This Ketoconazole 1% containing shampoo has helped me more than any other product out there when it comes to combating my on-and-off itchy, dry, dandruff and dermatitis inflicted scalp.
Since I do not get excessive dandruff too frequently these days, one 7-ounce bottle of Nizoral can last me for quite a few months. I use very little of the product each time I shampoo with it since it lathers well. I rarely need to use it more than once every two weeks.
There was a time when I used it twice a week as recommended. However, sometimes I felt that my scalp was starting to become dependent on its regular usage (i.e., it was itching more than normal when I reduced usage frequency).
Besides its anti-fungal effect, Ketoconazole possibly also has anti-androgenic properties.
Regenepure DR Shampoo
However, this blog post is not about Nizoral. Rather, it is about a new potentially superior alternative called Regenepure DR. Until last year, I did not know that there was another shampoo product for sale in the US containing Ketoconazole 1%.
Then I discovered Regenepure DR and recently had a chance to try it myself. My first impression after usage was that it seemed to result in slightly silkier and smoother hair in comparison to Nizoral. The product has an average rating on Amazon of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on over 1,200 reviews. It is priced at $30 for an 8 oz bottle.
Note that there is also another product called Regenepure NT (Nourishing Treatment) that is made by the same company.
Upon checking the ingredients of this product, I was impressed to see that besides Ketoconazole, this product contains Saw Palmetto Extract, Emu Oil, Caffeine, Jojoba Oil, Zinc Oxide and various B Vitamins (B3, B5, B6).
Saw palmetto has been known to counter DHT when ingested orally, and many people have tried to use it as a natural alternative to finasteride. However, saw palmetto can never be as effective as finasteride, even at very large doses. I am not sure about the usefulness of topical saw palmetto on a wet scalp, but it likely does have a mild anti-DHT effect.
Emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties based on various studies on PubMed, as does jojoba oil to a lesser extent. For self-experimenters, note that Blue emu oil from Walmart is a popular less expensive version of imported emu oil. Overall, these ingredients are far more impressive and superior in comparison to the list of mostly harsh ingredients of Nizoral. Moreover, unlike Nizoral, Regenepure DR does not contain sulfate.
While Nizoral is made by multinational behemoth Johnson & Johnson (via the McNeil Consumer Healthcare subsidiary), Regenepure is made by a small US-based company called Salonceuticals. This company specializes in a few hair loss and hair health related products and one nail related anti-fungal product.
Although I am impressed with this product, I would be more at ease if I could verify the ingredients of Regenepure DR (especially the Ketoconazole 1% quantity in each 8-ounce bottle) at a lab or via some government testing agency report.
Johnson & Johnson, due to its size, cannot avoid any mistakes in the legitimacy of its product composition and risk losing huge amounts of revenues across the company’s product lines due to bad publicity from one bad product. I am a bit more wary about products made by smaller companies. Most likely, US government regulations are strict and this product gets tested frequently.
I am, however, curious as to why more companies have not come up with a Ketoconazole containing shampoo? The market for it has to be very large, but remains dominated by one product (Nizoral)? Is it difficult to get access to Ketoconazole or difficult to add it to a shampoo? How did Salonceuticals succeed where others failed?