How Does Ketoconazole Help With Hair Loss?

Updated on July 9th, 2020

Ketoconazole is chiefly prepared to work as an antifungal and an anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical product. According to the pharmacologic drug classification, ketoconazole is an azole antifungal whose chief mechanism of action is to stop the growth of fungus.

Ketoconazole is a medication that’s used to treat infections caused by a fungus or yeast—think things like ringworm or athlete’s foot. In those cases, it’s available as a cream, foam, or gel.

However, ketoconazole is also available as both a prescription or over-the-counter shampoo that’s specifically designed to control dandruff, as well as scaling, flaking, and itching of the scalp (much like what happens when you’re taking minoxidil).

There’s both 1% and 2% ketoconazole (which refers to the concentration of ketoconazole in the solution). The 1% solution is generally available over the counter, but the 2% version is obviously stronger and requires a prescription from a healthcare provider.

Despite being one of the first-line medications when treating certain fungal medications, ketoconazole has found its way into hair regrowth regimens, and studies confirm that its benefits to treat pattern hair loss in both men and women can be substantial.  

According to recent research, ketoconazole can significantly improve symptoms of androgenic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern hair loss. Not only has ketoconazole been shown to help stop hair loss, but it has also been shown to dramatically help with new hair growth.

How Does Ketoconazole Help With Hair Loss?

Shampoos containing ketoconazole help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth in three main ways:

Ketoconazole Reduces Scalp Inflammation 

One of the major causes of hair loss and hair shedding is scalp inflammation. Inflammation interferes with the normal hair growth cycle. Scalps with inflammation can experience hair shedding. Ketoconazole reduces scalp inflammation and thus helps stop hair shedding.

Ketoconazole Reduces Scalp Levels Of Dihydrotestosterone

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the major culprit when it comes to male and female pattern hair loss. It is one of the most powerful androgens and is responsible for causing androgenic alopecia. Shampoos with ketoconazole work topically on the scalp to reduces the levels of DHT and prevent miniaturization of hair follicles, thereby reversing hair loss.

How? Scientists believe that ketoconazole is an “androgen receptor antagonist”. What does that mean for blocking DHT? This means that ketoconazole will actually try to bind with androgen receptors in the follicles of the hair and, in trying to do so, will battle DHT in order to bind to the receptors first. By doing so, it will prevent the DHT from binding to the receptors. In this way, it will allow less DHT to bind with the follicles. By protecting the follicle from DHT, ketoconazole can help halt the process of hair miniaturization, preventing hair loss, and support healthy hair growth.

DHT blockingKetoconazole Prolongs The Growth Phase Of The Hair Growth Cycle

Hair is one of the rapidly growing tissues in the human body. Researchers believe that ketoconazole is capable of prolonging the anagen phase –the growth phase of the hair cycle–and shortening the shedding phase – which is a normal phase in the hair growth cycle. Through this mechanism, ketoconazole can help stop hair shedding.

Ketoconazole Thickens Hair 

Another important research has found that ketoconazole in shampoo has been effective in increasing the proportion and the size of anagen hair follicles. This evidence suggests that such a shampoo can be used for a measurable improvement in their hair follicles. 

Hair Restoration Laboratories’ Professional Strength Hair Restore Shampoo 

One of the most popular and effective ketoconazole-based hair regrowth shampoos is the Hair Restoration Laboratories’ Professional Strength Hair Restore Shampoo. This powerful DHT-blocking shampoo is the go-to hair product for hair loss sufferers, especially those with androgenic alopecia.

It boasts a holistic composition of important ingredients, which include 1% ketoconazole and is highly effective. Developed to dramatically help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth, the Professional Strength Hair Restore Shampoo utilizes all the mechanisms of ketoconazole to increase the growth of thicker, fuller, and shinier hair. It is also formulated with a proprietary ingredient that makes it one of the most promising hair growth products on the market today.

Bottom Line

Ketoconazole is a very effective hair loss treatment product. You will mostly find the 1% formulation over the counter because the 2% is available by prescription only. Nevertheless, their benefits are equally fulfilling, and the percentage composition should not worry you.

When you’re experiencing hair loss, there are lots of products you can use to help slow down the rate of loss and to make hair grow fuller and thicker. One of those products is ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is most commonly advertised as an over-the-counter solution for forms of dandruff caused by a dry scalp and seborrheic dermatitis, but it may also support healthy hair growth.

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