Full ingredients list
- Deionized Water
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice
- PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate
- Sodium Chloride
- PEG-150 Distearate
- Laureth-13 Carboxylate
- Lauramine Oxide
- Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Extract
- Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract
- (.01%) Ketoconazole
- Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter
- Parfum (Fragrance)
In one study, which tested caffeine against Minoxidil for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, caffeine was shown to have comparable results to 5% Minoxidil:
At 6 months, the group of the 5% minoxidil solution showed a mean improvement in anagen ratio of the trichogram of 11.68%, and the group of the 0.2% caffeine solution had an anagen improvement of 10.59%. The difference of mean values between both groups was 1.09%. The statistical analysis was performed and reported in accordance with the CONSORT Guidelines 2010 for reporting of noninferiority and equivalence randomized trials.
Saw palmetto extract
Saw palmetto may help reduce hair loss by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase and reducing the production of DHT. However it’s uncertain how effective topical saw palmetto is at reducing hair loss because it only prevents testosterone from converting to DHT, but most DHT is formed from testosterone outside of the scalp.
In one study, application of topical niacin showed significant improvement in hair growth in female participants.
According to this Japanese study, hops contain chemicals that inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase helping to reduce the production of DHT. I’ve never heard of this but it’s possible. Again, it will have limited effects when applied to the scalp because the vast majority of DHT is produced from testosterone outside of the scalp and then sent to the scalp via the bloodstream.
Ketoconazole is often considered an effective treatment for male pattern baldness (at least among the general public who occasionally mention it favorably in forums). This study compared topical Minoxidil with ketoconazole and found them both to have similar results on hair growth.
Although biotin is found in thousands of hair products, as far as I know there is actually no evidence that it reduces hair loss or promotes hair growth when applied to the scalp. I believe biotin should help hair growth when consumed in food because biotin is a vitamin that is used to create keratin.
Many of the ingredients in the Wick and Strom shampoo are known to reduce the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is known to increase male pattern baldness. However I doubt the effectiveness of these ingredients at reducing the effect of DHT on hair follicles when applied to the scalp because DHT is formed outside of the scalp and travels to the scalp via the blood. Therefore blocking the production of DHT in the scalp is unlikely to be effective at preventing male pattern hair loss.
That said, this is still one of the best anti-hair loss shampoos available. Very few shampoos contain ketoconazole, which has been shown in at least one study to reduce male pattern hair loss. Overall, this is certainly one of the best anti-hair loss shampoos I’ve seen.
If you really want to stop male pattern hair loss you’d need to use far more powerful ingredients though. Particularly ones that bind with androgen receptors in the hair follicles, preventing DHT from binding — such as RU58841, CB 03 01 and EGCG., which can be found in my personal hair loss topical.