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Hair loss shampoos are often a first resort to restore hair growth in men who suffer from baldness. These shampoos work by stimulating hair growth from the scalp using a combination of active and inactive ingredients. The results while promising in some cases, may not work in others. The success rates associated with using these products vary depending on the cause of hair loss.
Why Use Hair Loss Shampoos?
There are many different medications and topical solutions used for hair restoration. The type of medication prescribed, depends on the cause of your hair loss. Hair is often lost due to hormonal imbalances that occur from aging, stress, skin conditions and improper hair maintenance. Some of the medications used to treat hair loss such as Finasteride and Tagamet cause unwanted side-effects, which include nausea, impotence and future hair loss. However, medicated shampoos do not cause the vast majority of these side-effects, so most men opt to use hair loss shampoos as a first option for hair growth.
How Does It Work?
Medicated hair loss shampoos that are sold over-the-counter contain an ingredient called minoxidil. Minoxidil is a medication used to stimulate hair growth. Usually, male hair growth shampoos contain 5% Minoxidil, which is the recommended amount used to stimulate hair growth according to the FDA. Minoxidil is available as an oral tablet, and it’s also contained in many hair growth topical solutions and sprays. Another ingredient – ketoconazole – is used to stimulate hair growth in men with high androgen (male-hormone) levels. This ingredient works to reduce the amount of androgens that are bonded to the hair follicle in order to slow the progression of hair loss. When added to shampoo, ketoconazole is available in concentrations of 1% or 2%.
Who Does it Work For?
Men with male-pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, have the most success with using hair growth shampoos. This is because the ingredient “minoxidil” is FDA approved to only treat this condition. Men who have alopecia universalis, which is a complete lack of hair all of the body, will not benefit from using hair growth shampoos. Hair growth shampoos are also not guaranteed to work for men who have traction alopecia due to pulling the hair too tight. This causes permanent follicle damage from pulling, so the follicles are unable to be stimulated from this ingredient. Alopecia areata (spot balding) will not benefit from the use of hair growth shampoos if the bald spots contain follicular scarring.
How Much Does it Cost?
Hair loss shampoos are on the high end of the hair care price range, costing upward $50 per bottle. Most of these shampoos don’t begin to show results until after 3 or more weeks of use, so you may need to purchase them regularly to see any results. Shampoos that contain minoxidil often read the warning that stopping the use of the shampoo may result in hair loss. This means any new growth achieved by using the shampoo, may be reversed once you stop using it. So using hair growth shampoo is a short-term hair loss solution, unless you continue using it.
Lou Hobbs is a dedicated health and wellness researcher and author. With over 10 years of experience Lou has made it his mission to discover solutions that can improve the lives of other people. When Lou is not researching a health related topic such as Alopecia, he enjoys spending time with his family in the Idaho wilderness.
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