Many products on the market claim to stop or even reverse hair loss. But knowing which to use can be tricky. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “no one hair loss treatment works for everyone.”
The best way to find a product that works for you is to talk to a board-certified dermatologist. They can figure out why you’re losing hair and recommend options that treat the cause.
Hair Loss Products That Work
Finasteride. This prescription medication can treat male pattern hair loss, also called androgenic alopecia. It’s a pill you take once a day, and it can slow down hair loss and stimulate new hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if you stop taking it, you’ll eventually lose any new hair you grow. There are also possible side effects, as with any pill, that should be discussed with your Dermatologist prior to initiating treatment.
Minoxidil. You can buy this medication without a prescription. It comes in the form of a liquid, foam, or shampoo that you put on your scalp twice a day, according to Mayo Clinic. A 2017 review of studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that both 5% and 2% strengths of minoxidil were effective for treating androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil can help new hair grow and prevent further hair loss. Similar to finasteride, though, it works only if you keep using it.
Shampoos. Could washing your hair with a shampoo that improves the condition of your scalp help prevent or treat hair loss? Maybe. It depends on whether you have a skin problem that affects your scalp.
According to a 2018 article in the International Journal of Trichology, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are just a couple of the skin conditions that can play a role in hair loss. If you’ve been diagnosed with either of these, ask your dermatologist if a medicated shampoo could help you avoid losing more hair. There are many kinds of these shampoos, and they have different active ingredients, so ask your dermatologist to recommend one for you.
Vitamins and minerals. Being low on certain nutrients can contribute to hair loss. These can include iron, vitamin D, and many others, according to a 2019 study published in Dermatology and Therapy. Micronutrient testing can determine if you’re low on any hair-healthy nutrients, and they may suggest that you take certain supplements to compensate. Be sure to check with your doctor before you try a new supplement.
Marc Ronert, MD, is a European board-certified plastic surgeon and hair loss expert who always recommends a vitamin-mineral and plant-based daily supplement to encourage hair growth. “That’s because oral supplements contain key ingredients that help block the root causes of thinning hair and hair loss, in turn strengthening weak hair and promoting a healthy scalp,” Ronert tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Hair Loss Products That Show Promise
Have you seen other products that claim to work? Here are a couple of at-home devices that have shown potential at improving men’s hair loss—but scientists need to do more research to make sure they work well. Talk to your dermatologist before you buy either of these types of devices. Ask them to recommend ones that have the best chance of being safe and effective for you.
Laser devices. Laser caps and combs have shown hints of promise at treating hereditary hair loss, but the jury’s still out as to who would be most likely to get results from them, and what if any long-term side effects there are. For example, a 2019 study in the journal Lasers in Medical Science found that a laser helmet device was effective at treating hereditary hair loss, but the study included only 20 men.
Derma roller. This type of device has many tiny needles that prick your scalp. At-home versions of it come with the risk of making certain health conditions worse, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Even when a dermatologist does the professional version of this procedure for you, called microneedling, it can feel uncomfortable, and you’ll need multiple sessions to see results. Microneedling is often used along with other hair loss treatments, like steroid shots, minoxidil, or platelet-rich plasma.
Get Help Now
Most experts agree that if you’re noticing hair loss, the time to act is now. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.