If you’ve experienced the shock of rapid hair thinning, you probably want more than the best shampoo for hair loss – you want a miracle.
Bald patches disappearing within a week. Receding hairlines filling in after one use. A shampoo that promotes hair growth overnight. And I’m sorry folks, that just ain’t gonna happen!
Why not? Because with so many types of hair loss – and different factors or medical conditions that trigger it – a cookie-cutter hair care solution doesn’t exist. But the good news is, certain hair loss shampoos DO slow down the rate of shedding and encourage new growth. How do I know this? Because I’ve been there!
I talk about alopecia shampoos in a separate post – but this one is for men and women with thinning hair. So if you’ve started losing your hair recently and you want to recover some thickness, adding volume or even new hair growth, these 8 anti hair thinning shampoos are ideal.
Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer
Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is, however, reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
I hear this question a lot. Why does hair loss happen, and what can you do about it?
Well, as doctor and board certified dermatologist Suneel Chilukuri explains, hair fall is a normal process, as hair enters the resting phase (telogen phase) of the hair growth cycle.
“At any one time, approximately 10% of the hair is in this resting phase. It’s normal to lose approximately 100 hairs per day.”
But alopecia – the medical name for hair loss – is different to this shedding process. It’s an autoimmune condition, triggered by an immune response (due to hormone imbalance, stress and inflammation among other things) and it means that hair follicles shrink in size.
These types of hair loss are often characterized as “androgenetic” (hormone-related hair loss, e.g. male pattern baldness) or “telogen effluvium” (typically, stress-related hair loss).
Two-thirds of US males experience male pattern baldness before the age of 35. And one in five UK women have alopecia. So it’s more common than you might think.
LA Says: While the following hair care treatments can’t prevent this autoimmune response – for that, you’ll need to focus on stress-reducing practices, or perhaps the food you’re eating – they do result in a healthier scalp. Meaning a better foundation for stronger, thicker hair to take root, which in turn is less prone to breakage.
A healthy scalp = healthy hair. Since alopecia causes smaller follicles and less space for hair growth, anything that clogs these follicles is Bad News for Hair Growth.
Excess build-up can also cause scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff, disrupting the scalp’s pH levels and triggering further inflammation and an increased autoimmune response. BUT if you can cleanse the scalp from product buildup and remove this debris in a gentle way, you boost your chances of hair growth. Yay!
Of course, any cleanser shampoo can clean your hair. But the trick is to use a gentle thinning shampoo or an anti dandruff shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair or skin cells of their natural oils and cause scalp irritation while you’re at it.
This is a major benefit of a hair loss shampoo. Because while it mightn’t stop shedding in its tracks, a good hair loss shampoo will leave your hair feeling softer, smoother, thicker and shinier.
I noticed this positive side effect when I started using Nioxin for hair growth – although many people who’ve written to me have actually reported that the shampoo leaves their hair feeling more brittle and straw-like after a couple of uses.
Revita also dramatically improved hair texture and volume for me. After only 2 weeks, people started commenting how much my hair had grown. (It probably hadn’t. But thanks to greater hair density, it looked like it had, which was almost as good!)
Environmental factors like pollution, UV rays and the products we use, from dyes to hairdryers, can wreak havoc on our poor scalps. They become dry, flaky and irritated – and who can blame them?!
Nowadays, our hair’s often exposed to threatening elements that mess up its natural cycle. So its response is to protect itself – shrinking its follicles, stopping the production of essential moisture and oils and becoming so dry and brittle that it snaps off, causing hair breakage. (Ever been hangry? It feels like that.)
Nourishing shampoos for thinning hair offer a kinder alternative to environmental damage. They contain amino acids, keratin and vitamins like Vitamin E and Vitamin D, which form a protective barrier of oils and fatty acids. This layer keeps hair nourished and moisturized while protecting it from further damage.
Plus, natural oils like coconut oil can actually reverse cuticle damage and other effects of environmental stress on the follicle. Good to know.
So now that you know just what a good anti hair loss shampoo can do, it’s time to look at my favorite shampoos for thinning hair: starting with my #1 anti hair fall shampoo to promote hair growth.
For the Top 3, I’ve also included pros & cons of each hair care product. Enjoy!
Revita contains powerful antioxidants and copper peptides to boost scalp circulation. Which in turn, delivers vital nutrients and minerals to your scalp.
Its cruelty free formula also contains caffeine (a natural DHT blocker), nourishing active ingredients like biotin and ginseng root, an amino acid called taurine (which helps to produce keratin), plus ketoconazole – used to treat skin infections.
DS Laboratories lists the benefits of Revita Hair Density shampoo on their website:
“Anyone with any type of hair, whether thinning or normal, can use Revita shampoo to care for delicate hair follicles, combat the effects of aging, prevent hair loss, and achieve fuller hair.”
I only used Revita’s stimulating shampoo for a month before I ran out, but as you can see in my full review, it worked wonders:
I don’t know if I actually had hair regrowth from using Revita shampoo for thinning hair or if it was an optical illusion but either way, I was really happy with this hair density shampoo. I’ve just ordered another supply and will see if hair growth improves further over the coming months.
With over 10,000 5-star customer reviews, I’m not the only one who thinks Revita is the best shampoo for thin hair and hair growth.
My verdict? In my opinion, Revita is the best overall shampoo to try if you start shedding hair, if you want to maintain healthy hair or even to promote growth.
DS Labs has a pretty extensive range to suit all hair types – so use their hair loss advisor tool to find your perfect match. They’ve also offering 20% off when you sign up for a subscription.
✓ Made by board certified dermatologists
✓ Volumizing shampoo
✓ Natural growth promoting ingredients & cruelty free
✓ Antioxidant & DHT blocker
✓ Sulfate free and paraben free
X Amazon reviews report inconsistent/fake products – so order direct from Revita
The Lady Recommends...
Nioxin has always been my top-recommended exfoliating shampoo for hair loss and thinning hair. Because it’s the one that once helped my hair to grow back fully, with a full head of hair (albeit, very short hair) after just 3 months!
Many of my friends use it for thin hair – and with 6 different systems to choose from (depending on hair types, and the extent of hair loss), it’s easy to find a personalized solution. For instance, System 1 is for normal and natural hair types with light thinning.
I’ve bumped Nioxin’s cleanser shampoo in favor of Revita because some people notice scalp irritation, itchiness, even increased hair fall when they start using Nioxin. As I tell my readers, this is a NORMAL reaction for the first 2 weeks of switching hair products – as your scalp gets used to the new formula – but for many, that’s too much of a risk.
Still, Nioxin can be a great anti thinning hair shampoo in the long-term, for preventing hair loss in the first place and for stimulating hair growth and blood flow with ingredients like cooling peppermint oil.
Its 3D technology works to boost hair Density, improve scalp Derma at the hair follicles and widen the Diameter of every strand – giving you volumized, healthy hair right out of a shampoo ad. For more Nioxin benefits, and the different products available, check out my full post.
My verdict? A beauty editor favorite, stylists and dermatologists alike keep voting Nioxin as their #1 Shampoo for Thinning Hair for good reason. It works. It may not work for EVERYONE – but it does promote hair growth for plenty.
In fact, 9 out of 10 people notice hair thickening after using Nioxin. That’s why it’s often known as the best shampoo for hair growth.
✓ Great for thinning hair
✓ Options for each hair type
✓ Noticeable results after 2 weeks, regrowth after 3 months (in my case)
✓ Prevents breakage and reduces shedding
✓ Volumizes and moisturizes each strand
X Contains sulfates and parabens
X Doesn’t inhibit DHT
The Lady Recommends...
Created and manufactured by a team of board certified dermatologists in the United States, with FDA-approved ingredients, Shapiro MD is one of the most popular hair growth products, for all forms of hair loss and for promoting hair growth.
Shapiro shampoo contains 3 key natural ingredients that act as DHT blockers: caffeine, green tea and saw palmetto. Not only ingredients like saw palmetto inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone (the hormone linked to hair loss), but green tea actually prolongs the anagen, or growth phase, of the hair cycle.
So the more time your hair spends growing, the less time it spends shedding. Finally, math I can get on board with!
My verdict? A great option for people with both thinning hair and bald patches. I haven’t had a chance to use it myself – yet! – but the reviews I’ve read are overwhelmingly positive. More on them in my extended post.
✓ Developed by board certified dermatologists
✓ Blocks DHT from hair roots with all-natural ingredients
✓ Glowing reviews
✓ Sulfate free and Paraben free
X More expensive
The Lady Recommends...
I’ve always loved this brand and I’m currently using their castor oil and argan oil mixed with peppermint essential oil to help regrow my eyebrow (this blend is one of my top beauty secrets; it works like a charm!)
Their original Gold Label biotin shampoo is incredibly popular among reviewers for hair breakage, plus they have a color safe Purple Harmony set for color treated hair, ideal for those with a blonde or light hair color, too.
But I’m paying tribute to their blue-labelled anti Hair Thinning Therapy biotin shampoo here. Whenever I don’t lather up with Revita (which I use 5 times a week), I turn to my giant bottle size of P. D’Or density thickening shampoo to make my paltry hair feel thicker and fuller.
It’s a gentle shampoo, packed with the best cruelty free natural oils like tea tree oil, pumpkin seed oil, chia seed oil, niacin and black cumin seed oil, aloe vera, biotin, green tea and saw palmetto.
Plus red Korean seaweed, a proven ingredient to treat alopecia, whatever your hair type. My partner hates the smell but I love it – it smells like licorice!
My verdict: A natural and cruelty free thickening shampoo, which could be a good companion to the stronger hair growth shampoos on this list (for instance, Pura D’Or vs Nioxin).
But you can also use it daily as a standalone product for healthy hair growth: it’s perhaps the best overall option for hair health. For other great sulfate free shampoos, check out this post.
The Lady Recommends...
This thickening shampoo serves up five of the best ingredients for healthy hair growth – and even better, they’re all natural! Those key ingredients for scalp care are: Biotin, Caffeine, Argan Oil, Castor Oil and Saw Palmetto.
True, many of the shampoos for thinning hair on this list contain one or more of these ingredients…but none of them include ALL FIVE! They work together to form what you could think of as a scalp microbiome shampoo – the perfect “food” to nourish your scalp and hair.
Psst…if you haven’t come across an argan oil shampoo before, you may be surprised how quickly it can restore your natural hair health, from root to tip! I love this argan oil shampoo and conditioner set from OGX or particularly, this pure argan oil from Moroccanoil – potentially your hair’s new best friend.
But back to Lipogaine. The proprietary blend of this strengthening shampoo reduces breakage and damage caused by environmental stressors while strengthening individual hairs and restoring scalp balance.
Because it’s so natural, it may take months to see new hair growth results from this biotin shampoo – but from what I’ve read, it’s very effective for thickening hair, reducing hair loss and even encouraging regrowth.
My verdict? I love these “big 5” ingredients and other key ingredients, like indian gooseberry, which I used fresh in Sri Lanka and adored. So while I haven’t tried this thinning hair shampoo yet, I really want to!
The Lady Recommends...
With two different treatment lines depending on hair types and type of hair loss, plus separate products for men and women, Zenagen is a promising way to restore and repair hair damage.
Revolve is for thinning hair and normal hair loss; Evolve hair growth shampoo is for hair repair (ideal for those with color treated hair) and for stimulating hair growth.
Both cruelty free shampoos contain nutraceutical ingredients like red clover leaf extract to gently block DHT and strengthen hair: preventing breakage from hair follicles, reducing hair fall and promoting hair growth in a natural formula that customers love.
Zenagen is another sulfate free brand that’s favored by hair stylists and industry professionals – at the HBA Global Expo, it won the People’s Choice Award for the “Best Emerging Innovative Brand”. See my full review post for more but I’d recommend Zenagen for those with a dry, brittle hair type, color treated hair or hair that’s been damaged from styling.
My verdict? Although I haven’t had a chance to try Zenagen yet, I have a feeling that this thickening shampoo could be just as effective as Nioxin for stimulating hair growth – but it’s free of sulfates and parabens, meaning healthier hair while you’re at it!
The Lady Recommends...
Like Zenagen, Virtue offers 2 different hair shampoo lines to target specific hair types. Virtue Flourish strengthening shampoo is for thinning hair, while Virtue Recovery hair growth shampoo is for damaged hair as a result of chemical processing or over-styling.
What makes Virtue different? Well, it’s the first treatment that uses human keratin protein, which the body recognizes as its own and essentially, clings to the hair shaft more effectively.
This pure keratin, one of the building blocks for healthy hair, has a greater power to cling to damaged hair follicles and hair strands. Restoring it back to health quickly, preventing damage in the first place and, as a result, minimizing hair shedding.
My verdict? A natural, sulfate free, thickening shampoo for those who want to improve scalp health and hair health in general; perhaps getting to the root cause of what could be triggering hair fall.
Psst…Another great natural and sulfate-free option is Vegamour – I absolutely love this brand but as it’s a bit more expensive, I didn’t include it in my list. But you can check out my full review here!
The Lady Recommends...
Olaplex is a premium haircare brand that’s a beauty editor favorite, endorsed by tonnes of celebrities and hairstylists. With almost 70K Amazon reviews, and 4.7 stars, it’s a popular choice for customers, too! (They also offer a color safe purple shampoo for those with a light hair color).
Olaplex’s sulfate free shampoo, called 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, uses a patented bond-building active ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, to repair and rebuild the millions of disulfide bonds that comprise our scalp and hair (and that, when threatened, are a major cause of hair loss).
Unlike many other hair treatments, which simply rest on the surface of your hair before being rinsed off, Olaplex’s 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo attaches itself to the ‘broken bonds’ of the hair shaft, penetrating hair follicles and each hair strand for deep recovery.
Although Olaplex works best as part of a complete system (see my review below for more), its sulfate free shampoo with hyaluronic acid is still a brilliant option for reducing and preventing hair loss while nourishing dry hair, frizzy hair or split ends.
Note: those with fine hair may want to use it every few days instead of daily as its formula is quite thick.
The Lady Recommends...
Most of these shampoos are easy to use and don’t have any side effects – so don’t worry, you can’t overdose on them! Still, board certified Trichologist Bridgette Hill says to prevent hair loss, you should avoid stripping your scalp and hair of their natural oils and use plenty of moisture:
“I recommend applying a pre-shampoo scalp oil. A proper scalp oil opens the follicles, encourages cellular turnover and increases blood circulation.”
Hill says that in doing so, you can maximize the effects of the shampoo itself. Personally, I don’t see a need for that as the shampoos I’ve included here are highly moisturizing anyway…but if you’re looking for some great natural oils, read this first.
In general, apply each volumizing shampoo daily (to wet hair, not dry hair, obviously!) and follow up with a conditioner from the same brand (some ones, like Nioxin and Shapiro MD, offer leave-in scalp treatments too).
However, some of these products can be quite potent, resulting in itchiness or redness especially for those with sensitive scalps. In which case, don’t use them every day.
I’ve listed the exceptions below, plus instructions for use.
With 8 options to choose from – not to mention all the many more anti hair loss products out there, all claiming to be THE BEST, it’s a tough decision, right?
Plus, we’re all so different, what works for me may not work for you. And vice versa. So please use your best judgement when choosing your new volumizing shampoo – try whatever feels right for your hair type.
And if your head is spinning from different reviews, you can use these pointers to help you as you shop.
When it comes to hair growth shampoos, you can choose prescription or over the counter products. Prescription ones like an anti dandruff shampoo usually involve higher doses of things like ketoconazole and minoxidil and are “anti-androgenetic” – meaning they block the hormones linked to hair loss: testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
Of course, minoxidil is in plenty of commercial hair products these days – like Keranique, another really popular brand (but one I’m not keen on…here’s why.)
These potent mixtures interrupt the hormone cycle to prevent disruption at the hair follicle but my question is, at what cost?
Surely it’s not a good idea to mess with the immune system for those with an already highly reactive autoimmune response? It may be a “quick fix” but can cause negative long-term side effects (in my case, it was gut dysbiosis and symptoms like IBS and chronic headaches).
Personally, I’m not a fan of such high doses of chemicals so my recommendation is: a) use an over-the-counter shampoo with smaller does of these treatments or b) use OTC options with all-natural DHT blockers, like Revita.
Over-the-counter hair loss products usually contain amino acids and antioxidants to offer a healthy scalp environment, rebuild hair follicles, boost blood flow and reduce damage / scalp inflammation. They may take longer to “work” but in my opinion, they’re safer in the long run.
In general, the more natural, the better (and they’ll be cruelty free, too). In the best shampoos for thinning hair, you should be able to see the exact proportions of each ingredient (not just “a blend”) and the key ingredients to look out for are:
An important one to bear in mind. If your hair thinning is genetic or related to a fungal infection, you should try a shampoo with low levels of ketoconazole (like Revita). If hair thinning is linked to mineral deficiencies or a vitamin deficiency, try any of the options with biotin, vitamin B3 or better still, a B vitamin complex.
You could also try taking a hair supplement with a B vitamin complex to help you address those deficiencies, from inside out.
If you can narrow down your hair type and the rate of loss, Nioxin’s various systems could offer a solution, for instance as a fine hair shampoo if you have a sensitive scalp or fine hair.
If you have no idea what’s causing your hair loss or thinning hair, try an all-rounder shampoo like Pura D’Or or Lipogaine: they’re good value and you can swap out your existing hair care products for several months as an experiment.
If you’re stuck between Nioxin vs Pura D’Or (or a shampoo similar to Nioxin) ask yourself again what your goal is. Nioxin is probably better for reducing hair shedding while the latter can help you maintain hair and scalp health in general.
None of these options are a quick fix for hair loss (sorry!) But you can start to see an improvement in hair texture, density and volume in as little as 2 weeks. Most of these hair care treatments recommend using for 6 months to see maximum results but in my opinion, you should have a good idea as to their effectiveness after 3 months of continuous use.
Apart from Nioxin, which can cause a little redness or irritation for some people, each of the shampoos on this list has no negative side effects and is completely safe to use. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, however, please consult your doctor. For children, I would recommend a gentler option like Pura D’Or.
All of the options I’ve listed are available on Amazon – in some cases, to guarantee better value and authenticity of the products, I’ve linked directly to the manufacturer’s site. You can also get many of them at your local Walmart, Target or online at Sephora.
In most cases, every day. Please refer to my How to Use section for exceptions and further instructions.
Well, they’re not going to magic hair back on your head (sorry!) Hair loss is a complicated process and there’s no simple solution. They DO, however, provide the optimal environment for hair growth and, combined with a healthy lifestyle, diet and measures to manage stress, are an effective way to manage thinning hair.
We’ve covered a lot here – the 8 best shampoos for thinning hair, where to find these hair growth products, how to use them and matching the right one to your specific needs. Thanks for staying with me and I hope you’ve found this article useful!
As these shampoos all take time to “work”, my main takeaway would be this: try ONE and stick with it. Don’t change up your shampoo every month without giving it a chance to do its thing. And please don’t despair if you don’t notice big changes after a few weeks.
Like I said, most of these hair growth products recommend at least 6 months’ use for maximum benefits. So choose the best overall option that speaks to you. Keep using it, consistently, for at least 3 months – adding a conditioner from the same brand if you like.
You can switch hair care products after 3 months if you really don’t notice a difference – but in all likeliness, you should see a change!
As always, your feedback and comments are more than welcome. Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Love and hugs,
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