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Shapiro MD

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Shapiro MD

Overall Rating

3.5

85 Customer Reviews

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Summary

Shapiro MD offers commonly used hair loss remedies and the convenience of telehealth doctor visits. Though convenient, you may pay more for this premium when compared to traditional pharmacy services.

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

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.

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

3.5 Stars out of 85 Reviews
5 Star:45% 4 Star:10% 3 Star:14% 2 Star:4% 1 Star:24%
64% Recommend This Brand
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Posted on May 4, 2021

Great beginnings

By Regina O. , Alabama

I've been using the products for about two weeks, so I haven't had time to really attest to its claims. I got wonderful lather from just a dab of the shampoo. My hair is silkier, and the conditioner smells SO good that I could just put a straw in it!

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Its reputation

The reviews

Pleasant scent

A bit pricey for an old, retired teacher

Posted on May 3, 2021

Hair loss

By Lina C. , Chapleau, Ontario, Canada

I have been using the shampoo and conditioner for over 6 months now and noticed the texture of my hair feels thicker and there is some regrowth.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

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

Pros and Cons

Thicker hair

Some hair regrowth

Doesn’t smell bad

Could smell nicer

Posted on May 1, 2021

Too early to tell if it'll work

By Rachel D., Annandale, VA, Verified Reviewer

I haven't used it long enough to see a difference, but here is my current experience:

The shampoo feels very stripping and weird and you need a lot to cover your entire head.

For the money, there should be a conditioner, besides the one that you leave in.

There are two topical products that need to be applied twice a day and it's a lot, so easy to miss applications.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Its potential to thicken my hair

Expensive

Too time-consuming with too many steps

Takes too much shampoo to cover my head and all my hair

Posted on Apr 27, 2021

Excellent

By Kristin T., Hoboken, NJ, Verified Reviewer

Products are wonderful. Fast delivery. My hair looks wonderful. It has good body and volume. Easy to use.

Note: Conditioner says leave-in but can be used as a leave-in or traditional (where you wash it out).

Length of Use: 3–6 months

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

Pros and Cons

Excellent quality

Quick delivery/shipment

Hair looks wonderful

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Apr 23, 2021

Allergies

By B Kay R. , Savannah, GA

I seem to be allergic to the fragrance or something in the products because I have itching and tiny blisters on my scalp.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Cleansing

Fragrance

Conditioner fragrance

Auto shipping

Posted on Apr 13, 2021

I’ve used this less than 30 days

By Jolene W. , Upper Marlboro, MD

So far, I’ve used it for less than 30 days. Started around mid-March after the shipment arrived. Waiting to see the full 90 days if it works but I’m thinking it may?

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Thickening

May work

Possible price

Price

Evidence of working

Selection for my hair type

Posted on Apr 13, 2021

It simply works

By Parrish V. , Salem, OR

I was skeptical but I gave it 90 days. I have noticed a much-reduced amount of hair loss at bathing time and I’m seeing some new hair growth. I’m a believer.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

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

Pros and Cons

Small easy to use dispenser

Only comes in small bottles

Posted on Apr 12, 2021

On the fence

By Mindy B. , Phoenix, AZ

Good so far, I'm still waiting to see if it will help my hair thicken up a bit. I've been using it since November 2020 and I'm not seeing any difference.

Length of Use: 3–6 months

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

Pros and Cons

I like the smell and the clean feeling

I like knowing I'm using plant-based products

I'm not seeing anything thickening of my hair after nearly six months

Posted on Apr 6, 2021

Not happy with product - zero results!

By Nancy F., Oroville, CA, Verified Reviewer

It's really too bad that I can't rate below 1 star! Total scam!

I read that if I wasn't satisfied that a full refund would be given. Well, apparently I'm too late to report that I wasn't happy with the product, it did nothing for me and that I will not get a refund for the first set of product!

I also just found out that I got locked into an automatic renewal, wow great! And now another "set" has been sent and I have to pay the return shipping to get a refund! Seriously!

Terrible company, terrible customer service! I will be copying this before I send and it will be posted on my Facebook page!

Length of Use: 3–6 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Terrible customer service

Posted on Apr 6, 2021

I returned this order

By Roberta S. , Monroe, WA

I returned this order. After reading all the extra instructions sent by e-mail I am 75 and this product is too much trouble. You should have received the return by now. Do not send any more.

Did not use it. I am too old for all the work involved. It was an impulse buy, I did not open the package, because of all the extra work involved I am just not willing to devote that much time to my hair.

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

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Mar 31, 2021

Just not for me

By Brooke J., Las Vegas, NV, Verified Reviewer

Using this shampoo and conditioner set caused alot of my hair to fall out and it makes my hair look dirty, it just doesn't work for me.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Excessive hair loss

Hair always looked dirty

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