What You Need To Do To Slow Your Hair Loss, According To Experts

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

What You Need To Do To Slow Your Hair Loss According To Experts

When it comes to effectively slowing hair loss, there’s a lot of advice out there, so it can be difficult to separate the helpful tips from the not-so-effective ones. In order to help you find a hair-growth regimen that works for you, Bustle reached out to the following experts: Angie Seelal, PA-C at Advanced Dermatology PC; Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago; Hadley King, MD and board-certified dermatologist, and Dominick Pucciarello, a celebrity hairstylist. And according to these experts, hair loss prevention is as much about the things you shouldn’t do as it is the things you should.

Of course, you can opt for topical solutions (usually oils, serums, shampoos, or medicated treatments) that promote new hair growth. You can also stimulate the scalp with gentle brushes or massagers. That said, new growth takes time; according to Dr. King, “Because of the hair growth cycle, any effects on hair growth may take 6 months to show up,” so you’ll need to be patient.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to implement habits that minimize unnecessary stress on the hair you currently have. Whenever possible, cut out products or habits that cause friction, pulling, or breakage. That could mean protective hair products when you’re heat styling it or opting for air-drying your hair altogether, or it could mean switching to gentler, silkier materials for your hair ties, sheets, headbands, and towels.

Scroll on for expert-sourced tips to prevent hair loss, as well as the products (both direct recommendations and reviewer favorites) that help you implement them into your own hair-growth regimen.


Secure Hair With Velvet Scrunchies That Reduce Friction

According to hair stylist Aguirre, "Less friction helps prevent hair breakage, which any fine-hair client wants and needs!" To prevent pulling, tangles, and breakage, opt for a softer scrunchie with no metal clasps. One reviewer wrote that these velvet scrunchies are a “lifesaver” for their “thin, fragile” hair, even though they hold strands securely. Since they’re smaller and come in a pack of 10 different colors, they’re both stylish and well-suited for fine hair.


Or Use These Smaller Hair Ties Without Seams

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more subtle, you can get these seamless hair ties. They’re made from soft, stretchy cotton, but most importantly, they don’t have any seams, glue, or metal clasps to snag hair. Consequently, they hold hair securely. They’re also designed to retain their shape, resist tearing, and prevent creasing, and they come in a wide range of shades to match your hair color. “I have thin, fine hair and I have to redo my ponytail a few times a day with a regular ‘damage-free’ band that ends up ripping my hair out anyway,” one reviewer wrote. “Not with these! I love them and won’t use anything else from now on.”


Apply Minoxidil Foam, Which Is Clinically Proven To Regrow Hair

"Minoxidil prolongs the growth phase of hair, which prevents any more hair loss and may also stimulate new hair growth,” wrote Seelal. “However, it does take time to see any progress. You’ll have to use Minoxidil daily for at least four months and when you stop using it, any new hair is likely to just fall out. Also, it’s important not to use this if you’re pregnant or nursing." Dr. King backs up the minoxidil recommendation, specifically calling out Virtue’s easy-to-use foam formula. The foam, which has 5% of the active ingredient, absorbs quickly and is clinically shown to reactivate hair follicles.


Or Try This More Affordable Oil Alternative

For a more affordable alternative to Dr. King’s recommendation, there’s hims extra-strength hair regrowth treatment. Even though it costs significantly less, it still has the same amount of active ingredient (5% minoxidil) to penetrate deep into the scalp and prompt the growth of hair follicles. Simply use the dropper bottle to apply the formula where hair is thinning. According to the brand, you’ll see results in three to six months.


Or This Reviewer-Approved Solution That’s A Little Gentler

Finally, as a gentler alternative minoxidil option, there’s this Rogaine topical treatment, which contains 2% of the active ingredient to help regrow thinning hair. It comes with three bottles (enough for three months) in droppers for easy application. The unscented formula has earned an overall rating of 4.3 stars from more than 3,500 reviewers. One wrote, “I don’t often write reviews but this was pretty exciting for me. My hair has been seriously thinning near the hairline above my temples so, considering the reasonable price, I thought I’d give this a try. IT WORKS!”


Sleep On A Satin Pillowcase To Prevent Damage

Satin pillowcases aren’t just good for prolonging your blowout and cradling your curls — they may also help to reduce friction (and therefore breakage). These Bedsure satin pillowcases come in a pack of two in your choice of almost any color, and they’ve earned an incredible 200,000-plus reviews. Even though it’s durable and machine-washable, the polyester blend is also soft and silky, so much so that reviewers have experienced “less hair loss” and fewer “split ends.”


Incorporate Gentle Satin Into Your Hair Accessories, Too

Because they’re wrapped in satin and highly flexible, these knotted headbands are a chic but gentle styling option that doesn’t require an up-do to keep hair out of your face. This three-pack includes black, brown, and champagne colors, but the brand also sells florals, animal prints, tie-dyes, and other materials. “I often have trouble wearing headbands because they're sometimes too tight and give me a headache, or they're too loose and slide back,” one reviewer wrote. “So far, these headbands fit great and coordinate with pretty much all of my shoes, handbags, etc.”


Skip The Heat Styling & Let Your Hair Air Dry

If you already experience breakage, Dr. King recommends that you “avoid heat styling and styling products that can make the hair more brittle and prone to breakage.” For an alternative to heat styling, there’s OGX Strength & Length air-dry cream. Golden turmeric smoothes and moisturizes while coconut milk shapes and nourishes. That way, you can style your hair without the need for blow dryers or flat irons. “My hair is thin and fine. This is actually repairing my hair. Very pleased,” one reviewer wrote.


Wrap Your Hair In Microfiber (Not Cotton) So It Dries Faster & Reduce Breakage

Believe it or not, the simple act of towel-drying your hair with a rough cotton towel could lead to breakage and loss. That’s why these microfiber hair towel wraps have earned over 40,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars. Whichever of the 10 color options you choose, the fabric will absorb eight times its weight in water quickly without unnecessary friction, pressure, frizz, or pulling. Since it has a built-in loop and button, you can go about your routine without inconvenience or discomfort.


Use A Thickening Spray For Heat-Free Styling

The R+Co Dallas thickening spray is another heat-free styling option reviewers love. While it can be used to boost volume alongside rollers and curling irons, you can also spray it into damp hair to lock in shape, add volume, and boost shine. Since it’s loaded with strengthening ingredients like aloe leaf, ginger extract, and vitamins, it actually nourishes rather than depletes.


Choose The Right Shampoo — & Use It Properly

When choosing a shampoo, Seelal wrote that it’s best to avoid sulfates, which can “be drying on sensitive or dry scalps.” After shampooing, a good conditioner will “help the appearance of dull or damaged hair,” but “make sure you use very little,” as “more just gives you a flat hair appearance. You always start at the ends of your hair and gently work your way upwards.” Seelal recommends this sulfate-free, nourishing and repairing formula from Moroccanoil.


Or Try This More Affordable Shampoo & Conditioner Set

A more affordable alternative is this Marc Anthony Grow Long shampoo and conditioner set. It’s also sulfate-free and nourishing, not to mention infused with caffeine, ginseng, and vitamin E to help stimulate the scalp — but it costs just $16 for both bottles. More than 8,500 reviewers have awarded it an overall 4.5 stars, and one raved, “My hair grows extremely slow so any form of new growth is a miracle to me. This product works amazing. Smells wonderful and makes my hair feel extremely soft. I absolutely love it and will probably never change.” It’s also available as a solo shampoo.


Or Nourish Hair With DHT-Blocking Pumpkin Seed Oil

“Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to block the action of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT," Dr. King wrote. This sulfate-free anti-thinning shampoo has pumpkin seed and rosemary leaf oil to stimulate growth — but it also has tons of other great ingredients that may help with thinning. Biotin and a DHT herbal blend minimize hair loss, while nutrient-packed botanicals (like tea tree, nettle extract, and saw palmetto) feed both the scalp and the strands. Currently, it has more than 20,000 reviews, and past buyers have called it “a spectacular value,” the “best shampoo ever,” and a “pure lifesaver.”


Use A Wide-Tooth Comb In The Shower For Damage-Free Detangling

When your hair is already fragile, you want to be especially careful when detangling. "Remove tangles while in [the] shower with a wide-tooth comb and rinse with cool water, which closes the cuticle and makes the hair shiny,” Seelal wrote. This Paul Mitchell Pro Tools detangler comb has almost 10,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.7 stars. Using its extra-wide teeth, it glides through hair to remove knots without excess pulling. Despite its massive size, reviewers wrote that it’s “very gentle” and “slides right through.”


Nourish Hair From The Inside Out With A Supplement

There are a lot of hair supplements out there, but this one comes directly expert recommended. "Viviscal promotes hair growth by providing nutrients your hair needs to grow such as B complex, and zinc among other nutrients which promote thicker, stronger, and longer hair,” wrote Seelal. It’s a number-one best-seller with an overall 4.4-star rating, and when taking it twice a day for 6 months, 92% of clinical trial participants reported significantly thicker hair.


Try Rosemary Oil To Encourage New Growth

Dr. King wrote, “A 2015 study compared rosemary oil to minoxidil for hair growth, and at 6 months, both groups saw significant increases in hair growth. This effect could be due to rosemary oil's enhancement of microcapillary perfusion.” As a result, rosemary oil may be a great natural solution, and when using this Weleda rosemary conditioning oil, reviewers experienced “hair growth” as well as “repaired damage.” It also aims to minimize frizz, boost moisture, soften split ends, and nourish the scalp.


Activate Hair Growth With A Serum

There’s no shortage of hair-growth serums out there, but this one is a direct recommendation from Seelal: "Nutrafol is an amazing vitamin formulated with marine collagen, saw palmetto, and ashwagandha. Marine collagen is enriched with B vitamins, which promote hair growth, saw palmetto prevents testosterone from being converted to DHT, and ashwagandha reduces inflammation."


Massage The Scalp To Stimulate Hair Follicles & Remove Buildup

In addition to using a hair oil with nourishing ingredients, Dr. King also recommends regular scalp massages: “Some studies have shown hair growth benefits from scalp massage so I would recommend taking time to massage these oils when applied to the scalp.” This waterproof scalp massager has more than 80,000 reviews due to its ergonomic, handheld shape and soft but stimulating silicone bristles. Reviewers wrote that it feels amazing and helps to remove buildup during shampooing, so it makes hair lighter and less likely to break. Pair it with nourishing serums, oils, and other treatments to make even dispersion easy.


Apply Some Castor Oil To Boost Blood Flow

“Castor oil [...] promotes circulation and blood flow which will stimulate growth when applied to the scalp,” Aguirre wrote, and this Ethereal Nature hair oil blend has a lot of it. It also contains other nutrient-rich, nourishing ingredients like sweet almond oil, grapefruit peel extract, and willow bark. While it improves manageability, tames frizz, and boosts hair’s moisture, one reviewer wrote, “If you're trying to grow your hair, this is a good scalp treatment.”


Try Lavender Or Peppermint Oils To Stimulate Growth

According to Dr. King, “Some mouse studies have shown that both lavender and peppermint oils may help promote hair growth.” This black Jamaican castor oil comes in your choice of lavender or peppermint to nourish the scalp, and encourage growth. “This stuff is a miracle worker,” one reviewer raved, while another wrote, “Finally my hair is slowly growing back.”


Switch To A Gentle Brush That’s Worth The Splurge

The right brush can also help to stimulate growth by boosting scalp circulation. “This can simply be done by using my personal favorite brush, Mason Pearson,” Aguirre wrote. “The nylon bristles will stimulate the scalp and the natural boar bristles will help the oil evenly disburse from scalp to ends”" Then there’s the rubber pad, which further cushions the bristles for efficient brushing without damage. Pucciarello also directly recommends this brush: "It's on the expensive side, but will last a lifetime."


Or Try This More Affordable Alternative With Similar Materials

For a great affordable alternative, this one has reviewers writing things like: “I was looking for a fine brush, like the Mason Pearson, but didn't want to spend a fortune. I went searching through Amazon and found this BESTOOL brush. I love how it feels as I pull it through my hair and my hair looks smooth and shiny afterwards. I'm very happy with this purchase.” Even though it costs less than $15, it still has similar natural boar bristles, nylon pins, and a rubber massage cushion.


Opt For A Loose Up-Do Over A Tight Ponytail

Putting your hair in a tight ponytail is another common practice that can worsen hair loss. For that reason, you should “avoid any tight hairstyles that pull on hair follicles and damage them,” Dr. King wrote. For those who need to secure their hair away from their faces, however, these butterfly clips are a great alternative. While they’re large, nonslip, and strong for a secure hold, their tapered teeth relieve stress on strands — and they come in a wide range of colors and designs to match any outfit.


Or Secure Hair With A Comfy, Stretchy Headwrap

Alternatively, you could use a headband to keep hair out of your face without too much tugging. These headwraps have stellar reviews on Amazon because they’re made from soft but slip-resistant cotton and feature stylish top-knot designs that elevate your look. They’re also machine-washable and come in an eight-pack of all different colors.


Use A Lightweight Body-Boosting Mousse For Styling

When styling your hair, gels can weigh it down. Instead, “mousse is a perfect styling product to ensure volume without a tacky feel,” wrote Aguirre,” and Paul Mitchell’s Extra-Body Sculpting Foam is a fan-favorite on Amazon. Even though it leaves hair manageable, shiny, flexible, and light, it still seriously boosts body and fullness so thin hair appears thicker. “I have dry straight thin gray hair that I fight all the time. This product takes the fight away leaving my hair soft, full bodied and a nice shine takes the place of a dull dried look,” one reviewer wrote.


If You Must Style With Heat, Choose The Right Tools

If you must style with heat, some tools are definitely better than others. According to Pucciarello, these Ibiza hair brushes can help to minimize pulling, breakage, and heat damage: “They're all boar bristle brushes that will not get overheated like a metal brush. Also they do not pull or tug the hair, so it won’t cause breakage." Since they’re round, they’re great for volumizing. The cork handle is ergonomic, lightweight, and comfortable to hold.


And Always Use A Thermal Protectant When Heat Styling

“When blow-drying your hair always use a thermal protectant,” Pucciarello wrote, “and NEVER use a professional flat iron or curling iron on your hair when it's damp. That will cause serious damage to your hair.” The CHI 44 Iron Guard thermal protection spray is the best-selling option on Amazon. Even though it is light enough for use on any hair type (including fine), it still guards against high temperatures, seals the cuticle, and adds key vitamins, proteins, and moisture back into the hair.


Angie Seelal, PA-C at Advanced Dermatology PC

Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago

Hadley King, MD and board-certified dermatologist

Dominick Pucciarello, celebrity hairstylist