Hair Loss Shampoos - What you need to know
A poll of women suffering from hair loss in some capacity found that 34% of them were using a Hair Loss Shampoo. Alongside Hair Growth Supplements, a Hair Loss Shampoo tends to be the first thing we grab to start our treatment journey.
If you look at Amazon's best selling shampoos, the first hair loss shampoo ranks as highly as number 4 today. The claims that Shampoo makes on the bottle are:
- Stimulate hair growth
- Strengthen hair follicles
- Contain natural DHT blockers
- Improve scalp circulation
- Increase hair density
- Improve scalp condition
Sounds great! Why aren't we all already using it? In reality it's not as simple for a shampoo to treat and combat hair loss to any great extent. So let's go through the list above and evaluate what is possible and relevant to a hair loss shampoo.
1. Stimulate hair growth
There are a couple of interpretations of what this could actually mean. Can a shampoo stimulate quicker hair growth? Potentially it could by improving circulation to the scalp. If you have ever used a peppermint based shampoo then you will know all about the benefits that can bring. Peppermint causes a tingling sensation on the scalp which is thought to improve scalp circulation. More blood flow, more growth factors to the follicle, quicker growth.
Will a shampoo stimulate new hair growth? To stimulate new hair growth a product needs to be able to penetrate to the base of the hair follicle. At this point it could either provide some nutrition to the follicle or combat against the cause of the hair loss by blocking DHT. To penetrate the scalp the shampoo would need to remain on the scalp for a good while longer than you currently do.
2. Strengthen hair follicles
A good shampoo will be able to strengthen your existing hair, but in most cases it is the conditioner that helps to strengthen your hair follicles. A lot of Hair Loss shampoos contain protein extracts that are designed to strengthen each hairs cortex. How effective the protein and keratin in these shampoos is at strengthening your hair follicles is up for debate. As with most claims around shampoos there is little to no studies or data to back up the claims.
3. Contain natural DHT blockers
In all likelihood the DHT blockers in your shampoo are there as a selling point rather than an actual treatment. If the DHT blockers in the shampoo are worth their weight, you will also find them in the scalp therapy that the brand makes. This can be seen with both Revivogen MD and HairMax that we stock. You will find the same DHT blockers in the Shampoo as their leave-in treatment. The leave in serum is the important product in the context of the DHT blockers. These ingredients take time to make their way into the scalp and to where they will be effective.
Another example if Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, a best seller amongst men suffering from hair loss. However only a very small percentage will use Alpecin Caffeine Liquid, a leave in serum containing the same key ingredients. The studies that Alpecin have done to show the effects of Caffeine of hair growth will show the effects of the Caffeine Liquid rather than the Shampoo.
4. Improve scalp circulation
As touched on above this is a plausible aspect to a hair loss shampoo. However the extent that the circulation will increase and the benefits to your hair growth have never been measured. The increase caused may only be some small that there is little benefit to hair growth. The shampoo will only remain in place for a matter of minutes. This doesn't give the shampoo much time to work, and the shampoo won't leave anything behind on the scalp once washed off.
Peppermint is thought to be one of the more effective ingredients in shampoos to stimulate hair growth. Revivogen MD and Bosley Pro use Peppermint heavily in their shampoos.
5. Increase hair density
When we talk about products that can increase hair volume, we always tend to talk about conditioners rather than shampoos. Shampoos are designed to remove dirt and sebum from the hair. When you shampoo your hair you will increase the water content of the hair, which could give the slight impression of a thicker hair follicle. The role of the conditioner is to coat the hair follicle to prevent water loss and damage. By coating the hair it is able to increase the volume of the hair.
An example of this is one of our brands Revivogen MD. Their shampoo is called Bio-Cleansing and their conditioner is called Volumizing.
6. Improve scalp condition
A shampoo very much can improve the condition of your scalp. Sebum, dirt and dead skin cell build up will be cleaned away from the scalp when you wash thoroughly with a good shampoo. Shampoo's can treat dandruff, irritation and scalp inflammation. By treating these you are providing a better platform for better hair growth.
An example of a shampoo like this is the Tony Maleedy Juniper Scalp Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner which can treat all of the above.
All in all, what is most important when selecting a shampoo for yourself is to find one that agrees best with your hair. No shampoo will work well for everyone, so be sure to try a few to find the perfect one for you. Interested in any of the shampoos that we stock? We can provide samples of HairMax, Revivogen MD and Tony Maleedy shampoos and conditioners on request. Or try a Bosley Pro Starter Kit, which includes a Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Treatment.
When looking for a Hair Loss treatment, look beyond the shampoo at a scalp therapy. We stock Revivogen MD Scalp Therapy & HairMax Acceler8 Hair Booster, as well as our own Minoxidil on prescription.