Medically reviewed by Jill Johnson, DNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 7/6/2021
Because they’re so easy to miss, you may not notice the 50-100 hairs shed from your scalp just about every single day.
However, when your attention is drawn to a trail of hair littering your pillows, shower drain and the carpet you just vacuumed—this could mean you’re dealing with hair loss.
Hair loss is a common condition many women will experience. It's so widespread, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll experience female pattern hair loss (the most common form of this condition) once you’re above the age of 50.
Fortunately, picking the right hair loss shampoo can help you manage this hair condition and create fuller hair.
Read on to learn why shampoo is an essential part of your plan to manage hair loss, the best shampoo for women’s hair loss to look for, and the ingredients that make it work.
Shampoo may be the product you apply absentmindedly in the shower every other day, but massaging it in can actually help you improve scalp circulation and even repair damaged hair.
Here are more benefits to sudsing up:
It works with the help of detergents or surfactants designed to remove oil and dirt.
Shampoo also contains foaming agents for those massive hair bubbles you like, as well as thickening and pH adjusting agents for the treatment of the scalp.
Some formulations are medicated and can help ease conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis.
Shampoo can help in multiple ways. For example, washing your can hair can help prevent a flaky or itchy scalp from developing simply by cleansing it.
The pores on your scalp can become clogged with dead skin cells and excess oil, so removing that sebum can help keep your scalp and hair healthy. .
Shampoo may also control scalp issues like dandruff through additional ingredients specially formulated for its management.
While designed to remove dirt and oil, most shampoos contain ingredients that help keep hair strands shiny and smooth, to prevent breakage.
These additions also help reduce annoying flyaway hairs, and can also help with detangling.
If you’re looking for shampoo to help manage your widening part, you’re going to want to take extra care when browsing the hair care product aisle.
This is because the active ingredients present in shampoo are largely responsible for its ability to manage hair loss, and they may not be found in every single brand you reach for.
Some of the special active ingredients to look for include:
Zinc pyrithione built its reputation as a treatment for scalp conditions like dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
However, there’s a good chance this zinc derivative can also help manage hair loss.
In particular, it has been found useful in controlling Malessezia, an organism that can live on the scalp and cause oxidative damage leading to premature hair loss.
Zinc pyrithione is able to prevent the activities of this organism, helping to reduce your chances of losing hair.
The FDA was so impressed with how this medicine handled seborrheic dermatitis, it gave its approval, recognizing ketoconazole as a treatment for the scalp condition.
However, this antifungal medication also has some impressive abilities as a remedy for female hair loss.
In particular, ketoconazole is helpful in managing androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. This is largely due to its antiandrogen effects.
While most studies have been carried out on men— ketoconazole has been shown to hold off androgens that cause hair loss, making it a great addition to your shampoo if you struggle with this condition.
Saw palmetto may be immediately recognizable to a number of men as an effective treatment for an enlarged prostate, but many women may single it out as the palm plant that helped them manage their hair loss.
This ingredient acts as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. This means that saw palmetto is able to inhibit the activities of a key enzyme necessary for producing dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—a hormone related to hair loss.
Saw palmetto is particularly effective in shampoo targeting hormonal hair loss.
Rosemary may be your secret weapon when seasoning Thanksgiving turkey, but you may also want to look out for this ingredient when selecting shampoo to manage your hair loss.
This is all thanks to its ability to act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment.
Rosemary is so good at managing hair loss, this treatment was found to be as effective as 2% minoxidil—a trusted treatment for hair loss, for improving hair growth.
This oil is carved straight out of pumpkin seeds. If you suffer from female pattern hair loss, you'll be happy to know this oil has antiandrogenic properties to help manage hormones that promote hair loss.
Pumpkin seed oil is also rich in nutrients such as fatty acids which have been suspected of promoting hair growth.
To help manage your hair loss even more, there are trusted hair loss treatment methods you can try out.
As the only hair loss treatment approved by the FDA for women, minoxidil is one of the most recognizable names for stimulating hair growth.
This treatment is able to improve hair loss by providing the scalp with the necessary blood, oxygen, and nutrients necessary to grow.
For an extra hair-growth boost, try this minoxidil treatment.
Spironolactone may be a recognized name when it comes to acne and blood pressure treatment, but this medication is also useful for managing female hair loss.
This medication works by slowing the production of androgens, which helps manage how quickly hair loss progresses.
In some cases, spironolactone has been shown to encourage hair regrowth.
If you live with hair loss, shampooing is one key step you’ll want to pay attention to. Key ingredients like zinc pyrithione, saw palmetto and ketoconazole, and treatments like minoxidil can help minimize the effects of hair loss or even possibly stop it in its shedding tracks.
Certain lifestyle improvements like making it a point to eat a balanced diet can also help you score fuller-looking hair.
You can also support your scalp and strands with easy-to-take hair loss supplements.
For more information on hair loss and possible treatment options, check out this guide to female hair loss.