My hair has led a charmed life. It’s been cooperative, falling in place. It’s been thick and healthy-looking, even when wet. It’s even been noticed and complimented by other guys – men who were for the most part far more hair-challenged than I was.
Yes, the operative term here is ‘was.’ Today, this former wooly mammoth is molting somewhat and I figured that I better start collecting a hair-raising arsenal to combat hair loss. Before grabbing the Propecia and Rogaine, staples in the hair loss war, I figured I would first try Nizoral Shampoo. While I would prefer it to be called ‘Follicle Rescue Shampoo” or some variation of the term, I’ve been performing a lot of research on hair products with hair-growth potential and Nizoral shampoo for hair loss has been mentioned on many forums and answer boards. Should we, my fellow hair-challenged brethren, get our hopes up with this topical? This question is the thrust of my Nizoral shampoo hair loss review.
Nizoral Shampoo for Hair Loss – What is Nizoral?
Marketed primarily as an anti-fungal dandruff shampoo that controls flaking, scaling, and itching, it has received a bevy of testimonials regarding its ability to keep more hair on the head. Yes, I’ve read over-the-top Nizoral shampoo hair loss reviews, proclaiming it to contain the ideal soil to grow a bumper crop of hair. Others point out that it is the only shampoo on the market to regrow hair. However, this cynic puts that assertion into the “too good to be true” category … or is it?
But let’s be clear: Despite reports that I’ve read online, Nizoral has not received FDA approval for its hair growth capability. But that doesn’t mean that this blue shampoo cannot get rid of your hair loss blues. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence provided online from hundreds of happy campers who are seeing less hair in the shower drain after Nizoral use.
If there is any hair-energizing ability Nizoral has, one would have to give credit to its primary ingredient, Ketoconazole 1%.
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Alright, So What is Ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole (I don’t like that name, either) is an anti-fungal medication used to treat infections caused by wayward fungi or yeast. This is why it is generally effective against dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and tinea versicolor. This anti-fungal is versatile and targets various fungi strains, from Pityrosporum orbiculare to Pityrosporum ovale. This is one of the reasons why you have to leave it on your hair for at least 5 minutes. You don’t want the Ketoconazole to retreat and disappear when it’s killing the enemy. (I’ll discuss how to apply Nizoral later on in the article.)
Back to our science lesson: These wicked fungi need to have their cell membranes intact to ensure their survival. But when they’re unable to synthesize ergosterol, a sterol found in fungi, they’re obliterated. Ketoconazole interferes with the production of ergosterol, and thereby eliminates the microbes. Hooray.
Alright, so Ketoconazole can be effective against a variety of hair and skin conditions. However, can it help fight the good fight against hair loss?
Hair Raising Possibilities
Imagine if Nizoral’s Ketoconazole could increase hair density. Dream about it’s potential anti-inflammatory properties, regulating sebum which may block the hair follicles. Indeed, any effective hair growth topical should be able to decrease scalp-centered inflammatory response, lower the amount of sebum residing on the scalp’s surface, and increase the amount and thickness of hair per square scalp inch.
Well, some encouraging studies have been published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Journal of Dermatology, and several other sources about Ketoconazole’s power to keep hair intact and multiply it. Here are just some of the published findings:
!% Ketoconazole is superior to 1% piroctone olamine or 1% zinc pyrithione in its ability to reduce hair shedding. (You may recognize zinc pyrithione as one of the ingredients in Head and Shoulders shampoo.)
Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) becomes even more effective when used in conjunction with Ketoconazole which it its own right can block DHT, dihydrotestosterone, thought to be responsible for hair loss.
2% Ketoconazole can address androgenetic alopecia about as well as 2% minoxidil. Some have even compared it’s hair-raising ability to Propecia, but to me, that is definitely overestimating its true hair loss prevention efficacy. Still, Nizoral with its main ingredient, Ketoconazole, can block androgen receptors that can wreak havoc on hair follicles.
Nizoral 1% shampoo Vs. Nizoral 2%
In summary, it appears that Nizoral will have a stimulatory effect on hair growth and should simultaneously decrease hair shedding. But it comes in different strengths, the 1% version and the 2% version. Once again, I’ve read a multitude of responses to the ‘which one is better’ question and there is no clear-cut winner.
Now, admittedly those successful Ketoconazole studies were conducted using the 2% amount. However, many folks report that 2% can be very drying and induce other side effects like rashes. While the 1% can also induce such adverse reactions, it’s less likely to happen.
And upon reflection, I thought that I could just use more of Nizoral 1% and keep it on my hair longer to get the equivalent action of Nizoral 2%. I remember reading a post where a forum member said that the ‘manipulated Nizoral’ (more Nizoral 1% and kept on the hair longer) outperformed Nizoral 2%, at least for him.
You can purchase Nizoral 1% on Amazon at a very affordable price (7 ounces for less than $15.) Moreover, you need a prescription to get Nizoral 2% in the U.S., and now even many International online pharmacies require a doctor permission to use it. Finally, I just don’t feel comfortable about purchasing this product from an individual E-bay seller.
So let’s hope that Nizoral 1% helps eliminate hair shedding and dandruff 100%. Let’s hope that it also encourages hair growth or at least makes hair look thicker. But just when I was ready to order this product … disaster strikes.
This is taken from the Amazon website. Nizoral contains the following:
Active: Ketoconazole 1%–Purpose: Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Inactive: Acrylic Acid Polymer (Carbomer 1342), Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Cocamide MEA, FD&C Blue #1, Fragrance, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-7, Quaternium-15, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Hydroxide and/or Hydrochloric Acid, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Water.
You may ask: What are inactive shampoo ingredients? They’re not supposed to have a direct effect on the hair. They’re simply included to stabilize or preserve the formulation, or make it easier to apply. For example, Glycol Distearate is added to give Nizoral a better visual effect. The sodium hydroxide balances the PH.
But I was a little concerned about the sodium laureth sulfate because I remember reading that this ingredient was not hair-friendly. I did not care that it was listed as ‘inactive.’
This called for further research, and then my pulse started to quicken when I found this article. A lump in my throat formed when I saw Nizoral listed as one of the most toxic shampoos where the author mentions the actual problematic ingredients and the cause of concern. After shaking my head in disbelief, I randomly chose the ingredient, “Cocamide MEA,” and found various sites that warned about its possible cancer-causing dangers.
You may think that I’m being a bit of a hypochondriac and an alarmist, but I can’t in good conscience recommend Nizoral shampoo for hair loss. It’s too concerned about its ingredients.
Now I’m only a researcher not a scientist so I admittedly don’t know just how toxic Nizoral may be, if at all. (I’m guessing that Johnson & Johnson, its manufacturer would assert that the quantity of these ingredients is too small to produce any unwanted effect.)
Still, while I value my hair, I really do, I value my life more. Again, because of alleged potential toxicity, I cannot recommend Nizoral, at the present time.. As such, I’ll offer a couple of safer alternatives below.
Now, if the ingredient list does not scare you off (apparently, thousands of Nizoral customers don’t care or know about its alleged toxicity), let me briefly describe the following:
How to Use Nizoral
I realize that you’re a shampoo expert and don’t necessarily need application directions. But still, there may be a tip or two that you can use when you apply Nizoral. Follow these steps:
1. Thoroughly wet your hair
2. Pour a small amount (about one-fourth of an ounce) on the palm of your hand and eventually apply it to all parts of your scalp with your finger tips. You especially want to concentrate on the areas where hair density is thin.
3. The shampoo should now be worked into a lather and kept on the head for 5 minutes. (You may decide to keep it on longer so that it can fight those hair-damaging microbes.)
4. Completely Rinse out the shampoo
While your shampooing, visualize bountiful hair growth. Use positive verbal affirmations, such as, “My hair is growing by leaps and bounds.’ See hair spout from your scalp and fill in sparse areas. Alright, this may be too much fluffy self-help posing for most guys … but I’m only try to maximize results.
Alright for those more cautious soles, like me, here are some Nizoral alternatives to battling hair loss.
a) Read my colleague’s Hair Again review as there are some worthwhile hair-raising books mentioned. (I intend to read those resources, too.)
b) Use the following essential oil recipe:
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3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
3 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil
2 drops thyme (Thyme vulgaris) essential oil
2 drops cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) essential oil
3 ml jojoba oil
20 ml grapeseed oil
This was the formula of a study published in Scotland years ago where several participants had a good hair growth response. I can mix the grapeseed and jojoba oils together, and systematically add the essential oils. I’ll then massage the mixture on my scalp and place a warm towel around my head to improve absorption. Yes, look what I’m willing to do for the price of beauty.
c) Try Argan oil and/or castor oil, purchased on Amazon.
© 2014, Bill Hamilton, All Rights Reserved. Nizoral Shampoo for Hair Loss review written for: ProminentOffers.com