Soap and suds: Are hair loss shampoos worth it?
When I first started losing my hair, I didn’t have many female figures in my life to turn to who had experienced something similar. One weekend, I was staying over at my cousin’s house, and after tearfully recounting how I was losing my hair and didn’t know what to do about it, my cousin recommended a shampoo that she said would work wonders. She sent me home with some to try.
My first impression? What a yucky product to use! The scent? Foul. The texture? A bit like old soup. The colour? Like iodine.
Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try as I was really desperate for my long, healthy tresses to return.
The result was an increasingly irritated scalp and colour stripped from my hair. What was left of my hair looked and felt like straw, and I was left wondering just how harsh the ingredients in the shampoo might be.
We’re not saying that hair loss shampoos don’t work, and we’re not saying you shouldn’t try them yourself. I just thought I’d share my first experience with “the best shampoo for thinning hair,” as recommended by my well-intended cousin. Keep reading to find out if hair loss shampoos are really worth it.
It depends on what’s potting up there
The efficacy of hair loss shampoos comes down to why you’re experiencing hair loss. If your hair loss is being caused by seborrheic dermatitis – aka dandruff – psoriasis, or eczema, then a hair loss shampoo may be effective in reversing hair loss and stimulating growth.
However, if other conditions or issues are causing your hair loss, hair loss shampoo isn’t likely to help in terms of stopping hair loss or growing new hair.
How shampoo works
If you think about it, shampoo has a very short moment of contact with your scalp and hair follicles. You don’t sit with shampoo in your hair for hours. In fact, you probably shampoo and rinse your hair within about five minutes. This doesn’t give any miracle-working shampoo much time to affect your scalp and hair follicles.
When it comes to dandruff and other scalp conditions, specially formulated shampoos are designed to treat the scalp very quickly with either an anti-fungal component or a topical steroid.
In other words, one of the reasons most shampoos that claim to prevent hair loss don’t work is because they don’t spend much time on your hair to affect growth.
What to look out for in a good shampoo
If you’re experiencing hair loss and you’re looking for a good shampoo, try finding something that exfoliates the scalp to improve circulation. Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for circulation too.
Stimulating your scalp with a good shampoo and a bit of a scrub or massage in the shower encourages blood flow to your hair follicles, which may stimulate hair growth.
Other ingredients to look out for if you want thicker-looking hair are pumpkin seed extract, yucca root, rosemary essential oil, and biotin, as well as ketoconazole and niacinamide.
Ketoconazole is a fantastic ingredient in blocking a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which causes hair loss. DHT destroys our hair follicles, resulting in our hair falling out and not growing new hair. Studies have shown that ketoconazole increases the diameter of our hair shaft and the amount of new hair grown.
Shampoos to avoid
Did you know that some shampoos can actually fuel or aggravate hair loss? The chemicals in many shampoos are quite harsh and harmful and can even damage your hair and scalp. As much as possible, avoid these ingredients in a shampoo:
- Sulphur and parabens strip the oils from your scalp, resulting in dry hair and breakage.
- Thickening shampoos can clog your pores and restrict oxygen in the scalp, leading to inflammation and hair loss.
What worked for me when it came to reversing my hair loss and growing new, stronger, and healthier hair was using natural remedies. I have yet to find a shampoo that has actually helped to grow my hair. However, if all-natural is not your cup of tea, be sure to check the ingredients of any shampoo before you buy it.
Our Super Roots Hair Growth Elixir is packed with powerful all-natural ingredients formulated to improve circulation and give your scalp and roots the TLC they need to grow happy, healthy hair. Visit our website to shop our hair loss range.
Haircare for the soul, charged with positivity.