When Science Meets Nature: Shapiro MD Shampoo

shapiro md products

Is Shapiro MD shampoo just a scam?

Yep, I’m getting right to the point. Because when it comes to hair loss, you don’t want a fluffy answer – you want a direct one! Plenty of Shapiro MD reviews gush about how it magically regrows hair. Which I don’t think any shampoo can do. Because 6.8 million people (in the US alone) are still affected by alopecia areata…no matter what shampoo they use!

Alopecia is triggered by different factors – including hormones, genetics, gut imbalances and stress – so it takes more than a topical treatment to deliver long-term results. (That’s why I’m not a fan of minoxidil; it addresses the symptom, not the root cause.)

Good news: with the right blend of ingredients, you CAN improve scalp health, and your hair’s health, too. So it’s less likely to become brittle and fall out. And if you already have bald patches, the right shampoo creates the best environment for regrowth.

LA Says: Shapiro shampoo does just that – it nourishes the scalp, keeps existing hair healthy and encourages hair growth. So it’s not a scam. It does exactly what it promises: “Helps you keep the hair you have and achieve thicker, fuller looking hair”. Read on to see how Shapiro MD works. Plus, its ingredients, benefits, side effects…and what makes it better than other hair loss brands.

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 an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

Shapiro MD Shampoo: A Quick Look

1-month Shapiro supply

2-month Shapiro supply

4-month Shapiro supply

Shampoo & Conditioner

Intro: What is Shapiro MD Shampoo?

This specialized hair thinning shampoo tops lots of “best hair loss treatment” lists. But I’ve never given it much attention – because I used Nioxin and that’s what worked for me. But having researched Shapiro A LOT, I see what all the fuss is about. 😉

Shapiro MD is newish to the hair care market. It’s only been around since 2011, the brainchild of two dermatologists: Dr Steven Shapiro and Dr Michael Bornenstein. 

After 5 years of studying the effects of DHT on hair follicles, Dr Shapiro and Dr Bornenstein created a “triple-action hair care formulation” and patented it for hair loss.

The result? A VERY popular shampoo and conditioner, plus other products like a foam and a serum, scientifically proven to help regrow hair. Although Shapiro focuses on thinning hair, it’s suitable for all hair types – so whether you’ve got straight, wavy or curly hair, this baby makes a great shower companion. 😉

Dr Shapiro
Dr Shapiro, captain of the Shapiro ship.

5 Benefits of Shapiro Shampoo

“What’s in it for me?” I hear you say. Great question. Because this post isn’t about how brainy some dermatologists in lab coats are, this is about if – and how – a shampoo can help your hair loss.

So first, I’ll outline 5 reasons why it’s a great product, then I’ll explain how it actually works.

  1. Shapiro MD is a natural DHT blocker (and, as we’ll see in a moment, DHT is linked to hair loss)

     

  2. It revitalizes hair follicles to promote thicker, longer and fuller hair

     

  3. Each treatment contains FDA-approved and clinically proven hair loss ingredients – that are NATURAL!

     

  4. One of these natural ingredients stimulates stem cells to trigger regrowth – even if the hair follicle is “dying” already

     

  5. Finally, the antioxidants included in Shapiro MD’s ingredients help maintain better scalp and hair health overall
scientists doing science stuff
Goggles at the ready – the science bit is next. 🙂

Science Bit: How Shapiro MD Works

Let me hit you with some science. (I’ll be quick, promise!) DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone – which is a metabolite, a fancy word that describes what the hormone testosterone breaks down into. Some DHT is needed for growth and development…but too much is not A Good Thing.

Why? Well, when DHT reaches your hair follicles, it attaches itself to your receptors (which are like sensors). The receptor then tells the follicle to protect itself, to shrink and retreat. It sends the hair a message: it tells it “go away”.

This process weakens the hair follicle more and more until it becomes so small, both it (and the hair shaft, the visible part of the strand) break off. Due to a range of factors associated with autoimmune conditions, it mightn’t be able to grow back out again.

So too much DHT can:

  • shrink your hair follicles
  • shorten their growth cycle
  • give you brittle hair that falls out
  • make it hard for your follicles to grow new hairs

Yikes! DHT can be a fast-track to male-pattern baldness, or other forms of hair loss.

So that’s the science bit! How can Shapiro help, you ask? Because it works as a DHT-blocking shampoo. So it can stop the above process (that of the DHT attaching itself to the receptor) by prohibiting DHT in the first place.

Psst...Yoga & Meditation can help hair loss, too!

What Makes It So Special?!

Actually, lots of shampoos block DHT (not Nioxin, though). What sets Shapiro apart from them is the following…

1. Natural Ingredients 

Most shampoos for thinning hair use harsh chemical compounds to inhibit DHT production, and these chemicals can have negative side effects: like itchiness or irritation, headaches or dizziness.

Shapiro MD, however, only uses 3 naturally occurring DHT blockers: caffeine, green tea and saw palmetto. This formula sends the hair a new message: “you shouldn’t go away – you should stay”.

So these natural ingredients:

  • block DHT
  • send a healthy message to the receptor
  • help repair the damage that’s already been done

     

The great thing about these active ingredients? They stimulate stem cells to produce new hair, even if the follicle has been badly damaged by the effects of too much testosterone and its bi-products (i.e. DHT). It’s a MUCH more natural approach to hair growth (unlike harsh chemicals, like minoxidil) and it’s just one of the qualities that makes Shapiro MD special.

2. Made by Experts

Shapiro’s also different to other hair thinning shampoos because it’s developed by dermatologists – not just canny marketing types, like those behind Keranique. In fact, medical experts and customers alike are really positive in their Shapiro MD reviews.

Shapiro is also sulfate-free, paraben-free and animal-friendly. Good to know.

Psst… Want to hear from a few licensed professionals instead of me? That’s ok, I won’t be offended. 😉 Here’s Dr. Nicole Hastabla, Physician Assistant at Gardens Dermatology in Florida, followed by the two guys who created Shapiro MD, to tell you more about its formula and key benefits.

Shapiro MD Ingredients

Now you know how it works, let’s delve in deeper – to those lovely natural ingredients that block DHT.

Side note: Depending on what treatment you choose, Shapiro MD can include oral finasteride or minoxidil. But because I’m not a fan of those things, I’ll focus on its natural products: Shapiro shampoo, conditioner and foam. 

Shapiro MD contains 3 natural DHT blockers in its proprietary triple-action formula:

Caffeine

Even though it mightn’t be great for the adrenals, caffeine IS effective at boosting blood flow and promoting hair growth (when applied topically). The skin absorbs it super-fast into hair follicles, while stopping pesky DHT by blocking the actions of 5-α reductase.

In fact, some studies show that low concentrations of caffeine were just as effective as topical minoxidil at the 6-month mark…without the nasty side effects. Since caffeine helps blood flow, it can also help nutrient-starved cells to replenish. Not a bad brew.

Green Tea Polyphenols (EGCG)

You may use green tea to give you an added energy boost. But when applied topically, it’s actually said to prolong the anagen phase of the hair-growth cycle. Since the anegan phase is when growth happens, that’s definitely A Good Thing.

Oh, and EGCG can also block DHT from forming in the first place, as well as inhibiting the receptor it needs to bind to in order to do its evil work. Go green! Go green tea!

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract (SPBE)

If you’re familiar with other hair loss shampoos, you’ve probably heard of saw palmetto. It’s been used for centuries in folk medicine but in more recent years has shot to fame for its anti-androgenetic effects. (FYI: androgens are male sex hormones including testosterone and DHT).

Specifically, it inhibits the 5-alpha enzyme that helps produce DHT. Saw palmetto also contains powerful antioxidants to protect the scalp and help hair follicles recover from damage. Berry nice.

saw palmetto

Does Shapiro MD Work?

What Dermatologists Say

If you didn’t have time to watch that video, I’ll get to the meat of it here… like, what are the results of using Shapiro MD? Well, Dr Nicole says that after just ONE MONTH customers notice:

  • thicker hair
  • fuller hair
  • less hair loss

Dr Michael Borenstein, co-creator of the patented formula, says its proprietary ingredients deliver real, positive results for patients: on a routine basis, over a long period of time.

And then of course, there’s Dr Steven Shapiro himself – the other force behind the shampoo who loves his name so much he put it on the label. Dr Shapiro has over 25 years of experience in dermatology, treating skin, hair and nail conditions. And while I don’t think this means he knows it all – because I’ve been to several established dermatologists and trichologists who clearly don’t – it does give him more credibility compared to other hair loss shampoo brands. (Such as Nioxin, now manufactured by P&G).

Dr Shapiro is so confident – and excited – about his product, it’s hard not to believe in its effects.

What Customer Reviews Say

Confused face
What do those with no hair think?

Board-certified dermatologists are great and all. And sure, if they recommend Shapiro as the best shampoo for thinning hair, their opinions carry weight. However, these particular Shapiro MD shampoo reviews are just a little biased – after all, they’re the ones who make the stuff!

So what do customers say? The ones actually slathering their heads with Shapiro’s patented formula? 

First of all, there’s the users in the above video. (Again, probably biased.) But I love what the older gentlemen said, about noticing “very unusual hairs that were popping out…with no pigment, they were all white.”

If you’ve read my post on alopecia regrowth signs, these vellus hairs are a classic indication of regrowth. They don’t always stick around but they do show you: at least your follicles are still healthy enough to produce new hair.

According to Shapiro dermatologists, the triple-action shampoo and conditioner results in thicker, fuller hair after just a month. Too good to be true? Perhaps. But plenty of the customer reviews on Amazon and YouTube reflect these claims, too.

LA Says: I take these reviews with a pinch of salt. Reviews can be faked and people can be bribed – and one unhappy Shapiro MD review says people get a free supply of Shapiro products to leave a glowing testimonial! But even though some people complain it’s a waste of money, the worst side effect they report is simply that it didn’t work. So I think “what is there to lose?!” The positive reviews all say it worked quickly – so maybe it’s worth a try!

The Lady recommends...

Shapiro MD Hair Loss Shampoo

Wanna give your head a hug?

How To Use Shapiro MD for Hair Loss

Shapiro shampoo and conditioner are pretty gentle and only contain natural ingredients – so you can use them every day. Try the set every day for at least a month and notice the effects!

Some customers leave the products on for 3 minutes before rinsing; others noticed too much of a build-up on the scalp and found that 1 minute worked better. See what suits you. 🙂

Of course, there are more products available (aren’t there always?!) but the cleanser and conditioner are probably enough to start seeing results. If not, you could always use Shapiro in addition to a hair growth supplement like Folexin – read my full review on that brand here.

Or check out some of Shapiro’s other products, like natural supplements and less-than-natural hair growth pills, if you’re really keen. The Natural Kit is a good option: it includes the shampoo, conditioner and foam. To use the foam, pump the bottle twice and apply it to dry hair daily. No need to rinse.

Most Popular Products: Shapiro Shampoo & Conditioner

I’ve already talked about the overall benefits of Shapiro but its flagship product, the shampoo, and its companion, the conditioner, are the best things to buy if you’re new to the brand.

Both are suitable for both men and women as they work to block excess DHT from the body – as we’ve seen, that’s what experts agree can trigger hair loss. Male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men and two-thirds of American men will have experienced hair loss by the age of 35. While in the UK, around 8 million women have hair loss – so surely they’ll appreciate something to slow it down!

Luckily, Shapiro’s triple-action hair care approach to block DHT does just that, even stops the process entirely, and in a natural way. It can slow or stop genetic hair thinning in its tracks and help to repair damage by nourishing the scalp.

Other Products: Shapiro Foam, Minoxidil Serum, Finasteride & Supplements

As well as their best-selling shampoo, these guys have branched out to other aspects that foster healthy hair. (Like a healthy gut. Which as you may know by now, I fully support.) Here’s what else they offer, many of which can be bought as part of a “hair regrowth kit”:

  1. Shapiro Finasteride Pills: Also known as Propecia (that’s the brand name), Finasteride is the only FDA-approved pill for male-pattern hair loss and baldness. It can have adverse side effects (e.g erectile dysfunction in men, birth defects in pregnant women) so always check with your doctor.
  2. Leave-In Foam: Honestly? I’m not sure what the difference is between this and the shampoo – but you don’t need to rinse it out!
  3. Men’s 5% Minoxidil Serum: Personally, I’m not a fan of minoxidil. I used it and it gave me headaches, plus it made me dizzy. But each to their own – again, check with your doctor.
  4. Shapiro Hairbiotics Supplements: I’m on different supplements right now so I haven’t tried these yet. They contain beta glucans to help you keep good bacteria in your gut – so you can absorb the nutrients you need for healthy skin and hair.
  5. Laser Regrowth Cap: If you’ve got cash to splash, Shapiro offers Laser Phototherapy (LPT), supposedly a very powerful technique for fighting hair loss. I’m not sure, having never tried it – but the one from iRestore seems to be the most popular on Amazon.

 

Where can you buy extra Shapiro stuff? All of the above products are available directly from the manufacturer – for the shampoo and conditioner, you can get pretty good deals on Amazon.

Side Effects: Is Shapiro MD Safe?

Short answer: It depends which products you use. Since the ingredients in the shampoo, conditioner and foam are naturally occurring,  bad side effects are rare. (Like I said, the only negative comment in those Amazon reviews was that it didn’t seem to work.) 

In my opinion, what have you got to lose?! The Natural Kit – or just the shampoo, or the shampoo and conditioner set – aren’t that expensive, so it won’t hurt to try them for a couple of months.

LA Says: Note that if you choose the serum with minoxidil, or the oral finasteride product, these DO have negative side effects. Use them with caution and talk to your doctor/dermatologist if you’re not sure. Also, don’t use Shapiro products if you’re pregnant/breast-feeding due to its hormonal effects.

Shapiro MD vs Rogaine

rogaine vs shapiro logos

While some Shapiro products contain minoxidil, the shampoo and conditioner don’t. That’s why I like them – because I didn’t have a great experience with minoxidil, back when I used it. 

Now, I’ve never tried Rogaine (which is a popular brand name for minoxidil), but I DID try the 5% topical solution before. It gave me really bad headaches and dizzy spells – and it didn’t work, not to any real degree. I saw a teeny bit of fuzz (vellus hairs) but they didn’t last long and weren’t worth the pain!

That’s why I tried Nioxin, which I really liked – but which doesn’t block DHT. Shapiro, on the other hand,
does block DHT. And it does it naturally.

So in my opinion, Shapiro is a much safer bet than Rogaine! Plus, you could always add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to the shampoo, which has been proven to be just as effective as minoxidil in animal trials.

A Quick Recap: Pros & Cons of Shapiro

Pros

  • Natural DHT blocker
  • Good for all hair types 
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • FDA-approved
  • No parabens or sulfates
  • Works for men and women
  • Fast results: Noticeable within a month


Cons

  • Not FDA-approved as a product (just some of its ingredients)
  • Some products contain minoxidil (but some see that as a “pro”)
  • Not suitable if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • It isn’t cheap (but not expensive either, it’s mid-range)

Common Questions

Results will differ depending on the person but in terms of before and after effects, some Shapiro customers notice a big difference after just a month.

You can buy the various treatments straight from Shapiro’s website, although Amazon has good deals on larger supplies. You can also get the separate products (or kits, depending on availability) and your local Walgreens or Walmart.

Not the shampoo or the conditioner, no. Just the Men’s 5% Minoxidil Serum does; the other products are more natural.

Unfortunately, no. These products aren’t recommended for pregnant or lactating women, due to the hormonal risk of active DHT blockers on unborn or nursing children.

The 9.5oz shampoo and conditioner set costs under $70 for a one-month supply – it’s usually cheaper to stock up for a few months.

Final Thoughts:

Is Shapiro MD legit?!

In this humble alopecian’s opinion? Yes, yes it is. Why? Well, because both caffeine and saw palmetto are proven DHT-blocking ingredients, which work to slow the rate of hair loss. I actually didn’t know green tea had such extra powers but the fact that it can prolong the anagen phase is great news!

While I don’t think it’ll magically regrow hair, I do like the fact that Shapiro does everything other hair loss brands do, and more – in a natural way. Clearly, it’s one of the top-selling hair thinning and alopecia shampoos for a very good reason!

Since Shapiro MD doesn’t come with any bad side effects (that I know of), I’m happy to cast my vote and would recommend giving it a try. And please, share your own Shapiro reviews below! I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Good luck! 🙂

Lady Alopecia Signature

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Comments

12 Responses

  1. Thank God for your REAL PERSON review! *Applause applause* Just saying it like it is! I am going to try this product as my hair has been thinning due to that wonder stage of womanhood! 🙂 I’ve also had alopecia arreata while in college – 100% stress/anxiety induced. I have wanted to actually go to a Dr. about my hair thinning but I cannot for the life of me find a Dr. to go to isn’t part of a hair replacement business. Would you reccommend what kind of Dr. would be most informative? I went to a dermatologist a while back..waste of a copay. 🙁 Thank you again!

    1. Hello, Dee! Thanks so much for your lovely message, I really appreciate it! And I’m really sorry to hear about your hair loss issues, it’s definitely a challenging thing to find a good person to talk to! I’m the same, to be honest…I went to dermatologists and trichologists (hair doctors) in the past but wasn’t a fan…mainly because they all recommended steroid treatments and injections that just had bad side effects and messed up my immune system in the long run! These things can be good for a “quick fix” but don’t address the root cause of what’s going on. I’d highly recommend you see a functional medicine doctor if you can find one in your area, or through Skype appointments. They’re not cheap but they get to the heart of the problem (if it’s gut problems, hormonal etc). Or you could start with a nutritionist if you prefer. Please see this post and this post for more about that but in general, I’ve seen a MASSIVE difference since cutting out gluten, dairy and a few other things from my diet, adding some supplements and using a hair thinning shampoo to nourish my scalp. It’s a more holistic approach than a dermatologist might recommend and it’s working for me! Hope that helps, and that you are able to find a good consultant! 🙂

    1. Hi Jacklyn, I believe so, yes. As Shapiro MD doesn’t contain minoxidil (just natural DHT blockers) it should be fine…however, I’m not a doctor (just an alopecian!)…so if you have any reservations at all, please consult your healthcare professional first.

      Thanks so much for your question and wishing you all the very best.

      Emma

  2. I also had reduced washing to once a week, and for whatever this is worth, I recently read that less frequent washing will actually allow DHT to build up faster, thus accelerating hair loss. I now wash every 3-4 days.

    1. Thanks Juliana, great point! It does depend on hair type, whether you’re prone to drier hair or a more oily scalp (the latter of which can lead to more DHT build up)…but it’s great to hear you’ve found a system that works for you, stick with it!! We’re all different so sometimes it’s a case of trial and error. I hope it’s working out better for you now! 🙂

    1. Hi Elaine, thanks for your question. As I don’t represent Shapiro MD, I wouldn’t be sending any products – I’m simply an alopecian who reviews various brands! But from my research, if you buy through the manufacturer, you can just do it as a “one-time purchase” – there is an option to join their “VIP club” for 10% off but I’m guessing that’s a subscription model and I know that other brands (like Keranique) have ripped off customers in the past by locking them into these contracts. Shapiro MD, in my opinion, are a lot more trustworthy. But in this post, I’ve linked to the shampoos on Amazon (definitely one-time purchases!) and also direct from the manufacturer, so you can see where you’d prefer to source it.

      Hope that helps – and good luck!

      Emma

  3. I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma stage 1 a last November which was estrogen positive
    No spread to lymph nodes
    I was told that my breast cancer was estrogen positive
    I was told Dht inhibitors such as sawpawmwtto were not a good idea to use can you tell me your thoughts

    1. Hi Sheila, thanks for writing in and I’m so very sorry to hear about your diagnosis…although wonderful that it has not spread.

      As I am not a doctor, I cannot advise you on this, sincere apologies. But if you are checking with your doctor about DHT inhibitors, please ask him/her whether natural ones are ok. Unlike many products that block DHT in a chemical-heavy way, Shapiro MD is natural – and actually, saw palmetto can be used to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in prostrate cancer. Obviously that’s different though, so I would highly recommend speaking to your doctor if you’re uncertain what to do.

      Wishing you all the very best and take care of yourself,

      Emma x

  4. I started to lose my hair bc i am taking some medication.
    would i stop losing hair using Dr Shapiro shampoo and conditioner and foam.
    I am washing my hair ones a week.and i am not planning to stop the medication.
    Please reply.

    1. Hi Marina, thanks for your question! It’s hard to give you a proper answer without knowing a) what medication you started taking and b) if you have a history of hair loss and c) whether you’re experiencing bald patches (like with alopecia areata) or thinning hair. Although in either case, Shapiro is great for reactivating dormant hair follicles (that may have shrunk due to an autoimmune response). It sounds like whatever medication you’re on has triggered this response, leading to inflammation, and to your immune system (including your hair follicles) trying to protect you. This causes the hair follicles to shrink, which can cause hair to snap off and struggle to regrow (the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle). I cannot say for 100% that Shapiro will stop this because there are different factors at play – but, as I mention in the post, its natural ingredients (like the green teen extract, for instance) work to kickstart the anagen (growth phase) again.

      I would recommend trying Shapiro MD along with a couple of other things: reducing inflammation in your diet as much as you can (see my post about nutrition for tips on that) and if you feel you might be lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, these Folexin supplements (which contain biotin for healthy hair growth) might be a good thing to consider, especially if you’ll be taking medication for a long time and want to support healthy hair production. Best of luck!

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