If you’re noticing a widening part, hair that feels thinner than it used to or see-through spots (especially around the temples or crown of the head), you’re experiencing hair loss. But you’re not alone—hair loss and thinning affects nearly half of women in the U.S. The good news? There are lots of effective treatment options (that won’t all cost you an arm and a leg).
The 7 Best Hair Loss Treatments (at Every Budget)
Not to alarm you, but when left untreated, dandruff is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in women. Luckily, the fix is quite simple: Swap in a shampoo that has zinc pyrithione, which will reduce inflammation and shedding (oh, and those darn flakes). Other healthy hair ingredients to keep an eye out for? Amino acids, ginseng, peppermint oil and vitamin E.
Head & Shoulders ($6)
Nope, it’s not castor oil (which doesn’t have any data yet to back up those fervent reviews online). Rosemary oil, on the other hand, has been shown to have similar effects as minoxidil (the only FDA-approved ingredient for stimulating hair growth). To try it at home, you can mix in a few drops with your shampoo—or use it as an overnight mask by diluting it with jojoba oil before massaging it into your scalp.
Now Organic ($7)
If you’re noticing more shedding than usual, you might want to take a closer look at your diet: A vitamin D deficiency and low levels of iron could be the culprit. Try adding more vitamin D-rich foods to your plate (like salmon and eggs; or mushrooms and soy milk if you’re vegetarian) or consider a daily supplement.
The only FDA-approved topical treatment for hair growth, minoxidil works in part by prolonging the growth phase (aka the anagen phase) of hair and increasing the size of the follicles. The caveat? You need to be consistent—and patient. It can take up to four months of daily use before you start to see results and if you stop using it, the hair loss will likely return.
Like skin care for your head, a serum containing peptides and antioxidants can help protect the overall health of your scalp while also reducing inflammation. (Both of which are crucial to hair growth.) Apply daily to damp or dry strands, taking time to work it into your scalp section by section. Bonus: It can help with absorption of minoxidil.
There are a ton of ingestible treatments on the market, but one that consistently tops the list is marine-based proteins and collagen, which can stimulate hair growth. Though more research is still needed, participants in preliminary studies reported thicker strands after three to six months of use. (One of our editors swears it makes her ponytail feel more substantial.)
From laser therapy (which typically starts at $200 a session) to microneedling and PRP, or platelet-replacement therapy (both of which can cost up to $1,000 a treatment), there are a number of in-office options you can try. Since this is a costly investment, consider having your dermatologist run some tests first to identify the (ahem) root cause of your hair loss before committing to a treatment plan.