Various things, such as your genes, hormones, stress, and what you eat, can affect your hair. This might make your hair thin, fall out, or grow slowly. It differs for everyone—each person’s experience is unique. Talking to a dermatologist would be a good idea if you are worried. But if you want to try things on your own, there are many hair care products you can buy without a prescription to help your hair grow faster or thicker. We asked dermatologists about their favorite hair growth products to determine which ones are the best. They suggested things like liquids you put on your scalp, special treatments, and certain shampoos. Before getting into that, they shared their expert advice on understanding the differences between hair thinning, hair shedding, and going bald. They also talked about what might help your hair grow faster and what you can do to prevent losing your hair.
What leads to hair loss and thinning?
Let’s explore why someone might be experiencing hair loss, thinning hair, or slow hair growth, starting with their gender. In the past, people often thought that hair loss was mainly a concern for men. This belief is reflected in the available solutions, which mainly target men. It’s not surprising that now, people are looking for products specifically designed to address hair loss in women. Vogue, a popular magazine, reports that hair loss is quite common in women—over 80% will go through it at some point, and over 40% of those dealing with alopecia (a condition causing hair loss) are women. Various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and other underlying health conditions can cause hair loss and thinning hair. The specific cause varies from person to person, and it’s essential to consider individual factors when addressing hair loss concerns. If you’re experiencing significant hair loss or thinning, consulting with a healthcare professional or dermatologist can help identify the specific cause and determine the most suitable treatment options for your unique situation.
Difference between hair thinning, balding, and shedding
Thinning hair is when your hair looks thinner because the strands become smaller. This happens when the tiny factories that grow hair, hair follicles, get smaller and produce finer hairs. Over time, these follicles may struggle to grow new hair. Shedding is normal, with around 50 to 100 hair lost daily. However, after stressful events like childbirth or surgery, shedding can increase (telogen effluvium). Once the stress is gone, the extra shedding stops, and your hair gradually returns to its usual thickness. Balding is severe hair loss on the scalp, where no new hair grows. Causes include genetics, medical treatments, certain medicines, specific hairstyles, or illnesses. When a hair follicle dies, it can’t produce new hair, resulting in permanent baldness. Thankfully, preventive measures and procedures are available if dealing with hair loss becomes challenging.
What are hair growth products?
Hair growth products, like finasteride and minoxidil, incorporate elements that promote hair growth. Some also assert their ability to minimize shedding and safeguard hair from breakage. Natural ingredients found in certain products may further support overall hair health.
These products come in diverse forms:
Consistent use of hair growth products may be necessary, as discontinuing the treatment could result in ongoing hair loss.
Topical serums and solutions for promoting hair growth
Let’s look at the 12 best topical serums and solutions to boost hair growth. Say goodbye to hair concerns and welcome a collection of effective, easy-to-use products that promise to enhance your hair care routine.
- Hers hair blends solution
While the exact mechanism of minoxidil remains unclear, it is believed to enhance blood flow to the scalp, aiding in hair regrowth. Additionally, it is thought to prolong the anagen, or growing, phase of the hair cycle, and hairs also exhibit a slower rate of shedding, ultimately assisting in minimizing hair loss. Priced at under $40, this topical solution from Hers not only features 7% minoxidil but also includes biotin, moisturizing panthenol (also known as vitamin B5), and ketoconazole to maintain scalp health and prevent flakes.
- Hims thickening shampoo
Hims provides various subscription offerings to address male hair loss, incorporating minoxidil, finasteride, or a combination. The company also features a range of supplements, including biotin gummies. In a 2015 study involving 45 men with androgenic alopecia, 84.4% maintained favorable hair density with the topical minoxidil-finasteride combination. The concurrent use of these ingredients proved beneficial for sustaining denser hair, according to the research. Despite Hims, Inc. holding an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, certain customer reviews express dissatisfaction. However, in terms of hair products, customers specifically highlighted the effectiveness of the minoxidil and finasteride combination.
- Keranique hair regrowth treatment for thinning hair
The company suggests applying Keranique hair regrowth treatment directly to the scalp twice daily. The active component is minoxidil, an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss. The product’s advantages include the FDA-approved minoxidil and a 120-day money-back guarantee. It’s important to note that minoxidil may lead to side effects like scalp irritation and facial hair growth in females. Discontinuing minoxidil usage may result in the return of hair loss. The Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment for Thinning Hair is priced around $29 for a 2 fl oz bottle, considered a 1-month supply, and can be purchased online.
- Vegamour GRO revitalizing shampoo and conditioner kit
Vegamour’s Gro Revitalizing duo harnesses the natural power of mung bean, curcumin, and red clover to promote longer and denser hair. Additionally, it features vegan keratin, silk proteins, marula oil, organic murumuru butter, and Ximena oil for a nourishing and strengthening cleanse and condition. Consider it the ideal way to kickstart any hair growth routine. Use the shampoo and conditioner as part of your regular hair care routine, making sure to massage the scalp for 60 seconds to enhance product absorption. This formulation is safe for all hair types and textures, including color-treated strands.
- The ordinary multi-peptide serum for hair density
The Ordinary highly recommends this product because it contains peptides, antioxidants, vitamins, and humectants, all of which contribute to nourishing strands and promoting overall scalp and hair well-being. Additionally, the serum incorporates castor oil, renowned for enhancing hair health and strength through the utilization of ricinoleic acid, a specific type of fatty acid that promotes scalp circulation. Caffeine is another ingredient in the serum, and while it has demonstrated positive effects on hair growth in lab settings, its likely role here is to support healthy hair through its antioxidant benefits.
- Happy head topical finasteride and minoxidil
Happy Head provides a range of prescription tablets, topical solutions, over-the-counter supplements, shampoos, and conditioners. A distinctive feature of Happy Head’s prescription treatments is the customization of their topical solutions. These solutions incorporate popular hair regrowth ingredients such as finasteride, minoxidil, dutasteride, and spironolactone, available exclusively by prescription. Happy Head offers a prescription-strength 8% minoxidil in their topical solutions, surpassing the 5% minoxidil found in over-the-counter Rogaine. The convenience is that there’s no need to schedule a doctor’s appointment; Happy Head can connect you with a licensed physician who will assess your situation and determine if a prescription treatment could benefit you.
- HUM hair-strong gummies
HUM Nutrition’s Hair Strong Gummies are a vegan supplement with a delightful berry flavor that promotes hair growth. The gummies contain non-GMO ingredients and undergo thorough testing by independent third-party laboratories. This product offers several advantages, including its vegan formulation with non-GMO ingredients and the rigorous testing conducted by third-party labs. The gummies are also considered a more convenient option compared to tablets. However, it’s worth noting that a few users have reported experiencing acne breakouts and allergic reactions. Each bottle contains 30 servings you can have before breakfast and dinner, with the recommended daily dosage being two gummies, to be taken with or without food according to the company’s guidelines.
- Nutrafol women hair growth supplement
Doctors suggest that individuals seeking a remedy for hair loss linked to deficiencies, such as vitamin D, iron, or zinc, may find ingestible supplements beneficial. While ingestibles may not provide a solution for everyone facing hair loss, they are generally harmless. Among the many preferred supplements is Nutrafol, which contains vitamin E. This vitamin has effectively addressed hair loss and damage resulting from oxidative stress—an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Excessive free radicals can potentially harm the body’s fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins.
- Nécessaire the scalp serum
This lightweight serum comprises seven varied molecular weights of hyaluronic acid for scalp hydration, niacinamide to preserve the scalp’s natural moisture barrier, and a 5% biomimetic peptide blend promoting the development of thicker, healthier hair. It is fragrance-free, suitable for all skin types, and leaves no sticky residue on the scalp and hair.
- Keeps thickening shampoo
Keeps provides a service akin to Hims, presenting customizable subscription plans featuring minoxidil, finasteride, or a combination. Additionally, Keeps offers items containing ketoconazole, an antifungal medication, and a generic variant of Nizoral, often used off-label for addressing hair loss. You can promptly select the products you prefer or complete a questionnaire encompassing details about your hair loss, medical history, and lifestyle, with the option to include photos. Following a review by a doctor, a personalized treatment plan is recommended, with products available in tablet, foam, and serum forms. While most product reviews are positive, some negative feedback pertains to challenges in canceling subscriptions or experiencing post-cancellation charges.
- Nioxin 3D Intensive Hair Booster
Nioxin created this item as a conditioner that an individual massage into specific areas, like a receding hairline, twice a day, leaving it in. The company asserts this product can promote hair thickness by creating a protective barrier around the cuticle, warding off thinning and damage. Numerous positive reviews on the product’s Amazon page include some purchasers asserting they observed hair regrowth following its use.
- Mielle Organics rosemary mint scalp & hair strengthening oil
Mielle’s scalp and hair oil are renowned for fostering stronger and healthier locks through a potent blend of rosemary, mint, and biotin. In harmony with 30 essential oils and extracts, this trio collaborates to nurture hair follicles, alleviate dry scalp, smooth split ends, and improve hair elasticity. Mielle suggests applying this oil to the scalp and combing it from root to end. Alternatively, the oil can serve as a specialized scalp treatment or provide nourishment during protective styling.
Ingredients to consider when selecting hair growth products
Several potent ingredients are known for their efficacy in promoting hair growth, including blockers and inhibitors of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, derived from testosterone, is a molecule associated with hair loss. Minoxidil is believed to function by partially enlarging hair follicles and extending the growth phase of hair. Meanwhile, Finasteride works by reducing the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body.
Here are some other ingredients beneficial for hair growth:
- Biotin: Known to improve hair loss, particularly in individuals with alopecia.
- Zinc: A micronutrient that can assist with alopecia.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is often linked to hair loss, and supplements may aid in regrowth.
- Collagen: A protein promoting hair health, commonly present in hair products, although limited studies suggest its role in regrowth.
- Niacin: Shown to enhance hair fullness in earlier research.
- Caffeine: Frequently included in hair growth products, it has demonstrated improvement in follicle stimulation, especially when topically applied.
- Saw Palmetto: Extract may inhibit 5 alpha-reductase (5AR), an enzyme converting testosterone to DHT.
- Ginseng: Contains saponins, known to encourage hair growth by inhibiting 5AR in mice, and gintonin, which may be a potential alopecia treatment in humans.
Hair loss is a prevalent issue that can deeply affect individuals personally. Grasping the reasons behind hair loss aids in identifying the most suitable hair growth products. These products encompass a range of items such as shampoos, conditioners, oils, masks, and supplements. Individuals should exercise caution, meticulously inspect the ingredients, and consult a healthcare professional, especially if they use other medications or supplements or have known allergies.