When I started losing my hair and began searching for ways keep it, I was overwhelmed by the number of treatments available for men and women that address hair loss. Hair growth products for women are part of a booming market as more and more women are facing thinning or unhealthy hair.
Hair problems can become a difficult and often emotional problem, especially for women who naturally want to look and feel their best.
Thankfully, with so many hair growth products for women on the market that have been shown to re-grow hair, women have several options to choose from.
Let’s take a look at the different types of products available. Most of them can be placed into one or more of the following categories, depending on how they work:
Let’s look at each of these hair growth products for women in more detail and see if we can sort through the confusion.
DHT Inhibitors & Androgen Blockers
In males, and to a lesser extent females, testosterone is converted to the androgen DHT (dihydrotestosterone) through a 5-alpha reductase process. DHT is the leading cause of male pattern baldness, but also is a significant contributor to female hair loss (androgenic alopecia). DHT binds with receptors in the hair follicle, preventing the follicles from producing new hair. Hair loss products for women can include a combination of ingredients that inhibit or block the DHT androgen.
The most common and scientifically tested DHT inhibitor for women on the market is Topical Spironolactone (S5 Cream). As a topical cream, S5 can be applied directly to the affected area. It has little to no side effects and successfully keeps DHT from binding to hair follicle receptors, allowing the hair to begin growing again. It is frequently used in combination with Revivogen Scalp Therapy, which is also a topical cream that works similarly to S5.
Another less expensive blocker is Crinagen, which has fewer ingredients and is less effective for major hair loss. Crinagen is an effective hair growth product for women for maintenance and mild hair loss.
Growth stimulants don’t specifically block DHT or prevent the 5-alpha reductase process. However, some have been shown in major scientific studies to greatly increase hair growth. One of the most common and best hair growth products for women and men is minoxidil. Although the exact process by which minoxidil stimulates hair growth is not known and was actually discovered by accident, the main reason that is suggested is that it is a vasodilator.
This means that it opens blood channels, allowing more blood to hair follicles carrying potassium, oxygen and other nutrients. This may account for the two separate phases those users of minoxidil experience. In the first telogen phase old hair follicles are shed. They are replaced with new, healthier follicles in the anagen phase of minoxidil use.
Since minoxidil does not block DHT, it is necessary to continue using it to prevent the scalp and follicles from returning to their previous condition. If use is discontinued, the previous hair loss will probably reoccur. Luckily, generic brands of minoxidil are available and a one month supply usually only costs around $10 – $15.
Rogaine is the best known version of minoxidil in the United States. In Europe and other countries it is often branded as Regain. It is available in several different types of applications such as foam or suspended in an alcohol solution. Suggested application is twice a day, allowing it to fully dry for 4 hours before getting your hair wet. The foam is best for people who are sensitive to alcohols like propylene glycol. Rogaine or other minoxidil brands can be used in combination with sprays such as Tricomin Therapy Spray with even better results and few side effects. When used together, these hair growth products for women can have a dramatic result.
Hair loss is often associated with or occurs in combination with irritated, inflamed and itching skin and scalp. Sometimes hair growth products for women can make irritation problems worse for those with sensitive skin. Minoxidil in propylene glycol suspension is often the culprit, and a foam or non-alcohol can be used instead. When skin problems are caused by something else, though, anti-inflammatories help to calm, sooth and heal the scalp.
The best anti-inflammatories come with other helpful ingredients. Tricomin Therapy Spray is a growth stimulant and anti-inflammatory that can be used with Rogaine or minoxidil. Nizoral Shampoo is an anti-inflammatory that is also an androgen blocker. Folligen is a stimulant and an anti-inflammatory.
Concealers do not treat hair loss or do anything to actually improve the health of your hair. As the name implies, they simply conceal balding areas of the hair so that hair loss and thinning is less noticeable or completely unnoticeable. These types of hair growth products for women and men are especially effective if the thinning is mild to moderate, or for those who have had hair transplants.
Many thinners come as gels or foams. Others come as sprays. Although jokes have been made through the years about spray-on hair, significant scientific advances have made concealers a more viable option for many people.
COUVRe is a brand name concealer lotion that is applied directly to the scalp. It is ordered in a specific color to match your hair and blends with your hair to reduce contrast with the scalp. Toppik is an advanced spray-on concealer that contains thousands of keratin microfibers that are formulated to blend with your own hair color. It actually fills in bald areas and adheres with a static charge. Toppik is one of the most effective (and more expensive) concealers on the market.
The most interesting hair growth devices on the market today use laser light to stimulate hair follicles and the re-growth of healthy hair. Some of these devices are available to purchase for home use. The best known, and FDA approved for hair re-growth, is the LaserComb. As the name implies, it is a comb that radiates laser light onto the scalp as you move it through your hair.
Like most hair loss treatments, the LaserComb has to be used over a period of several months to see results. It needs to be used for 15 minutes of slow combing about three times a week. This type of treatment works especially well in combination with other forms of hair growth products for women.
Natural vitamin and mineral supplements can be taken orally to encourage thick and healthy hair. While the evidence of some of these remedies is scarce and frequently anecdotal, they are usually safe with few side effects when used properly. The best known supplement for hair growth is biotin (vitamin B7 or vitamin H). Biotin has been shown to help with mild to moderate hair loss.
Other natural supplements that can be taken orally include guta kola, nettle root and saw palmetto. One effective natural product is lavender oil, which can be used in combination with other essential oils and rubbed directly on thinning areas. Lavender oil has been clinically shown to assist with hair growth.
A healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits & vegetables will go a long way in keeping your hair healthy. While diet alone will not jump start hair that has begun to thin out, it will help your overall health. And it will ensure that your hair follicles have the necessary vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients they need to keep your hair strong and beautiful.
Hair Growth Products for Black Women
African American women have special needs when it comes to hair care. African American hair can quickly become dry and brittle, so a ph-balanced moisturizing shampoo is essential for everyday maintenance. Some of the best shampoos in this category include Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Shampoo, Elucence’s Moisture Benefits Shampoo and Zipporah’s Delight My Hair Moisturizing Shampoo. These shampoos are formulated to restore moisture to dry, brittle hair.
UBH (Ultra Black Hair) brand hair growth products are specifically designed for African American women’s hair. UBH claims that their products will help your hair grow at least six inches within a year without harsh chemicals, sulfates or straighteners. They offer a step by step guide and starter kit, which is worth checking out if you need help.
Best Hair Growth Products for Women
Your situation might be unique, or you may be suffering from the same type of hair loss problems that afflict millions of other women. The best place to start investigating a hair growth solution is always with your doctor. Tell her what you are experiencing and what results you would like to have, and discuss the best hair growth products for women in your situation. She may recommend any number or combination of treatments, and she will be able to tell you what to expect with any hair growth treatment.
Never start any course of action, especially oral supplements, without knowing what the side effects and possible interactions may be. With patience and a plan new hair growth is possible, and you can have the long, thick, beautiful hair that you want and deserve.
Have you had success with a specific hair growth product? Can you recommend something that might help other readers? Tell us your experience and share your ideas in the comments section below.
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