The Best Hair-Thickening Shampoos for Gorgeous Body and Volume
Make this simple tweak to your beauty routine and you'll have the thick, full hair you’ve always dreamed about.
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Pump up the volume
Limp, lifeless hair happens to good people, but there’s good news: It doesn’t have to! Armed with super potent ingredients, sudsy textures, and oodles of shine-boosting finishes, the new wave of volumizing, hair-thickening shampoos can change everything. The first step to achieving mega volume, says film and TV hairstylist Elvira Gonzalez, is having squeaky-clean hair. And it all boils down to finding the right shampoo that not only promises to add volume but also caters to your specific needs, like if you need a shampoo for oily hair, curly hair, or thinning hair.
And you need to be careful. “Not all formulas are created equal,” says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. “A lot of volumizing shampoos can be quite stripping, which leaves your hair vulnerable to damage.” And it turns out that the list of ingredients to avoid in a thickening shampoo is just as long as the ingredients to look for, according to trichologist Lars Skjøth, founder of Hårklinikken. For example, proteins from rice, wheat, and silk, and a chemical called polymer can do a number on the scalp and strands. “After rinsing away the shampoo, the coat left behind makes your strands look and feel more expansive,” he explains. “Unfortunately, this coat ends up on the scalp as well and can cause havoc, like scalp irritation, dermatitis, and hair loss.”
Moral of the story: Do your homework—or let us do it for you. Here, you’ll find the volumizing shampoos that top hairstylists and online reviewers adore for thick, gravity-defying hair. Choose the right one for you and your hair will have commercial-worthy bounce and shine every single day, especially when you also use a top-notch conditioner.
24K Get Gorgeous StylePro Shampoo
Best for: Nearly every hair type
“Formulated with sunflower oil, this shampoo not only smells great—it also lifts the hair away from the root, ensuring hair dries with a ton of volume,” says OG celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger. While this shampoo earns a spot on our list as the best overall choice and works a good deal of magic on its own, you’ll want to follow Hershberger’s guidance to attain maximum volume. “Concentrate your shampoo on the scalp and massage in with circular motions and rinse thoroughly,” she advises. You’ll have red carpet-level volume in no time and will avoid a common hair mistake that can age your face.
Hårklinikken Balancing Shampoo and Restorative Shampoo
Best for: Hair growth
Double the cleansing means double the volume with this daily-use set from Hårklinikken. Devoted to one thing and one thing only, the brand develops products that grow hair. Skjøth estimates that the average person will grow 40 to 70 percent more hair with continued use of these shampoos. But wait, there’s more: That new hair will be thicker and fuller, too. This duo definitely a splurge, but if it’s worth it.
Start with the super gentle Balancing Shampoo, which contains mustard seed oil to strengthen strands and reduce breakage. If you have dyed blond hair or use a plethora of products, you’ll particularly love this formulation. Dermatologists also recommend it for those with dandruff or a dry, irritated scalp. Now, rinse and repeat…only this time, with the Restorative Shampoo. Packed with glycosides and flavonoids, it will soothe and hydrate your scalp, bringing out your hair’s full shine potential. If frizz is also an issue, follow up with one of these genius frizzy hair products.
Aunt Jackie’s Power Wash Intense Moisture Clarifying Shampoo
Best for: Sensitive scalps
“Scalp health is essential for hair growth,” explains trichologist David Adams. “A good, clean scalp is where thicker, fuller hair begins.” This shampoo is an excellent foundation for all hair types to get a little va-va-volume, and it’s perfect for sensitive scalps, with its blend of scalp-soothing aloe, moisturizing coconut milk, grapeseed and jojoba oils, and naturally clarifying apple cider vinegar. In fact, it’s Gonzalez’s go-to when working with high-profile, tender-headed clients on film and movie sets because it “removes buildup but also locks in moisture,” leaving hair feeling soft and clean, never stripped or dry. Here are more of the best clarifying shampoos for various hair types.
Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo
Best for: Serious volume
As its name suggests, this body-building shampoo was developed specifically to make hair look and feel abundant, lush, and radiant. And it’s hands-down one of Adams’ favorite volumizing shampoos on the market. “It contains kaolin clay and acacia gum, which are naturally derived, and the aroma of jasmine and peppermint is wonderful,” he says. “And it works!” Don’t miss these other hair care products stylists can’t live without.
OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Best for: Those on a budget
Staring down a long drugstore aisle filled from top to bottom with shampoos can be overwhelming. Narrow down your choices, says Gonzalez, by looking for the bottles that say “clarifying” or “deep cleansing” to get a really solid hair and scalp cleanse. Just make sure to save these shampoos for the days (or nights) you want va-va-volume disco hair, because while they are the first step to getting that sky-high lift, their formulas can also be stripping if used too frequently.
Hershberger won’t let a budget get in the way of major body and bounce. Her favorite volumizing shampoo for babes on a budget is OGX’s biotin-filled, creamy shampoo, which may be low on the bells and whistles, but is efficient, effective, and comes in a few different scents. Biotin has long been heralded as a hero supplement within the vitamin B family to help boost hair and nail health. By stimulating keratin production in the hair, biotin works to strengthen the hair follicle and promote faster hair growth. It also prevents hair loss and shedding—all for under $6. Here are more secrets from stylists.
Davines Volu Shampoo
Best for: Color-treated hair
Word to the wise: Anyone with color-treated hair absolutely, positively needs to read the ingredients label of a volumizing shampoo before even thinking about using it, because many ingredients found in volumizing shampoos are not color-safe. “Sulfates are strong detergents and may make hair feel coarse and brittle and cause color to fade,” cautions Adams. Instead, go with a formula brimming with naturally derived active ingredients. This sulfate-free Davines Volu Shampoo, for example, contains Caprauna turnip extract, which was harvested on a family-owned farm in Italy. It offers vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, and phosphorus, making it an extra special and extra healthy body-boosting shampoo. Don’t miss these other top shampoos for color-treated hair.
Fat and the Moon Shampoo Bar
Best for: Eco-friendly types
Organic, toxin-free, and with a touch of bohemian coolness, this shampoo bar travels perfectly in a gym bag or suitcase, which is excellent news because we really don’t want to leave home without it. It’s gentle on hair, with Rhassoul clay lifting your roots to high heaven and rosemary extract keeping your scalp happy and clean as a whistle. But be forewarned, Gonzalez says: A little goes a long way, so resist the temptation to use the entire bar in one wash. Also, “be sure to get it on the entire scalp and avoid using directly on the ends” to prevent breakage, she advises. If you love this eco-friendly product, consider these other shampoo and conditioner bars, too.
Philip Kingsley Body Building Weightless Shampoo
Best for: Oily hair
“People usually want volume because they feel they have flat, limp hair, and all fine hair types require volume in some way,” explains Adams. Lifeless hair can be caused by a variety of reasons, including “having an oily scalp, not shampooing the hair too often enough, or simply using a shampoo that contains too many silicones and oils.” For grease-prone hair, stay away from moisturizing ingredients that will just make the scalp oilier and weigh down the ends. Adams’ favorite thickening shampoo for thin hair from Philip Kingsley contains keratin, plus several gentle cleansers. Pro tip: Thin hair types need to be absolutely sure to rinse all of the shampoo out of their hair; otherwise the leftover product will weigh down the root and slick it up faster.
Tigi Copyright Volume Shampoo
Best for: Shine and moisture
“I’ve been a fan of Tigi’s drugstore line for many years, but recently learned about their professional products and love this shampoo,” says Fitzsimons. “It leaves the hair really moisturized and shiny, but most importantly, with added volume.” No joke: Clinical studies showed that hair had five times more volume after continued use. If you’re on a budget, check out these cheap shampoos under $15 stylists admit to using at home.
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance
Best for: Damaged hair
Damaged hair is a total drag, and it needs to be addressed before the intense ingredients of a volumizing shampoo are integrated into wash day. Olaplex No. 4 is a multitasking little gem that can help, fortifying hair while giving it a soft fullness. “Our hair is basically made of a protein: keratin,” explains Larry Sims, the celebrity hairstylist who Gabrielle Union-Wade and Zendaya have on speed dial. “You really want to make sure that you’re using protein-building products to essentially saturate the hair cuticle, rebuild it, and restrengthen it.” This super-powered shampoo, whose active ingredient works even better than keratin and collagen, leaves you with hair that looks visibly healthier after one wash, and healthy hair is happy hair.
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Shampoo
Best for: An energizing, hydrating boost
If dry hair is the root of your lifeless locks, you’ll need a hydrating, moisturizing shampoo to turn things around. Brigeo’s ginseng, biotin, and Maltodextrin blend is the best there is to build moisture without adding unnecessary weight, according to Fitzsimons. Never heard of Maltodextrin? It’s an up-and-coming ingredient, made from a natural sugar starch that coats each hair strand to increase volume and fullness, and when blended with energizing ginger, your scalp will feel a refreshing zing while your locks look lush.
NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Shampoo
Best for: Cutting-edge beauty technology
If you love nothing more than scoping out all the best new next-gen beauty products, this volumizing shampoo from NatureLab Tokyo has your name written all over it. “This shampoo is loaded with great proteins to help build weightless volume,” says Fitzsimons. “And the formula moisturizes the hair without causing any buildup.” It’s filled with rice and soy proteins, to be exact, and it also boasts apple stem cells that help maintain scalp health and reduce hair loss. Fitzsimons notes that it “sounds so futuristic,” making shampooing more than an ordinary rinse-and-repeat experience and more like a fun sort of shampoo science project.
Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Shampoo
Best for: Superfine hair
Despite the sea of volumizing shampoos out there, Fitzsimons concedes that finding the right formulation for your hair can be tricky. “The formulation really needs to strike a balance between building the volume and keeping the hair well-moisturized, but not so much so that your products are weighing it down,” he says. Enter legendary Japanese hair brand Shu Uemura with a concoction so smooth and a texture so light, it feels whipped. Designed specifically with the finest hair types in mind, it boasts Depsea water, which is drawn 200 meters beneath the seas of Japan and is believed to be a strong source of pure minerals that strengthen and protect hair. Use it and your hair will never be the same again—and that’s a good thing! Thinking of changing your look now that your hair is super healthy? Take a look at this list of the best hairstyles for women over 40.
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