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Dermatologist: The Inexpensive Shampoo That Can Reverse Hair Thinning Caused By Hormone Flux or Stress

And the essential-oil add-in that boosts results

There are plenty of things we wish would thin out more easily — from the weeds in our garden to our waistlines — but the one thing that we don’t want thinning with age, that inevitably does? Our hair. Catching a glimpse in the mirror of sparse spots in our hairline, or seeing the handful of strands left in the drain after every shower can be so disheartening. Yet for 50 percent of us over the age of 50 these are sights we’re all too familiar with, and it’s frustrating enough to make us actually want to, well, pull our hair out!

What causes hair thinning?

Unfortunately, our tresses only seem to get thinner as we get older thanks to a seemingly never-ending list of causes. “Hormone flux or even stress can increase levels of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a hormone that shrinks hair follicles leading to thinner, weaker strands,” says New York City dermatologist Cameron Rokshar, M.D. “Additionally, nutritional deficiencies, medical conditions and genetic factors can also disrupt the hair growth cycle and play a role in hair thinning and loss.”

The surprise fix: Nizoral shampoo for hair loss

Though it may seem like we’ve tried everything from expensive supplements to pricey laser combs in order to combat hair loss— there’s one surprising and inexpensive remedy that has noticeable results: a dandruff shampoo called Nizoral (Buy from Walmart, $15.88).

“While Nizoral shampoo is primarily used to manage scalp conditions like dandruff, it contains antifungal medication ketoconazole, which has also been found to be effective in treating thinning hair,” explains Dr. Rokhsar. “That’s because the shampoo blocks production of DHT to improve the health of hair follicles.” In fact, ketoconazole has been study-proven to plump up the diameter of strands, making hair appear thicker.

What’s more, ketoconazole quells the inflammation that prevents hair follicles from producing more hair, which switches follicles from a dormant phase into an active growth phase to ensure more strands grow in so hair looks lush. 

Boost the benefits of Nizoral shampoo by adding in this oil

rosemary essential oil in dropper

Combining rosemary essential oil with Nizoral shampoo can further reverse hair loss. Researchers say the credit goes to the herb’s rosmarinic acid, which increases circulation, spurring new hair growth.

To do: Add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil, like Plnt Rosemary 100% Pure Organic Essential Oil (Buy from Vitamin Shoppe, $6.99) to a dollop of Nizoral shampoo. Rub on scalp for 2 minutes; rinse. Repeat 2-3 times per week to see a thicker-looking mane and less shedding within three months.

Want a visual hair boost in the mean time? Check out these hairstyles that make your locks look thicker from every angle.

Help for thinning eyebrows

Nizoral and rosemary oil’s hair-restoring powers don’t stop at the crown of your head — the mix can also help with sparse eyebrows.  That’s because a weekly application kills off the follicle-weakening yeast buildup on brows creating a healthy environment to promote hair growth. Your brows will look naturally fuller.

To do: Combine 1 tsp. of Nizoral shampoo and 3 drops of rosemary essential oil. Massage the mixture onto damp brows for 1 minute, taking care to avoid getting into eyes, then rinse.

Not convinced that Nizoral is for you? Click through for more hair-thickening shampoo swaps recommended by dermatologists.

For more tips on how to thicken your hair and thwart hair loss, check out these stories:

Shampooing Your Hair This Way Could Cause Hair Loss

Castor Oil Proven to Regrow Hair on Head, Eyebrows + Eyelashes — For Pennies A Day!

Need to Create Thicker-Looking Hair in a Pinch? Try These Hair Makeup Hacks

3 Easy Ways to Combat Age-Related Hair Loss and Regrow Strands

News: Kitchen Staple Reverses Thinning Hair + Slows Down Graying — For Pennies A Day!

Lorraine Sullivan has always been curious, and once she realized being a journalist meant she could ask all the questions she wanted AND get answers, she was hooked! As a freelance writer she loves contributing to FIRST for Women magazine, regularly writing features about beauty and fashion fixes, ways to save cash while shopping and tips on how to take the best care of furry pals. After 21 years in New York City, she currently lives in the Heartland, in a house with her three children, spoiled cat Zuzu,and a big backyard where she’s always hanging up birdhouses and trying to cultivate the perfect pollinator garden. She also loves traveling with her family—they’ve visited places like Mexico, China, Australia and plenty of other places in between.Follow her adventures at

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