Recently, attention has been drawn to lifestyle improvement drugs and wellness products that aim to provide individuals with better health and more comfortable daily lives. The reason behind this is an aging population that not only desires to live longer, but also to enjoy a higher quality of life. Hair-growth products are a niche subset of this lifestyle-improvement category and products currently available in this area are classified variously as drugs, cosmetics or quasi-drugs.
Surveys conducted during the 1990s revealed a significant number of men were challenged by some form of alopecia or balding (see Table 1); additionally, a growing number of women were experiencing thinning hair. It was around this time that several treatments intended for other ailments were commercialized to treat hair loss. These are described in further detail later in this review.