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Does Hair Loss Shampoos Work?

Hair loss shampoos are often the first treatment option for individuals experiencing hair loss, as they are easy to use and can be incorporated into a daily hair care routine. However, the question remains whether these shampoos are effective in preventing hair loss and if they are worth using alone or in conjunction with other treatments. In this blog, we will be looking at how these shampoos work, what the science and evidence say about hair loss shampoos, their effectiveness and finally realistic expectations for their results.

How do they work?

Hair loss shampoos work with specific ingredients that reduce the amount of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the scalp level. DHT is an androgen or sex hormone responsible for the development of male sex characteristics such as body hair. However, having high levels of DHT can lead to hair loss as it can shrink the hair follicles, shorten the hair cycle and can make it longer for new hairs to grow. Therefore, the ingredients in hair loss shampoos target and reduce DHT binding to the hair follicles, preventing or slowing hair loss. Additionally, hair loss shampoos can also help with hair loss caused by scalp conditions such as psoriasis or dandruff.

The most important ingredients to look out for in hair loss shampoos include DHT blockers and hair growth ingredients. These include:

Saw palmetto
Essential oils such as rosemary oil

The evidence

Now that you know how these shampoos are supposed to work, let’s see how effective they are. While research on hair loss is limited, some studies suggest they may be effective. A study comparing the effects of utilising a 2% ketoconazole shampoo and minoxidil found that they both had a similar effect in terms of improving hair size and increasing the number of hairs in the growth phase. Additionally, another study in 2022 reviewed the use of a hair loss prevention shampoo that contained salicylic acid, panthenol and niacinamide in 42 alopecia patients. The study found that the number of hairs on the crown, the hairline and the thickness showed a significant increase after 24 weeks of use. Therefore, these results highlight that there may be some benefits to using hair loss shampoos.


Although these studies show that hair loss shampoos can be effective, it should be noted that there is only limited research and data on the topic and the shampoo's effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to have realistic expectations that hair loss shampoos may not be completely effective. They may, however, be more effective when used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments such as minoxidil and finasteride. However, incorporating a hair loss shampoo with effective ingredients into your hair care routine can help improve hair density and promote healthy hair growth.

The outcome

The bottom line is they may be effective but it is probably better to opt for other treatments alongside using a hair loss shampoo. This is because the research is limited and hair loss shampoos can vary in effectiveness, depending on the individual, the brand and the ingredients used. Therefore, it is important to do your research, not solely depend on shampoos to prevent hair loss and find one that makes your hair and scalp healthy and strong.

Updated on: 17/04/2024

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