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:
  • 57 Customer Reviews
  • 58% Recommend This Brand
3.5 out of 5
5 star: 50% 4 star: 3% 3 star: 12% 2 star: 7% 1 star: 26%

 Our Promise to You

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.

Sort reviews by:

  • 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


  • It works!

    • By Jessica R.,
    • Fayetteville, NC,
    • Jun 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I just turned 35 and found a bald spot in my head. I was scared, depressed, I felt hopeless, how did this happen, how do I fix it? Will I be bald by 40? All this was running through my head. I wouldn't leave the house, I didn't feel like a woman. But then I ran across this hair treatment and figured I don't have anything to lose but the rest of my hair. So I went through the video and thought this can't hurt. So I ordered it and I have to say I'm loving it. It made my hair healthier in the first use then in less than one month and two weeks I have no bald spots anywhere and my hair looks and feels so much healthier, I'm loving it. The first time I realized the spot was gone I can't even put into words how much happier I am these days. Thank you so much.

    Pros and Cons:

    • It looks and feels so much healthier in the first use
    • It brought my hair back to life
    • My hair is thicker and fuller
    • How long it takes to shampoo and condition

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


  • Haven't used long

    • By Alberta M.,
    • Texas,
    • May 28, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I received the product at the end of April so have not used it very long. As of now, I cannot tell any difference in the quality of my hair. It is very fine and I don't have a lot as it never grew back after chemo. So I'm not even sure it will work as it's not normal hair loss and thinning. So at this point, I don't feel I'm qualified to make a recommendation.

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


  • Seems to help, but dyes my hair...

    • By Lucy H.,
    • Indiana,
    • May 25, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The treatment seems to be helping with reducing the thinning of my hair. However, it dyes my fingers pale purple and my hair an extremely unflattering shade of slate gray. As I am a golden blond with white aging hair that just blends into my blonde, this color change was most unwelcome. The comb in foam seems to not dye my hair, so I am trying that alone to see what the efficacy will be.

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


  • Hair feels like it is straw

    • By Jill S.,
    • Surprise, AZ,
    • May 21, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My hair always felt like it was straw. Even the conditioner felt like straw. My dried and brushed off was felt it was straw when I finished drying my hair. I will return the product.

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


  • Bad service

    • By Sue R.,
    • El Dorado Hills, CA,
    • May 6, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered two sets of shampoo, conditioner, foam, and topical. When I received my order, instead of the topical for women, I received the one for men. It clearly states on the box not for use by women. I called and the representative said they would send me the correct topical for women. Two weeks later I received the package of topical and it was also for men. When I finally got through to a representative, she was very rude and said the one for women is back-ordered but she would send me two complimentary foam products. I explained to her that was not what I ordered and paid for. She said I should use the one marked for men. I told her I am not willing to do that. I told the representative when they filled my order originally and they did not have the topical for women, they should have notified me and let me decide if I wanted to go ahead with the one for men. They had no problem putting my credit card through for the amount of the order, but now they won't honor what I paid for. I believe since they can't fill my order the way it was originally ordered they should refund my money. The representative was really rude and would not let me talk. I told her I intend to write a review and let people know who they are dealing with at this company. I hope this review doesn't get deleted before other customers get a chance to read it.

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


  • Okay so far

    • By Linda J.,
    • Southport, NC,
    • May 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been using the shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in foam for at least 3 weeks.

    So far, I have not seen a big difference, but to be fair, my hair is not looking it's best because of lack of access to root touch-up and a cut due to closure of my salon.

    I had chemo 6 years ago and lost my hair. It did grow back fully, but with not quite the previous density. Since then, it has become thinner and thinner.

    I have high hopes for these products and will give it at least a 3-month chance!

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


  • Review

    • By Dianne L.,
    • Leominster, MA,
    • Apr 20, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I started using the shampoo the day after I received it. I use it every other day and have noticed a slight improvement in the thickness of my hair. At first, I thought it was my imagination but it really is slightly thicker. I love this shampoo.

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


  • So far so good...

    • By Cecelia W.,
    • West Long Branch, NJ,
    • Mar 31, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It’s more expensive than what I usually spend on shampoo and conditioner, but if it works as advertised, it will be worth it. Have only used for about 3 weeks and my hair looks beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing what the results will be in the next few weeks.

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


  • Love the products

    • By Linda K.,
    • Princeton, TX,
    • Feb 18, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have tried other products before and have not been as satisfied as I am in the short time I have been using this brand. I love the way my hair feels during the shampoo and conditioning process. I am hooked on this product.

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


  • Great product

    • By Sharon R.,
    • Havertown, PA,
    • Feb 13, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I had a great experience with the order and delivery. I have only used the product a couple of times but so far so good. I will continue to use it and hope I will see great results.

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


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