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Hair Loss/safe shampoos for thinning hair


QUESTION: I'm a 28 year old male with thinning hair and a gradually receding hairline. I'm following the basic guidelines for caring for thinning hair, excluding pills or vitamins so I don't have to deal with the side effects of hair thinning out even more if I stop using them. My concern is this: recently I've read that Sodium Laureth Sulphate, and Sodium Lauryth Sulphate (same thing)?, are found in a lot of shampoos, and are very dangerous...they're detrimental to the hair and strip the scalp. I want to avoid shampoos that contain these ingredients. Can you recommend any good shampoos, especially if they're beneficial for thinning hair, that don't contain these ingredients and that can easily be bought from any drugstore, without a doctor's prescription?

Also I've been taking Quetiapine Fumerate pills for years. Could this medication be a contributing factor to my thinning hair?

And what about Rogaine? I hear that it is very good for restoring hair and expanding the size of the roots of hair follicles. But on the box it just says that it is meant just for the back (crown)? as I recall (for men). Can it still be used on the rest of the scalp regardless to what the instructions say on the box, or are there different Rogain formulas for men and women?


ANSWER: I personally do not believe there is any danger in using the SLS shampoos. Many chemicals in low concentrations are safe or even helpful whereas in higher concentrations they can become poisonous. If you want to avoid those shampoos there are a number of easily available good shampoos. Go to
Aveeno Pure Renewal is one. L'Oreal makes several and you can find them at the link noted above.

Rogaine Foam in the 5% concentration works well to stimulate hairs in the front and back. Men ususally use a 5% concentration twice a day. Women tend to get increased facial hair if they apply the 5% twice a day and therefore a 2% lotion was made for them. The Foam does not have Propylene Glycol in it which makes it less irritating than the original formulation. The studies were done for the FDA using a small area easily measured on the back of the head. After the studies were done the FDA said they company can only claim that minoxidil stimulates hairs on the back of the head. This is not true. Minoxidil will stimulate hairs to grow wherever it is applied. It is more easily measured and results are a bit more dramatic on the crown of the head.

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QUESTION: Thanks for the answers. I have a few more questions:

1) Regarding the use of Rogaine Foam in the 5% concentration, how soon could I expect to see results, and should I stop taking the Rogaine after I see the results, or should I keep applying it? If so, for how long? If not, then are there any consequences for stopping the application?

2) Are long hot showers bad for the hair?

3) What about coconut oil? Can it be applied 2 hours before I decide to take a ahower? Or will I be able to have a shower and then apply it for the night, and then rinse it out with water in the morning? Can I still use it if I use Rogaine? And can it be used while I'm out for a walk?

4) Is cold air good for the hair, or should I keep my head covered when I'm out for a walk? Is my wearing a hood bad for the hair follicles?

1) It takes 4 to 6 months to see the results of using Rogaine and it should be continued as long as you like seeing the benefit of its use. After stopping Rogaine you may see the hairs return to the way you were before use plus the loss you would normally have had during the time you were using Rogaine.

2) No

3) I do not recommend the use of coconut oil but since hair shafts are dead fibers you can rub it on any time you like.

4) Again- hair is a dead fiber. Cold does not affect it. Your hair follicles are not influenced at all by hot or cold water or cold air or wearing hat or hood.

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>


I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.


I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website

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