Though balding can come about due to a number of different causes, you don’t have to live with it if you don’t want to (and no shame if you do, all the power to you). The best hair growth products will literally regrow your hair as long as you’ve not gone completely bald (and even then, it’s still possible you might be able to grow hair).
Though there’s a lot of great information online about what works and what doesn’t work, it never hurts to speak with a specialist. That’s why we called Dr. Michele Green, a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist and hair loss expert, to get her expert perspective on the best hair growth products, including the products she recommends as well as those her patients swear by.
With her advice and what we already know about hair loss and hair growth products, we rounded up a few of the best hair growth products for the men starting to thin out on top. Though there are no silver bullets because the causes of hair loss vary widely — that is, even proven remedies might not help if say the hair loss is caused by a hormonal imbalance or genetic disorder — there are a number of hair growth products with scientific, clinical and sometimes extensive anecdotal evidence of their efficacy.
Check out the best options below and quit pretending you’re OK with going bald if you’re not.
1. Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Extra Strength Hair Loss Treatment
BEST TOPICAL SOLUTION
If there was one thing we already knew that Dr. Green confirmed for us, it’s that minoxidil works. Though the science is still unclear on how it works, studies have shown that it does and is not in any way harmful to humans.
There are multiple ways to get your hands on minoxidil. Rogaine is the best-known minoxidil formulation and is easily applied to your scalp as a foam. Kirkland also sells minoxidil, typically at a lower price than Rogaine, and then there’s Hims, the best option for those looking for seamless minoxidil refills thanks to its subscription model.
2. Hims Finasteride
BEST HAIR LOSS MEDICATION
In previous reporting on beard growth products, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, the founder and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology and assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, confirmed that finasteride, also known as Propecia, is one of the best ways to induce and prolong hair growth. Dr. Green told SPY effectively the same thing, saying, “It significantly helps with hair loss” for both men and women. You heard the docs, so what’re you waiting for? If you’re rapidly losing hair, head over to Hims for a consultation with a real doctor to see if a finasteride prescription is right for you.
3. Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplement
BEST OVERALL HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENT
Though the science on hair growth supplements is significantly less clear, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth considering, at least if there’s a body of evidence that they promote hair growth. Both Dr. Hartman and Dr. Greene told SPY that their patients actually came to them raving about Viviscal supplements.
Though Dr. Greene wasn’t 100% sold on the science behind these, she argued that if a patient believes something works and isn’t hurting them, there’s no harm in using them. Just be aware that Viviscal will only promote existing hair growth. If you’re already fully or mostly bald, these will not be the best route for you.
4. Nutrafol Men’s Hair Growth Supplement
RUNNER-UP HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENT
For another winning supplement, you might consider adding the Nutrafol Men’s Hair Growth Supplement to your routine. Dr. Greene told SPY that not only did her patients claim hair benefits from the supplement, but that she also noticed her own hair stopped shedding as much when she took it in the last year.
Though the science is a little thin on the efficacy of every ingredient in the supplement in terms of promoting hair growth, there are studies showing the effectiveness of some, such as biotin, at strengthening hair, Dr. Greene said. There’s also anecdotal evidence that another ingredient, saw palmetto, helps block the development of DHT, the main molecule responsible for pattern baldness.
5. Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Advanced Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies
BEST BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT
Though biotin won’t grow hair from scratch, Dr. Greene stands by the science when it comes to biotin’s role in strengthening hair and fingernails. “Biotin really does work,” she says. Though she didn’t have a particular brand to recommend, we’ve always liked the Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Advanced Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies. They’re strawberry flavored, delicious and can only help strengthen your hair. Just don’t forget that these aren’t regular gummies!
6. Pura d’Or Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo and Deep Moisturizing Biotin Conditioner
BEST HAIR LOSS SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER
If there was one thing Dr. Greene was skeptical about, it was topical applications that get washed out, namely, shampoos and conditioners. She said she “can’t imagine” them working because what makes a topical application effective is the fact that it’s left on the scalp to be absorbed into the skin.
But she didn’t completely rule out shampoos and conditioners, citing a study that suggested scalps can absorb topical solutions fairly quickly. If that seems like enough wiggle room for you to justify trying out a hair loss shampoo and conditioner, we recommend checking out the Pura d’Or Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo and Deep Moisturizing Biotin Conditioner set.
This set has just about every anecdotally verified DHT-blocking ingredient under the sun in its formula, so if there’s even a remote chance your scalp will absorb some of the ingredients, it might be worth trying.
7. Original LaserCap
BEST LIGHT THERAPY FOR HAIR GROWTH
We’re not going to lie: We’re deeply skeptical of any laser or light treatments that claim to restore hair. At least, we were skeptical until we talked to Dr. Greene. She was skeptical too, but after multiple patients recommended The Original LaserCap to her, she looked into the science behind the only light-based product approved by the Food and Drug Administration for hair growth. To her surprise, the company had studies to back up their claims, leading her to suggest it to patients as one possible treatment to regrow hair from thinning and balding.
The LaserCap, a literal hat that comes in three different-strength versions, uses low-level laser therapy to “re-energize inactive hair follicles,” according to the website. As the red laser light is absorbed by cells in the follicle, the follicle basically wakes up and starts growing hair.
For more info, we spoke to Dr. Michael Rabin, who founded the company using his own technology and partnered with researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He did note that the LaserCap isn’t a cure-all, especially if one is already fully bald, but that it can stabilize hair loss all on its own, saying it works even better when used in conjunction with topical solutions like minoxidil because it helps with absorption.
Yes, we agree that this sounds like black magic, but we can’t emphasize enough how impressive it is that the FDA cleared the LaserCap because the only way that could happen is if it had science suggesting it actually worked. For that reason alone, we’d recommend giving this a shot.
One last thing to know: The company sells to doctors who then work with their patients to determine if the LaserCap makes sense, so inquire with your dermatologist about the LaserCap if you think it could help. Based on the 0.1% return rate from patients who purchased the device, we’re confident it may.