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- Best supplement: Nutrafol Core for Women
- Best for progressed thinning in chemically treated hair: Nioxin Hair Care Systems
- Best natural formula: Bondi Boost Procapil Hair Tonic
- Best for volume: Briogeo Hair Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
- Best for regrowth: Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment
- Best for long-term effects: Women’s Rogaine 5% Unscented Minoxidil Foam
- Best for strengthening: Kérastase Genesis Strengthening Mask
- Best budget-friendly product: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
- Best hair oil: Fable & Mane HoliRoots Pre-Wash Hair Treatment Oil
- Best edible supplement: HUM Hair Sweet Hair Gummies
- Best luxury product: Oribe Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray
- Best for preventing breakage: Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray
- Best for at-home light therapy: CapillusPro
The summer heat is rising, but tan lines aren’t the only side effect of the season. While shedding stress on summer vacation, you may notice you’re also shedding more hair than usual. Summertime hair loss is a common obstacle many people experience during the year’s hottest months.
“For many people, more of their hair follicles are naturally in the resting phase, called telogen effluvium, during summer,” says Dr. Bill Cole, founder of Key Cellular Nutrition and creator of the Cellular Hair Repair Accelerator program. Telogen effluvium is temporary and can sometimes be brought on by a stressful experience.
According to Cole, the extreme heat during the months of July and August can result in an additional 10 percent of hair follicles entering the resting state and therefore shedding. “Add in the drying effects of sun exposure, chlorine, salt water, etc. and it’s a recipe for noticeably more hair loss during the summer,” says Cole.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing 50 to 100 hair follicles a day is a normal amount of shedding. While shedding is expected, some lifestyle changes can help keep telogen effluvium at bay.
Visit your doctor to find the root cause
While hair shedding is a routine part of the hair cycle, too much shedding or noticeable hair loss can be a sign of a greater issue. If you’re seeing clumps of hair fall out, bald spots, or overall patchiness, you should see your primary care doctor or dermatologist.
“Though hair loss is not uncommon in young women, it is definitely not something to try to treat on your own without first getting a proper diagnosis,” advises Kristen Stirling, a nurse practitioner of dermatology and president of Tennessee Telederm. “Premature hair loss in women can result from a variety of normal hormonal shifts, inflammatory or autoimmune conditions of the scalp skin, or other systemic medical conditions.”
Dr. Yasmin Akhunji, a board certified endocrinologist with Paloma Health, finds that hair loss is the most common complaint she sees from patients. “The timeline of your hair loss is important. It’s helpful to bring your history into your doctor’s appointment,” she says.
Akhunji recommends considering the following questions when sharing your history with your doctor:
- What’s been going on with your hair loss?
- Has it been stable or progressing?
- Is the hair loss all over or in one particular spot?
- Are you color-treating your hair, braiding it, or wearing ponytails a lot?
- What are your other symptoms?
- Are you on other medications?
- What is your diet like?
- Did you go through significant life events recently — like menopause or an illness?
Focus on your overall wellness
When creating the foundation for healthy hair, Cole recommends patients pay close attention to their diet and overall wellness. Eating a nutrient-rich diet and avoiding sugars and unhealthy fats can be a start.
“Our eyes, hair, nails, and teeth are generally perceived to be a reflection or mirror to our overall health. The healthier we are, the healthier they appear,” explains Cole. “A health-promoting whole food diet along with good sleep, regular exercise, fresh air, sunshine on exposed skin, and reduced stress levels form the cornerstone of a healthy life and healthy hair.”
Dr. Zachary Okhah, founder and Chief Surgeon at PH-1 Miami, recommends adding whole foods high in zinc (like spinach or lentils) to your diet since zinc “aids hair tissue growth” and “keeps the hair follicles’ oil glands working properly.”
When using a supplement with zinc, it’s important to make sure you aren’t taking any additional multivitamins that could cause you to consume too much of the mineral. “Overdoing it on the supplement can also contribute to hair loss,” says Okhah, advising that users talk to their doctor when starting a new supplement.
Cole also recommends staying away from BPA and phthalates, the chemicals found in plastics, which he calls “notorious hormone disruptors.” The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offers tips like opting for glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers for hot liquids and avoiding heating food in plastic polycarbonate containers in the microwave.
Our list of recommended products is based on a mixture of personal experience, high ratings of 4 or 5 stars, bestselling items, and doctor recommendations.
By scouring reviews from customers and chatting with medical professionals, we’ve rounded up our favorite 14 products to curb summer hair loss.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$64
- $$$ = $65–$100
- $$$$ = over $100
- Price: $$$
If you’re looking for a supplement to address hair loss, Nutrafol is a well-known brand to consider. In Nutrafol’s clinical study, 86 percent of users saw improved hair growth and 84 percent reported increased hair thicknesses after 6 months of use.
The daily supplement includes 21 ingredients to promote hair growth and target the root causes of thinning hair like stress, nutrition, and environment. Nutrafol’s hydrolyzed marine collagen provides amino acids to strengthen hair keratin while tocotrienol complex is said to lower oxidative stress from the environment. The pills also have ashwagandha, an ancient medicinal herb that’s said to balance stress hormones.
A quick look at Nutrafol’s label and you’ll find a wealth of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and D; selenium; biotin; iodine; and zinc.
Best for progressed thinning in chemically treated hair
- Price: $$
Nioxin, a hair care company developed for thinning and fine hair, offers six systems that target varying degrees of hair thinning and other conditions. The brand has specific three-part systems geared toward normal, color-treated, and chemically treated (like bleached or relaxed) hair.
Each Nioxin system comes with steps to cleanse, condition, and treat scalp concerns. A scroll through the company’s before and after gallery shows noticeable results with fewer patches and thicker hair. Influencer testimonials and brand photos fill Nioxin’s Instagram, and customers-turned-evangelists have spoken about how Nioxin helped them regain hair after pregnancy hair loss and alopecia.
Reviewers share that their typical hair fallout has decreased and they’ve seen an increase in shine and thickness. Some Ulta reviewers describe the product as feeling sticky and difficult to comb through after washing, but 92 percent of the site’s reviewers say they would recommend Nioxin to a friend. If you’re unsure about which Nioxin system is best for you, you can use the brand’s hair consultation tool.
Best natural formula
- Price: $
Topical treatments like minoxidil and prescriptions like finasteride are widely used for hair loss, but researchers are studying the impact of alternative treatments like Procapil. In a 2019 study comparing alternatives like Procapil to 5 percent minoxidil in people with androgenic alopecia, the participants who used Redensyl, Capixyl, and Procapil (RCP) saw “significantly better clinical recovery in terms of hair growth.”
Australian hair care company Bondi Boost is one brand using Procapil, a patented ingredient, in its products to strengthen hair. Bondi Boost’s Procapil hair tonic is a leave-in formula with 3 percent Procapil, and it has garnered positive reviews from happy shoppers. The brand has a 4.6-star average rating on Ulta, and 80 percent of the store’s respondents say they would recommend the formula to a friend.
“You have to be persistent and patient but you will see results,” shares one reviewer. Another reviewer shared that the product is often out of stock at Ulta locations but can be purchased online.
Best for volume
- Price: $$
Okhah recommends that those looking to nurture hair growth switch to a volumizing shampoo. Briogeo’s Hair Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing shampoo has received a multitude of positive praise.
Briogeo’s formula includes biotin to promote hair thickness; ginseng, which the brand claims can stimulate scalp health; maltodextrin, a starch that coats the hair to create a thickening look; and witch hazel extract, a clarifying agent used to absorb oils in between washes.
The shampoo doesn’t contain parabens, harsh sulfates, silicones, phthalates, or artificial dyes, so it’s a good option for shoppers looking for a gentle and mostly natural ingredient list.
While most of the reviews are positive, some users report that the shampoo left their hair feeling dry and tangled.
Best for regrowth
- Price: $$
Dermatologists and other doctors frequently recommend minoxidil. It’s an FDA-approved topical treatment that was approved for use on men in 1988 and on women in 1992.
Minoxidil works to improve blood flow in the area it’s applied to. When applied to the scalp, it can help promote hair growth and strengthen hair follicles.
The product currently has an average rating of 4.8 stars on the brand’s website, with some reviews including photos from pleased customers.
Best for long-term effects
- Price: $$
Rogaine is one of the most popular hair growth products on the market. If you’re looking for a stronger percentage of minoxidil or a formula that you can use only once a day, the brand’s 5 percent unscented minoxidil foam may be your perfect match.
Rogaine has a satisfaction guarantee policy, meaning the brand will offer a full refund if you aren’t impressed with the results after 120 days of daily use. The company recommends using the product for at least 3 to 6 months to see results. Out of the website’s more than 1,000 reviews, a majority of reviewers praised the product’s effectiveness in helping grow hair in spots where their scalp was once visible.
Some 1-star reviewers share their experience with allergic reactions and scalp sensitivity, while others say they saw no noticeable changes or felt they were losing more hair. Though we can’t speak to these customers’ experiences, minoxidil extends the growth cycle of your hair, which can cause additional shedding at the beginning of treatment.
Best for strengthening
- Price: $$
If you notice your hair shedding most when you’re brushing through tangles or taking a shower, you might benefit from a product that strengthens your locks. Kérastase’s Genesis strengthening hair mask is a bit of a splurge, but reviewers swear it’s “worth every penny.” Best for dry and damaged hair, the mask smooths and detangles your hair while reinforcing its strength.
Not only will your hair be oh-so-soft, but reviewers say you can expect to see less breakage. The 5-minute mask can be used in place of your conditioner and should be used weekly. On average, the Genesis mask has received 4.6 stars from both Sephora and Kerastase.com shoppers.
Best budget-friendly product
- Price: $
Beloved skin care brand The Ordinary entered the world of hair care in 2018 when it launched its multi-peptide serum for hair density. The product has piqued the interest of more than 166,000 users on Sephora’s website who have added the formula to their “loved” list, a way for shoppers to keep track of their favorite items.
According to most Sephora reviewers, the product has helped drum up noticeable volume and regrowth. If “IT WORKS” in all caps isn’t enough of a selling point, one reviewer calls it “a complete game changer.” Shoppers with thinning relating to health issues like anemia, hypothyroidism, postpartum hair loss, and alopecia have shared promising before and after photos.
While 93 percent of shoppers say they’d recommend the serum, some detractors complain that it made their scalp look greasy or that they didn’t see results.
Best hair oil
- Price: $$
Sibling duo Nikita and Akash Mehta infuse their Indian heritage into each product in their hair care line, Fable & Mane. Using vegan ingredients and Ayurvedic remedies, the company focuses on treating the scalp — or, shall we say, addressing the roots. The pre-wash hair treatment oil features a cocktail of natural ingredients to restore damaged locks and promote scalp circulation.
The HoliRoots formula includes ashwagandha, which is purported to help the body adjust to stress; castor oil, which is rich in ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid believed to enhance hair follicle health; and dashmool, a mix of 10 dried roots used in Ayurvedic medicine.
The product has a 5-star average rating on the company’s website and a 4.4-star average from Sephora shoppers.
Best edible supplement
- Price: $$
Vitamins that taste like candy? Count us in. HUM’s Hair Sweet Hair combines key ingredients that support hair growth into a gluten-free and vegan gummy. The flavorful vitamins include biotin, folic acid, zinc, and B12 — all staple vitamins and minerals that have been studied for their hair-boosting properties.
Hair Sweet Hair also has some unique ingredients on its label. The brand says fo-ti, a Chinese herb, is used to support hair growth and boost natural color. The gummy also has PABA (also known as vitamin B10), which doesn’t have a wealth of scientific research behind it but is said by some to help with the repigmentation of premature gray hair.
While reviews are mixed, most reviewers on the HUM website say they’ve found the vitamins to provide shinier, stronger hair with less fallout in the shower. It also doesn’t hurt that fans call the gummies “delicious.”
Best luxury product
- Price: $$$
If you’re looking for a scalp treatment that feels like a glamorous treat, look no further than Oribe. The luxury hair care line has attracted an A-list following over the years, including celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez.
Oribe’s Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment spray plumps up the hair at the root to create a thicker appearance, using ingredients like Capixyl to fortify the scalp while pea sprout extract, biotin, and niacinamide replenish and restore brittle hair. In a study by Oribe, 8 in 10 product users felt their hair was significantly fuller after 3 months.
While Oribe can feel like a splurge, reviewers stand by the product. “It is one of the only products I don’t mind spending money on because you see results,” says one shopper on the Oribe website.
Best for preventing breakage
- Price: $$
The process of styling your hair, from brushing out tangles to creating the perfect curls, isn’t as harmless as it looks. While heat styling can provide romantic curls and chic blowouts, the high temperatures from hot tools and blow-dryers can wreak havoc on your hair, dry out your hair cuticle and changing your hair proteins. Likewise, detangling your hair by harshly brushing out knots can cause significant breakage.
Living Proof’s Restore Perfecting Spray is a conditioning detangler that nourishes dry hair. The hydrating product offers UV protection and heat protection up to 400 degrees. Rather than force your comb through a bird’s nest of knots, you can skip the pain and easily glide through smooth and softened hair.
Reviewers commend the product for its lightweight feel, shine, and great smell. “I could tell an immediate difference in the manageability and ease of detangling compared to other products I’ve used. I love how comprehensive this spray is,” says one reviewer. More than 93 percent of Living Proof product reviewers have left 4 or 5-star reviews.
Best for at-home light therapy
- Price: $$$$
Several studies have shown low laser light therapy to be promising. A
Dr. Ken Williams, hair restoration surgeon and founder of Orange County Hair Restoration, advises his patients to incorporate low laser light therapy, like the CapillusPro, into their daily routine. Capillus utilizes low-level lasers to stimulate and renew cells within the hair follicle. The FDA-cleared technology incorporates laser diodes on the inside of the cap that covers the surface of your scalp evenly.
According to the brand, the best results are seen at the 24-month mark, but decreased hair loss may be noticeable in the first 3 to 4 months.
While a baseball cap shooting lasers into your scalp doesn’t make the most stylish fashion statement, the easy-to-use hat can help proactively curb hair loss. Oh, and we should mention that you have to wear it for only 6 minutes a day. Still, laser hair therapy can be quite the financial splurge, so it’s a personal choice.
There’s no magic pill or one-size-fits-all approach for summertime hair loss. Hair loss can result from a wide array of causes, including lifestyle or hormonal changes and conditions like alopecia. The severity of hair loss varies from person to person, but maintaining a balanced diet and trying oral or topical treatments may help curb fallout.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, contact a doctor to determine the root cause of your issue.
Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. Outside of writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.