What’s the Deal with Hair Loss Forums?
Aren’t they the equivalent of an online ‘big group hug’? All touchy, feely? Full of love, acceptance and moral support?
They can be, but online hair loss communities are also one of the best places on the net to get open and honest advice about what’s worked for real people … and what hasn’t.
What Makes a Good Forum, Good?
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when browsing or contributing to a discussion forum. I’ve filtered over thirty hair loss related communities using the four criteria below to arrive at a ‘best of’ list.
The focus and size of each forum (points one and two) are addressed as part of the brief summary under each community name that made the top seven list. All forums in the list have points three and four as standard:
- Focus: What topics does the forum focus on? Hair loss causes, surgical and non-surgical treatments, success stories, moral support, concealers, and rants are just some of the common topics of hair loss related online communities.
- Size: Size isn’t everything, but when it comes to forums the discussion is only as good as the contribution of its members. Greater member numbers will naturally generate a greater volume of discussion. Although quantity does not always equal quality, it can increase the chances you’ll find posters whose experience matches your own.
- Membership rules: Having clear guidelines for behaviour in forums are critical for their success. Any forum worth its salt will make it clear that people selling either products or pipe-dreams are not welcome.
- Moderation: Membership rules are meaningless unless the forum is actively moderated, and the rules enforced. This means poor behaviour and blatant promotion are actively discouraged, and repeat offenders are removed. Active moderation can also promote and enrich the discussion, particularly in smaller communities.
The Top 7 Best Hair Loss Forums
The top seven best hair loss forums aren’t in any particular order as, ultimately, what will speak to you is a personal choice. Registration is free to all sites listed. You’ll quickly get a sense of the tone, sincerity and value of advice for your particular situation. If it doesn’t add up, try another in the list.
Overview: The Hair Loss Talk Support Forums (Men’s, Women’s and Alopecia) are part of the larger site of the same name (http://www.hairlosstalk.com/). I’ve focused on the ‘Men’s Forums’ for the purpose of this article. You’ll find a significant focus on personal support, success stories and alternative treatments as well as a whole section dedicated to shedding.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Men’s General Hair Loss Discussion 2. Antiandrogens – Propecia, Dutasteride, etc. 3. Growth Stimulants – Rogaine, Minoxidil, Tricomin, etc. 4. Alternative Treatments 5. Tell Your Story
# Members: 29,764 # Threads: 62,402 # Posts: 570,938
Overview: Many of the forums in this list are part of a larger hair loss site. Not so with Bald Truth Talk which is an online hair loss, hair transplant and hair restoration community. While the main focus is on surgical hair restoration, there is a broad variety of other topics covered. Bald Truth Talk is also affiliated with a radio show called The Bald Truth (at http://www.thebaldtruth.com/), that listeners can access online. Highly recommended resource.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Hair Loss Treatments 2. Men’s Hair Loss: Start Your Own Topic 3. Hair Transplant Results By IAHRS Recommended Surgeons 4. Introduce Yourself & Share Your Story 5. Hair Transplant: Start Your Own Topic
# Threads: 10,819 # Posts: 143,748
Overview: Hair Restoration Network is the online community of the www.hairtransplantnetwork.com site. Whilst its focus is on surgical hair restoration, it does provide good coverage of other hair loss issues and causes.
This is a particularly valuable resource if you do decide to go the surgical route and are looking for recommended surgeons, or have questions about what to expect when undergoing treatment. There are plenty of posters who share their treatment journey in great detail. Both through words and pictures.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Hair Restoration Q&A 2. Hair Transplant Experiences and Surgeon Reviews 3. Results Posted by Leading Hair Restoration Clinics 4. Open Hair Loss Topics 5. Hair Loss Drugs
# Members (of which active): 23,037 (3,597) # Threads: 35,927 # Posts: 320,209
Overview: Regrowth.com covers a large range of both natural and non-natural hair growth products and treatments. A good reference for those trying to navigate the pros and cons of the myriad hair loss treatments available.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. General Hair Loss 2. Hair Loss Treatments 3. Natural Treatments 4. Women’s Hair Loss 5. Hair Transplants
# Threads: 13,167 # Posts: 134,525
Overview: A particularly good resource for educating yourself on both the causes and variety of solutions for hair loss.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Hair Multiplication & Stem Cells Treatment 2. Hair Transplant 3. All Topicals and Shampoos 4. Hair Loss Supplements 5. Drugs and Medications
# Threads: 10,703 # Posts: 115,014
Overview: Another good reference with a focus on surgical hair restoration and hair systems.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Hair Loss Open Topic 2. Surgical Hair Restoration – Hair Transplant Open Topic 3. Hair Loss Products 4. Hair Systems 5. Surgical Hair Restoration -Hair Transplant Doctors
# Members: 29,764 # Threads: 101,176
Overview: Unsurprisingly this forum is for women and focuses on all types of alopecia. Quite simply the best female hair loss forum out there.
Top 5 Threads (descending order): 1. Women’s General Hair Loss Discussions 2. Wigs, Extensions, Toppers & Hair Systems 3. Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia 4. Tell Your Story 5. Living with Androgenetic Alopecia
# Members (of which active): 14,168 (850) # Threads: 22,370 # Posts: 221,833
The Best of the Rest
The thread and post volume is pretty thin compared to the above, but it is hosted by The American Hair Loss Association.
A discussion forum for those who want to go bald gracefully. All together now, slap your heads!
This one’s for the girls. A sincere and genuine site with an emphasis on coping and support.
Another one for the girls.
A focus on surgical hair restoration, but includes some interesting discussion on other treatment options.
Covers similar topics to forum.forhair.com. Ultimately, whether this one is for you will come down to personal preference.
A promising looking site and forum with some great information on a broad variety of hair loss topics. Although you can browse entries in the forum, registration appears to be closed. The fact that many elements of the site are clearly incomplete should not put you off at least taking a look.
The Bottom Line
Like any ‘best of’, the above won’t be without some subjectivity. Whatever the case, I hope the ‘Top 5 Threads’ section, as well as number of members, threads and posts, are solid data points that can help point you in the right direction. Happy hunting.
Note: The data points (numbers of threads, posts, etc.) were current as at the end of 2013 and will obviously vary over time.