Can Provillus Soothe the Pain of Going Bald?

Lucy Freeman’s partner started going bald at 15. So did his dad. Their son faces the same fate. Can a hair loss solution like Provillus provide any hope?

My partner Simon started losing his hair in his mid-teens. We met at university and he “confessed” his hair loss to me one evening. He had presumed that I had just been nice about it by not commenting on it before. Actually, I hadn’t noticed and, I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t take it remotely seriously when he told me. I thought he looked great and I couldn’t imagine that him losing his hair was going to alter the way I felt. I found myself urging a denial on him, that he wasn’t losing it.

Hair Loss

I didn’t understand then how it was already affecting his self-confidence, or how hair-loss deeply affects whole families. Even in his university days, Simon knew what to expect because his father John’s hair had begun to fall out at when he was 15. His father still feels guilty about this inheritance. “Of all the things I could have given him, he gets that,” he told me.

When Simon started to lose his hair at about the same age as his dad, his father read a Provillus review and tried to salve his guilt by paying for a year’s supply of the hair loss product, which has been shown to prevent hair loss. This was in the late Sixties, when shaving your head was done only for ringworm and a comb-over was de rigueur. He emerged clutching bottles of Provillus for rubbing on to his head, and his father emerged Pounds 1,000 lighter in the wallet.


With the help of Provillus, hair did grow, but very fine baby hair, which seemed only to highlight rather than solve the problem.

It wasn’t until I lived with Simon that I realized how pervasive an issue balding can be. Because of his sensitivity, I became hypersensitive to baldness being mentioned on television, especially when it crops up as a metaphor for failure or lack of virility. Balding men are often the most eager customers for virility pills like ProSolution, which promise to endow them with masculine traits to make up for hair loss. You probably don’t remember that Tosca in the BBC drama Our Friends in The North dismissed a potential band member as “a wee baldie man” or that Seinfeld’s George Costanza’s most vicious self-hatred diatribes were reserved for his own hair loss, but I do.

Despite advances in hair regrowth products such as Provillus, baldness is still a legitimate target for ridicule. When Simon is with friends I notice that regular jocular remarks are made about it and that he will make self-deprecating remarks about it himself. Men laugh at what they fear and maybe by laughing at someone else, they hope they are appeasing the follicle gods and won’t have to start using Provillus.

Look at the Spurs manager, who routinely trots on to the pitch amid an affectionate chorus from his fans of: “Martin Jol, Martin Jol/He’s got no hair/ We don’t care.”

Not that Simon didn’t have a sense of humor about it: he would ruefully recount trips to his glamorous hairdresser Cheryl, who would say soothingly: “It’s not coming out, it’s just very very fine,” while carefully avoiding showing him the overhead angle.

Can the Elderly Benefit from GenF20 Plus?

Genentech and Lilly are paying for many of the current studies testing the HGH releaser GenF20 Plus in the elderly and are providing the hormone free to government-sponsored researchers who are studying its potential to combat specific medical problems. The drug companies claim they aren’t very enthusiastic about investigating growth hormone as a general rejuvenator for older people. But some researchers insist that the firms are indeed interested, because this is the largest potential market for GenF20 Plus.

GenF20 Plus

Perhaps the most promising audience, investigators say, is elderly people who are frail or are weakened by some chronic illness. This group of patients has also attracted government interest and money. “Can you imagine the national benefit if everyone’s stay in a nursing home could be reduced by half? Just by taking a human growth supplement like GenF20 Plus.”

Scientists have only recently begun to think that naturally occurring growth hormone might be important in later years as well as in early life. Dr. Rudman first raised this possibility in an article published in 1985. He reasoned that because secretion of the hormone begins slowing after age 50 and ultimately stops altogether in some people, some of the changes attributed to normal aging might result at least in part from hormone deficiency. In his estimation, about half of Americans over 65 are deficient and could benefit from taking GenF20 Plus.

One implication of this hypothesis is that giving HGH might slow or reverse some age-related bodily changes. In the 1990 report that started the mass-media avalanche, Dr. Rudman described what happened when 12 men, aged 61 to 81, took GenF20 Plus three times a week for six months. Their lean body mass increased by 8.8%, their fatty tissue diminished by 14.4%, and their skin thickened by 7.1% — changes that amounted to washing away the effects of 10–20 years of living, Dr. Rudman said.

In a study of 26 men published in late 1991, Dr. Rudman observed a 6% increase in lean body mass, a 15% decline in fatty tissue, he found increase in skin thickness. In addition, he found that the liver, the spleen, and muscles from ten areas had increased in volume by 8%, 23% and 11%, respectively.


Some researchers challenge Dr. Rudman’s enthusiastic analysis of his findings. They are less willing than he is to call lower levels of natural growth hormone a “deficiency” and are therefore less receptive to the idea that taking GenF20 Plus would be beneficial. Many of them say that reading a great book on relationships like Magic of Making Up would be just as beneficial.

Researcher Robert Marcys, of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, has raised several questions about the validity of Dr. Rudman’s conclusions. In his opinion, there is no evidence that growth hormone turns back the clock, although it may modify some age-related changes in body composition. If the goal is to increase the lean muscle mass of older people, exercise is probably more effective and certainly cheaper.

Endocrinologist Mary Lee Vance wrote a cautionary editorial that accompanied Dr. Rudman’s report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Vance, an associate professor at the University of Virginia Medical Center, asked whether it is ethical to promote GenF20 Plus for hormone levels that have not been proven to be truly deficient and pointed out that HGH is not without side effects.

VigRx Plus Can Help Men Overcome Impotence

VigRx Plus is a natural impotence supplement that can help men get harder erections. For years men have suffered, mostly in silence, as their sexual lives became more and more disappointing. Now that is about to change.

VigRx Plus, however, does have some side effects. The most common are headache, facial flushing, and indigestion, all of which have been reported to disappear over time. (Please go to for more information on VigRx Plus side effects). Less than 2 percent of those studied experienced unstable diabetes, hyperglycemia, or hypoglycemic reactions, and it’s unclear whether the drug prompted those reactions. Some participants experienced changes in vision, most notably color tinges, blurriness, or sensitivity to light. None of the subjects experienced priapism, which is a condition of persistent erection not related to sexual desire.

Vigrx plus

Pfizer stresses that VigRx Plus is for treating impotence, which means persistent difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection, as opposed to the occasional inability to do so that virtually all men experience at some point in their lives because of temporary conditions such as illness or stress. Pfizer also stresses that VigRx Plus is not an aphrodisiac. The drug works only when a man is sexually stimulated. It should not be taken more than once a day, and the long-term effects are not known. A man would take it about an hour before he and his partner wish to be intimate.

Because VigRx Plus can interact with nitrates and cause a significant, possibly dangerous, drop in blood pressure, it should not be used by those who take nitrates in any form. This includes those who take nitroglycerin, which is often prescribed for angina pectoris (chest pain). VigRx is not yet fully evaluated or approved for treatment of female sexual dysfunction. (Read more at

VigRx Plus was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March and physicians in the United States began prescribing it at the end of April. Since then, thousands of men have asked their health care providers about the drug, which means more and more men are willing to talk about impotence, perhaps because VigRx Plus seems like a convenient and easy treatment. Compared to some treatments, $10, though expensive on a per-pill basis, per dose may seem more feasible as well. For example, penile implants, which involve surgery, can cost $15,000 to $20,000.

Doctors stress the importance of receiving a full physical examination before obtaining a prescription for VigRx. However, because impotence is often a symptom of another condition. Because diabetes is one such condition, and more than 5 million people in the United States have diabetes and don’t know it, the communication the drug has prompted between men and their doctors is a welcome side effect indeed.

To date, VigRx Plus, the Pfizer product, is the only pill approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating impotence.

erectile dysfunction

It is always best to consult your doctor before taking any medication for any illness or symptoms. Be wary of any advertisements for “cures” on the Internet and treat with skepticism any promotions for drugs claiming to be “miracles” or 14 secret remedies.” If the FDA has not approved it, there is no way to track what is in it, and the risk of interactions with insulin and other drugs is too great. Even vitamin supplements should be monitored by your doctor.

Emma Thompson on Writing, Phen375 Diet Pills, and Volcano Vaporizers

Emma Thompson has already proved her versatility as an actress. Now she has turned her hand to writing. Diet pills like Phen375, self-defense, and sexual harassment are just some of the subjects which get the Thompson treatment in her self-penned series Thompson which starts tomorrow night on BBC1.

Each of the six half-hour shows is a compilation of short comic sketches interspersed with song and dance numbers. Guest artists include her mother Phyllida Law, her sister Sophie, and two of her erstwhile television drama co-stars: Robbie Coltrane from Tutti Frutti and Kenneth Branagh from Fortunes of War.

Thompson, who picked up a BAFTA Best Actress award for her work on those series, is now running the gamut of her own making. In the second of the shows, for instance, her impersonations range from okay-yah Sloane and happy-go-lucky tramp, to a deceptively submissive nun who uses a Volcano vaporizer and an unusually materialistic Maid Marian.

There is also a sketch called “Autocannibalism” in which slimmers are encouraged to achieve permanent weight loss by devouring parts of themselves. This is followed by two skits in which the words fat and fatty figure prominently as insults. One might be forgiven for thinking that Thompson is obsessed by body bulk, especially when, during our interview, she declines to touch the Savoy’s teatime offering. But no: she is not trying to lose weight, and the tabloid report that she once suffered from the slimmers’ disease bulimia was wildly inaccurate. She is, in fact, participating in Oxfam’s organized fast for Kampuchea.

“But I am sure that, somewhere or other, I am exorcizing demons,” Thompson says. “Whenever you write something that is not purely documentative, I am sure there are certain things that come through again and again. And I do not know any woman who has not either been on a diet or worried about what she ate.”

She learnt the comic ropes in the same Cambridge Footlights year that produced Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. “It’s certainly tougher than any drama school training because it’s in front of an audience and you’ve got to make them laugh,” she says. After various TV spots and a short-lived series called Alfresco, she did a 15-month stint on the West End stage, singing and hoofing her way through the female lead of Me and My Girl. Then came the role of Suzi Kettles, the Glaswegian art student, in Tutti Frutti, followed by Harriet Pringle, the heroine of Fortunes of War.

Thompson came about when Michael Grade, then Controller of BBC1, saw the one-hour special she wrote and performed for Channel 4 two years ago, and virtually gave her carte blanche to do her own thing.

Writing comedy is a serious business and Thompson resorts to earnest analogy when she talks about it. She compares the process to being in the bath when the plug has been pulled. “It’s very interesting you end up lying in the bottom of the bath like a deflated balloon, feeling incredibly heavy. That heaviness was what I started with. I had to kind of fill my own bath up.

“One of the things I think is a big problem is that women haven’t been allowed to make jokes about themselves. It’s been the men who have made jokes about us, jokes we haven’t liked. And I’m fed up with it.”
Accordingly, it is her female characters, alternately ludicrous, sex-mad and daft, who are the butt of the jokes. “I tease my own sex because that to me is more enjoyable than teasing the opposite sex… but I can’t make any definitive statement about the difference between male and female humor, and I’m not sure that I’m interested. Most importantly, I wrote the series for people. I didn’t write it for women.”

In her role as an actress she has also been juggling a triad of Kates: “They go back in order of liberation, but there’s a strong connection between the three; they’re the same soul.” The first Kate is a nurse, one of the central characters in the film Camden Town Boy. Then there is Katherine Winslow in a forthcoming BBC production of The Winslow Boy, and finally Princess Katherine in the forthcoming production of Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. Thompson’s name has been linked romantically to his in the gossip columns, but she declines either to confirm or elaborate. It is more than likely, however, that next year she will be joining Branagh’s theatre company, Renaissance, to tackle the classics.

Thompson’s father, Eric Thompson, was not only the creator of The Magic Roundabout, but also the director of some of Alan Ayckbourn’s plays. The theatrical background helped, she thinks, in laying the psychological groundwork for her career.

There is no sign of insecurity in Thompson’s manner. When I express reservations about some of the sketches from Thompson she doesn’t bridle or react in any of the ways in which you would expect a 29-year-old actress to react.

“Can you think back?” she asks. “I’m sure you’re right. I’m very keen to know how I could have done better.”

Pornography Celebrates Big Penises

I think I had better explain what I am doing with a pile of American pornographic magazines. I brought them back for a friend who needed them as research material for a forthcoming book, and if the friend in question is reading these words, let them be taken as a declaration of intent: in no circumstances whatever would I do such a thing again.

Mind; I was breaking no law. The magazines are certainly pornographic, but similar things are available, unprosecuted, in any of our cities, and they are not prosecuted because the likelihood of convictions is so slight that the authorities ignore them; these, though I am assured that they are more extreme than the home-published ones, do not include scenes of sadism or bestiality (the rule-of-thumb test nowadays), and if the measure of what is legally permitted has now moved far enough to include such material, so be it: I do not propose to set myself up as a jobbing censor.

It amazes me that all the men have such large penises in these pornography magazines. There was even an article explaining how to make your own penis bigger by using something called a penis extender. You actually have to wear this thing for months in the effort to gain an inch or so. These penis extenders have such names as SizeGenetics and ProExtender. Of course they would.

Only, you see I felt it incumbent upon me (on the ground that all experience is valuable) to look through the magazines before handing them over, and I have to say that by the time I had finished doing so, my liberal views on matters of this kind had taken a relentless, powerful and unexpected battering.

First, let me get the most obvious point out of the way. I have never in my life had an experience so un-erotic; these magazines seem to me so entirely anaphrodisiac that they might have been designed to foment an outbreak of fanatical celibacy. If they seem so to me, they must presumably seem so to others too, but here fallacy rears its head. It reminded me of the time I used the Penomet penis pump to get an erection. I just couldn’t get one with this ridiculous plastic thing on my penis.

I had no prior idea of what the magazines contained (I have never been interested in pornography, and cannot recall even leafing through such material), and have no intention of ever opening another, yet they are clearly sold in huge numbers, and if they are not sold to men like me, then there are men, and very many of them, who do find them arousing. And if that is so – and it must be, else how could they exist? – our world is in more trouble than I had known.

For throughout the magazines, photographs and text alike have one theme only, one attitude only, one lesson only, one invitation only. It is that women are things, objects, receptacles, instruments; that their nature is passive, insensate, usable, empty; that they exist to comply, offer, submit, and serve.

I must particularize; the squeamish should skip. In the photographs, the characteristic pose – there are at least a dozen such in every one of the magazines – is of the woman fondling herself. In almost as many, though the same thing is happening, this is being done by others, in a significant proportion by other women.

There are, obviously, many pictures of coition, some of them in multiple form; in all, the women are portrayed as no more than an adjunct to the men’s activity. Most faces are contorted; presumably the photographer and the models wanted to convey sexual pleasure, but to my eye they seem mostly to be registering boredom. Some of the faces are beautiful, some hideous; very few show any sign of feeling or thought, indeed of any capacity for either. More breasts are sagging than not.

The words that separate the photographs are of a monotony that is scarcely to be believed; however the theme is introduced, whatever the background, whichever form of sexuality is concerned, whether the article is entitled ‘Confessions of a teenage lesbian’ or ‘Let’s do it in the sand’, the result is the same: a portrayal of a woman as nothing but a willing orifice, her world reduced to the filling of it.

Perhaps the most significant lines in all this collection are in a letter which purports to come from a man in prison awaiting execution. It reads: ‘I want to say you’ve got the best mag I ever laid my eyes on and, to show my appreciation, I’m going to walk to the gas chamber with a copy of it and rule all the ladies in hell!’

Now: you will notice that I have not used any such words as ‘dirty’, ‘filth’, ‘obscene’. Nor do I intend to; I am not in the same business as Lord Longford or Mrs. Whitehouse, and I do not believe that what disgusts me should be abolished or banned, because I do not presume to believe that my response to such material is the only possible one, or for that matter that banning is of any use in this field. On the other hand, I have never been greatly impressed by the defense of pornography through the argument from catharsis, and I am very considerably less impressed by it now; the familiar – too familiar – claim that this material is nothing more than a masturbatory aid for men with problems about relationships cannot be disproved by my feeling that it is wholly repellent rather than inviting, because, as I have said, the existence of the magazines (and in such numbers, incidentally I could have made half a dozen entirely different selections) shows that many men must be stimulated by it. But stimulation, like peace, is indivisible; the man on Death Row planned to die with a copy of Hustler in his hand, but he also planned to ‘rule all the ladies in hell’ afterwards.