There are shampoos that can be effective, but none of them will prevent hair loss overnight. Some shampoos do a good job in decreasing the amount of hair shedding, or in certain cases may even promote hair re-growth.
So what is the best hair loss shampoo on the market? There are literally thousands of hair loss treatments and products available today. In the US alone there are more than 50 million men who suffer from hair loss. It is not surprising therefore that hair loss treatment is very big business worldwide. Unfortunately, the vast majority of treatments are ineffective. With so many hair loss shampoos available, choosing one which helps stimulate growth and improves scalp condition can be difficult. Some products can actually do more harm than good, while others are a waste of money.
What to avoid in a hair loss shampoo
When choosing a shampoo for the treatment of hair loss it is important to ensure you purchase a product which does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). This is a relatively harsh chemical used as a cheap foaming agent in a very high proportion of regular shampoos. SLS was originally developed as an industrial degreasant and was often included in the formulation of garage floor cleaners. Studies have shown that SLS can strip the hair of essential oils, leaving it weak and brittle. Thus, individuals suffering from thinning or receding hair are advised to avoid this ingredient, as it may worsen the condition.
What to look for when buying a hair loss shampoo
An effective hair loss shampoo will contain ingredients which will help promote hair growth and inhibit hair loss by suppressing dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is male hormone identified as being the primary cause of male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), the most common form of baldness. Controlling levels of DHT in the scalp is the most effective way to stop and prevent further hair loss. Ingredients such as ALA, azelic acid, hops, linolenic acid and saw palmetto are known to be inhibitors of alpha reductase – the enzyme responsible for DHT formation in the scalp. Hair growth stimulants include copper peptides, emu oil, ketoconazole and procyanidins.
Minoxidil has been heavily promoted for its ability to stimulate hair re-growth. However, the American Hair Loss Association, although recognizing Minoxidil as an effective treatment for a small percentage of users, does not recommend it as the first line of treatment for men suffering with male pattern baldness.
Another popular product, Propecia (finasteride) was the first FDA approved oral prescription drug for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. An FDA approved study has shown that only 65% of men who took Propecia experienced a significant increase in hair growth. Unfortunately, there is a downside. Propecia comes with a list of potential side effects that include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and impotence.
Intensive Hair Care 9 shampoo
A safe way to treat, not only male pattern hair loss but also hair loss in women, is an herbal hair loss shampoo known as IHT9 or Intensive Hair Care 9. The reviews on IHT9 have been very positive, not just for hair loss prevention, but also for the promotion of hair regrowth. IHT9 formulation is based on Ayurveda, or ancient traditional Indian medicine. The shampoo contains a mixture of nine Indian herbs which are known for their hair regrowth properties. IHT9 hair loss shampoo intensively nourishes the scalp and stimulates weak hair follicles to re-grow stronger hair. This shampoo is safe to use with no reported side effects. Many users state that it can control excessive hair loss in two to three weeks, and that after this period hair regrowth is visible.
Top selling hair loss shampoos
DS Laboratories Revita Hair Growth Stimulating shampoo: This is an ingredient rich hair growth stimulating shampoo manufactured without the use of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Revita is suitable for use by both men and women. The main active ingredients include procyanidin B2 and C1 (apple extract), copper peptides, spin traps (antioxidants that counter free radicals), ketoconazole, roolbos (a shrub which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hair growth promoting properties), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), caffeine (4%), emu oil (rich in essential fatty acids), amino acids and biotin. Consumer reviews on Revita are mixed.
Alpecin C1 shampoo: Various studies on human subjects have indicated that that topical caffeine can stimulate weakened hair roots. Alpecin Shampoo was developed in Germany with this fact in mind. Washing hair daily with Alpecin immediately delivers caffeine directly to the hair roots. Topically applied caffeine is believed to protect hair follicles from DHT. Alpecin was first introduced as a shampoo and now it is also available as an after-shampoo topical treatment. Research supporting the hair regeneration claims made by the Alpecin manufacturer has been carried out at two universities in Germany. Consumer reviews have been mixed so far but there are more positive than negative ones. Some consumers use Alpecin shampoo to strengthen the fine newly-grown hair stimulated by minoxidil. Alpecin shampoo is also said to be effective in fighting dandruff and many consumers believe it helps stop the itchy scalp caused by minoxidil and other topical hair treatments.
Revivogen Bio-Cleansing shampoo: This shampoo is claimed to remove sebum from the scalp and neutralize DHT. It is a complementary product to Revivogen Scalp Therapy-Anti-DHT Formula. Revivogen Bio-Cleansing Shampoo contains deionized water, decyl polyglucose, cocoamphocarboxyglycinate, cocamide MEA, aloe vera, jojoba oil, cocoyl sarcosine, dimethicone, ethylene glychol stearate, polyquatrenium-4, panthenol, saw palmetto extract, niacin, guar, soy protein, pyridoxal hydrochloride, silk protein, allantoin, ascorbic acid, alpha linolenic acid, gamma linolenic acid, linoleic acid, zinc sulfate, azaleic acid, menthol, benzophenone-4, methyl paraben. The ingredients include the DHT blockers saw palmetto and azaleic acid plus ingredients that could improve hair and scalp condition such as Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil. This shampoo has been reported to help get rid of scalp irritation and itchy scalp. Many users report that Revivogen Bio-Cleansing shampoo stopped hair loss and some have reported new hair growth.
Nisim New Hair Biofactors: This shampoo is made with natural herbal based ingredients developed using proprietary extraction methods developed by Nisim. While many hair loss shampoos can leave a chemical residue on the hair, this is not the case with Nisim. The herbal formulation consists of saw palmetto (this palm fruit is believed to inhibit DHT), panax ginseng (this ingredient is claimed to stimulate hair growth), ivy (another hair growth stimulant) and chamomile and rosemary as antioxidants. In addition, Nisim contains several other common herbs that are not usually found in hair loss treatments, such as sweet chestnut, arnica montana and geranium maculatum. None of these herbs have been clinically tested and proven to promote new hair growth. Consumer reviews are mixed.
Phytocyane: A revitalizing shampoo formulated to minimize hair thinning caused by stress, fatigue, pregnancy, medication or seasonal changes. Phytocyane shampoo is claimed to improve hair density and luster with its combination of botanicals that prepare the scalp for Phytocyane Treatment. Gingko biloba and cinchona bark are included to energize the scalp and stimulate its microcirculation, while grape seed procyanidins protect the hair bulb. Phytocyane does not contain parabens, synthetic dyes or petrochemicals. Numerous positive testimonials have been posted by users of this shampoo.
Energizer™ Treatment shampoo: One of the main contributers to hair loss is the build up of sebum on the scalp causing pores and hair follicles to become clogged. Blockage of the hair follicles impairs the delivery of nutrients to hair roots resulting in weakening of the hair shaft and eventual hair loss. Energizer Treatment Shampoo has been developed to penetrate deeply into the hair follicle and remove dirt and sebum. It achieves this due to the inclusion of jojoba oil. This oil works by emulsifying the sebum on the scalp so that it can be easily washed off. Vitamin B-5 and wheat protein in this shampoo add volume to the hair shaft. There are many positive reviews by users and reviewers of Energizer Treatment Shampoo.
Tricomin® Revitalizing shampoo: This product was initially developed as a hair-growth promoting compound. The early-stage Phase II clinical study on Tricomin® Revitalizing Shampoo reported positive results in stimulating new hair growth in some of the 36 male subjects who applied the product topically twice a day for 24 weeks. The company has now decided to market the product as a cosmetic, rather than pursue the long and expensive FDA approval process for use as a medical treatment. Developed for both men and women, Tricomin® Revitalizing Shampoo combines a cleansing and body building formulation containing essential amino acids and minerals. Revitalizing Shampoo is claimed to stimulate and restore health and thickness to thinning, fine or damaged hair. For best results, it is recommended that Restructuring Conditioner and Follicle Therapy Spray (made by the same manufacturer) are used in combination with the shampoo.
Dead Sea Premier Anti-Hair Loss shampoo: This shampoo contains minerals and nutrients extracted from the Dead Sea. It was recently discovered by scientists led that the problem of excessive hair loss is caused by the formation of sodium (salt) in the fat glands associated with the hair root, the function of which is to lubricate the hair follicle. Sodium is exuded as a result of tension, poor nutrition or due to hereditarily factors. When the pump in the fat gland works properly, the sodium is discharged from the follicle. However, when the pump fails, the sodium accumulates in the hair follicle resulting in toxicity and subsequent hair loss. Dead Sea Premier anti-hair loss shampoo contains root acids, honeydew and minerals combined with a propriety and secret formulation which acts to neutralize accumulated sodium, activate the oil gland, and feed the hair root.
Regenepure: Ingredients in this shampoo include lecithin, saw palmetto extract, emu oil, B3, caffeine, B6. There are no sulfates, parabens, DEA or harsh chemicals present in the Regenepure formulation. This shampoo has been developed to nourish and strengthen hair while gently cleansing away impurities and toxins. Many reviewers have praised the natural hair conditioning and healthy radiant results achieved using Regenepure.
Nizoral shampoo: A proven shampoo in fighting fungal infections of the scalp, such as dandruff. The key active ingredient is the drug Ketoconazole. Nizoral shampoo contains up to 2% ketoconazole. Ketoconazol binds to protein in the hair shaft for several days and continues to kill fungi that cause dandruff and other scalp conditions. One of the less well documented properties of ketoconazole is its ability to combat baldness. In one small clinical study, 2% ketoconazole was demonstrated to be as effective as 2% minoxidil solution in promoting hair growth. It is believed that ketoconazole works as an anti-androgen, reducing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the scalp. However, sufficient clinical evidence does not exist to confirm such assumptions. Consumer reviews of Nizoral shampoo are generally positive as far as treating dandruff and other fungal scalp infections is concerned. However, there are far fewer positive testimonials with regard to the effective treatment of hair loss using Nizoral shampoo. Numerous users have reported that Nizerol makes their scalp feel dry.
Cre C Max Hair Loss shampoo: Cre-C Max shampoo replicates a formulation used by the Tepoztecan Indians in Mexico that combines different plants. Cre-C Max contains all natural hair health boosing ingredients such as ortiguilla, ginseng lemon essence, citric acid, cocodimethylamine, nettle extract, aloe vera extract, verbain extract, jojoba seed extract, espinosilla extract, chamomile extract and many more. Some of the ingredients have a high mineral content can promote follicle strength and thicker healthier hair. It is not clear whether Cre-C Max shampoo has anti-DHT effects. This shampoo has received mixed reviews.
Origenere shampoo: This shampoo is part of an all natural hair care system that includes five products. Origenere is the brand name for a range of hair and skin products developed by Dr Antonio Armani. Dr Armani is a famous cosmetic surgeon and medical director of Alvi Armani Medical Inc., an international cosmetic surgery company with clinics in Beverly Hills, Dubai and Toronto. Each ingredient has been chosen to provide key functions in the different products: Essential amino and fatty acids, phospholipids, polypeptides and lecithin are included to promote growth and improve cellular integrity; natural botanicals are used to promote the formation of collagen and healthy blood vessels; Exotic herbs help provide moisture, sebum regulation and DNA protection; vitamins and minerals are included to help replenish hair and skin; plant polyphenols are used to help bind proteins for added strength and structure; moisture retention is provided by oleic and linoleic acids, emollients and humectants; saponins and flavanoids are included to promote healing and reduce inflammation; phenolic acids help to prevent UV damage of hair and skin; and antioxidant activity is provided by vitamin E, vitamin C, olea europea, diterpene, phenols, omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. All Origenere products are fragrance free and color pigment free. Potentially harmful, but commonly used ingredients such as parabens, sodium and ammonium lauryl and laureth sulfates (SLS and ALS), methylisothiazolinones, hydroquinone, fragrances and coloring pigments have been excluded from Origenere products. Seventy nine percent of users claim to have thicker hair after using these relatively expensive products.
Hair Genesis shampoo: Hair Genesis shampoo does contain natural ingredients which are believed to potentially help with hair loss (saw palmetto berry extract, beta-sitosterol, and mucopolysaccharides). Unfortunately it also contains sodium laureth sulfate. Hair Genesis shampoo is a great thickening and conditioning shampoo. However, the shampoo is expensive compared to normal shampoos and many users report no positive effect on hair regrowth.
Progaine® 2-in-1 shampoo: From the manufacturer of Rogaine, Progaine 2-in-1 Shampoo is specially formulated for Rogaine users and is claimed to gently clean and condition thinning hair. It should be noted, however, that this product contains sodium laureth sulfate. Progaine 2 in 1 is designed for daily use alongside Rogaine topical treatment. It contains vitamins, minerals and natural extracts known for their positive effects on hair.
Thomas Protein Shampoo Hair Cleanser: This product is claimed to deep cleanse and repair hair. It works to restore healthy hair by removing sebum oil and harmful environmental and chemical elements that can damage and dull hair. Thomas Formula TX Scalp Accelerator is a scalp cream which is part of a four part hair loss program that includes Formula 88 Scalp Cleanser, the Protein Shampoo Hair Cleanser, Formula TX Scalp Accelerato, and Namron Plus multi Vitamin-Mineral Complex. The TX Accelerator is designed to improve circulation and deliver nutrients to the scalp.
Fabao 101 shampoo: This shampoo is a mild herbal cleanser that removes dandruff and prevents scalp irritation such as itchiness. It has a high concentration of herbal extracts and leaves hair feeling fresh and clean. It is designed to improve thinning hair when used in combination with other 101 formulas.
Shen Min® Vitalize Shampoo for Thin, Fine Hair: The formulation of this shampoo contains botanical extracts that cleanse the scalp while nourishing the follicles to promote healthy hair with a thicker, fuller and healthier appearance.
COUVRe Thickening shampoo: Formulated to make hair thicker and fuller, and to remove any harmful build-up of sebum and other elements that make hair look weak, thin and limp.