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Rip Bryan Shelton - Veteran Amateur Hair Loss Researcher

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#1 Pondle


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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

Hi everyone, it's been a while...


Sorry for being absent from the forum for so long! Longstanding members will know that I used to be a regular here, but over the last couple of years I've had two kids and been preoccupied with work and family and everyday life; my concerns about hair loss have faded into the background. I've allowed my regimen to lapse, more or less, and I've not been motivated to even look at the hairloss forums, leave alone had anything to say on them. Until now….


The other day, in an idle moment I decided to browse one of my old stomping grounds, the forums over at well-known American site Hairlosstalk. I instantly noticed a thread title - "Bryan Shelton" - and was, upon opening it, shocked to see the sad announcement of his tragic death back in September. Newer members may well be wondering, "Bryan who?", but for those of us who have any prior history of interest in internet discussions of male pattern baldness, its causes and treatment, this name will be almost legendary. Bryan was one of the most prolific, expert, and hugely-respected stalwarts of what you might call 'the online hair loss community' since the early days of newsgroups in the mid 90s.


After I first started experiencing MPB around 2005, I immediately took to the net in search of solutions and came across the strange world of hair loss forums. They were a mixed bag but you noticed a few discussions between people who had clearly read the research literature and knew their stuff. One man in particular kept cropping up, notable for the quality of his contributions and the clarity of his explanations - Bryan. 


I engaged in a number of discussions with Bryan a few years back, and, like many of us, read loads more of his posts passively.  He was a man of tremendous knowledge and - as someone else said elsewhere - great decorum. The hairloss community sadly has a fair share of spammers, trolls, mono-maniacs and keyboard warriors, but Bryan was a font of wisdom and a beacon of reason. An armchair researcher, a citizen scientist, we have lost someone who, on his own time took the trouble to actually dig out scientific journals in academic libraries. He sometimes seemed to know more about hair loss than many dermatologists and research scientists. Not bad for a guy in his middle years who, apparently, didn't have a degree and last worked as a printer repair technician.


Towards the end of his 'forum career' there were accusations from some quarters that Bryan was too much of an advocate for a certain treatment (he always denied doing anything unethical). Whatever you feel about that episode, I don't think that should sully his magnificent contribution. He helped many hundreds of men to understand what really causes MPB and how to treat it while avoiding the very many snake oils and con artists out there. He was an advocate for scientific method, a disseminator of knowledge, and - although I never met him in person, saw his picture or heard his voice - seemed like a genuinely decent guy.


A little late I know, but my thoughts are with his friends and family.


RIP Bryan Shelton - you will be sorely missed.

#2 spex


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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:25 AM

Hi Pondle, 


Thanks for letting me know. I was not aware of this very sad news.

Thoughts go out to his family.



Consultant and Showcase for Dr Feller and Dr Lindsey and Beauty Medical's SMP.

All opinions expressed are my own.Website : www.spexhair.com

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#3 Pondle


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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:57 PM

I know that several members of the Stophairlossnow forum had (like me) interactions with Bryan on the US sites over the years, or will at least be well aware of his contribution to the community, so I thought it might be helpful to post links to the September announcement of his sad passing.


I'm frankly amazed that - if the comments in those threads are accurate - Bryan didn't apply the same care and good sense he showed in his attitude to hair loss to other aspects of his health. It's a reminder to all of us that there are bigger worries than hair loss, and we need to be just as concerned about our fundamental health as we are about our hairlines and our vanity.

As another blogger has said, Bryan was one of the few constants in online hair loss discussions over the last 15 years or so.* Men experiencing MPB will be much less well-informed without him. I know it's strange to say, given that I haven't been active on these sites for years and I never met the guy in person - but I will miss him.

[* Bryan had quite an interesting family history as well: apparently his sister was a well-known American diplomat and his brother-in-law was former CIA director William Colby.]

#4 joe101


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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

I'm a moderator at Hairlosstalk so I heard the sad news a while ago. Bryan was a real fount of knowledge and his posts are all in the archives for future generations to read.



good to see you back Pondle - I was wondering what happened to you. I remember you saying you had been forced to quit Finasteride. Glad to hear things are going well for you and congratulations on the kids

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