While browsing around I've found out some studies that show that pyrithione zinc (the active ingredient in Selsun Blue and Head 'n Shoulders) may help with hair loss. Thought it might be helpful for those who either cannot afford Nizoral or don't have it accessible.
I will add other studies on this subject later (if I find more).
This study compares 1% pyrithione zinc to 1%ketoconazole (Nizoral).The effects of minoxidil, 1% pyrithione zinc and a combination of both on hair density: a randomized controlled trial.
British Journal of Dermatology. 149(2):354-362, August 2003.
BERGER, R. S.; FU, J. L. *; SMILES, K. A. +; TURNER, C. B. +; SCHNELL, B. M. +; WERCHOWSKI, K. M. +; LAMMERS, K. M. +
Background: Recent studies of antidandruff shampoos or tonics containing antifungal or antibacterial agents produced effects suggestive of a potential hair growth benefit.
Objectives: The purpose of this 6-month, 200-patient, randomized, investigator-blinded, parallel-group clinical study was to assess the hair growth benefits of a 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo. The efficacy of a 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo (used daily), was compared with that of a 5% minoxidil topical solution (applied twice daily), a placebo shampoo and a combination of the 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo and the 5% minoxidil topical solution.
Methods: Two hundred healthy men between the ages of 18 and 49 years (inclusive) exhibiting Hamilton-Norwood type III vertex or type IV baldness were enrolled. Total hair counts, the primary efficacy measure, were obtained using fibre-optic microscopy and a computer-assisted, manual hair count method. Secondary measures of efficacy included assessments of hair diameter, as well as patient and investigator global assessments of improvement in hair growth. These were based on photographs of the scalp using both midline and vertex views.
Results: Hair count results showed a significant (P < 0[middle dot]05) net increase in total visible hair counts for the 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo, the 5% minoxidil topical solution, and the combination treatment groups relative to the placebo shampoo after 9 weeks of treatment. The relative increase in hair count for the 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo was slightly less than half that for the minoxidil topical solution and was essentially maintained throughout the 26-week treatment period. No advantage was seen in using both the 5% minoxidil topical solution and the 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo. A small increase in hair diameter was observed for the minoxidil-containing treatment groups at week 17. Assessments of global improvements by the patients and investigator generally showed the benefit of 5% minoxidil. The benefit of the 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo used alone tended (P < 0[middle dot]1) to be apparent only to the investigator.
Conclusions: Hair count results show a modest and sustained improvement in hair growth with daily use of a 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo over a 26-week treatment period.
**Definition: Anagen is the active growth phase of hair follicles. The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding to the hair shaft.Nudging hair shedding by antidandruff shampoos. A comparison of 1% ketoconazole, 1% piroctone olamine and 1% zinc pyrithione formulations.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 24(5):249-256, October 2002.
Pierard-Franchimont, C.; Goffin, V.; Henry, F.; Uhoda, I.; Braham, C.; Pierard, G. E.
Synopsis: Hair shedding and hair thinning have been reported to be affected by dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis. The present study was conducted in 150 men presenting with telogen effluvium related to androgenic alopecia associated with dandruff. They were randomly allocated to three groups receiving each one of the three shampoos in the market containing either 1% ketoconazole (KTZ), 1% piroctone olamine (PTO) or 1% zinc pyrithione (ZPT). Shampoos had to be used 2-3 times a week for 6 months. Hair shedding during shampoo was evaluated semiquantitatively. Hair density on the vertex was evaluated on photographs using a Dermaphot. Trichograms were used for determining the anagen hair percentage and the mean proximal hair shaft diameter using computerized image analysis. The sebum excretion rate (SER, [mu]g cm-2 h-1) was also measured using a Sebumeter(R).
The three treatments cleared pruritus and dandruff rapidly. At end point, hair density was unchanged, although hair shedding was decreased (KTZ: -17.3%, PTO: -16.5%, ZPT: -10.1%) and the anagen** hair percentage was increased (KTZ: 4.9%, PTO: 7.9%, ZPT: 6.8%). The effect on the mean hair shaft diameter was contrasted beween the three groups of volunteers (KTZ: 5.4%, PTO: 7.7%, ZPT: -2.2%). In conclusion, telogen effluvium was controlled by KTZ, PTO and ZPT shampoos at 1% concentration. In addition, KTZ and PTO increased the mean hair shaft thickness while discretely decreasing the sebum output at the skin surface.
(C) 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd.
During this phase the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days. Scalp hair stays in this active phase of growth for 2 to 6 years. The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the anagen phase is based on genetic information.