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Hair thinning can happen to anyone, no matter their gender or age.

Luckily, there are certain products and ingredients out there that can help slow down or even reverse the hair thinning process and keep hair looking thick and healthy.

From prescriptions to over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, we dove into the options out there, so you can select the best product for your needs.

While it may feel like you’ve been dealt a poor hand, hair loss is surprisingly common.

It can occur due to:

You can find the best treatment option by exploring the cause behind your hair thinning with your doctor or dermatologist.

When searching for products for hair loss, it’s a good idea to start with the ingredients.

Some of the most effective ingredients for hair growth include dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blockers and inhibitors. DHT is a molecule derived from testosterone that’s responsible for hair loss.

There are only two ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hair regrowth. Both are DHT blockers. These two ingredients can be found in various OTC and prescription medications.

They are:

Minoxidil is thought to work by partially enlarging hair follicles and lengthening the hair’s growth phase. Finasteride works by decreasing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body.

Here are a few other ingredients for hair growth:

  • Biotin. Biotin has been shown to improve hair loss, especially in patients with alopecia.
  • Zinc. Zinc is a micronutrient that can help with alopecia.
  • Iron. An iron deficiency is often associated with hair loss. In some cases, iron supplements can help with regrowth.
  • Collagen. Collagen is a protein that promotes hair health, though few studies indicate that it can help with hair regrowth. Nevertheless, it’s frequently found in hair products.
  • Niacin. Niacin has been shown to help with hair fullness.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is frequently found in hair growth products, as it’s been shown to improve follicle stimulation, especially when applied topically.
  • Horsetail. Research suggests that horsetail benefits hair growth due to silicon and antioxidant contents.
  • Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto extract may block 5 alpha-reductase (5AR), an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.
  • Ginseng. Ginseng contains saponins, which have been shown to encourage hair growth by inhibiting 5AR in mice, as well as gintonin, which may be a suitable treatment for alopecia in humans.
  • MSM. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sulfur chemical compound derived from plants. MSM supplementation has been found to lead to significant improvements in the appearance and condition of hair and nails, measured by expert grading and participant self-assessment.

While there are lots of products out there with ingredients that companies claim to support hair growth, not all of them are supported by scientific research.

We looked for products and treatments from reputable brands with the most significant research behind them and the most effective ingredients.

We also looked carefully at customer reviews, choosing only products that real customers find useful in their personal experience.

Pricing guide

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

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Best for women

Women’s Rogaine 5% Unscented Minoxidil Foam

  • Price: $–$$$

Rogaine is an FDA approved treatment for hair loss that contains minoxidil. It generally contains a stronger percentage than other OTC brands, and it’s one of the most popular and well-known for good reason.

As a 2019 study explained, Rogaine works by increasing hair growth and reducing hair loss, making it great for female and male pattern baldness. It can also be used for alopecia and eyebrow density.

The brand offers a satisfaction guarantee policy, which means you’ll get a full refund if you use the product daily for 130 days and aren’t satisfied with the results. For best results, it’s recommended to use Rogaine for at least 3 to 6 months to see results.

When it comes to reviews, a majority of reviewers note that their hair grew in spots where their scalp was visible before. On the other hand, a few 1-star reviews have to do with allergic reactions, scalp sensitivity, no changes, or even increased hair loss.

It’s important to note that minoxidil may cause initial shedding, but this effect will likely decrease with use.

Best for men

Hims

  • Price: $–$$$

Hims offers a variety of subscription products for male hair loss that include either minoxidil, finasteride, or both combined. The company also offer a selection of vitamins, like biotin gummies.

According to a 2015 study of 45 men, 84.4 percent of participants with androgenetic alopecia maintained good hair density after initial treatment when using a topical minoxidil-finasteride combination.

Using the two ingredients simultaneously helped the participants of the study maintain denser hair.

Another 2015 study showed that 94.1 percent of men who used both ingredients at once showed significant improvement, while only 80.5 percent saw improvements with finasteride alone, and only 59 percent saw improvements with minoxidil.

After setting up a HIMS account, customers can book an online consultation with a licensed medical professional to find out which products are best for them.

While Hims, Inc. has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, some customer reviews are less than stellar. The company’s overall 1.33 average rating out of 5 stars has to do with sexual dysfunction products, as well as complaints of being charged for products after notifying the company of the desire to cancel.

When it comes to hair products specifically, customers noted the effectiveness of the minoxidil and finasteride combination in particular.

Hims also offers a full money-back guarantee within 90 days. Canceling a subscription can take 48 hours and must be done at least 2 days prior to the next month’s charge, or you’ll be charged for an additional month.

Best over-the-counter

Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women

  • Price: $

Keranique is another treatment that contains FDA approved minoxidil, clinically proven to treat female pattern baldness. It comes with a handy sprayer, so you can apply it topically to thinning areas on the scalp.

Keranique only has formulas with 2 percent minoxidil, which is less than some other brands. Still, it’s meant to be applied to the scalp twice daily.

According to the company’s website, the product currently averages 4.8 stars out of 5. Many reviews indicate that customers are happy with the results of the product.

Best subscription

Keeps

  • Price: $–$$$

Keeps is similar to Hims in that it offers customizable subscription plans that contain minoxidil, finasteride, or both combined.

In addition, Keeps offers products with ketoconazole, an antifungal medication and generic version of Nizoral that’s used off-label for hair loss.

You can choose the products you want to use right away or fill out a questionnaire about your hair loss, medical history, and lifestyle. You can also include photos if you want to.

Once a doctor reviews your information, they’ll suggest a treatment plan for you. Products come as tablets, foams, and serums.

Most product reviews are positive, while negative reviews have to do with people having difficulty canceling or the company incurring charges after they canceled.

Ketoconazole can cause serious side effects. Contact your doctor if you have redness, pain, swelling, or tenderness after applying the medication.

Best budget

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

  • Price: $

The Ordinary is a fan favorite for low-cost, effective beauty treatments. This product is a concentrated serum that’s designed to help hair look thicker, denser, fuller, and healthier.

Designed for fine, medium, or thick hair, this vegan serum is also free of silicones, parabens, and alcohols.

It contains several trademarked ingredients to increase blood flow to the scalp and improve the appearance of hair density. This serum also contains several peptide complexes and caffeine to help give you thicker, fuller, stronger hair.

These ingredients may help volumize, prevent thinning, and soothe a dry, itchy scalp. To use, simply massage a few drops into your scalp each night before bed.

According to most Sephora reviewers, the product has helped drum up noticeable volume and regrowth. One reviewer calls it “a complete game-changer.” Reviewers with thinning relating to health issues, like anemia, hypothyroidism, postpartum hair loss, and alopecia, have shared promising before and after photos.

The product has over 800 reviews with an average 3.9 star rating out of 5. Many reviewers note getting results in as little as 2 to 3 weeks.

Negative reviews include complaints that the product makes hair oily and was ineffective for them.

Best splurge

Better Not Younger Superpower Hair & Scalp Duo

  • Price: $$$

The Better Not Younger Hair and Scalp Duo includes a hair and scalp serum with ingredients like niacinamide, caffeine, and gotu kola. It also boasts a scalp massaging applicator to help distribute the serum.

While it’s on the higher end of our pricing scale, you’re essentially extending the bang for your buck by getting two products in one set.

According to the Better Not Younger website, 97 percent of women using the serum daily for 8 weeks in independent consumer trials saw improvements in hair quality and hair fall.

The action of massaging the scalp with the scalp massaging applicator may provide additional benefits.

Best restorative shampoo

Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

  • Price: $

Shea Moisture hair products are often touted for their powerful ingredients. The main ingredient of this shampoo is castor oil, which contains ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties.

The shampoo also contains shea butter to hydrate, soften, and protect from breakage and damage. It’s ideal for chemically-treated hair and seals the hair cuticle for enhanced smoothness and shine. Peppermint stimulates and invigorates the scalp, while apple cider vinegar clarifies.

This shampoo has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Of the 4 percent negative reviews, most customers warn against doctored, diluted products that came from fake sellers, so be careful when purchasing online.

Best volumizing shampoo

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo

  • Price: $$

This popular Briogeo Blossom & Bloom shampoo is packed with ginseng, long touted as a natural remedy for hair growth, and it’s received plenty of positive reviews. The ingredients also include biotin and maltodextrin for thickness and witch hazel extract to clarify.

The formula is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and artificial dyes. This means it’s gentle and consists of mostly natural ingredients.

Most of the reviews are positive, with a few customers reporting that the shampoo left their hair feeling dry or tangled.

Best strengthening shampoo

Kérastase Bain Force Architecte Shampoo

  • Price: $$

This shampoo is designed to keep your hair looking and feeling strong and healthy. It contains a patented Vita-Ciment Complex that’s designed to transform brittle, breakable hair into strong, thick locks.

The company says the shampoo rebuilds and strengthens damaged hair fibers, and it promises to deliver smoother, shinier, softer hair as well as prevent breakage and split ends.

The key ingredients include keratin and ceramides, which smooth and condition the hair.

While this shampoo has a 4.6 rating out of 5 stars with mostly positive reviews, some customers note it dried out or weighed down their hair.

Best hair growth serum

Vegamour GRO Hair Serum

  • Price: $$$

This vegan hair serum contains caffeine and clover seed extract, phyto-actives that have been shown to increase the look of hair density and reduce signs of shedding for fuller, thicker hair.

According to the company’s clinical trials, the product can “increase the appearance of hair density by up to 52 percent and reduce signs of shedding by up to 76 percent.” The product website states that you can expect fuller-looking hair in as little as 90 days, with best results at 120 days.

Overall, the serum receives a 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 2,300 reviews. Most of the reviews are glowing, while many of the 1-star reviews simply say the product didn’t work.

Best cleansing serum

Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum

  • Price: $$$

This cleansing serum aims to remove buildup from the roots while keeping the scalp nourished. Think of it as a clarifying mask for your scalp!

The serum contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) as exfoliants along with rose clay, witch hazel, and jasmine essential oil.

Best for brittle hair

Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Serum

  • Price: $$$

This scalp serum contains a blend of plant-based ingredients, like gluco-peptides and wheat protein, and it claims to transform your hair in 7 days. It’s designed to reduce breakage, add shine, soften, thicken, and strengthen hair.

According to Kérastase, the serum can dramatically reduce breakage due to brushing, so this option is best for people with brittle, weak hair.

Reviewers report more shine and less frizz, with a 4.5 out of 5 star average rating. Many 1 star reviews state that reviewers didn’t notice any difference.

It’s important to note that the website suggests checking with a medical professional before use if you have a dry scalp.

Best for thin hair

OUAI THIN Hair Supplement

  • Price: $$$

OUAI is famous for its celebrity endorsed hair care products, but the company offers hair-supporting supplements as well.

These supplements are a powerhouse of healthy hair ingredients, including:

  • vitamins A, B, C, D, E
  • zinc
  • ashwagandha
  • biotin
  • omega fatty acids

You simply take one pill per day and can expect to see results in 90 days. The vitamins, like all OUAI products, are free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).

Positive reviews note the product may have helped hair grow back after chemotherapy treatment. Another notes thicker hair and 1 to 2 inches of growth in the first 90 days of use. Single star reviews cite acne as a side effect, as well as no positive effects on hair.

Best bond-building treatment

OLAPLEX No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment

  • Price: $$

This celeb favorite bond building treatment is all the rage on TikTok.

According to the company’s trials, the OLAPLEX intensive hair treatment can make hair three times stronger in just one use.

Their formula contains the patented ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, known as a β-unsaturated Michael acceptor. It’s sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, color safe, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Happy customers note this product helped their hair recover after bleach processing. Negative reviews say the packaging isn’t ideal, the single stream sprayer doesn’t distribute product evenly, and the small bottle size means they have to repurchase often.

Best pre-cleanser

Mizani Wonder Crown Scalp Foaming Pre-Cleanse

  • Price: $

Mizani Wonder Crown is a foaming treatment to use on dry hair before you shampoo. With ingredients, like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, honey, and salicylic acid, this oil-based treatment cleanses and moisturizes the scalp in one go without stripping.

One key ingredient is cannabis sativa seed oil, which acts as a moisturizer for the hair and scalp and protects against breakage.

It’s especially great for an oily scalp, but it also works for dryness. It’s free of parabens and silicones.

The versatile formula works well for straight, curly, wavy, and coily hair, as well as hair that’s fine, medium, or thick.

One rave review notes that the foam “really gets the buildup out of there!” It was also called a “must” for styling oily hair. The product has no single star reviews, but some 2 star reviews note that the product left their hair dry or wasn’t gentle enough for their needs.

Best scalp scrub

Frank Body Caffeinated Scalp Scrub

  • Price: $

The caffeinated scalp scrub by coffee-based skin care company Frank Body includes caffeine to stimulate growth, rosemary oil to protect against hair loss, and peppermint oil to improve scalp health.

One reviewer notes that there’s “no better feeling” than using this scrub to remove buildup. Another says it’s “just what my scalp wanted!”

As for negative reviews, some reviewers experienced chunks of hair falling out and a messy bathtub.

Best spray-in treatment

Bondi Boost Procapil Hair Tonic

  • Price: $

The Bondi Boost Procapil Hair Tonic is a leave-in formula with 3 percent Procapil to reduce and prevent hair fall and lead to new hair growth. The spray also contains horsetail leaf extract and saw palmetto, both of which are often used to reduce hair fall.

In a 2019 study comparing alternatives, like Procapil, to 5 percent minoxidil in people with androgenic alopecia, the participants who used Redensyl, Capixyl, and Procapil (RCP) saw “significantly better clinical recovery in terms of hair growth.”

The spray has quite a few positive reviews, with a 4.7 out of 5 star average rating on the product website. Of the 137 reviews, there are no 1 star reviews and only two under 4 stars. Both of those reviewers note they haven’t used the product long enough to give it a fair assessment.

Best oral supplement

Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement

  • Price: $$–$$$

Another celeb favorite, Viviscal supplements are used by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon. These supplements contain a unique blend called AminoMar C.

This blend contains:

Viviscal vitamins are designed to improve the appearance and thickness of hair, especially hair that’s prone to excessive shedding or breakage. The ingredients target protection as well as stimulation of new growth.

Happy customers note the product made their hair shiny, soft, and reduced hair fall. One reviewer even notes she went from using a wig to wearing her own hair proudly.

Negative reviews say the product is expensive and there were unwanted side effects.

Best MSM supplement

Shedavi Hair + Skin + Nails Whole Food Vitamin

  • Price: $$

This vegan, organic vitamin contains biotin, MSM, and saw palmetto, which have all been shown to improve hair health and reduce shedding. As a bonus, these vitamins may also help improve skin elasticity, reduce dandruff, and support immunity.

Positive reviews say Shedavi vitamins helped reduce shedding, improved thickness, and worked quicker than expected. While the product has no 1 star reviews, some 2 star reviews note that they didn’t see results.

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What to look for

The first thing to consider in hair growth products is the active ingredient list. Look for natural ingredients that are known to help with hair loss, such as biotin, collagen, niacin, and caffeine.

Also keep an eye out for an FDA approved sticker to ensure that the product has been thoroughly tested.

What to avoid

Not all products that claim to help with hair growth are safe or effective. Avoid brands that don’t have an FDA approval or that don’t have many customer reviews.

While using hair growth products and supplements can have plenty of benefits, there are a few negatives, too.

Always follow the specific instructions given on the box or bottle. Here are a few general tips to help you make the most out of your hair growth products:

  • Thoroughly massage in scalp treatments to help stimulate the hair follicles.
  • Don’t overdo it. Using excessive amounts of your product will only cause buildup and block the hair follicles.
  • Stick with a new product for a few weeks or even a month — results won’t appear immediately.
  • Take hair supplements with food to avoid side effects.

Depending on the sensitivity of your scalp and hair, some ingredients and products may actually do more harm than good.

If you plan on trying a hair growth supplement, be sure to check the list of ingredients, as many supplements contain ingredients that can cause side effects.

These side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • bloating
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • stomach aches

On the other hand, some hair growth products may result in unexpected benefits, like:

  • higher energy levels
  • improved circulation
  • lower cholesterol
  • clearer skin

Be sure to check with your doctor before using any new hair growth product. If the product is topical, it’s best to do a patch test before use.

How long does it take for hair growth products to start working?

Hair growth products don’t work instantaneously. Most products will start to work within a few months.

Hair follicles take a few weeks to become stimulated by your product, and after that, it will take a month or two before you notice new hair growth.

While physical hair growth may take several months, most products will improve the appearance of your hair’s thickness within a few weeks.

Are serums or supplements better for hair growth?

While serums work from the outside-in, supplements work from the inside-out. Ideally, you’ll be able to use both types of products at once for optimal results.

There aren’t yet studies that show the benefits of serums as opposed to supplements. However, in general, topical treatments tend to work quicker than oral treatments.

What else can you do to improve the health of your hair?

In addition to using hair growth products, there are a variety of other methods you can take to improve the thickness and health of your hair.

It’s also important to:

  • get enough sleep
  • exercise regularly
  • reduce stress
  • eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables

If you’re looking for a hair growth boost, these products may just do the trick. While many can help improve hair health, they rarely get to the root of the problem.

Always talk with your doctor, so you can find out the medical reason for your hair loss and a more targeted solution.

Meg Walters is a writer and actor from London. She is interested in exploring topics such as fitness, meditation, and healthy lifestyles in her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and the occasional glass of wine.