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ScalpMED Reviews: Does this hair loss treatment work?

We tested ScalpMED’s products to assess their value and effectiveness for treating male and female pattern hair loss

Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

ScalpMED reviews

Hair loss is distressing, whether you’re a man or a woman. An estimated 50% of men and 25% of women will suffer from some form of hair loss or thinning by age 50. Depression and loss of confidence from the condition lead many to seek hair restoration treatment, and there are many options on the market that promise to help you keep or re-grow your hair. So, is ScalpMED worth considering? We thoroughly tested their products and services to find out.

ScalpMED is one of many topical treatment programs for hair loss containing FDA-approved, non-prescription minoxidil. What sets ScalpMED apart from the competition is their combination of minoxidil and a patented carrier formula designed to maximize effectiveness. Like other topical treatments, ScalpMED will not revive dead hair follicles. If your hair is thinning, but your hair follicles are still alive, it can help you regrow and thicken hair.

Editor's Summary

Overall Rating 8.2 / 10

ScalpMED is a worthy provider for men and women who want to combat hair loss without prescription intervention. Their specific minoxidil formula performs well in clinical studies, and their selection of supplemental treatments moderately increases efficacy.

Pros

  • Contains the only FDA-approved topical product (minoxidil) proven to reverse hair loss
  • Features Nutrisol, a patented carrier formula that extends minoxidil’s effectiveness
  • Produces visible results in a few months
  • Safe and effective for both men and women
  • No sexual side effects that oral hair loss medications can cause
  • 15% off ScalpMED products when purchasing online

Cons

  • Continuous use is necessary to maintain hair growth
  • Higher price point than generic minoxidil alternatives
  • Effect is less noticeable in later-stage hair loss
Our Top Picks

ScalpMED

ScalpMED uses clinically proven minoxidil in an effective hair regrowth treatment for men and women. Get 15% off your online purchase.

ScalpMED’s approach to minoxidil isn’t the cheapest, but their Nutrisol formula maximizes the effects of minoxidil by prolonging its activity. If you want or need to avoid prescription hair loss medications, this could be your solution.

Hair Regrowth System for Men
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Hair Regrowth System for Women
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Essentials Kit for Women
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$60
$51
Essentials Kit for Men
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$60
$51

Why you should trust us

At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review. Our research team has spent over just shy of 170 hours testing and researching ScalpMED and their top competitors to give you an unbiased exploration of your hair loss options.

Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers like you make more informed decisions to live healthier lives. We try our best to give you, our readers, unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, this review of ScalpMED, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How we evaluated ScalpMED

Effectiveness

8.4/10

FDA-approved minoxidil has a respectable performance history, showing the ability to stop and reverse hair loss in multiple studies. However, once you apply it to your scalp, a clock starts ticking until the substance evaporates or absorbs into your bloodstream. ScalpMED’s formula slows both absorption and evaporation in an attempt to allow the minoxidil to sit in place longer and thus be more effective. ScalpMED’s internal studies, performed to high clinical standards, show that its formula does, indeed, last longer on the head, which may increase the duration of follicle-enriching blood flow.

Of course, ScalpMED has a slew of other products, and you need to consider these to see the complete picture of the company’s effectiveness. These include scalp treatments, shampoo and conditioner, and supplements. None of these ancillary treatments work anywhere near as well as minoxidil, but they can help strengthen your hair and create an ideal environment on your scalp for continued growth.

Cost

7.8/10

Compared to minoxidil offerings from all of their closest competitors, ScalpMED’s Vitadil and Nutrisol combination treatment is undeniably more expensive. That said, they do boast a product that may be superior to simple minoxidil, which could be worth the upcharge in the eyes of many prospective customers.

You can save money by utilizing their subscription model, which reduces the price from $252 to just $90 for a two-month supply of treatments. ScalpMED will bill you regularly every two months or until you cancel. That subscription setup comes with a pair of gifts, as well: the company’s scalp detoxifying spray and their hair growth supplement.

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Supporting products like shampoo and conditioner are about as expensive as those of other companies, and they include many of the most popular natural ingredients to treat hair loss. Shipping is fast and free with every order.

Safety

8.8/10

One of the most attractive things about ScalpMED’s system is that it relies on ingredients with minimal side effects. And where adverse reactions occur, most are mild. Some discomfort on the scalp is not uncommon when using minoxidil, and similar discomfort may occur on sensitive scalps with the detoxifier, which contains alcohol.

One important potential side effect to note is that about 4-6 weeks into a minoxidil treatment, some men experience a temporary acceleration of hair loss. It’s crucial to emphasize that this is temporary. It results from the product forcing your follicles to restart their growth phase, which may push existing hair out to make room. This may be the worst possible time to stop treatment, so if you experience this, push through a little longer, and you’ll begin to see regrowth. If you’re particularly concerned by this, speak to your doctor if it occurs.

Customer support

7.8/10

Customer support with ScalpMED is fine. Nothing blew our testers out of the water. The customer service hotline had a pretty reasonable wait time that averaged just over five minutes in testing. There was an option to receive a callback, but that was a next-day service. Once we got through to a representative, they were certainly friendly and moderately knowledgeable. Some of our more complicated questions (i.e., whether the gelatin in the supplements was vegan) required a bit more research on their end. They told us we’d get an email with those answers, but none ever came, even after repeated attempts.

An underrated section on a lot of similar sites, the FAQ page ScalpMED offers is unusually helpful. The questions they pose are actually among the most pressing for potential patients, not just those with the most self-promoting answers. Some even link to useful studies for anyone who wants to dive deeper into the research behind their products.

Our orders arrived exceptionally quickly, as well. From purchase to arrival was a little over 24 hours. ScalpMED does not advertise next-day shipping, of course, so this was a pleasant anomaly we don’t advise you to count on.

What is ScalpMED?

ScalpMED is a topical treatment formulated to restore hair growth for those suffering from male or female pattern hair loss. Their most potent ingredient is the FDA-approved drug minoxidil, which effectively combats hair loss for many men and women.

What separates ScalpMED from their competitors is the inclusion of their patented Nutrisol, which contains ingredients to nourish the scalp and keep minoxidil in place at the hair follicles, extending its effectiveness. Users apply ScalpMED’s regrowth treatment twice daily, and it produces visible results in as little as four months. Like all other topical treatments with minoxidil, ScalpMED’s products stop working once you discontinue use. It needs to become a permanent fixture in your hair care routine to achieve the full benefits.

Who is a good fit for ScalpMED?

One of the most successful treatments for men with male pattern baldness is a prescription medication called finasteride. But many men are wary of taking the drug due to a known incidence of sexual side effects. And because it mainly regulates testosterone activity, the treatment doesn’t offer a solution for women with thinning hair. That’s why ScalpMED focuses on non-prescription medicines like minoxidil that are suitable for both men and women.

What causes hair thinning and balding?

Androgenic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness) is the most common culprit for hair loss. It results when the body converts testosterone into an excess of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In addition to playing a role in other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), DHT constricts the small blood vessels on the scalp that bring nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. As the blood supply to the follicles diminishes, follicles produce thinner hairs that live a shorter time, shortening the growth phase. Eventually, the follicles die and can no longer grow hair.

Any minoxidil treatment will work best at the crown or vertex of the head. It doesn’t work as well on receding hairlines, primarily because it can’t revive dead hair follicles. It reactivates hair follicles that have stopped producing hair but have yet to die out completely. That’s why starting with a minoxidil treatment as early as possible is the best way to ensure you retain as much hair as you can.

Anyone undergoing chemotherapy should know that minoxidil doesn’t seem to stop hair loss. However, as chemotherapy-induced hair loss is typically temporary, you can use minoxidil to accelerate the rate at which your hair returns after treatment.

You can also use minoxidil to treat hair loss caused by telogen effluvium, which is a thinning that results from stress. Stress that can induce hair loss may be physical, emotional, or psychological. Your body could have elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone) from a poor diet or extreme pressure at work. In situations like these, we recommend minoxidil to treat the hair loss itself, but also that you seek a resolution to your stresses. That might mean a change of pace at work, revamping your diet, or a visit to a therapist. Whatever the case, minoxidil is only a symptom cure for stress-related hair loss.

Of course, avoid self-diagnosis if you notice that your hair is thinning. Androgenetic alopecia is extremely common, but there are other, more severe conditions for which hair loss is a symptom. Be sure to speak with a dermatologist or trichologist before investing in any treatment courses.

How ScalpMED works

ScalpMED’s hair loss treatment revolves around their patented minoxidil formulation (Vitadil) combined with their treatment-enhancing carrier (Nutrisol).

  • Vitadil is essentially a standard minoxidil solution in 5% concentration for men and 2% concentration for women.
  • Acting as a carrier, Nutrisol allows the minoxidil solution to remain on your scalp for a longer period of time, potentially increasing the duration of vasodilation and bolstering follicles more than minoxidil could on its own.

You can try ScalpMED’s products by making a one-time purchase of two, four, or six months’ worth of treatments or signing up for a subscription service that bills and ships every two months.

You can supplement this effort with the company’s daily hair care kit, including shampoo, conditioner, and thickening spray, though these are not available on a subscription basis. ScalpMED told us this was due to the vast difference in product amounts used by men and women with varying hair lengths. They would rather put the impetus to reorder products on their customers than prescribe any level of recurring shipment. In our opinion, there’s no reason not to offer both a standalone and subscription model as an opportunity to add convenience and save customers money.

Because hair grows slowly, hair regrowth therapy results can be slow to appear even when the treatment is working. Increased blood flow to the hair follicles can initially stimulate them to release previously produced, poor-quality hair, resulting in a brief shedding phase before new growth begins. Stick with it, though. You should see visible improvement after 4-6 months of using ScalpMED’s system.

ScalpMED products

ScalpMED’s main product is their regrowth formula (part of the regrowth system sets) supported by daily supplements, a weekly scalp treatment, shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray. Some ScalpMED products are packaged and marketed separately for men and women. The essential ingredients are the same, but the FDA-approved minoxidil concentrations are different for the two sexes, and the formulation of supplements is slightly different.

How much ScalpMED costs

Subscriptions to the hair regrowth systems for men or women cost $89.95 every two months and ship automatically.

Here’s a complete breakdown of ScalpMED costs:

You can pay with PayPal or by credit card.

HSA, FSA, and health insurance

Hair regrowth treatment is not eligible for reimbursement on HSA or FSA. Insurance and health plans usually do not cover hair regrowth treatment, but you should check with your individual policy to make sure.

Re-Grow My Hair

The ScalpMED hair regrowth formula comprises two components that you mix for twice-daily applications: Nutrisol and Vitadil. ScalpMED offers this product in their Hair Regrowth for Men and Hair Regrowth for Women packages.

Vitadil

Vitadil contains an FDA-approved minoxidil solution, which improves blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. The men’s version contains 5% minoxidil, and the women’s version has 2%, in line with typical guidelines.

Rather than directly blocking DHT, minoxidil promotes improved blood flow where you apply it at the scalp. DHT constricts the blood vessels in your scalp, starving your hair follicles until they die. By improving your blood flow at the scalp, minoxidil can stop and often reverse this damage. Minoxidil is safe and side effects are rare (which is why it’s available without a prescription), but pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use it.

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Nutrisol

The patented Nutrisol solution has several roles in the hair regrowth process. It contains biotin and natural ingredients that act as DHT blockers. It helps improve blood flow to revitalize hair follicles. Most importantly, it can keep minoxidil in contact with the hair follicles for a more extended period.

Normally, minoxidil absorbs into the blood and evaporates. In an in-vitro, double-blind study, Nutrisol allowed the minoxidil to remain at the scalp for six times longer than topical minoxidil by itself. This increased contact time improves the treatment’s efficacy, potentially improving the speed and quality of the results.

ScalpMED's other products

Grow My Hair

Available for men and women, Grow My Hair is the ScalpMED hair growth supplement, which you take in the morning before breakfast. Each bottle contains a 60-day supply and costs $39.95 if you purchase one individually, but they are included free in the ScalpMED growth kits.

ScalpMED’s supplements contain plant extracts in their patented PhytoComplex formula. They provide your body with several vitamins and nutrients connected with robust hair growth, as well as a few others, behind which the science is still fledgling.

Some of the ingredients known to have positive effects include:

  • Beta-sitosterol - a chemical similar to cholesterol shown to reduce DHT production
  • Biotin - a B-vitamin linked to hair loss in deficient patients
  • Saw palmetto - an extract that performs well in hair loss studies when taken orally

Many customers report that the supplements improve the effects of ScalpMED’s regrowth formula when they take the two in conjunction. However, the supplements alone are not an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss.

Detox My Scalp

Detox My Scalp is ScalpMED’s follicle detoxifier. The company designed this product to lift out toxic oils and cholesterol from your hair follicles, leaving them healthier in its wake. You apply this scalp treatment to a dry scalp once a week before using ScalpMED’s shampoo and conditioner.

We highly recommend obeying this regimen and not using the detox spray when you aren’t using both the shampoo and conditioner. One of the spray’s main ingredients is alcohol, which can leave your scalp dry and prone to stress and flaking if you don’t use the shampoo for additional cleansing and the conditioner to introduce healthy moisture to the skin.

One bottle costs $36.95 and is free in the regrowth kits.

Essentials Kit

ScalpMED sells Essentials Kits containing shampoo, conditioner, and styling spray. You can purchase these items as a set for $59.95 or individually (see below).

Thicken My Hair Shampoo

Proper hair care starts with a good shampoo. If you can effectively clean your hair and scalp, then dirt and oils won’t clog those precious follicles. Clean hair is also more responsive to conditioning treatments, so ScalpMED’s Repair My Hair conditioner can do its thing. The shampoo costs $23.95 outside the Essentials Kit.

In addition to just cleansing your hair, ScalpMED’s shampoo employs their PhytoPur botanical solution. This is similar to the company’s PhytoComplex in that it contains ingredients like green tea and biotin. It can help to mildly increase blood flow at the surface of the scalp and potentially aid in the stimulation of follicle activity. It isn’t enough to regrow hair on its own, but it will do a great job supporting a product like minoxidil and making your hair appear thicker throughout the process.

Repair My Hair

Couples with the thickening shampoo, this conditioner moisturizes and fortifies hair with useful vitamins and minerals like Threonine, Tyrosine, and Vitamin D. It costs $25.95 when you purchase it outside the Essentials Kit. Like the shampoo, this product isn’t intended to work as a regrowth formula. Instead, it supports your overall regimen — ideally front-loaded with minoxidil — to ensure maximum efficacy.

Cortex Enlarger

This thickening hair spray is a nice add-on to your ScalpMED essentials if you want to lock your style in place and give it some extra body. It has added benefits beyond typical hair spray, as it contains panthenol, a B vitamin that can cause hairs to absorb moisture. This can help keep hairs from drying out and breaking, which would otherwise add to the appearance of thinness.

Thicker individual hair also helps prevent areas of bald scalp from showing through your hairstyle. This unisex formula is packaged in a non-aerosol spray bottle, making it safe to bring along when you travel. A single bottle costs $37.50.

Are the extra products worth it?

Based on our analysis, ScalpMED’s other products are potentially valuable supporting players in your hair regrowth efforts, but Re-Grow My Hair is ScalpMED’s most potent and recommendable product. Minoxidil shows itself to be effective time and time again, and ScalpMED’s carrier formula has the potential to make it even more effective than it would be if you applied it on its own.

Still, there is ample research involving some of the ingredients you’ll find in ScalpMED’s PhytoPur and PhytoComplex that leads us to believe they could help minoxidil do its job even better. If the goal of minoxidil is to increase blood flow to the hair follicles to flood them with vitamins and nutrients, then introducing additional vitamins and nutrients to the scalp and the bloodstream should increase its efficacy. However, no studies we know of combine supplements and minoxidil to determine such improved performance.

Note that ScalpMED doesn’t offer subscription discounts for these other products. The reasoning they gave us was that the different needs of long and short-haired individuals make it too difficult to determine an exact subscription length for any set of customers. So, keep an eye on your product levels, and be sure to reorder before you run out.

Getting started with ScalpMED

Getting started with treatment is easy on the ScalpMED website.

  1. Click on “Choose Your System” and select Hair Regrowth for Men or Women.

  2. Decide on your supply amount. You can choose to order a two-, four-, or six-month supply. There is an additional option for “Subscribe and Save,” which offers more significant savings and automatically ships every two months. Shipping is free on all orders over $50.

  3. Complete the checkout. All orders over $50 ship via expedited USPS Priority for free, and you should receive yours in 5-7 business days. Our testers experienced very fast shipping – with packages arriving the day after purchase – but ScalpMED doesn’t promise this, and we don’t believe you should expect it. If you don’t meet the minimum amount for free shipping, you will pay a $3.95 fee.

  4. When your package arrives, you’ll find one bottle of Nutrisol, two bottles of Vitadil, an applicator bottle, and a bottle each of Grow My Hair and Detox My Scalp.

  5. Read the included instructions to guide you through the process of getting started.

  6. Twice a day, you’ll mix the Vitadil and Nutrisol solutions in the applicator bottle, apply the mix, and massage it into the thinning areas of the scalp. Leave in for at least four hours before rinsing.

  7. Once a day, preferably on an empty stomach before breakfast, take the Grow My Hair supplement.

  8. Use Detox My Scalp once per week. Apply it on a dry scalp, rinse it out, then use the shampoo and conditioner.

  9. Results vary from person to person, but ScalpMED states that it will take between four to six months for most customers to see significant results when used as directed. Some individuals see results in as little as two months.

  10. ScalpMED offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you are in any way unsatisfied with the results of your regrowth treatment: follow the directions on ScalpMED’s website to return the empty bottles and get a refund minus the shipping costs.

How ScalpMED compares to the competition

While products like Rogaine are available over the counter in retail spaces, ScalpMED’s online presence and subscription offerings put them in direct competition with companies like Hims, Keeps, HairClub, and Nutrafol. Some may see the value in ScalpMED’s unique formulas and supplemental products, while others may be more interested in simply saving money.

Hims

Hims is a telehealth service that offers minoxidil, shampoo, conditioner, and supplements, much in the same vein as ScalpMED. They also offer doctor consultations to provide finasteride prescriptions in either oral or topical form and to help men figure out which treatment might be right for them. Their products are a little less expensive than ScalpMED’s. Still, they don’t have any special formula added to their minoxidil, nor do they have quite the same array of ingredients in their shampoos when compared to ScalpMED’s comprehensive PhytoPur.

Hims is a smarter choice if you want to try prescription finasteride. They also offer medications and other treatments for mental health and erectile dysfunction, making them a one-stop shop if you need to combat finasteride’s potential side effects or want to address additional health concerns in one fell swoop. They also boast more flexible subscription models for their products instead of the two-month option from ScalpMED. We have a full review of Hims where you can learn more.

Keeps

Keeps boasts similar hair loss offerings as those you’ll see from Hims. The biggest differences are that almost all of their prices are slightly better, and you get a free year of messaging with your doctor to discuss your progress or concerns. Their thickening shampoo and conditioner also contain more ingredients in line with ScalpMED’s PhytoPur.

Keeps also offers a prescription shampoo containing Ketoconazole, an antifungal agent that keeps dandruff at bay. Dandruff is ultimately the result of a dry, flaky scalp, and it can cause you to lose more hair than you normally would while also clogging follicles that might otherwise grow new strands. So, while its primary objective isn’t to stop hair loss, its off-label use is highly effective.

Check our our Keeps review to find out more about their hair loss treatment options.

HairClub

The bulk of the overlap between HairClub and ScalpMED comes in their shampoo, conditioner, and supplements. HairClub offers a handful of such products for use at home, but it’s their in-clinic treatments that make the most difference for anyone fighting hair loss. Most of these visits and procedures are rather expensive, with their priciest surgeries topping $12,000.

Interestingly, if a 30-year-old man spends $89.95 every two months to keep his hair through ScalpMED, he would have spent more to fight his hair loss by age 53 than a 30-year-old who received a hair restoration at the same time. Capital is the difference here, as is the willingness to go under the knife, but it does make HairClub an intriguing alternative. If interested, our full review of the company is a great place to start.

Nutrafol

Nutrafol takes the non-prescription approach a step further than ScalpMED by focusing solely on supplements. The goal is to use natural remedies for everything from excess DHT to stress and even dietary problems. Naturopathic doctors on their team will speak with you about your symptoms and lifestyle after you sign up, and they can guide you toward the supplements that are most likely to have a positive effect on your hair loss.

The one knock on their services is that some hair loss supplements’ science isn’t overwhelming. Their products would make better supporting players alongside a more proven treatment like minoxidil or finasteride.

In addition to hair loss, Nutrafol has supplements for women, pregnancy, liver health, and more. If you’re committed to seeking the most natural approach possible, their subscription method and doctor access make them a good place to start. If you fail to see meaningful results, you can always upgrade to something like minoxidil. Just keep in mind that the sooner you begin seriously treating hair loss, the more hair you’ll ultimately be able to save and grow back. Learn more about Nutrafol with our full review.

Privacy considerations

The ScalpMED privacy policy is easy to read and clear about the information the company collects about you and how it can be used.

ScalpMED collects non-identifying data when you browse the site, including your IP address, the browser you are using, and information about how you interact with the site. Some of this information is collected automatically through the use of cookies and similar technology.

If you purchase products from ScalpMED, you will share your name, address, and financial information with them. They store this information securely and only use it to complete services or in ScalpMED’s internal analytics regarding their customers’ demographics.

In cases where ScalpMED outsources these processes to a third party, your data can only be used for the specific service that ScalpMED requires and will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose by the third party. ScalpMED may share its customers’ email, mailing, or telephone lists with other reputable organizations.

ScalpMED may send you marketing SMS messages if you have signed up for SMS notifications. You can opt out of this at any time.

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