Hair loss is common, but prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) hair growth products can help. Here, we test out and review our 15 top picks, including serums, shampoos, oils, and supplements.

A quick look at the best hair growth products

Our top serums and solutions:

Our top shampoos:

Our top hair oils:

Our top supplements:

Medical News Today editors have tested some of the products in this article. All opinions are their own.

Hair loss affects many people. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss, called androgenic alopecia. Around 40% of females and 50% of males will experience hair loss by age 50.

Many prescription and OTC products can help protect remaining hair and may even promote new hair growth. However, it is always important to speak with a dermatologist to find out and treat any underlying conditions that may cause hair loss.

Read more about the best hair loss treatments here.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some hair growth products are effective — but not all hair growth products will deliver on the manufacturers’ claims.

Best serums and solutions for hair growth

Serums are a popular hair growth product that people typically add to the mid-lengths and ends of their hair to help protect against elemental and heat damage while increasing condition and shine.

On the other hand, solutions are hair regrowth products that people typically rub into their scalp to help stimulate new growth.

Learn more about how to use hair serum here.

Best shampoos for hair growth

Shampoos remove oils, dirt, and product buildup, helping keep hair looking fuller and more manageable. Some shampoos may contain ingredients that help improve hair growth as well as improve appearance.

Read our picks for the best shampoo for thinning hair here.

Best oils for hair growth

People tend to use hair oils either just on the lengths or as part of a scalp massage.

Oiling hair lengths can help protect the hair against heat or elemental damage, reducing split ends and breakage. This can make hair look fuller and help keep it growing longer and healthier.

Oiling the scalp is typically either a leave-in treatment or a pre-shampoo treatment to try to stimulate new hair growth.

Best supplements for hair growth

Some hair loss or fragile hair can be a result of a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Supplements can help close any nutritional gaps that may be causing hair thinning.

Best high strength hair growth supplement: Viviscal

Best hair growth product comparison

The table below compares each of the products included in this article.

Brand TypeTargetsIngredientsPrice
Romansolutionhair regrowthminoxidil $16 per month
The Ordinaryserumhair regrowth and thinningcaffeinearound $20
Herssolutionhair regrowthminoxidil$39
Nutrafolserumhair thickening and strengthening• ashwagandha exosomes
• Irish moss peptides
• pea sprout extract
$69
Rogainesolutionhair thinningminoxidilaround $39
Himsshampoohair thickeningsaw palmetto$19
Olaplex Shampooshampooproduct buildupbroad-spectrum clarifying system$30
Head & Shouldersshampoodandruff and itchy scalppyrithione zincaround $10
Nioxinshampooproduct buildup and light thinning• peppermint oil
• cleansing agents
around $43
Miss Jessie’soilhair strengtheningmafura oil$11
The Mane Choiceoildry scalp and product buildup• biotin
• tea tree oil
• rosemary leaf extract
$12.99
Olaplex Oiloilhair strengthening• sunflower
• moringa
• pomegranate
• green tea oil
• grape seed oil
$30
Mielle Organicsoilhair strengthening and hair growth• rosemary
• mint
• biotin
• essential oils
around $10
HUMsupplementhair growth and hair health• biotin
• zinc
• folic acid
• B12
$26
Viviscalsupplementhair shedding• AminoMar C marine complex
• vitamin C
• biotin
• iron
around $33

How we chose the best hair growth products

Medical News Today chooses hair growth products that pass our rigorous vetting criteria. Some of our considerations when choosing products include:

  • Effectiveness: We only include products that may help protect and nourish hair lengths and ends while encouraging hair growth. We look at clinical studies to check that the ingredients can do what the companies claim.
  • Type of hair loss: We include products suitable for hair breakage, light thinning, and more noticeable hair loss.
  • Hair type: We include products suitable for as many hair types and conditions as possible. Some products may be more suitable for coily, thick hair, whereas others may work best for fine, straight hair.
  • Product type: We include serums, solutions, shampoos, oils, and supplements to provide choices that fit a majority of people’s hair care routines.
  • Personal experience: Where possible, we include our own experiences with hair growth products.
Was this helpful?

How to shop for hair growth products

While some hair growth products may benefit all types of hair, others may be more suitable if a person knows the underlying cause of hair loss and hair thinning.

People should always contact a dermatologist to determine any underlying causes so they can choose the right product for their needs.

Other considerations may include:

  • Price: There are cheaper and more expensive hair regrowth products available in-store and online. Many contain similar ingredients that have some hair growth benefits.
  • Ingredients: The FDA does not approve most hair growth products, and some unreputable companies may make claims about ingredients that are not evidence-based. People may wish to consult with a dermatologist to determine whether the product can do what it claims.
  • Hair type: Some products feature specific formulas for certain hair types, such as curly or thinning hair. People can also consider how they usually style their hair and choose a product they will find convenient to use.
  • Hair loss cause: Hair loss can be a result of many factors, such as nutrient deficiency, illness, or age. Certain types of products may be more beneficial depending on what is causing hair thinning or hair loss.

How to prevent hair loss and thinning

Some types of hair loss are due to factors people cannot prevent, such as age or genetics. However, people can reduce the likelihood of premature hair loss and thinning in several ways:

  • Diet: Some research suggests the Mediterranean diet, as well as diets rich in protein and soy, can help to prevent hair loss.
  • Supplements: Not getting enough nutrients can lead to hair thinning and loss. A 2022 systematic review suggests that there is a role for nutritional supplements in treating hair loss, although people should always work with a healthcare professional to find the right supplementation.
  • Reduce hair styling: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), people should limit at-home hair coloring, perming, and the use of heat styling items such as curling tongs and hot combs. People may also wish to use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting.
  • Limit smoking: A 2020 study concluded that there is a link between hair loss and cigarette smoking. The researchers also state that smoking may accelerate the hair loss process in those with androgenetic alopecia.
  • Reducing stress: Chronic stress can lead to hair loss. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, prevents the body from releasing a molecule that plays a part in hair growth.

What makes hair grow faster?

The speed at which hair grows depends on a variety of factors, including sex, age, hormones, and genetics. These are factors out of a person’s control.

Read more about making hair grow faster here.

The best way to make hair grow faster is to make sure it is growing healthily.

The AAD recommends the following tips to keep hair healthy:

  • Wash oily hair as often as it needs, even if this means daily shampooing.
  • Only shampoo the scalp, not the mid or end lengths of hair.
  • Use a conditioner after shampooing to rebuild moisture and detangle the hair.
  • Choose a shampoo that is suitable for a person’s hair type.
  • Protect the hair from harsh chemicals, such as chlorine, by wearing hats and caps.

When to see a doctor

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends consulting a doctor about possible hair loss as soon as signs of hair loss appear. This is because earlier treatment can be more effective. Early treatment can also prevent further hair loss.

The U.K. National Health Service (NHS) writes that a person can consult a doctor if they experience:

  • sudden hair loss
  • bald patches
  • hair loss in clumps
  • a burning or itching scalp
  • emotional distress due to hair loss

Frequently asked questions about hair growth products

Minoxidil and finasteride are two FDA-approved medications for hair loss. These medications are effective, with people noticing results from minoxidil in as little as 2 months.

The best item for hair growth depends on a person’s needs and the severity of hair loss.

People with more advanced thinning may require stronger products such as minoxidil or finasteride. People with lighter thinning, hair breakage, or those wanting longer hair, may find shampoos and oils from drugstores effective.

Products that contain essential oils such as rosemary may help make hair grow faster.

However, the best way to have faster growing hair is to make sure it is healthy, which means washing it as often as it needs, protecting it from heat and chemical damage, and eating a healthy, balanced, diet.

It depends. Many hair growth products do not work.

Products made with minoxidil and finasteride are FDA-approved and can be effective, but they can also cause side effects.

Products made with natural ingredients may be less effective and have less research to back up manufacturers’ claims.

People should speak with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment for their hair.

Summary

Hair loss is a common condition that can have a significant personal impact. Understanding the causes of hair loss can help a person find hair growth products that best suit them.

Hair growth products include shampoos, conditioners, oils, masks, and supplements. People should proceed with caution, always check the ingredients, and discuss product use with a doctor if they are taking other medications or supplements or have known allergies.