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The best shampoo for female hair loss

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Female hair loss shampoo

If you’re a woman experiencing hair loss, you may be interested in seeking out the best shampoo to promote hair growth. If you have noticed your hair has begun thinning or breaking, a thickening or strengthening shampoo may be the best option for the first steps. At LloydsPharmacy, brands such as plantur may be for you.

In the first instance, there are a whole range of natural hair loss vitamins, shampoos, conditioners and concealers which can help with your confidence. If you notice an increase in hair loss or sudden hair thinning you should seek medical advice from a professional or your GP.

Caffeine shampoo

One particularly popular type of shampoo for hair loss is caffeine shampoo. Two popular caffeine shampoos available in high street pharmacies are alpecin, which is tailored towards men, and plantur, which is tailored towards women. Both products are produced by the same company, Dr. Wolff, and are reported to be effective hair loss treatments, which work by stimulating the hair follicles with caffeine.

While some studies have drawn a link between the application of caffeine to the scalp and the halting of hair loss/regrowth, the jury is still out on just how effective these products are. For this reason, caffeine shampoo has not been endorsed as a hair loss treatment by the NHS.

The good news is that caffeine shampoo is very unlikely to do any damage to your hair; some women may even find that it improves the appearance of their hair. Ensure you check the label of your chosen shampoo for side effects before use, and consult your doctor at the first sign of any issues.


Minoxidil is not available in shampoo form, but it can be bought over the counter in pharmacies. It has a foam-like consistency which is applied directly to the scalp – although it must not be washed out. A popular brand that offers this treatment is regaine for women

If you’re a woman who is experiencing female-pattern baldness (in which the hair on the top of the head gradually thins over a period of many years), you may benefit from using minoxidil.

One study showed that minoxidil was effective in halting hair loss (and in many cases promoting new growth as well) in 88% of women who used it at a concentration of 2%, twice a day. Typically the effects begin to be noticeable within three or four months of use.*

To use minoxidil correctly you should refer to the instructions that come with the product; apply it directly to areas of the scalp with thinning hair once or twice a day as directed. Bear in mind that minoxidil must be used on an ongoing basis. If you stop using minoxidil your hair loss will resume within a few months.

Do shampoos for female hair loss work?

Sudden hair loss can be alarming and if you do find yourself losing hair quickly you should visit your doctor.

Currently, hair loss shampoos are not endorsed as a hair loss treatment by the NHS. This is because there is very limited evidence to suggest that they can halt hair loss and promote hair growth.

Some studies have found that caffeine shampoos can stimulate the hair follicles, helping to prevent loss and promote growth, however more research needs to be carried out to confirm whether this is true.

Will hair loss shampoos damage my hair?

It’s unlikely that using shampoos for hair loss will damage your hair. In many cases, they may improve the appearance of the hair (without actually reversing hair loss).

The problem is that hair loss shampoos can be expensive, and as there is no significant evidence that they encourage hair growth in women experiencing hair loss, they can be waste of money.

What are some alternatives to hair loss shampoo?

The only effective treatment for female hair loss is minoxidil. This does not require a prescription, and can be bought over the counter in pharmacies. Minoxidil comes as a lotion or foam and should be applied to balding or thinning areas of the scalp every day. The sale will be under the supervision of the Pharmacist where suitable for the patient.

Image for illustrative purposes only. Posed by models.