IN MAY this year, scientists researching cancer stumbled across the cell responsible for hair growth, sparking huge excitement among bald men everywhere, as it was hailed as taking a step closer to a cure for the condition.

But 50 years ago in Dunbar, another medical expert was claiming he had already found the cure and, as reported in The Haddingtonshire Courier at the time, he was ready to share it with East Lothian residents.

The Courier reported in 1967 that a 36-year-old doctor from Nubia, a region along the Nile which is considered to have been home to one of the earliest civilisations of ancient Africa, was planning to open a clinic in Dunbar using a 9,000-year-old secret formula to cure baldness.

The formula, which was given to Dr Lee Carlos Imhotep when he was just 12 years old by his 116-year-old grandfather, could, he claimed, make hair grow back.

Dr Lee, as the medic preferred to be called, had, the Courier reported, “just returned from the Middle East, where he treated the 73-year-old King of Saudi Arabia Ibn Saud. He claims to have given the greying old gentlemen (sic) a head of hair that would put many a younger person to shame”.

Of course, in 1967 the reporter would not have had the benefit of the internet. A quick Google check shows that King Ibn Saud actually died in 1953.

In 1967 his third son Faisil was on the throne and he was just 61 years old.

Dr Lee said he qualified from the Royal College of Science in Toronto 13 years earlier at the age of 23 and had looked into commercialising his formula after carrying out trials on 40 people which produced an 85 per cent success.

He said: “After I had given these 40 people about 20 applications of my lotion there was a sort of fuzz appearing and from 50 to 60 applications the hair had grown nearly two inches.

“Even if a patient has his lost hair when he or she is grey, no matter what age it will grow in the natural colour.”

The Courier report continued: “To change from ‘billiard ball’ to ‘fuzzy head’ will cost any prospective patient between £80 and £100. If, however, after the statutory five month growing period there are no results Dr Lee will not accept payment.”

The £100 bill would be equivalent to paying just over £1,700 today, so a bargain!

Dr Lee told the Courier at the time that he had patented his formula and “it is now written in black and white and kept safely in a bank vault”. He also revealed that, having run out of the plants he imported from South America and African countries to make his potion, he was now growing them at a hothouse near Dunbar.

And he revealed he expected to do good business in East Lothian, insisting tales of Scotsmen being hairy were “just myths”.

Dr Lee confdently told the reporter: “I hope to have the doors of the clinic in Dunbar open within the next fortnight.

“I am sure I will meet with the same success as I have had every other place I have been.”

Did you know Dr Lee? Did you ever try his formula? Share your memories with us.