Nizoral is a shampoo commonly used to treat hair loss and dandruff. It is a great supplementary hair loss treatment, and one which I personally have been using for more than 6 years. But how does it work and what are the main benefits of Nizoral for hair loss?
Ketoconazole – The active ingredient in Nizoral
Nizoral contains an active ingredient called Ketoconazole, which is an anti fungal drug used to treat various skin and nail conditions like candidiasis and ringworm.
Nizoral is also effective in fighting scalp conditions like dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, and is widely used as a hair loss treatment for people suffering from androgenetic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness).
Nizoral is available in a 1% or 2% ketoconazole version. The 2% is more effective as a hair loss treatment, but it requires a doctor’s prescription. The 1% version is weaker and is available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. You can buy the 1% shampoo here.
Improving hair growth, but not stopping hair loss
Many people in the hair loss community claim ketoconazole stops hair loss by reducing DHT levels on the scalp. This could be true, but unfortunately there simply isn’t enough scientific evidence to support that claim.
Either way, I wouldn’t count on Nizoral alone to stop hair loss. It is best used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Over the years, many studies have shown Nizoral’s effectiveness. One study from 1998 found that 2% ketoconazole was as efficient as minoxidil in improving hair growth.
Another study found that the number of hair falling out was 16% lower in a group that received Nizoral compared to a group that received regular shampoo. This study also found that the group that received Nizoral had an average 8.5% increase in hair thickness, and 6.5% decrease in scalp oiliness compared to the other group.
Many other studies found that ketoconazole has a measurable effect on improving the rate by which hair follicles enter and stay in the anagen phase – the active, “good” growth phase of hair follicles where hair is growing and not falling out.
The more hair follicles are at the anagen phase at once – the more density a hair has. And the longer hair follicles remain in the anagen phase – the longer hair will grow.
Ketoconazole also removes scalp oils that strangle hair follicles, reduces scalp inflammation (which is very common in balding men) and overall creates a cleaner and healthier environment for hair to grow.
How to properly use Nizoral
Although it is only a shampoo, it requires a doctor’s prescription (for the 2% version) and it is not intended for daily use.
Nizoral should be used once or twice a week, depending on your doctor’s instruction. I personally use it twice a week and I found this to be enough.
Nizoral should be shampooed into the scalp and remain unwashed for about 5 minutes, until it is properly absorbed in the skin. It is recommended to massage it into the scalp to enhance blood flow to hair follicles, which might also improve hair growth.
Possible side effects
Though some minor side effects are possible, I personally haven’t experienced any. Some of the side effects might include:
- Dry skin
- Mild skin itching and irritation
- Headaches (very rare)
- Oiliness or dryness of hair and scalp
If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop using Nizoral and talk to your doctor.
For years Nizoral has been considered one of the top three essential hair loss treatments, alongside Minoxidil and Finasteride.
Though it does not stop hair loss, Nizoral holds many benefits which improve hair growth, reduce scalp inflammation and oiliness, and give hair a fuller and thicker look.
Its cheap price compared to other hair loss medications and the fact that it only needs to be used once or twice a week makes Nizoral a good treatment to add to your personal hair loss stack. Get your Nizoral 1% shampoo here
I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions or comments please add them below.