I conducted the following phone interview with author and hair loss consumer advocate Spencer David Kobren 24 years ago, back in 1998.It was right after his first book was published.
Even those my interview spans more than two decades, Spencer Kobren is still as active as ever in advocating for hair loss.
Sometimes I wonder if Spencer remembers our initial discussion about his game-changing hair loss book. Certainly, I remember and have the interview to prove it.
A Chat With Spencer Kobren, Author Of The Bald Truth
During my extended phone chat with Spencer, I discovered a very caring man. He is passionate about helping people avoid the agonies he endured in his own battle with hair loss.
I listened carefully to what Spencer had to say and can promise you that this man is an extremely dedicated consumer advocate for the hair loss world. Move over, Ralph Nader!
What could be more reassuring than information from a man who has fought and won the hair loss battle? Spencer personally spent over $20,000 chasing questions about his own hair loss.
Along the way, he aggressively demanded answers. Not one to take no for an answer, he kept digging until he had the answers, at least the initial ones, he needed to save his own hair.
Spencer Kobren's Own Hair Loss Story
How did Spencer become involved in the hair loss world? At the early age of 22, Spencer knew from watching his own family that baldness was only a matter of time for him. He chose to take on the fight to save his hair, and he won.
In his search to save his hair, he discovered Proscar, which was still in its infancy. Spencer demanded that his physician prescribe the prostrate cancer drug for his off-label use.
As Spencer explained, "I was using Propecia even before it was in the clinical trial phase."
Spencer discovered success with Propecia. Spencer was still winning with a full head of hair in 1998 when we originally had our first conversation about his book, The Bald Truth: The First Complete Guide to Preventing and Treating Hair Loss.
Fast forward to 2022, and Spencer continues to take the now-famous drug. Although he is the first to admit he no longer has the super lush strands he previously had, he still has a large percentage of his hair.
If you want to check out Spencer's current hair, which may be styled with a little hair paint and spray, but still looks great, check out his The Bald Truth show.
It's broadcast every Friday night.
Helping The Consumer With Hair Loss
I asked Spencer what was next on his agenda for helping the consumer with hair loss problems. He told me "his second book, The Truth About Woman's Hair Loss, is underway and may be available in the next 8-10 months".
While baldness for men is a major cross to bear, baldness and hair loss for most women are tragic. Spencer agreed "that women suffer more intensely than men with hair loss."
Unfortunately, women have fewer options than men for reversing hair loss.
Hair Loss Challenges For Women Have Advanced
Back in 1998, when we first chatted about his recently released book, there were very few options for women. Back then, Propecia was only available for men because of possible side effects for women.
Minoxidil for women was also not available.
Although a very small percentage of women are candidates for restoration hair procedures, they can utilize non-surgical treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT), and microneedling.
The hair loss industry continues to study additional options for slowing down the progression of hair loss.
A Classic Book On The Hair Loss Industry
When Spencer's book first was released, I told him I thought it should be a huge best-seller since it contains such valuable consumer information.
I asked Spencer why The Bald Truth wasn't on the bestseller's list since it contained such incredible hair loss information.
Spencer understood the lack of public interest in hair loss books. He told me it took him over three years to get the Bald Truth published by Pocket Books.
Spencer explained, "many people not dealing with hair loss have no idea of the ramifications for the person who is. The general lack of public information on hair loss issues made books on the subject less than a public priority."
Hair Loss Sufferers Are A Silent Minority
Even worse is the fact that "hair loss sufferers are a silent minority. Sadly, many people just don't take hair loss concerns seriously. Consequently, neither do the buyers for book stores".
Spencer explained, "the main reason that Pocket Books finally agreed to publish his book was because Propecia received FDA approval.
The publisher felt the book was perfectly timed to take advantage of the Propecia status.
Although The Bald Truth didn't land at the top of the New York Times bestseller's list, it continues to be in print in 2022, more than 24 years since it was released.
Passing On The Message Of Hair Loss
I asked Spencer what message he wanted to pass on to the many millions of Hairboutique.com visitors, both men and women suffering from hair loss.
Spencer said, "the most important thing to remember is not to be suckered into unproven hair treatments during a time of vulnerability".
He pointed out, from his own experiences, "many highly touted hair loss treatments don't work. After spending lots of time and money, he discovered the result is disappointment and continued hair loss".
Savage Hair Loss Surgeries Which Ruin Lives
Spencer informed me of one famous hair loss doctor who was being aggressively sued for 800 million dollars in damages for for the savage butcher jobs he performed on the scalps of disparate men.
Unfortunately, many men don't discover the horrors and scams of the multi-million-dollar hair loss industry until their pockets are empty, their scalps are scarred, and their hearts are broken.
Spencer Is Determined To Save As Many Men From Being Scarred As Possible
The sad news is that many men don't realize that there is real hope for hair loss with the recent FDA approval of Propecia.
Spencer attributes Propecia as the primary factor in his success with retaining and regrowing his hair.
He also believes that diet and herbs can give an added boost in many cases. Spencer cautions against the "kitchen sink" approach to hair retention and regrowth treatments.
Spencer advises "someone give Propecia a fair trial for several months before adding herbal treatments to the mix."
When it comes to naive hair consumers who think hair restoration surgery is the only answer, Spencer hopes to educate as many as possible.
He is determined to prevent as many future consumers as possible from being victimized by the hair loss rip-off artists and shysters.
Once Your Scalp Is Cut, It's Cut, And The Damage Is Done
Many people are still under the misconception that hair grafting or scalp reduction surgery is the only permanent answer.
Spencer provides all the facts that prove otherwise.
What is even worse is that many people are unaware that these barbaric techniques can and do disfigure scalps forever.
Can you imagine living the rest of your life worrying about hiding botched hair surgery scars from unsuccessful procedures?
If you decide to pursue a surgical solution, Spencer provides you with details on the procedures that work, along with names and addresses of doctors with successful track records.
Spencer also provides valuable facts on why Minoxidil or Rogaine does not work for the majority of users.
He provides details on why topical treatments are doomed to failure.
Spreading Word Of Hair Loss
For Spencer, the main goal now is to spread the word about hair loss help to those who need it. Spencer has recently spread his hair loss gospel to several men's magazines.
He has appeared in GQ, Men's Health, and Men's Journal, to name just a few.
Spencer hopes that an upcoming feature in the National Enquirer will reach even more people suffering in silence through a personal hair loss hell.
Helping Hair Loss Sufferers Of All Ages
During our original interview 24+ years ago, in 1998, Spencer took a call from a 17-year-old male that he's coaching through a hair loss nightmare.
Can you imagine being 17 and suffering from hair loss? The good news is that Propecia is helping this young man achieve good results.
I was impressed by Spencer's information that Propecia is helping this young man at the brink of beginning his whole life.
It's incredibly admirable that Spencer takes his own personal time to counsel and coach people suffering in desperation from hair loss.
What's Next For Hair Loss Advocate Spencer Kobren?
What's next for Spencer besides his next book about hair loss for women?
Spencer is slated to have his own radio show on WABC or WOR. His goal in moving to radio is to bring his message of hope to as many people on the airwaves as he can.
His own personal website devoted to hair loss topics will be unveiled soon.
In the meantime, Spencer recommends visiting the Web for more information on Propecia and hair loss topics.
He also is s the founder of The American Hair Loss Association and The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons.
Spencer David Kobren is amassing excellent karma by giving back his time, energy, hope, and experiences to all sufferers of hair loss everywhere.
Summary - Interview with Spencer David Kobren: The Bald Truth
Money is not Spencer's motive. Helping people find successful solutions to their hair loss is.
Back then and over the past twenty years, as I've struggled with my own hair loss challenges (chronic telogen effluvium, traction alopecia, and hormonal hair loss related issues), I always check back to get an update on Spencer and his lifelong work.
Hairboutique.com and I have always been fans and loyal supporters of Spencer, his Bald Truth books, and his various radio and other call-in shows.
My only regret? Even though I have bought multiple copies of his books through the years, I never got him to autograph one for me.
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Original Publication Date: 1998
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