourself stronger.

What I didn’t share was that post was just one stop in a years-long fascination with the power of the mind and, especially, the placebo effect.

I get the potential mechanism for strengthening muscles through visualized exercise, but I’ve recently stumbled upon a discovery that blew me away…

Certain people can actually think their way into stopping hair loss and regrowing hair.

No, this is not some wacky scam to sell the latest hair-growth product (mind you, the wheels are certainly spinning…Guthy-Renker, call me!).

This revelation actually came from a source that can only be hurt by the news – the makers of Rogaine (Minoxidil), the top-selling hair re-growth solution. While pouring through the data sheet for Rogaine (purely for research purposes, hehehe), I literally tripped over this fascinating discovery.

In clinical trials with more than 2,000 subjects:

Compared to mean baseline counts of 103-106/cm2, at the end of 32 weeks treatment mean increases in non-vellus hair counts were 39/cm2 in subjects who received 5% TMS (N=163), 30/cm2 in subjects who received 2% TMS (N=79), and 5/cm2 in subjects who received placebo (N=79). In the other study, compared to mean baseline counts of 144-152 /cm2, at the end of 48 weeks treatment mean increases in non-vellus hair counts were 19/cm2 in subjects who received 5% TMS (N=137), 13/cm2 in subjects who received 2% TMS (N=139), and 4/cm2 in subjects who received placebo (N=70).

Sweet niblets!

Do you realize what this clinical study shows?

Yeah, yeah, we all know Rogaine grows fuzz in some of the people, some of the time. That’s not what I’m talking about.

The mind blowing information was that the average study subject who was taking a placebo not only stopped losing hair, but regrew a small amount of hair. And, they didn’t even know if what they were using was the real deal or the placebo.

Imagine the results if they were all assured they were taking a new formulation of triple superhero strength hair solution that was proven to grow hair in 100% of the people. Someone’s gotta run that study…but trust me, it ain’t gonna be Pfizer.

So, two questions for my fabulous braintrust here…

  1. What other cool placebo effect studies, stories or personal experiences do you know of?
  2. Can anybody explain how this works? Got any theories (beyond channeling Fabio)?

Let’s discuss…

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9 responses

9 responses to “Think And Grow Hair”

  1. Shana Albert says:

    The mind is so amazing…. nothing would surprise me!!

  2. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Think And Grow Hair […]

  3. It sounds like a variation of The Secret.

    You know, put out positive thoughts that you have hair and the the “rules” of positive attraction say you will grow hair.

    You’re going to have followers of that type of thinking falling out of the woodwork even though it is probably explainable differently.

    How? I’m still thinking about it. But thinking something will work can possible cause it to work in some people.

  4. shelley says:

    I can think my way into a cupcake daily, without the side effects of the sugar 🙂

    For real, I sit and meditate my way into “better” and more positive moods all the time.

    My father says that life is %99 how you react to it and %1 what happens to you- I would add that life is %99 what you make of it and %1 circumstance.


  5. riva says:

    isn’t this just more proof of the power of affirmations? write them, think them, say them, believe them. the mind is a powerful thing. and what silly little percentage of it do we usually use?

  6. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Shana – yeah, it’s friggin cool

    @ Aaron – See, here’s where it’s totally different than the Secret or any of that other stuff. It’s not about buying into some nebulous Law Of Attraction (you guys kind of know how I feel about that, see earlier post) or believe that, through the misapplication of quantum physics, your thoughts affect things outside your body. This is far more tangible, because it’s about the relationship between the brain, your nervous system, your endocrine system and their joint ability to effect change in your personal physiology.

    The bigger challenge is figuring how to enhance the effect and apply it more to healing modalities.

    @ riva – There may be some crossover with affirmations, but likely not the way you think. I’ll be writing more on some really ascinating research on subliminals and affirmations soon, you’ll be surprised.

    @ Shelley – I always knew I liked your dad! 😉

  7. Kristen says:

    I saw an article last year about the placebo effects that were observed during a research study of patients who had reported extreme knee pain. As part of the study, half the patients were given legitimate knee surgery and the other half went through the entire surgical process (being prepped, anaesthetized, etc) but received only an incision on the skin of the knee instead of the actual knee repair surgery. Of the patients who received the fake surgery, an overwhelming number of them reported a significant reduction in pain. I can’t remember which medical journal the article was published in or the percentage of patients in the placebo group who reported less pain, but I remember reading it and being struck by how high the number was. (I’m sure a google search with the right combination of keywords would turn up the article but I’m running short on time tonight.)

    I truly believe we should be devoting research funds to studying the placebo effect, the mind’s ability to heal the body. Of course, big pharmaceutical companies can’t bottle that ability and sell it to consumers at outrageous prices, so the likelihood of funding being assigned to a project like that is next to nil.

    I agree with Jonathan that the placebo effect is entirely different from The Secret or the law of attraction (which is more like a theory instead of a law, and not necessarily a good one at that). The mind has an amazing amount of influence over the body — not just in health but in performance as well — but there is no need to go searching for explanations that involve “quantum vibrations that project your intent to the universe” or anything of that sort. As Jonathan mentioned in his comment above, there is a direct relationship between the mind/brain and the physical systems that make up the rest of the body.

    As an extreme example of the mind influencing the body, check out Tum-mo, a technique practiced by Tibetan monks in parts of India. The monks are able to trigger significant changes in metabolism, or to raise the body temperature (in fingers and toes, not just around their chest) by 15+ degrees simply through a meditation technique.

  8. Naomi Niles says:

    “Think and Grow Hair” Heh, that title cracked me up! I do think it’s possible, why not? Right now I’m trying to figure out how to think myself thinner. That would be pretty cool.

  9. Justin says:

    The human mind is incredibly powerful, and I do not doubt that there is still a lot of strength in it that needs to be unlocked.