The 9 Best Shampoos For PCOS Hair Loss

The hormonal imbalances caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can lead to increased levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and other hormones which, according to double board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Kecia Gaither, can “cause the follicles to clog and stop producing new hair.” If you’re one of the six to 12% of people with ovaries who are affected and are looking for some relief, the best shampoos for PCOS hair loss should contain DHT-blocking and/or anti-dandruff ingredients and be free of harsh chemicals. They might also contain biotin or keratin to strengthen hair follicles and maximize the appearance of thicker hair. To help you zero in on the best ingredients to help prevent PCOS-related hair loss, Dr. Gaither and two dermatologists weigh in with their recommendations below.

The Experts

Dr. Kecia Gaither, M.D., is a double board-certified physician in OB-GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, currently serving as the director of perinatal services and director of maternal fetal medicine for NYC Health+ Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx. Additionally, Dr. Gaither is an associate professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Kseniya Kobets, M.D., MHS, FAAD, is the director of cosmetic dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Montefiore-Einstein. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American Society for Laser, Medicine and Surgery, and has a research focus on hair restoration.

Dr. Emmanuel Loucas, M.D., is the director of SINY Dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, with practices in Manhattan and Palm Beach.

What To Look For When Shopping For Shampoos For PCOS Hair Loss

DHT-Blocking Ingredients

PCOS causes higher levels of androgens, which are hormones such as testosterone and DHT. Excess levels of these hormones can shrink your hair follicles and cause hair to look thinner and more fragile. Dr. Emmanuel Loucas, director of SINY Dermatology, advises his patients to look for shampoos with ingredients that can block DHT like saw palmetto and argan oil. And Dr. Kseniya Kobets, director of cosmetic dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Montefiore-Einstein, explains that these ingredients block DHT in the scalp by inhibiting the 5-AR enzyme that converts testosterone to the damaging hormone DHT, although he notes “there are limited good studies on these in humans.”

But there are other ingredients that promise some DHT-blocking qualities. Dr. Kobets reports that a recent study shows potential for “caffeine, melatonin, marine extracts, rosemary oil, procyanidin, pumpkin seed oil, and cannabidiol oil in male androgenetic alopecia, which may also be promising in female hormonal hair loss.” Researchers haven’t identified any single ingredient in DHT-blocking shampoos as an overall cure for hair loss, but labels including one or more of these ingredients might offer encouraging results.


While excessive hormones can cause hair loss for those with PCOS, Kobets adds that they can also cause an excess of oil production on the scalp. This disrupts the scalp’s microbiome and results in an overgrowth of yeast or fungus that can cause dandruff, inflammation, and clogged follicles, which can contribute to further hair loss. To combat dandruff and keep your scalp healthy, Loucas often suggests an anti-dandruff shampoo containing ketoconazole 1%, a strong antifungal used to combat dandruff. Kobets adds that you can also look for anti-dandruff shampoos with zinc pyrithione, another antifungal and antimicrobial ingredient.

What To Avoid In Shampoos For PCOS Hair Loss

Shampoo labels can have a lot of ingredients, but it’s important to avoid ones that can damage your hair or affect your follicle’s health. Kobets recommends avoiding parabens, which are “known androgen disruptors and have other environmental concerns.” It’s also a good idea to steer clear of synthetic fragrances which can cause irritation, sulfates because they can be drying, and silicones. According to Kobets, silicones not only cause buildup in the scalp “but also can worsen acne that is often associated with PCOS.”

To care for your scalp, restore your hair’s microbiome, and gain the appearance of thicker-looking hair, take a look at the best shampoos for PCOS hair loss on Amazon that are also dermatologist and OB-GYN recommended.

1. A Wildly Popular Shampoo For PCOS Hair Loss


  • Over 27,000 reviews and an overall 4.3-star rating
  • Includes 17 possible DHT-blocking ingredients
  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free, color-safe, and cruelty-free
  • No sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or silicones


  • Some reviewers report it can be drying for hair

This anti-thinning shampoo features a blend of natural extracts and essential nutrients, a few ingredients that Dr. Gaither and Loucas recommend for PCOS-related hair loss, plus over 16,000 five-star ratings. There’s tea tree extract, which Dr. Gaither approves for keeping the scalp clean and infection-free, and argan oil to keep hair nourished. And Dr. Loucas suggested saw palmetto for its DHT-blocking qualities. Pura D’or actually boasts 17 DHT-blocking ingredients like pumpkin seed oil and nettle leaf extract, plus aloe vera for hydration and vitamin E to lock in moisture.

It not only refreshes your hair, but the shampoo also reduces breakage so your hair may look thicker. It’s gentle enough for daily use; just apply to wet hair, leave on for two minutes, and rinse. For best results, Pura D’or recommends using it for three months. The shampoo comes in a convenient pump bottle and since there are no sulfates, it won’t foam up in the shower. But, if you’d like a thicker lather, the brand advises using a few more pumps.

A Helpful Review: “I am a 37 year old female with PCOS. I started losing my hair around age 13 and have the kind of hair where you can see my scalp. I started researching and found this product and after 3 months of using it daily I HIGHLY recommend it. I have hair growing in all over my scalp. In addition, the hair that I already had is feeling much stronger and healthier. If you are a woman with PCOS and associated hair loss, you really needs to try this. People with PCOS produce too much of the hormone that this product works to block. I just can’t believe that my doctors never told me about this…. it works!!!”

Scent: Lemon (according to reviewers)| Sizes: 8 Fl. Oz., 16 Fl. Oz.

2. Expert Pick: A Dandruff Shampoo That Contains Ketoconazole


  • Over 76,000 reviews and an overall 4.6-star rating
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Contains ketoconazole 1%, a dandruff-fighting ingredient


  • It contains synthetic fragrance and some reviewers report a chemical smell
  • Contains sulfates

All of the experts recommended an anti-dandruff shampoo for PCOS-related hair loss, and Nizoral topped the list. It contains ketoconazole 1%, which binds to your hair’s natural protein to reduce dandruff, and — according to Nizoral — this is the only over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo that contains ketoconazole. Dr. Loucas added that this shampoo can help “fight dryness and inflammation on the scalp which can also help prevent hormonal hair loss.”

This shampoo is suitable for all hair types, and the brand recommends using it twice a week between washes of your regular shampoo and conditioner. It does contain synthetic fragrance, which some reviewers said smelled like chemicals. Nizoral also has over 57,000 five-star reviews and a stellar 4.6-star overall rating leaving one fan to rave, “This is the ONLY thing that helped with my flakiness associated with PCOS.”

A Helpful Review: “I have chronically suffered from scalp dermatitis and have PCOS, so the combination has cause my hair to thin dramatically over the past few years. I bought this shampoo as a last resort after trying Head and Shoulders, charcoal shampoos, biotin shampoos and scalp clarifying solutions. My scalp was noticeably clearer after 2 uses so I kept using it about 2-3 times a week. After almost a month I realized I have new hair growth all over my scalp!”

Scent: Not available | Sizes: 7 Fl. Oz., 11 Fl. Oz.

3. A Cult-Favorite Shampoo For PCOS Hair Loss


  • Over 8,000 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating
  • Removes dirt, excessive oil, and residues from the scalp
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Silicone- and artificial fragrance-free


The highly-rated Nioxin cleansing shampoo helps to remove oil, dirt, and other residues from your hair and scalp to strengthen your follicles against damage and breakage. It’s part of a three-step system, including a conditioner and treatment, to keep hair stronger and increase volume, but the shampoo is also effective on its own. Just apply to wet hair, gently massage into your scalp, lather for one minute, and rinse thoroughly. The shampoo has been dermatologically tested.

A Helpful Review: “It’s been a couple months and I can say with confidence that my hair looks and feels healthier, AND thicker. I can’t tell for sure yet if I actually have new hair growth, but it’s looking like I might. I’ll keep using this for sure.”

Scent: Mint (according to reviewers) | Sizes: 10.1 Fl. Oz., 16.9 Fl. Oz., 33.8 Fl. Oz.

4. Expert Pick: A Shampoo With Rosemary Oil & Biotin


  • Color-safe, hypoallergenic, and paraben- and sulfate-free
  • Includes DHT-blocking Procapil and Capixyl active complex plus natural DHT blockers


  • Contains synthetic fragrance and silicones

Dr. Loucas’ recommends Shiny Leaf’s shampoos because they contain “different botanicals, antioxidants, and vitamins that help to maintain a proper environment for scalp and hair health.” Plus, it includes DHT-blocking Procapil and Capixyl active complex, biotin to strengthen strands, caffeine to prevent hair loss, and amla fruit extract to promote scalp health. Just apply to wet hair, massage gently into your scalp, and rinse after two to three minutes. It contains silicone and synthetic fragrance that reviewers report isn’t strong but remains pleasant. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates and is safe for color-treated hair.

In terms of results, Shiny Leaf reports that it can take one to three months for those with PCOS hair loss to see stimulated hair growth, but that depends on your nutrition, the weather, and other elements. And, if you don’t see results after three months, they recommend trying another shampoo.

A Helpful Review: “I didn’t expect this to accomplish much. […] First, it smells wonderful and my kids (who are weird because they often run up and sniff me as they hug me) say it smells really good. Second, my hair is back to being thick and I don’t have any areas that look less than the rest anymore. When I have a pony tail you can just see hair now and no little strips where you can see scalp. Only a couple strands fall out in the shower now and I’m not picking long hair strands off my clothes all the time anymore. I am so impressed with this stuff because it seems like magic to me. I worried that I was going to thin early and have to go get some costly and damaging hair treatment to fix it. I don’t anymore. My hair is as thick as it used to be and now my hair is back to being a full head of hair. […]”

Scent: Floral | Sizes: 16 Fl. Oz.

5. Expert Pick: A Dandruff Shampoo For Sensitive Skin


  • Over 9,000 reviews and an overall 4.5-star rating
  • For all hair types
  • Free of dyes, fragrance, silicone, sulfates, parabens, and formaldehyde releasers
  • Sensitive skin formula


  • Some reviewers report that it can be drying for hair

If you’re dealing with PCOS-related hair loss and you have sensitive skin or a history of eczema or allergies, Dr. Kobets recommends Vanicream shampoo. It’s a hypoallergenic dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione, which banishes the bacteria, fungus, and microorganisms that can contribute to a dry, flaky scalp. Vanicream is pH-balanced for all hair types and free of gluten, sulfates, silicones, proteins, dyes, parabens, and fragrances. Just apply to wet hair, lather, rinse, repeat, and you’re on your way to a healthier scalp.

A Helpful Review: “This is a product I would definitely order again, it is totally unscented and easy to use and rinse out, perfect for people who are looking for an unscented, non-irritating, gentle shampoo.”

Scent: Unscented | Sizes: 12 Fl. Oz.

6. A Biotin Shampoo That’s Enriched With Keratin


  • Over 23,000 reviews and an overall 4.3-star rating
  • Includes biotin for follicle growth and silk proteins to diminish breakage
  • Sulfate-, paraben-, phthalate-, silicone-, and cruelty-free
  • Enriched with keratin to protect strands


  • Contains synthetic fragrance, which some reviewers describe as musky

With over 15,000 five-star ratings, this shampoo is a popular choice for thinning hair. One reviewer with PCOS-related hair loss reported, “I have seen so much new growth after using this shampoo for a few months!” It includes biotin (vitamin B7) to help promote follicle growth, silk protein to help with breakage, and keratin to repair and protect your strands. The shampoo is in a large 16-ounce pump bottle and there are no sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. It does contain synthetic fragrance, which some reviewers describe as musky, but one reviewer clarified that it’s “just not the fruity/flowery scent that I’m used to.”

A Helpful Review: “I have PCOS and deal with mild hair loss and just overall dryness. This stuff is soooo good. I can’t believe how soft and healthy my hair is after one wash. The smell is iffy but anything that has results like this is totally worth it.”

Scent: Musky (according to some reviewers) | Sizes: 8 Fl. Oz, 16 Fl. Oz.

7. Expert Pick: A Shampoo To Restore Your Hair’s Microbiome


  • Certified microbiome-friendly by MyMicrobiome
  • Includes vegan proteins for strength, antioxidant-rich Australian wild berries for growth, and microbiome-strengthening prebiotics
  • No parabens, phthalates, hormones, silicones, artificial fragrances, or sulfates


This root-purifying shampoo is recommended by Dr. Kobets for the way it restores the hair’s microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms working to support and protect the scalp. The shampoo does that by cleansing away dirt, excess oils, and impurities and adding antioxidant-rich Australian wild berries, nourishing vegan proteins, and microbiome-strengthening prebiotics. It’s also certified microbiome-friendly by MyMicrobiome, which ensures products don’t disturb your scalp balance. Nutrafol reports that in a clinical study, 100% of users found an improvement in dryness and flakiness on the scalp and an immediate reduction in sebum. To apply, add a dollop to your fingertips, massage it into your scalp for two minutes, and rinse. If you’re looking for more of a treatment, you can add Nutrafol’s conditioner and exfoliating mask, but the shampoo is also effective on its own for PCOS-related hair loss.

A Helpful Review: “I like that this shampoo is not heavily fragranced and it does not irritate my scalp or skin. It does a good job of cleansing scalp and hair without stripping and drying.”

Scent: Berries | Sizes: 8 Fl. Oz.

8. Expert Pick: A Shampoo With A Vegan Keratin Alternative


  • Free of GMOs, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, gluten, and synthetic fragrance
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and color safe
  • Contains a vegan keratin alternative for stronger hair


For a sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo that uses less harsh lathering ingredients for PCOS-related hair loss, Dr. Kobets recommends Vegamour GRO shampoo. It uses microencapsulation technology to deliver phyto-actives (nutrients contained within plant extracts) that go deep into the scalp to fight thinning hair. Plus, it contains Karmatin, which is a vegan keratin alternative that’s designed to make hair smoother, stronger, and silkier. According to Vegamour, it’s clinically shown to deliver thicker-looking hair in as soon as 90 days. Just lather a quarter-size amount onto wet hair and through your strands, massage your scalp for 60 seconds to allow the phyto-actives to absorb, and rinse out until the water runs clear. The shampoo is safe to use every day and a conditioner is also available.

A Helpful Review: “I have been struggling with lifeless hair and some hair thinning for a couple years now. I tried so many different shampoos and conditioners that targeted growth, volume, curl definition, etc. Nothing seemed to work. The Vegamour Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner has completely turned my hair around. I finally like my hair again! Also – I dont feel like I need to wash it every day. Before my hair would look flat, greasy, lifeless, two days after washing. Now I can go a couple days and it still looks great.”

Scent: Citrus | Sizes: 8 Fl. Oz.

9. Expert Pick: A pH-Balanced Shampoo


  • Over 5,000 reviews and an overall 4.6-star rating
  • Formulated with biotin and soy protein to strengthen hair follicles
  • Promotes scalp microbiome stability with pH balance
  • Doesn’t contain silicones


  • Contains sulfate and artificial fragrances

When you want to promote your scalp’s microbiome balance, Dr. Kobets recommends a Redken shampoo that’s pH balanced. A pH-balanced shampoo prevents the scalp from producing too much oil, prevents moisture loss, and prevents tangling and breaking while keeping the cuticle sealed. This shampoo is formulated with biotin and soy protein to strengthen hair follicles and deliver length to breakage-prone hair. You can also get the conditioner and treatment mask for more PCOS hair loss management, but the shampoo is also effective on its own.

A Helpful Review: “I have VERY dry hair, and recently I started seeing my hair fall out. So I thought to myself it’s probably like a plant, when it drys out it will die. So I’ve been trying all types of shampoos and conditioners and I can honestly say my hair is SUPER soft and I see a dramatic change in hair on my shower drain, since i started with this shampoo and conditioner. So I would recommend this to anyone to try it out and see what benefits it can have on your hair.”

Scent: Cotton candy (according to some reviewers) | Sizes: 10.1 Fl. Oz., 33.8 Fl. Oz.

Studies referenced:

Bhasin, Shalender. The Role of 5-Alpha Reductase in Mediating Testosterone Actions (2005). U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Bamimore, Mary A., Gupta, Aditya K., Talukder, Mesbah (2022). Natural products for male androgenetic alopecia. Dermatologic Therapy.

Cha, Hyeong Soo, Cho, Young Hye, Choi, Eun Jung, Jeong, Dong Wook, Kim, Yun Jin, Lee, Jeong Gyu, Lee, Sang Yeoup, and Yi, Yu Hyeon. Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial (2014). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


Kseniya Kobets, M.D., MHS, FAAD, director of cosmetic dermatology and an assistant professor of dermatology at Montefiore-Einstein

Kecia Gaither, M.D., a double board-certified physician currently serving as the director of Perinatal Services/director of Maternal Fetal Medicine for NYC Health+ Hospitals/Lincoln

Emmanuel Loucas, M.D., director of SINY Dermatology and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, with practices in Manhattan and Palm Beach

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