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Thinning hair and hair loss can occur 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.

Hair thinning refers to a gradual process where hair gets sparse in certain areas. It’s different from hair loss, which is defined by hair breakage from the scalp or when hair falls out from the root.

Hair loss can lead to baldness, whereas hair thinning doesn’t necessarily do so.

Genetics, medical conditions, and life circumstances (or a combination of all three) can cause hair thinning. Some of these include:

There are also lifestyle habits that can cause hair thinning. These include:

  • using harsh products on your hair, like gel and hair spray
  • overtreating your hair with relaxers and perms, chemical hair color, or heat styling tools
  • wearing tight hairstyles, like ponytails and up-dos

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’s 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, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Minoxidil: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this ingredient for treatment of hair loss when used as a 2% topical solution for women and 5% for men. Some shampoos also contain minoxidil as an active ingredient.

If you’re experiencing hair thinning, you’ll want to choose a shampoo that has active ingredients to help the problem at hand.

To select the best shampoos for thinning hair, we considered many factors, including:

  • Brand reputation: We chose brands you can trust and vetted each product via our brand and content integrity standards. Read more about our product selection process here.
  • User reviews: We looked for products that earned good reports from buyers.
  • Formulation and active ingredients: Wherever possible, we chose shampoos with natural ingredients that are proven to help thicken and strengthen hair.
  • Price: Finally, we did our best to include options for every budget.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $15
  • $$ = $15–$30
  • $$$ = over $30

Best overall shampoo

Keeps Thickening Shampoo

  • Price: $$

Keeps uses scientifically sound ingredients — such as biotin, caffeine, green tea, and saw palmetto — in its Thickening Shampoo to help reduce thinning hair and hair loss.

A 2017 review of case studies and trials shows that biotin is beneficial for those who have underlying hair conditions. However, it’s unclear if biotin is useful for those without these conditions.

Caffeine is said to be a stimulant for 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. According to another 2007 study, it may also increase hair growth.

While the Keeps website doesn’t post user reviews, the Amazon listing for its Thickening Shampoo has a 4 out of 5-star rating. Many reviewers note renewed hair thickness after using the product and praise its refreshing scent. Some, however, didn’t see a difference in their hair after use.

Pros

  • FDA-approved
  • product mailed straight to your home
  • addresses specific hair thinning needs

Cons

  • medical consultations not available in all states (product still available with prescription)

Best all-natural shampoos

Hims Hair Thickening Shampoo

  • Price: $$

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

A 2020 review of older studies and clinical trials shows that saw palmetto may provide an improvement of 60% 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 say if it definitely works for hair loss or thinning hair.

Some users like that this product is free of sulfates and parabens. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan.

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

Pros

  • subscription plan with free shipping
  • full money-back guarantee within 90 days

Cons

  • customers complain of long wait times for customer service responses

Hers Shampoo

  • Price: $$$

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 it was only done on a group of fewer than 100 men with pattern baldness. Along with the study being small, 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 this shampoo 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.

Pros

  • strengthens and moisturizes hair
  • rich scent
  • you can take a quiz to learn your specific hair needs

Cons

  • must create an account to receive results from quiz

Best shampoo for thinning for those with menopause

Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo

  • Price: $$

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.

Reviewers say the shampoo works for menopause and hormonal hair loss, and for hair thinning caused by thyroid conditions.

Some users dislike that this shampoo contains parabens.

Pros

  • great option for oily hair types
  • gentle, refreshing scent
  • repairs hair breakage

Cons

  • results vary depending on length of usage

Best shampoo for hair loss caused by UV rays

Herbal Essences BioRenew Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Price: $

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 2015 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-free and colorant-free. They also contain argan oil and aloe vera.

Users say they love the scent of these products. Many users also say they noticed their hair became thicker, fuller, and softer after repeated use.

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

Pros

  • helps with greasy hair
  • affordable
  • users love the smell

Cons

  • some customers report that it wasn’t entirely effective, but this likely depends on the cause of your hair thinning and other symptoms

Best shampoo bars for thinning hair

Lush Flyaway Hair Shampoo Bar

  • Price: $

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

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

It contains ingredients, such as sea salt and lemon oil, that may make it more beneficial for oily or normal hair, rather than dry hair.

This bar also contains chamomile oil and cocoa butter for added luster and manageability.

Pros

  • cleans hair thoroughly
  • reduces plastic waste
  • easy to use

Cons

  • breaks easily if dropped
  • can be drying for some hair types

The Yellow Bird Peppermint Shampoo Bar

  • Price: $

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

Peppermint was shown in a 2014 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.

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

Pros

  • great for use while traveling
  • no irritating synthetic fragrances or perfumes

Cons

  • some peoples’ hair needs a transition period to get used to an organic shampoo, so hair may be greasy at first

Best shampoo for men with thinning hair

Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo

  • Price: $$

Created by a men’s luxury skin care brand, the Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo is a sulfate-free shampoo that removes oils, dirt, and product buildup. Ingredients like creatine, tea tree leaf, and basil (AKA, what the company calls a “bodybuilding blend” of botanicals) may help your hair look and feel thicker.

The shampoo also includes a proprietary thickening complex called Expansion Technology. For best results, it’s recommended to combine the shampoo with a complementary conditioner and pomade.

Pros

  • good for daily use
  • heightens fullness in hair using gentle ingredients

Cons

  • bottle may leak during travel

Best shampoo for thinning hair on a budget

Renpure Originals Biotin & Collagen Thickening Shampoo

  • Price: $

Renpure formulates this thickening shampoo with gentle, plant-based ingredients that offer a nourishing and safe formula. The main ingredients, biotin and collagen, work together to increase your hair’s strength and thickness for a beautiful shine and body.

The shampoo is free of harmful ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and dyes. It comes in a 32-ounce bottle.

Pros

  • safe for color-treated hair
  • no sulfates, parabens, or dyes

Cons

  • the pump on the bottle does not work well

Best shampoo scalp cleanser for thinning hair

Nutrafol Root Purifier

  • Price: $$$

Designed and formulated by a physician, this scalp microbiome shampoo promotes a healthy scalp for improved hair quality. According to the company, participants in a clinical study showed an immediate improvement in scalp dryness and flakiness, plus an immediate reduction in sebum (a naturally occurring oily substance).

With ingredients like Australian wild berries and vegan proteins, the shampoo is also said to optimize your scalp microbiome pH levels for improved hair health.

Pros

  • safe for daily use
  • protects against dryness

Cons

  • does not actually grow your hair (instead, cultivates the right ecosystem for healthy hair)

Best shampoo volumizer for thinning hair

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo

  • Price: $$

Enhance your hair’s thickness and fullness with this volumizing shampoo from Briogeo, a natural hair care brand. The shampoo’s follicle-stimulating ingredients, such as ginger, ginseng, witch hazel, and biotin, support your hair from root to tip.

This shampoo works for both immediate results and long-term hair health. Since the formula doesn’t include any sulfates, it won’t strip, dry, or dull your hair. The shampoo is also 98% naturally derived.

Pros

  • ingredients stimulate follicles to promote hair health
  • no sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, DEA, or artificial dyes

Cons

  • some users say it dries out their hair

Best drugstore shampoo for thinning hair

BIOLAGE Full Density Thickening Shampoo

  • Price: $$$

The BIOLAGE Thickening Shampoo, which works for all hair types, aims to remove impurities from your hair to make it more lightweight. The formula is infused with biotin to provide additional nourishment. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in a bottle made from recycled materials.

For best results, BIOLAGE recommends pairing this shampoo with its full density conditioner.

Pros

  • suitable for color-treated hair
  • no parabens, silicone, mineral oils, or artificial coloring

Cons

  • not best for daily use (can lead to greasy hair)

PriceActive ingredientsHighlights
Keeps Thickening Shampoo$$saw palmetto, biotin, caffeine, green teascientifically sound ingredients address specific hair thinning needs
Hims Hair Thickening Shampoo$$palmetto, niacinamide subscription plan available
Hers Shampoo$$cocamidopropyl betaine, lauric acid, decyl glucosidestrengthens and moisturizes hair
Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo$$caffeine, zinc, niacinspecifically made for the hair and scalp during menopause
Herbal Essences BioRenew Argan Oil Shampoo$sodium lauryl sulfate, glycol distearate, argania spinosaaffordable option for UV damage
Lush Flyaway Hair Shampoo Bar$sodium coco-sulfate, hand harvested sea salt (sodium chloride), sea watergood for oily hair
The Yellow Bird Peppermint Shampoo Bar$organic palm oil, organic sunflower oil, organic coconut oilhelps with thin hair and itchiness
Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo$$creatine, wheat protein, white lupine proteinheightens fullness in hair with daily use
Renpure Originals Biotin & Collagen Thickening Shampoo$vitamin B7, biotin, collagen, keratinnourishing and safe formula
Nutrafol Root Purifier$$$sodium cocoyl sarcosinatehas been tested in clinical trials performed by the brand
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo$$ginger, ginseng, white lemon, witch hazel, biotin, maltodextrinfollicle-stimulating ingredients
BIOLAGE Full Density Thickening Shampoo$$$biotin, zinc PCA, gluco-omegaremoves impurities to make your hair more lightweight

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 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.

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.

Always consult a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet.

What are other treatments for thinning hair?

There are many other treatments for thinning hair, in addition to shampoo.

Scalp massage, either with your fingers or a handheld device, can stimulate hair follicles and encourage growth. Laser therapy, used in-office by a dermatologist or with an at-home device, can help regrow hair as well. These treatments don’t work for everyone, however, and they can take months to see results.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, which are put into the scalp to create a healthier environment for hair growth, is also an option.

Another way to address thinning hair is by making sure your body is sufficient in vitamins, especially iron, vitamin D, folic acid, and zinc.

While vitamins can’t reverse hair loss, taking a daily multivitamin that includes the aforementioned nutrients can help hair grow thick and strong. (A blood test can determine if you are low in nutrients.)

Additional supplements, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and biotin, can also have a positive effect on scalp and hair health.

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 important to understand and address the underlying cause of your thinning hair.