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J Clin Epidemiol. 1991;44(4-5):439-47.

The effectiveness of the hair-restorer "Dabao" in males with alopecia androgenetica. A clinical experiment.

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Department of Epidemiology/Health Care Research, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


In a randomized, double-blind trial the effectiveness of 6 months' use of a Chinese herb extract (Dabao) as a hair-restorer was studied on 396 males with alopecia androgenetica. The effect was evaluated by nonvellus hair counts, participants' opinions and a panel's judgement of a photo-report. Twenty-three participants withdrew prematurely from the study. In both the Dabao and placebo groups an increase in the amount of hair was observed; 133 and 109 hairs on a 5 cm2 marked area, a difference of 24 hairs (p = 0.03, one-sided). Participants as well as the panel reached a similar conclusion. Regarding cosmetic effect, 42% of the participants in the Dabao group and 37% in the placebo group reported positive results. The average panel score for the cosmetic result on a scale of -10 to +10 was 0.46 in the Dabao and 0.21 in the placebo group, a difference of 0.24 (p = 0.04, one-sided). It appears from our study that, although the cosmetic effect over 6 months is modest, Dabao does have a certain effect on the growth of nonvellus hair.

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