Quick look at the best DHT blocking shampoos
- Best over-the-counter DHT-blocking shampoo: Hims Thickening Shampoo
- Best subscription DHT-blocking shampoo: Keeps Thickening Shampoo
- Best highly rated DHT-blocking shampoo: PURA Dâ€™OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
- Best splurge DHT-blocking shampoo: Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Best budget DHT- blocking shampoo: Honeydew Biotin Shampoo
- Best scented DHT-blocking shampoo: Pure Biology RevivaHair Growth Stimulating & Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo Best sulfate- free DHT-blocking shampoo: ProBliva DHT Blocker Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo
- Best moisturizing DHT-blocking shampoo: HairGenics Pronexa Clinical Strength Hair Regrowth Therapy Shampoo
- Best DHT-blocking shampoo with the most DHT blockers: First Botany Cosmeceuticals Biotin Hair Loss Shampoo
- Best topical treatment to fight hair loss: Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical
What is DHT?
DHT is a sex hormone known as an androgen. This hormone is derived from testosterone and has a hand in developing what are commonly thought of as â€œmaleâ€ sex characteristics, like:
- body hair
- deeper voice
- heightened muscle mass
Over time, testosterone and DHT contribute benefits, like keeping up overall muscle mass and supporting sexual health and fertility.
Eventually, DHT can also play a hand in hair loss.
How does DHT cause hair loss?
Androgenic alopecia â€” also known as male pattern baldness â€” is one of the more common culprits behind hair loss for older men.
Although other genders can also experience this type of hair loss, itâ€™s less common. Around 50 million men in the United States experience this condition, compared to 30 million women.
Testosterone is converted to DHT thanks to an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5-AR). After it gets rolling through the bloodstream, DHT is able to connect to receptors on the scalpâ€™s hair follicles, making them shrink.
This can also lead to:
- less dense hair
- inhibited regrowth
- overall appearance of a less-than-full head of hair
How we chose the best DHT-blocking shampoos
While there are lots of products out there with ingredients that companies claim block DHT, not all of them are supported by research.
We looked for products from reputable brands that contain DHT-blocking ingredients with the most significant research behind them, including:
- Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is an extract from the berries of a palm found in the southeastern United States. Shampoos designed to thicken hair with saw palmetto may help lower DHT levels, unclogging hair follicles and boosting hair regrowth. Although more research on saw palmetto is needed, a 2020 review of existing research found that it can offer modest enhancement of hair regrowth.
- Finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a generic form of Propecia, a prescription treatment for male pattern baldness. Minoxidil is a generic form of Rogaine, a well-known topical treatment targeting the crown of the head. Research has shown these ingredients are helpful in slowing the progression of male pattern hair loss, but they only help with partial regrowth.
- Ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is most popular for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why itâ€™s usually used to treat infections or certain conditions, like seborrheic dermatitis. A 2011 pilot study of 15 people with alopecia found that ketoconazole may be able to enhance hair regrowth.
- Pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a natural oil that may have a positive effect on hair growth. It works by stopping testosterone from creating DHT. A 2014 study reported that men who took 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil daily for 24 weeks saw a 40 percent increase in hair growth.
We also included some products with potential DHT blockers, like certain essential oils. These donâ€™t have as much research behind them, but they may be helpful.
Finally, we looked carefully at customer reviews, choosing only products that reviewers mostly rated highly.
ishonestâ€™s picks for the best DHT-blocking shampoos
Hims Thickening Shampoo
This shampoo uses saw palmetto to target DHT. It promises to promote volume and moisture. Users seem happy with its peppermint and tea tree scent.
If youâ€™re thinking beyond shampoo, Hims also features a whole line of products devoted to improving hair regrowth.
Keeps Thickening Shampoo
Keeps offers a range of products for fighting hair loss, including this shampoo. It has the mighty DHT-blocking saw palmetto that we mentioned earlier, as well as biotin (for improving keratin production), caffeine (for stimulating hair follicles), and green tea (for boosting hair quality).
Itâ€™s intended to be purchased through a subscription, where the product is shipped to you every 3 months.
Overall, reviews on the companyâ€™s website are largely positive. Buyers note that the online service and consultations are convenient, and the pricing is reasonable. (The initial online consultation is free!)
Reviewers also mention that the treatment plans seem to work best for male pattern hair loss â€” not so much for other types of hair loss.
One last note: The full ingredient list is only available on the product packaging, not the Keeps website. Youâ€™ll have to email Keeps directly to request the list if you want to see it ahead of purchasing. This is especially important if you have any allergies.
PURA Dâ€™OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
This shampoo is highly rated on Amazon, with thousands of happy reviewers. It seems this pick is most loved for its thickening properties and fresh scent.
It has saw palmetto and nettle extract for blocking DHT, as well as other natural ingredients, like He Shou Wu, red Korean seaweed, and argan oil, that work to boost scalp health, support hair growth, and moisturize.
Other helpful ingredients in this shampoo include biotin, pumpkin seed, black cumin seed oil, and vitamin E.
This shampoo is said to fight hair loss not just attributed to male pattern balding, making it a solid choice for women experiencing hair loss as well.
This shampoo is vegan and cruelty-free.
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge
This shampoo is formulated with ketoconazole, caffeine, saw palmetto, and peppermint oil. The combination blends a couple different DHT blockers to boost performance.
Happy Amazon reviewers say they saw results in just 1 or 2 months.
This shampoo is made in the United States and is cruelty-free.
Honeydew Biotin Shampoo
This shampoo has an herbal scent, is the most affordable pick on our list, and has thousands of happy Amazon reviewers on its side.
Itâ€™s formulated with many beneficial ingredients, one of which is biotin (vitamin H). Biotin doesnâ€™t block DHT, but it can still lend a hand in promoting hair growth.
This shampoo offers several scalp-friendly ingredients, like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and vitamin B5. It also contains tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and zinc. Although there isnâ€™t strong evidence for these ingredients as DHT-blockers, limited research suggests they might be useful.
For instance, a 2013 pilot study found that combining minoxidil with tea tree oil and diclofenac was more effective than using minoxidil alone.
This cruelty-free shampoo is also free of silicone, sulfates, and parabens, making it a good choice for those with skin sensitivities.
Pure Biology RevivaHair Growth Stimulating & Anti Hair Loss Shampoo
This shampoo has a proprietary blend of plant ingredients known for stimulating hair growth and blocking DHT. This includes saw palmetto.
It also has amino acids, biotin, and keratin, for shine and fullness. Pure Biology says this shampoo works on all hair types, including dry and curly.
However, the shampoo contains sulfates, which can be drying and arenâ€™t great for color-treated hair.
Amazon reviewers are a fan of the citrus scent. Some pick up notes of lemongrass and others are happy with the peppermint that gives off a cooling sensation.
This pick is non-GMO, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and made in the United States.
ProBliva Hair Loss & Hair Re-Growth Shampoo
This DHT-blocking shampoo is non-GMO, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It contains a kapilarine complex, a blend of botanicals that the company says works to prevent hair loss.
It also contains green tea extract, which may help block DHT. However, more research is needed.
The shampoo also contains other hair-happy ingredients, like vitamin E, vitamin B5, keratin, and collagen amino acids.
Amazon reviewers are overall impressed with this pick, with many seeing results in just a few weeks.
HairGenics Pronexa Clinical Strength Hair Regrowth Therapy Shampoo
Along with saw palmetto extract for blocking DHT, this shampoo also has aloe vera and seaweed extracts, to help deeply moisturize the scalp.
It has biotin to help strengthen brittle hair. Thereâ€™s also vitamin B5 and collagen peptides to help with hair regrowth.
Pronexa says youâ€™ll see thicker hair in 60 days, but the company also recommends using it for 6 months, suggesting that people use it with their other products for best results.
The company also offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
This shampoo is made in the United States and is said to be good for all hair types. Itâ€™s also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, color-safe, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.
First Botany Cosmeceuticals Biotin Hair Loss Shampoo
This shampoo has a good amount of DHT blockers, 14 to be exact. Not all of them are backed by substantial research, but it does contain saw palmetto.
The formula also contains argan oil (which is moisturizing and scalp-friendly) and biotin (which helps with keratin production). Itâ€™s paraben-free and sulfate- free and is said to be safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair.
Many reviewers say they experienced improved thickness and volume, with some noting reduced hair loss as well. Some reviewers donâ€™t love the smell, describing it as overwhelming.
Roman Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical
If youâ€™re looking for something other than shampoo, you may want to try this topical treatment from Roman. Roman is a company that offers health services, including treatment options for erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and general health.
The treatment combines finasteride with minoxidil. It requires a prescription through an online visit with a U.S.-licensed healthcare professional.
The company website explains that finasteride and minoxidil usually take 3 to 4 months of daily use to see visible changes. It may also take up to a year to see full results.
As long as youâ€™re not experiencing side effects, itâ€™s a good idea to keep using the treatment for a full year before determining if itâ€™s working for you or not, since it works differently for everyone. For the best results, the company says you should continue using hair loss medication. Otherwise, hair loss can come back.
Roman also has other prescription and non-prescription options for hair loss.
What to look for in a DHT-blocking shampoo
Youâ€™ll notice this lineup of ingredients in most of our picks. These have the most evidence behind them as DHT-blockers:
- saw palmetto
- finasteride and minoxidil
- pumpkin seed oil
Other ingredients, which donâ€™t have as much research behind them, include:
- green tea extract
- tea tree oil
- rosemary extract
Beyond DHT-blocking ingredients, keep an eye out for strengthening ingredients, like biotin and keratin, and moisturizing ingredients, like coconut and argan oil.
If you have dry or curly hair, you may want to choose a shampoo that doesnâ€™t contain sulfates, as these can be drying.
How to use DHT-blocking shampoo
Youâ€™ll use DHT-blocking shampoo much like you would any other shampoo: lather, rinse, repeat.
However, always read the directions on the label. Generally, you can expect to leave the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing. Itâ€™s also important to follow up with a conditioner.
Use caution with shampoos with preservatives, parabens, sulfates, or other potentially irritating ingredients.
DHT-blocking shampoo safety and side effects
DHT blocking shampoos are generally considered to be safe.
However, if you have sensitivities or allergies, be sure to perform a patch test before applying the shampoo to your entire scalp. To do this, dab some shampoo on the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you experience any signs of irritation.
Keep in mind that even natural ingredients can lead to irritation or allergic reactions.
Itâ€™s also best to keep a lookout for formulas without harsh chemicals and ones that are free of sulfates and parabens.
FAQs about DHT-blocking shampoos
Do DHT-blocking shampoos really work?
DHT is thought to be the culprit behind shrunken hair follicles and hair losing its density and quality. This leads to hair loss known as male pattern baldness.
If this is the type of hair loss youâ€™re experiencing, consistently using a DHT- blocking shampoo may help enhance the appearance of thinning hair.
Itâ€™s best to start using a product like this as soon as possible. But these products may take months to even a year to see full results.
It might be a good idea to combine a DHT-blocking shampoo with a prescription treatment plan for hair loss if your doctor thinks this may work for you.
If your hair loss isnâ€™t related to DHT, these shampoos might not work for you.
How long does it take to see results from DHT-blocking shampoos?
It may take a few months of consistent use, alongside a prescription treatment plan, to see results.
What can you do to prevent hair loss?
People experiencing male pattern baldness can chat with their doctors about preventative treatments like:
- Rogaine (minoxidil)
- Propecia or Proscar (finasteride)
- follicular unit transplantation (a hair transplant including underlying tissue)
- follicular unit extraction (a hair transplant including only follicles without using connecting tissue)
There are a slew of options for hair loss prevention at home, like:
- trying scalp massage, which may encourage hair growth
- using essential oils for hair growth, like peppermint, Chinese hibiscus, ginseng, and jatamansi
- using a soft brush made of natural fibers
Low-level light therapy has also been shown to stimulate cell growth and repair.
There are also a few things to avoid, like:
- using heat tools on your hair
- chemically treating or bleaching your hair
- using harsh shampoos that can strip your hair of its natural oils
- wearing hairstyles that pull tightly on your hair
Read this next
DHT is a major cause of male pattern hair loss linked to genetics and natural processes in your body that cause you to lose hair as you age. Here'sâ€¦
DHT is a hormone that contributes to hair loss in both men and women. Here are 6 foods that may fight hair loss by blocking DHT.
Male baldness is a common condition that affects many men. Male pattern baldness is most often the cause. Why does this happen and what are theâ€¦
Hair loss can be caused by genetics or hormones. Read more about how testosterone affects your hair and how to prevent hair loss.
ishonest's picks for the best treatments for hair loss for men include Rogaine, Propecia, and moreâ€”how do they measure up?
Want to give your mane a boost? Try these products to get shiny, healthy locks.
HairMax is a company that specializes in laser light therapy to target hair loss â€” but do the devices actually work?
Propecia (otherwise known as generic Finasteride) is typically used to treat male pattern baldnessâ€”but does it actually work?
Read more on: shampoo