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While there’s no accessory quite like it, maintaining healthy hair can be fickle and frustrating. If it’s thick, it may not be reaching your desired length fast enough. If it’s fine, it may have begun prematurely thinning. If you’re stressed, it could be falling out more than usual. The same goes for if hair loss runs in your family, you have a scalp infection, or are undergoing medical treatment. Hell, you might even be experiencing hormone changes and noticing your hair growth at a sudden standstill.
Long story short, hair loss or slowed hair growth is a condition many women will confront in their lifetimes, but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating. RxSaver dermatologist and Byrdie Beauty & Wellness Review Board member Dr. Dendy Engelman specifies diet can be key when it comes to retention or accelerating growth (she recommends eating clean proteins as well as vitamins A, B, C, and D), but proper hair care can be the secret weapon to promote—or restimulate—hair growth and prevent hair thinning before it starts.
“Don't overprocess the strands with lots of chemicals, that will stress your scalp,” she says, “You want to make sure that you are using mild shampoos and regular washing to keep the scalp clean. If you are concerned about future thinning hair, you can pick products now to ensure your hair is as strong, healthy, and dense as possible.” Choosing shampoos that encourage blood flow with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, in addition to minimizing breakage with barriers like hyaluronic acid, will help your scalp health—and your hair length, too. So whether you’re seeking to clear the scalp of sebum to stimulate hair follicles, improve the overall strength of each strand to reach Rapunzel length, or all the above, you're in luck.
Below, we rounded up the best hair growth shampoos on the market.
Best Overall: Pura D'or Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 16 fl oz
There’s no way around it—achieving excellent hair must start at the root—or roots. This shampoo from Pura D'or truly does it all: It cleanses and purifies your scalp while blending the hair growth MVPs—biotin, argan oil, and niacin—to promote strand resilience as well as encourage overall volume and shine. That means less breakage plus reduced split ends and thinning, all while increasing the health of your scalp. Yes, please.
Best Budget: OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Hair Type: Dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Bergamot, jasmine, & vanilla | Size: 13 fl oz
As far as affordable shampoos go, this one does right by pretty much all hair types. Collagen and biotin are well-known individually for repairing strand structure, making them a prime pair to restore and revitalize damaged hair. Customers report the appearance of fuller hair after just a few washes; the sulfate-free formula volumizes each strand for luscious locks, all while promoting faster growth.
What Our Editors Say
"My hair feels like a horse's mane when I use this shampoo (in the best way). I can feel it getting thicker and stronger after one wash. With its low price, it's earned a permanent place in my rotation." — Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director
Best Drugstore: Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo
Hair Type: Frizzy | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Apple | Size: 22 fl oz
Guaranteeing that each inch of hair will become an impressive ten times stronger after frequent use, Garnier’s Fortifying Hair Shampoo has become known as the go-to to get the hair length of your dreams without having to invest a small fortune. Its formula boasts strengthening citrus protein as well as vitamins B3 and B6, two vitamins known for toting growth-supporting benefits, making this one a no-brainer for those looking to improve their hair health.
What Our Testers Say
"My hair felt different immediately after my first use. My roots felt fresher, it air-dried better, and my clean hair lasted one to two days longer before inevitably looking oily from all the sweat. After using this shampoo three times in just a week and a half, I noticed a softer, healthier feel to my hair." — Ashley Rubell, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Kerastase Densifique Bain Densité Bodifying Shampoo
Hair Type: Thin | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 8.5 fl oz
If you’re a hyaluronic acid regular, you might be surprised to know it can also be implemented in your hair routine. “This shampoo plumps the strand to prevent future hair breakage, and contains peptides and ceramides to strengthen hair and enhance shine,” Dr. Engelman says. In addition to this formula's strengthening and plumping benefits, the formula also includes intracylane, an ingredient known to help increase hair thickness.
Best for Thinning Hair: Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 1 for Fine Hair with Light Thinning
Hair Type: Fine | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 33.8 fl oz
This little number is a dermatologist favorite for a reason: tons of users reported increased thickness, and the brand even encourages a 30-day challenge for users to see the difference for themselves. Packed with a concentrated blend of botanicals and humectants, you can count on it to remove product build-up, pollutants, and toxins without stripping your hair of its natural oils. In short, this shampoo creates the ideal environment for your strands to grow uninhibited.
Best for Fine Hair: Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 fl oz / 33.8 fl oz
Hairstylists and dermatologists alike will tell you supplementing your routine with vitamins is the only route to achieve healthy hair from the inside out. Luckily, there’s a shampoo already one step ahead, infusing their formula with the oral vitamins to boost your hair care. “It has ginseng to help stimulate the scalp, plus biotin and vitamin B5 to strengthen the hair and help you achieve maximum fullness,” says Dr. Engelman.
Best for Breakage Prevention: NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Japanese cherry blossom | Size: 11.5 fl oz
You’re never too young to start maximizing your hair density, which makes this product essential to those leaning into hair care, hoping to kickstart growth or stop thinning before it starts. “It's fortified with a blend of proteins to strengthen the hair, which will minimize breakage,” Dr. Engelman says. “It also has ingredients to help encourage blood flow to the scalp to help with overall hair health.” Also nice: The formula includes sakura extract, which helps to protect and keep your color bright while increasing moisture.
Best for Dry Hair: Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo
Hair Type: Damaged | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8.4 oz
Dry, damaged, or just plain lackluster hair? Look no further than Davines Nourishing Shampoo. This is one of the few shampoos that welcome natural as well as chemically treated hair and is nothing short of a moisture bomb. Plus, the formula contains phytoceuticals extracted from grapes, which are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, creating the optimum scalp environment for your hair to absolutely flourish.
Best for Natural Hair: African Pride Moisture Miracle Honey & Coconut Oil Shampoo
Hair Type: Curly/Coily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Honey Coconut | Size: 12 fl oz
Curls will be nourished like never before after a few rounds of this shampoo. Known to be an all-rounder for all textures—including chemically relaxed hair—this product uses honey for moisture and shine and crowd favorite coconut oil to deeply nourish and condition, all while gently removing any daily pollutants (read: it won't strip your hair or scalp of natural oils) and promoting repair.
Best Vegan: Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Bergamot | Size: 8 fl oz
The key to long and healthy hair growth is taking great care of your existing hair—hence the popularity of strengthening and repairing keratin products. This formula uses Karmatin, a 100% vegan silk keratin that bonds microencapsulated silk protein to each strand, which, unlike animal-derived keratin, remains attached even after rinsing, so it continues to repair and protect long after you shower. The formula also contains wild-harvested marula, baobab, and ximenia oils to nourish and moisturize without clogging up your scalp with residue, a major plus. Use this shampoo to witness fuller looking hair in as little as 90 days.
Best for Dandruff: Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Fresh | Size: 4 fl oz
Prone to dandruff? Don't fret. Use Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo three-four times a week to keep your scalp flake-free and prevent hair thinning. “While it may seem unusual that a shampoo marketed for dandruff could slow down hair loss, this shampoo contains ketoconazole, which is anti-inflammatory and blocks the androgens at the hair follicle which contribute to hair loss,” shares Dr. Engleman.
Best Scent: Art Naturals Argan Oil & Aloe Shampoo
Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Fresh | Size: 16 fl oz
Let’s be real, scent is a big motivator when it comes to washing our hair. With key ingredients aloe vera and Moroccan argan oil, you’ll have a whiff of natural freshness every time you flip your hair after using this shampoo. The formula blends keratin proteins with healing botanical extracts, antioxidants, and vitamins restore hair health, making it manageable and soft. Plus, it also soothes scalp inflammation for easier growth.
If you’re seeking long, lustrous locks, look no further than the Pura D'or Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo. It cleanses and purifies the scalp while a blend of biotin, argan oil, and niacin strengthen each strand and promote volume and shine, making breakage and thinning a thing of the past. A great affordable option is the OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo, which is infused with collagen and biotin to repair your locks. After just a few washes, the hair is left thicker, more voluminous, and totally revitalized. For natural textures, you can’t go wrong with the African Pride Moisture Miracle Honey & Coconut Oil Shampoo. It deeply nourishes curls and coils—and even chemically relaxed hair—while boosting moisture and shine for strong, healthy hair.
What to Look for in a Hair Growth Shampoo
When it comes to growth-boosting shampoos, Dr. Engelman recommends looking for a product that supports overall scalp health in addition to the hair cuticle and hair follicle. “The scalp plays an important role in growing and maintaining strong, healthy hair,” she says. Therefore, you want to make sure it’s being properly nourished and treated for optimal hair health and growth.
Dr. Engelman also stresses the importance of using formula that contains stimulating ingredients such as biotin, zinc, niacin, peppermint, and caffeine. “These stimulate blood flow to the scalp and nutrient delivery to the hair follicle, promoting hair growth,” she says. That said, the more of these ingredients a product contains, the better.
Conditioning and Moisturizing Ingredients
Hair that’s dry and stripped of its natural oils won’t lead to healthy growth, so Dr. Engelman recommends looking for products that also contain conditioning and moisturizing ingredients. “These are key, because they keep the strands healthy and strong.”
Does hair growth shampoo work?
According to Dr. Engelman, yes, hair growth shampoos do work, but don't expect a miracle. “While they won’t suddenly make thinning hair long and full, they can boost the hair’s volume, speed up growth, and strengthen strands to prevent hair loss and breakage.”
Does tea tree shampoo help with hair growth?
When it comes to shampoos that contain tea tree oil, Dr. Engelman says that they won’t actually stimulate hair growth, but they do promote overall hair and scalp health. “Tea tree oil makes hair follicles more accepting of nutrients and promotes healthy, strong hair growth,” she says. “However, there is no evidence that it speeds up hair growth.”
Meet the Expert
Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon in New York. Dr. Engelman has also been featured in the media as a consultant and is heavily involved in the MDSC Skinceuticals skincare line.