Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 10/12/2021
When you think about dermatology you probably think of acne, getting yelled at for not wearing enough sunscreen or having that weird mole checked out.
Often overlooked though, is the fact that dermatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating ailments relating to nails and hair as well.
If you’re concerned about hair breakage, dry hair or fragile hair, your barber or stylist may be able to give you some solid recommendations.
But, when it comes to different types of hair loss and trying to maintain a healthy scalp, you’ll want to consult with a healthcare professional to receive a proper diagnosis and related treatment advice.
If you’re suffering from one of the many forms of hair loss and you’re looking to stimulate hair growth, the good news is that there are a number of dermatologist-recommended hair growth products to try. Here are four worth learning about:
Once it was realized that using minoxidil triggered hypertrichosis — or in layman's terms, excessive hair growth — it wasn’t long before many topical forms of minoxidil, like Hims Minoxidil for hair loss, were developed to treat different forms of hair loss.
While experts like dermatologists aren’t exactly sure what triggers the body to respond to minoxidil in ways that promote hair growth, studies suggest it helps boost blood flow, which in turn improves scalp health and promotes hair growth — resulting in thicker hair.
Finasteride acts to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the most important male sex hormone in the hair follicle and hair growth cycle.
In high enough levels, DHT has been shown to have a negative influence on the scalp, growth and cycling of hair.
To treat hair loss, finasteride is taken orally in a dose prescribed by your healthcare provider and has been shown to promote the regrowth of hair.
Since we now know that DHT can have a negative impact on the scalp, it should come as no surprise that DHT-blocking shampoos work much like finasteride in the sense that they block DHT.
Much depends on the shampoos’ ingredients, of course, and it’s been shown that ketoconazole (for example), has been helpful in inhibiting an enzyme that contributes to the formation of DHT.
These hair regrowth shampoos — like hims Hair Thickening Shampoo, which contains saw palmetto — are used topically (like any other type of shampoo), and were developed with ingredients that work to fight the negative effects of DHT on the hair growth process.
While these may look like something out of a bad 80’s sci-fi movie — seriously, do an image search — laser hats have shown promising results in increasing hair thickness and hair density in patients suffering from male pattern baldness.
While the mechanism of action that makes laser hats work has not been completely nailed down, studies show that low-level laser light therapy (LLLT) can promote tissue repair and regeneration by stimulating cellular activity.
So if you’re ready to wear a helmet that makes you look like a character from Tron to help stimulate your hair growth — and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be? — this could be a promising option.
However, be sure to double-check with your healthcare provider for a reliable device as there are some copy-cat sham devices out there.
With its many applications, dermatology can be a great resource for helping you to vet hair growth products before trying them so you can be sure whatever you choose has been researched and may help treat your unique form of hair loss.
If you’re suffering from male pattern baldness or another type of hair loss and you’re looking to stimulate hair growth, it may be time to get to the root of the problem and speak with a healthcare provider.
You can also sign up for a free consultation online with a hair growth specialist to discuss your options and see what products might be best for you.
Either way, before subjecting yourself to any of the fly-by-night hair growth supplements, products or treatments promising “fuller, sexier hair” speaking with a healthcare professional is an excellent way to find your best and safest hair loss treatment and regrowth options.
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