Do Hair Growth Products Work?
We’ve all seen ads for a dizzying array of different hair growth products, but do any of them actually work?
It’s a question a lot of people are wondering about—and an important one, since no one wants to waste time, effort and money on ineffective hair products.
In this episode, hair restoration expert Dr. Danyo cuts through the sea of questionable claims and tells you what works, what doesn’t and what to expect when you try some of these hair growth products.
Dr. Danyo is a physician and the founder of North Atlanta Hair Restoration, a medical practice dedicated to treating hair loss in both men and women.
He notes: “The biggest misconception with products and hair is that if you take this product, then you’re going to have hair growth…the scientific evidence on a lot of these products just isn’t there. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, and it kind of is born from instilling hope in people.”
So, hair products: shampoos, growth serums, supplements, etc. Which ones work?
The bad news: most commercially advertised products to restore hair have pretty weak evidence supporting their effectiveness at causing hair growth.
You may see claims that these products are “clinically proven”, but Dr. Danyo calls that “a very soft approach to science” and not a strong indicator that they work. What you really want are scientifically proven therapies, which meet the gold standard for demonstrating results.
The good news: A lot of these products can be pretty costly, so knowing they aren’t too effective can keep you from spending your time and money on things that will disappoint.
Of course, there are a lot of products out there that claim they help with hair growth and restoration, and all of them are different, with some better or worse.
So, Dr. Danyo says, let’s break it down a bit and talk about some of these individually.
Products Promoted for Hair Growth
Biotin/Vitamin B6: A vitamin that’s important for hair follicles, but very few people are deficient in it. It’s water soluble, so taking more than your body needs just means it gets eliminated when you urinate. The evidence for hair growth/restoration from supplementation with biotin is very thin.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is very important for healthy hair growth and retention, and there is a vitamin D deficiency epidemic in this country. So, supplementing with D if you’re low in it can help prevent low hair volumes, thinning hair and hair shedding. Vitamin D also has other health benefits, so that’s a good reason to get tested and take it if you need it.
Folate and Vitamin B12: Similar to vitamin D, low folate and B12 can negatively affect hair volume and cause hair shedding, so get tested and supplement if needed.
Iron: We see lot of iron-deficiency anemia in women especially, and that can cause both hair shedding and thinning hair. It’s easily treatable with supplementation, and the hair results can be dramatic, so do get this checked if you’re seeing symptoms.
Saw Palmetto: An herb that potentially blocks dihydrotestosterone, but evidence for its efficacy is thin.
Sulfate-free shampoo: The doctor says this is a sales tactic, and there’s no evidence that sulfate-containing shampoos are worse for hair or cause thinning or loss.
Medical Management Hair Therapies
Finasteride, also known as Propecia: Blocks the enzyme conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the culprit in a most male pattern hair loss.
Dr. Danyo recommends this for a lot of his patients, especially younger male ones, because it is affordable, safe and effective. It is scientifically proven to stop hair loss and can even cause regrowth.
Rogaine/Minoxidil: Causes significant increase in hair growth on the head. Up to 5% minoxidil can work well for both men and women.
Minoxidil in combination with finasteride (for men) can be extremely successful and is scientifically supported.
How Do I Decide What to Use for Hair Growth?
There is a lot of unreliable information out there regarding hair growth and restoration products, so be sure to consult with an expert and choose safe therapies that actually work.
Call Dr. Danyo today at (678) 845-7521 and find out what therapies might be right for you.
Dr. Daniel A. Danyo is the founder and medical director of North Atlanta Hair Restoration, specializing in treating hair loss in both men and women. He is one of only 300 people in the world certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is a member of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, American Hair Loss Association, and The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is also an early adopter and pioneer of Shave-less FUE, one of the most discreet surgical procedures available for hair restoration. Dr. Danyo performs every procedure himself, from start to finish. He individually extracts and places every graft on every patient. Learn more about Dr. Danyo on his Meet Dr. Danyo page.