9 Best Shampoos For Thinning Hair

9 Best Shampoos For Thinning Hair

The best shampoos for thinning hair can be a secret weapon for those whose locks are losing their lustre faster than they’d like. If you’re worried about your fine hair ageing you prematurely, using a shampoo designed to thicken hair is one small change that can make a big difference.

So, it was over to the pros at the Men's Health Lab to test the best men's shampoos on the market, all with claims to promote hair growth and thickness. Scroll down to see the shampoos that impressed us the most, but if you're just after the quick list, go on then:

Can Shampoo Help Thinning Hair?

These products are designed to thicken hair that has already begun thinning and in some cases, can aid hair regrowth. They can help make your hair both appear and feel thicker and make it easier to create hairstyles that require volume, like a quiff.

How do they do it? By adding what’s missing, which in the case of thinning hair is keratin (a protein) and water. Most thickening shampoos will therefore contain panthenol, a form of vitamin B-5 that attracts moisture. The result is the appearance, albeit temporarily, of a thicker head of hair.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair If It Is Thinning?

Washing your hair daily can aggravate hair loss, as it rids your scalp of the protective oil, known as sebum, that helps to keep fragile strands from breaking.

If your hair is normal to dry, aim to give it a good clean no more than three times a week, using one of our best thickening shampoos to boost the appearance of fullness. Of course, if you've just finished a sweaty session, you're going to need to wash it, but as a general rule: if it doesn't need it, leave it.

What Not To Do When Hair Is Thinning

If you're keen to keep your hair loss under control, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to slow the process or give the illusion of more than you've got. These range from eating a nutritious diet and sleeping on a soft pillowcase that won't cause friction as you sleep (silk is the dream, but try to avoid cotton or anything scratchy) to taking charge of the issue and discussing a new 'make the best of it' haircut with your barber.

Give 'wet look' products a wide berth, meaning no gels or mousses, as these can make your thinning hair look even sparser. If you simply have to add some hold, use the smallest amount of product possible on damp hair, then blow dry it.

How we test

Our panel of 700 testers, all self-diagnosed with mild to extreme hair loss or thinning, tried a hair-thickening shampoo for at least one month. Every product tested claimed to correct at least one of the three main hair loss concerns: breakage, thinning and root or scalp issues.

Testers made a note of any changes to their hair’s condition, including its overall appearance and how their scalp felt during the trial.

In the Men's Health Lab, our experts tested anti-breakage shampoos by combing through hair switches that had been treated with the product(s) and comparing them to untreated switches. The easier the treated switches were to comb, the lower the risk of breakage and fallout.

Our lab team also put root-stimulating and thickening claims to the test using a HairMetrix machine to closely analyse hair density and thickness.

Presenting our top picks, below. And in the name of further public service (you’re welcome), we’ve stated whether each product contains parabens, sulphates and silicones, just in case any of those are dealbreakers.

Note: These products are not designed to treat those with medically related conditions such as alopecia or male pattern baldness. Please seek a medical professional for advice on handling these conditions.

Best Shampoo for Men, Hair Growth and Thickening

Here are some of the best shampoos – nine in fact – to buy right now, each suitable for thinning and individual hair types.

Best for smoothing hair

Eliminate that post-workday scruff with this pH-balancing, ultra-smoothing shampoo.

It helped restore lids to their former slick, hydrated glory. Hair was left looking both sharper and fuller, with many testers reporting a healthier feel.

Key specifications
Volume: 300ml
Conditioner: Redken Extreme Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: No

Best for anti-dandruff

Dandruff is not only uncomfortable for your scalp but for your social life too. Banish flakes once and for all with this face-saving shampoo; it employs exfoliating BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) to send dead skin packing.

Despite its punchy ingredients list, none of our panel reported irritated scalps, and many found it hugely effective. Hair looked thicker, with fewer strands clogging up the plughole.

Key specifications
Volume: 200ml
Conditioner: Philip Kingsley Density Thickening Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: No
Sulphate free: Yes

Best for stronger strands

Make strength training a part of your shower routine, minus all that heavy lifting.

This shampoo was just the ticket for helping to reduce fallout and flyways, with many testers finding their hair easier to comb and style after use. It cranked up volume and hydration and helped to tackle breakages.

Key specifications
Volume: 250ml
Conditioner: Percy & Reed Give Me Strength Strengthening Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

Best for thickening hair

Yes, it’s the priciest on our list but for good reason. This was voted best across the board by our testers for its ability to provide an instant thickening effect to ends, making hair look fuller. Even our testers with sensitive scalps found it didn’t spark any irritation and left strands looking shinier.

Key specifications
Volume: 200ml
Conditioner: Patricks CD1 Thickening and Stimulating Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: No
Sulphate free: Yes

Best for hydration

Stimulating your hair follicles could be the remedy for thinning if this shampoo is anything to go by.

It helped transform desert-dry hair by boosting hydration, leading many testers to notice less shedding in their combs. Not only did they find their hair loss situation improved, but our lab test results also proved it effective at boosting thickness and density.

Key specifications
Volume: 250ml
Conditioner: Kevin Murphy Stimulate Me Rinse
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

Best for growth

This bottle looks so boring that you just know the formula’s a good’un. Sure enough, it was a champ at getting hair growth going, with many testers seeing results in a flash.

Our lab test backed up its density-boosting powers, while our panel were chuffed to see added fullness to their lids. Oh and it soothed itchiness too. Not bad.

Key specifications
Volume: 250ml
Conditioner:
L’Oréal Professionnel Serioxyl Clarifying & Densifying Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

Best for a deep clean

That post-workout shower is for blasting away all the grime and sweat you've worked up, making this deep clean shampoo the perfect gym bag staple.

Our testers praised the thorough clean it gave their scalps, with hair left softer, more hydrated and smoother once dry. It even delivered a volume shot to the roots, so there’s no need to join the hair dryer queue for a glow-up.

Key specifications
Volume: 250ml
Conditioner: John Frieda Full Repair Strengthen + Restore Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

Best budget buy

A bargain at less than £5, this shampoo aced our tests when it came to volume, with our panel noticing added body and less hair loss overall. The conditioner was a particular favourite for leaving lengths feeling softer and ends bouncier. One tester noticed regrowth, with the majority seeing stronger, healthier strands after the trial.

Key specifications
Volume: 400ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: No
Sulphate free: No

Best vegan shampoo

If you're not quite ready to go vegan in the diet department, making the switch in your shower can do a lot of good too.

This certified vegan duo not only kept breakages and fallout to a minimum, but also made hair easier to comb. It was left looking stronger and healthier, with many testers saying their scalps felt less irritated too. The best part? One saw results after just one wash. Talk about efficient.

Key specifications
Volume: 200ml
Conditioner: Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Conditioner
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

You Might Also Like