DS Lab Spectral

DS Lab Spectral CBD – A Review After More Than A Year of Use

DS Lab Spectral CBD - A Review After More Than A Year of Use


DS Laboratories has different anti-hair loss topical treatment serums, including the Spectral CBD.

A key ingredient in this serum is Nanoxidil, developed by DS as an alternative to Minoxidil.

Minoxidil is known to result in some undesirable side effects such as itching, inflammation and heart-related problems.

There are not many studies examining the effects of Nanoxidil on users but DS Lab claims that due to its lower molecular weight, Nanoxidil has a larger skin absorption capacity and so better able to counter hair loss.

This post is on what we experience using the serum.


DS Lab Spectral CBD was another shiny object in our search for that ideal serum.

Like other serums (or shampoos, conditioners, anti-hair loss treatments) that we’ve tried, we remind ourselves to give them at least 3 months before we stay with them if they’re effective, or call it quits if they don’t show results.

So why am I writing this review only now, after well over a year of using DS Lab Spectral CBD?

This is how it went …

I ordered the Spectral CBD directly from DS Laboratories website. I skimmed through Amazon but found that not all DS products are offered there.

So I went to the DS site for the variety of products available.

Yes, too many varieties can be confusing, but I wanted to know the difference between the various serums, or in the DS Laboratories official site, they’re named ‘topical treatments’.

Scrolling down under their products, you’d find 7 types of these ‘topical treatments’.

But how did we come to decide on DS Lab Spectral CBD, over the other serums?

Why DS Lab Spectral CBD?

As I mentioned, there are 7 types :

  • Spectal DNC-N
  • Spectral DNC-S
  • Spectral.F7
  • Spectral.CSF
  • Spectral.RS
  • Spectral.UHP and
  • Spectral.CBD

The guide on who should use each of these topical treatments (given as you scroll down the page) doesn’t really help.

This is the guide for Spectral DNC.S – Note that it’s supposedly for men & women concerned about hair loss, men and women in any stage of thinning hair

Now compare that description to that for Spectral.CBD below :

See…similar right?

You might find it hard to figure out which serum is suitable for you if you depend on these descriptions given at the bottom of each topical treatment.

Go over this page to understand the ingredients, who should use them, the baldness condition that the serums can treat, and the expected benefits after use.

Only two of these topical treatments, the Spectral.UHP and the Spectral.CSF, is specifically created for men and women respectively.

The rest can be used for both men and women. Looking at the key ingredients used, the Spectral.UHF is the only one with Minoxidil 5%. That explains …. Minoxidil 5% can only be used by men.

I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy applying something slimy or sticky on my scalp.

Reading deeper, I realised that Spectral.CBD is water-based. So I thought it’ll be better and easier to apply. I was also thinking that it won’t make my hair look wet and flat.

As it’s made for both men and women, the DS Lab Spectral.CBD doesn’t contain Minoxidil. Instead, it uses Nanoxidil as a key ingredient. (More about Nanoxidil below)

After comparing the different serums, we settled for Spectral.CBD. Formulated for both men and women, hubby and I can use the topical treatment without having to buy separate serums.

That’s savings! At US$42.00 for a 60 ml capacity bottle, it doesn’t come cheap.

What is Nanoxidil?

It’s not as easy to find literature on Nanoxidil as it is on Minoxidil. Not surprisingly as Minoxidil has been around since the 1970s, initially to treat hypertension.

Given to patients with high blood pressure, it helps to widen their blood vessels, enabling easier blood and oxygen flow around the body. This subsequently reduces their blood pressure.

One of the side effects found in hypertensive patients given Minoxidil is that it causes increased hair growth.

With such effect, Minoxidil is thus subsequently used in the treatment of hair loss for its ability to thicken and darken one’s hair.

However, as in our trial of Provillus, we discussed that Minoxidil, in itself, does come with other side effects, such as nausea, poor heart function, chest pain, salt, and water retention (for some users).

Although Minoxidil is used to treat androgenetic alopecia, not all sufferers would stand to benefit. The reason is Minoxidil is found to be effective for re-growing hair on the vertex area (top) of the scalp.

It is not effective for frontal hair loss or receding hairlines.

Women are more sensitive to the effects of Minoxidil.

There’re users who develop allergies or contact dermatitis owing to the use of propylene glycol as a dissolving agent in Minoxidil.

In treating hair loss, you want products that can keep your scalp clean and healthy. But for some users who develop allergies from Minoxidil, their scalp condition got worse with inflammation and itching.

Due to its multiple side effects, Minoxidil is not the ideal solution for everyone with hair loss issues.

This is a reason why DS Healthcare Group, developer of personal care products, came up with Nanoxidil. It’s an ingredient used in anti-hair loss products without any known side effects associated with Minoxidil.

Similar to Minoxidil, Nanoxidil is also a molecular compound. However, Nanoxidil has a lower molecular mass that contributes to its higher skin absorption capacity. This, in turn, results in the ability to activate cellular mechanisms and remove triggers that can cause hair loss.

DS Healthcare claims that Nanoxidil is able to treat hair loss better than Minoxidil as it :

  • Can treat hair loss on the vertex as well as the frontal (hairline) areas (Minoxidil ony treats the vertex are)
  • Lower molecular weight with larger skin absorption capacity
  • Present less side effects
  • Can be safely used by women

Comparing Minoxidil and Nanoxidil

Limited in skin absorption capacityLess molecular weight with larger skin absorption capacity
Treats hair loss on vertex areaTreats hair loss on vertex and hairline areas
Known side effects include itching, redness, burning, and irritation of the eyes, headaches, acne, and heart problemsNo known major side effects
Women more sensitive to side effects (recommended use for women is at 2% concentration)Safely used by women without major side effects
Besides Minoxidil and Nanoxidil, other ingredients used to stem out hair loss include Procapil and Aminexil

How Does DS Lab Spectral CBD Fare?

We’ve been using DS Lab Spectral CBD for over a year, applying it twice a day as recommended.

It was alright for the first 8 months, as we noticed less hair fall and gradual fine hair growth.

However, after 8 months of diligent use, we noticed more hair fall and hubby’s vertex area began to thin again.

Each time I run my hand through my hair, 5 to 6 strands would follow my hand so easily. It became phobic to even comb my hair!

We’ve been happy with having less hair fall in the first few months of using DS Lab Spectral CBD.

So experiencing the reverse was puzzling. We tried tracing the products we’ve been using up until the point we started noticing more hair fall again.

We had not changed any of the shampoos we use. I’ve been using Plantur 39 shampoo while hubby stuck to one of his favourites, Pura D’or.

Both of us are not in the habit of using hair conditioners even though our hair is dry. Nothing can explain as a reason for this except pure laziness.

The amount of hair loss and the resulting thinning on hubby’s vertex really scared us.

As we’ve been sticking to the same shampoos for more than a year, we figured it could be the DS Lab Spectral CBD that’s causing the reversal of our hair loss. Needless to say, we stopped using it although we still have an unopened bottle left.

I’m surprised at how almost instantly I started to see less hair fall, after my hair washes and when I run my hands through my hair. I noticed less hair on our floors too.

We then searched through other serums, focusing on those that use ‘natural’ or plant-based ingredients.

We looked again at what iRestore has to offer and settled for its serum for now. We’ve been using the iRestore hair growth system (helmet) for more than 2 years but never tried the serum.

So it’s been about a month now that we’re using the iRestore serum. Texture-wise, the iRestore serum is thicker than the DS Lab Spectral CBD. It doesn’t slide down the pipette as smoothly as the DS Lab’s.

I can’t as yet say if iRestore is better but I’m monitoring, of course, and will give my take in a few months.

I guess my previous order with DS Lab would be my last ….

Does iRestore Really Work?
Read What This Study Found

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