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Live Blog: What You’ve Been Missing in Male Pattern Hair Loss. Faculty: Larry Shapiro, DO

In this live blog from the Annual Fall SDPA Conference in Orlando, Larry Shapiro, DO, presented a lecture on “What You’ve Been Missing in Male Pattern Hair Loss.” He covered some of the common causes of early male baldness and Shapiro’s Enhanced Whey Protein (EWP) approach. Here are some of the highlights.

Since starting his practice in 1989, Dr. Larry Shapiro has performed over 13,000 hair transplants. In that time, Dr. Shapiro discovered several common causes of male baldness, most of which revolve around energy drink and muscle enhancer/workout supplement trends.

Dr. Shapiro explained that patients struggling with baldness all shared a high anabolic profile, which they acquired through consumption of energy drinks, whey protein drinks like Muscle Milk, growth hormones and/or steroid use. Under the anabolic umbrella are amino acids, which when taken in excess can negatively affect hair growth. Creatine and arginine are amino acids that are extremely anabolic and are found in most over the counter workout products, weight gainers, and now in many popular energy drinks. It takes about 6-9 months of such product use to see hair loss because it’s the last thing to become affected from these hormone supplements.

Hair Loss Factors Found in Energy Drinks:
– sugar: hyperglycemic index
– caffeine at high doses
– guarana, which is similar to caffeine, but twice as strong
– arginine, which is hyper-anabolic

Dr. Shapiro warned that patients may lie about taking hormone supplements like steroids. Symptoms of hair loss from these anabolic sources will be hair that is frizzy, frazzled, and diffused. Shapiro suggested that healthcare providers should ask their patient if he takes “amino acid” supplements. Amino acid supplements contain arginine. This may open the door to having a more candid conversation with patients about diet. As Dr. Shapiro put it, “If a heart doctor can recommend a patient not eat hot dogs, why can’t a dermatologist recommend that patients not consume products high in anabolics?”

Dr. Shapiro has developed his own hair-loss reduction supplement (a non-surgical approach) he calls an Enhanced Whey Protein (EWP). He named the formula for the supplement the Accelerated Follicular Restoration (AFR). He presented a simple formula:

Low Anabolic Profile (LAP) + Enhanced Whey Protein (EWP) + Low Glycemic Index (LGI)  = Accelrated Follicular Restoration (AFR)

Dr. Shapiro presented the benefits of an AFR approach, which included faster regrowth, less post-surgery shock loss, a better quality of existing hair, a more positive patient, and little or no shedding during the recovery period.

The enhanced whey protein approach can also be a treatment for female menopausal hair loss (because of thyroid conditions and iron deficiencies common to older women). Similarly, some alopecia patients who tried EWP found success.

Dr. Shapiro’s EWP formula and more information on his hair loss study can be found at his website Additionally, he can be reached for questions and more specific dos-and-don’ts at


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