Reviewed by Mary Lucas, RN
Written by Our Editorial Team
Have you noticed a widening part? Or perhaps you’re dealing with overall hair thinning. Either way, losing your hair can be alarming.
The bad news: You’re not alone in the hair loss struggle.
And while losing your hair can be incredibly frustrating, there is a silver lining: There are proven ways to get back on the healthy hair growth train.
Or, at the very least, there are treatments that can help prevent further hair loss.
One product thought to help: hair growth spray. But no one wants to spend time or energy on a product that may not work, so let's look closer at these sprays and dive into whether they work or not. But first, a little more info on hair loss.
As mentioned above, female pattern baldness is not at all uncommon, even though hair loss can also occur due to stress, hairstyle choices — and even as the side effect of certain medications.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how these things affect hair health:
If you are ill or have major stress, it can cause temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium. If you’re dealing with this, you’ll most likely notice hair loss all over, rather than concentrated in one area of your scalp.
If you have a health condition that requires medication, you may also deal with telogen effluvium as a result. Medications known to cause hair loss include beta-blockers, anticoagulants and retinoids.
A tight ponytail, braids, weave or dreadlocks can tug at your scalp and lead to damaged hair. Think twice before rocking these styles because they can cause permanent hair loss via a condition known as traction alopecia. It’s worth noting that colored hair is also more prone to damage and can fall out.
Back to female pattern baldness: It occurs because of both genetics and hormonal factors.
Female pattern baldness is caused by a hormone by the name of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Genetic predisposition to this type of baldness causes DHT to attach to receptors in your scalp, causing hair follicles to restrict.
This restriction makes it hard for new hair to grow. Because of this you may see fuller hair suddenly become more sparse or even notice bald spots pop up. You may be tempted to try any medication to get rid of these bald spots — even Monistat for hair growth.
If this happens to you, you may want to start looking at treatments to promote hair health — like hair growth sprays.
Now for the big question. It’s important to know that ‘hair growth spray’ is a pretty general term. To really weigh in on whether they work, we have to get a bit more specific.
Hair growth sprays are meant to be spritzed directly onto the hair roots and are thought to promote a healthy scalp.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved medication that doesn’t require a prescription. It comes in a liquid or foam solution.
It isn't exactly known how minoxidil works, but it’s thought to stimulate hair follicles to enter the anagen (growth) phase.
Minoxidil also may stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp.
So, does it really work? Well, a 2019 review of this medication suggests that both men and women suffering from pattern hair loss found that it improved hair growth.
There are other spray options on the market that contain more natural ingredients — like rosemary or ginger extract.
These ingredients are thought to stimulate blood circulation to encourage hair growth. But research on their effectiveness is limited.
There was one small study that did suggest that rosemary essential oil may be as effective as minoxidil. To reiterate, this study was small and conducted for only a short time.
Just be careful if you have sensitive skin, as these ingredients could be irritating.
If you do opt to try a natural hair growth spray and notice you suddenly have an itchy scalp or any other symptoms, stop using the spray immediately and contact a healthcare professional.
It’s a bummer to have to deal with female pattern baldness, or any of the other types of hair loss.
Thankfully, there are many options available to treat the different forms of hair loss and help you get back on the road to healthier hair.
One option? Well, hair growth spray — and specifically, a spray that contains minoxidil.
You could try a nourishing spray that utilizes natural ingredients, too. All of these sprays are thought to encourage scalp health and hair growth.
If you’re interested in finding the best treatment option for your specific case of hair loss or want to achieve thicker hair, it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider.
Mary is an accomplished emergency and trauma RN with more than 10 years of healthcare experience.
As a data scientist with a Masters degree in Health Informatics and Data Analytics from Boston University, Mary uses healthcare data to inform individual and public health efforts.
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