Save 20 percent off this beloved hair-loss shampoo

Jennifer E. Engen

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No surprises here: Stress is a major cause of thinning hair. Products with caffeine may help. (Photo: Getty)

If you’ve ever had the feeling there’s more hair in your hairbrush and/or in the shower drain than in your ponytail, I feel your pain. I’ve been dealing with thinning hair for awhile now due to a mix of genetics (thanks, Dad!) and the other leading cause: stress.

“Any physical or emotional stressor to the body can result in telogen effluvium, a nonscarring hair loss that is the result of disruptions in follicular cycling,” explains Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, in Birmingham, Alabama. “The hair cycle is made up of three phases: anagen (growth), telogen (resting), catagen (regression). When you experience a high fever, infection, major surgery, significant life change, physical or emotional trauma, extreme weight fluctuation, or change in diet, you can shed hair as a result.”

So it’s not all Dad’s fault.

Sometimes work stress can be enough to cause some of your hair to fall out. I’ve also heard about several women who’ve experienced hair loss after getting over Covid-19. (That’s not just anecdotal at this point, either; a study in the esteemed British medical journal The Lancet found that 22 percent of more than 2,500 people hospitalized with Covid-19 experienced hair loss.) And of course, as Hartman went on to explain, anybody who lives long enough is pretty likely to experience some shedding over time.

Indeed, more than half of the women included in a study published just this week in the scientific journal Menopause had experienced so-called female pattern hair loss—and even more than that said that thinning hair sent their self-esteem into a downward spiral.

If your thinning patches are due to stress as opposed to age or genetics, the good news is is your hair most likely will grow back once the stressor goes away. But what are you supposed to do about your flagging self-esteem—and ponytail—till then?

That’s where volumizing shampoos with targeted active ingredients come in. Ones with caffeine have particular promise when it comes to giving hair back its glory-days thickness and bounciness. Just like your mood after you have an afternoon latte, it seems to have a stimulating effect on the scalp and strands.

Regularly $100 for an eight ounce bottle, it is an investment, but worthwhile for the result. Plus, for a limited time, Yahoo readers can get Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo (along with the brand’s hair growth supplement) at a special discount: 20 percent off when you enter code 20N86KRX at checkout. On top of Amazon’s currently discounted price, that brings this hair wash down to just $64!

$64 with code $100 at Amazon

Ultrax Labs Hair Surge bottle with pump.

Give your hair an invigorating kick of caffeine. (Photo: Amazon)

A 2020 study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology singled out topical caffeine as a promising and “much-needed” alternative treatment to drugs like minoxidil.

Do an Internet deep dive for caffeine-powered hair products, and you’re sure to come across Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo. It’s earned more than 6,800 five-star reviews from both men and women of different hair types—fine and coarse, long and short—and ages, from high schoolers to middle-aged folks. One satisfied user describes it glowingly as “nothing less than amazing.”

$64 with code $100 at Amazon

“In the first wash, I felt my hair come alive,” says another satisfied shopper. “Not tingling, but what you imagine the ground feels when a tree begins to root. Just like it says on the bottle, improves hair quality with the first use.”

Isn’t that how we all want our ponytails to feel?

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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