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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 both make a difference.

Some of the 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 took customer reviews into account and looked at factors such as cost to produce this list.

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 studiesTrusted Source
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 which can 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, 2–3 times a week.

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 B-3). This vitamin promotes hair fullness. It also stimulates circulation and blood flow in the scalp.
  • Biotin (Vitamin H). Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin which is part of the B vitamin family. It’s important in the 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 have benefit for thickening hair, or for making it healthier and less prone to breakage. They include peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, and thyme.
  • Minoxidil. The FDA 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.

Shampoo ingredients for hair loss

Hair loss — meaning hair that falls out from the scalp — can occur as the result of genetics, poor 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

Shampoo ingredients 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

Dietary tips

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

There are several vitamins and nutrients which can be 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, heredity, and illness. Styling habits can also cause hair to become thin and breakable.

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

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