The 13 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair and Hair Loss of 2022

Our best overall pick is Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo

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jason thin to thick extra volume shampoo

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Everyone experiences hair fallout (it's normal to shed anywhere from 50 to 100 strands per day), but if you regularly lose clumps of hair or notice patchiness on your scalp, it could be hair loss or thinning. "These signs may indicate miniaturization of the hair follicle, leading to permanent hair loss," explains board-certified dermatologist Suneel Chilukuri, MD. Though the underlying causes of hair loss include hormonal changes, genetics, and even traumatic events, healthy hair usually begins with a healthy scalp, so using a specially-formulatedshampoo for thinning hair can help improve scalp conditions that contribute to hair loss. 

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is the Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo, a reparative formula that works to strengthen thinning strands while removing the follicle-clogging impurities that can prevent new growth. For a more affordable pick, consider the Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo, which our tester says left their hair looking and feeling thicker.

"The right growth shampoo can promote a healthier scalp to keep the hair in the anagen (growing) phase longer, which results in less hair fall," says Chilukuri. While there's no need to stress if you only see minor shedding in your hairbrush or shower drain, the best shampoo for thinning hair can help boost volume and thickness in most hair types. 

We conducted hours of research to determine the best shampoos for thinning hair. Our testers even put a few top-rated products to the test at home for several weeks, noting how well each formula addressed fallout and overall hair thickness, fullness, and strength. We combined these results with expert recommendations to compile our list.

Ahead, discover the best shampoos for thinning hair.

Best Overall: Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo

4.8
biolage advanced full density thickening shampoo
What We Like
  • Removes follicle-clogging impurities

  • Strengthens with biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend

  • Fights frizz

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

This pick gets top honors for taking a two-pronged approach to thinning hair. First, it goes to town by gently removing follicle-clogging impurities that can impede new hair growth. Then it delivers a host of important nutrients—think biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend—to strengthen the hair you have. So much so that, when used with the accompanying conditioner, it can reduce breakage by up to 95 percent. And when you’re already dealing with thinning, the less breakage, the better.

Byrdie contributor Leigh Weingus took this shampoo for a spin after experiencing postpartum hair loss, thinning, and general dullness. After using it, she notes that it not only left her hair shinier, fuller, and less frizzy, but it also noticeably reduced the amount of shedding she had been experiencing. “I really, really loved this shampoo and can’t think of one bad thing to say about it,” she says.

Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 13.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: Curly, thin, straight | Scent: Mint and clove

Price at time of publish: $23

Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What Our Testers Say

“After losing a lot of hair postpartum, the Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo gave me a fuller-looking head of hair with plenty of shine.” —Leigh Weingus, Product Tester

Best Budget: Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo

4.9
viviscal gorgeous growth densifying shampoo
What We Like
  • Thickens hair with a proprietary complex

  • Strengthens with keratin, biotin, and zinc

  • Works for all hair types and textures

What We Don't Like
  • May strip color-treated hair

The oral hair supplement this brand makes is a cult favorite, but its topical products are just as good. Take this sudser. It works well on all hair types and textures, can be used daily, and, along with strengthening ingredients like keratin, biotin, and zinc, it also contains the brand's proprietary Ana:Tel complex to promote thicker strands. Bonus points for the fresh, botanical scent and affordable price tag.

Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 8.45 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Hair Type: Frizzy, dry | Scent: Botanical

Price at time of publish: $9

What Our Testers Say

“With ingredients like biotin, panthenol, and keratin that help hair to feel and look thicker, I consider this shampoo all in all to be a total steal.” —Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester

Best for Natural Hair: SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

4
Shea Moisture
What We Like
  • Thickens and strengthens curls and kinks

  • Increases scalp circulation with castor oil

  • Hydrating

What We Don't Like
  • Thin and runny formula

This ultra-hydrating shampoo is ideal for those with curly or kinky hair who want to grow their strands thicker and stronger. Users rave that they can retain length and thickness without sacrificing a squeaky clean.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 13 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Hair Type: Curly, wavy, damaged | Scent: Peppermint

Price at time of publish: $9

Sheamoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What Our Testers Say

Shout out to Shea Moisture for creating a product that is full of ingredients I love: Shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar are all favorites of mine.” —Leigh Weingus, Product Tester

Best Volumizing: Living Proof Full Shampoo

4.5
living proof full shampoo

Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Patented molecule cleanses and repels dirt and oil

  • Gives body to fine, limp hair

  • Keeps hair cleaner, longer

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Whether your hair is naturally fine, you’re experiencing more shedding, or that dreaded combination of both, reach for this guy. The star of the show is a patented healthy hair molecule, which efficiently and effectively removes residue and build-up. Less gunk and grime equals thicker, fuller hair. Plus, this molecule also repels dirt and oil, so hair stays cleaner, longer. We’re not mad about that.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: Fine, color-treated, chemically-treated | Scent: Light and refreshing

Price at time of publish: $30

Runner-Up, Best Volumizing: Christophe Robin Volume Shampoo Paste

Christophe Robin Volume Shampoo Paste

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Imparts instant volume

  • Exfoliates scalp and hair

  • Light rose scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

It admittedly takes a little bit of time to get used to this shampoo, given that it’s unlike any traditional liquid formula; you mix the paste with water, and it transforms into foam. But the volume-boosting results are well worth it. Rassoul clay and sugar crystals deep-clean both the scalp and strands, removing any trace of residue or oil that can weigh your hair down and leave it looking flat. Hot tip: It can sometimes make the lengths of your hair feel a bit dryer, so be sure to follow with a moisturizing conditioner.

Sulfate-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Size: 2.5 fl oz or 8.4 fl oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: Fine | Scent: Rose

Price at time of publish: $23

Best Strengthening: Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo

Mielle Rosemary Mint Shampoo

Mielle

What We Like
  • Improves scalp health with blend of botanicals

  • Biotin strengthens and thickens

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • May be slightly drying

When it comes to thinning hair, you want to go for a product that targets the scalp first, and this rosemary mint shampoo does just that. The formula is infused with nutrient-rich ingredients like biotin to fortify the hair and help it grow thicker and stronger. You'll also love that a little goes a long way, so you're getting your money's worth.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 12 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Hair Type: Curly | Scent: Rosemary mint

Price at time of publish: $10

Best Anti-Dandruff: Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

4.9
Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains anti-fungal ketoconazole

  • Fights chronic dandruff that causes shedding

  • Rich, thick lather

What We Don't Like
  • Bottle is small

It may not seem like the most obvious connection, but untreated, chronic dandruff may be linked to unwanted shedding. The active ingredient in this pick, ketoconazole, is an “anti-fungal and anti-yeast medication that has been shown, when taken systemically, to disrupt the action of DHT,” says board-certified dermatologist, Jeremy Fenton, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. (DHT is a hormone that affects the hair follicle and can lead to thinning hair.)

“When using this shampoo, let it sit for two to three minutes on the scalp before rinsing to get the most benefit,” he suggests. Fewer flakes and thicker hair? Yes, please.

Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: All | Scent: Fresh

Price at time of publish: $15

Best for Scalp: Nioxin Scalp Optimizing Cleanser for Thinning Hair

Nioxin Scalp Optimizing Cleanser for Thinning Hair

Ulta

What We Like
  • Tea tree oil targets scalp inflammation and irritation

  • Fights dandruff and flakes

  • Amino acid complex strengthens the hair to prevent breakage

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

This shampoo gets right to the root of the issue. “Nioxin formulates their shampoos with antioxidants, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and amino acids that are designed to strengthen the hair and prevent damage. It may not prevent hair loss, but it may help strengthen and improve the hair that you have,” says Fenton. Reach for this two to three times a week, more often if you have a particularly stressed-out scalp.

Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 6.8 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: Fine, Dry | Scent: Peppermint

Price at time of publish: $15

Runner-Up, Best for Scalp: évolis Professional Reverse Shampoo

évolis Professional Reverse Shampoo

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Contains salicylic acid to control excess scalp oil

  • Keratin complex improves strength

  • Gentle enough to use daily

What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t lather very well

This is a true multitasking sudser that not only gently cleanses but also boosts thickness, strengthens hair, and helps to keep your scalp healthy. Keratin and wheat protein improve hair elasticity and strength, while salicylic acid helps balance any excess oil on the scalp and prevents the build-up of dead skin cells. FYI, it’s sulfate-free, so it may not lather as much as you’re used to.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Size: 8.5 fl oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: All | Scent: Subtle

Price at time of publish: $28

Best System: Collective Laboratories Essential Hair Bundle

Collective Laboratories Essential Hair Bundle

Collective Labratories

What We Like
  • Contains saw palmetto to control dandruff and detox scalp

  • Anti-fungal formula deters yeast growth

What We Don’t Like
  • Requires diligent use and time to see results

A multi-pronged, multistep approach is the most effective way to target hair loss, and this three-part system makes it easy to do just that. Start with the detoxifying shampoo, which boasts ingredients like saw palmetto, a natural DHT blocker. Follow it with the fortifying conditioner that hydrates and strengthens, and finish with the brand’s hero product, a leave-on activating serum that stimulates microcirculation, strengthens hair, balances oil production, and deters yeast growth.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Hair Type: All | Scent: Varies

Price at time of publish: $132

Best for Damaged Hair: Bumble and bumble Full Potential Hair Preserving Shampoo

Bumble and bumble Full Potential Hair Preserving Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Botanical blend formula reduces breakage

  • Caffeine helps to exfoliate the scalp

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains sulfates

  • Strong scent

True to its name, this formula helps to reduce breakage, so you can preserve more of the hair you do have. We also appreciate that it’s an exfoliating formula to help cleanse follicle-clogging residue and touts caffeine to help boost microcirculation on the scalp.

Sulfate-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Size: 8.5 fl oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: All | Scent: Herbal

Price at time of publish: $34

Best for Colored Hair: Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo

Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo

Courtesy of Vegamour

What We Like
  • Botanical blend of plant based oils and vegan silk proteins create volume

  • Naturally derived bergamot scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Requires months of regular use for best results

The star of the show here is a vegan silk protein that bonds instantly to hair—and stays put even post-rinsing, making strands look and feel noticeably thicker. And while it gives your hair that instant boost and lift, it also works over time to help make hair look fuller within three to four months. Plus, it contains a trio of wild-harvested, plant-based oils to help impart plenty of softness and smoothness. Those who color their hair will also appreciate that it’s free of sulfates and super gentle.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Size: 8 fl oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Hair Type: All | Scent: Bergamot

Price at time of publish: $48

Best Splurge: Virtue Flourish Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Virtue Flourish Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Ulta

What We Like
  • Contains Alpha Keratin to address hair-thinning

  • Sodium hyaluronate and red algae strengthen hair

  • Works nicely for all hair textures

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

This celebrity-loved hair care brand is known for its proprietary ingredient, Alpha Keratin 60Ku, a combo of two different keratin proteins that repair damage and bolster elasticity to help reduce breakage and fallout. It’s the star of the show, but this shampoo also contains peptides that promote scalp health as well as sodium hyaluronate and red algae to seal moisture into the hair. We also appreciate that it suds up nicely, even though it’s sulfate-free. FYI, your hair will look and feel better after just one wash, but give it three to four months to see the full effects.

Sulfate-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Size: 8 fl oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Hair Type: All | Scent: Herbal

Price at time of publish: $42

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo, which contains biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend to strengthen hair while removing follicle-clogging impurities that can prevent new hair growth. If your hair thinning is due to chronic dandruff, consider Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with the potent anti-fungal ketoconazole.

Living Proof Thickening Shampoo
Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Meet the Expert

  • Suneel Chilukuri, MD, is a board-certified and internationally recognized expert on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery practicing out of Houston.
  • Jeremy Fenton, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
  • Adam Federico is a hairstylist and the director of content for R + Co.
  • Chelsey Pickthorn is a hairstylist and hair care expert at Davines.
  • Neil Sadick, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Sadick Dermatology in New York City.

What to Look For in a Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Strengthening Ingredients

When you’re already dealing with thinning hair, you want to prevent breakage as much as possible. To do this, give your mane a strengthening boost with ingredients like biotin, keratin, and zinc. “Biotin improves the internal structure of the hair, which can help to prevent snapping and breaking,” says Federico. Using a shampoo that's formulated to make hair more resilient—like our best overall pick from Biolage—means you'll experience less breakage and fallout.  

Healthy Oils

If your hair is dried out, nourishing plant oils can help replenish moisture loss and prevent breakage. “Coconut oil promotes scalp health and helps prevent splitting and breakage,” explains Federico. These oils can be especially helpful if your hair is thinning out due to damage from chemical treatments or dyes. 

Sulfate-Free Formulas

Sulfates break down hair protein, strip hair of its natural oils, and can potentially cause even more breakage. Due to this, avoiding sulfates as much as possible will help prevent more breakage and help prevent dryness. 

FYI, your scalp routine matters too. “To repair thinning hair, you must take a very aggressive approach,” explains Federico. “First and foremost, I recommend doing everything you can to assure that your scalp is in its best condition. Hair grows through follicles on your scalp, and if those follicles are blocked or obstructed by dead skin cells, growth can slow or stop completely.”

FAQ
  • Do shampoos for thinning hair actually work?

    While results may vary depending on the product, the right shampoo can help slow and reverse hair loss. Look for a shampoo that gets to the root of the issue. If you have seasonal or hormonal hair loss, try a product like Davines Energizing Shampoo, which the brand’s hair care expert Chelsey Pickthorn explains works by adding shine and thickness to balance harsh environmental factors.

  • Is dry shampoo bad for thinning hair?

    Those dealing with thinning hair may want to avoid dry shampoo, so as not to cause further hair loss. Board-certified dermatologist Neil Sadick, MD, explains that excessive use of these products can lead to buildup, occlusion, and inflammation, all of which may lead to or escalate thinning hair. It’s better to use dry shampoo sparingly and instead wash your hair as often as it needs.

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. For this roundup she considered dozens of top-rated shampoos for thinning hair, evaluating each on their formula, active ingredients, and targeted results. She combined her research with insights from our product testers and recommendations from board-certified dermatologists.

Updated by Jill Di Donato
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  3. Nematian J, Ravaghi M, Gholamrezanezhad A, Nematian E. Increased hair shedding may be associated with the presence of Pityrosporum ovale. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2006;7(4):263-266. doi: 10.2165/00128071-200607040-00008

  4. Urysiak-Czubatka I, Kmieć ML, Broniarczyk-Dyła G. Assessment of the usefulness of dihydrotestosterone in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2014;31(4):207-215. doi: 10.5114/pdia.2014.40925

  5. Blakely K, Gooderham M. Management of scalp psoriasis: current perspectivesPsoriasis (Auckl). 2016;6:33-40. doi: 10.2147/PTT.S85330

  6. Bassino E, Gasparri F, Munaron L. Protective role of nutritional plants containing flavonoids in hair follicle disruption: A reviewIJMS. 2020;21(2):523. doi: 10.3390/ijms2102052

  7. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: An overviewInt J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.153450

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