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.