External therapy: Cosmetic products for hair loss

If you become concerned about that the amount of hair being left on your pillow and in your comb has been increasing significantly over the last several months, then the best advice is to seek medical attention. A Trichologist is a medical expert who specializes in scalp and hair health. He will advise you on the treatment and what you should pay attention to. It has been found that buying expensive, advertised preparations and self-treatments are most likely to be ineffective and you will just waste your time on useless products and procedures.

However, Trichologists strongly recommend that all those who have faced the problem of hair loss (the medical term is “alopecia”) should be extremely careful when choosing hair care products. Preference should be given to hair products that are mild and do not contain aggressive components. And again, have your doctor recommend the product that will be best for your particular case.

There are a great number of cosmetic hair loss products available in different forms.

Some include:

Hair loss serums provided in ampoules.

serum_ampoulesEach ampoule contains a single dose of serum. These serums usually contain active ingredients such as essential oils, vitamins and plant extracts. The concentrations are extremely high so the applications should be staggered – usually it is recommended to use such serums for about 2-3 months to see a result. Such manufacturers of cosmetic products as Vichy and L’Oreal also add Aminexil to their anti-hair loss serums. Aminexil is said to be a chemical substance similar to Minoxidil. However, no serious medical trials have been conducted to prove the effectiveness of this substance in battling hair loss.

The rules to follow when applying such serums are roughly the same, irrespective of the manufacturer:

  • Apply the serum to your clean scalp, evenly distribute it between the hair roots.
  • Carefully rub the serum into the scalp, then massage it for 3-5 minutes until it is fully absorbed;
  • Often such serums require no rinsing off.

Lotions in the form of sprays

Boost hair lotionThese can be comfortably applied to the hair roots and rubbed in. Only lotions that contain Minoxidil can be considered effective in stopping hair loss. However, Minoxidil is a pharmaceutical agent. Therefore the lotions that contain this ingredient are not just cosmetic products, but medicinal. Their use should be approved by a Trichologist. Other lotions advertised to contain minerals, vitamins, oils, etc. will not restore your hair growth if you have alopecia.

Shampoos that stimulate hair growth and improve hair nutrition, etc.

shampoo-hairlossManufacturers of these shampoos claim they can reduce hair loss and stir up the ‘sleeping’ hair follicles. Such shampoos may contain various vitamins and microelements. Those shampoos manufactured by Vichy or L’Oreal may contain Aminexil which they claim stops hair loss.

The truth about shampoos is that the main goal is to clean your hair and scalp from sebaceous matter (95% of all the dirt on the scalp). However, fat cannot be washed off with water so surface-active substances or surfactants form the basis of any shampoo. The molecules of these surfactants, thanks to their dual structure (one end of the molecule is lipophilic, the other – hydrophilic), bind with the fat molecules on the scalp to be able to remove them with water. All “miraculous” components of any shampoo, be it herbal extracts or other “unique” substances said to fight against hair loss, are immediately washed away by the surfactants contained in the shampoo and water.

Consider these two facts:

  1. The hair root is located in the dermis (at the depth of 3-6 mm);
  2. A shampoo is applied to the scalp for a very short period of time (from several to 30 seconds) and it works only on the surface of the head skin (surfactants and other shampoo ingredients cannot break through the epidermal barrier to reach the hair roots and follicles).

NO shampoo has any influence on the hair roots and follicles. Hence, it cannot affect the processes of hair growth and loss. Hair loss shampoos are a mere marketing trick and have the same result as if they advertised shampoos for a running nose or constipation.

Traditional creamy masks.

Traditional creamy masks

Practically all masks contain Vitamins B, F and E, microelements and herbal components, as well as proteins, keratin, lecithin. Such masks should be applied twice or three times a week to clean and wet hair. Masks should be massaged into the scalp and distributed evenly throughout the length of the hair. After 5-10 minutes, it should be washed off with warm water.

Such masks may help improve the condition of your hair, make it look shiny and healthier unless you have other internal health problems affecting your hair growth. If your hair loss is caused by hormonal imbalance or it is hereditary, these masks can help the rest of your hair look healthier, but they won’t restore your hair growth

Cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies also produce pills and capsules aimed at hair loss treatment and stimulation of hair growth. From time to time, every cosmetic manufacturer announces an innovative product that will help treat alopecia, be it a shampoo, hair loss mask or serum. Each of the products, with the assurances of the manufacturers, will contain vitamins, herbal extracts, oils, microelements, activators of hair growth and various named substances which tell the average consumer nothing.

Many people mistakenly think that if their hair starts falling out, then it is enough to just purchase some expensive hair mask or lotion, rub it into the scalp and itthe problem will be solved. But don’t bet on that. Unfortunately, this is not so. Cosmetic hair loss products can only be regarded as one of the preventive or supporting measures. Hair loss is almost always induced by endogenous causes. This means it is caused by the processes happening inside your body (increased sensitivity of the hair follicles to androgens, thyroid gland dysfunction, changes in the hormonal balance after childbirth, or any other disorders in the internal functioning of the body). So the real treatment should occur within the body. If hair loss is a chronic rather than a temporary issue caused by, for example, vitamin deficiency, then such cosmetic products, used alone and without complex therapy, won’t help until you remove the internal cause of alopecia. However, once the real cause of hair loss is treated, cosmetic products may help your hair look healthier.

Trichologists say that proper hair hygiene is the best home therapy and hair care. This means you should wash your hair as often as required to remove the excess fat from your scalp and don’t allow your hair follicles to ‘get ill’. That is all you can do on your own without medical help.


If you see significant hair loss, you should not rely on cosmetic hair loss products. It will be a waste of your time unless you speak with a doctor and begin pharmaceutical therapy before it is too late. It is important to seek medical advice from a hair specialist and get tested at once, not only to save your hair but also hair loss may be the indicator of some other disease or serious condition which may threaten your health or even your life. In most cases, if you start therapy as early as possible, you will save yourself time, money, health and your own hair… at least most of it.