Man shampooing his hair in the shower

(Photo credit: MRAORAOR on Shutterstock)

The best shampoos for thinning hair are specifically formulated to address the unique needs of individuals experiencing hair loss or thinning. They often contain ingredients like biotin, caffeine, and keratin to promote hair strength and thickness while also providing a gentle cleansing experience. When selecting a shampoo for thinning hair, consider products that are free from harsh chemicals and sulfates to help maintain scalp health and encourage the growth of fuller, healthier locks. Our Editor-in-Chief even chimed in with his own recommendation that’s helped him feel better about those thinning locks on his head, too.

Why does hair loss happen? Outside of genetics, life phases can be the cause. Menopause can result in a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as hot flashes or insomnia. However, one side-effect that many overlook is thinning hair and hair loss among middle-aged women. Estimates show that about 40 percent of women over the age of 60 will develop female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. 

Something you can control though is how much fat you eat and the number on the scale. A recent study revealed that too much fat in your diet can also be bad for your hair. Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University discovered that a high-fat diet accelerates hair thinning and hair loss as we age. Obesity also contributes to less luscious locks. Here’s why: In studies using mice, obesity introduced certain inflammatory signals to the body, blocking hair follicle regeneration and eventually leading to the loss of the follicles.

What causes hair thinning?

The sight of your once-luscious locks leaving a trail on your brush can be unsettling. But before you jump headfirst into a sea of miracle product promises, let’s dive deeper into the root causes of this common concern. By understanding why your hair might be thinning, you can make informed choices about the best shampoo and treatment options for your unique situation.

Hair loss can be triggered by a multitude of factors, both internal and external. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Genetics: Androgenetic alopecia, or hereditary hair loss, is often influenced by genes you inherit from your parents. It typically manifests as a receding hairline in men and diffuse thinning on the scalp in women.
  • Hormonal Changes: Like we previously mentioned, fluctuations in hormone levels, like those experienced during pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can temporarily disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to thinning.
  • Stress: Chronic stress can send your body into overdrive, impacting hair growth and potentially leading to temporary or even permanent hair loss.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: A lack of essential nutrients like iron, protein, vitamin D, and biotin can impair hair follicle function and contribute to thinning.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, like autoimmune diseases or scalp infections, can damage hair follicles and cause hair loss.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs or blood pressure medications, can have hair loss as a side effect.
  • Hair Care Practices: Harsh hair styling techniques, excessive heat styling, or tight hairstyles can damage hair over time and lead to breakage and thinning.

The right ingredients for hair loss:

Once you have a better understanding of the potential cause of your hair thinning, you can choose a shampoo that’s specifically formulated to address your needs. Here are some general tips:

  • For Hereditary Hair Loss: Look for shampoos with ingredients like minoxidil or caffeine, which can stimulate hair follicles and promote growth.
  • For Hormonal Changes: Opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos that won’t irritate the scalp and may help to balance hormones.
  • For Stress-Related Hair Loss: Choose shampoos with calming ingredients like lavender or chamomile, which can promote relaxation and potentially reduce stress-induced hair loss.
  • For Nutritional Deficiencies: Look for shampoos rich in biotin, zinc, and other essential nutrients that nourish hair follicles from the outside in.
  • For Medical Conditions: Consult your doctor for recommendations on the best hair care approach for your specific condition.

Remember: There’s no one-size-fits-all best shampoo for thinning hair. The key is to identify the underlying cause of your hair loss and choose a product that’s targeted towards your specific needs. By combining the right shampoo with healthy hair care practices and potentially addressing any underlying medical conditions, you can give your hair the best chance of thriving.

Bonus Tip: Consider consulting a trichologist, a specialist in hair and scalp health, for personalized advice on managing your hair thinning.

Sometimes hair loss is normal, like after pregnancy or with age. But if you have what you’d consider an excessive amount of lost strands, consult with a medical professional to diagnose the root of the problem. If you’re just wanting to give your hair a boost, reach for the best shampoo for thinning hair. We combed through 12 expert reviews to come away with the top five products for you to try. Let us know in the comments if we missed your tried-and-true favorite!

A woman washing her hair
A woman washing her hair (© amixstudio – stock.adobe.com)

The List: Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair, According to Experts

 

1. Pura DOr Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo

PureWow says you’ll see results: “Shown to result in less hair shedding after just eight weeks, this potent formula also promotes volume and hydrates dry strands. It’s jam-packed with vitamins, amino acids and oils (like black cumin seed oil) to reduce thinning. But it’s the over 17+ DHT herbal blend that nourishes, cleanses and protects the scalp after every wash.” 

PURA D'OR Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner

PURA D’OR Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner

“This PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo is great for thinning hair [and] helps promote thickness and combat breakage with its impressive formula, which is enriched with ingredients (including rosemary oil, argan oil, and tea tree oil) that assist with promoting hair growth,” claims Insider.

“With nearly 17,000 five-star ratings under its belt, this biotin shampoo comes highly recommended from Amazon shoppers and Dr. Liia Ramachandra, a skin care expert and former pharma executive. She says. ‘This formula is packed with a powerful blend of biotin, nettle extract, pumpkin seed and black cumin seed oil.’ The hypoallergenic, gluten-free shampoo promises to reduce hair thinning by strengthening and thickening strands, adding volume for days and reducing breakage along the way,” according to TODAY.  

2. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo

Allure likes this plant-powered formula: “This color-safe Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo, which boasts a mixture of kakadu plum, pea peptides, clover flower, turmeric, and ginseng. These powerhouse ingredients, along with anti-inflammatory tea tree oil, work together to cleanse and strengthen the scalp for thicker hair down the road.” 

Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo
Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo

“This powerful shampoo contains a hardworking trio of turmeric, ginseng, and kakadu plum that works to expand each strand to give the appearance of fuller hair and reduce breakage each time you wash,” writes Oprah Daily.

And The Strategist says, “If your hair is both fine and thinning, trichologist Rochelle Hunter Mosley likes this shampoo from Paul Mitchell. With thinning hair, the shampoo you use is extremely important because you need it to add both body and volume, body, as well as shine, something this shampoo delivers, she says.”

3. Shampoo by Blu Atlas

Observer is hopeful this shampoo is for you: “If you’re hoping to get thicker, stronger hair without weighing it down, Blu Atlas is the shampoo you’ve been looking for. This shampoo strengthens hair and prevents oil buildup with potent natural ingredients, making it the finest option for men with thinning hair. Jojoba oil is rich in beauty-boosting vitamins A, E and D, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids.” 

Shampoo by Blu Atlas
Shampoo by Blu Atlas

“In this 99% naturally-sourced shampoo by Blu Atlas, you’ll find potent botanicals and plant extracts that help strengthen hair and prevent oil buildup on hair and scalp. Aloe vera leaf juice provides the scalp with necessary nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E; it also hydrates and calms so your scalp is prepped and primed for healthy hair growth. Other star ingredients include jojoba protein, which locks in moisture, conditions, and repairs damaged hair,” reports Men’s Journal

4. Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo

Byrdie says this product will reduce breakage, writing, “This pick gets top honors for taking a two-pronged approach to thinning hair. First, it goes to town by gently removing follicle-clogging impurities that can impede new hair growth. Then it delivers a host of important nutrients — biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend — to strengthen the hair you have. So much so that, when used with the accompanying conditioner, it can reduce breakage by up to 95 percent.” 

Roll over image to zoom in Biolage BIOLAGE Full Density Thickening Shampoo

BIOLAGE Full Density Thickening Shampoo

Cosmopolitan says, “This gentle shampoo earns [a] spot on this list due to its ability to remove build-up that tends to clog hair follicles and create a less-than-ideal environment for hair growth. Your hair will feel thicker, but it’ll also look healthy and shiny. Not to mention, it’s safe for color-treated hair, which is a win-win in my book.” 

5. Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo

Forbes chooses this cleansing shampoo as a great option: “This cleanser packs biotin to fortify hair growth and structure as well as keratin for the same structural benefits (alongside softening, boosting shine and smoothing frizz). It also has chia seed oil to visibly plumpen and volumize strands, making it one of the best short- and long-term picks on the market today.” 

OUAI Fine Shampoo
OUAI Fine Shampoo

“This color-safe gel shampoo by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin offers a combination of biotin, hydrolyzed keratin and chia seed oil to help thicken hair. ‘Sebum secretion is that oil that makes your hair look greasy, so this [shampoo] helps control that, and it also fights frizz,’ said makeup and hair artist Francesca Maria Alfonso. It received a 4.4-star average rating from 1,429 reviews on Amazon,” addsNBC News.

We hope you find the best shampoo for you! Let us know if you’ve tried any of these. We’d love to know what you think.

Editor’s Choice: Hawthorne Thickening Shampoo

“Seeing my hair become significantly thinner in recent years has been a tough slap in the face when it comes to aging. Yep, it’s just one more realization that I’m over the hill. I’ve tried different thinning shampoos in that time, including some of the very expensive bottles. Sometime last year I gave Hawthorne a shot, and it can’t be pure coincidence that my hair feels and looks thicker than it’s been in quite some time,” says StudyFinds Editor-In-Chief Steve Fink.

Hawthorne Thickening Shampoo
Hawthorne Thickening Shampoo

“Besides the pleasant woodsy scent that isn’t too overwhelming (I hate any shampoo that I can smell on my pillow or just from moving around at any point), I don’t need to use too much to get a solid lather, even for having longer hair. I have no plans to give anything else a try for now. At about 12 bucks a bottle, Hawthorne is getting the job done, and well.”

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Stephanie Vallette

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Melore

Editor

Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor

37 Comments

  1. Southpaw says:

    Look for the best drugstore brand on Google. The prices are usually a little better if money is tight.

  2. Southpaw says:

    I like Pura d’or. Been using it for a while now, and I’ve noticed a big difference. The amount of hair I now lose in the shower is minimal. That includes washing my hair every 3rd day. I use dry shampoo in between if I have to.

    It’s pricey, but it works, and the bottle is big so it will last a long time. That’s another factor to weigh in when buying a pricey product.

  3. Sylvia Gillam says:

    Unfortunately red meat is not a good idea if you suffer from cholesterol and / or heart disease.
    Not to mention IBS and other stomach disorders like coeliac

  4. DEBBIE says:

    Ooooh,..In the 90s I was breaking out under my chin and ears. I didn’t believe the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon (scar to fix, that’s all) when he told me I was breaking out due to the fruity and herb shampoos and conditioners that were popular then, but I stopped using them and he was right. All the zits (and scars–I had to bleach the skin around the white scars.Alot of time and work and prescriptions so strong they are now illegal.lol)went away. Heed his advice!