Creating the Ultimate Hair Loss Drug Cocktail

Several years ago, I was considering writing a post on creating the ultimate hair loss drug. Ideally topical, but oral also okay.

The active ingredient list would run into the dozens. Each would be based on the numerous new research and study findings covering various pathways and mechanisms of hair loss and hair growth. Many of these new findings have been covered on this blog during the past six years.

However, the task at hand and necessary research would have taken me weeks. And I would still miss a lot of research and ingredients. I am also not sure if one can combine so many active ingredients into one pill or topical lotion.

The Ultimate Hair Loss Drug

Several months ago, someone sent me the below pasted email, hypothesis write-up and spreadsheet. English is not this person’s first language, but I appreciate the effort and motivation.

I have had to paste five screenshots of the spreadsheet at the bottom. The font might be too small in one or two. Will try to correct later.

Hello Sir,

I have list of possible drugs that can be used to treat androgentic alopecia. We all know that in androgentic alopecia, hair grow but kept in telogen state, that is, it is in the active repressed state.
In other words it is just a wrong signaling that inhibits the growth of the hair.

Here I am attaching an Excel file with all the available drugs on the market with info regarding their action. I found them after going through various scientific research paper across various journals. Since, I am not a chemist, that is why i do not know how to purify these medicine and how to combine them in correct order to achieve a desired formula to make some type of topical lotion or cream.

I request you that if you think this list of drugs can help in any way to anyone, please publish it on your website. If you like to add something or make some correction to it you are welcome.

My hope is that some one out there can figure out the right drugs combination to eradicate this problem.

For make you better understand i am explaining my hypothesis to you in brief….. hope you have enough time to read and understand this.

Hypothesis Overview

  1. Inhibit 5α-reductase by topical 0.1% dutasteride solution (there is a positive feedback loop associated with Dht and Pgd2, which is dht increases PGD2 levels which in turn cause skin keratinocytes to produce more testosterone and more testosterone again available to convert to dht by action of enzyme 5α-reductase).
  2. Inhibiting PGD2 , which increases Testosterone level and also causes inflammation by activating cytokines and Reactive oxygen species.
  3. Inhibiting TGF-B if possible or its precursor ‘Furin’. TGF-B induces Catagen and Modify extracellular matrix of surrounding tissue.
  4. Activating Cyclic Amp & GMP pathway, which in turn induces vasodilation and increases the level of positive growth factors including IGF1,2.
  5. Activating Wnt Signalling using any of available drugs like lithium chloride, Valporic Acid or Methyl vanillate.
  6. Inhibiting or lower ROS ( reactive oxygen species ) by Acetyl cysteine or any major anti-oxidant from the list.
  7. Inhibiting STAT3 And STAT5 Signalling.
  8. Using Ciprofloxacin to Improves the Stemness of Human Dermal Papilla Cells and its proliferation by akt signaling

Initial List of Ingredients for a Hair Loss Drug Formulation

Hair growth signaling pathways, growth factors, inhibitors and senolytic.

Drugs for hair growth signaling and inhibition 1

Hair loss drug cocktail ingredients 2

Hair loss drug cocktail ingredients 3

Hair loss drug cocktail ingredients 4

The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos in 2019

What is the best dandruff shampoo for your itchy, dry and flaky scalp? There are many popular choices, ranging from Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo, to Neutrogena T/Gel, to Head & Shoulders. Scroll to the bottom for my 5 best dandruff shampoo ranking.


The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoo Choices
A selection of popular dandruff shampoos.

What Dandruff Shampoo do you Need?

The best dandruff shampoo (with or without conditioners) will relieve your itchy, flaky and dry scalps, especially in balding inflamed regions of your head. For those suffering from recurring dandruff episodes, treatment choices can be confusing. A first choice of treatment is to look for an effective dandruff shampoo for your needs. Most of the leading products work effectively in both men and women.

The tingling scalp and embarrassing white flakes on dark clothing cause a lot of stress in people suffering from this problem. For some, the dandruff comes and goes, while for others, it represents a daily problem that can be genetic in nature. Dry indoor heating during winters and washing your hair too often can both further exacerbate the flaking and dead skin cells. Note that dandruff is one particular manifestation of a condition called seborrheic dermatitis.

Over the years, I have had many episodes of severe dandruff and scalp itching and burning. Luckily, these are not too frequent, and I have found a number of dermatologist recommended shampoos to help when things get out of hand. I have tried almost all of the top rated medicated anti-dandruff shampoos out there.

The Science

Dandruff Shampoo Selection in Store
Dandruff shampoos for sale in a pharmacy.

A number of scientifically sound approaches are being used nowadays to target and control scalp flaking. Most of the below selected medicated products have their own unique key ingredients with their own mechanisms of action to give you a smooth flake-free scalp. I try to alternate between several different dandruff shampoos every month. My reasons for doing this are so as to:

  1. Not get side effects from the overuse of any one product with its key anti-dandruff ingredient(s).
  2. Avoid having my scalp becoming immune to the effects of certain ingredients due to overuse.

In addition to dandruff, many of the below shampoos also work to treat other skin conditions of scalp buildup and flaking such as eczema and psoriasis (although usually only when mild to moderate). Note that several of the products contains sulfates and other potentially harmful ingredients that cause side effects in some people.

Product effectiveness can also vary depending on whether you have a dry scalp versus oily scalp; whether you are male or female; and your own propensity for allergic reactions to certain ingredients. Make sure to leave the shampoo on your scalp for at least several minutes before lathering and rinsing.

The 5 Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.Nizoral A-D

My favorite dandruff shampoo product with ample scientific backing behind its efficacy and numerous Amazon and Walmart reviews. The key active ingredient in this over-the-counter shampoo is Ketoconazole 1%, which is an anti-fungal agent with anti-dandruff and anti-androgenic properties. The last of these aids scalp hair growth according to a number of studies.

Nizoral attacks the Malassezia microbe, the main cause of dandruff in many instances. See my post on Nizoral for much more details and discussion of the science behind this product. Nizoral comes in a fairly small bottle, but still lasts for many months with twice a week usage. I do not recommend more frequent usage or else you can exacerbate scalp dryness and end up with brittle hair quality and texture. You can also get Nizoral 2% medicated shampoo with a prescription.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo.Neutrogena T/Gel

The key active ingredient in this popular dermatologist recommended product is 2% coal tar extract. Accompanying instructions suggest just once a week usage to be ideal in combating dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis as well as psoriasis. The coal tar gives this product an unusual color and keratolytic properties that can smoothen and improve scalp skin.

Some users do not like the smell of this shampoo and also complain about dyed color treated hair fading. Coal tar also helps slow down the shedding of dry skin cells and can reduce scalp acne. Note that Neutrogena T/Sal is a different product made by the same company, but is also highly rated and contains salicylic acid 3%.

Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff & Dermatitis Shampoo

Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff Shampoo.Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength

Over the years, Head & Shoulders has probably produced more varieties of shampoos to target dandruff than any other company out there. Their most popular product for targeting scalp flakes is this clinical strength shampoo. The key active ingredient in it is selenium sulfide 1%, which reduces scalp fungus and bacteria. This product offers lasting relief from scalp itching and flaking. You can also find a number of other highly rated and reviewed Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoos on Amazon.

JASON Natural Dandruff Relief Shampoo

JASON Natural Dandruff Relief Shampoo.JASON Natural

Although not as well known as the above three listed products, this is a unique pH balanced largely natural product. It contains colloidal sulfur 2% and salicylic acid 2% as the two main active ingredients to tackle dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Formulated with additional beneficial ingredients that improve scalp health include: cooling aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, jojoba oil, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), olive oil, rosemary oil, seaweed extract, tea tree oil and vitamin E.

Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-Dandruff

Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-Dandruff.Head & Shoulders Classic Clean

Head & Shoulders came out with a pyrithione zinc based shampoo all the way back in 1961. To this day, the company still makes anti-dandruff shampoos that are based on this original active ingredient, in a zinc pyrithione 1% formulation. This key ingredient helps inhibit scalp yeast and fungus growth. A cleaner scalp helps provide relief from uncomfortable itching and flaking, reduced redness, and removes product buildup.

Best Dandruff Shampoo Video

Other Popular Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Choices

  • A number of readers have mentioned the highly rated Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo. I have heard about this product a lot over the years, and might even have tried it some years ago. You can often purchase it at local hairdressers and beauty salons for a discount. Besides tea tree oil, the product also contains peppermint and lavender according to the manufacturer’s website. Other ingredients are not listed.
  • Selsun Blue Maximum Strength dandruff shampoo is another popular bestseller. Its active ingredient is selenium sulfide 1%.
  • Some people have mentioned that ciclopirox olamine based shampoos may be effective for moderate levels of dandruff. However, I have as yet not found any popular over-the-counter dandruff shampoo that is based on ciclopirox olamine.
Your Dandruff Shampoo Experiences

Do you have an itchy scalp and dandruff related problems? What shampoos have worked best for you over the years without drying out your hair (both men and women can respond)? Have you tried any natural and herbal products and seen a reduction in flaking and dryness?

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