Can You Wash Bald Spots Away?
Unfortunately, there’s no real ‘miracle shampoo’ for hair loss. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of these so-called cures, each claiming to be the best shampoo for alopecia.
Some of them work for a while. Others don’t work at all. But none of them can guarantee, 100%, that they’ll solve shedding. Still, some shampoos have worked for my own alopecia, and other ones are wonderful for women and men with thinning hair in general.
Read on to discover some of my favorite alopecia shampoos, how to use them, and some buying tips to bear in mind.
Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer
Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
Good question. If a shampoo can’t miraculously reverse shedding, why bother?
Well, sometimes it’s a case of prevention trumping the need for a cure. That’s why so many of these products are for people with thinning hair, focusing on retention and the condition of the scalp rather than regrowth.
The thing is, according to Sally Ann-Tarver, Consultant Trichologist at The Cotswold Trichology Centre, hair loss shampoos cannot promote growth, no matter what they contain. The contact time during your lather, rinse and repeat is simply too short for active ingredients to have any real benefit on the follicle. Dammit anyway, says you.
But luckily, there is good news: shampoos for alopecia areata, and all forms of the condition, can work in other wondrous ways. Phew!
Because these products are designed to bring follicles out of the dormant phase – known as the ‘telogen phase’ – and into the ‘anagen phase’, which basically makes them stop being so lazy and start growing. Kind of like when we leave a dreary, rainy climate behind us to flourish in some summer sun.
And alopecia shampoos create a better environment for hair restoration, allowing your tresses to thrive. Yay!
Topical treatments also:
Finally, unlike the harsh chemicals used in most cleansers, these babies won’t damage your mop; rather they’ll nurture it, giving it the care and respect it deserves.
So even if you mightn’t see miraculous results right away, the benefits of using a cleanser for alopecia are definitely there.
Full disclosure: I’ve only used three of the products in the following list. I had some success with two of them – keep reading to find out which! The other shampoos get great reviews and contain many of the key ingredients for growth. Maybe it’s time for me to try them out, too!
And now, without further ado…
I added Revita shampoo to my list back in October 2020, when I started using this offering from DS Laboratories – and was instantly impressed. Also, while I still rate Nioxin highly, not everyone agrees with me. In fact, many people experience bad side effects like itching and irritation with Nioxin…normally this calms down after a few weeks but if you want to skip those reactions entirely? Try Revita.
Revita Shampoo is free from sulfates and parabens and contains natural, proven hair-stimulating ingredients like ketoconazole, biotin and caffeine to boost chances of hair growth. (Psst…for more sulfate free shampoos, see here!)
It smells amazing and even after one use, I noticed how soft, shiny and thick it left my hair. Plus, I didn’t get any itchiness or redness on my scalp. Bonus.
After using Revita for a couple of weeks, I noticed white fuzz returning to my bald patches and when on Zoom calls to my family back in Ireland, they all commented how much my hair had grown! Read my full review here.
The reviews I’ve found on Amazon seem quite mixed – some Revita reviews say it leaves their hair thicker and fuller; it even improves the texture and volume of those with beards! Others say it’s a scam, that the formula has changed and it no longer contains ketoconazole (although the bottle I got from the manufacturer does).
I think the stats speak for themselves. Like in one study of 500 men and women with moderate hair loss (aged 18–55), where 90% of Revita shampoo users saw a decrease in hair loss, 70% noted a reduction in the rate of hair loss and 85% reported an improvement in the overall appearance of their hair. Not bad numbers, in my book!
The Lady recommends...
This also worked for me in the past – and that’s why it’s so high on my list. Nioxin noticeably thickens your tresses after just one use, so it’s great for people with thinning hair as well as those with alopecia areata. They have different systems depending on your hair type and extent of thinning, too.
It also strips both the hair and scalp of that pore-clogging sebum I mentioned earlier, plus any other environmental residue you may have picked up throughout your day.
On the flipside, Nioxin smells exactly like you’d imagine any hair loss product would: quite strong. The stuff is full of chemicals. Meaning your strands will smell of sulphates rather than lovely things like coconut or jojoba oil.
And you may experience some redness and tingling, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp. But hey, if it works…
The various cleansers in the Nioxin range get 4.5 stars or more on Amazon, and customers seem pretty happy with it as a regrowth solution. However, some express concerns that it’s a very different product since Proctor & Gamble took over the brand in 2008, especially since the new Nioxin doesn’t contain DHT removers.
All I can say is that I started using it in 2014, and again in 2017, and it encouraged hair growth – albeit quite slowly – both times. But that’s not to say that the other products on this list aren’t more effective… I just haven’t tried them! (Yet.)
The Lady recommends...
This shampoo was apparently created by a team of dermatologists. That’s one plus point. Another is that it is a pretty effective DHT blocker. And since DHT is basically known as the testosterone that causes hair loss, anything that stops it in its tracks has gotta be a good thing.
Plus, the Shapiro MD shampoo contains 3 superstar ingredients:
In general, feedback seems pretty positive. In fact, the only side effect that the reviews mention is thicker and fuller tresses! People do complain that the product is quite expensive, especially considering you need to buy the conditioner along with the shampoo. But it still seems like a pretty good bet if you suffer from thinning hair.
The Lady recommends...
I love using Pura D’Or between other treatments as it’s a more natural cleanser for alopecia. It contains both argan oil (which moisturises dry locks and stimulates growth at the root) plus biotin, which nourishes and strengthens each strand. Bonus: if you get it all over your hands, it might just help out with brittle fingernails, too!
The natural ingredients like aloe vera, rosemary and tea tree oil work to detoxify the scalp and encourage a healthy mane. Like when you vow to turn over a new leaf after a particularly heavy weekend. Think of it as a salad, for your head.
Some feel it’s a marketing gimmick (but aren’t all hair regrowth shampoos?!) And the majority are really happy with the results. They say it leaves locks soft and shiny. They mention that it smells great (although weirdly, my husband thought it smelled like baked beans!), that it reduces the speed of hair fall and that it doesn’t irritate or dry out the scalp (unlike some other topical treatments).
Plus, it’s great value! A gold star for this golden god. (Psst…Read my full review for more on Pura D’Or.)
The Lady recommends...
Green-conscious people, you’re onto a winner! This certified organic shampoo is made with 75% certified organic ingredients and 25% naturally derived ingredients. Plus it’s free from harmful chemicals like parabens and sulfates.
Instead, it makes use of Mother Nature’s gifts – with ingredients like ginger, palmarosa and cedarwood to foster a healthy head.
Oh, and the product description on Amazon says that it ‘balances and supports the 2nd chakra’, too. If that’s what you look for in a shampoo.
“It’s far out, man.” Well, that’s the gist of it anyway. People love the fact that it’s organic, that it comes in recyclable BPA-free plastic bottles and that it isn’t tested on animals. (Because frankly, who wouldn’t?!)
And even though it might smell a bit earthy for some people’s taste, this one definitely gets the ethical vote in customer reviews.
In terms of whether or not it stops hair fall, one customer had to give the name of the product to her hairdresser, who ran out and bought it for her own thinning tresses. That says it all to me!
The Lady recommends...
6. Ultrax Labs Hair Surge (glowing reviews)
This bad boy pops up again and again in hair forums. And with good reason. Caffeine is one of its key ingredients, which acts as a DHT blocker and stimulates the follicles. It also contains 0.2% ketoconazole, which fights against the fungus that can lead to baldness. Gross.
Saw palmetto fights dandruff to keep the scalp healthy, while cocamidopropyl betaine (an ingredient found in coconut oil) is used to strengthen the follicles at the root.
Sounds great, right? But could this shampoo be too good to be true?
What customers say
It’s more a case of what they show. Because lots of the reviews for Hair Surge include before and after pictures… and the results speak for themselves. People are shocked. And amazed. And very, very happy with their hair growth.
But there’s a dark side to Hair Surge. Hair loss forums claim that all of these glowing reviews are fake, and that using the product actually causes more hair to fall out. Other customers (who appear genuine) say that perhaps for the first few uses, the change in pH might cause initial shedding but that after continued use, it does result in regrowth.
So I’m on the fence about this one. It is pretty expensive and if it does result in more thinning, well, the risk is more than monetary. I’d be inclined to try the other ones on this list first and then maybe give it a go down the road. Watch this space…
The Lady recommends...
It’s one of the main factors to consider before buying an alopecia shampoo, so do what all those ads tell you to do… ‘Always read the label!’
The top ingredients you should look out for are:
Let’s start with the things you should avoid. You don’t want silicones, conditioning agents or pearlising agents (which are found in many sulphate-free shampoos on the market). These things can clog the follicles and interfere with new growth. Instead, you want a shampoo that gently cleans each strand without leaving any residue.
There are some ingredients that you do want to see on the label. But more on those in a sec.
Some products, like Nioxin Cleanser or Ultrax Labs Hair Surge, can result in redness or irritation of the scalp. A little tingling is ok but if the irritation persists, you might want to cut down to 2 or 3 applications a week.
So alopecians or hairlossers with sensitive scalps might prefer a more gentle option, like Pura D’Or or Laritelle, that they can use daily.
I used to be a sucker for reviews. Whether it was finding a restaurant, booking a hotel or searching for my latest hair cure, I tended to believe everything I read. Now I take it all with a hefty side of salt.
I know that many of these reviews are fake and that even if the product is genuinely amazing for one person, it might not be for me. Still, reviews from forums like this one are always worth checking out. In those threads, people tell it like it is.
Or check out the comments that people have kindly left under this post! 😉
This isn’t that high on my list of priorities. After all, if the product helps my alopecia, I don’t mind my head smelling a bit weird!
Still, it would be nice to smell like natural ingredients as opposed to chemicals. And the natural approach probably leaves your mop feeling nicer to the touch, too.
Personally, the price of the product doesn’t make a huge difference to me. I never have to worry about hairdresser fees or styling products, so I can splash out on a shampoo now and then!
But if you’re spending a small fortune on products and haven’t seen any difference after say, 2 or 3 months… well, it might be time for a change.
It’s one of the main factors to consider before buying an alopecia shampoo, so do what all those ads tell us to do… “Always read the label!”
The top ingredients you should look out for are:
Normally a prescription shampoo, but also found in small doses in over-the-counter options (like Hair Surge and DS Labs products like Revita), ketoconazole is an anti-androgenetic formula. This means that it blocks testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (or DHT, as you’ll know by now), both of which are associated with alopecia.
It’s used orally to treat fungal infections, but the topical stuff can also be effective if you suffer from androgenetic alopecia. It’s also in a popular anti-dandruff shampoo called Nizoral; which, FYI, is meant to be pretty good for reducing shedding by improving the quality of the scalp.
But as with all alopecia-related products, there are mixed reviews as to its effectiveness.
Hang on. Caffeine is an immunosuppressant, right? So how is it meant to help with hair growth?
Well, aside from giving us a good ol’ jolt of energy when we need it, research shows that caffeine is also an effective DHT blocker. Meaning that it counteracts testosterone’s suppression of hair follicle production.
Instead, it nourishes the follicle, which promotes growth of the shaft (yes, I went there!), plus it lengthens that anagen ‘holiday’ phase that I mentioned earlier. And don’t we all love long holidays?!
Unfortunately, enjoying more cups of coffee a day isn’t going to make your locks grow – you’d need to drink 40 or 50 for that to work, which obviously wouldn’t be ideal for your health. But applied topically, you only need a little; and your follicles won’t build up a resistance to it either (like they might do with other drugs).
For many people, shedding strands can be a result of a deficiency in minerals or vitamins – such as zinc or biotin (also known as Vitamin B7). Biotin is important for a number of reasons, like producing fatty acids and glucose, but it also strengthens hair and nails.
I actually used biotin tablets years ago and although they didn’t seem to noticeably improve my hair, they did work wonders on my brittle nails! If I saw it in a shampoo now, I’d still think that was a good sign. Or these Folexin supplements offer biotin and saw palmetto, the next hair growth ingredient on my list. (Psst…read my full Folexin review here!)
This berry-laden plant has been used as a medicine and a sex drive enhancer for centuries, among a range of other applications. Nowadays, thanks to its reported ability to stabilise testosterone levels, it is also used to treat hair loss.
In fact, one study showed that nearly half of the men who were treated with saw palmetto saw an increase in hair count of 11.9%. Which is why lots of the top alopecia shampoos, like Shapiro MD and Ultrax Labs Hair Surge, include this natural ingredient. Smart move!
This green gift just keeps on giving. It looks pretty, it tastes great, and it’s got a heap of health benefits – whether it’s for aiding digestion, soothing sunburn or giving you fabulous skin and hair!
Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes, which repair dead skin cells on the scalp. It also keeps your locks in better condition to prevent breakages and promote growth. Plus, it increases blood circulation, allowing nutrients to flock to the places that need them.
The plant brings lots of benefits for your hair. You can use the gel straight from the leaves, rubbing it into the scalp and leaving for 15 minutes before rinsing with a mild shampoo. Or look out for the gel as an active ingredient in hair loss shampoos. (Psst… check out my thoughts on the green stuff here!)
You can buy medicated shampoos and prescription formulas for alopecia, which contain stronger doses of ingredients like minoxidil and ketoconazole.
Psst… Minoxidil is also known as Rogaine, and although it has been shown to regrow hair in many cases, there are side effects of which people should be aware. Personally, I stopped using it because I felt it was giving me headaches, thinning the skin on my scalp, and anyway, my patches were too extensive to use the small recommended dose.
So even though you can often buy these things over the counter, I’d advise consulting a professional first.
These options normally contain amino acids and antioxidants to help rebuild hair while reducing damage and inflammation. Because basically, a healthy scalp and healthy hair are the building blocks for a full mane.
Try formulas that include antioxidants like green tea, ginseng, Vitamin E and amino acids, plus B vitamins to reduce environmental damage. Steer clear of parabens, sulfates and fragrances, which can irritate the hair and dry it out.
Now, I didn’t realise before researching this piece that Nioxin actually does contain sulfates. More fool me. But some research indicates that sulfates don’t deserve their bad rep!
Sometimes you just want a shampoo that’s gentle on your scalp. Maybe you’re too overwhelmed by all the choices to pick a specific shampoo for alopecia, or maybe you’re travelling and can’t access the above products that easily.
In such cases, I turn to JĀSÖN for its range of sulfate-free, biotin and vitamin-enriched shampoos and conditioners. (All of which smell AMAZING; but the set with Biotin is my favourite.)
Yes, most of them are for daily use. The only ones that might be better with a day’s rest in between are Hair Surge and possibly Nioxin, for those with a sensitive scalp.
I do have quite thin skin on my scalp though, from too many corticosteroid injections, and I’ve never had a problem with using Nioxin daily.
Revita shampoo should be used 5 times per week, so give it a rest after 2 days of use.
In most cases, yes. In fact, this can actually help you to get the most out of the different ingredients. I’d recommend using a more gentle shampoo like Laritelle or Pura D’Or most days, alternating with more chemical-heavy ones like Nioxin, Shapiro MD or Hair Surge on the other days.
That way you’d get your caffeine and ketoconazole DHT-blocking fix, plus all the benefits of the natural stuff to keep your hair nourished.
This differs from person to person, depending on where they are in the hair growth cycle. I started noticing softer, fuller-looking hair pretty much immediately with Nioxin. For a reduction in hair fall, you’re looking at at least a month. But for actual regrowth, it could be anything from 3 to 6 months.
I’d recommend trying a product for a minimum of 3 months before choosing whether or not to stick to it.
Now you’ll know to bear in mind factors like ingredients, use and reviews – plus you’ll know exactly what ingredients to look out for (and what to avoid). Finally, you’ll know where to get your shampoo – via prescription or in-store – and you have a few gentle options for when it’s time to go back to a ‘normal’ shampoo.
Phew! We’ve covered quite a lot. So congratulations on making it to the end!
It may take weeks, or months, or even years to improve. And this improvement might not be the result of a shampoo at all; it could be changes to your diet, your environment or your hormones. (Psst…you can help balance these things with a daily supplement for hair growth, too!)
But I wanted this article to shed a little light on just some of the hundreds of hair loss products out there, and to present the ones I have tried, or would like to try, myself. Don’t forget, I review even more shampoos for hair loss and thinning in this post – so you’ll have PLENTY to choose from!
I hope you find the information helpful and if you do choose to start any of the above treatments, please let me know how you get on!
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Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!
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Hi, happy i stumbled upon your site, very interesting, i am a 60 year old woman, living in the Netherlands, since 2 months AA…
I ve been advised to use topicorte emulsion, apply very little in the bold spots three times a week, i dont feel happy about if, since it is a corticortisone…
I read about treatment with excimer lamp/laser: light therapy, effective because of ultraviolet B? What is your opinion on that?
And, it’s often offered in combination with, so called, ‘meso therapy’, improving ingredients are injected into skin on bald spots. Quite pricy though (8 sessions for €1400) so would be nice to know whether its effective….
I would appreciate it very much to hear from you.
My AA is (at the moment) still only on the top of my head, but the rest of my hair is strongly thinning very fast, it makes me insecure, dont know what i need to do first, and should i go for a hair piece already/early on?
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for your question. I’m really sorry to hear about your recent alopecia areata, too – I know from experience how daunting it is to watch those bald patches grow and to be torn between desperation for a cure, and concern about the negative side effects of those treatments.
Honestly, I personally don’t advocate for these steroid treatments. I tried plenty of them when I was young and they gave me headaches, made me dizzy and I’m worried they had more serious long-term effects (like thinning my scalp skin, gut microbiome impact when I took the steroid shots etc). I know dermatologists often prescribe them as they can be a ‘quick fix’ in the short-term. But my concern is those long-term effects, which I don’t think are taken into account by medical professionals. In my experience, they’re keen to treat the symptom and not the root cause…which is why I think it’s first beneficial to look at things like nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Unfortunately, I haven’t done enough research into light therapy to give you an answer on that, I’m sorry. But I intend to cover laser caps and this kind of therapy soon so stay tuned. It is a very expensive option though, as you mentioned, so my advice would be to look at things you can control and afford first, like nutrition, and reducing inflammation. This might involve getting hormone or allergen tests done, or doing what I did and seeing a Functional Medicine doctor who did full microbiome tests and gave me a tailored plan. It’s likely your AA is to do with hormonal shifts (although I’m not a doctor, this is just a theory) so there are probably more cost-effective ways to treat it first (and natural options, like these ones!) before seeking the light therapy.
It’s totally up to you about the hair piece. I wore them in the past and for me, it actually made me more insecure as I was worrying the whole time it would blow off! But I know many alopecians who love them and rock them. For times when I’m insecure, I turn to my collection of headscarves (which I sell here, if you’re interested) but only you can say what feels right for you.
Anyway Laura, I’m here for you. I hope you’re doing ok and please do get in touch if you need further support.
All the very best, and take good care!
Dear Emma, I have AA and I’m trying to find out a suitable shampoo for my hair. I’m using Grafen Root Booster Shampoo that is also contains no paraban and no silicon. Can u see if this shampoo is suitable for me?
Thanks so much for your question! Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of that particular shampoo – but from its ingredients list, it looks like it contains sodium lauryl sulfate (not great for hair). However, Nioxin’s new formula also contains sulfates and people still rave about it for hair growth! If you want a more natural approach, Revita is great (which I mention in this article).
I guess the only way it to try it yourself – and remember, give hair loss treatments 3 months of continuous use for best results. But remember, there are no miracle cures here…only ways to maintain a healthier scalp and hopefully, to support hair growth when it’s ready. 🙂 I’d also recommend checking out my posts on nutrition tips for alopecia, natural remedies to try and these supplements to encourage growth.
I hope that helps, and take care!
Emma / Lady Alopecia x
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic fatty acid made from coconuts, so products that are considered “natural” can contain this chemical. Still, some products with this ingredient may cause unpleasant side effects.
Thanks so much for sharing this info! And it’s true, some people with high sensitivities or allergies may have a reaction to some botanical ingredients in whatever product they’re using. It’s quite rare though and if anyone is unsure, I’d recommend doing a patch test first. 🙂
I have read many of your articles. Thank you for all the information. I’m trying to figure out a shampoo to use in between the Revita. Have you any thoughts on Biolage? I’m hoping this can help before trying hair replacement pieces.
Hi Lacie, thanks for your feedback and welcome to the site! I haven’t actually heard of Biolage before but looking at its ingredients, it has some things in there to support hair growth (like zinc and biotin). It isn’t sulfate-free though, just FYI. So it’s not as natural as Revita. If you’re looking for an inbetween shampoo that IS sulfate-free, check out my post on Shapiro MD (but please read the disclaimer and avoid buying through the manufacturer!) I also really like Nioxin (which does contain sulfates, but has helped my hair grow in the past) and for another natural approach, Vegamour is brilliant. See my review on that here. Hope that helps you out!! 🙂
Hello! Thank you so much for this information!! My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with AA about a month ago and it’s been hard. You are really inspiring and I appreciate what you do! I will be using you as a resource as we go through this journey. I have a question…I am trying to decide on a shampoo/conditioner to try for her and leaning towards the revita. Do you know if these shampoos are ok to use on young kids? Thank you!!!!!
Hi Sara, thanks for the lovely feedback and I’m so glad you’re finding it useful! I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s AA also, it’s especially tough to go through it at such a young age. I’m actually almost finished writing a Quick Guide for Parents of Young Kids with Alopecia…if you’d like to find out when it’s launched, feel free to join my newsletter! Regarding your question, I personally use Revita at the moment and love it! I asked the manufacturers if it was safe during pregancy and they assured me that it was…plus, their website says that it’s suitable for all ages (although maybe for children under 14, you can check with their paediatrician about their ingredients, just to be sure. 🙂 You could also try Pura D’Or…I love that brand too and they do a baby wash that would be good as a shampoo for young children (though perhaps not quite as effective as Revita in terms of growth). I hope that helps, and take care!
Emma / Lady Alopecia
Hi. My best friend has Alopecia Areata almost 2 years. She tries any shampoo and conditioner but nothing change. What shampoo does she may use for her hair. Thank you
Hi Viola, thanks for your message and I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s AA. I know how frustrating it is to experience, and to keep trying supposed ‘miracle cures’ only to have nothing work! Unfortunately, a ‘quick fix’ doesn’t really exist. ALopecia is a complex thing, which can have lots of different causes, so there may not be one answer for everyone. Your friend’s AA could be down to a hormonal imbalance, stress, or gut microbiome issues, for instance. So I’d advise her to take a holistic approach to her hair loss, looking at her entire lifestyle and making sure she’s eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep etc first. Then she can support growth with products, without pinning all her hopes on it, if that makes sense? From this list, my top recommendations are Revita (very natural, it’s what I use!) or Nioxin shampoo (it’s what worked for me in the past, although it does contain more chemicals…full review here).
She could also try supporting hair growth with a daily supplement like Folexin – my full review on that is here. Above all, it’s important to reduce stress and inflammation (so perhaps taking up gentle yoga or meditation) or seeing a nutritionist to see if she has any food allergies that could be triggering an autoimmune response.
I hope that helps, Viola! Wishing your friend all the very best. 🙂
Thank you for providing such a well informed interesting read! I’ve been battling with hair loss for the past couple years — no diagnosis (I don’t have health insurance), but I think it may be partly due to stress and start of menopause. I’ve tried various shampoos, not much success. But recently just added vitamin supplements and biotin and I’ve just ordered Revita Shampoo and Conditioner. I’m trying to be optimistic that this combination of things will have some effect! Thanks for being such an inspiration.
Thanks so much for your kind feedback, Hayley! Much appreciated, that’s why I’m here! I’m so sorry to hear about your hair loss and yes unfortunately, stress is a very common factor, as are changing hormones. I hope you see some success with your supplements and enjoy the Revita too – I love it! Also check out my nutrition post for further tips on lowering inflammation (if you haven’t seen it already). I send monthly updates via my free newsletter if you’re interested in that, too.
Wishing you all the very best!
Emma/Lady Alopecia x
I have alopecia totalis. However, I have a little bit of fuzz on my head as well as some baby hairs coming in at the front of my hairline. What would be the best option for a person like me?
Hi Laila, thank you for your question! And it is great to hear that you’re starting to see some regrowth. I would recommend trying either Nioxin or Revita to encourage growth. Both have worked for me in the past…but I know that in the case of Nioxin, it’s only as effective for as long as you use it. So if you’re happy to keep using Nioxin, try that! If you’d prefer something to just test out, maybe Revita is a better call (and it has more natural ingredients). Your decision also might be affected if you have a sensitive scalp or any allergies (as some people get more redness/irritation from Nioxin’s botanical ingredients). I would also highly recommend checking out my best oils post to give yourself a nightly scalp massage. I love to use a mix of castor oil and peppermint essential oil to encourage that white fuzz along! 🙂
Hope that helps xo
Thanks for the info! I was diagnosed with AA about 10 months ago and I have been using Nioxin, level 1 ever since. It seemed to thicken my hair well but I do think it’s slightly drying. I’d like to try something new, any suggestions? I live in a very dry climate so this is a daily struggle for me. I love how full Nixon has made my hair feel, so I’m kind of scared to switch.
Hi Kate, thanks for your question. I’m glad to hear Nioxin is helping to thicken your hair but yes, dry hair can occur also. Usually, it’s just in the first 2-3 weeks but if you’re still experiencing it, I can offer up a few suggestions. 1: Use it less frequently, say 3 times a week instead of daily. 2: Use a homemade replenishing hair mask with some mositurising oils twice a week (ideas for those in this post. 3: Add some coconut oil (2-3 tablespoons) to the conditioner, or use rub some coconut oil on the tips after your shower. 4. Alternate it with a fairly gentle set from this list, for instance, JASON or Pura D’Or. Personally, I like giving myself a scalp massage with coconut oil and peppermint essential oil every other night (sometimes I use castor instead of coconut). It feels really greasy going on but your hair will feel lovely and soft after, much more moisturised! So I don’t think you need to stop using Nioxin, just perhaps alternate it with more moisturising products. I’d love to hear how you get on, keep in touch!! 🙂
Glad I stumbled across this site; I’m a newly diagnosed AA patient. I have several patches, with fine hairs left, not completely bald, I also went from almost shoulder-length hair to thinning and breakage. So, back to a super-short cut for me.
I used the Pura D’Or, when I first started noticing I was having a hair problem, (didn’t know it was AA), and I had MORE hair loss/breakage after using it, so I’m afraid to use it again.
Hi Tracey, thank you for sharing your story and I’m really sorry to hear about your AA. I know how distressing it is to experience such an extent of hair loss, over a short space of time. Can I ask, how long you used Pura D’Or for? Because I know that, in the case of Nioxin, you’re actually supposed to experience more shedding for the first 2 weeks while the scalp gets rid of ‘dead hair’. It could be the same with Pura D’Or and that, after a couple of weeks, you’ll notice that stronger, thicker hair has replaced the thinning or brittle ones. I know that is a risk to take though, when you are already worried about expanding patches, so that is totally up to you! I know that when I persevered it did improved the texture of my remaining hair but that’s just my experience. 🙂
Hi have to say this was extremely helpful to read. I have alopecia areata and have lost about 75% of my hair! So I am always looking for new affective products to stimulate and help the hair growth.
I wanted to order the Shapiro md shampoo but can’t seem to get it in the uk, can u suggest something as good that I can get more easily. I am already using the pura d’or, so wondering if I should stick with it or try something else. I can see some growth coming through but it’s hard to know what is helping it exactly and it’s v slow!!
Hi Dalia, thanks so much for your comment/question. I’m glad you found the post useful! And it’s great that you’re finding some success with Pura D’Or, they’re a brilliant brand! May I ask how long you’ve been using it for? As results do tend to be slow, and it’s usually worth sticking to the same brand for at least a month. For instance, my favourite hair loss shampoo is the first one on this list – Nioxin – and the manufacturer recommends using it for a minimum of 6 months (although I think 3 is enough). I really like Nioxin but if you’re seeing regrowth the Pura D’Or, that’s great. You could also try their castor oil, and/or their argan oil (more on that here) and leave the oil in overnight to really penetrate the hair follicle. Would love to hear how you get on! 🙂
Hey, really like your site. I used Nioxin previously to try and thicken up thinning hair with no results and really dried my curls up. Now I have full on bald patches maybe I’ll try again
Hi Wendy, thanks for your comment – and so glad you like the site! How long did you use Nioxin for previously, can I ask? Because for the first week or two, it can dry out some people’s hair (and they might actually shed more hair during this time)…but in these cases, sticking with it for longer will usually show a pretty big improvement in texture and volume! Just to note, I used a few different Nioxin products, not just the shampoo. I especially loved the hair booster for both thickening and moisturising my hair. Here’s my full review on those extras if you want to check it out! Finally, make sure you choose the right system for your hair type, as they’ve recently done a reshuffle of the different numbers. That review has links to more information about each system. I hope it works for you this time! 🙂
I used Maple Holistics and it helped out a lot
Thanks, Steve! I hadn’t heard of them before but just had a look at their website. Their products look great, really natural too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Can I ask which product you use?
I used the argan shampoo and I found it helped strengthen my hair
That’s brilliant! Argan oil is amazing, and the Art Naturals one is a great choice, too. Thanks for the tip, I’ll check out Maple Holistic’s too and maybe do a comparison soon! 🙂
You made a good site and giving us such a good information on this topic it’s a very interesting one. Thanks for sharing the best posts they amazing. Thank you all.
Thank you Sophie, I’m glad that you found it useful. Hopefully my fellow alopecians will, too!
amazing post, thanks for sharing this article. I am truly motivated by you for blogging.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thank you for this well-researched article! I’m struggling to find resources for my teenage daughter, who suddenly developed alopecia areata about six months ago. The medical treatments seem to be making it worse instead of better.
Thanks for getting in touch. And I’m sorry to hear about your daughter – it’s not an easy condition to handle at any time but speaking from experience, I know it’s especially tough as a teenager! I also don’t have much faith in those medical treatments, like the corticosteroid injections that wreck your immune system. I’m much more in favour of the natural approach when possible. Have a look at this post on nutritional tips or this one with some aloe vera products she could try. I hope they are of some help!