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Certain products and ingredients may help slow down or even reverse hair thinning, depending on the cause. Here are our top picks for the best hair growth products based on price, availability, and the cause of hair thinning.

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

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

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

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$30
  • $$$ = over $30

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

While many products have ingredients companies claim to support hair growth, not all 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 experience.

Product namePriceKey ingredientsCategory
Hims Thickening Shampoo$saw palmettobest for men
Women’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam$$$5% minoxidilbest for women
Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment$$finasteride & minoxidilbest prescription treatment
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density$$procapil & redensylbest budget
Happy Head Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil$$$finasteride & minoxidilbest prescription treatment
Keeps Thickening Shampoo$biotin & saw palmettobest subscription
OLAPLEX No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment$$bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate & sodium benzoatebest for bond-building treatment
Frank Body Caffeinated Scalp Scrub$green coffee & rosemarybest scalp scrub
Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement$$$biotin & vitamin Cbest oral supplement

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

Pros

  • improved appearance of hair fullness
  • improved strength and hair health
  • can be a good alternative to stronger prescription medications

Cons

  • potential side effects, such as nausea, headaches, or weight gain
  • not all hair products work for everyone, so you may end up spending a lot of money on a product with little impact
  • prescription medications, such as Keeps, are often more effective, depending on the cause of your hair loss
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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.

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.

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 and finasteride.

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 in older research.
  • 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.

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.

A product’s effectiveness depends on the brand and its ingredients. A more expensive product doesn’t automatically mean that it is more effective.

Factors like the cost of ingredients, the perceived popularity or luxury of the brand name. Not only that, but the product’s target audience can increase or decrease the price completely independent of how effective it actually is.

When looking for effective hair regrowth products, consider the ingredient and if those ingredients have been clinically proven to help regrow or thicken hair.

For example, minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) has been proven to support hair regrowth for many people and is more likely to give you the results you are looking for than an untested ingredient.

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.

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.

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.