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How do I Choose the Best Alopecia Shampoo?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated Jan 24, 2024
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There are varieties of alopecia shampoo, available on the market or home made. These shampoos are designed to assist in the treatment of alopecia areata, an immune system disorder which causes scalp hair loss, often in small patches. Treating alopecia is usually a trial and error process, experimenting to find the most appropriate remedy for each patient. Fortunately, most experts believe the patient's body ultimately decides when to regrow hair since hair follicles aren't lost or damaged during an active alopecia episode. Homemade alopecia shampoos are made with herbs and natural oils, while prescription remedies for alopecia contain ingredients like minoxidil and anthralin.

Alopecia is a relatively rare disorder that affects only about 1% of the population, and most often strikes childhood and adolescence. It is not life threatening, though it does frequently cause emotional and psychological problems. This disorder is unpredictable and can reoccur after the initial outbreak is treated, sometimes even years later. The most common type of this disease causes scalp hair loss, but another form of the disorder can cause hair loss from any area of the body including eyelashes and body hair like from the legs or pubic regions.

Hair loss products, including alopecia shampoo, can be prescribed by medical personnel and include ingredients intended to stimulate hair follicles into producing new hair. Minoxidil is very popular hair follicle stimulant, and is found in remedies for alopecia as well in over the counter products for male and female pattern baldness issues. The dosage of minoxidil is typically a 5% solution and is safe for both adults and children. If successful, minoxidil stimulates new hair growth in about 12 weeks.

Anthralin is another ingredient used in some alopecia shampoo formulas to promote new hair growth. It is more likely to cause skin irritation than minoxidil, and is used to treat only the most severe cases of alopecia. The solution containing anthralin should be applied and left on the skin for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the doctor's orders. After the allotted time, the solution should be washed off to prevent harmful and unnecessary skin irritation.

For those patients with less severe cases of alopecia, or those who prefer to avoid chemical remedies, a homemade alopecia shampoo can be used. Most handmade remedies for alopecia recommend starting with a gentle, all natural shampoo and then adding essential herbal oils such as rosemary, carrot, and lavender to the solution. Many recipes also suggest adding tea tree oil and jojoba oil for excellent results.

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Discussion Comments
By anon348617 — On Sep 18, 2013

Shampoos, particularly those with ketoconazole or piroctone olamine, show promise when it comes to fighting hair loss, so I'd suggest starting with those, as well as minoxidil.

By anon285167 — On Aug 14, 2012

I had noticed my hair falling out by the bunches. I had severe alopecia about three years ago and my hair grew back within time. However, it is thinner than ever. I was worried the alopecia would come back again leaving me with tiny bald patches.

I was willing to try anything that would ease my hair loss/thinning. I have been using Shielo's Volume Shampoo and Conditioner for about a week now. I have to say I am liking the results. Since starting it a week ago I have 75 percent less hair shedding. The smell is fresh and clean (the smell reminds me of it working itself), and I have to say maybe a little therapeutic. Try this product if you are looking for help! I since have ordered the shampoo and am still waiting for it to arrive. I hope this helps. Losing your hair is hard and no one understands unless they have had it happen to them.

By lighth0se33 — On Feb 22, 2012

I was pretty freaked out when I started losing my hair at the young age of twenty-three. I went to my dermatologist, and he told me that sebhorreic dermatitis was causing my alopecia.

I stressed the point that I would like to go a natural route with my alopecia areata treatment if possible, and he suggested that I use a shampoo with tea tree oil in it. He told me that since tea tree oil is great at treating sebhorreic dermatitis, it would be likely to stop my hair loss.

I tried it, and I was so glad that it worked. I hate to depend on chemicals to treat health conditions, because there are often so many side effects. I was happy with my tea tree oil shampoo that I purchased at an herbal supply store.

By shell4life — On Feb 21, 2012

@kylee07drg – You do have to be careful with clobetasol shampoo. It is a strong steroid, so there are lots of risks.

However, if you follow the instructions and use it very carefully, I think you will find that it is a wonderful alopecia treatment. I have used it before, and I got great results.

I put it on my dry scalp and let my skin absorb it for fifteen minutes before getting in the shower to rinse it out. You can work it around once you get it wet, and it's just like a regular shampoo. Of course, you should shower fully after using it.

By kylee07drg — On Feb 21, 2012

Has anyone here ever used clobetasol shampoo for alopecia? My doctor prescribed me some, and it is so strong that I am almost afraid to use it.

The list of side effects and warnings is what scares me. It says that if I get it in my eyes, it could actually cause glaucoma! I'm wondering if it's worth the risk.

It also says to wash my hands right after putting it on my head, and don't let the shampoo touch any place on my body other than my skin. It just sounds so dangerous!

By orangey03 — On Feb 20, 2012

My mother has had a lot of success with her natural alopecia shampoo. It is made from pure apple cider vinegar, and it has provided the boost that her thinning hair needed to start growing again.

She got the vinegar from a lady who owns an herbal skincare store. The lady told her that the vinegar gets rid of waxy buildup that can block hair follicles in people with alopecia.

My mother leaves the vinegar on her hair for about three minutes. She rinses it out and uses the same conditioner she always has.

It just amazed me that something as simple as apple cider vinegar could make her regrow hair. She was really scared that she would have to live with alopecia for the rest of her life, but now, she has hope.

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