If you want to have stronger, thicker hair, start by taking care of your scalp. "If your scalp is healthy then the hair will follow," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Naana Boakye tells Bustle. She says the best scalp treatments for hair growth contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that can help hair look fuller, like green tea, rosemary, grape seed, licorice, aloe vera, tea tree, pumpkin seed, and saw palmetto, though products that contain several of these will likely be the most effective.
Wanting fuller or longer hair is one thing, but if you're seeing even mild hair loss, before using an over-the-counter product, seek a consultation with your dermatologist to determine what's causing it and how to treat it, Dr. Boakye advises. Hair loss is common and can be caused by a variety of reasons, but it can also be a sign of things like iron deficiency or thyroid disturbances. Scaling and dandruff on the scalp can also contribute to hair loss, which is why Dr. Boakye advises using an anti-dandruff shampoo if you've been noticing symptoms like dryness and flaking.
Whether you're looking for a scrub or a serum, scroll on to shop some of the best products for hair growth that you can buy over the counter.
1. The Best Medicated Scalp Treatment For Hair Growth
If you're looking for an increase in hair density, "Minoxidil is the best," says Dr. Boakye. "However, it can be very irritating due to the alcohol base," she adds, so speak with your doctor about which percentage to use. Though the 5% is only suggested for men, some dermatologists tell their female clients with hair loss to use the 5% solution as well, under their supervision. This women's Rogaine has a 2% Minoxidil solution, so it should be a good place to start. Use it twice a day for best results.
2. The Best Natural Scalp Serum For Hair Growth
If you find minoxidil too drying or prefer a chemical-free option, this natural serum contains several of the ingredients suggested by Dr. Boakye, like saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil, and rosemary (along with nourishing flaxseed oil and invigorating peppermint oil). Like with any hair growth product, you'll have to be patient to see results, so plan on sticking with this a while.
3. The Best Luxury Scalp Treatment For Hair Growth
Yes, this Oribe Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray is a splurge, but it's full of amazing ingredients that make your hair look fuller immediately and contribute to a healthier scalp and stronger hair over time. The formula contains biotin and niacinamide to strengthen the hair cuticle, pea sprout extract to repair brittleness and breakage, and densifying polymers to immediately boost hair volume and enhance thickness, as well as other good-for-scalp ingredients like peppermint and witch hazel. It doesn't hurt that this bottle is stunning enough to display, either.
4. The Best Scalp Treatment With Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree, lavender, peppermint, aloe, and jojoba are just some of the ingredients found in this invigorating scalp treatment. After massaging it onto your scalp, letting it sit for a few minutes, and rinsing it out, your hair and scalp will be completely free of any product buildup that might be weighing down your hair, causing dullness, or preventing healthy growth. Plus, it has a refreshing, tingly sensation that feels amazing on tight, itchy scalps.
5. The Best Scalp Scrub For Hair Growth
Try this gentle exfoliating scrub to soothe, refresh and invigorate your scalp. It contains tea tree, Himalayan salt, and nourishing coconut, argan oil, and shea butter to clarify your hair and scalp, boost circulation, and remove product buildup, follicle-clogging dead skin, and flakes, all while restoring moisture to dried-out hair and scalps. All of this will help contribute to a healthier scalp, which again, is the key to stronger hair. Use it about once every one to two weeks.
6. The Best Dandruff-Fighting Shampoo For Hair Growth
Dandruff and seborrhea on the scalp can cause hair loss, Dr. Boakye explains, so stay on top of the condition with an anti-dandruff shampoo containing medicines such as selenium sulfide or pyrithione zinc. This affordable Dove shampoo contains pyrithione zinc to treat itching and flaking, along with coconut to keep your hair soft and scalp moisturized.