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Hair Loss Treatments

Does Nizoral Shampoo or Revita Shampoo Work as a Hair Loss Treatment?

Many hair loss sufferers seeking hair loss help ask about Nizoral shampoo and Revita Shampoo on our hair restoration forum. Though no shampoo to date has been FDA approved as a hair loss treatment, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that ketoconazole, the ingredient found in Nizoral and Revita may help fight against Androgenetic Alopecia (genetic hair loss). This is because ketoconazole is said to be a "weak" inhibitor of Dihydrotestosterone or DHT (the hormone responsible for genetic male pattern baldness/female pattern baldness). Ketoconazole is said to work by preventing DHT from binding to hair follicles in the scalp.

Ketoconazole when ingested orally, inhibits the binding of androgens to receptors in the body which includes the binding of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to hair follicle receptors.  Taking Ketoconazole orally however, is NOT recommended because it can be a toxin and damage the liver.

Used topically, If ketoconazole works at all, because it seems to work quickly compared to other DHT inhibitors such as FDA Approved hair loss medication Propecia, it is suspected that ketoconazole may combat alopecia (hair loss) due to it’s sebum removal properties.  Sebum is a fatty substance that accumulates around the hair follicles in the scalp.   It is believed that sebum removal from the scalp may help unclog the hair follicle (similarly to unclogging a drain), improving blood supply and exposing the hair to more nutrition.  Topical ketoconazole is known for removing and reducing sebum deposits in the scalp.

From my research, I suspect that ketoconazole might be a nice compliment when used in conjunction with Propecia (finasteride) and/or Rogaine (minoxodil) however, I suspect that ketoconazole may be a weak stand alone hair loss treatment. But for some reason these other two hair loss medications can't be used, topical ketoconazole may be worth a try.

Below is the “abstract” of the study performed on ketoconazole 2%:


Hair Loss Study Abstract: Ketoconazole shampoo: effect of long-term use in androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss).

Authors: Pierard-Franchimont C. De Doncker P. Cauwenbergh G. Pierard GE.
Institution: Department of Dermatopathology, University of Liege, Belgium.
Title: Ketoconazole shampoo: effect of long-term use in androgenic alopecia.
Source: Dermatology. 196(4):474-7, 1998.


BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of androgenic alopecia is not fully understood. A microbial-driven inflammatory reaction abutting on the hair follicles might participate in the hair status anomaly.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to determine if ketoconazole (KCZ) which is active against the scalp microflora and shows some intrinsic anti-inflammatory activity might improve alopecia.

METHOD: The effect of 2% KCZ shampoo was compared to that of an unmedicated shampoo used in combination with or without 2% minoxidil therapy.

RESULTS: Hair density and size and proportion of anagen follicles were improved almost similarly by both KCZ and minoxidil regimens. The sebum casual level appeared to be decreased by KCZ.

CONCLUSION: Comparative data suggest that there may be a significant action of KCZ upon the course of androgenic alopecia and that Malassezia spp. may play a role in the inflammatory reaction. The clinical significance of the results awaits further controlled study in a larger group of subjects.