Shapiro MD Hair Review: Can It Help Address Hair Loss?

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: May 9, 2020

What Is Shapiro MD?

Shapiro MD is a line of products that allegedly help fight hair loss and support hair growth in both men and women.

More than half of men age 40-49 may experience some form of hair loss. While this is widely considered to be a male condition, as many as 50% of women may experience excessive hair loss before the age of 79.

The available treatment options often include natural remedies, over the counter and prescription medications, and even surgery.

Shapiro MD alleges to offer another option. In fact, according to the website, the professional hair system is proposed to:

  • Promote thicker, fuller, and longer hair
  • Fight dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
  • Work for both men and women
  • Be effective and safe
  • Include FDA approved ingredients
  • Clinically proven

In this article, we’ll discuss the most common cause of hair loss, the science behind Shapiro MD’s ingredients, as well as how to shop their products to help you determine how they stack up against the competition.

Pros
  • Convenient telehealth appointments
  • Finasteride and minoxidil are clinically proven to be effective
  • Pricing comparable to other similar services
Cons
  • Pricier than national pharmacies
  • Herbal topical formulations lack strong scientific support

What Causes Hair Loss?

Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women.

Testosterone is converted to its metabolite, DHT, by the 5α-reductase enzyme. DHT, like testosterone, is an androgenic hormone that contributes to secondary male sex characteristics such as facial, armpit, and pubic hair growth.

While DHT is important for normal growth and development, too much is not necessarily a good thing. Excess DHT may work to shrink your hair follicles and shorten their growth cycle, resulting in thin, brittle hair that is likely to fall out faster. Also, DHT can prolong the length of time needed for your follicles to grow new hairs.

Over time, these actions result in what is known as male pattern baldness. This process involves regression of the hairline at your temples, baldness at the vertex of your head, frontal hairline regression, and full baldness.

While the exact mechanism for hair loss remains uncertain, genetic and hormonal factors play key roles in the process.

Shapiro MD Ingredients: The Scientific Evidence Behind Them

Shapiro MD’s product line fights hair loss with just a handful of key ingredients.

Depending on your treatment choice, these ingredients can include:

  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil
  • Green Tea Polyphenols (EGCG)
  • Caffeine
  • Saw Palmetto Berry Extract (SPBE)

Finasteride - 1mg

Finasteride is the generic form of Propecia, one of the most common treatments for male pattern baldness. Like most of Shapiro MD’s ingredients, it limits the formation of DHT by blocking the actions of 5-α reductase.

As this medication has been well studied over the years, ample evidence is available regarding its potential benefits in those with hair loss.

A review of 12 randomized trials with nearly 4,000 subjects examined the available literature regarding the benefits and safety of finasteride. The study concluded that daily use of oral finasteride effectively improves hair count, as well as the subject and doctor assessment of hair appearance.

5% Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a common topical hair growth treatment for hair loss. The exact mechanism of action of this drug is unknown, though it may work by enlarging your hair follicles and prolonging the growth phase.

In 2005, this study concluded that minoxidil was effective in improving hair growth over 16-weeks when compared to a placebo. A few years later, 5% minoxidil was found to be more effective than a 1% formulation in Japanese subjects with male pattern baldness.

More recently, this review of the available literature found that minoxidil was effective in promoting hair growth.

Finasteride vs. 5% Minoxidil

Both oral Finasteride at 1mg doses and topical minoxidil 5% had similar efficacies when the available literature for each was compared.

Green Tea Polyphenols (EGCG)

Green tea is commonly included in many dietary supplements and natural medicine formulations in addition to its use as a beverage. EGCG is among the various active compounds found in green tea that may be responsible for its actions.

In mice, topical EGCG reduced the ability of excess androgens to damage hair follicles. Similar effects were seen in human scalps, though much more research is needed to determine the extent of any benefits EGCG may offer regarding hair loss.

Caffeine

While caffeine is certainly a more recognizable ingredient, it is probably less well-known as a hair loss remedy. Topical caffeine may work to limit DHT and stimulate blood flow when absorbed in the scalp.

The research in this setting is not abundant, though topical caffeine was recently compared to 5% minoxidil in a randomized trial. Researchers found that caffeine treatment was comparable to minoxidil at 6-months.

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract (SPBE)

Saw Palmetto is commonly grown in the southern United States and is a common ingredient in herbal supplements. While this extract is often used to treat bladder and prostate issues, it may also fight hair through a mechanism of action comparable to finasteride.

Some preliminary evidence has highlighted a potential role for Saw Palmetto in this setting, though strong support is lacking despite its suspected ability to reduce the formation of DHT.

Is Shapiro MD Safe?

Finasteride is a widely used remedy for hair loss. It’s potential side effects are also well known. It may negatively impact libido and cause erectile dysfunction. These effects often disappear with discontinued use, though they may persist.

Finasteride is also known to cause birth defects. Use can be harmful in women, especially those that are premenopausal.

Minoxidil may be associated with less severe side effects. Most commonly, skin reactions may occur at the site of use and involve burning, stinging, or redness. Those that are far less likely may include dizziness, unwanted hair growth, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing.

Saw Palmetto side effects are uncommon, though mild stomach discomfort may occur. Taking this ingredient with good may help alleviate this side effect.

Topical EGCG is unlikely to cause serious side effects. Similarly, topical caffeine was well tolerated in a recent randomized trial. Topical formulations of these ingredients are much less likely to cause any stimulant-related side effects when compared to oral intake.

Even though Finasteride is the only prescription medication offered by Shapiro MD, you should still speak with your doctor about hair loss before trying to treat it.

The Cost

Shapiro MD offers a number of products that are available for purchase directly through their website. Items can be purchased individually or as part of a kit.

Shampoo and Conditioner

In addition to cleaning, moisturizing, and nourishing your hair, these products are intended to also block the effects of DHT. Both products currently cost $39.95.

Leave-in Foamer

By applying 2-pumps evenly distributed through the scalp, the foamer is intended to block the actions of DHT to improve hair thickness, fullness, and health. This product is currently $29.

Finasteride

This medication requires a prescription for purchase, though your doctor visit can be handled remotely through the Shapiro MD website.

To start your visit, you must create an account with Shapiro MD and agree to the terms, privacy policy, and consent to Telehealth.

Available for men only, finasteride is $20 per 1-month supply. Men also have the option to bundle finasteride and shampoo for $35.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is available in the 5% formulation for men, and the 2% formulation for women. With the dropper, apply 1mL 2x daily directly to the area of hair loss and spread evenly.

A single bottle lasts 1-month and costs $13.93. Two and four-bottle orders cost $26.53 and $37.77, respectively.

Hairbiotic

This prebiotic blend is designed to increase the absorption of nutrients found in the other Shapiro MD products. It costs $54.95 for a 1-month supply.

The Natural Kit

This kit is available for $79.95 and bundles the shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in foam.

Shapiro MD backs your purchase with a 90-day guarantee, though you are still responsible for any shipping costs. To process your refund, contact support at support@shapiromd.com or (877) 907-4047 to obtain your return authorization.

What Are the Alternatives to Shapiro MD?

Shapiro MD’s primary hair loss remedies, finasteride, and minoxidil, are available elsewhere.

We’ve reviewed a company that similarly offers these products and telehealth to Shapiro MD. The table below compares these 2 companies, as well as pricing from other commonly used pharmacies.

Shapiro MD Keeps Walgreens Rite Aid Walmart
Finasteride $20/month $25/month, Price depends on your insurance Price depends on your insurance Price depends on your insurance
5% Minoxidil $13.93/month $10/month $13.33/month $8.33/month $2.92/month

While Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart offer shipping options, they do not have telehealth. Thus prescriptions would still require an in-person doctor’s visit.

Given that each retailer offers the same medications, your biggest decision when making your decision involves determining if the convenience of telehealth is worth the extra cost likely involved with Keeps and Shapiro MD.

The Bottom Line

Shapiro MD offers a number of products designed to fight hair loss.

Finasteride and minoxidil both have strong scientific support. However, their products that contain EGCG, caffeine, and Saw Palmetto require more research to determine their potential benefits. On the other hand, herbal supplements are less likely to result in serious side effects.

Finasteride also offers the convenience of telehealth visits, though you may pay more for this premium when compared to national pharmacies.

Taking these factors into consideration, your decision comes down to the following considerations:

  • Pricing - telehealth providers are more convenient than national pharmacies, but they are also more expensive.
  • Safety - finasteride should be avoided in women and may have unwanted sexual side effects in men.

Whether your visit is in-person or virtual, your doctor should be aware of your desire to address your hair loss. As Finasteride can negatively affect sexual function, they should be aware if you are using this medication.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Shapiro MD:
  • 67 Customer Reviews
  • 58% Recommend This Brand
3.4 out of 5
5 star: 46% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 14% 2 star: 5% 1 star: 26%

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To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • I like the shampoo and conditioner

    • By Patricia F.,
    • Stouffville, Ontario, Canada,
    • Nov 30, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I have been using the shampoo and conditioner for about a month now. I seem to be losing less hair than I was before. It is unfortunate though that I have to order the product from the U.S. I live in Canada and paying in US dollars makes the product even more expensive. My first order took 3 weeks to arrive but my second order came within 5 days.

    Pros and Cons:

    • The shampoo and conditioner seem to be helping with my hair loss problem
    • The fact that I have to pay in US dollars makes the product quite expensive, I live in Canada and cannot get the product paying in Can $

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Only used 3 weeks

    • By Robin K.,
    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Nov 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Not sure about the results yet, only used 3 weeks. Does clean well and leaves hair shiny. Hair is left manageable and soft. Not sure about the smell, but it is not bad.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Shine
    • Manageable hair
    • No “cons” were specified in this review

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Cancel subscription

    • By Liza G.,
    • Coconut Creek, FL,
    • Nov 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Do not see a difference. Still thinning hair. Please cancel subscription. Did not like. No difference. No significant hair growth.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Hair still thinning

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Woo hoo, I am not balding anymore!

    • By Lorna B.,
    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Oct 12, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    The great thing is that at this time, my hair finally stopped falling out, and I know that in time it will grow. It is amazing after all of these years and I feel hopeful. No, I don't expect to have hair like Rapunzel, lol, but finally there is room for growth and improvement. I am considering using Rogaine also in addition to the shampoo/conditioner, etc.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Scalp feels fresh, clean and healthy
    • Hair no longer falls out
    • Hair feels dry

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Too soon to tell if the product works

    • By Michael K.,
    • Guelph, Ontario, Canada,
    • Sep 23, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I haven’t used it long enough to know if it is working. I am hoping it works like you have advertised but I need more time to tell.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Possible
    • No “cons” were specified in this review

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Cannot rate yet

    • By Angeles F.,
    • Santa Ana, CA,
    • Jul 30, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    It took a little longer than I expected for my order to arrive. Just started using it, too new to rate.

    When I see it works on me, I will recommend to my family.

    I would suggest to make the plastic bottles squeezable, they're too hard to squeeze, or better yet, use a squeezable tube.

    Pros and Cons:

    • I'm still hoping it will work on my hair
    • Bottles are small for its price
    • Plastic bottles are hard to squeeze, have to remove the cap to pour the shampoo or conditioner out
    • Need a little more fragrance

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • A little too early to tell

    • By Cristina M.,
    • Vienna, VA,
    • Jul 21, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I have been experiencing major hair loss in the last few years. I bought this product in hopes that it will at least slow it down. So far I have been using this shampoo and conditioner for about a month and, although it may be hard to tell if that is long enough time to experience improvement, my hair seems to stay cleaner longer, thus I don’t have to shampoo as frequently. That’s a plus right there. Stay tuned for observations next month.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Hair stays cleaner longer
    • Improved texture
    • The conditioner doesn’t feel like a conditioner

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • DISAPPOINTED!

    • By J S.,
    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 20, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    I've been losing my hair and have thinning hair for months, especially the last few months, and it's humiliating and emotionally draining, especially as a female. I thought this product would be the answer, FINALLY! I will be getting married in a few months now but when I purchased the product I was going to have 7 months for it to work, though I thought. But what happened was a nightmare! Not only was I out tons of money but I lost even more hair. As if it couldn't get any worse for my wedding day. I'm so devastated and disappointed! So no new hair growth and just more hair loss and a loss of money!

    Pros and Cons:

    • I was not allergic to it
    • Losing more of my hair and it NOT growing back after months of consistent use

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Two weeks of use hasn't yielded any noticeable changes

    • By Abusaeed I.,
    • Maricopa, AZ,
    • Jul 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I have only used the products for the last two weeks. Therefore, only 2 weeks of use hasn't yielded any noticeable changes.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Easy to use
    • No “cons” were specified in this review

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Nonexistent customer service

    • By Kay B.,
    • Monroe, MI,
    • Jul 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered this product and it arrived damaged due to poor packaging. I contacted the company several times to no avail. Below I have pasted my last message to them, still no response.

    Hello,

    I sent the message below regarding my very first and possibly last order.

    Package arrived damp I opened it to find the 2 leave in conditioners (on the bottom layer ) caps were off and had been dispensed inside the box. Please send 2 more of this product to replace them. I can send pics but this page will not allow it.

    This the response I received.

    We wanted to let you know that your order (#378908) was shipped via FEDEX

    First of all, the package came with a note from the USPS so I’m not sure how that happened if it was shipped via FedEx.

    Secondly, the package arrived in a large plastic bag as I am sure the USPS did not want it to damage other packages in the care. If telling me it was shipped FedEx is an attempt to deny responsibility for a poorly packaged product and that replacement products will not be sent then I have just become a former customer who is very disappointed in the lack of integrity in your company.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • They promise a lot and deliver very little customer service
    • Poor packaging allowed the contents to open and dispense inside

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Expensive product

    • By Brenda P.,
    • Gobles, MI,
    • Jun 27, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I like how soft the product makes my hair, but I am disappointed in the small sizes of bottles for the exorbitant price I paid.

    Pros and Cons:

    • How soft it makes my hair
    • Cost
    • Small bottle size

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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