Best Vitamins, Rx products, and Supplements for treating hair loss.
Authors note: At the age of 12 (yes, the age of 12) I began to develop a receding hair line. While I passed off my receding hair line as "part of becoming a man," when I was around 17 years old, my hair loss became so extreme that I finally decided to go see a medical professional (a dermatologist). Though I was hoping that my dermatologist would give me good news, such as your hair loss is due to a deficiency in X vitamin this wasn't the case. He proclaimed that I was suffering from premature male pattern hair loss. This certainly was not good news, because in the 1990s there was virtually nothing on the market to treat hair loss that wasn't a Rx drug. After trying virtually every product on the market, Rx and over the counter (OTC), I have found many products that actually work and just as many to do absolutely nothing at all in my fight against hair loss. The following is a list of vitamins, supplements, and Rx products that I have found to help halt the rate of hair loss and to improve the overall quality of my hair.
1. Minoxidil. Minoxidil has been one of the best products on the market to slow or stop hair loss in my experience. While nobody knows how or why minoxidil stops hair loss or why it can even grow hair, I have experienced great results with this substance. Although many products containing Minoxidil tend to dry my scalp, it has undoubtedly helped grow hair on my scalp and prevent further hair loss: both in the back of my head and even in the front. While Minoxidil was only offered in 2% concentrations back in the '90s, it is now offered in 5% concentrations for men at most stores, i.e. Target, and an even higher concentration can be purchased online. So what concentration works best? I have found that 5% Minoxidil works amazing for preventing hair loss and even growing hair. I have also found that virtually no specific name brand works better than the other. There is one exception, however. Some companies offer Minoxidil in a "foam" dispenser, and in that case I have found those products to be inferior to the liquid formulations. Should you use Minoxidil? There are some known side effects, i.e. dry scalp, but I have to say that the trade off of increased hair density is worth it. If you have any questions regarding this ingredient, most dermatologists have the education to give you great advice. Cost? While Minoxidil was once $50 for just a 1-month supply, a 5% concentration can currently be had for about $16 for a full 3 month supply, possibly even less at places like Costco.
2. Copper peptides: Although products containing copper peptides haven't been proven to increase hair count or even hair density, I have had excellent results with these products. The use of copper peptides on the scalp tends to ease dryness and improve the quality of the scalp, thus resulting in a healthier environment for hair growth. If you are planning on using Minoxidil to fight hair loss, it might be a good idea to also combine that product with a quality brand of copper peptides to help keep the scalp from drying out/ keep your scalp healthy. Cost? A high quality product containing copper peptides is still quite expensive, ranging from $30-$50 for a 3-month supply. However, products containing this peptide (in my experience) is well worth the cost.
3. Biotin: Biotin (pronounced bio-tin) is a form of vitamin B, found in small amounts in many foods. While Biotin in and of itself doesn't grow hair, it does play a crucial role in hair health. In my own experience, I have found that taking 2-3 mgs of oral biotin/ per day helps improve the overall quality of my hair. For example, I have found that taking the aforementioned amount of biotin every day helps my hair be more manageable and even "softer." What is the cost? Luckily, biotin is very inexpensive. Many products on the market that contain a good dose of biotin can be had for less than $10 for a 3-month supply. I especially like this product as it not only contains biotin, but also contains a number of other vitamins that are crucial for a healthy head of hair and scalp. I also like this product by Jason, which contains a topical formulation to help keep your hair and scalp in good condition.
4. Biosil: One of the most underrated products on the market for helping hair issues is a product called Biosil. I have used Biosil since 2005 and have found it to be one of the better products on the market for maintaining a healthy head of hair. Not only does Biosil have the potential to thicken and maintain a healthy head of hair/scalp, but it has also been shown in some studies to help nail growth, help strengthen bones, and even help reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face. The only potential downfall I see with taking Biosil is the price. Though I feel the price is well worth it, a 2-month supply will set you back approximately $50.
5. Finasteride: Finasteride (commonly known as Propecia) is a Rx only product that is available for men only. Finasteride is a DHT blocker that has been available to the public since the mid-90s. While there are a few possible side effects from taking Finasteride that you should speak with your dermatologist about, I have found this substance to be one of the best on the market for preventing hair loss and even growing hair. Because Finasteride is a DHT blocker, it keeps DHT from attacking follicles on the head that are sensitive to DHT (dihydro testosterone). I have found this to be a brilliant product that is definitely worth talking to your doctor about. What is the cost? About $50 for a 1 month supply.
Thanks for reading!