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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a sex hormone that plays a few different roles in the body — some hairy, some helpful. Unfortunately, hair loss is one of DHT’s less helpful specialties.

However, there are certain shampoos and treatments that work to block DHT to help prevent hair loss. We combed through (pun intended) dozens of shampoos to find the best options out there.

Keep reading to see our list and to learn more about DHT.

DHT is a sex hormone known as an androgen. This hormone is derived from testosterone and has a hand in developing what are commonly thought of as “male” sex characteristics, like:

Over time, testosterone and DHT contribute benefits, like keeping up overall muscle mass and supporting sexual health and fertility.

Eventually, DHT can also play a hand in hair loss.

Androgenic alopecia — also known as male pattern baldness — is one of the more common culprits behind hair loss for older men.

Although other genders can also experience this type of hair loss, it’s less common. Around 50 million men in the United States experience this condition, compared to 30 million women.

Testosterone is converted to DHT thanks to an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5-AR). After it gets rolling through the bloodstream, DHT is able to connect to receptors on the scalp’s hair follicles, making them shrink.

This can also lead to:

  • less dense hair
  • inhibited regrowth
  • overall appearance of a less-than-full head of hair

While there are lots of products out there with ingredients that companies claim block DHT, not all of them are supported by research.

We looked for products from reputable brands that contain DHT-blocking ingredients with the most significant research behind them, including:

  • Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is an extract from the berries of a palm found in the southeastern United States. Shampoos designed to thicken hair with saw palmetto may help lower DHT levels, unclogging hair follicles and boosting hair regrowth. Although more research on saw palmetto is needed, a 2020 review of existing research found that it can offer modest enhancement of hair regrowth.
  • Finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a generic form of Propecia, a prescription treatment for male pattern baldness. Minoxidil is a generic form of Rogaine, a well-known topical treatment targeting the crown of the head. Research has shown these ingredients are helpful in slowing the progression of male pattern hair loss, but they only help with partial regrowth.
  • Ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is most popular for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s usually used to treat infections or certain conditions, like seborrheic dermatitis. A 2011 pilot study of 15 people with alopecia found that ketoconazole may be able to enhance hair regrowth.
  • Pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a natural oil that may have a positive effect on hair growth. It works by stopping testosterone from creating DHT. A 2014 study reported that men who took 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil daily for 24 weeks saw a 40 percent increase in hair growth.

We also included some products with potential DHT blockers, like certain essential oils. These don’t have as much research behind them, but they may be helpful.

Finally, we looked carefully at customer reviews, choosing only products that reviewers mostly rated highly.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$35
  • $$$ = over $35

Best over-the-counter DHT-blocking shampoo

This shampoo uses saw palmetto to target DHT. It promises to promote volume and moisture. Users seem happy with its peppermint and tea tree scent.

You can buy the shampoo as a one-time purchase or subscribe on the company website for automatic shipping options. A major perk of this shampoo is that you can also pick it up in stores or online at Target.

If you’re thinking beyond shampoo, Hims also features a whole line of products devoted to improving hair regrowth.


  • saw palmetto is a promising hair loss–fighting ingredient
  • pleasant scent
  • Hims offers free hair loss consultation
  • affordable price point


  • returns not accepted
  • doesn’t help with all causes of hair thinning

Best subscription DHT blocking shampoo

Keeps offers a range of products for fighting hair loss, including this shampoo. It has the mighty DHT-blocking saw palmetto that we mentioned earlier, as well as biotin (for improving keratin production), caffeine (for stimulating hair follicles), and green tea (for boosting hair quality).

It’s intended to be purchased through a subscription, where the product is shipped to you every 3 months.

Overall, reviews on the company’s website are largely positive. Buyers note that the online service and consultations are convenient, and the pricing is reasonable. (The initial online consultation is free!)

Reviewers also mention that the treatment plans seem to work best for male pattern hair loss — not so much for other types of hair loss.

One last note: The full ingredient list is only available on the product packaging, not the Keeps website. You’ll have to email Keeps directly to request the list if you want to see it ahead of purchasing. This is especially important if you have any allergies.


  • multiple hair growth stimulating ingredients
  • lower price point
  • good reviews


  • not suitable for all types of hair loss
  • ingredients not listed on the website
  • not designed for one-off purchases

Best highly rated DHT blocking shampoo

This shampoo is highly rated on Amazon, with thousands of happy reviewers. It seems this pick is most loved for its thickening properties and fresh scent.

It has saw palmetto and nettle extract for blocking DHT, as well as other natural ingredients, like He Shou Wu, red Korean seaweed, and argan oil, that work to boost scalp health, support hair growth, and moisturize.

Other helpful ingredients in this shampoo include biotin, pumpkin seed, black cumin seed oil, and vitamin E.

This shampoo is said to fight hair loss not just attributed to male pattern balding, making it a solid choice for women experiencing hair loss as well.

This shampoo is vegan and cruelty-free.


  • suitable for both male and female pattern baldness
  • cruelty-free
  • highly rated


  • unpleasant scent
  • could leave hair dry and brittle

Best splurge DHT-blocking shampoo

This shampoo is formulated with ketoconazole, caffeine, saw palmetto, and peppermint oil. The combination blends a couple different DHT blockers to boost performance.

Happy Amazon reviewers say they saw results in just 1 or 2 months.

This shampoo is made in the United States and is cruelty-free.


  • fast results
  • effective hair loss–fighting ingredients
  • good reviews


  • pricey
  • can be drying
  • super thick formula is difficult to lather

Best budget DHT-blocking shampoo

This shampoo has an herbal scent, is the most affordable pick on our list, and has thousands of happy Amazon reviewers on its side.

It’s formulated with many beneficial ingredients, one of which is biotin (vitamin H). Biotin doesn’t block DHT, but it can still lend a hand in promoting hair growth.

This shampoo offers several scalp-friendly ingredients, like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and vitamin B5. It also contains tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and zinc. Although there isn’t strong evidence for these ingredients as DHT-blockers, limited research suggests they might be useful.

For instance, a 2013 pilot study found that combining minoxidil with tea tree oil and diclofenac was more effective than using minoxidil alone.

This cruelty-free shampoo is also free of silicone, sulfates, and parabens, making it a good choice for those with skin sensitivities.


  • affordable option
  • effective ingredients
  • free from silicone, sulfates, and parabens


  • unpleasant scent
  • doesn’t work for some people

Best scented DHT-blocking shampoo

This shampoo has a proprietary blend of plant ingredients known for stimulating hair growth and blocking DHT. This includes saw palmetto.

It also has amino acids, biotin, and keratin, for shine and fullness. Pure Biology says this shampoo works on all hair types, including dry and curly.

However, the shampoo contains sulfates, which can be drying and aren’t great for color-treated hair.

Amazon reviewers are a fan of the citrus scent. Some pick up notes of lemongrass and others are happy with the peppermint that gives off a cooling sensation.

This pick is non-GMO, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and made in the United States.


  • cool, citrus scent
  • contains nourishing oils and vitamins
  • cruelty-free


  • contains sulfates
  • may irritate skin

Best sulfate-free DHT-blocking shampoo

This DHT-blocking shampoo is non-GMO, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It contains a kapilarine complex, a blend of botanicals that the company says works to prevent hair loss.

It also contains green tea extract, which may help block DHT. However, more research is needed.

The shampoo also contains other hair-happy ingredients, like vitamin E, vitamin B5, keratin, and collagen amino acids.

Amazon reviewers are overall impressed with this pick, with many seeing results in just a few weeks.


  • smells great
  • nourishing ingredients
  • good results


  • may cause dandruff
  • doesn’t work for everyone

Best moisturizing DHT-blocking shampoo

Along with saw palmetto extract for blocking DHT, this shampoo also has aloe vera and seaweed extracts, to help deeply moisturize the scalp.

It has biotin to help strengthen brittle hair. There’s also vitamin B5 and collagen peptides to help with hair regrowth.

Pronexa says you’ll see thicker hair in 60 days, but the company also recommends using it for 6 months, suggesting that people use it with their other products for best results.

The company also offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

This shampoo is made in the United States and is said to be good for all hair types. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, color-safe, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.


  • money-back guarantee
  • contains hair growth vitamins
  • leaves hair soft and moisturized


  • must use for several months
  • can strip tone from colored hair

Best DHT-blocking shampoo with the most DHT blockers

This shampoo has a good amount of DHT blockers, 14 to be exact. Not all of them are backed by substantial research, but it does contain saw palmetto.

The formula also contains argan oil (which is moisturizing and scalp-friendly) and biotin (which helps with keratin production). It’s paraben-free and sulfate-free and is said to be safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair.

Many reviewers say they experienced improved thickness and volume, with some noting reduced hair loss as well. Some reviewers don’t love the smell, describing it as overwhelming.


  • accessible price point
  • many potentially useful hair loss–ingredients
  • paraben- and sulfate-free


  • powerful scent
  • may irritate scalp

Best topical treatment to fight hair loss

If you’re looking for something other than shampoo, you may want to try this topical treatment from Roman. Roman is a company that offers health services, including treatment options for erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and general health.

The treatment combines finasteride with minoxidil. It requires a prescription through an online visit with a U.S.-licensed healthcare professional.

The company website explains that finasteride and minoxidil usually take 3 to 4 months of daily use to see visible changes. It may also take up to a year to see full results.

As long as you’re not experiencing side effects, it’s a good idea to keep using the treatment for a full year before determining if it’s working for you or not, since it works differently for everyone. For the best results, the company says you should continue using hair loss medication. Otherwise, hair loss can come back.

Roman also has other prescription and non-prescription options for hair loss.


  • alternative to shampoo
  • effective ingredients
  • trusted by medical professionals


  • must use for several months
  • requires a prescription

ProductBest for…PriceKey ingredientsPrescription needed?
Hims Thickening Shampooover-the-counter$saw palmettono
Keeps Thickening Shampoosubscription$saw palmetto and caffeineno
PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoohighly rated$$saw palmetto and nettle extractno
Ultrax Labs Hair Surgesplurge$$$ketoconazole, caffeine, and saw palmettono
Honeydew Biotin Shampoobudget$biotinno
Pure Biology RevivaHair Growth Stimulating & Anti-Hair Loss Shampooscented$$saw palmettono
ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoosulfate-free$$kapilarine complexno
HairGenics Pronexa Clinical Strength Hair Regrowth Therapy Shampoomoisturizing $$saw palmettono
First Botany Cosmeceuticals Biotin Hair Loss Shampoohas the most DHT blockers$saw palmettono
Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topicaltopical treatment$$finasteride with minoxidilyes

You’ll notice this lineup of ingredients in most of our picks. These have the most evidence behind them as DHT-blockers:

  • saw palmetto
  • finasteride and minoxidil
  • ketoconazole
  • pumpkin seed oil

Other ingredients, which don’t have as much research behind them, include:

  • green tea extract
  • tea tree oil
  • rosemary extract

Beyond DHT-blocking ingredients, keep an eye out for strengthening ingredients, like biotin and keratin, and moisturizing ingredients, like coconut and argan oil.

If you have dry or curly hair, you may want to choose a shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates, as these can be drying.

You’ll use DHT-blocking shampoo much like you would any other shampoo: lather, rinse, repeat.

However, always read the directions on the label. Generally, you can expect to leave the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing. It’s also important to follow up with a conditioner.

Use caution with shampoos with preservatives, parabens, sulfates, or other potentially irritating ingredients.

DHT blocking shampoos are generally considered to be safe.

However, if you have sensitivities or allergies, be sure to perform a patch test before applying the shampoo to your entire scalp. To do this, dab some shampoo on the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you experience any signs of irritation.

Keep in mind that even natural ingredients can lead to irritation or allergic reactions.

It’s also best to keep a lookout for formulas without harsh chemicals and ones that are free of sulfates and parabens.

Hair loss is common as we age, but it has many other potential causes. Stress, hormones, illness, infections, and medications can all play a role in thinning hair. It’s important to seek advice from a medical professional if you’re concerned.

If your hair loss is sudden, patchy, or involves body hair, it could be due to an underlying medical condition that needs a diagnosis and treatment.

Likewise, if you have other symptoms along with hair loss, such as itching, burning, or pain, consider talking with a doctor for their advice.

Hair loss can also be a side effect of certain medications. If you’re taking meds or have recently started a course of treatment, check with your doctor or a pharmacist to see whether hair loss is a possible side effect.

Because stress and anxiety can also contribute to hair loss, speak with a healthcare professional if you’re having trouble coping with any mental health challenges. They can rule out underlying medical causes. They can also refer you to a therapist or counselor who can help you manage your mental health.

In most cases, hair loss is not a sign of a serious health problem. But talk with a doctor if you’re worried about hair loss, especially if it’s accompanied by other symptoms or affects your quality of life. They can help determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment options.

Do DHT-blocking shampoos really work?

DHT is thought to be the culprit behind shrunken hair follicles and hair losing its density and quality. This leads to hair loss known as male pattern baldness.

If this is the type of hair loss you’re experiencing, consistently using a DHT-blocking shampoo may help enhance the appearance of thinning hair.

It’s best to start using a product like this as soon as possible. But these products may take months to even a year to see full results.

It might be a good idea to combine a DHT-blocking shampoo with a prescription treatment plan for hair loss if your doctor thinks this may work for you.

If your hair loss isn’t related to DHT, these shampoos might not work for you.

How long does it take to see results from DHT-blocking shampoos?

It may take a few months of consistent use, alongside a prescription treatment plan, to see results.

What can you do to prevent hair loss?

People experiencing male pattern baldness can chat with their doctors about preventative treatments like:

  • Rogaine (minoxidil)
  • Propecia or Proscar (finasteride)
  • follicular unit transplantation (a hair transplant including underlying tissue)
  • follicular unit extraction (a hair transplant including only follicles without using connecting tissue)

There are a slew of options for hair loss prevention at home, like:

Low-level light therapy has also been shown to stimulate cell growth and repair.

There are also a few things to avoid, like:

DHT is a sex hormone associated with male characteristics. It’s also a common reason for hair loss. Shampoos that work to block DHT may help improve hair loss.

Always perform a patch test before applying any new product.

Consider talking with your doctor to see if a hair loss treatment plan may be a good idea to use alongside a DHT-blocking shampoo.

Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, OH. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.