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Ketoconazole Shampoo for Hair Loss: Does It Work and How To Use It

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Ketoconazole shampoo is a common product found on the shelves of nearly every drug store. 

This shampoo is commonly used for scalp conditions like dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and tinea capitis. But, can it also be of benefit to men who are trying to treat their male pattern hair loss?

Below, we will cover the basics of ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss, including just what this medication is, how it may work for hair loss, what the studies say, how to use it, and where to find it.


What is Ketoconazole?


Ketoconazole is a common antifungal medication, which is why it is able to treat conditions such as dandruff -- which generally has a fungal overgrowth component.

Ketoconazole shampoo can be found over the counter in strengths of 1% or less, or in prescription strengths of 2% or stronger.


How does Ketoconazole shampoo work for hair loss?


The exact mechanism of just why ketoconazole shampoo may be a helpful addition to a hair loss regimen is not fully understood.

But, what we do know is that it can help with fungal overgrowths, including the Malassezia fungus which plays a role in dandruff. 

Ketoconazole can also exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the scalp, which may also provide some benefit to those dealing with hair loss.

Another potential mechanism for hair improvements may be a local disruption of the DHT pathway on the scalp when used as a shampoo. Since sensitivity to the follicle damaging effects of DHT is a known cause of male pattern hair loss, locally inhibiting DHT may provide a protective effect. This effect may complement prescription DHT inhibiting agents like Finasteride for a more complete reduction of DHT.


How well does Ketoconazole shampoo work for hair loss?


A few studies have been done to assess just how effective ketoconazole may be for hair improvements.

One study compared a 2% ketoconazole shampoo regimen with a 2% Minoxidil (active ingredient in Rogaine) regimen, and found that hair density, size, and proportion of hair follicles in the growth phase were improved similarly for both medications.

Another study in women with female pattern hair loss again looked at Ketoconazole 2% vs Minoxidil 2% and found similar hair growth improvements after 6 months of treatment. However, results were noted sooner in the Minoxidil group as compared to the Ketoconazole group. 

So, while more studies need to be done, Ketoconazole seems like it could play a role as a successful addition to a hair loss regimen consisting of Minoxidil, Finasteride, or both.


How to use Ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss?


The way that you will use Ketoconazole shampoo depends on your exact product and the instructions from your doctor, if you get a prescription version.

In general, you may be advised to use Ketoconazole anywhere between every other day or just once a week.

For application, you will normally wet your hair in the shower, and then massage the shampoo into a lather on your hair and scalp. For some products, you may want to leave the Ketoconazole shampoo sitting for up to 5 minutes. Then, you will rinse thoroughly and continue with the rest of your hair regimen, like conditioning.


Where to find Ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss


Ketoconazole shampoo strengths of 1% or less can be easily found over the counter at drug stores or grocery stores.

Strengths of 2% or higher will need a prescription and you will need to speak with a doctor and obtain the medication from a pharmacy.


Strut Health prescription hair loss medications online


Ketoconazole shampoo may be a good addition to a well-rounded hair loss regimen that includes FDA-approved medications to help slow hair loss from androgenetic alopecia, like Minoxidil or Finasteride.

While we don't offer ketoconazole shampoo, we do offer something that may perform even better. Our 4-1 topical hair loss medications have multiple modes of action, with great scalp penetration and good safety profile.

At Strut Health we carry a variety of hair loss medications for male pattern hair loss including ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Tretinoin. Oral or topical formulations are available and may be customized to suit your particular hair loss needs and preferences.

If you are interested in seeing if prescription hair loss medications are a good option for you, you have a free questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free and fast shipping.

If you have any questions or need adjustments during your treatment, our staff and doctors are standing by for free unlimited follow-ups.


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