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More than 50% of women will experience hair loss at some point or another, according to research. The most common causes of this hair loss? Stress, hormonal changes, medications, genetics, and hair products that irritate the scalp, says dermatologist Dr. Peterson Pierre.
Depending on the causes of your hair loss, you may need to use both a topical hair loss solution as well as take a hair loss supplement to truly treat your issue, says William Gaunitz, a certified trichologist (hair and scalp specialist) and founder of Advanced Trichology, So which hair loss products are worth trying?
Here, we've researched the best hair loss treatments to help you out.
“OTC minoxidil has a long-standing history of being effective in slowing down hair loss while promoting hair growth,” says Pierre. That’s why we’ve chosen this 5% minoxidil foam from Rogaine as our top pick. The unscented foam is easy to use and has been clinically proven to help boost hair growth. In addition to minoxidil, it also contains botanical extracts and emollients to keep strands nourished as well as alpha-hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the scalp. One box comes with a four-month supply, making this a budget-friendly pick, too.
This hair loss treatment is another highly-reviewed product with minoxidil, which is why it's one of our top picks, too. The topical solution, which comes with a 30-day supply, helps stimulate hair follicles and has clinical validation behind it. Users of all ages say this treatment has helped with hair loss around the crown area and that it’s easy to apply.
This budget-friendly hair loss treatment also contains effective Minoxidil, with a 30-day supply coming in under $30. The spray applicator makes this hair loss treatment a breeze to use. In addition to Minoxidil, it’s formulated with a slew of other ingredients that promote healthy hair growth. It’s no wonder users say this product helped them score longer, stronger strands.
This drugstore hair loss treatment is very affordable—it's priced under $30 for a 30-day supply. It combines 5% Minoxidil with azelaic acid, vitamin B6, and zinc to help promote healthy hair regrowth and block DHT, which can lead to hair loss. Other ingredients in the formula that promote hair regrowth include biotin, retinol, and caffeine.
This shampoo was developed by Gaunitz and has years of research behind it. It’s formulated with a blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, anti-androgen ingredients to help combat pattern hair loss in women and men. It does a great job of soothing dandruff and itchy scalps, and it also eases shedding. Users note that this shampoo leaves their hair feeling clean and looking shiny.
When it comes to hair loss, using an anti-breakage conditioner is key, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Keratin and argan oil strengthen strands so they stop breaking off. These ingredients also add shine and smoothness. Users with thick, coarse, curly hair, in particular, say this conditioner does a good job of preventing breakage of their fragile strands.
This hair oil was designed specifically for curly and coily hair types. With super-nourishing ingredients like avocado and jojoba seed oils, it encourages healthy hair growth, prevents breakage, and calms an aggravated scalp. Oh, and it boosts shine, too.
Pierre says Nutrafol is one of the few supplements with research backing up its claims. It might be pricey for a one-month supply, but users say it really works. Ingredients include marine collagen, ashwagandha, and a tocotrienol complex. This combo helps to strengthen hair, balance stress hormones, and improve hair density.
Pierre says Viviscal is another supplement that also has research to show it works. Viviscal contains a blend of hair growth nutrients like biotin, iron, and horsetail extract. It not only promotes hair regrowth but helps strengthen your existing hair. Users rave about how much thicker and fuller their hair appears when taking this supplement regularly.
Gaunitz developed this hair growth serum which utilizes melatonin and natural DHT blockers to help treat hair loss. Users say a little goes a long way and that they start noticing a difference in their hair relatively soon after first use.
As the experts have told us, taking care of your scalp is so important when it comes to combating hair loss. Enter this gentle scalp scrub, which gets rid of follicle-clogging buildup and other impurities so new hair has the ideal environment to grow. Users note it also does a good job of keeping itchiness and irritation at bay.
Another way to nourish your hair to encourage healthy growth? Add a hair mask to your routine. This one is formulated especially for curly or coily hair with Australian kakadu plum oil and starflower oil. These two ingredients help maintain your hair’s collagen and elastin levels, as well as strengthen existing hair so you experience less breakage.
Tackling the root causes of your hair loss is key to treating your issue. That means avoiding harsh products and styling tools and using moisturizing products, like our favorite OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Conditioner (see at Amazon) and Bread Hair Mask (see at Sephora), to help prevent breakage, as well as addressing nutritional needs.
When it comes to hair loss treatments specifically, it’s best to temper your expectations. “Other than Minoxidil, Nutrafol, and Viviscal, there are no other OTC products with any significant studies that show efficacy so you should have low expectations if you decide to try such products,” says Pierre. Because they have research, and reviews, behind them, Rogaine Women’s 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol Hair Regrowth Treatment (see at Amazon), Nutrafol Women Hair Growth Supplement (see at Amazon), and Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements for Women (see at Ulta) all score big thumbs up from Team Byrdie.
What Are the Causes of Hair Loss?
Gaunitz explains that genetic hair loss in both men and women is connected to a sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and revolves around certain levels of androgens connected to hair follicle receptors. “This type of hair loss only affects the top of the scalp,” he says.
Gaunitz adds that inflammatory hair loss—the kind caused by stress, medications, and lifestyle factors—is the most challenging to deal with because everyone is different. “This type of hair loss can be patchy and unpredictable and also be associated with itching and burning,” he says.
Another big cause of hair loss? Lack of nutrition. “Nutritional hair loss in my opinion is the most prominent form of hair loss worldwide and is also the most easily correctable,” he says. “Nutritional hair loss causes general thinning throughout the entire scalp and can exacerbate other types of hair loss.”
To get your mane back to its thickest, fullest potential, it’s important to address all the root causes of your hair loss. “Hair is very sensitive to inflammation so it's important to avoid anything that irritates the scalp such as certain hair dyes,” says Pierre. “The frequent use of heating tools can cause breakage. You should also condition your hair and moisturize your scalp regularly to minimize your chances of hair loss.”
As for nutrition, you’d want your doctor to run a full blood panel so they can recommend key nutrients you could be lacking. For healthy hair, key nutrients are iron, zinc, ferritin, folate, and vitamin D3, says Gaunitz.