Hair loss is a normal part of everyday life. The average person loses between 50 to 100 strands of hair from their head each day. It’s when we start to lose excessively more than that, that hair loss becomes a problem – and we go on the hunt for a solution. The good news is that there are many hair growth solutions available on the market today. The bad news is that some solutions can come at a significant cost, not to mention serious side effects, while others will only be effective for as long as you’re using them. That’s why it’s important to understand your options before you decide on the best hair growth solution for you.
The hair growth product market may seem overwhelming at first, with everything from powders and pills, to sprays and shampoos. It can be hard to differentiate one from the other, or to know which one is best for you. At their essence, however, hair growth products can be broken down into two broad categories: those that contain drugs and those that are drug-free. Here, we’ll explore the truth and identify the good, the bad, and the ugly of each so that you can make an informed decision about what will work best for you.
How Drug-Based Hair Growth Solutions Work
The most common trigger of hair loss for both men and women is hereditary, or what’s known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is caused by shrinking hair follicles, which eventually leads to those follicles producing thinner or no hair altogether. Shrinking hair follicles are the result of higher levels of a testosterone called DHT. That’s where drug-based hair loss solutions come in, finasteride and minoxidil being the most common. Finasteride is a once-a-day pill for men only that helps to stop the body from converting ordinary testosterone into DHT. Minoxidil, on the other hand, works in both men and women to increase blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles, and thereby promote new growth. At their core, drug-based solutions are about restoring your hair follicles to a healthy state – and keeping them there.
The Truth About Drug-Based Hair Growth Solutions
The good, the bad, and the ugly
First, the good: drug-based hair growth solutions can work. The most effective products on the market today have the potential to not only outright halt hair loss, but also to help stimulate new hair growth. However, with the good comes the bad. Drug-based hair growth solutions can come with side effects that some find hard to endure. These can include decreased sex drive/sexual dysfunction, scalp irritation, rashes, breast tenderness, swelling, an increase in hair loss, weight gain, headaches, chest pain, a rapid heart rate, or even prostate cancer. Some side effects are more common than others, with the most serious being less common. Still, they pose a risk that potential users must be aware of upfront.
If you’re so far willing to accept the good and the bad, then here’s the ugly: once you stop using drug-based hair growth solutions, their benefits will cease. Not only that, but you may even see a reversal of all the hard-earned gains you experienced while using the product. Your hair will likely return to the natural state it was in before you started using the product – or worse. You may have little to nothing to show for everything you went through. Put another way, using drug-based hair growth solutions is a lifelong commitment if you want to continue reaping their benefits.
How Hair Growth Shampoos Work
Drug-free hair growth shampoos target hair that hasn’t grown yet. They work to create a healthy scalp from which new hair can sprout . They do that by infusing substances that are proven to be effective when applied topically. This includes ingredients like Biotin, a B-vitamin that is key to having strong hair, nails, and skin; caffeine, which has been shown to stimulate follicles and protect against testosterone; and zinc, a mineral that is proven to help maintain hormonal balance. Oils such as argan oil and lavender oil can also be soothing to the scalp. Salon-grade hair growth shampoos like Veta will also include growth compounds such as Follicusan and Trichogen, to further support the hair growth process. If you’re using the product regularly, you should start to see visible results after your next four-week hair growth cycle.
The Truth About Natural Hair Growth Shampoos
The good, the bad, and the ugly
The good thing about addressing your hair loss with a drug-free shampoo is that you’re using a natural alternative to some of the harsher drug-based products on the market. You can be confident knowing that you’re not putting your body at risk of severe side effects by ingesting or applying topically any ingredients that you may not understand the full consequences of. Hair growth shampoos are less potent than their drug-based competitors, and thus not FDA-regulated, but have been proven effective in delivering thicker, stronger, and even new hair. While they will not cure baldness, hair growth shampoos can be effective at slowing the hair loss process, and providing fuller, healthier hair in just four to eight weeks.
Another good thing about using a natural hair growth shampoo is that the effects are long-lasting. Unlike with drug-based solutions, you won’t lose the gains you experienced while using the product once you stop. You don’t need to make a lifelong commitment to the product, nor bear the costs associated with it forever. Assuming you maintain a healthy lifestyle and good diet, you should be able to continue reaping the rewards of the shampoo if and when you decide to stop using it.
Despite the benefits, drug-free hair growth shampoos can come with a down side, too. Unless they’re made of salon-quality ingredients, they may leave your scalp just as irritated as their drug-based competitors. Many of the cheaper products you may find in your local drugstore use harsh formulas, including being alcohol-based, that can damage your scalp and leave your skin itchy and dry. It’s important to remember that not all hair growth shampoos are created equal. The very few that work contain the highest concentrations of scientifically-proven natural ingredients, such as:
- Trichogen - activates cellular metabolism and oxygenation, improves skin/scalp microcirculation
- Follicusan - vitalizes the hair follicle, stimulates the dermal papilla cells, improves both hair density and hair thickness
- Pronalen - increases oxygen consumption and mitochondrial respiration
Another consideration is that natural hair growth shampoos might require a little more patience than drug-based solutions. Since their formulas are not as potent as drug-based solutions, they can take longer to show results. You will need to wait until the next anagen phase of your hair growth cycle to see noticeable improvement. That may take anywhere from four to eight weeks, although you could notice reduced shedding in less than four weeks. While you’re waiting for those all-important functional benefits, however, your hair quality can substantially improve thanks to many of the premium cosmetic benefits (cleansing, conditioning, hydrating, reparative, etc) associated with salon-grade products.
Finally, the ugly truth is that no hair growth shampoo will be able to regrow hair where there is none. They can work to thicken hair and slow down the hair loss process in the future, but no product is a magic cure for baldness. If you see these false claims on any products, steer clear.
How to Choose the Right Hair Growth Solution for You
Choosing the right hair growth solution for you depends on the stage of hair loss that you’re at. If you’re in the very early stages, make sure you consult with a doctor to get at the root of any underlying medical issues, and try to resolve those first. Following that, address any lifestyle or diet changes that may need to be made. Activities like smoking and drinking alcohol can negatively impact your hair’s health. Once that’s done, you can then begin to look at your hair growth options.
Starting with a salon-grade hair stimulating shampoo like Veta can be a good idea in the early to mid-stages of hair loss. It’s safe, natural, and works to protect and nourish the hair that’s already there. It can help slow down your hair loss before it’s too late. Natural hair growth shampoos can restore your scalp to a healthy state and deliver noticeable results in under eight weeks. The best part is that the results will last even if you decide to stop using it.
On the other hand, drug-based hair growth solutions are a better option if you’re in the later stages of balding (Stage 4 or later for men on the Norwood Scale, or Stage II-2 or later for women on the Ludwig Scale), or if you’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. Because of their possible and severe side effects, along with the costs associated with having to continue using the product for as long as you want to see results, it’s recommended that you don’t make drug-based solutions your first choice. Instead, experiment with natural hair growth shampoos and see if you can’t restore health and vitality to your scalp – and your hair – the safer, more sustainable way.
Look for the natural, salon-grade ingredients that you’ll find in Veta shampoos and start your journey to a thicker, healthier head of hair.