How To Use Ketoconazole Shampoo For Hair Loss Prevention

Understand how this shampoo can keep your scalp healthy and contribute to healthy hair.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sergio Vañó Galván, PhD Dr. Sergio Vañó Galván Dr. Sergio Vañó GalvánPhD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 3 years
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Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent used to treat a range of scalp and hair problems. This might explain the recent interest in ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss. Even though further research is needed to prove ketoconazole’s efficacy as a hair thinning treatment, preliminary results are encouraging. Furthermore, it has anti-androgenici  Any substance that has the biological ability to block or surpass the effect of male sex hormones like testosterone on the body. effects and can help control pattern baldness (1). This article discusses how to use a ketoconazole shampoo to manage scalp and hair-related problems. Take a look.

What Is Ketoconazole Shampoo?

Different bottles of ketoconazole shampoos with other bathing tools
Image: Shutterstock

Ketoconazole shampoo is an over-the-counter medicated shampoo used to treat fungal infections of the scalp like dandruff and helps manage conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasisi  An autoimmune skin condition that causes rashes and inflammation and leads to scaly and itchy patches on the skin. . It helps control flaking, scaling, and itching and reduces inflammation by slowing down the fungal growth (2). This keeps your scalp healthy and helps manage hair loss issues.

In the next section, we have explained how ketoconazole may prevent hair loss.

Does Ketoconazole Shampoo Prevent Hair Loss?

Ketoconazole shampoo can keep the scalp and hair healthy.
Image: Shutterstock

The answer is perhaps yes. Your hair health depends on your scalp condition. Fungal infections and other issues often damage the hair follicles. Further irritation and itching can aggravate the condition and cause hair fall.

Chloe, a blogger, shared her experience of dealing with extreme dandruff and how she dealt with it. She writes, “[Using] an anti-dandruff shampoo with Ketoconazole, I was able to keep the condition at a level where it enabled new hair growth to come in like baby hair. Yay (i)!”

Ketoconazole shampoo or a topical solution can prevent infections, keep the scalp healthy, and prevent hair loss. It can also promote hair growth. Several studies have indicated the hair growth-promoting effect of ketoconazole:

  • Topical ketoconazole was found to improve female pattern hair loss. Researchers found that 2% ketoconazole had a trichogenic effect (hair growth-promoting). However, compared to topical minoxidil, ketoconazole has a delayed effect (1).
  • According to another pilot study, ketoconazole inhibits 5-alpha reductase (the enzymei  Proteins that act as biological catalysts and accelerate chemical reactions which speed up the body’s metabolism. that converts testosterone to DHT) and improves hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia (3).
  • Animal studies reported that 2% ketoconazole shampoo stimulated hair growth and had a clinically therapeutic effect on androgenetic alopecia (4).

Although studies show promising results, more research is required to establish a correlation between ketoconazole shampoos and reduced hair loss.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Ketoconazole belongs to a class of antifungal medications known as imidazoles. It works by slowing down fungal growth that can cause infections.

Ketoconazole is a medicated ingredient, and any hair care product containing it should not be used without consulting a doctor.

How To Use Ketoconazole Shampoo

Woman using ketoconazole shampoo for dandruff.
Image: Shutterstock
  • Apply it to your wet scalp and hair and massage.
  • Leave it on for 2-3 minutes.
  • Rinse the scalp and hair thoroughly.
  • Follow your usual conditioning routine.

Note: Do not use ketoconazole shampoo on cuts and wounds.

Ketoconazole is also available in the form of creams and ointments. These are used for fungal skin issues like ringworm, tinea cruris(jock itch), and tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) (2).

Ketoconazole may cause allergic reactions and other side effects. Let’s take a look.

The Side Effects Of Using Ketoconazole Shampoo

Woman experiencing allergic reactions on her scalp after using ketoconazole shampoo
Image: Shutterstock

Ketoconazole shampoo may cause (1):

  • Allergic reaction
  • Change in hair texture
  • Scalp irritation
  • Oily or dry scalp

It may also cause serious side effects like:

  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain or warmth on the area of application

protip_icon Trivia
Ketoconazole in shampoo and cream form is relatively safer. The FDA has warned the public about oral Ketoconazole tablets as they can potentially cause fatal damage to the liver and other organs.

If you experience these or any other unusual problems, consult your doctor immediately.

Nizoral is another shampoo that is often used to combat dandruff. Find out if it differs from ketoconazole shampoo in the next section.

Ketoconazole Shampoo Vs. Nizoral

Both ketoconazole shampoo and Nizoral essentially serve the same purpose. Nizoral is simply a brand name for a ketoconazole-based shampoo. The main difference lies in the branding and concentration. Nizoral contains a 2% concentration of ketoconazole and is often recommended for severe dandruff or fungal scalp conditions. Generic ketoconazole shampoos may have different concentrations and can be used as alternatives. It is essential to follow a dermatologist’s recommendation regarding the choice between Nizoral or other ketoconazole shampoos, based on the specific condition being treated, as the right concentration can make a significant difference in their effectiveness.

Infographic: Tips For Using Ketoconazole As Cream, Foam, And Gel

Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent used to treat scalp and hair issues. You can use ketoconazole shampoos to help solve hair loss issues and improve hair growth. Besides, it is also used as cream, foam, and gel to heal fungal infections on the skin.

Check out the infographic below to learn some tips for using ketoconazole as cream, foam, and gel.

tips for using ketoconazole as cream foam and gel (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Ketoconazole shampoo effectively treats fungal infections and helps minimize hair fall. It also promotes hair growth and it could play a role in the management of androgenetic alopecia. However, it may cause allergic reactions. Hence, consult a doctor before using a ketoconazole shampoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I use ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss?

It depends on the severity of your condition. Follow a routine as prescribed by the doctor.

Who should not use ketoconazole shampoo?

Anyone allergic to ketokonazole should avoid using it. Also, avoid applying it to broken skin, as it may irritate.

Can you leave ketoconazole shampoo overnight?

No, you cannot leave it on overnight. Wash it off after 3-5 minutes.

Do I use regular shampoo after ketoconazole shampoo?

No. Do not use another shampoo after using ketoconazole, as that will rinse off the active ingredients from the scalp.

Key Takeaways

  • Ketoconazole shampoo helps alleviate scaling, flaking, and itchy scalp, courtesy of its antifungal properties.
  • A healthy scalp tends to witness reduced hair loss and improved hair growth.
  • Several studies have highlighted the therapeutic effects of this shampoo.
  • However, you should use this medicated shampoo after consulting a doctor and avoid applying it on cuts and wounds.


Ketoconazole shampoo can help reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. Check out this video to learn about its benefits and how to use it.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Trichogenic effect of topical ketoconazole versus minoxidil 2% in female pattern hair loss: a clinical and trichoscopic evaluation,
    https://biomeddermatol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41702-019-0046-y
  2. Ketoconazole Topical,
    https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605014.html
  3. Pilot Study of 15 Patients Receiving a New Treatment Regimen for Androgenic Alopecia: The Effects of Atopy on AGA,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262531/
  4. Topical application of ketoconazole stimulates hair growth in C3H/HeN mice,
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15863844/
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Dr. Sergio Vañó Galván has 26 years of experience as a dermatologist, trichologist, and hair surgeon. He is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Director of the International Master’s Degree in Trichology and Hair Transplantation at the University of Alcalá. He is also a director of the Trichology Unit of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital and the Trichology and...read full bio

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