You’ll probably agree that the dozens of hair loss shampoos on the market can be overwhelming. After all, how can you possibly know which is right for you? This includes Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo, so if you’ve been wondering if it’s all it claims, read on.
In this in-depth post, I’ll discuss the various claims of Hair Surge. I’ll also dive deep into the ingredients, consumer reviews, and side effects so you can make an informed decision before purchasing and using the product.
Of course, I’ll also offer various alternatives – ones I’ve used myself to regrow my hair – so you have all the information you need.
What Is Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo?
Hair Surge Shampoo is one of many products manufactured and sold by Ultrax Labs. Other products in the same line include a conditioner, nutritional supplement, hair thickener, and a hair mask.
How It Works
Let’s take a closer look at the claims offered by Ultrax Labs.
Stimulates Hair Follicles
One of the shampoo’s major ingredients – caffeine – is a stimulant. According to the manufacturers, Hair Surge stimulates the hair follicles to promote growth.
For men and women with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), the cause is believed to a sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is produced from an interaction between testosterone (the male sex hormone) and 5-alpha-reductase (5AR) (an enzyme). The DHT then attaches to the androgen receptors of the hair follicles.
When DHT attaches to sensitive follicles, the follicle begins to inflame. This leads to hair miniaturization, a process that can eventually lead to baldness.
There are various ingredients within this shampoo that can block DHT.
Restores Hair Volume
As your hair loss increases, you’ll begin to notice a decrease in hair volume. This can make your balding appear more advanced than it is.
As the main ingredient, caffeine, is a stimulant, you can naturally refresh and volumize your hair.
To get a better idea on how the product works, it helps to look more closely at its main ingredients.
A major component of your morning cup o’ joe, caffeine has recently risen in popularity in the health and beauty industry. It’s been added to face washes, body washes, moisturizers, and even shampoos.
In addition to its uses as a stimulant and pain reliever, caffeine is also believed to play a role in hair and scalp health. For example, one study found that the addition of even just 0.001% of caffeine to hair clippings from Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) patients counteracted the suppressive effects of testosterone on hair growth. It did so by elongating the hair shaft.
Even better, caffeine has been shown to easily penetrate the scalp. This means it’s use in shampoos and other hair products can be effective in treating hair loss.
A main component of various mint oils, menthol is an organic compound with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The ingredient has a cooling sensation, which is caused by its ability to trigger the cold-sensitive receptors in the skin.
It’s also been shown to increase cutaneous blood flow when applied topically. This is beneficial to the scalp for numerous reasons, but especially as blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. These are necessary for a health scalp environment.
Originally developed as an antifungal drug, ketoconazole has been increasingly used in over-the-counter shampoos. Ketoconazole has two mechanisms of action. First, it blocks ergosterol, an organic molecule found in yeast and fungi. Once blocked, the organisms are no longer able to reproduce.
Second, it’s suggested that this ingredient may play a role in the inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase. This is the enzyme responsible for the production of DHT, which is the hormone believed to be responsible for hair loss in individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
When used topically, ketoconazole has been shown to treat dandruff and even Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD). It can reduce itching, flaking, and redness which is commonly associated with yeast infections and fungal scalp conditions.
As I stated above, DHT is the hormone believed to be responsible for hair loss in people with AGA. There are two ways to block its effects:
- Inhibit the activities of 5-alpha-reductase so DHT cannot be produced.
- Block the activities of DHT, so they cannot connect with the androgen receptors on the scalp.
Either way, the end result is that there is less DHT on the scalp.
This herb is most often taken internally. However, internal use can sometimes work too well. What I mean is it can impact your “maleness” by causing unpleasant side effects, such as inability to get an erection and loss of ejaculatory volume.
By applying saw palmetto topically – such as in a shampoo – you better target its use. This can provide you with beneficial results without the adverse effects.
Peppermint oil is an ingredient that’s been proven beneficial again and again. Foremost, it’s been proven to stimulate hair growth in a 2014 study performed on mice. It was even more effective than minoxidil:
This oil can also clean the hair follicles, which is beneficial in treating many scalp conditions. For example, folliculitis (inflammation of the follicles) and dandruff. This is because it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Peppermint oil also contains menthol, which is an ingredient already present in the shampoo.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a common addition to over-the-counter shampoos. It has a dual purpose – detergent and surfactant – which enables it to lather on the scalp and spread more easily.
SLES is closely related to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), but it goes through an extra step in the manufacturing process. SLS is known to be a skin irritant, causing minor irritations and itchiness. This is why SLES goes through a step known as ethoxylation, which reduces its risk of irritation.
This chemical is relatively cheap, which is why it’s used in the majority of shampoos. However, it’s absorbed easily by the bloodstream and there’s much debate as to its safety.
High concentrations can cause skin irritation and hair loss. Depending on its manufacturing, SLES may also contain trace amounts of ethylene oxide. This compound is a carcinogenic, which is why many consumers are moving away from SLS- and SLES-containing cosmetics.
Who Can Use The Product?
This shampoo can be used by both men and women. It can also be used by anyone, whether they suffer from hair loss or not.
How to Use
According to the manufacturers, Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo should only be used a maximum of five times per week. As ketoconazole can be drying, this is to protect your scalp and hair from over drying and irritation.
This shampoo is meant to be used in place of other shampoos.
To use, wet your scalp and hair thoroughly. Add the shampoo to your palm, and then massage and lather into the scalp for up to 2 minutes.
Side Effects and Considerations
The various herbs and oils within the shampoo can mean a range of side effects are possible. These can range from mild to severe.
The most common side effects include itching, irritation, and redness at the site of application. These are the signs of a sensitivity, and the product should be discontinued if these persist or worsen with use.
It’s also possible, though rare, to suffer from a severe allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis). This can fatal if not treated immediately. The symptoms include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, throat, and/or cheeks
- Trembles and seizures
If you experience such a reaction, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid use of this shampoo, unless discussed with your doctor. One of the ingredients within the shampoo – saw palmetto – can also interact with birth control pills and anticoagulants. If you take either of these drugs, speak with your doctor before use.
Overall, Hair Surge has a favorable rating across various websites, including Amazon and Walmart. Such ratings include mention of its thickening properties, as well as its abilities to stimulate hair growth.
Of course, not all customers were happy with their purchase.
A common theme of negative reviews was that the product left hair dry. Its lack of lather also meant it didn’t clean the hair or scalp well, and some users had to rewash with a different brand of shampoo.
Not all consumers saw positive hair growth, even after a few months of use. But some still continued to use the product, as it didn’t cause further thinning or any irritations.
According to many users, the shampoo doesn’t lather well. This means you’ll need more pumps than other off-the-shelf shampoos, which can be quite costly in the long run.
Physical Product Observations
To get a better understand of the product itself, let’s consider some consumer observations.
Foremost, the shampoo is described as thick (often compared to honey), which makes it difficult to lather. It also has a light scent (hints of mint and citrus) that lingers on the hair and scalp even after rinsing.
Once applied, the shampoo delivers a cooling tingle to the scalp. It can become uncomfortable if left on too long (4+ minutes), so it’s best to rinse as directed on the bottle (after 2 minutes of applying).
Overall, the product seems to be of a higher quality than many shampoos on the market. However, the consistency can be a bit off putting to consumers who are used to a greater lather.
Cost and Availability
Hair Surge is a shampoo on the pricier side. On the Hair Surge website, it costs $59.99 as a one-time purchase, or $56.99 if you sign up for Subscribe and Save.
A similar deal can be found on Amazon, for a one-time price of $59.95 or a Subscribe and Save price of $56.95.
The product is also available at Walmart ($57.95).
Is Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Right for You?
With more than 5,000 positive customer reviews, there’s no doubt that Hair Surge is a strong contender among hair loss shampoos. But is it the right one for you?
As with any choice, there are pros and cons. For example, many Hair Surge consumers mention experiencing positive results, including hair growth and thickening. They also see a general change in their hair and scalp health.
However, as with any product on the market, not all consumers were happy with the results. These include those who saw no noticeable growth over months of use, or who experienced dried out, brittle hair.
Hair Surge is certainly a better option than many found on the market. However, it’s not necessarily best for you. So, what other choices do you have?
Choose An All-Natural Alternative Shampoo
While Hair Surge shampoo contains many beneficial ingredients, the inclusion of chemicals (specifically SLES) can cause negative effects. You could even experience further hair loss.
But what if you’d like to consider all of your options? Here’s a list of ingredients to look for when shopping for a shampoo.
As mentioned, caffeine is both an internal and external stimulant. When added to shampoo, it can reinvigorate the hair follicles and even boost hair volume.
In addition, it can stimulate blood flow. This is crucial to effective regrowth.
Peppermint is a natural vasodilator, which means it widens the blood vessels. This enables the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the follicles.
With the proper nutrients delivered to the hair, it can remain strong and healthy.
Similar to peppermint oil, rosemary is an ingredient with a variety of properties. It not only increases blood oxygen levels, but it also gently cleans the scalp and blocks DHT.
A major component of olive oil, oleuropein contains oleic acid and phenolic compounds. These constituents enable it to support a healthy scalp environment and promote healthy hair.
Another benefit of oleuropein is that it deeply penetrates into the scalp. The properties can then be delivered effectively.
Coconut oil is an ingredient popularly used in health and beauty products. This includes shampoos, conditioners, and pomades.The oil is easily absorbed into the scalp and hair, which helps it to protect the strands from protein loss.
As protein is the main component of hair, this means it keeps the strands strong and flexible. Even better, coconut oil hydrates and moisturizes the scalp without leaving a greasy residue.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A natural cleanser, apple cider vinegar removes dirt, grease, and plaque from the scalp. It does all of this without stripping any of the natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands.
Make a Few Lifestyle Changes
While not the easiest option, it can be one of the most effective. After all, many lifestyle choices can worsen your balding and make it difficult to reverse.
- Alter your diet. By introducing more leafy greens, lean meats, healthy nuts and seeds, etc., you ensure that you’re meeting your vitamin and nutrient needs. This is crucial for healthy bodily function, including hair growth.
- Add exercise to your day. Not only is this good for your overall health, but it can also increase oxygen levels and blood circulation throughout the body (including to the scalp).
- Practice chee breathing and meditation. Stress (and, as a result, oxygen deprivation) can be a major trigger for hair loss. Practicing stress-relieving activities can increase oxygen levels.
- Incorporate scalp massage and exercises. This is one of the most direct ways to increase blood flow to the scalp. They can be easily incorporated into your day.
Making all these changes at one time can be overwhelming. That’s why I recommend you start slow and work your way towards success. Remember, consistency is key. Even if you take longer incorporating many of the above changes into your life than you’d hoped, it’s more important to remain consistent.
You can also speak with your doctor about any medical reasons you believe may be contributing to your hair loss. These include nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions (such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Thyroid Disorder).
Penelope’s Review of The Hair Surge Shampoo
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge is a hugely popular caffeine-based shampoo designed with cutting-edge hair growth science.
I tried Ultrax Surge because I wanted to see if deserves the reputation and hype, and frankly, I wanted to know if it was worth the money.
In this process, I researched all corners of the web to learn what I could learn about this popular new shampoo.
Caffeine in Shampoo – Whaaaaaa?
A bombshell 2014 study showed that caffeine has a role to play in hair loss prevention. Sounds a bit crazy, right?
But those German scientists are a determined bunch, and they studied whether caffeine could encourage hair cells to produce more hair.
They placed follicles from hundreds of different human scalps in petri dishes. Some of the petri dishes were treated with caffeine. The experiment showed that the hair follicles that were spiked with caffeine grew much faster than the untreated cells.
Because of this landmark study, many new shampoos formulated to treat hair loss now include caffeine.
What Else Is In Ultrax Hair Surge?
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge is a medicinal shampoo with three primary active ingredients in a proprietary formula.
- Caffeine. Amazingly, the most active ingredient in this shampoo is caffeine. The caffeine found inside Hair Surge has been combined with cocamidopropyl betaine, which is an organic compound made from coconut oil. (To read in even more detail about caffeine’s role in hair loss, click here.)
One small handful of Ultrax shampoo contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee. That said, the other ingredients in Ultrax help facilitate absorption of the caffeine.
- Ketoconazole. It should be no shock that many different types of fungi live in our scalp skin. Most of the time, they’re helpful – the “good guys”. However, hairsprays and other types of aggressive hair care products (like mouse and perms and straightening) can help bad types of funguses to grow.
If the cause of your hair loss is fungal overgrowth, ketoconazole can help. Ketoconazole has been in use in hair loss products since 1977. When researchers discovered that fungi were a cause of hair loss in the 1990s, manufacturers started adding ketoconazole to hair loss prevention shampoos for improved results.
- Saw Palmetto. Saw palmetto is a well-established herb to help with the prevention of hair loss. Native Americans have been using saw palmetto for centuries to treat skin problems, dandruff, and baldness, but science is just starting to catch up and implement it in our medicines. Saw palmetto oil restores hair by inhibiting the hormone DHT. DHT is a byproduct of testosterone that causes scalp hair follicles to dry up and die.
Who Should Use Ultrax Labs Hair Surge?
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge is recommended for use by both men and women equally.
There are no contraindications. You may use it along side other hair loss treatments, amplifying its hair loss treatment effects by taking it along with a biotin supplement or using an overnight hair regeneration treatment.
How to Use Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo
Ultrax recommends using this shampoo five times a week for optimal results.
That tough-to-pronounce ingredient Ketoconazole can be tough on the scalp if you used every single day, so keep this in mind and don’t go over the manufacturer’s expert advice.
You use Ultrax Labs Hair Surge in the same way that you would use any other shampoo.
Wet your hair, pump out the shampoo, and then rub the shampoo into your scalp.
Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes to get absorbed by your scalp and skin. Then, rinse it off and follow with a conditioner of your choice. OR, skip the conditioner and use a homemade nourishing rosemary vinegar rinse.
What do people say about Ultrax?
People love this stuff.
Ultrax has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com with almost 6,000 reviews total. That’s great, especially with such a large number of verified reviews!
Women specifically have said that this product works well for them when no other hair loss product has worked. Women notice the shampoo makes their hair thicker and stronger, with fewer clumps falling out in the shower.
And, pretty consistently, women love the smell – it’s “minty”. Over time, they noticed less shedding and a marked improvement along their hairlines.
The reviews I’ve read come from women of all ages and ethnicities, and they’re mostly enthusiastic or outright ecstatic.
The price is a bit steep, for shampoo. Reviewers say using it as directed, 5x/week, the bottle lasts about a month and a half. So, given that, the price is pretty similar to what you’d pay for using Rogaine or even Pura D’or (other top rated hair loss prevention products for women).
This price can be high if you’re used to paying $3 or $4 a bottle of shampoo at the grocery store. Like anything else, cost becomes a question of priority and the relative value to YOU.
Many women experiencing hair thinning or hair loss would be happy to pay $50ish to make the problem go away, and many of us are quite used to routinely paying this much or more for shampoo.
As with anything else, negative reviews do exist. The takeaway? Not every hair loss product is going to work for every single person. Here’s my takeaway from the critics of Ultrax:
- Some people think the bottle is too small for the price
- Some were unhappy with the lathering of the shampoo.
- Some people claimed intense hair loss or scalp irritation after using this product.
It’s entirely possible some of these women experienced an allergic reaction to any of the main ingredients, including caffeine, or that their hair loss was just really aggressive and accelerated, and the shampoo only helped in a limited way.
Bottom line: I would not recommend this shampoo – or ANY caffeine shampoo – to anyone with a caffeine allergy.
Overall: Hair Surge Shampoo …. whooo hooo!
Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo is an innovative approach to treating hair loss prevention for women. It’s based on current, contemporary science, and also includes other ingredients with an established history of helping treat hair loss.
Because of the current biochemical research into caffeine’s role in hair loss prevention, I’m much less skeptical of this or any other caffeine-containing shampoo.
It’s not just a gimmick: it’s science! This specific brand of caffeine shampoo has earned praise from all corners of the internet, and it appears to get results from women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.
Reviewers claimed over and over that it was most helpful around the hairline.
Since the hairline and the temple are my worst problem areas, I’m probably going to give this one a whirl. When I do that, I’ll update this review with my experiences.
I bought this shampoo and have used it for two weeks. I LOVE IT.
Smells: minty but not too minty
Application: pump that controls how much comes out. REALLY important for $50 shampoo.
Feels: cooling tingle on scalp after use
Lather: not the greatest
Hair texture: DEFINITELY thicker; no greasy residue thankfully
Hair growth: some new babyhair, but these could be because of the supplements.
This one’s a winner, folks. I will update some more after more time has passed.
I used this shampoo for an additional three weeks, and enjoyed seeing the new fuzz continue to sprout up along my sparse hairline.
Unfortunately, during this time I also moved to a different continent with a wholly new climate, and have been experiencing major skin breakouts on my face, neck, and head.
It could be the different pollen, or the extremely moist air, so because of the breakouts, I’ve had to take a step back from my Ultrax Surge experiment, in favor of the “no poo” method.
While “no poo” doesn’t correct hair loss or stimulate hair follicles, it does provide a neutral “chemical-free zone” while I get to the bottom of my skin issues.
Once that’s back to normal, I’ll resume my use of Ultrax and update again to let you know my progress! Didn’t want you all to think I forgot to update 🙂
After trying several less expensive DHT blocking shampoos, I’ve made the decision to go back to Ultrax when it’s time to re-up.
This Hair Surge stuff made such a huge and immediate difference in my hairline, and now that it’s getting cold and dry outside, my scalp needs as much help as it can get.
I am the type of person who is suspicious when a thing or a product is hyped all to hades…and have to eat my own hat when the enthusiasm is deserved.
In my life, there have been two starkly surprising instances where this hype was justified: 1) Pappy von Winkle bourbon, and 2) Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Shampoo.
Come back and leave me a comment and let me know how Ultrax Surge worked out for you. Please leave any questions and comments below, and I look forward to your feedback!
For many hair loss sufferers, Hair Surge has proven beneficial. However, it’s still not a product I recommend (or would use myself). This is because its use of chemicals (specifically SLES) can counteract the positive effects the other ingredients may have.