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Hair loss is something we all experience at some stage in our lives. We actually lose 50 to 100 hairs daily, so finding a few stray hairs in the plug hole or on your hair brush is nothing to be alarmed about! It’s when your hair starts thinning or you notice bald patches that you need to worry.
Genetics, or a medical condition called hereditary hair loss, is the most common cause of hair loss with recent studies suggesting 80 million men and women in the US suffer this type of hair loss. Hair loss is considered such a big issue in America today, that the American Academy of Dermatology has even deemed the whole month of August to be National Hair Loss Awareness Month!
If your hair loss starts suddenly the cause may be due to an illness, diet, medicine or childbirth. More commonly, hair loss is gradual with it becoming more noticeable as we get older, maybe caused by hereditary hair loss or simply the body’s cell reproductions slowing down. Fortunately, whatever the cause, hair loss can be stopped or treated in most cases with either a visit to a dermatologist or by using over the counter shampoos or conditioners specifically designed for hair regrowth and to reverse hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss?
As we’ve already seen, genetics are the biggest cause of hair loss, also medically referred to as alopecia. There’s very little we can do to prevent it from happening, if your mother or father went bald or got thinning hair at an early age, there’s every chance you will too. Although we can’t stop it from happening, when it does we can either slow it down, put a halt to or reverse the process of hair thinning or loss.
Male pattern baldness usually causes bald patches to appear on a man’s scalp but women tend to keep their natural hairline with a widening parting being the first sign of hereditary hair loss. It’s very rare for a woman to have noticeable bald patches or a receding hairline with men sometimes experiencing noticeably thinning hair as a symptom. Hereditary hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is the hair loss most commonly treated with over the counter shampoos or conditioners that may help you keep that full head of hair for a little longer.
A more sudden and unexpected thinning or loss of hair can be indicative of an underlying medical condition with thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, eating disorders and anemia all being known to cause hair loss. Normally if caught in time, and the underlying condition is treated, hair will return unless there’s scarring. You may still want to use a hair growth or hair loss conditioner to ensure your hair grows back just as thick as before, but you should check with a doctor before using any product that has powerful or harsh active ingredients.
Which Ingredient Should You Look for in the Best Conditioner for Hair Loss?
Minoxidil is a medicine applied to the scalp and often added to shampoos and conditioners for hair loss. It works by stopping hairs from getting thinner and stimulating hair growth on top of the scalp. Although it’s been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss, in many cases minoxidil can cause dandruff as it may cause skin irritation and a dry scalp due to a key ingredient; propylene glycol. Dandruff is always treatable with other shampoos or remedies and you shouldn’t have to choose between hair loss or a dandruff problem.
Keratin is the protein which makes up the hair strands and was previously only used for hair straightening but keratin can also be useful for hair loss as it thickens the hair and adds volume while repairing damaged follicles.
Amino acids added to conditioners for hair loss not only promote hair growth but are good for hair retention by supplying sulfur to the cells of the hair. Biotin ensures the growth of amino acids and is responsible for the cellular growth especially important for hair growth. The amino acids also manufacture red blood cells that deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles.
Caffeine is one ingredient you may not expect to find in your hair conditioner but caffeine is a strong DHT blocker that blocks dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from damaging the follicle. Additionally, caffeine as a stimulant causes hair cells to produce more ATP (the energy used by biological cells) which helps the hair follicle continue to grow rather than shrinking. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean just drinking coffee can cure hair loss, it would take about 50 cups of coffee a day to see noticeable effects. Rosemary oil is commonly found in many conditioners too for its DHT blocking abilities.
How to Use Conditioners to Treat Hair Loss
Conditioners for hair loss work mainly like a regular condition but with the added bonus of allowing hair to grow faster and thicker which will combat hair loss. Shampooing your hair with a hair loss shampoo, especially one of the same brand can see more effective results than using the conditioner by itself.
After using the shampoo, you won’t need to towel dry it but simply remove the excess water and apply a small amount of conditioner onto the scalp, distributing it evenly throughout the hair and scalp. Some conditioners may have specific instructions, but in general the best results are obtained by leaving the conditioner to work for three to five minutes before rinsing off.
Where possible try to choose a conditioner that has more natural ingredients as these will be gentler on the scalp and may be used more often for optimum efficiency. The last thing you want is flakes of skin falling off the scalp as well as possible strands of hair. A healthy scalp leads to stronger healthy hair vital for reversing or slowing down the hair loss process.
The Best Conditioner for Hair Loss
To help you choose the best conditioner for hair loss, we’ve put together five of the most effective hair loss conditioners that aim to reduce hair loss while being mild on the scalp and nourishing the hair. All five conditioners are over the counter treatments yet offer a powerful remedy for hair loss.
When looking at products for hair loss, it can be hard to believe the many outlandish claims some manufacturers make. Hair loss is not curable but can be halted or slowed down with the right treatment.
Try to choose a conditioner that has DHT blockers to reduce follicle damage which causes hair loss and ingredients that can thicken the hair you already have on the scalp. A healthy scalp and hair strands are vital when you start experiencing hair loss so find the right conditioner for you that doesn’t irritate the scalp and leaves hair healthy and shiny.
Although considerably more expensive than many other conditioners our top recommendation for the best conditioner for hair loss would be Ultrax Labs Hair Solace Caffeine Hair Loss Growth Stimulating Conditioner. Sometimes more doesn’t equal better, and the Ultrax Lab formula of just three active ingredients; caffeine, jojoba oil and chamomile extract prove very effective at stimulating hair growth while strengthening and nourishing the hair.