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If you have thin locks, you might have a love/hate relationship with haircare products. Many formulas just weigh down your hair or make it so sleek it looks limp. And yet, on the other hand, you may rely on them to give you the body you crave. Beyond styling products, though, there's one thing you have to make nice with...shampoo.
Washing your hair is all about cleaning your scalp and getting rid of the gunk, but the right shampoo can also work to nourish, strengthen, and thicken your hair. Some even promote new hair growth. So, what are the best cleansers for fine strands? Believe it or not, we know of several effective formulas that won't break the bank (or your hair), many of which are under $15.
Here, the best drugstore shampoos for fine hair.
Best Overall: OGX Extra Strength Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Hair Type: Color-treated, fine, and thick | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Jasmine, coconut, and lemon | Size: 13 fluid ounces
"For a drugstore-brand shampoo for fine hair, I definitely love OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo. It's budget-friendly and gives you a lift," says New York-based hairstylist Sky Kim of Serge Normant at John Frieda.
Formulated with biotin (vitamin B7), it provides your hair with the nourishment it needs to grow strong. And thanks to the collagen, wheat protein, and bamboo fiber extract, it delivers plumping proteins to your strands to make your mop look fuller and more voluminous right out of the shower.
Best Budget: Hask Biotin Boost Thickening Shampoo
Hair Type: Fine, flat, thin | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 12 fluid ounces
Looking to limit your shampoo budget to a few bucks? Check out Hask Biotin Boost. This thickening shampoo uses vitamin B7, collagen, and coffee to give life to fine, limp strands without stripping the cuticles or adding unnecessary weight.
Best Volumizing: ApotheCare Essentials The Booster Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Geranium | Size: 12 fluid ounces
If it's volume you crave, reach for ApotheCare Essentials The Booster. Formulated specifically for thin locks, this unfailing shampoo removes impurities, then plumps each strand with weightless nourishment.
Best Plumping: Garnier Fructis Plumping Treat Shampoo + Watermelon Extract
Hair Type: Fine | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Watermelon | Size: 11.8 fluid ounces
Since its 2003 launch, Garnier Fructis has been a go-to in the drugstore haircare market. The brand continues to impress with new (mostly natural) formulas like its watermelon-infused Plumping Treat line. This smoothie-inspired showstopper cleanses, moisturizes, and boosts thin strands from the inside out—what more could you ask from a shampoo?
Best Strengthening: Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Rosemary mint | Size: 12 fluid ounces
Are you working with weak, brittle strands or split ends? Mielle's Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo will deliver the TLC your hair needs. The strengthening formula combines biotin with natural ingredients like babassu seed and coconut oil to bring your locks back from the brink while gently detangling and encouraging new hair growth.
Best for Hair Growth: Organi Grow Hair Co. Growpoo Clarifying Shampoo
Hair Type: Dry, damaged, and brittle | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 ounces
Growpoo is serious about hair growth. Combining hydrating vegemoist, strengthening babassu, fortifying oleic acid, and pH-balancing apple cider vinegar, plus a range of other carefully selected ingredients, this shampoo pulls out all the stops. It kills dandruff-causing bacteria and nourishes your hair while stimulating the scalp to promote new growth.
Best for Fullness: Real Raw Shampoothie Biotin Boost 611 Thick + Full Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 12 fluid ounces
Real Raw Shampoothie's take on thickening shampoo is a scrumptious cold-pressed blend of coconut water and aloe juice, plus yogurt and biotin. The result? Moisturized hair with enhanced elasticity that looks healthy and visibly fuller.
Best Sulfate-Free: L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo
Hair Type: Thin and fine | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Rosemary | Size: 8.5 fluid ounces
Sulfates are useful for cleansing, but they can also strip the hair, which isn't helpful when your strands are already notably thin. Infused with rosemary extract, L'Oreal Paris Ever Strong helps prevent breakage by fortifying fine, fragile hair.
Best for Natural Hair: Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fiber Shampoo
Hair Type: Color-treated, natural, and transitioning | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Coconut | Size: 13 fluid ounces
Formulated with natural textures and curls in mind, Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore blends aloe vera, coconut water, castor oil, and bamboo fibers to densify and strengthen. When you wash with this shampoo, you can expect revitalized, strong-looking hair with volume, bounce, and a healthy shine.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: John Frieda Volume Lift Weightless Shampoo
Hair Type: Color-treated, fine, and flat | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 8.45 fluid ounces
For color-treated hair, John Frieda has you covered. The brand's Volume Lift Weightless Shampoo uses "Air-Silk" technology to deliver weightless body and noticeable fullness without stripping the hair follicles.
Best for Dandruff: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Paraben-Free Dandruff Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Classic Clean | Size: 13.5 fluid ounces
Head & Shoulders might not be the sexiest 'poo on the drugstore shelf, but the thing is, it works. If you're dealing with a chronically flaky mop, washing with this pyrithione zinc formula will rid your scalp of dandruff-causing bacteria. And when your scalp is healthy, your hair has a better chance of growing strong.
Best Pump Bottle: Love Beauty And Planet Sulfate-Free Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo
Hair Type: Fine and flat | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Coconut and floral notes | Size: 32.3 ounces
Pump bottles often offer the best value, plus they're more convenient to use in the shower. This option from Love Beauty And Planet contains over 32 ounces of lightly moisturizing shampoo that strengthens and leaves your hair with undeniable body.
Best Organic: Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo
Hair Type: Thin and limp | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Rosemary | Size: 11 ounces
Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo is made with essential oils, vitamins, and naturally derived botanicals like aloe and plant proteins. You can count on it to gently cleanse while leaving fuller, thicker, more voluminous hair in its wake.
Best Scent: Hempz Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon Volumizing Shampoo
Hair Type: Color-treated, fine, and thin | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Sweet pineapple and honey melon | Size: 6 fluid ounces
Hempz has been creating delicious-smelling skincare since the late 90s. With a dedicated fanbase and a growing demand for hemp-infused cosmetics, the brand's recent haircare venture was a long time coming. This all-natural shampoo thickens while stimulating new hair growth, but it really stands out for its mouth-watering pineapple and honeydew scent.
Best Dry: Dove Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo
Hair Type: Fine, flat, oily, and limp | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 5 ounces
Since fine hair can start looking greasy sooner than later, you're wise to keep dry shampoo on hand—especially if you like to skip washes. This trusty aerosol can by Dove instantly absorbs oil to make your locks look cleaner while pumping your roots with volume.
When it comes to the best drugstore shampoos for thin hair, OGX Extra Strength Biotin & Collagen Shampoo (view at Amazon) is tough to beat. The stylist-recommended formula nourishes with vitamins, proteins, and plant fibers to plump each strand from the inside out. That said, you'll get the most bang for your buck with a pump bottle of Love Beauty And Planet Sulfate-Free Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo (view at Amazon), which combines natural ingredients to provide strength and fullness.
What to Look for When Buying Shampoo for Fine Hair
When browsing shampoos for fine hair, you'll want to pay attention to the intended use of each product. Cleansers will often have words like "volumizing," "plumping," or "thickening" in the name or product description, which tells you they're formulated to either expand your strands or at least make your hair look fuller.
Some shampoos use keywords like "strengthening," "fortifying," or "nourishing," in which case they're designed to help repair damaged or brittle hair. Some options help promote hair growth, which will usually be specified on the label or in the product description.
Shampoos and other hair products for fine locks often contain biotin, a nutrient that nourishes and fortifies thin strands while encouraging new growth. Additionally, the B vitamin can make your hair look instantly thicker and healthier without weighing it down.
Besides biotin, there are a handful of other ingredients to look out for when shopping for shampoo. "I would look for anything that adds fibers so that the hair itself will actually expand in size," says Haley Balayage, a Las Vegas-based hairstylist. You'll often see formulas with bamboo fibers, which add density while strengthening the hair shafts.
Then there's collagen, wheat, and other natural proteins which help plump and lift fine strands. Stimulating ingredients such as rosemary and coffee extract invigorate the scalp to promote new growth.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Theresa Holland is well-versed in haircare solutions for fine strands. As an experienced beauty writer with inherently thin locks, she's not only researched but personally tried many of the items on this list. Her drugstore go-to's include OGX Extra Strength Biotin & Collagen, Head & Shoulders, and Avalon Organics. You can check out more of Theresa's work on Verywell Mind and MyDomaine.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough drugstore shampoo for fine hair from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.