Can Ketoconazole shampoo treat hair loss and help with hair growth? In this article, I’ll discuss what a Ketoconazole shampoo is and how it fights dandruff. I’ll also show you new studies that link Ketoconazole to hair growth and review the best shampoos with Ketoconazole!
Hair thinning and loss is a problem affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 70 million Americans experience some form of hair loss, with the biggest percentage of the victims being men.
The good news is that the market is not short of solutions. There are many different types of products formulated to deal with different kinds of hair loss issues. Shampoos have become one of the popular products of handling hair thinning and shedding.
What is a Ketoconazole Shampoo?
Ketoconazole shampoos are a unique type of shampoo formulated to deal with scalp dryness, itchiness, flakiness, and dandruff. Ketoconazole is derived from imidazole, which provides antifungal protection. It helps in dealing with seborrheic dermatitis. Therefore, Ketoconazole shampoos are useful for fighting dandruff and other scalp issues that are known to cause hair thinning.
Ketoconazole vs Fungi: Mode of Action
Ketoconazole has a superior in vivo activity against a wide spectrum of fungi. It acts on the biosynthesis of phospholipids and triglycerides, thereby disrupting the integrity of fungi cells. Furthermore, it has selective toxicity for yeasts and fungi primarily due to its inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis. The fungi’s ergosterol is the main component of its cell membrane and it plays a major role in its survival.
At very low concentrations, (10 ppb), ketoconazole can inhibit the formation of fungi at a level that shows clinical symptoms. In vitro studies also showed that it strongly acts against fungus’ morphogenesis, or its formation cycle. In comparison to other imidazoles, ketoconazole’s synergistic action with host cells proves to be more potent in eradicating systemic fungal infections.
Ketoconazole for Hair Loss:
Ketoconazole, from what we know so far, has a broad spectrum of antifungal functions. It can help not only in treating fungal infections on the scalp but also potentially help deal with fungal-related hair loss. But Ketoconazole’s hair loss benefits may not only be attributed to its fungal-killing properties. New studies suggest that Ketoconazole acts like a DHT Blocker and helps promote growth of new hair as well.
DHT Blocker and Trichogenic Effect
One notable application of ketoconazole widely found in literature is its hair regrowth potential or its trichogenous (hair-producing) property. This may have been because Ketoconazole in high doses, can bind with androgen receptors which decrease the activity of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. It also inhibits enzymes that are needed for steroid synthesis, one of which is the synthesis of testosterone in the adrenal cortex.
Testosterone and DHT are highly linked to hair loss. There have been 3 relevant studies that show the positive benefits of Ketoconazole for hair loss.
1. Ketoconazole for Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL)
Trichogenic effect of ketoconazole in comparison with minoxidil was evaluated in a small study with patients experiencing Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). In the study, 40 patients were divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Group A was treated with 2% minoxidil while Group B patients were treated with 2% ketoconazole.
While there was a delayed effect of hair regrowth on Group B, patients in Group B observed a significant trichogenic effect on their hair. After 6 months of evaluation, patient satisfaction was not significantly different between the two groups. We can derive from this that the effect on patients treated with minoxidil was comparable to patients treated with ketoconazole.
2. Ketoconazole for Hair Growth
A comparative study on the promotive effect of ketoconazole, minoxidil, and tretinoin on hair growth of mice was also conducted in 2014. The results mentioned that there was a significant stimulatory effect on hair growth compared to the control group.
3. Ketoconazole for Hair Loss
Since the 1990s, ketoconazole has been gaining attention as an antifungal medication. One of the earliest studies conducted on ketoconazole’s effectiveness was actually on a disease associated with hair loss. The result of the study was promising as hair density and anagen follicles proportion was improved by both ketoconazole and minoxidil. Comparative analysis of the data showed that ketoconazole has significant anti-androgenic action in addition to reducing sebum content.
Looking for antifungal shampoos? Check out this article: Best Antifungal Shampoos for Humans
Now that you know more about the benefits of Ketoconazole, So, which Ketoconazole Shampoo should you use?
Best Ketoconazole Shampoo for Dandruff
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is the best Ketoconazole Shampoo on the market right now. The shampoo is formulated with Ketoconazole 1% that has proven to be very effective in treating scaling, flaking, itchiness, and dandruff itself by fighting fungus. This is not just a manufacturer’s claim based on their formula, but it has actually been tested and tried. With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 after over 14,000 reviews, the shampoo makes a very compelling case that cannot be matched by any other competing products.
The shampoo is powerful enough to deal with stubborn and severe dandruff. The best part? Despite being so tough on dandruff, the formula is very gentle to the skin, so you shouldn’t experience any issues to do with itchiness, irritation, or other reactions.
The shampoo produces a rich and thick lather that deep cleanses your hair to remove residues, pore-clogging sebum, and other types of dirt present in your scalp and hair. Rinsing off the lather is also very easy, and this is important because shampoo residues can also be harmful to your scalp and hair. The shampoo is also known to leave behind a refreshing smell.
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is the best Nizoral shampoo to fight hair loss caused by dandruff. The shampoo should be used only twice per week.
- Highly rated
- Proven results
- Thickens hair
- Clinically tested
- It can help control hair loss
- Can be a bit drying
Does Nizoral Prevent Hair Loss?
Nizoral is an anti-fungal shampoo that can kill fungus on the scalp and protect your scalp from further damage or hair loss. The Ketoconazole in Nizoral has been proven to help with hair loss as well because of its Anti-DHT and trichogenic properties.
Is Nizoral a DHT blocker?
The Nizoral shampoo contains 1% Ketoconazole which has been found to be a DHT blocker. But Nizoral is not marketed as a hair loss product but as an antifungal shampoo.
Nizoral Shampoo Reviews Hair Loss
My hair was falling out more than usual to the point where spots on my hairline were thinning. Nizoral saved my scalp/hair! I noticed an immediate difference in the first wash and gradually my hair started falling out less and growing back and the patches went away. By Andrea
I have now been using the shampoo for about two (2) months now and while I haven’t noticed substantial new hair growth, I have noticed that I am shedding less when I wash/brush my hair. By Liz
It doesn’t have the most pleasant smell but honestly, who cares? I was suffering from hair loss due to my dandruff issue and my scalp was SUPER itchy and dry and, like I said, after 4 weeks all of these issues were completely gone. By Evelyn
Best DHT Blocker Shampoo with Ketoconazole
Revita Ketoconazole Shampoo
Revita Shampoo Ketoconazole Percentage: 1%
Revita High-performance Hair Stimulating Shampoo is formulated with Ketoconazole, DHT blockers, caffeine, biotin, and other powerful ingredients known for stopping hair loss and stimulating hair growth. Therefore, it’s one of the best shampoos not just for controlling dandruff but also for stimulating hair growth. As a result, the shampoo is widely used by individuals with thinning hair, hair loss, and male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia.
The Ketoconazole present in this formula fights dandruff from the source. It deals with the fungus causing dandruff, thereby stopping issues such as itchiness, flakiness, scaling, and dryness of the scalp.
DHT blockers prevent hair loss. In case you don’t know, the hormone DHT is one of the primary causes of male pattern baldness in both men and women. Studies have shown that controlling DHT or the enzyme causing DHT production (5-alpha reductase) helps to stop hair loss. This is precisely what the shampoo is formulated to achieve.
The additional ingredients present in this formula, like caffeine and biotin, stimulate the scalp and hair follicles to grow strong, thick, full, and generally healthier hair.
In addition to stopping dandruff, hair loss, and stimulating hair growth, the shampoo also provides antioxidant protection, fights follicular dysfunction, and maintains scalp vitality.Revita Shampoo works well with different hair types.
- Features a comprehensive formula that fights hair loss, promotes hair growth and protects the hair and scalp
- It works for both men and women
- Works with different hair types
- Made in the US
- It takes time to produce hair growth results.
Caffeine and Saw Palmetto Shampoo
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge is a meticulously formulated shampoo that can control dandruff, hair loss, and stimulate hair growth. The shampoo contains several clinically proven ingredients such as Ketoconazole, Caffeine, and Saw Palmetto.
Ketoconazole fights fungus to leave you with a dandruff-free scalp and hair that’s looking shiny and healthy. The topical use of caffeine has been proven to be very useful to the hair follicles. First, it’s well absorbed into the scalp. It then stimulates the hair follicles and extends their life cycle, thus improving the growth of strong and healthy hair. It’s also worth noting that the topical use of caffeine is totally safe, so you don’t have to worry about the typical side effects linked to oral use of the stimulant.
Finally, Saw Palmetto fights hair loss caused by DHT. It’s a very effective ingredient, and that’s why it is found in the best hair loss products, both oral and topical. Saw palmetto blocks the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. In doing so, it prevents the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to cause hair loss.
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge should be used five times per week for the best results.
- It stops hair loss and stimulates hair growth
- It can be used alongside regular shampoos
- Made in the US
- Covered by a money-back guarantee
- It’s a bit pricey
Find more Saw Palmetto Products here: Saw Palmetto Hair Regrowth Success +5 Best Saw Palmetto Hair Products
Shampoo with Ketoconazole and Saw Palmetto
Regenepure Dr Hair and Scalp Treatment Shampoo
Regenepure DR Shampoo Review:
Regenepure DR Shampoo is rich in emu oil, jojoba oil, Niacin, saw palmetto, aloe vera, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6. These are some of the most popular ingredients in hair care products and for good reasons. Several studies have proven the benefits of these ingredients in fighting hair thinning and boosting hair regrowth. For instance, Saw Palmetto is clinically proven to be beneficial in fighting DHT, a sex hormone that causes hair loss. The B vitamins nourish the scalp and hair follicles to create the perfect environment for healthy hair growth.
The formula also contains Ketoconazole in addition to other ingredients that fight dandruff and scalp itchiness, dryness, flakiness, and scaling.
The Regenepure shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals, so the risk of skin irritation and other adverse reactions is reduced significantly.
- Proven results
- It stops hair loss and boosts hair growth
- Strengthens hair and prevents hair breakage
- It might not work well with some people.
Wick & Strom Anti Hair Loss Shampoo
Wick & Strom Anti Hair Loss Shampoo features a powerful formula that deep cleanses the scalp and hair, stops hair loss, stimulates hair regrowth, and protects the hair follicles against damage. This incredible shampoo has a great smell and an even better lather.
It is formulated with proven ingredients like Ketoconazole, biotin, Aloe Vera Gel, Caffeine, Saw Palmetto Extract, and Niacin, just to mention a few. These ingredients do everything necessary to give you strong, long, thick, and voluminous hair. They also help to moisturize and condition the scalp and hair, maintaining just the right amount of moisture. In the end, users get to enjoy a clean and fresh scalp and thick and shiny hair.
- Clinically proven ingredients
- Amazing scent
- It takes time to produce hair growth results
Although Ketoconazole is found very effective in fighting fungi and treating hair loss, it is associated with many side effects. It has been found that it is very toxic in large doses, that’s why the topical routes is more preferred. Here are the most common side effects of using Ketoconazole.
Ketoconazole Side Effects and Interactions
In its early emergence, evidence of hepatotoxicity was associated with oral ketoconazole. Serious side effects included endocrine dysregulation or tissue destruction and death. Since 2013, oral ketoconazole has been banned in Europe and Australia. Topical ketoconazole however was still widely used and prescribed for superficial mycoses, and tinea versicolor.
It should be noted that in the study mentioned above, treatment with ketoconazole had minimal side effects compared to those treated with minoxidil. Only 10% of the patients or only 2 patients in the study experienced adverse effects. This paves the way to its superiority over minoxidil treatments since it opens new safe and effective ways of treating female pattern hair loss.
Possible Side Effects
Since ketoconazole is a highly reactive compound, there are a number of interactions that may occur if taken along with other medicated topical solutions. Typical side effects are itching, stinging/burning sensation, and irritation.
T Gel vs Ketoconazole for Dandruff & Hair Loss
Neutrogena T-gel as indicated in the labels is not an anti-hair loss shampoo. It is a medicated shampoo for controlling dandruff and itchy scalps. This shampoo is commonly prescribed with other medications for seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Coal Tar Benefits
Seborrheic dermatitis or scalp eczema and psoriasis cause scalp irritation, redness, and large skin flakes. Neutrogena T Gel shampoo contains a special formula that helps treat these symptoms. One main ingredient of Neutrogena T gel shampoo is coal tar. Many studies were done on coal tar’s efficacy in treating these diseases.
Coal Tar or T Gel vs Ketoconazole Studies
A study of coal tar used in treating dandruff showed dispersed scales that may prevent Malassezia colonization, a fungus that is strongly linked to dandruff. The topical application of coal tar further suppressed fungi’s epidermal DNA biosynthesis.
Another successful study showed that a combination of polytar and zinc pyrithione was effective in controlling dandruff and its symptoms. However, there are still limitations of this study that can not conclude its efficacy in multi-racial populations.
In comparison with ketoconazole products, coal tar may seem less effective. Some studies involved a comparison of different anti-dandruff shampoos or treatments. One comparative study conducted showed that coal tar shampoo alone was less effective than combination products in the treatment of dandruff. The researchers used products containing coal tar alone, coal tar and a drug (ciclopirox olamine), and 2% ketoconazole.
Coal Tar Side Effects
Moreover, coal tar products are known photosensitizers, or they pose a risk of skin sensitization and were eventually banned in Europe due to safety concerns. Products containing coal tars cause problems like staining, foul odor, and messiness upon application This made them only secondary therapy to patients with dandruff problems.
Where to Buy Ketoconazole Shampoo?
1% Ketoconazole shampoos are available OTC or on Amazon. 2% formula on the other hand, can only be bought in the pharmacy if you have a doctor’s prescription.
FAQs about Ketoconazole Shampoo
Does Ketoconazole Shampoo cause Hair Loss?
Just like Minoxidil, Ketoconazole helps fight hair loss because of its anti-androgenic or anti-DHT properties. That’s aside from killing fungal infection that causes irritation on the scalp as well.
How to use Ketoconazole Shampoo for Hair Loss?
Most of the Ketoconazole shampoo should be used just like your regular shampoos. Massage it on wet hair and scalp and let it sit for 3 minutes to let the Ketoconazole seep into your scalp and do its work. Rinse and use according to your doctor’s recommendation.
What Shampoos have Ketoconazole?
Nizoral Shampoo is the most popular Ketoconazole shampoo. But shampoos like Revita, Ultrax Hair Labs, Wick & Strom and Regenepure Dr also contain Ketoconazole and other hair growing ingredients like Caffeine and Saw Palmetto.
Revita vs Nizoral: Which is Better?
If your primary goal is to kill your fungal infection/dandruff, I recommend you get the Nizoral shampoo. Revita on the other hand is best for growing hair as it contains other ingredients like Saw Palmetto and Caffeine.
Regenepure DR vs Nizoral: Which is Better?
Just like Revita, Regenepure contains more ingredients that help with hair loss and hair growth. If hair loss and hair growth is your main objective, I believe that Regenepure DR is a much better shampoo compared to the Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo.
Revita vs Regenepure: Which is Better?
Revita and Regenepure both contain powerful DHT-Blocking ingredients like Caffeine, Saw Palmetto, Niacin, and Ketoconazole. But what I love about Revita Shampoo is it also uses Nanosome technology that penetrates deep into the skin to deliver these active ingredients. This makes this shampoo more effective, long-lasting and more expensive compared to the Regenepure DR.
What’s the Best Ketoconazole Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Nizoral AD is the best ketoconazole shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis. In combination with other anti-inflammatory shampoos like TGel/Coal Tar shampoos, Ketoconazole has been found to be more effective in keeping dermatitis at bay. But please consult your doctor to find the best treatment for your dermatitis.
Best Ketoconazole Shampoo: Final Thoughts
The above list covers the best ketoconazole shampoos on the market at the moment. As you can tell, all of them are formulated with additional ingredients, so they do more than just stopping dandruff and flakiness. They will also combat hair loss and stimulate your scalp and hair follicles to produce strong, long, and thick hair. However, they all need some time to produce the results, so you’ll need to be patient.