Hair loss treatments come in several forms – the medical topical treatments include foams or lotions to apply to the scalp, while cosmetic products include oils, shampoos and conditioners.
Pharmaceutical treatments contain minoxidil – the only clinically approved and evidence-based treatment for hair loss, which works by stimulating hair follicles.
Cosmetic treatments claim to strengthen or thicken hair, and may well work to some extent on that basis. Some also claim to stimulate the scalp, or to help retain the hair that you have. Others treat underlying dandruff or problem skin on the scalp, which can occasionally interfere with hair growth.
The degree to which the various products will succeed will vary, and it may be a matter of trial and error to discover what works for you, but the following products are MI-safe, and may be worth exploring.
Safe / Isothiazolinone-Free – Minoxidil Treatments (for men)
Kirkland Signature Minoxidil products appear safe. They have a 5% Foam for Men (ingredients can be seen at Minoxidil Direct here) and 5% Liquid for Men (ingredients here). On sale at Amazon US as well. These are typically more affordable than Rogaine / Regaine (see below) and in the case of both products, identical ingredients to the Rogaine / Regaine products are claimed.
Lipogaine. Told us “All of our products are free from MI / MCI”. Has minoxidil as well as DHT blocking botanical blend. Comes in Lipogaine for Men / Lipogaine for Men (Sensitive) – the latter of which more likely to be suitable for those with allergic skin conditions.
Regaine (UK only). This is the over-the-counter minoxidil-based treatment in the UK. They told us the following: “We can confirm that the active and inactive ingredients of this product contain no obvious sources of methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone preservatives”. However, they did add a perhaps over-cautious disclaimer, to the effect that the inactive ingredients were provided by external suppliers over which “we do not have total control over the production of these materials”, and “we are therefore unable to guarantee that they are free from contact with MI and MCI”. To browse Regaine products – for both men and for women – click here. Website and stockists here.
Rogaine (US). Emailed, but no response received. Assuming ingredients are the same as Regaine, and that Minoxidil Direct are correct in saying the Kirkland products (above) are identical, then it would be safe to assume Rogaine products are also methylisothiazolinone-free, but you may wish to do your own double checks. Available through Amazon, and other outlets.
Safe / Isothiazolinone-Free – Minoxidil Treatments (for women)
Equate for Women 2% Minoxidil. The weaker liquid product, suitable for women. Looks safe, according to ingredients, again at Minoxidil Direct.
Lipogaine. Told us “All of our products are free from MI / MCI”. Has 2% minoxidil. Comes in Lipogaine for Women / Lipogaine for Women (Sensitive) – the latter of which more likely to be suitable for those with allergic skin conditions.
Women’s Rogaine / Regaine for Women – 2% Minoxidil. Looks safe, again according to ingredients, again at Minoxidil Direct. Can’t see a confirmation, but we suspect product is again the same as the Equate product for women above. Available via Amazon US, Amazon UK, and others.
Safe / Isothiazolinone-Free – Cosmetic Products
FolliOne (UK). DHT Scalp Therapy treatment for receding hair, and Folixidil Hair Regrowth Treatment, which is billed as a minoxidil alternative. These are cosmetic, not medical, treatments, and they say that statements made on their website “have not been evaluated by any medical regulatory agencies”. There is also a FolliOne Anti Hair-loss Shampoo, and a few other products. They told us: “We replaced the MI and MCI with phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA, piroctone olamine and ethylhexylglycerin in our products last November (2016)”. See the FolliOne online store, and on Amazon here.
Just Natural Products (US). A brand which have various hair loss treatments, based on entirely natural and botanical ingredients. These include shampoo, conditioner, ‘grow new hair’ treatment, a bald spot treatment, and a vinegar rinse. Browse here.
Lipogaine shampoos. As well as the minoxidil products for men and women (see above), Lipogaine offer two safe shampoos – Big 3 Shampoo, and Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo. The latter – which is unisex – is also widely available on Amazon stores.
Majestic Pure Anti Hair Loss Shampoo (US). With 14 DHT Blockers. Ingredients don’t contain MI – no obvious potential source of hidden MI. Via Amazon US.
Pura d’Or are an MI-free brand with a large selection of hair loss prevention therapy products – including highly regarded shampoos and conditioners, as well as a moisturising masque, scalp serum and styling spray. The brand is also free from SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrance, gluten and claims to be hypoallergenic. In the US browse on Amazon here. A selection of products are also available in the UK. In Australia, try iHerb here.
Regrowz (UK). A restoration serum and a scalp stimulant, to be used together: apply the stimulant using a roller-ball dispenser, and then a little restoration solution serum half an hour later. “Regrowz is free from MI and MCI” we were informed. The formulations are 100% natural / botanical. See their website here. Also available on Amazon UK.
Reversyl (UK). Follicle and Fibre Shampoo, Shampoo with Hair Growth Treatment, and Hair & Scalp Conditioner. Told us they ‘actively avoid using’ MI and MCI. Also free from alcohol, parabens, silicones and animal-derived ingredients. Find out more on the Reversyl site here.
Rx 4 (US). A collection of four unisex products from America – shampoo, conditioner, scalp cream and even a product for pets with hair loss problems. We were told MI was “not in any of the RX 4 products. It is a preservative we do not use”. Find the four products on Amazon US, or direct on the Rx 4 website.
Proceed with Caution
Nourish Beaute. A natural line of hair growth treatment products – including for eyebrows and eyelashes – created by a thyroid problem sufferer who experienced hair loss. Very helpful customer services operator warned us that their Vitamins Shampoo contains MI and MCI. Both he and we double checked all ingredients in other products in the range … “After reviewing the ingredients in our products again, I am happy to say it looks like the rest of our product line-up can be safe to use”. To learn more, check their website here.
Minox-ve (UK only). This is a minoxidil-free range, with pretty good rating from users for its signature product, and suitable for both men and women. The ingredients given for that product, its Maximum Strength Scalp Solution, appear MI-free, with no obvious source of potentially hidden isothiazolinone (as a leave-on product in the EU, it must be MI-free by law now, anyway). HOWEVER, the Minox-ve Shampoo contains both MI and MCI, and this is sometimes available in a set together with the Scalp Solution. Further, the Minox-ve Hair Loss Stabiliser, at least on Amazon, does not declare what its ‘preservative’ is, so this particular product is also best avoided.
Kerastim Pro. Intensive Hair Loss Treatment and Intensive Regenerating Shampoo. Sent us a list of ingredients, which are isothiazolinone-free, but query regarding safety of parfum / fragrance is still outstanding. More when we have it, but probably safe. See their site here.
Exesio Shampoo for Hair Loss
RegenePure® Intense Volumizing Biotin Conditioner
Ultrax Labs (shampoo, conditioner, thickening treatment)
Watermans Hair Grow Me Shampoo
Other Brands Contacted
No response as yet received from the following brands. This page will be updated accordingly if and when we do.
Art Naturals, Dermachange, Groganics, Hair Loss Botanical Renovation, My Hair Genics, Naturvital and Sebamed.
If you are interested in other products or brands, leave a comment and I will investigate ….