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7 prescription-free products to boost hair growth

At the Pharmacy

Whether you are experiencing suspected hair loss or have been dealing with hair thinning for many years, there are lots of new products being released which can provide benefits to the health of your hair. We’ve put together our top prescription-free products which can help to boost new hair growth naturally. 

Hair loss can be due to a number of reasons, from stress to vitamin deficiencies or hormonal changes. We recommend you take the time to address what the cause of your hair loss could be by reading our causes for hair loss page and speaking with a medical expert, such as a dermatologist. As different causes of hair loss require different solutions, you can find the best pathway for your specific needs. 

The following prescription-free products can work in combination with other remedies you are exploring to resolve your hair loss. Many people find that a combination of products and treatments can benefit the hair. By minimising damage from hair routines or environmental factors, you can help to boost the scalp’s condition which in turn will give the best chance for your hair to grow back stronger. Whatever your type of hair, you can benefit from the prescription-free products below. 

Top 7 products for hair growth

1

Castor oil is our favourite oil when it comes to adding moisture and softness back into your hair. It derives from the castor bean and has been used for thousands of years by many Indian, South American, and African communities. It is made up of mainly natural fatty acids (ricinoleic) and protein, which is highly beneficial for those with a dry or flaky scalp. When cater oil is massaged into the scalp, it improves the blood circulation to the hair follicles and when absorbed gives the roots of the hair greater flexibility and strength.

The reviews online are highly positive, with users claiming it has improved hair growth due to the enhanced scalp conditions, has strengthened and provided visible thickness to hair strands. You can also use this on your eyelashes and brows too! 

We recommend using this once or twice a week and leave it to absorb for 20-30 minutes before washing your hair. Warm up the oil between your fingers and massage into your scalp. When shopping for hair oils, remember to search for those made for the skin and hair and not your regular cooking oil! 

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2

Leave-in serums are a good supplementary product to try with your other hair loss solutions. It gives the hair a chance to absorb minerals, add moisture, and provides strength to the current strands. Most serums, like Viviscals’ Grow Gorgeous, can be left in your hair without it appearing greasy. You can also consider using serums with microneedling on the scalp for greater absorbtion. See step 3 for more details.

This particular brand focuses on biotin, keratin and zinc complex, which are beneficial to hair growth. 

If you are exploring other serums, some may contain minoxidil. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is the only mainstream drug treatment available to women to support hair loss. They can come in 2% or 5% forms. These hair serums may be greasier to use but it’s worth understanding what this is if you are unsure of the ingredients. If you are to use a minoxidil-based serum, we recommend you consult with a dermatologist or other medical professional first.  

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3

Microneedling studies have shown the procedure to have a positive effect on hair growth. In short, microneedling is a process whereby micropins are rolled over the scalp to cause small trauma to the skin. By doing so, the skin produces collagen and increases protein to the surface area to help the scalp tissues to regenerate. The renewal of scalp tissues encourages new hair growth.

The size of the needles, pressure levels, frequency, and tonic applied will give varied results. We recommended you get this done professionally at a clinic for the safest outcome and results. However, if you wish to use a home kit, it can be done every 1-3 weeks, giving enough time for the skin to heal. The best results have been seen with hair tonics applied at the same time such as minoxidil. Click here to read our full guide on microneedling and hair growth.

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4

Clinical trials into low-level laser light therapy (LLLT) has shown that it improves hair loss and thinning in both men and women, particularly those with androgenetic alopecia – the genetic thinning of hair, especially around the crown for women. Unlike LEDs, lasers give more intense levels of stimulation for hair follicles, bringing better blood circulation to the roots. It also triggers collagen, an important natural chemical for cell renewal.

Although there are not enough studies yet, there are a number of promising reviews about LLLT and improvements to hair loss. There are a number of FDA-approved devices which can also be used in the home. They are safe and convenient to use in your own time. They come in different shapes and sizes, from caps to hairbrush-styled devices. It may be worth speaking to a dermatologist in the first instance to see if this type of therapy is suitable for your hair loss.  

Available on Amazon (paid link):

5

Massaging the scalp has been shown to benefit those experiencing hair loss by stimulating the blood flow in and around the scalp tissue, delivering oxygen, nutrients and taking away waste. While it won’t be the cure to your hair loss problems, massaging the scalp in a gentle motion will get the blood pumping, which can contribute to the overall thickness and strength of hair strands. In a 2019 study, 69% of participants said massaging the scalp improved alopecia (a genetic type of hair loss seen in men and women).

  

While you can use your fingers, there are also handy devices to do the hard work for you. There are lots of portal massaging tools which are electronic or manual. We recommend going back to basics and using the simple metal tools with claws. We don’t recommend using these tools on wet hair or those with very thick curly hair. 

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6

Over the counter multivitamins can be taken without prescription but should only be used in conjunction with a healthy diet. The benefit of using multivitamins targeted for hair and nails will be that it is packed with minerals which is needed to rebuild hair.

A favourite recommendation is Hairtamin which also comes in gummy form – making taking those daily pills a lot easier. This brand is packed with biotin (5,000 mcg), the chemical which helps enzymes to break down protein for the hair more effectively. It also contains zinc, vitamin C and D, and turmeric.

It will require you consistently taking the pills over a period of time to see results but it is an effective way to give your hair the nutrients it needs from within. If you’re interested in reading more about vitamins and how deficiencies can affect hair loss, click here.

Note, general multivitamins for hair don’t need a prescription but we do advise getting a blood test and speaking to a medical professional first, particularly if you have other conditions. 

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7

A way to reduce hair loss is addressing environmental factors which loosen or damage hair follicles. As our scalps are in contact with pillows for long periods of time, friction against materials such as polyester and cotton can cause excess rubbing and pulling at the roots. This can loosen hair strands, particularly if they are wet. 

Silk pillows are softer against the skin and reduce the tension on hair strands. We always recommend being gentle with the hair in every step of your hair journey. This gives your hair follicles the best chance to grow strong.  

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References

Please click below if you want to read the science behind this article.

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