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- Best over-the-counter DHT-blocking shampoo: Hims Thickening Shampoo
- Best subscription DHT-blocking shampoo: Keeps Thickening Shampoo
- Most highly rated DHT-blocking shampoo: PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
- Best affordable DHT-blocking shampoo: Honeydew Biotin Shampoo
- Best sulfate-free DHT-blocking shampoo: ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo
- Best topical treatment to fight hair loss: Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical
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 qualities.
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 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:
- body hair
- deeper voice
- heightened muscle mass
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.
- 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 U.S. Shampoos designed to thicken hair with saw palmetto may help lower DHT levels, unclog hair follicles, and boost hair regrowth. Although more research on saw palmetto is needed, a
2020 reviewof 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.
Researchhas 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 studyof 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 studyreported that men who took 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil daily for 24 weeks saw a 40% 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.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $21–$27
- $$$ = over $28
Best over-the-counter DHT-blocking shampoo
Hims Thickening Shampoo
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: saw palmetto
This shampoo uses saw palmetto to target DHT. It claims 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 to 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 ingredient for targeting hair loss
- 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 Thickening Shampoo
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: saw palmetto and caffeine
Keeps offers a range of products for targeting hair loss, including this shampoo. It has the mighty DHT-blocking saw palmetto that we mentioned earlier, as well as biotin (for improving keratin production), caffeine (for stimulating hair follicles), and green tea (for boosting hair quality).
It’s intended to be purchased through a subscription, where the product is shipped to you every 3 months.
Overall, reviews on Amazon are largely positive. Buyers note that the online service and consultations are convenient, and the pricing is reasonable. The initial online consultation is free.
Reviewers also mention that the treatment plans seem to work best for male pattern hair loss — not so much for other types of hair loss.
One last note: The full ingredient list is only available on the product packaging, not on the Keeps website. You’ll have to email Keeps directly to request the list if you want to see it ahead of purchase. This is especially important if you have any allergies.
- multiple hair growth stimulating ingredients
- lower price point
- good reviews
- not suitable for all types of hair loss
- ingredients not listed on the website
- not designed for one-off purchases
Most highly rated DHT-blocking shampoo
Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
- Price: $$$
- Key ingredients: saw palmetto and nettle extract
This shampoo is highly rated on Amazon, with thousands of satisfied 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 seed oil, and vitamin E.
This shampoo is said to target 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
- highly rated
- unpleasant scent
- could leave hair dry and brittle
Most affordable DHT-blocking shampoo
Honeydew Biotin Shampoo
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: biotin
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
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 sulfate-free DHT-blocking shampoo
ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: kapilarine complex
This DHT-blocking shampoo is non-GMO, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It contains a kapilarine complex, a blend of botanicals that the company says works to prevent hair loss.
It also contains green tea extract, which may help block DHT. However, more research is needed.
The shampoo also contains other hair-happy ingredients, like vitamin E, vitamin B5, keratin, and collagen amino acids.
Amazon reviewers are overall impressed with this pick, with many seeing results in just a few weeks.
- smells great
- nourishing ingredients
- reviewers report good results
- may cause dandruff
- may not work for everyone
Best topical treatment to fight hair loss
Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical
- Price: $$$
- Key ingredients: finasteride with minoxidil
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. The company says you should continue using hair loss medication for the best results. 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
|Product||Best for||Price||Key ingredients||Prescription needed?|
|Hims Thickening Shampoo||over-the-counter||$||saw palmetto||no|
|Keeps Thickening Shampoo||subscription||$$||saw palmetto and caffeine||no|
|PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo||highly rated||$$$||saw palmetto and nettle extract||no|
|Honeydew Biotin Shampoo||budget||$||biotin||no|
|ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo||sulfate-free||$$||kapilarine complex||no|
|Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical||topical treatment||$$$||finasteride with minoxidil||yes|
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
- 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 is also a slew of options for hair loss prevention at home, like:
- trying scalp massage, which
mayencourage hair growth
- using essential oils for hair growth, like peppermint, Chinese hibiscus, ginseng, and jatamansi
- using a soft brush made of natural fibers
Low-level light therapy has also been
There are also a few things to avoid, like:
- using heat tools on your hair
- chemically treating or bleaching your hair
- using harsh shampoos that can
stripyour hair of its natural oils
- wearing hairstyles that pull tightly on your hair
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.