The media is full of images of people with thick glossy hair, as a full head of hair is considered to represent health and vitality. While we all know that thick shiny hair does not equate good health and happiness, hair loss can be extremely upsetting for men and women alike. If you have a history of male or female pattern baldness in your family, there is a chance that you will also be affected, while illness, stress, hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiencies can also cause loss of hair.
Any treatment will be most effective if you act as soon as you notice a problem. A visit to your GP will help to eliminate hormone problems or vitamin deficiencies. Take a good look at your diet. Is it balanced and high in fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy oils? A healthy diet is a good place to start, as is limiting the use of styling products, heated appliances and harsh chemical colourants, if relevant.
Once you have eliminated medical causes, you will probably start to do a bit of research about hair loss shampoos, which are a very cost effective way of tacking the problem. Some will have ingredients designed to stimulate the scalp, such as caffeine. There are also herbal remedies, such as saw palmetto, and ingredients that can help to thicken the appearance of your hair, such as biotin. Others are aimed at particular age groups or gender. These shampoos can be very effective in thickening and improving the condition of your hair in the case of mild hair loss, but be wary of any that promise miraculous regrowth and baldness reversal.
Many of the shampoos on sale say they help to block DHT. DHT is the abbreviation of dihydrotestosterone, a testosterone-based hormone. Higher levels of DHT are known to block hair growth, particularly in male pattern baldness. There are ingredients, including saw palmetto, which can possibly inhibit the production of DHT, thus slowing down hair loss. Anecdotally saw palmetto can make a big difference to some people; however, if you are looking for a clinically-trialled DHT blocker, you will need to look at finasteride, which is available on private prescription from your GP, and minoxidil (Regaine), which can be bought over the counter.
What should you look for in a shampoo? Firstly, take a look at the ingredients. If you have suffered from skin reactions in the past, it might be worth considering a more ‘natural’ product. You will want to find something that will help to give your hair a thicker look, improve its condition and nourish your scalp. Some shampoos are designed for particular hair types or specifically for men or women.
There are lots of shampoos on the market, but we have rounded up five that we think are worth a look at and are aimed at both men and women. Hair loss shampoos are not outrageously expensive and if you buy one and it does not seem to work for you, you can easily move on to the next.
Nioxin three-step system
Nioxin produces six ‘systems’ aimed at different hair loss and thinning issues, with System 2 designed specifically for thinning hair. The three-step systems contain a cleanser (shampoo), followed by a scalp revitaliser (conditioner) and a treatment. The cleanser is designed to remove residue from the scale and help to provide thicker-looking hair. The revitaliser is a lightweight conditioner to improve texture and appearance, and the treatment, which is applied after the first two steps, contains antioxidants and botanicals to refresh the scalp.
Avalon Biotin B-Complex Therapy Thickening Shampoo
This shampoo, from organic beauty company Avalon, contains biotin and saw palmetto, which are believed to help with thinning hair. The manufacturer says that the shampoo helps to build body, stimulates the scale, strengthens hair and boosts volume. Avalon also produces a Biotin B-Complex Therapy Conditioner. Avalon products avoid harsh chemicals and don’t include synthetic fragrances or colours, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium methyl sulphate, or any other chemical additives that might irritate the skin. This is a good choice if you want to avoid chemicals and synthetics.
Pura d’Or Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo
Another organic, natural product, Pura d’Or shampoos contain argan oil. This is a very popular ingredient in hair care products, as it helps to improve the condition and strength of your hair. Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo is free from the harsh chemicals that are known to irritate skin and is packed full of natural oils such as argan, pumpkin and rosemary and herbs such as lavender, ylang-ylang and saw palmetto. The shampoo works by providing essential nutrients to the hair follicles to reverse any signs of damage and start the healing process. Biotin strengthens the hair strands, while niacin improves the circulation and Pura d’Or’s unique DHT Blocker Blend encourages healthy hair growth.
DS Laboratories Revita Shampoo
The DS Laboratories Revita shampoos ‒original Revita shampoo and now Revita LT for blonde and other light shades ‒are designed to preserve hair, avoid shedding and maintain scalp vitality. They include anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-hormonal agents including caffeine, carnitine tartrate, ketoconazole, zinc and apple polyphenol, which are believed to stimulate the scalp, prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
Regenepure DR Hair Loss & Scalp Treatment
US-based Regenepure specialises in hair loss treatments and products. The DR Hair Loss & Scalp Treatment is a sulphate-free treatment suitable for men and women. Regenepure DR is a doctor-recommended hair loss treatment designed for all hair types and contains the antifungal ingredient ketoconazole, which may help to block the production of the hair growth-curbing hormone DHT. Cleansing ingredients such as saw palmetto extract cleanse away impurities and toxins while nourishing the hair from root to tip. It also combats dandruff and build up on the scalp, while other ingredients such as emu and jojoba oils add moisture, shine, volume and suppleness to thin and lifeless hair. Regenepure DR hair loss shampoo is free from parabens and sulphates, which is good news for the sensitive skin of the scalp.