Fortunately, some of the best hair-growth products don’t require a treatment with a dermatologist or trichologist—meaning you can achieve thicker, longer hair right at home. With that and the ever-evolving hair-care market in mind, one could imagine there is a vast crop of options available right now. This makes understanding what will actually work that much more difficult. So we tapped three experts to weigh in on the best hair-growth products that will get you your desired results.
Meet the Experts
- Dr. Nazanin Saedi is a Philadelphia-based board-certified dermatologist who specializes in laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology.
- Helen Reavey is a board-certified trichologist, hairstylist, and cofounder of hair wellness brand Act + Acre.
- Dan Hodgdon is the founder and CEO of hair wellness brand Vegamour.
Let’s start at the beginning by discussing why someone might be experiencing hair loss—or slow hair growth—in the first place, beginning with gender. “There has been a historic assumption that hair loss is a male concern, and this is reflected in the traditional solutions available,” says Hodgdon, which bolsters no surprise that consumers are looking for products that tailor their approach to address female hair loss specifically. “Hair loss in women is incredibly common—over 80% of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives, and over 40% of alopecia sufferers are women,” he adds.
“So many different factors can contribute to hair loss,” says Reavey, who lists age, stress levels, diet, illness, hormonal imbalances, or even product buildup as potential causes. She continues that distinguishing the cause of hair loss is key, as treatment methods could vary widely. Hodgdon builds that certain conditions like alopecia or telogen effluvium (temporary hair loss after an episode of severe stress) can also have an impact.
What Are Hair-Growth Products?
Hodgdon describes this category as “[products] that help promote and support a healthy hair-growth cycle”—essentially stimulating the hair follicle. Our experts explain most products look to address a single cause or symptom, which Hodgdon places into one of two categories: topical and ingestible treatments—the latter, Reavey says, has seen immense growth to support healthy hair from within.
Why You Should Incorporate Hair-Growth Products
“Healthy, long, thick hair is the dream. As a dermatologist, I tell my patients that healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp,” says Saedi. “If you have dandruff, an itchy scalp, or scalp psoriasis, you need to start with addressing that first. If these conditions are chronic, talk to a dermatologist who can help you get on the right path to healing your scalp.”
What’s more, Reavey emphasizes that even your styling choices can play a part in hair loss, especially in certain areas of your scalp. “A person may see their hairline becoming visibly thinner, or that more of their scalp is becoming apparent through their parting,” she notes. “Other common indicators include your ponytail feeling less full or that you are shedding more hair than normal into your brush.”
The Key Ingredients You Should Look for in Hair-Growth Products
Whether you’re looking to prevent or treat signs of hair loss, your first step may be consulting with a trusted dermatologist or trichologist to determine the root cause and create a plan of next steps. Saedi recommends prostaglandin analogs to help promote growth or supplementing your diet with biotin.