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5 Dermatologist-Recommended Hair Growth Products

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 09/27/2021

Updated 04/04/2024

Dermatologists are experts in matters beyond the skin — they’re also trained to diagnose and treat conditions relating to your hair and nails. When it comes to dealing with male pattern baldness, avoiding damaged hair and getting the most reliable forms of treatment for hair loss, you’ll want to consult a dermatologist, or at least stick to the products they recommend.

Below, we’ve shared five dermatologist-recommended hair products for treating and preventing hair thinning, stimulating healthy hair growth, avoiding vitamin deficiencies that may affect your hair, improving damaged hair and maintaining fuller-looking hair in general.

What do dermatologists recommend for hair loss? Read on to find out.

Dealing with hair loss (also called alopecia) can be stressful. Luckily, there are plenty of products on the market that can help bring the problem under control.

Many of the best hair growth products — that is, the ones that are backed up by real clinical trials and recommended by dermatologists — are both easy-to-use and affordably priced. The best hair health product are the ones that can help manage breakage, keratin production, dandruff and more.

Below, we’ve shared five reputable hair care products, from FDA-approved hair growth treatments and prescription medications to hair growth shampoos and hair supplements.

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1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is considered by many to be the number one treatment for hair loss. It’s safe and effective and it’s available over-the-counter as a topical medication. You might find minoxidil as a liquid solution and as a foam, both of which can be applied to the areas of your scalp with thinning hair.

Currently, minoxidil is one of two FDA-approved hair regrowth treatments (we’ll touch on the other, finasteride, below). As such, it’s one of several dermatologist-recommended hair growth products you’ll likely hear about if you talk to a healthcare provider about thinning hair.

“Minoxidil is one of the cornerstones when it comes to treating hair loss,” says Hims & Hers Health Medical Advisor and board certified dermatologist Knox Beasley. “And I try to include it in my patients' treatment regimens whenever possible.”

Like many other medications, minoxidil was originally developed for a different issue — treating high blood pressure. Once it was realized that using minoxidil caused hypertrichosis — in more simple terms, excessive hair growth — it was repurposed as a hair growth medication.

Although experts aren’t exactly aware of minoxidil’s mechanism of action, research suggests it works by stimulating blood flow to your scalp and accelerating the growth phase of your natural hair growth cycle.

Research also shows that minoxidil works well to prevent hair shedding and stimulate new hair growth.

For example, in one study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a total of more than 900 men with hereditary hair loss were treated with minoxidil over a period of 12 months.

Of the men who took part in the study, 84.3 percent described minoxidil as either “very effective,” “effective” or “moderately effective” as a dedicated hair loss treatment in terms of producing hair growth.

Research also suggests that minoxidil is effective as a treatment for female pattern hair loss — a form of hair loss that can occur in women.

Interested in using minoxidil as a topical product for stopping hair loss and stimulating new hair growth? We offer minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online as part of our range of men’s hair loss treatments.

2. Finasteride

Finasteride is the second hair loss medication that’s approved by the FDA, and it’s likely one of the first recommendations a dermatologist or other medical professional will make if you have a receding hairline or other signs of hair loss that you’d like to stop from getting worse.

Unlike minoxidil, which is designed for topical application to your scalp, finasteride is most popularly available in tablet form, and is taken orally. It works by stopping your body from making dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — an androgen hormone that causes hair loss.

Over time, DHT can attach to receptors in your scalp and cause your hair follicles to slowly stop producing new hairs, resulting in male pattern baldness.

In a way, you can think of DHT as the “baldness hormone,” as exposure to DHT is what causes your hair follicles to stop functioning effectively. Although DHT affects all hair types, not all men are equally sensitive to it, which is why baldness can vary in severity from person to person.

Our guide to DHT and permanent hair loss goes into more detail about this process, as well as the damaging role that DHT plays in the health of your hair.

By preventing your body from producing DHT, finasteride effectively protects your hair follicles from this form of damage, allowing you to maintain healthy hair follicles that can grow hairs on an ongoing basis.

Used on a daily basis, finasteride can help to slow down, stop and even reverse hair loss that’s caused by male pattern baldness, which can help you maintain a fuller head of hair even if you’re prone to male pattern baldness.

In one study, researchers found that 80.5 percent of men with hair loss who used finasteride for 12 months showed improvements. Men who used both finasteride and minoxidil showed even better results, with 94.1 percent reporting improvements over the same time period.

We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.

We also offer a topical finasteride and minoxidil spray that allows you to apply finasteride along with minoxidil.

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Before/after images shared by customers who have purchased varying products, including prescription based products. Prescription products require an online consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. These customers’ results have not been independently verified. Individual results will vary. Customers were given free product.

3. Dermatologist-Recommended Shampoo for Hair Loss

What shampoo do dermatologists recommend? Shampoo doesn’t just affect your hair’s scent and texture; it can also help prevent shedding and promote stronger hair.

If you talk to a dermatologist about preventing hair loss and maintaining good scalp health, they’ll likely recommend switching to a shampoo that contains active ingredients that nourish and protect your hair follicles.

Many DHT-blocking shampoos, for example, use active ingredients like ketoconazole and saw palmetto to limit DHT-related damage to your hair follicles.

These products aren’t necessarily hair loss stoppers on their own, but used alongside FDA-approved hair loss medications such as minoxidil and finasteride, they can help maximize your results and keep most types of hair loss at bay.

For example, our Hair Thickening Shampoo contains saw palmetto to target DHT and promote thicker hair and a healthy scalp.

One of the biggest advantages of using a dermatologist-recommended shampoo is that it’s easy to incorporate into your hair care routine. Simply change from your regular shampoo to one that’s formulated to protect your hair cells and promote strong hair.

Our guide to what to look for in a men’s hair loss shampoo goes into more detail about proven key ingredients to consider when choosing a shampoo and other products for hair growth.

4. Biotin

Much like your skin and nails, your hair depends on a complex and diverse variety of nutrients to grow to its full potential.

Many forms of hair loss can happen when your hair is deprived of these nutrients. Telogen effluvium — a form of temporary hair shedding — can develop when you aren’t getting enough protein or you’re experiencing an iron deficiency.

Certain vitamin deficiencies can affect your hair quality, causing issues such as brittle hair or damage to your hair shaft.

Biotin is a vitamin that plays a key role in the growth of your hair. While the precise link between biotin and hair growth isn’t fully understood, some research suggests that biotin deficiency may be involved in certain hair disorders and forms of hair damage.

For example, a study published in the International Journal of Trichology in 2016 found that 38 percent of women with hair loss were deficient in biotin.

We’ve discussed this research and other studies that look into the relationship between biotin levels and the hair growth process in our guide to biotin as a potential hair growth solution.

Interested in boosting your vitamin intake as a type of “insurance” policy for healthier hair? Our Biotin Gummy Vitamins contain both biotin and a range of other hair-friendly vitamins to supply your hair, nails and skin with the nutrients they need to look and feel their best.

5. Laser Hair Growth Devices

If you’ve ever watched late-night TV, you’ve probably seen infomercials for laser-based devices that promise to strengthen your hair fibers and reverse the effects of male pattern hair loss.

While many of these devices look like something out of a bad 80’s sci-fi movie — seriously, do a quick image search — some laser devices have shown potential for stimulating hair growth.

The idea behind laser devices — or low-level light therapy (LLLT)— is to improve blood circulation and stimulate epidermal stem cells in your scalp, which could promote hair growth.

The exact mechanism of action behind this type of technology isn’t fully understood, meaning we don’t know precisely how it might function at the scalp level (or how it may assist with hair loss).

Popular laser hair growth devices include laser hats and helmet-like devices, several of which have shown promising results in increasing hair thickness and hair density in patients suffering from male pattern baldness.

It’s worth noting, however, that research in this field is currently lacking. As such, it’s best to think of most laser devices as a “maybe” when it comes to treating hair loss, or as a complementary treatment alongside options like minoxidil and finasteride.

Be sure to double-check with your healthcare provider for a reliable laser device, as — like with many other new technologies — there are countless copy-cat, sham hair laser light hair growth devices out there that aren’t backed up by any real research.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

Whether it’s male pattern baldness or a little temporary thinning, hair loss is a common problem that affects just about every man at some point in his life.

While there are lots of great hair growth products out there, many of the most widely-promoted products for making your hair stronger and thicker and promote general hair wellness aren’t fully supported by scientific evidence.

As such, talking to an expert in hair health can help you to learn more about what the best hair growth products really are, as well as which types of treatment and products should be avoided.

As specialists in hair, dermatologists can guide you down the correct path toward thicker, fuller hair while helping you avoid spending money on overhyped products and unreliable treatments.

Interested in taking action to treat pattern hair loss and stimulate hair growth? We offer a range of men’s hair loss treatments online, including FDA-approved hair growth medications such as minoxidil and finasteride.

To get started, you can sign up for a free consultation online with a hair growth specialist to talk about your options and see what products might be best for you.

7 Sources

  1. Suchonwanit P, Thammarucha S, Leerunyakul K. Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review [published correction appears in Drug Des Devel Ther. 2020 Feb 10;14:575]. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019;13:2777-2786. Published 2019 Aug 9. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S214907 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/
  2. Badri T, Nessel TA, Kumar D D. Minoxidil. [Updated 2021 Apr 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/
  3. Zito PM, Bistas KG, Syed K. Finasteride. [Updated 2021 Mar 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513329/
  4. Chen X, Liu B, Li Y, et al. Dihydrotestosterone Regulates Hair Growth Through the Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway in C57BL/6 Mice and In Vitro Organ Culture. Front Pharmacol. 2020;10:1528. Published 2020 Jan 23. doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.01528 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6989660/
  5. Inadomi T. Efficacy of Finasteride for Treating Patients with Androgenetic Alopecia who are Pileous in other Areas: A Pilot Study in Japan. Indian J Dermatol. 2014;59(2):163-165. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.127677 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969676/
  6. Yoon JS, Ku WY, Lee JH, Ahn HC. Low-level light therapy using a helmet-type device for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: A 16-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham device-controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(29):e21181. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000021181 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373546/
  7. Avci P, Gupta GK, Clark J, Wikonkal N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) for treatment of hair loss. Lasers Surg Med. 2014;46(2):144-151. doi:10.1002/lsm.22170 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3944668/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 

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