If you’re trying to fight male pattern baldness, then you’re in good company. Hair loss affects millions of men and women, and it’s big business in both healthcare and the men’s grooming industry. While there are extreme solutions such as hair loss surgery, most men waging war against their hairline will start with hair loss shampoos.
Sure, men like Bruce Willis and Terry Crews might look great with a shaved head, but most men want to keep their hair as long as possible. In fact, the most popular men’s hairstyles require medium and long hair. Fortunately, there are hair loss products that actually work. The best hair loss shampoos fight the causes of hair loss, strengthen existing hair and promote the growth of new hair.
So, what exactly should you be looking for in the best hair loss shampoos or topical treatments? Depending on what’s contributing to your hair loss, you’ll want a shampoo with specific ingredients like DHT blockers, finasteride, or minoxidil, all of which can be extremely effective.
In this post, we’ll break down all of the common treatments used to fight hair loss so you know what to look for when buying hair loss shampoo. Then, we’ll share the best hair loss shampoos for sale in 2020.
What Ingredients Should You Look For in Hair Loss Shampoo?
There are a few medications approved by the FDA to fight hair loss, as well as many natural botanicals that support overall scalp and hair health. When shopping for hair loss shampoos, it’s important to understand which ingredients will have the greatest effect on your hair loss.
- DHT and DHT Blockers: When shopping for hair loss shampoos, it’s super important to understand the importance of DHT. Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone derived from testosterone and is naturally produced by the body. DHT is closely associated with hair loss by affecting the development and growth of your hair follicles. When your body over-produces DHT, the hormone can travel through your bloodstream and bind to hair follicles in your scalp, causing them to shrink. This shuts down the hair growth process. Shampoos with DHT blockers interrupt this effect. While the scientific evidence is inconclusive, many people believe natural ingredients like pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto will disrupt the formation of DHT.
- Finasteride: Finasteride is a medication, commonly prescribed as Propecia, that inhibits 5α-reductases, the enzymes that catalyze testosterone into DHT. It is one of the few options approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat hair loss in men and has been scientifically proven to fight hair loss. However, you will not find this medicine in shampoos.
- Minoxidil: Minoxidil is a topical medication that widens blood vessels in your scalp, which helps increase circulation and brings more blood to your hair follicles. This helps promote the regrowth cycle of hair and can overcome hair loss over time by simply growing more hair than you lose. It’s one of the other hair loss treatments approved by the FDA to treat baldness in men.
- Biotin: Biotin, a B vitamin commonly known as vitamin H for its benefits to hair, has been shown to strengthen existing hair and stop hair loss in cases of biotin deficiency and is a common treatment prescribed by dermatologists. While more research is necessary, one small double-blind study, the most authoritative kind of research, demonstrated the efficacy of biotin in lessening hair loss and promoting new hair growth.
- Ketoconazole: Ketoconazole is an antifungal ingredient that’s clinically proven to fight dandruff and promote scalp health. Some evidence also suggests ketoconazole promotes hair follicle growth at a level comparable to minoxidil and also disrupts the formation of DHT.
- Caffeine: In a small study, caffeine, the same stimulant in your coffee and tea (and, increasingly, in your skincare products), was shown to lengthen hair, increase the amount of time that hair grows and support the development of keratin in hair. However, it’s not clear caffeine actively fights hair loss, especially loss due to DHT or other factors.
As you can tell, there are tons of ingredients, including many we didn’t touch on here, that reportedly fight hair loss and promote new hair growth.
Many hair loss shampoos contain natural ingredients believed by many to help stop hair loss or promote hair growth. Popular botanicals used in hair loss shampoo include rosemary oil, pumpkin seed oil, evening primrose oil and pygeum bark (African cherry tree). Most of the evidence in support of these ingredients is anecdotal.
On the other hand, finasteride and minoxidil are the real deal. If you’re looking for the best hair loss products, you’ll want to be on the lookout for these ingredients.
The Best Hair Loss Shampoo for Men
First, it’s important to remember that hair loss is a natural part of the aging process. Thus, it’s always a good idea to talk about hair loss concerns with your doctor, in addition to doing your own research before trying new hair loss products.
To help you out, we’ve done quite a bit of research ourselves. Below, you’ll find the best hair loss shampoos to help fight hair loss and promote the growth of new hair. Most of the options do some of both and contain one or more of the products outlined above.
So, hold onto your hair and grab some of the best hair loss shampoos and products. Start tackling your hair loss today because the sooner you start the better your results will be.
1. Pura d’Or Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
Pura d’Or hair loss shampoo is an Amazon’s Choice product for its stellar customer reviews. It’s also extremely popular with SPY readers. The only anti-hair loss ingredient this shampoo doesn’t have is the kitchen sink. This shampoo has just about every ingredient purported to fight hair loss and promote new hair growth, including biotin, niacin, saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil, rosemary oil and pygeum bark, not to mention SPY favorites such as tea tree, aloe vera and argan oil.
And, of course, all the oils will help hydrate and repair your remaining hair, so you’re not only blocking DHT, you’re going to be keeping more of the hair you’ve still got. Based on the ingredients and the reasonable value given the generally high price of most hair loss products, this is definitely one of the best hair loss shampoos. If you want to improve your hair health and fight hair loss, then you’ll want to consider this anti-hair thinning shampoo.
2. Men’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth
BEST MINOXIDIL SHAMPOO
Over-the-counter hair medications can be a great next-level solution if you find that traditional hair loss shampoos aren’t enough for you. The best option is minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Men’s Rogaine Minoxidil Foam. Rogaine is basically just a foamy minoxidil solution that you apply to the balding areas on your head twice a day. Like everything on this list, Rogaine works best while you’ve still got some hair (because that means hair follicles can still grow), but even if you’re late to try to stop hair loss, Rogaine is a great tool to have in your dopp kitt to start fighting hair loss.
3. Hims The Shampoo
BEST HAIR LOSS SHAMPOO SUBSCRIPTION
Hims is a new men’s health brand offering effective, no-frills products and prescriptions for gentlemen of all ages. One of their best products is this DHT-blocking shampoo, which also adds volume by reducing oiliness. Like all Hims products, you can set up a delivery subscription which eliminates the hassle of re-stocking on your own and ensures that you always have a bottle ready to go in the shower. Hims shampoo should be used consistently, and it should be left in your hair for one minute before rinsing.
4. ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo
The ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo is right up there with the top pick in terms of ingredients. You might not know what will work to stop your hair loss in its tracks, but if the customer is always right, then hundreds of customers are on to something here. In addition to better-known ingredients that are good for healthy hair, such as jojoba, keratin and collagen amino acids, this shampoo contains a number of DHT-blocking ingredients such as zinc PCA, green tea extract and a kapilarine complex, which consists of extracts of the kigelia africana tree fruit, cary, cinnamon tree bark and the gingko biloba tree. Some users reported hair loss results fairly quickly and many reviewers noticed thicker and fuller hair too, so this is a great option, just one with fewer well-known ingredients than our top pick.
5. Hairgenics Pronexa Clinical Strength Hair Regrowth Biotin Shampoo
Hairgenics Pronexa Clinical Strength Hair Regrowth Biotin Shampoo is another great option to strengthen hair and block DHT. Seaweed extract, collagen, biotin and hydrolyzed silk protein go to work on the former front while saw palmetto extract goes to work on the latter. Furthermore, things like apigenin are believed to work to slow down the stage in hair growth where the follicle tells the hair to stop growing, so you can expect longer, fuller hair too. This hair loss shampoo is a little pricier upfront, but Hairgenics offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. The only other downside is that it’s not the best choice for color-treated hair, so be careful if you have any dye in your hair.
6. Maple Holistics Biotin Shampoo
BEST BIOTIN SHAMPOO
If you’re mostly looking to strengthen and improve existing hair, a biotin-heavy shampoo might be the way to go. This Maple Holistics Biotin Shampoo has ingredients that will definitely help thinning hair, if not block DHT as well as some others. Though evening primrose oil has some reported DHT-blocking ability, the ingredients here are more suited to retaining and strengthening the hair that’s still there. Keratin as well as tea tree, argan, jojoba, coconut and olive oils repair, hydrate and smooth hair for some straight-up luscious locks. This shampoo also contains pyrithione zinc, which will help fight dandruff.
7. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Struggling with dandruff and hair loss can seem overwhelming, but luckily there’s Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. It kills two birds with one stone using a ketoconazole-based formula, fighting any hair loss caused by dandruff. The shampoo is very highly rated on Amazon with more than 3,800 reviews, one of which comes from our editor, who can attest to its effectiveness after 10 years of use.
8. Revita Stimulating Shampoo
BEST FOR PREVENTING HAIR LOSS
This natural shampoo is highly rated for its hair stimulating capabilities and ability to “redensify” thinning hair. It stimulates growth, maintains your hair’s healthy growth cycle and is paraben, sulfate and sodium chloride-free. This shampoo works for all hair types and is formulated to maintain scalp health and work against follicular dysfunction quickly. Key ingredients in their recipe include DHT blockers, ketaconazole, caffeine as well as biotin.
Courtesy of Amazon
9. Ultrax Labs Hair Surge
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. In the case of shampoo for thinning hair, it seems to be true. This Ultrax Labs shampoo is one of the best products in the DHT shampoo game, but it does come with a high price tag. It contains two of the best DHT-blocking ingredients, ketoconazole and saw palmetto, as well as caffeine, which is great for hair growth. But Ultrax really separates itself from other hair loss products with a unique formula that promotes the absorption of these powerful ingredients. And on top of that, the shampoo actually smells good too, whereas some medical shampoos smell, well, medical.
10. Honeydew Biotin Shampoo
At under $10, this DHT-blocking shampoo from Honeydew is the most affordable on our list. The hair loss shampoo also provides a deep, rejuvenating wash. It contains ingredients including biotin, zinc, tea tree oil, jojoba and keratin, making it one of the best natural shampoos for thinning hair as well.
11. Hims Finasteride
BEST HAIR GROWTH MEDICATION
The best hair loss shampoos might not be enough to stem the tide if you’re dealing with severe balding, which almost certainly means excessive DHT. If that’s the case, you may want to invest in a proper hair growth medication, and finasteride is the best there is. No company makes it easier to get the prescription than Hims, a telemedicine company. You just fill out a few questions online, a real doctor checks them out to see if you’re a good candidate and the company will ship the prescription straight to your door every month (or in 6-month or 12-month supplies). You can even pair this with the Hims DHT-blocking shampoo too (as seen above) for a few extra dollars if you want to go all-out against hair loss. All things considered, you’ll be fighting hair loss with minimal effort for less money per month than one bottle of the pricier DHT-blocking shampoos.