Do Hair Loss Shampoos Really Work?
There isn’t a bald guy alive who can’t quite remember the moment he looked at himself in the mirror and realized for the first time that his beloved hair was pulling out of battle. It is a heartbreaking moment when a man simultaneously learns two disturbing things. First, her appearance is about to change forever. And second, he’s not invincible after all. This dawning awareness can put guys under considerable mental strain. The kind of mental tension that makes them very susceptible to the spurious claims made by so-called “hair loss shampoos” promising to restore their shiny locks to their former glory. All that existential angst and fear resolved for less than a tenth of Boots? Surely it can’t be that simple… Or is it possible?
What hair loss shampoos claim
Since men worry about losing their hair, others claim they can fix it. But how do you know who is telling the truth? In 2018, the famous hair care brand Alpecin found itself on the naughty step of advertising standards. Advertisements for the company’s thickening shampoos and serums have long promised the products “will provide your hair with caffeine,” which may “actually help reduce hair loss.” However, the watchdog found the allegations to be unfounded and prohibited Alpecin from making them. Case closed, right? Wrong. In light of the complaints, Alpecin retaliated by claiming that he had conducted countless internal studies to determine the effectiveness of the formula. Not only that, but the endless consumer reviews should speak for themselves. And it’s not just Alpecin. There are countless anti-hair loss shampoos on the market, many of which are aimed at bald men and the vast majority make similar claims. Some promise to block the hormones responsible for thinning your stubble, others are based on providing increased circulation to your scalp or your body in general with the vitamins and amino acids your hair has. need. So who are we supposed to believe?
What the experts say
To help shed some light on the facts, we spoke to Dr Raghu Reddy, a hair transplant practitioner at the Harley Street Private Clinic and one of the world’s leading authorities on male pattern baldness. He told us that despite the enticing nature of the claims, there is no silver bullet. “Currently, there are only two clinically approved methods to treat male pattern baldness (MPB),” says Dr. Reddy. “These are finasteride 1 mg (oral form – tablet) and minoxidil 5% (topical). Both of these products have been the subject of large-scale clinical trials and have been shown to stop, and to some extent, hair regrowth. It’s a fact: a hair transplant, combined with a lifelong minoxidil or finasteride course, can really give you back hair, albeit at a significant financial cost. Over the counter lotions and potions, on the other hand, well, let’s just say the science is a little foggy. “Not all shampoos and conditioners on the market have gone through such clinical trials and therefore cannot be marketed as a hair loss treatment,” says Dr Reddy. However, this is not just a matter of pseudoscience – most hair loss shampoo claims actually have at least some real basis for certain hair types. “The four main categories these products fall into are to increase blood flow, to function as anti-inflammatory, caffeine-based and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blockers,” says Dr. Reddy. “In theory, these products should be able to help fight hair loss, since you can increase blood flow by using ingredients like cayenne pepper or ginkgo topically. Meanwhile, anti-inflammatories such as ketoconazole shampoos suggest in preliminary research that they may be beneficial for MPB. However, when these ingredients are diluted, their effectiveness is even less certain. “In practice, diluting these products with water at very low concentrations would suggest little or no effect, and more research is needed. The duration and frequency of application required for any benefit is also lacking in research. Simply put, until there are clear clinical trials, it’s impossible to say if these so-called anti-hair loss shampoos actually work.
It’s pretty much clear that there is no miracle shampoo that can reverse or even slow down your hair loss. So what can they do? Well, they might not be able to grow hair back, but volumizing shampoos can make it look thicker and fuller. Almost 90% of hair is keratin, a fibrous protein that gives structure to your locks. For this reason, the most effective thickening shampoos are protein-based. The protein in the shampoo strengthens the outer layer of each strand and panthenol – a form of vitamin B2 – penetrates the scalp, creating and attracting moisture. The more hydrated a lock of hair, the fuller it looks. “That said, the hair can only swell to a limited extent, which will be different for a person with thin hair compared to a person with already thick hair,” adds Dr. Reddy. “Damaged hair and hair of different textures will experience different degrees of swelling.” What all of this means is that there are no shampoos that can stop or reverse your hair loss, there are a few that can help increase fullness in fine hair. If you are in the market for something like this, here is what you should buy.
Products to consider
Every man secretly dreams of owning a flowing mane of luxuriously thick hair. However, the reality is that not all of us can. However, in order to give you the best possible luck, it is the thickening shampoos that are worth spending your money on.
Philip Kingsley Bodybuilding Shampoo
Granted, Philip Kingsley may not sound like a barber’s name and that’s because it doesn’t. In fact, the late Kingsley was a highly respected trichologist and one of the world’s foremost experts in scalp and hair care. He was also the first to introduce the hair industry to the concept of textures, making his bodybuilding shampoo a solid choice when it comes to adding to yours. Buy Now: £ 19.00
Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo
Alpecin’s claims about hair restoration may have been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority, but thousands of men still blindly swear that it has made their hair healthier, thicker, and fuller. Does it actually work, or could it just be nothing more than a placebo? Well, there’s only one surefire way to find out, and at around seven pounds a bottle you can probably afford to give it a try. Buy Now: £ 5.99
Sachajuan Thickening Shampoo
Okay, twenty big ones might seem like overkill for a bottle of shampoo. And that’s because it is. However, what Sachajuan’s thickening shampoo lacks in terms of thrifty price more than makes up for it in opulence and luxury. Stir a small amount into wet hair and its ingredients will soak into your hair and make it thicker and thicker. Buy Now: £ 20.00
Korres Men Magnesium Wheat Hair Loss Shampoo
Unfortunately, experts will tell you that Korres Anti Hair Loss Shampoo is highly unlikely to prevent your hair from falling out completely. However, it will strengthen your existing locks to make them stronger and less likely to break. At the same time, the carefully selected ingredients work to fortify the scalp and thicken individual strands. Buy Now: £ 7.20
Molton Brown Thickening Shampoo
No matter what it is, if you get it from Molton Brown you can rest assured that it is going to smell amazing. And this hair product is no exception. Containing a nose-friendly blend of ginger extract and other fragrant substances, the shampoo swells fine hair, leaving it looking thick and healthy. Buy Now: £ 18.00
Jack Black True Volume Shampoo
Disconnected from your feminine side and hate the idea that someone visiting your bathroom thinks you are using girlish shampoo? Jack Black men’s skincare brand can help. While unrelated to the School of Rock and Tenacious D star of the same name, this miracle thickening shampoo will allow you to give the man himself a run for his money in the barnet department. Buy Now: £ 13.50
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