This dermatologist is sharing the at-home and prescription solutions to regrow your hair (2024)

Maybe you’ve noticed the part in your hair has widened, or you’ve spotted more strands than usual circling the drain. Whatever tipped you off, you’re not alone in the realization that you're losing hair. In fact, hair loss affects an estimated 80 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

While the condition can be distressing, in some cases it’s treatable. But to learn how to regrow hair, you’ll have to pinpoint the reason you're losing it in the first place, Dr. Farah Moustafa, dermatologist and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, tells

There’s alopecia, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, and treatments such as chemotherapy, but two causes stand out among the rest because they're the most prevalent. “The most common cause of hair loss is usually female pattern and male pattern hair loss,” aka androgenic alopecia, says Moustafa.

While pattern baldness happens as we age, Moustafa says you might notice a change in hair thickness as early as your 20s. “I like to tell patients it’s kind of like getting wrinkles on your face,” she explains. "It’s a slowly progressive process.” And while you might not be able to completely reverse your hair loss, the sooner you intervene, the better your chances of going back a few stages.

The other common reason is stress-related hair loss, called telogen effluvium. Instead of a gradual thinning, your hair will come out in clumps. You may notice this kind of excessive shedding following surgery, starting or stopping a medication, childbirth, psychological trauma or contracting an illness, including COVID.

When triggered, the body will stop the hair growth cycle, instead prioritizing other functions to get you through the stressful period. After dedicating all of its energy to your recovery, after about six months, Moustafa says, your body will hit the on switch and your hair cycle should typically resume.

If it doesn’t, you’ve got options. Below, find both at-home and in-office solutions to regrow your hair.

At home


Most of us lose between 100 and 150 hairs per day. If you notice you’re losing more than that due to female or male pattern baldness, or telogen effluvium, Moustafa recommends topical minoxidil, aka Rogaine.

For women, she recommends the 2% or 5% options. And for men, the 5% option works best.

Apply it twice a day to the affected areas, Moustafa says.

If you have long hair, the application process might be a bit more involved: Part your hair in intervals along the length of your head and apply the solution directly to your scalp making sure you cover as much surface area as you can.

It typically takes about six months to see results, Moustafa points out.

Hair growth supplements

While Moustafa isn’t typically a fan of supplements, there are a few out there that she recommends to patients because they're clinically tested and have been shown to work.

A December 2022 study looked at specific brands of hair loss supplements and pointed to a few that appeared to be effective, as well as ingredients that seemed to lead to more improvement.

Talk to your dermatologist about which hair growth supplements may be right for you.

Red light therapy caps and combs

Studies have deemed red light therapy a potentially effective treatment for patients who have female or male pattern baldness. The data is still emerging, but Moustafa says a red light therapy cap or comb can help.

Exposing the scalp to low levels of infrared light can stimulate collagen production, strengthen the connective tissue that builds the skin, increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, Moustafa warns: “(These products) are not all created equal, that’s for sure.” Instead of adding the first cap or comb you see to your cart, Moustafa urges patients to read consumer reviews and make sure the tool they’re purchasing is an FDA-cleared device.

In addition, Moustafa says to take note of the device’s return policy. “Some of them will say you can use it, and then if you don’t see an improvement, you can return it after a year,” says Moustafa. “So usually a good company will stand by their products in that way.”

In office

Oral minoxidil

Unlike the liquid or foam topical minoxidil, your dermatologist might recommend the oral version if your skin is sensitive or the topical kind didn’t work after six months of use, says Moustafa.


For women of childbearing age dealing with female pattern hair loss, Moustafa might recommend spironolactone, a medication typically prescribed for acne.


Finasteride is a prescription treatment for male pattern baldness. But it only works for as long as you take it, so stop and you’ll continue to lose hair.

As long as you’re consistent, you should notice a difference within three months, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moustafa notes that while finasteride is typically prescribed to men, it can be an option for some post-menopausal women.

Platelet-rich plasma injections

Platelet-rich plasma injections, or PRP injections, “involve taking the patient’s blood, which contains platelets that have growth factors,” Moustafa explains. Your doctor will concentrate the platelets in your blood and inject it back into the affected areas where you’re experiencing hair loss. It’s “basically like fertilizer for your scalp,” Moustafa adds.

You can expect about 16 injections to stimulate the scalp and regrow hair.

Aryelle Siclait

Health Reporter/Editor

This dermatologist is sharing the at-home and prescription solutions to regrow your hair (2024)


This dermatologist is sharing the at-home and prescription solutions to regrow your hair? ›

If you notice you're losing more than that due to female or male pattern baldness, or telogen effluvium, Moustafa recommends topical minoxidil, aka Rogaine. For women, she recommends the 2% or 5% options. And for men, the 5% option works best. Apply it twice a day to the affected areas, Moustafa says.

What is the name of the drug that regrows hair? ›

Products with minoxidil help many people regrow their hair or slow the rate of hair loss or both. It'll take at least six months of treatment to prevent further hair loss and to start hair regrowth.

What would a dermatologist prescribe for hair loss? ›

Twice-daily treatment with topical minoxidil (Rogaine) can slow hair loss and stimulate new hair growth. This prescription cream may be combined with a topical corticosteroid cream. Hair may gradually fall out when treatment stops. Minoxidil is not effective on people who have complete hair loss.

What old medicine grows new hair for pennies a day doctors say? ›

We hypothesized increased public interest in oral minoxidil for hair loss treatment following the New York Times (NYT) Article on oral minoxidil: “An Old Medicine Grows New Hair for Pennies a Day, Doctors Say.” The objective of this study was to quantify interest in oral minoxidil for hair loss treatment before and ...

What is the guaranteed hair regrowth treatment? ›

  • Massage. Massaging the scalp with hair oils and masks stimulates the scalp and may improve hair thickness . ...
  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera may help treat hair loss . ...
  • Coconut oil. ...
  • Viviscal. ...
  • Fish oil. ...
  • Ginseng. ...
  • Onion juice. ...
  • Rosemary oil.

What is the miracle drug for hair growth? ›

Future of finasteride: hair, prostate, and heart health

In summary, this fascinating research has unveiled a remarkable new facet of finasteride, a substance already dubbed a “miracle” drug by many, traditionally used to treat male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate.

Is there a product that really regrows hair? ›

Musely The Hair Topical Solution

Recommended by Green, this prescription solution from Musely contains minoxidil along with dutasteride and spironolactone, which are other commonly used medications known to curb hair loss and help with growth.

Does insurance cover dermatologist for hair loss? ›

Since hair loss doesn't affect your daily activity like a medical injury or illness would, it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered. However, there is good news. Your exam and any lab tests may be covered by insurance, and you would be responsible for paying for the actual treatment.

Is Nutrafol worth it? ›

Nutrafol may help to reduce hair thinning and promote hair growth, but it won't work for everyone. Talk to your dermatologist or doctor for advice before using Nutrafol or any other hair loss supplement or medication to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss? ›

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is a component of two important coenzymes: flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) [22].

What is the old pill for hair loss? ›

It is minoxidil, an old and well-known hair-loss treatment drug used in a very different way.

What is the new drug to reverse hair loss? ›

Ritlecitinib (also known as Litfulo and made by Pfizer) is recommended by NICE as an option for treating severe alopecia areata in people aged 12 and over. The treatment, taken as a daily pill at home, works by reducing the enzymes that cause inflammation and subsequent hair loss at the follicle.

What is the new discovery to regrow hair? ›

June 5, 2023 — Scientists discovered how to soften hair follicle stem cells to enable them to grow hair again. These cells stiffen with age and produce less hair.

What is the #1 hair regrowth product? ›

After testing 26 hair oils and serums, our top pick for the best hair growth oil is the Mielle Organics Scalp and Hair Strengthening Oil.

What is the best over the counter hair regrowth? ›

Below are a few things our experts recommend keeping in mind to aid regrowth: Ingredients that promote hair growth: Minoxidil is proven to be the most effective treatment for promoting hair growth in men and women (more below). It is also the active ingredient in OTC products from brands like Rogaine and Minoxidil.

What is the only FDA approved ingredient that can help regrow hair? ›

Today, minoxidil remains the only topical ingredient approved by the FDA to regrow hair.

What are the FDA approved hair regrowth pills? ›

FDA Approved Drugs for Hair Loss Treatment. There are currently only two FDA Approved medical treatments for hair loss, they are Rogaine (minoxidil), which can be used by men and women, and Propecia (finasteride) which can only be used by men.

Do hair regrowth drugs work? ›

Hair loss medications can work effectively for patients at certain stages of hair loss or with specific types of hair loss. It's important to have your hair loss evaluated by a hair loss expert to learn if they can help you. Results are impressive for many users.

Is Olumiant safe? ›

WARNINGS - Olumiant may cause serious side effects, including: Serious infections, including tuberculosis (TB), shingles, and others caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Some people have died from these infections. Olumiant can make you more likely to get infections or make any infections that you have worse.

What is the Pfizer hair growth drug? ›

What is LITFULO(ritlecitinib), Pfizer's alopecia drug? LITFULO (ritlecitinib) is a drug designed to help stimulate hair growth in people who have alopecia areata and other hair loss conditions caused by an autoimmune disease.

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