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Does Hair Loss Shampoo Work?

  • Thursday 15 September 2022
  • 4 minute(s) read

If you notice you’re losing more hair than usual, you may feel the urgent need to find a way to fix the problem quickly. A quick web search may present many options, including hair loss shampoos. These shampoos typically do not require a prescription and can be bought easily. But do these shampoos work? Read on to learn more.

Get a Proper Diagnosis

Several different conditions can cause hair loss, so a diagnosis is necessary before a treatment plan is put together. In many cases, hair loss in men is caused by DHT, a male hormone known as dihydrotestosterone. DHT causes hair follicles to thin and eventually fall out. Blocking DHT is the best way to prevent further hair loss. 1 Finasteride is an oral medication that can help block DHT.

a woman getting her hair washed

So, can shampoos really be that effective? Well, it’s complicated. In general, dermatologists find that shampoos marketed to prevent hair loss cannot promote hair growth to the extent necessary for men and women experiencing baldness or thinning hair. But some shampoos can reduce other hair and scalp conditions that increase the chance of hair loss. Oral medication can be helpful for male pattern baldness, but if hair loss is caused by other factors like stress or autoimmune disorders, other treatment options are necessary.

Dandruff Shampoos & Hair Loss

an infographic about how dandruff can cause hair loss

All of us have experienced a flaky scalp at some point, but chronic dandruff may increase the chances of hair loss. Dandruff is not directly related to hair loss, but dandruff can lead to excessive scratching and itching of the scalp, which may injure the hair follicles. In the majority of cases, this will not lead to complete baldness. Dandruff is typically caused by dry skin, dermatitis, or a fungal infection on the scalp. 2 

If you are experiencing male or female pattern baldness and develop dandruff, you may experience accelerated hair loss. If this is the case, you may want to get an over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo to reduce potential hair loss. You will want to get shampoos that contain pyrinthione zinc, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole. 3

Keeping your scalp moisturized can also discourage dryness and reduce the risk of hair loss. You can try massaging the scalp with coconut oil and rinse it out after. If you have seborrheic dermatitis, you may want to avoid coconut oil because it can exacerbate scalp dryness.

a man with dandruff

Do Hair-Thickening Shampoos Work?

Because millions of men and women experience thinning hair, thickening shampoos and conditioners are increasingly popular. These shampoos work by coating hair strands in collagen and protein, giving it a voluminous appearance. Using thickening shampoos will make the hair appear thicker, but the effect is temporary.

Once you stop using thickening shampoos, you will notice that your hair appears thinner again. There is no harm in using thickening shampoos, but if you want to promote hair growth, you will need to take more intensive measures.

Shampoos to Avoid

Shampoos cannot promote hair growth, but adding a scalp-friendly option to your hair loss treatment plan is important. Certain ingredients in shampoos can harm your hair and promote hair loss and thinning hair.

If you’re looking for a healthy shampoo, you will want to examine the ingredients and ensure it does not contain sulfur or caffeine. Sulfur can worsen hair loss because it strips oils from the scalp and causes the hair to dry out and break off. Those experiencing hair loss should also avoid caffeine in shampoo because it has a vasoconstriction effect on the body, limiting blood flow. 4 This can limit the amount of blood flow to the hair root, which makes it difficult for nutrients and oxygen to reach the hair follicle.

the back of a man’s head

So, What’s the Verdict?

No shampoo can fully prevent hair loss and fill in bald spots, but you can avoid exacerbating hair loss by avoiding certain ingredients in shampoos. You will likely need to use more intensive treatments for hair loss, including oral medications like finasteride and minoxidil. Along with these medications, you can promote scalp circulation through regular massages.

Dermatologists recommend finding a shampoo containing one percent hydrocortisone or one percent ketoconazole, which may reduce hair loss, but more studies are needed. You can also find shampoos that contain yucca root, biotin, or pumpkin seeds to improve the look and feel of thinning hair. To learn more about hair loss, visit mailMymeds' dedicated blog page or browse the related articles below.

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The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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