There is no "cure" for hair loss; however, there are many shampoos, drugs, and topical hair loss remedies available today. Most of these hair loss treatments have not been scientifically proven to have any beneficial effects. The FDA has only approved two prescription drugs for hair loss treatment: minoxidil (Rogaine®) and finasteride (Propecia®). Both of these hair loss remedies have proven to be effective at reducing hair loss and, in some cases, even growing new hair.
Below, you will find information about the non-surgical hair loss products on the market. Unfortunately, the results of these hair loss products are limited and last only as long as the drugs are taken. This leads many patients to turn to hair transplants; although the price of hair transplants treatment seems higher, the cost eventually balances out when patients consider how much they pay for hair loss products over the course of several years.
Hair Loss Drugs and Shampoos
Below you will find a list of many thinning hair and hair loss prevention products, such as topical solutions and shampoos. It is recommended that you consult a physician before using any of the hair loss products listed below.
Hair Loss Products Containing Minoxidil
Minoxidil is one of two prescription drugs that have been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss. The following are some of the products that contain minoxidil:
Rogaine® is a brand name for the drug minoxidil, which is a vasodilator (meaning that it dilates blood vessels). Rogaine® has been approved by the FDA to slow the rate of hair loss and reduce the appearance of baldness. Minoxidil is available both over the counter and by prescription, depending on the strength of the solution. Rogaine® is a topical ointment that is rubbed onto the scalp twice a day. Research has shown that minoxidil can be effective at slowing or stopping hair loss, particularly in the crown of the head. It is not, however, an effective treatment for receding hairlines.
Treatment with Rogaine® may stimulate the growth of new hair for some users, but any new hair will fall out if minoxidil use is discontinued. Any hair loss shampoo products containing the drug minoxidil may be able to prevent further hair loss or generate new hair. Hair loss products with a high concentration of minoxidil have proven to be more effective than products containing lower dosages.
Loniten® is the prescription pill form of minoxidil, which was initially prescribed to treat high blood pressure. It was discovered that one of the side effects of the drug was hair growth. According to the drug’s manufacturer, approximately eight out of ten individuals experienced notable hair growth while on a regular dose of Loniten®. This has lead to the prescription of Loniten® as an effective hair loss treatment drug.
In addition to stimulating hair growth, Loniten® has other, less desirable side effects such as water and salt retention, increased heart rate, drug interactions, and breathing difficulties. Topical hair loss products containing minoxidil (e.g., Rogaine®) do not have the same side effects as Loniten® and are more commonly prescribed to patients by hair loss specialists.
EXT® Extreme Hair Therapy
EXT® Extreme Hair Therapy is a hair loss treatment program offered exclusively through Hair Club® for Men and Women. This program combines a variety of hair and scalp treatments, including products containing minoxidil, hair loss shampoo and conditioners, thickening treatments, and more. While the hair loss products with minoxidil may be able to reduce hair thinning and promote growth of new hair, many of the other products that are part of the EXT® Extreme Hair Therapy system have not been clinically proven to be effective. The EXT® Extreme Hair Therapy system provides buyers with an entire year’s supply of products for a hefty price tag, so this may not be the best system of hair loss products for those who are on a budget.
Thinning Hair Products Containing Finasteride
Finasteride is the other prescription drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss and thinning hair. The following are some of the products that contain finasteride:
Propecia® is the brand name for finasteride, an oral hair loss medication. Originally marketed under the brand name Proscar®, finasteride was initially developed and prescribed as a treatment for enlarged prostates in men. Over time, many of the drug’s users and their physicians noticed new hair growth and diminished thinning of the hair. This led to the development of Propecia® (a lower dosage finasteride pill) to be used strictly for the treatment of hair loss.
Propecia® has been approved by the FDA to slow the rate of hair loss and reduce the appearance of baldness in men. The drug has also been shown be effective for the treatment of female hair loss and baldness. Propecia® is available only by prescription, and there are some precautions that need to be taken into consideration, especially those regarding exposure to pregnant women. Propecia® is not recommended for hair loss treatment in pre-menopausal women, as using or even touching the drug while pregnant can cause serious birth defects.
Reliable clinical research has shown that Propecia® can be effective at slowing hair loss and may help to grow new hair. As with minoxidil, however, finasteride use must continue indefinitely or any new hair will fall out. Propecia® has been proven to either prevent further hair loss or generate the growth of new hair in nine out of ten men and post-menopausal women. When combined with minoxidil, hair loss products such as shampoo treatments, and topical Rogaine® solutions, the results achieved with Propecia® may be enhanced.
Proscar® is the brand name of the finasteride solution prescribed to treat prostate enlargement in men. Patients undergoing treatment with Proscar® began to notice the growth of new hair, which, after further FDA testing, led to the approval of finasteride for the treatment of hair loss in the form of the drug Propecia®.
Because most insurance companies consider Propecia® a cosmetic treatment and therefore do not cover its cost, some hair loss patients will request a Proscar® prescription and split up tablets into the appropriate "cosmetic" dosages. This off-label use of Proscar® is not recommended.
Hair Loss Products Containing Dutasteride
Similar to finasteride, dutasteride was also developed to treat benign prostate enlargement in men but was found to promote hair growth. Avodart® is the brand name for dutasteride.
Avodart®, as with Proscar®, is a pill prescribed to men for the treatment of an enlarged prostate. In addition to treating this condition, the active drug in Avodart®, dutasteride, has been associated with a decline in the thinning of hair and the growth of new hair in many men. Initial clinical trials suggest that dutasteride may prove to be a more effective hair loss drug than finasteride, due to the fact that finasteride blocks about 70 percent of DHT (the hormone believed to cause hair loss) from being produced, as compared to 95 percent with dutasteride. The FDA is currently investigating the use of dutasteride as a hair loss treatment drug.
Other Hair Loss Products
Apart from Rogaine®, Propecia®, and Avodart®, there are several other hair loss products on the market. The following are just a few of the products that can halt hair loss and improve the appearance of thinning hair:
Retin-A® is a commonly prescribed topical drug for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions and is increasingly being prescribed to hair loss patients. In combination with minoxidil-based hair loss products, such as shampoo treatments and Rogaine® solutions, Retin-A® is able to improve absorption of minoxidil into the hair follicles, enhancing the results in certain patients. Retin-A® also helps controls sebum blockages, which may play a role in hair loss. Sebum, the waxy oil substance that helps maintain moisture the skin, is believed to contain DHT (the hormone that causes hair loss), and when sebum is trapped in the pores, the DHT is reabsorbed by the skin, subsequently affecting hair growth. Retin-A® stimulates skin turnover, unblocking clogged sebaceous glands and hair follicles, and reducing the amount of DHT absorbed into the scalp.
The family of Graftcyte® products is to be used following hair transplant surgery, one of the best surgical remedies for thinning hair and hair loss. The products in the Graftcyte® system include post-surgical shampoo, conditioner, graft-site dressings, a spray solution, and hydrating gel, all designed to promote healing and control scabbing. Graftcyte® shampoo and other products in the system will not reduce thinning of the hair or regrow hair as Rogaine® and Propecia® have been proven to do. The Graftcyte® system itself is only intended to promote healing and enhance the success of grafting procedures, and is not marketed as a hair loss remedy.
Locate a Hair Loss Specialist to Discuss Treatment Options
If you are interested in learning more about the best hair loss products, including shampoo and topical treatments such as Propecia® and Rogaine®, you should speak with an experienced hair loss specialist. A specialist will evaluate your thinning hair and recommend the most appropriate products and non-surgical hair loss treatments for you. Find a hair loss specialist in your area through DocShop today!