What do FDA and FTC
say about hair loss scams?

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Hair loss scams don't kill anyone. This makes them less significant to our government's regulatory agencies. The government can't really protect you from hair loss scams anyway. They're not lazy. It's the law. Legally, FDA and FTC can't do anything until people have been scammed. Even then, enforcement can be a lengthy process involving the courts. Many scams get busted, however, and you can bust the next one. Scam squashing investigations often start with consumer complaints. The next time you see a product blatantly misrepresented, notify these agencies right away.   



Watch out scamsters. Way back in 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will "ban the sale of any non-prescription hair cream, lotion or other external product claiming to grow hair or prevent baldness".  Since then, manufacturers of nonprescription hair loss products are supposed to have provided FDA with proof of safety and effectiveness before marketing. Although the ban specifically covers products for external use, FDA says there is no evidence that other products like vitamins or food supplements slow hair loss or grow hair. FDA will go after them too.

FDA has taken companies to court, sought injunctions against them, seized inventories and collected  penalties. They can even seek criminal penalties (jail time) against distributors and manufacturers. Report fraud. Contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your state.  Also, be sure to spend some time at their website. It's well worth the visit. FDA website.



But wait, there's more. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibits "unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium".  Also, "claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety or performance". Yes, this definitely includes any suggestion that a product helps thinning hair, stops hair loss or grows hair. If companies make such claims and offer no evidence (substantiation), they're inviting FTC on their doorstep. 

There have been more than 100 baldness cases before FTC since 1950. FTC has enforcement powers similar to FDA's. They also may seek consumer redress. That's when you get your money back. Report scams here too. It's easy. Just use the online FTC Complaint Form.   Their website is also a must-visit: FTC website.


U.S. Consumer Gateway

Wanna see who's been busted? This is a great place to search for fraud. The Consumer Gateway lists documents that relate to consumer issues from all government agencies. Use their "Search" for exact names of products, companies or phrases like baldness or hair loss. Visit often. You never know who they'll nab next. You'll find it all online at the U.S. Consumer Gateway.    


State Attorney

Want fast action? Grab the phone book and call your State Attorney's office. State attorneys are famous for fighting fraud. They've tackled some giants.  Sometimes they even team up with other states. When scams get you angry, this can be your best call. 

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