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hair loss shampoo

Do Hair Loss Shampoos Really Work?

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When you start talking to other people about your hair loss concerns, one of the first recommendations you receive is to use hair loss shampoo. But do these shampoos really work? How about other methods of early intervention for hair loss? What can you rely on, when it comes to stopping loss and restoring healthy hair growth?

Why So Many People Use Hair Loss Shampoo

People typically buy hair loss shampoo because they want to stop hair loss and start regrowing healthy hair. Most have recently noticed excess hair left in their hairbrush or comb as compared to in the past. Others realize their hair does not style as well as it used to, such as in the front around the forehead or on the crown. Maybe photos trigger many to notice a changing hairline for the first time.

Whether you see a doctor immediately upon noticing your hair loss or simply look for solutions on your own for a while, hair loss shampoo is typically first on the list for remedies. Hair restoration surgeons often recommend shampoos or other non-invasive solutions before turning to surgical methods. These supposed early interventions for thinning hair include:

  • Minoxidil
  • Finasteride
  • Caffeine shampoo
  • Magnesium and wheat anti-hair loss shampoo
  • Biotin
  • Low-level laser therapy

Hair Loss Shampoo – Minoxidil

Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved over-the-counter medication for hair loss in both men and women. But, this solution often called a hair loss shampoo does not stop hair from receding at the hairline. It helps hair regrow for some people where thinning has started. Scientists still do not know why or how the solution works. But you can try it as a liquid or foam available at two strengths, two percent, and four percent.

It is important to know that minoxidil is not a traditional shampoo. You do not apply it to wet hair. Instead, you apply the foam or liquid drops to your scalp before styling your dry or damp hair. You do not rinse the solution.

About two in every three men using minoxidil claim visible results. The greatest results occur in men under age 40, those early in noticeable hair loss. To see if it works for you, apply minoxidil twice daily directly to your scalp where you have started losing hair or notice thinning. It can take four months or longer to see results, however. So you must invest the time and patience needed to know if minoxidil will help.

Minoxidil does not cure balding. When you stop using it, your thinning begins again. Hair loss can even happen faster after stopping your use.


Finasteride is another medication that many hair restoration surgeons recommend for men with hair loss or thinning hair. Like minoxidil, finasteride is not really a hair loss shampoo. It is a pill you take daily, sometimes combined with a minoxidil treatment regimen.

Finasteride stops your body’s production of dihydrotestosterone, DHT, the hormone that causes male pattern baldness. For 90 percent of men using this medication typically called Propecia, hair loss stops or slows down. Two in every three men using Propecia regrow hair, too. Like minoxidil, finasteride stops working if you do not continue taking the pill.

Caffeine Shampoo

In recent years, more and more men have tried caffeine shampoo based on the manufacturer’s claims that it works to reduce hair loss. Unfortunately, no studies back these claims. In the United Kingdom, the UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled in 2018 that these brands can no longer make such illegal and misleading statements.

Some dermatologists suggest if you want to use caffeine shampoo, that you use it as part of minoxidil or finasteride treatment regimens. But the caffeine causes some scalp irritation for some people. Talk to your hair restoration surgeon before beginning use.

Magnesium and Wheat Anti Hair Loss Shampoo

Another product on the market today is magnesium and wheat anti-hair loss shampoo. Like with caffeine shampoo, no clinical studies back the brands’ associated claims of hair regrowth. Instead, the shampoo just makes your hair less prone to breakage. Breakage typically occurs due to over styling, heat exposure and dryness, further down the hair and not at the follicle.


Biotin is a type of B vitamin. You typically receive this vitamin through egg yolks, yeast, and other foods. Having too little vitamin B can lead to hair loss. But there is no scientific proof that taking large doses of biotin prevents or treats this problem.

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is another method purported to stop hair loss. Like some of the other supposed hair loss solutions above, LLLT is not actually a shampoo. Based on the theory that laser light absorbed by hair follicles prompts hair growth, these devices are sold as laser brushes, combs, caps, and hoods. But no studies back up claims of hair restoration, stimulated growth or balding prevention.

See a Hair Restoration Surgeon for Proven Methods

If you start noticing hair loss or thinning, see a licensed doctor. A hair restoration surgeon can help you understand the reasons for your thinning hair and how to slow this process. Through an experienced surgeon, you also learn more about proven hair restoration methods, such as:

In Raleigh and Apex, North Carolina, Dr. Arthur Zacco of AZ Hair Restoration provides the expert hair restoration consultation and treatments you need for a more youthful, fuller and healthier head of hair. If you have concerns about thinning hair, male pattern baldness or other hair loss issues, schedule your consultation with AZ Hair Restoration today.

Ask about hair loss shampoo and other methods on the market, as well as how Dr. Zacco can help you achieve real hair growth. For the Raleigh office, call (919) 615-0577.