The Very Best Natural & Clean Hair Growth Products For Men + What To Look For
Hair loss in any form—whether it be a receding hairline, all-over thinning, or balding patches—can add a layer of insecurity to your day-to-day life. You may wish you had started preventive measures years ago, but give yourself some grace knowing that not all hair loss is preventable.
That being said, not all forms of hair loss are permanent either—especially if you actively treat the scalp to encourage regrowth. Hair loss in women and men is alike in many ways and different in some. Here, the difference between the two and what derms want you to know about treating and preventing hair loss.
The best hair growth products for men:
The best hair growth products for men:
What is hair loss in men?
"Men's hair loss (or male pattern hair loss) often begins with a receding hairline and the 'widows peaks,' with eventual loss of scalp crown (top) hair," board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group Jason Miller, M.D., FAAD, tells mbg.
Women tend to have more subtle thinning throughout the scalp, characterized by a widened part or more visibility of the scalp, Miller explains.
The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia. This kind of hair loss is usually caused by, "Genetic changes in certain hormones that lead to thinning of the hair," Miller says.
However, traumatic events or increased stress and autoimmune conditions can also lead to hair loss. This kind of shedding isn't instantaneous. "When high stress occurs, the hair begins to shed about three to six months later," board-certified Christine Shaver, M.D., FAAD, of Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration in New York City once told mbg.
It's important to know what the root of your hair loss is in order to treat it best. If your hair loss is hormonal, then oral medication may be a good addition to a topical hair growth regimen. Regardless, scalp care is essential, and these products are A+ for a happy, healthy scalp.
How we picked:
Hair loss products don't need to sting the scalp. We picked the best products we could find that encourage growth, sans discomfort. These ingredient lists are natural-forward and safe for your skin.
Not everyone is ready, or has the ability to, invest in expensive hair care products. This is why we offered budget-friendly options throughout.
Most people don't have time to complete a 10-step routine for hair growth. The following products are simple and to the point. This way you can commit to consistency, no matter how busy your days are.
We looked for ingredients proven to encourage healthy hair growth like rosemary oil, saw palmetto, peptides, etc. We'll get more into this next.
mbg's picks for the best hair growth products for men
Best for a receding hairline: Vegamour GRO Hair Serum
- Scalp soothing
- Dropper helps target hairline and patches
- Comprehensive formula
- Small size
- 30 mL / 1 fl. oz
This plant-based hair growth serum is a dream for those who want to encourage regrowth without irritating the scalp. The dropper is small but filled with a mighty formula (I mean, just look at the before and after photos in the review section). This is why it's perfect for the hairline—it's powerful enough to encourage regrowth and being used on a smaller section will make it last.
What users say:
This serum has a serious following from people of all genders because it's highly effective. (And no matter how you identify, we all want effective products, no?) Here's what one reviewer said: "I have had a fair amount of hair loss, I lost about half of my hair due to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, stress, and overall lack of protein in my diet. I lost around half of my hair in the span of like a month or two. And I promise this stuff is the one product I found that actually works. I didn’t want to use minoxidil, that was kind of going to be my last resort. But once I started using this product my hair stopped falling out, and started to grow back, and honestly grows faster than before."
Best for regrowth: Nutrafol Full Support
- Internal and external support
- Recommended & distributed by doctors
- Subscription available
- 50 mL/1.7 fl. oz
This hair growth system is just that—a system. More than just a serum, this product duo tackles hair loss from the inside and the outside for all-around support. The serum stimulates the scalp via lactic acid, tea tree, and caffeine while simultaneously nourishing the barrier with sea buckthorn extract, panthenol, seaweed extract, and more naturally-derived additions. The supplement blend is packed with saw palmetto extract, marine collagen, and ashwagandha to encourage hair growth and skin health from within.
What users say:
Not only do men rave about this product ("My hair was making me feel older than I was before Nutrafol," says one 46-year-old), but clinical studies back it up: 85% of users saw improved hair health using the serum after 30 days, and 84% of users saw improved hair growth with using the supplement after 6 months.
Best serum: KeraFactor Scalp Stimulating Solution
- Highly concentrated
- Recommended by doctors & trichologists
- Small bottle
- 50 ml/1.69 fl.oz
This highly concentrated solution contains a blend of unique and science-backed ingredients. First up: A blend of 7 different peptides to target growth factors and skin proteins to encourage a healthy scalp and thicker strands. Nanofluorosomes, a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic compound give the blend a fluorescent hue, which can be additionally activated via laser or light source—so if you're using a light device, pair it with this blend to supercharge the growth potential.
What users say:
This high-tech formula has caught the eye of many. Here's what one user said: "I have been using Kerafactor Scalp Stimulating spray and shampoo for three months and have noticed increased hair fullness in the balding section of my scalp and an associated thickening of my hair generally. It is a remarkable new product that is simple to use and shows incredible immediate results."
Best for preventative care: Act+Acre Stem Cell Scalp Serum
- Nourishes the scalp with stem cells
- Helps combat dry scalp
- Large bottle
- Not the best for significant hair loss
- 65 mL/2.2 fl. oz
This Stem Cell Serum has sold out again and again—for good reason. The ultra-nourishing blend of plant-derived stem cells joins bamboo extract and aloe vera in a superior hydrating INCI list. The blend is clean as can be—free of synthetic fragrance, silicones and parabens. If you're starting to see minor hair loss or just want to prevent thinning in the first place, add this serum to your routine to show your scalp some T.L.C.
What users say:
Not only do people use this to calm irritated scalps, but users notice healthy hair growth with continued use: "My hair seems to be growing out thicker and darker at the roots with the first bottle. I will continue using!"
Best shampoo: Hims Thick Fix Thickening Shampoo
- Wash-off product
- Should be used with another leave-on product
- 190 mL/6.4 fl. oz
If you can't be bothered to add another step to your routine (no shame, hair care can be intensive), then consider opting for thickening shampoo. This formula is a low-lift way to incorporate healthy scalp practices into your routine. Saw palmetto encourages hair growth while eucalyptus provides stimulation and a spa-like scent. If you want to add a leave-in product to your routine (which is highly encouraged) Hims has a plethora of options to check that box too.
What users say:
This shampoo may be a wash-off product, but the innovative ingredients still put in the work. One reviewer says: "After a few days my hair looked noticeably thicker. It even worked on my beard, which is nice because my beard does not grow in as thick and full as I'd want it to."
Best budget: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
- Combats dry scalp
- May give a greasy look
- Simple formula may not produce dramatic results
- 60 mL/2 fl. oz
If you're looking for a good launching point to ease you into the world of leave-on hair products, this serum is a great start. Packed with peptides, caffeine, and plant extracts, you'll be nourishing your scalp, sans extra spending. Massage the serum into your scalp during the day or at night to encourage growth. Reviews mention a greasy residue post-application, so an evening ritual may be best.
What users say:
While it may leave a noticeable residue for some, most folks rave about how full their hair grows in: "There is visible growth with just one bottle. There are new hairs coming in," says one. Another notes: "Within a month of using this serum I have noticed so many new hairs. It's worth every penny."
Best device: Hairmax Ultima 9 Classic LaserComb
- Targetted treatment
- Great for hairline or sporadic thinning
- Recommended by trichologists
This one was recommended by certified trichologist and hair expert Shab Reslan—she even swears by it herself for thicker locks. "It uses low-level red light that's safe (FDA cleared) and doesn't get warm. This encourages healthier hair growth and stimulates the cells in the follicle by photobiomodulation, which is the same technology that plants use from the sun to grow," Reslan once told mbg. Use for 11 minutes 3 times a week—perhaps in combination with a hair serum for double the growing power.
What users say:
While using LED light for hair growth is still a new concept for people, there's good research to support it's use (which can justify the price tag). As one person wrote: "I've been using the HairMax Ultima 9 for 2 weeks and I've already noticed changes! Significantly less hair falling out in my brush, my clothes and my shower."
Best oil: Allpa Botanicals Rosemary Hair Oil
- Contains pure rosemary oil
- Great first product to try without overspending
- May make hair look greasy
- 60 mL/2 fl. oz
As mentioned in the next section, rosemary oil is A+ for science-backed hair growth, sans irritation. This rosemary oil blend is pure and organic, meaning you don't have to worry about irritating additives or fillers. Put a dropperful of oil on any area you want to increase growth before falling asleep and wash it out the next morning to avoid sporting a greasy look—unless that's what you're going for.
What users say:
This simple formula brings the results—as hundreds of reviewers have noted. One says the regrowth is noticeable: "I'm not usually one to write a review but i was truly surprised by the results of this mighty bottle. I looked in the mirror yesterday and realized i have new hair growth and significantly less shedding. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants less shedding, more growth, and overall healthier hair!"
Topical ingredients to look for:
The vast world of hair growth products can be hard to navigate. And while you should approach the category with a healthy dose of skepticism, there are many natural ingredients with research to support their use. In addition, there are several supporting ingredients that can make sure the scalp is in prime condition to support healthy growth.
Here's what to look for to narrow down your search:
In a 2015 randomized controlled trial11, rosemary oil was just as effective at increasing hair count over a six-month period as 2% minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine). In this same trial, participants using rosemary oil experienced less scalp discomfort and itching than with the alternative as well.
A notable fan of the oil is triple board-certified dermatologist Mamina Turegano, M.D. who’s previously said she advises patients to mix a few drops of the oil into the shampoo right before applying, then let the concoction sit on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing. For a more potent treatment, make a scalp oil blend that uses rosemary oil along with a carrier oil (like sunflower or jojoba oil) and let it sit on the scalp for several hours before rinsing out.
If DIY isn’t your route, you'll find rosemary oil in countless hair care products.
Pumpkin seed oil
This clinical trial displayed promise for yet another all-natural hair growth option: pumpkin seed oil. The same rules apply here—for a treatment, be sure to leave the pumpkin seed oil on your scalp to let it take effect. If you're worried about having greasy-looking hair throughout the day, use these oils as an overnight mask!
And while the results were promising and it did encourage growth, we’d like to note that the oil did not outperform minoxidil. As Turegano said, “What [researchers] saw was that both the pumpkin seed oil and the minoxidil increased hair regrowth and hair thickness, but the minoxidil 5% did outperform the pumpkin seed oil. Regardless, pumpkin seed oil has a ton of nutrients."
In order to foster increased hair growth, your scalp needs to be in a healthy, hydrated state. Look for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide, and aloe vera extract in topicals to help keep your skin moisturized.
Especially if you're prone to a dry and flaky scalp, oils might be a better choice to truly lock in moisture. Again, you can use scalp oils overnight to avoid greasy-looking roots during the day.
Topical use of peptides are a growing area of research in beauty, with some types of peptides showing promising benefits for skin and hair. While much more research is needed to support claims made about the ingredients, many grow excited about the possibilities.
For example, a recent study found that the peptide APN5 peptide was able to reduce hair loss. And some research suggests that copper peptides can improve hair growth2. Other peptides—like Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7—are thought to reduce inflammation3, therefore potentially reducing shedding.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients & antioxidants
To improve hair density and growth, it’s just as important to protect and support the hair you do have—and antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients are some of the best ways to do this. Inflammation can push the hair into it’s shedding or resting phase (called telogen) prematurely. So whatever you can do to reduce inflammation in your scalp and hair follicle can potentially help hair growth in the long run.
As far as antioxidants or hair are concerned, Vitamin E is the most notable for hair. When used topically can actually help balance the oils you have naturally4, help reduce inflammation in the skin5, and can condition the follicle4.
Hair growth habits and lifestyle remedies:
Healthy hair growth is most successful when approached holistically. Pairing topical interventions with lifestyle changes and habits can help make lasting results.
Yes, stress can cause hair loss. "Significant stress can lead to shedding and hair loss," board-certified dermatologist Christine Shaver, M.D., FAAD, of Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration in New York City tells mbg. It’s triggered by the stress hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc on the hair, skin, and body. Finding a stress management practice and tools will not only benefit hair in the long run, but it’s just good for overall health.
Eat a robust diet.
To start, some nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss6 such as vitamin D, biotin, zinc, and vitamin B12. If you suspect you may be suffering from a deficiency, consult your medical practitioner.
But beyond that, eating a robust diet with hair-supporting vitamins and nutrients can help feed your body what it needs for hair growth. We’ve outlined several of the most research-backed options here, which can serve as your guide.
If you want to double down on your hair growth practice, you may want to consider adding scalp massage to your daily routine. Research demonstrates that regular scalp massages can encourage thicker strands7. Plus, it doubles as a stress reliever after a long day.
To level up, even more, add a hair supplement to your daily routine. There are plenty of different formulas, from biotin to collagen and beyond. Some of them come in capsules, while others are in powder form and rich in protein. Check out this breakdown to learn more.
Create a routine that you'll stick with.
If you buy a hair growth topical that makes your scalp itchy, you'll be less inclined to use it. The same goes for time-intensive practices—don't spend the money on them if you're not going to commit to using them.
Pick something that can fit into your lifestyle so you can stick with it. When it comes to hair growth, consistency is key.
Hair growth medications:
For healthy hair, OTC topicals and lifestyle habits are a great place to start—and utilize consistently for maintenance. We believe that if you want healthy hair long term, it’s vital to use lifestyle remedies and high-quality hair products as part of your routine.
But often, and for many men, professional intervention is needed. Always consult with your medicine practitioner, dermatologist, or hair care specialist about what route might be best for you, but here are some of the most common:
- Minoxidil: This is one of the most famous treatments for male and female pattern baldness (it’s the active ingredient in Rogaine). At this time we don’t actually know the mechanisms behind why it works, but FDA-approved active is shown in clinicals to be very effective at hair regrowth8. However, hair shedding will occur once you stop using it9. It’s found in prescription strength and OTC versions.
- Finasteride: This FDA-approved prescription treatment works by decreasing the hormone dihydrotestosterone10 (DHT) in the area. (DHT is shown to cause thinning.) However, it comes with several side effects11, so consult your doctor to see if you think this option is right for you.
- PRP: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have been shown to improve hair growth. The process involves drawing your own blood, which is then put into a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other components of the blood. According to board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., "PRP is an all-natural treatment because it uses growth factors derived from your own blood. The growth factors act like fertilizer for your skin cells to help them behave to the best of their ability." However, they’re expensive and often considered painful depending on your pain tolerance.
What is the best hair growth product for fast growth?
To be frank, everyone's hair grows at different speeds. If you want the fastest regrowth, consistency and all-around support is key. Opt for internal support via hair growth supplements, a topical growth product, and consistent scalp massage.
How long do hair growth products take to work?
If you've been using a hair growth product in combination with scalp massage for three months with no results—aka zero baby hairs or noticeably fuller hair, then it may be time to switch it up. Taking photos along the way may help you see any results—or the lack thereof.
Does hair growth shampoo work?
Adding a growth-focused shampoo to your routine isn't a bad idea; however, it shouldn't be your only tool to combat hair loss. Leave-on products like serums and oils and scalp massage will be your best bet for at-home options, so put those at the top of the list and add a shampoo as an extra step if you want to.
Do hair growth products for men really work?
Overall, it’s good to be skeptical of hair growth products—not everything will do exactly as promised. It will also likely take a bit of guess-and-test to find a well-rounded routine that delivers the results you’re looking for. But rest assured there are many options out there that do have research supporting the use, such as rosemary, pumpkin seed oil, peptides, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Of course, dermatologists and hair care specialists are great resources to consult if you feel that you need professional intervention.
Hair loss is a complex experience, with countless causes and even more possible remedies. We searched high and low for the best science-backed and natural-forward options to save you time, but remember—you have to use these products on a regular basis for them to work properly. Want to learn more about taking care of your scalp? Here's the 101.