What's the first product you should use for hair loss prevention?
Obviously, there are a lot of drugs and chemicals on the market when it comes to hair loss prevention.
There's a lot of junk, there's some stuff that works, but they vary greatly in side effect profiles, and some make much more logical sense to use as introductory methods of intervention.
Get A Hair Catcher
First things first, I already mentioned this another article, but getting a hair catcher is the first thing you should do.
Obviously, this is the only way you're going to accurately gauge if things are working or not treatment-wise.
This tool assesses your progress and it projects how your hair is going to respond to new interventions and treatments.
If you're shedding 200 hairs per shower, and then you start a hair loss prevention regimen and it drops to five hairs per shower, you can roughly project if you will experience an increase in density over the course of the next couple months, assuming that shedding amount stays consistent.
This is the first tool you should get, but I consider this a tool for progression measurement.
Now let's get into the first actual treatment you can use.
Get A Ketoconazole Shampoo
In my opinion, the first product you should use for hair loss prevention is a Ketoconazole shampoo.
There is debate whether this is an effective anti-androgen at the hair follicles, or if it even does anything to begin with.
Based on the clinical data, I believe there is more than enough evidence to justify its use.
Especially when you consider the side effect profile relative to other efficacious alternatives.
There are a lot of anecdotal logs to support that it is beneficial and has anti-androgenic properties on the scalp as well.
Ketoconazole shampoo is the only product that's over the counter and is what I would consider very low risk.
Technically, Minoxidil is over the counter too, but, in my opinion, Minxodil is actually one of the most side effect ridden hair loss prevention treatments.
I honestly wouldn't even add that in until way down the line.
Ketoconazole shampoo is low risk, it's over the counter and it's not illegal to get without a prescription.
And for some guys, it's sufficient enough to halt shedding.
Keep in mind, it will very likely not be sufficient as a form of monotherapy if you have even mildly aggressive hair loss.
However, if you're just starting to worry about hair loss, or are just a guy who cares about their hair in general, sometimes this can be enough to halt shedding and it is a great introduction to hair loss prevention.
Use The Least Amount Of Drugs Possible
You don't want to go gung ho into Ketoconazole, RU58841, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, and other experimental compounds immediately if you don't have aggressive hair loss.
Use the least intense regimen you can get away with, and scale up as needed.
You will have other stronger (and more side-effect ridden) compounds in your arsenal later down the line should you end up needing them.
If you don't have aggressive hair loss, get a Ketoconazole shampoo and see how that affects your shedding amounts.
Get a baseline hair count with a hair catcher to see what the average amount of hairs you lose per shower is.
Once you have that baseline established, you can start adding things into your hair loss prevention protocol and assess if your shedding amounts are decreasing.
If you can get things under control with a good Ketoconazole shampoo, then you are lucky.
If not, you'll probably need something more intense like an actual 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, or a topical anti-androgen.
But, if you can get away with just a run-of-the-mill shampoo, then why would you exert more stuff upon your body?
If I could just use an over the counter shampoo and have zero shedding, that's all I'd use.
But I can't, so that's why I use an array of other treatments in conjunction with Ketoconazole.
Your situation may differ though because everyone has their own individual genetic propensity, hormone profile, amount of hairs to work with, and a variety of other individual specific factors.
1% Ketoconazole Vs 2% Ketoconazole
If you live in the US, I believe 2% Ketoconazole is prescription only.
Interestingly enough, you can't buy 5% strength Minoxidil over the counter in Canada, you can only find 2% strength.
In the US, you can find 5% Minoxidil super easily.
In Canada, we have 2% Ketoconazole (Nizoral) over the counter though.
You can buy Nizoral 2% in Costco over the counter here in Canada, but in the US 2% strength is prescription only.
Fortunately for you if you live in the US, there doesn't seem to be a significant difference in efficacy between 1% and 2% strength Ketoconazole shampoos.
I've used both the 2% and 1% for years and I don't notice a difference between them.
The Intelligent Ketoconazole shampoo makes my hair look better anyways so I almost always opt for it over my 2% Nizoral shampoo.
If you haven't already, go buy a hair catcher and a Ketoconazole shampoo.
It's definitely the first product you should use for hair loss prevention.
If the shampoo doesn't work, you will likely need RU58841 or CB-03-01, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, Minoxidil, and/or other more intense experimental treatment alternatives.
But if you don't need any of those though and can just get away with a shampoo, then that's a huge win for you, and you are among the genetically blessed.
You can get Nizoral here (cost-effective Ketoconazole shampoo): Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
And Intelligent Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo here (high quality Ketoconazole shampoo): Intelligent Shampoo