Advice Centre > Hair loss > Hair loss shampoos: do they work, how do they work and the best shampoos available 
Hair loss shampoos: do they work, how do they work and the best shampoos available 
With so many anti-hair loss treatments available, it can be tough to make a decision. In this guide we showcase the best hair loss shampoos, how they compare to normal shampoo and the ingredients to look out for.
Zinc is an essential mineral for your body. Your body uses zinc for many different functions such as:
your immune system
taste and smell
The issue is that your body doesn’t store zinc, and so needs to be continually refilled to keep these functions active.
You can find zinc in foods such as meat, fish, dairy and nuts. However, according to Medical News Today, about 1.1 billion people on earth are zinc-deficient.
Hair loss can be directly linked to zinc deficiency, and is one of the key indicators of severely low levels of the mineral. To combat this, hair loss shampoos use zinc as an ingredient.
How does it help?
Not only does zinc deficiency lead to hair loss, but zinc also plays a crucial role in producing DbvNA and RNA. This is needed if your hair follicle cells are to divide normally, and for your hair to remain healthy.
Biotin is a B vitamin found naturally in egg yolk, liver and yeast. In regards to hair health, biotin improves your body’s keratin infrastructure. Keratin is one of a naturally occurring family of fibrous proteins that are key to the structural make-up of hair.
“The daily administration of a proprietary nutritional supplement significantly increased hair growth after 90 and 180 days. Self-perceived improvements after 90 days were increased after 180 days of additional treatment, suggesting continued improvements may occur with ongoing treatment. No adverse events were reported.”
Basically, biotin definitely helps hair growth. Not only that, but improvements increase the longer you use the product.
Niacin is another name for nicotinic acid. It’s an organic compound and a form of vitamin B3, which is an essential human nutrient. It can improve blood circulation, which then carries more oxygen and nutrients into the hair follicles.
How does it help?
A six-month study found that niacin led to significantly fuller hair on women with female pattern baldness. The researchers stated that:
“Long-term topical application of nicotinic acid derivatives offers promise for providing benefit in female alopecia.”
However, this was only a small-scale pilot study, and so could easily be disproved further down the line. For now, it’s showing promise and warrants further investigation.
As previously mentioned, keratin is a natural protein and one of the main materials in hair, making up 90% of your hair strands. It forms a protective shield around the hair follicles to keep your hair looking thick and healthy.
How does it help?
Professional hair stylists can add extra keratin to your hair by applying special keratin treatments. These are designed to strengthen the hair, which could help slow the hair loss process, although this isn’t proven to work. Keratin shampoo is also available to buy over the counter.
Although keratin hasn’t been proven to stop hair loss, it’s a key ingredient due to the level of protection it offers. The fact that the family of keratin proteins makes up 90% of your hair shows that it’s important for general hair health.
Do hair loss shampoos work?
Unfortunately, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. Many hair loss shampoos contain the ingredients mentioned above—zinc, biotin, niacin and keratin—which scientists have tested and found to work. However, there hasn’t been a wide enough study to find a single product that 100% cures hair loss.
Part of this can also be attributed to a variety of issues that cause hair loss. A hair loss product that tackles male pattern baldness will not help people who suffer from a zinc deficiency. The wide range of causes means it’s hard for scientists to claim that a product cures all types of hair loss. Often their tests are smaller studies focusing on certain issues such as alopecia and male pattern baldness. Some of these tests are included in this guide.
To counteract this issue, you should rely on your own research. Look at reviews and before-and-after pictures. Although these are only anecdotal, they can tell you which products are more likely to work.
**Consult a medical professional before using an anti-hair loss shampoo while pregnant
Best hair loss shampoo for men: Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo
Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo is scientifically formulated to help clean and strengthen hair, making it look thicker and fuller.
Designed to tackle male pattern baldness, this product contains Viviscal’s proprietary complex called Ana:Tel™. Ana:Tel contains ingredients derived from natural sources, which are less likely to irritate the skin and scalp.
This fortifying shampoo also contains biotin, keratin and zinc, all of which help protect hair follicles.
Best hair loss shampoo for women: Bioxsine Forte Anti Hair Loss Shampoo
Regular use of Bioxsine Anti Hair Loss Shampoo and Bioxsine Serum has been clinically proven to reduce hair loss. A study found that using the product for six months led to a 93% reduction in hair loss.
Bioxsine Forte contains vitamins and minerals that deeply nourish hair and support the growth of new, stronger hair.
The shampoo is suitable for all types of hair, with a pH value that is gentle on sensitive scalps, with no colouring agents or allergens.
Best hair loss shampoo for dry scalp, dandruff and hair loss: Bioxsine Anti Hair Loss Shampoo Normal/Dry
This product can help if you suffer from dandruff and find your remaining hair/scalp has become dry. It moisturises, volumises and brightens hair, making it thicker and easier to comb. It also helps prevent dandruff.
With regular use, Bioxsine can limit hair loss and encourage the growth of new, stronger hair. The low pH level means it’s soft on sensitive scalps, and the product contains no allergens or colouring agents.
Best hair loss shampoo during/after pregnancy: Viviscal Growth Densifying Shampoo
79% of reviewers rated this product at 4 or 5 stars*
Viviscal Growth Densifying Shampoo helps extend the phase during which your hair grows and reduces hair loss. Not only that, but it can help alleviate scalp problems that may occur during/after pregnancy.
There are a number of reasons you may experience an itchy scalp while pregnant, including hormone imbalances and stress. Viviscal shampoo can clean and hydrate the scalp and feed it key nutrients like biotin, keratin and zinc. These nutrients help rejuvenate your hair and strengthen the hair follicles. Though Viviscal themselves consider the shampoo safe for use, always consult your doctor before changing your daily cleaning habits.
Cleansing and nurturing
“Thin hair that is lank and lifeless has been my lot in life. Viviscal shampoo cleanses my hair of excess oil without making it feel dry and brittle. It feels soft and I barely need to use the conditioner! I am super happy with the shampoo.
The packaging is easy to read, and to open. There is not an overwhelming smell attached to it, it smells really good and clean! I only have to wash my hair three times a week now, and I was washing it every day.
Hair loss shampoo and normal shampoo are similar in a lot of respects:
Both clean grease from hair
Both are designed for daily use
Most have a fragrance, keeping your hair smelling fresh
The main difference is: Anti-hair loss treatment shampoo contains nutrients and vitamins designed to help strengthen hair and reduce hair loss. Because of this, anti-hair loss shampoos are often slightly more expensive.
Can I use hair loss shampoo instead of my normal shampoo?
Yes. In fact, this is almost universally recommended. With daily use, the vitamins and minerals can have a continual effect on your hair, and most shampoos that give a timeframe for when you’ll notice a difference rely on you using the product this often.
However, always read the label to check that the hair loss shampoo is designed for daily use. This doesn’t apply for items such as hair loss sprays and foams, which may be designed for less frequent use.
Can I use normal shampoo and hair loss shampoo together?
Yes, although this can slow down results. You won’t experience any negative reactions from alternating between different kinds of shampoo, but it can slow down the process. This means you may not get the results you’re looking for.
If stated on the label, try to use anti-hair loss shampoo every day until you start seeing results.
Can I dye my hair while using hair loss shampoo?
If your hair is thinning, it’s recommended you don’t dye your hair.
Most hair dyes contain a high level of peroxide and ammonia. These can damage your hair, which can encourage hair loss. While the two products together won’t cause a negative reaction, dyeing your hair could undo the work of the hair loss shampoo.
Can dry shampoo cause hair loss?
Dry shampoo and hair loss has been a controversial topic since The Atlantic published its piece ‘The Unfortunate Reality of Dry Shampoo’. However, the answer is not as simple as yes or no. According to Cathryn Rose, a specialist trichologist from The Crown Clinic in Sydney, using dry shampoo excessively without properly cleaning the hair may be linked to hair loss:
"If dry shampoos are used constantly, follicles will get a build-up of all the daily grime plus the chemicals in the dry shampoo product... Over time, this can build up in the follicles and scalp potentially causing weakening of the follicles and hair loss"
However, this is apparently the worst-case scenario. Using dry shampoo on occasion won’t cause hair loss—you simply need to be clean your hair regularly to stop any grime and chemicals building up.
Can I get prescription hair loss shampoo?
No. Prescription hair loss products come strictly as supplements. They are designed solely for people whose hair loss affects their mental health and lifestyle. Unfortunately, male pattern baldness later in life is considered normal, with 50% of males being affected by the age of 50.