Nizoral shampoo is a hair product based on the active ingredient ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is an antifungal, meaning it is used as treatment for fungal infections caused by dermatophytes – parasites that feed on keratin – or certain types of yeasts. Ketoconazole is also used to treat fungal infections of the foot.
How does Nizoral help reduce hair loss?
In some cases hair loss is caused by fungal and yeast infection (e.g. pityriasis versicolor, the yeast Pityrosporum, seborrheic dermatitis). As there is plenty of keratin within the scalp and hair follicles for these parasites to feed on, they will damage hair roots in time, interfering with scalp nutrition and causing hair follicles to have problems developing properly. Moreover, some of these conditions lead to a very irritated, itchy scalp (usually, the main symptom of fungal infection is a rash), which is a contributing factor to mild and moderate hair loss.
Nizoral helps reduce hair loss by killing the fungi and yeast causing the infection and alleviate its symptoms (itching, flaking and redness). In the absence of parasites, follicles are more likely to receive a full nutrient supply, which helps the hair shaft regenerate, resulting in hair growth.
How does ketoconazole kill fungi and yeast?
Ketoconazole prevents fungi from producing ergosterol, a vital chemical for their cell membranes. As no living organism can survive with damaged cell membranes (cell contents leak out and unwanted substances ‘intrude’ cells), fungi will eventually die and the infection will clear up.
How to use Nizoral for hair loss
Wash the affected areas and leave the shampoo on for five minutes before rinsing. To treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, use Nizoral twice a week for up to a month. Nizoral can be used every one to two weeks to prevent these conditions from reappearing once they’ve cleared up.
To treat pityriasis versicolor, use Nizoral once a day for no longer than five days. As this type of infection is very common during the Summer season, you can also use the shampoo to prevent recurring infections by washing your hair daily for no longer than three days. It is preferable to do this in the morning, before exposing your scalp to sunlight.
While products based on ketoconazole are a very effective treatment for fungal infection, there is no research to show that Nizoral can reduce hair loss or boost hair growth. Nizoral is used to treat an underlying cause of hair loss, which is why a number of men who suffer from a fungal infection may notice significant improvements after using the product.
Always see a doctor before you begin, and if your scalp doesn’t get any better after four weeks, speak to a dermatologist about discontinuing treatment or going for another alternative. However, if you are sure your hair loss is caused by a fungal infection, Nizoral might well be the solution to all of your problems.