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Shapiro MD

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Shapiro MD

Overall Rating

3.4

71 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

3.4 Stars out of 71 Reviews
5 Star:45% 4 Star:8% 3 Star:15% 2 Star:5% 1 Star:25%
61% Recommend This Brand
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Posted on Feb 26, 2021

Shampoo and Conditioner

By Maria M., Monroe, GA, Verified Reviewer

I just started using it so I haven’t seen any results yet so hopefully, by the time I finish the bottle, I will have seen some results.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Posted on Feb 4, 2021

Wonderful results

By Janie R., Ballwin, MO, Verified Reviewer

I must admit that I was skeptical, but I was truly surprised by the results that I have begun to see. Immediately, my hair felt thicker, softer, and it was so shiny; not to mention, how nice it smelled. It has only been a few weeks, I am looking forward to seeing new hair growth.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Thickness

Softness

Shine

Fragrance

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Feb 3, 2021

Feeling hopeful

By Michelle F., Hanover, PA, Verified Reviewer

I've only been using these products for about a month now but my hair is starting to feel healthier at the roots, so I'm hopeful that it continues to strengthen my hair more and more as I continue to use the products. I'm also noticing less hair in my drain after a shower, which tells me that it's working. I can't wait to see more results in 6-8 months.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Hair feels healthier at the roots

Less hair in the drain after my shower

Products are easy to use

Unable to create an account on the website

It takes a while to really notice a difference

Some of the products don't last a full month if used strictly following the use directions

Posted on Dec 28, 2020

Thicker hair noticed by my hairstylist

By Alice H., San Jose, CA, Verified Reviewer

My hair was thinning, lifeless, and flyaway where it used to be full and thick and shiny. Hormonal changes and high job stress were the likely culprits. Increased estrogen hormone level via a doctor, added vitamins, and took collagen while using Shapiro MD. The combination makes my hair noticeably thicker.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Hair feels thicker

Some science behind it

Conditioner is too thick - gets stuck in bottle

Have to use a lot more 2x conditioner to spread across all my hair

Leaving it on my head for 3-5 minutes is a long time to stand in the shower

Posted on Nov 30, 2020

I like the shampoo and conditioner

By Patricia F., Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

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 $

Posted on Nov 26, 2020

Only used 3 weeks

By Robin K., Jacksonville, FL, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Shine

Manageable hair

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Nov 19, 2020

Cancel subscription

By Liza G., Coconut Creek, FL, Verified Reviewer

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

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

Hair still thinning

Posted on Oct 12, 2020

Woo hoo, I am not balding anymore!

By Lorna B., Brooklyn, NY, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Scalp feels fresh, clean and healthy

Hair no longer falls out

Hair feels dry

Posted on Sep 23, 2020

Too soon to tell if the product works

By Michael K., Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Possible

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Jul 30, 2020

Cannot rate yet

By Angeles F., Santa Ana, CA, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

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

Posted on Jul 21, 2020

A little too early to tell

By Cristina M., Vienna, VA, Verified Reviewer

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.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Hair stays cleaner longer

Improved texture

The conditioner doesn’t feel like a conditioner

Showing 1-11 of 71

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