16 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair That Add Incredible Strength and Volume
If you have thinning hair, you don't just have to grin and bear it. Get the luxurious locks you've always wanted—or at least thicken the mane you have—by choosing the right shampoo.
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Totally transform thin hair
Has your hair been feeling thinner lately or shedding more than usual? Don’t panic. The most probable culprits are genetic issues and stress-related shedding, says Doris Day, MD, a New York dermatologist and clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health. “Stress shedding, called telogen effluvium, usually has a lag of three to four months after the stressful event, such as major illness, childbirth, or other life event, including all the stress around our recent pandemic,” she explains. “Stress hair shedding was the number one concern patients called in about over the last year.” Once you’ve narrowed down the cause, it’s time to find the best shampoo for thinning hair—specifically, your type of thinning hair.
There’s a best shampoo for every different scalp and hair texture combination, and the right one can strengthen hair, as well as make it look and feel thicker, healthier, and more vibrant. It can additionally support scalp health, which can improve hair growth. You may also want to speak with a professional to determine if you’re dealing with a more complicated issue, says Naana Boakye, MD, a New Jersey–based dermatologist. “For example, there are two types of alopecia, scarring and non-scarring, and it’s important to be careful that the products you use don’t exacerbate the issue,” she notes. “Speak to your dermatologist to get a better handle on what’s causing your hair loss. Then you can find the right shampoo. Some formulas do a great job of treating the scalp, too, whereas some shampoos for oily hair, for example, could do more harm than good.”
Read on for the expert-approved picks for every thin-hair type, preference, and budget. And once you’ve chosen the best one for you, find the best hair conditioner to pair it with to totally transform your hair.
Best shampoo for a flaky scalp: Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
“Sometimes hair shedding and loss can come as a result of scalp-health-related issues,” says Dr. Boayke. “If you’re not ready for a prescription product, this over-the-counter Nizoral bottle is one of the best options for managing yeasts on the scalp that can cause scaly patches, flakes, and other symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, a dandruff-like condition that’s pretty common.” The active ingredient, Ketoconazole, is packed into this product at a fairly rich 1 percent strength, so your dry scalp issues should be gone before you know it.
Best shampoo for sensitive skin: CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo
Sure, baby shampoos are great for babies and kids, thanks to their gentle, tear-free formulas, but some types may also help curb excess hair shedding in adults! “A lot of people don’t realize they’re actually sensitive to added fragrances in products,” Dr. Boakye says. “Irritating the scalp with added fragrances can cause extra hair shedding if you’re sensitive to added scents, whether natural or synthetic.” The moral of the story? If you wouldn’t put it on your face or body, it’s probably not a good idea for your scalp. This CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo is unscented, tear-free, and completely devoid of parabens. Plus, it contains three essential ceramides and vitamins, which can help restore and maintain your scalp’s (and skin’s) natural barrier. Parabens, by the way, are just one of the potentially toxic ingredients you’re using every day.
Best shampoo for dry, coarse hair: Dr. Yates MD Thickening Shampoo
Finding the best shampoo for thinning hair that’s also coarse, curly, or highly textured can be a challenge. “It’s important to remember that several ethnic hair types require a lot more moisture, and culturally it can be common to shampoo less often,” Dr. Boakye says. “I always tell my patients with more hair texture to look for extra-hydrating formulas and to cleanse the scalp well at least weekly.” She also advises staying away from anything that is too stripping, since ingredients like salicylic acid can remove moisture and irritate the scalp, making hair shedding worse.
This Dr. Yates MD Thickening Shampoo helps wash away chemical styling residue without stripping natural oils, and it’s safe enough for those with thinning hair to use daily. It’s made with rich pumpkin seed oil, yucca extract, and growth-enhancing biotin, and it coats each and every strand with gentle thickening agents.
Best shampoo for hormonal changes: Viviscal Shampoo
If you have thinning hair, be on the lookout for keratin in those shampoo labels. When combined with other key ingredients like biotin and hydrating oils, it can make hair look and feel a lot fuller. “Keratin is a protein that makes up skin and hair,” explains Dr. Day. “This can help coat and strengthen hair.”
Viviscal Shampoo fits the bill in this regard. It was specifically designed to fight the excess shedding caused by common hormonal changes that come with post-pregnancy, average or early menopause, age, and various medications. This unique formula offers a complex of clinically tested ingredients like biotin, keratin, and zinc to stimulate and support hair growth while also keeping existing strands in their best possible condition.
Best drugstore shampoo: Garnier Fructis Plumping Treat Shampoo
When it comes to finding a budget-friendly shampoo, Dr. Day says to look for something with thickening and hydrating agents. “I like the Garnier Fructis line because it’s rich in amino acids and antioxidants to strengthen and hydrate hair without weighing it down,” she says of drugstore-available options. “Also, it doesn’t contain artificial dyes, and the bottles are made of recycled plastic.”
If you’re looking for more of a boost, you may also want to ask your doctor about more intensive treatments. “I like to combine antioxidant shampoos with other treatments like PRP, platelet rich plasma, or light therapy, because I find that they help support the treatments and hair growth.” Platelet rich plasma treatments are also a popular dermatologist-approved way to treat facial skin issues like age spots. But using a good plumping shampoo alone is enough to see some degree visible improvement.
Best treatment-style shampoo: Zenagen Revolve Thickening Hair Loss Treatment
Not all shampoos for thinning hair are your traditional shampoos. Use this Zenagen Revolve Thickening Hair Loss Treatment in place of your typical shampoo to gently cleanse and wash away impurities while also reducing hair loss. Simply leave it on your hair and scalp for five minutes, then rinse and follow up with a preferred conditioning treatment. It has quickly become one of the Amazon hidden gems shoppers can’t stop raving about, with one reviewer writing, “I have more hair in the spots where I had started to have less. It’s most apparent on both sides of my front hairline, where most side parts would be.”
Best splurge shampoo: Leonor Greyl Shampooing au Miel Volumizing Shampoo
If you appreciate life’s little luxuries and insist on only the best, this Leonor Greyl Shampooing au Miel Volumizing Shampoo is going to be your new favorite. Using a shampoo without volumizing agents is one of the fine hair mistakes you should never make, which is why this brand’s formula is a total win. It’s gentle enough for everyday use, restores flexibility to even the most parched straw-like strands, and offers shine and volume, breathing new life into even the limpest locks with thickening wheat proteins.
Best shampoo for men and women: HairStem DHT Blocker Hair Growth Shampoo
This trichologist-developed shampoo is a sulfate-free formula brimming with biotin, saw palmetto, tea tree oil, aloe, and arnica to protect, nourish, and stimulate scalp health. It also boasts a DHT-blocking combination of ingredients, which prevent the hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, from binding to specific receptors that shrink your hair follicles. It’s been clinically tested on thousands of men and women, and it’s a potent mash-up of several natural hair loss remedies.
Best shampoo for dull hair: Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo for Women
This thickening formula is a popular choice for those seeking to add loads of reflective shine to their strands without stripping hair of its protective oils and qualities. It’s SLS-free and uses growth factors to stimulate natural hair growth, and it adds lustrous shine in the process. It’s an ideal pick for thinning, fine hair that needs a dose of wow-worthy shine. Plus, going for a sulfate-free formula like this one won’t ruin expensive highlights and treatments.
Best shampoo for oily hair: TRESemmé Deep Clean Shampoo
“It’s important to steer clear of most clarifying formulas if your hair is oily or greasy,” says Dr. Boakye. “They often contain harsh stripping ingredients that can damage the hair and irritate the scalp, but it’s OK to use gentler formulas that are clearly sulfate-free.” This deep-cleansing yet gentle formula from TRESemmé—which removes product residue and also contains vitamin C and green tea—does the trick!
Best shampoo for a wide range of hair types: LAPCOS Dr.14 Vital Care Shampoo
If you’re sharing your suds with a loved one or roommate, or you’re unsure of your hyper-specific hair and scalp type, this LAPCOS Dr.14 Vital Care Shampoo is a great place to start. It’s formulated for both men and women—and it’s clinically proven to help keep scalps healthy. It’s ideal for hair thinning, excess shedding, and hair loss, and the gentle formula includes biotin, one of the best nutrients for those with thin hair. It also includes salicylic acid to defend against dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, as well as panthenol, which seals in moisture.
Best shampoo for aging hair: RevitaLash Cosmetics Thickening Shampoo
This protective, nutrient-dense shampoo is great for addressing the early signs of age-related hair thinning, breakage, and damage. One reviewer who gave it five stars wrote, “I have age-related thinning hair, and after many false starts I found this shampoo. It seems to be helping, as there are a lot fewer hairs in the sink after I shampoo!” It’s part thickening shampoo and part scalp treatment, with the label suggesting that users allow it to sit for a couple minutes to impart its benefits. While we’re on the subject, make sure to avoid these everyday mistakes that are aging your hair.
Best shampoo for long-term regrowth: Foligain Triple Action Shampoo
This silky-smooth shampoo formula includes a 2 percent Trioxidil concentration, which has been clinically proven to be as effective as its more famous counterpart, Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine). The difference here is that the active ingredient is built right into this cleansing, hydrating shampoo, helping you skip a tiresome task. This shampoo is formulated specifically for women, and reviewers stress the need for patience when adding it to your hair care routine. “It works very well for me,” says one Amazon reviewer. “I have been using it for about six months and started seeing results about a month ago. Be patient: Hair roots take time to heal and start growing.”
Best shampoo for color-treated hair: Moroccan Gold Series Black Truffle Shampoo
This color-safe formula is one of the best shampoos for thinning hair, thanks to an ingredient list that’s kind to chemically treated locks, even kinder to delicate scalps, and is so hydrating that even the most abused strands are left shiny and soft. Real antioxidant-rich black truffle extract is infused in every bottle, offering smooth, healthy, frizz-free, and bouncy locks that shed and break less. Looking for a new hue? Here’s how to find the best hair color for your skin tone.
Best shampoo for blond and highlighted hair: Eufora Beautifying Elixirs Bodifying Shampoo
Dry, thin hair can be hard to treat because many hydrating formulas rely on heavy oils to offer moisture, and that weighs down thin hair. But this Eufora formula is extremely lightweight, as well as color-safe and brightening, and it never leaves that heavy, greasy feeling so many dry-hair shampoos do. One Amazon reviewer raves, “You only need a small drop or dollop to get a full lather! Don’t overdo the application as it’s a waste of precious product. Eufora claims their products protect color-treated hair. I wasn’t sure if I believed that until I did my own experiment. I can honestly say that it does save the color. I have lowlights in my blond hair, and they last.”
Best shampoo for wavy hair and loose curls: Davines OI Shampoo
This rich shampoo isn’t just for fine, thin hair, but it does wonders for those looking to reduce shedding. It’s infused with nourishing roucou oil, a lightweight and nearly magical hydration enhancer that leaves hair shiny, smooth, and healthy. Ideal for wavy and loose-curl types, it provides a tingly, sensory experience you’ll look forward to with every shower. Curly girls may also want to check out our list of the best shampoos for curly hair.
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