The best types of hair loss shampoos for long term use recommended by experts are those that are free of sulphates like SLS and SLES as well as parabens. Therefore, your first step in choosing the right type of hair loss shampoo is getting into the habit of reading the labels on these products.

The next step is establishing the cause of your hair loss. As we’ve stated in a previous post, there are many types of hair loss and each requires a different solution and approach. Once you’ve established this, you can then begin to start working out which shampoo is good for your particular hair loss situation.

Best Hair Loss Shampoos For Androgenic Alopecia

The best medically proven shampoos for hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) are those that block the production or actions of DHT in the scalp.   The most common ingredient in the top selling brands is ketoconazole due to its proven abilities to reduce DHT.

Ingredients That Reduce Or Block The Actions Of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT is a powerful male androgen hormone. It’s derived from testosterone with the help of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.   DHT does many good things, particularly in utero – it is responsible for the normal development and function of characteristics that make men……..men. However, DHT has a bad habit of binding to androgen receptors on hair follicle cells in the scalp and shrinking the follicle, causing the hair to die and fall out. Male pattern baldness is a classic example of DHT at work on hair follicles! Once the hair follicle has been shrunk like this, it can no longer grow hair.

The good news though is that there are a number of compounds that can reduce this activity.   Some of them appear to inhibit DHT itself from binding with the androgen receptors whilst others block 5-alpha reductase, meaning less DHT is produced. Either way, it reduces the number of hair follicles destroyed by DHT with a corresponding reduction in hair loss.

DHT Blocking Ingredients Commonly Found In Hair Loss Shampoos

Ketoconazole In Hair Loss Shampoos

Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal and its primary therapeutic use is to kill fungal and yeast infections. For this reason it’s often included in prescription only creams and topical treatments for a range of fungal and yeast infections. In a shampoo like Nizoral it treats seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, which are its common uses, and it does this particularly well.

However, studies have shown that ketoconazole also promotes hair growth. There are several ways in which it may be doing this. It may inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, thereby reducing DHT in the scalp with a corresponding improvement in hair loss caused by male pattern hair loss. Or it may compete with DHT as an androgen receptor antagonist, preventing DHT from binding with and destroying hair follicles. Then again it may simply be such a super effective sebum remover that by improving the health of follicles, it promotes hair growth naturally.   Incidentally, these studies have also shown that ketoconazole is even more beneficial when used in conjunction with other hair loss compounds like minoxidil and finasteride.

Best Hair Loss Shampoos Containing Ketoconazole

Nizoral

If you’re not too concerned with keeping things all natural then one of the best shampoos universally recommended for male pattern hair loss is Nizoral, although be aware that Nizoral does have sodium lauryl sulfate. Nizoral contains 2% ketoconazole, making it the highest concentration of ketoconazole of any over the counter shampoo on the market. NOTE: in the US Nizoral with 2% ketoconazole is a prescription only shampoo. Only shampoos with 1% ketoconazole are available over the counter.

The stronger version of Nizoral is usually not recommended for other types of hair loss ie diffuse hair loss, because of its increased ketoconazole content. Other popular hair loss shampoos with lower amounts of ketoconazole that are recommended for and used to treat both male pattern hair loss and diffuse hair loss include:

Lipogaine Big 3 Hair Loss Shampoo for Men and Women

If you want to avoid a shampoo with SLE or SLES, or have coloured hair, Lipogaine Big 3 could be the one for you. With 1% ketoconazole plus a line up of natural hair loss ingredients, this is another hair loss shampoo that regularly makes the Top 10 Best Hair Loss Shampoo list.   However, whilst it doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens it does contain cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB).   CAPB is a foaming surfactant that is a known allergen and can also irritate eyes and skin. Lipogaine Big 3 Hair also includes a number of natural DHT blockers as well as ingredients that promote overall hair and scalp health and hair volume including:

DHT blockers

  • Ketoconazole (1%)
  • Saw palmetto
  • Citric acid
  • Red clover extract
  • Nettle extract

Scalp DHT reducers / anti-fungals

  • Wheat proteins
  • Vitamin B6
  • Zinc oxide

Blood flow promoters

  • Niacin

Hair strength builders

  • Biotin
  • Copper Tripeptides
  • Vitamin B5

Moisturizers

  • Emu Oil
  • Caster oil,
  • Essential oil

Anti-inflammatories

  • Peppermint

DS Laboratories Revita Hair Stimulating Shampoo

Revita is another hair loss shampoo with ketoconazole that is on most top hair loss shampoo lists. The % though appears to vary depending on country. One of Revita’s big marketing plugs is that it contains caffeine, which has been shown to increase the size of hair follicles, promote hair growth and possibly modify the effects of DHT. Alongside this it has a raft of natural hair growth ingredients, making it a good choice for those who want less of the harmful stuff whilst still reaping the benefits of ketoconazole. It’s also one of the few hair loss shampoos that has Procyanidin B-2, an apple polyphenol that is able to modify the hair growth cycle to prolong the growth phase and shorten the resting phase as effectively, if not more so, than Minoxidil.

DHT blockers

  • Ketoconazole (% varies according to country)

Scalp DHT reducers / anti-fungals

  • Zinc oxide

Blood flow promoters

  • Niacin

Hair growth cycle modifiers and hair growth stimulators

  • Apple polyphenols
  • Cysteine
  • Taurine
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Carnitine tartrate
  • Caffeine (also a DHT blocker)

Hair strength builders

  • Biotin
  • Copper Tripeptides

Moisturizers

  • Emu Oil

Protection

  • Anti-oxidants

Regenepure DR Hair Loss Shampoo

The DR in this shampoo stands for Doctor Recommended. Therefore, as you’d imagine, it’s a popular and top rated hair loss shampoo with 1% ketoconazole that can be used by both men and women.   It’s also fine for coloured or treated hair. It contains some pretty potent moisturising and nourishing ingredients as well as being sulphate and parabens free.

DHT blockers

  • Ketoconazole (1%)
  • Saw palmetto

Scalp DHT reducers / anti-fungals

  • Zinc oxide
  • Vitamin B6

Blood flow promoters

  • Niacin (vitamin B3)

Hair growth cycle modifiers and hair growth stimulators

  • Caffeine (also a DHT blocker)

Hair strength builders

  • Vitamin B5 (L-Pathenol)

Moisturizers / nourishers

  • Emu oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Gamma linolenic Acid (an omega 6 fatty acid)

Anti-inflammatories

  • Aloe vera

Wick & Strom Premium Anti Hair Loss Shampoo

This shampoo only contains a tiny amount of ketoconazole (0.01%) but it’s still effective due to the impressive line up of other ingredients in it that nourish the scalp to promote healthy hair growth. It’s also considered a salon quality hair loss shampoo and is suitable for both men and women.

DHT blockers

  • Ketoconazole (0.01%)
  • Saw palmetto

Hair growth cycle modifiers and hair growth stimulators

  • Caffeine (also a DHT blocker)

Hair strength builders

  • Biotin

Anti-inflammatories

  • Aloe vera (also moisturisers)

L’emarie Intensive Hair Growth Shampoo

This shampoo makes our list because in addition to ketoconazole it contains other powerful natural DHT blockers. It’s suitable for use with all hair types and for both men and women.   L’emarie Intensive Hair Growth Shampoo helps hair regrowth, hair loss and thinning hair plus strengthens hair, soothes dry, itchy scalp conditions and is suitable for Androgenic Alopecia and Scalp Psoriasis.

DHT blockers

  • Ketoconazole (1%)
  • Saw palmetto
  • Pumpkin seed oil

Scalp DHT reducers / anti-fungals / cleansers

  • Wheat proteins
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Tea Tree oil

Hair growth cycle modifiers and hair growth stimulators

  • Caffeine (also a DHT blocker)

Hair strength builders

  • Biotin

Anti-inflammatories

  • Aloe vera (also moisturisers)

So to sum up – the best hair loss shampoo for treating androgenic alopecia is undoubtedly Nizoral with 2% ketoconazole. This is only available by prescription in the US but is available over the counter in other countries. However, you really would only use it for treating this hair loss condition. If you’re in the US and can only get the 1% version, you can consider some of the other options that have the same amount of ketoconazole but also include a host of other natural hair loss shampoo ingredients.

For other hair loss conditions, Nizoral is not generally recommended so you would choose one of the others. Which one? Well that really depends on what allergies or health conditions you may have, your diet, your overall health and the health of your scalp. A note here – if you’re pregnant or breast feeding ketoconazole is one of those chemicals you’re advised to avoid!

Furthermore, there are other hair loss shampoos out there that contain ketoconazole in varying amounts but the above are ones that consistently appear on the majority of top 10 lists. As you’ve also noted from the ingredient lists, there are other natural DHT blockers.   There are also natural and organic hair loss shampoos available that don’t contain ketoconazole.  Amongst the most effective of these are hair loss products (like Prozinc) that contain Trichogen, an active ingredient made from a mix of herbal extracts. Some of these herbs target 5 alpha reductase, making them effective natural DHT blockers.  So if you are looking for a natural hair loss shampoo, give Prozinc a try.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search