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Thinning hair and hair loss can occur in both men and women for a variety of reasons. Because thinning hair has many causes, the type of shampoo that works for you may not work for someone else.

Determining the underlying cause, as well as having a trial-and-error approach to the types of shampoos and products you use, can make a difference.

Some shampoos on this list contain ingredients shown to be beneficial for reducing hair loss. Others provide a cosmetic fix by thickening or adding volume to existing hair.

We looked at scientific data and studies to determine which shampoo ingredients are the most effective. We also looked at factors such as customer reviews to produce this list.

Beneficial shampoo ingredients for thinning hair include:

  • Histidine. This amino acid absorbs excess copper from hair, shielding it from UVA and UVB damage.
  • Phyto-caffeine. Caffeine has been found to suppress excess testosterone in the hair root. Testosterone can suppress hair growth on the head in men and women.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3). This vitamin promotes hair fullness. It also stimulates circulation and blood flow in the scalp.
  • Biotin (vitamin H). Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B vitamin family. It’s important to have biotin in your diet for hair growth. Some shampoos also contain this ingredient, which may promote hair fullness and reduce breakage.
  • Essential oils. A number of essential oils have been shown to thicken hair or make it healthier and less prone to breakage. They include peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, and thyme.
  • Minoxidil. The Food and Drug Administration has approved this ingredient for treatment of hair loss when it’s used as a 2-percent topical solution. Some shampoos also contain minoxidil as an active ingredient.

Best overall shampoo for thinning hair

Keeps Thickening Shampoo

Keeps uses biotin, caffeine, green tea, and saw palmetto in this Thickening Shampoo to help reduce thinning hair and hair loss.

A review of case studies and trials shows that biotin is beneficial for those who have underlying hair conditions. However, it is unclear if biotin is useful for those without these conditions.

Caffeine is said to be a stimulator of hair growth, according to a 2007 study in vitro study. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin found in green tea, is also shown to slow hair loss according to one study that tested green tea with a combination of other herbs, and, according to another 2007 study, may increase hair growth.

Some users with hair loss say that this product helps to make their hair thicker and fuller.

Best all-natural shampoos for thinning hair

Hims Hair Thickening Shampoo

The main ingredient in this shampoo is saw palmetto, a palm native to the United States.

A recent review of older studies and clinical trials shows that saw palmetto may provide an improvement of 60 percent in hair quality overall in patients with alopecia. Saw palmetto also blocks dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone linked to hair loss.

However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there is not enough research on the effects of saw palmetto to draw conclusions on if it works for hair loss or thinning hair.

Some users like that this product is sulfate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free. It’s also vegan.

Other users complain that this shampoo can be drying on the scalp.

Hers Shampoo

Hers Shampoo is also formulated with saw palmetto as the main ingredient. It also contains pumpkin seed oil, which can be beneficial for hair loss, according to a 2014 study.

Although the study showed positive results, it’s important to note that the study was small, and only done on a group of fewer than 100 men with pattern baldness. Along with the study being small, it’s also important to keep in mind that the pumpkin seed oil was not used alone in the trials. It was one ingredient in a supplement.

Some users like the smell of the product and say that they saw results when pairing the product with the matching conditioner from the brand.

Others say that the product left a greasy feeling in their hair.

Best shampoo for thinning for those with menopause

Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo

Shampoos containing phyto-caffeine have been shown to reduce hair thinning caused by androgenic alopecia.

Plantur 39 hair care products are marketed and developed specifically for the hair and scalp during menopause.
Along with phyto-caffeine, this shampoo also contains zinc, which may support hair growth.

It also contains niacin (vitamin B3), which can increase hair fullness and improve blood circulation and the flow of nutrients to hair follicles.

Users of this shampoo say it works for menopause and hormonal hair loss, and for hair thinning caused by thyroid conditions.

Some users disliked that this shampoo contains parabens.

Best shampoo for those with alopecia areata

Botanical Hair Growth Lab Lavender Cypress Thickening Shampoo

Components in lavender, such as linalyl acetate, linalool, and geraniol, may help promote hair and skin cell growth.

Animal studies indicate that lavender may be effective for hair growth and for reducing the effects of alopecia areata.

In addition to lavender and caffeine, this shampoo contains several beneficial botanical ingredients that may have benefits for thinning hair and for promoting hair volume. These include sage, calendula, aloe vera, and green tea extract.

Users like the floral, rich scent and the slight tingling sensation it gives to the scalp.

The manufacturer recommends massaging the shampoo into your hair for 20 minutes, two to three times a week.

Best shampoo for hair loss caused by UV rays

Herbal Essences BioRenew Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Copper is found throughout the body and in hair. It’s necessary for brain and body function. However, copper may also accelerate hair damage caused by UVA and UVB rays.

UV damage can make hair brittle and fine, causing it to break and thin.

A study, funded by the makers of hair care products, found that histidine, the active ingredient in this shampoo and conditioner, acts as a chelant. This means that it can absorb excess copper from hair, diminishing damage and restoring hair to fullness and health.

This shampoo and conditioner set are paraben- and colorant-free. They also contain argan oil and ingredients such as aloe vera.

Users love the scent of these products. Anecdotal evidence indicates that many users also notice that their hair becomes thicker, fuller, and softer after repeated use.

Some people find that the shampoo leaves their hair feeling a little greasy.

Best shampoo bars for thinning hair

Lush Flyaway Hair Shampoo Bar

Many shampoo bars are as effective as liquid shampoos. Plus, ditching plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles helps to reduce waste.

Lush Flyaway Hair shampoo bar is touted to help add volume to thinning hair, making it look thicker and more lustrous.

It contains ingredients such as sea salt and lemon oil, which may make it more beneficial for oily or normal, rather than dry, hair. It also contains chamomile oil and cocoa butter for added luster and manageability.

The Yellow Bird Peppermint Shampoo Bar

In addition to having a scent that some people love, peppermint may be effective for promoting hair growth.

Peppermint was shown in one animal study to be more effective than minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine.

In addition to peppermint oil, this shampoo bar contains extra menthol crystals. Menthol is a beneficial compound found in peppermint oil. Other ingredients include coconut and argan oil.

In addition to bolstering thin hair, this shampoo bar may help an itchy scalp and scalp psoriasis.

People with thick hair report that it doesn’t produce enough suds to adequately wash their hair.

What other shampoo ingredients should I look for if I have hair loss?

Hair loss — meaning hair that falls out from the scalp — can occur as the result of genetics, diet, illness, stress, medications, and more. Addressing the underlying cause of thinning hair often reduces hair loss over time.

Once you’ve addressed the underlying cause, a good shampoo for you may include ingredients such as:

  • histidine
  • peppermint
  • phyto-caffeine

What shampoo ingredients should I use for hair breakage?

You may also notice that your hair appears to break off more easily and seems to be thinner and weaker than it was in the past.

Hair breakage may be the result of styling habits over time, such as using heat to style or dry your hair. Using harsh shampoos, overwashing, and not conditioning your hair can also cause it to break and thin. Modifying these habits can help restore your hair to fullness.

Shampoo ingredients that may strengthen hair and give it the look of fullness include:

  • ginseng
  • biotin
  • collagen
  • aloe vera

Can diet help with hair loss?

Since diet can impact hair growth, making sure you eat enough iron and protein may also be beneficial.

There are several vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial for hair growth. Too much of others, such as vitamins A and E, may actually worsen hair loss.

Thinning hair and hair loss can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including stress, aging, genetics, and illness. Styling habits can also cause hair to become thin and breakable.

There are a number of active ingredients that can help reduce hair thinning and also promote the look of fullness.

It’s also important to understand and address the underlying cause for your thinning hair.