Thinning hair is something that many people experience throughout their lives, and, for those who want to, it can be difficult to change. However, according to Rebecca Yang, a stylist at New York-based salon Soon Beauty Lab, using the the best shampoos for thinning hair has the potential to make a difference, because healthier hair begins with a healthy scalp.
Yang explains that though thinning hair is most commonly caused by genes, hormones, or even dietary deficiencies, "over-styling and over-heating the hair" are also surprisingly common reasons for hair to appear thinner — and using the wrong kind of shampoo can amplify the effects. "There are certain ingredients and chemicals such as dyes and preservatives in shampoos and conditioners that can clog your hair follicles which contributes to hair thinning and hair loss," Yang says, recommending that people with thinning hair steer clear of shampoos containing "parabens, dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and sodium chloride."
But choosing the best shampoo for thinning hair isn't just about what you should avoid — aside from looking for sulfate and paraben-free shampoos, there are two key ingredients that she suggests can help with hair growth: ginseng root extract and menthol. "Menthol/peppermint oil helps stimulate the scalp which stimulates blood flow and produces hair growth," says Yang. She also notes that proteins, such as amino acids and biotin, may be able to help. Proteins strengthen the hair, which can minimize breakage.
And, Yang has one more piece of advice for finding the right shampoo: "Make sure to read the ingredients and purposes of the shampoo and conditioner before you purchase." A shampoo that's labeled as a "thickening" shampoo could be formulated to make hair look plumper in the short term, stimulate future hair growth, or none of the above. The words on the bottle are just that — it's all about knowing what's inside.
So, if thickening your hair is something you're after, these eight sulfate and paraben-free shampoos contain ingredients — based on Yang's recommendations — that aim to help stimulate hair growth, minimize future breakage, and make your strands appear fuller.
1The Shampoo That Yang Swears By
Yang "swears by" the Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash, and has seen some amazing transformations come out of consistently using this shampoo — which is high in vitamins A and C and ginger root extract. She also recommends conditioning hair with the Kevin Murphy Plumping Rinse.
2Yang Believes The Menthol In This Shampoo Makes It A "Promising" Option
Nioxin has created an entire line of hair products dedicated to minimizing hair loss. And, Yang notes this Nioxin shampoo as a "promising" option, because "it has menthol which stimulates the scalp and produces hair growth."
3This Rejuvenating Shampoo With Ginseng Extract
This rejuvenating shampoo from OGX contains ginseng root extract — one of Yang's two key ingredients — as well as silk amino acids to help strengthen the hair and bamboo extract to soften your strands.
4This Stimulating And Strengthening Cocktail Of Natural Ingredients
The Blossom & Bloom shampoo from Briogeo is formulated with an array of ingredients aimed at stimulating the scalp and strengthening the hair, including ginseng, ginger, biotin, and Vitamin B5. And, this shampoo is made from 98 percent naturally derived ingredients.
5This Detoxifying Shampoo That Promises To Reduce The Level Of Hair-Loss Related Hormones On The Scalp
The Daily Detoxifying Shampoo by Alterna is formulated to plump the hair, making it appear thicker, while also reducing the amount of DHT on the scalp — a hormone associated with hair loss. This shampoo contains biotin, amino acids, and plant-based proteins to help new hair grow in stronger, and aims to thoroughly cleanse the scalp of follicle-clogging dirt, excess sebum, and residue that can impede healthy hair growth.
6This Gentle, Hydrating Shampoo That's Ideal For Dry Or Curly Hair Types
This gentle shampoo from Shea Moisture is free of synthetic fragrances, and instead uses a blend of essential oils to nourish hair. It contains a hefty dose of shea butter — which makes this shampoo a great choice for dry or curly hair — as well as menthol, peppermint leaf extract, and ginger to stimulate the hair follicles.
7This Volumizing Shampoo For An Extra Boost Of Body And Fullness
Living Proof's Full Shampoo can help fluff up hair after use by adding the appearance of extra fullness, while its wheat and soy proteins help strengthen strands to minimize future breakage.
8This Cruelty-Free Thickening Shampoo With A Signature Scent
R+Co's Dallas Thickening Shampoo is enriched with hydrolyzed vegetable protein and rice seed extract to help strengthen hair, and — like all R + Co shampoos — has an extremely unique and pleasant fragrance. The brand calls this one "dark waves," and this "warm romantic scent" is a blend of cardamom, pineapple, tangerine, lavender, bamboo, and Blonde Woods.
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