It's possible you've noticed your once thick, lustrous hair is finer than it used to be. Perhaps you're finding strands in the shower, or maybe after you brush it's looking a little more sparse than usual. Thinning hair can often signal hair loss, so it's important to take haircare steps to save your mane early on. That can mean ensuring you're managing your diet, stress, and hormones properly—and also revamping your beauty routine.
So, don't lose hope if you see a few more stray hairs than usual: Look for products that feature natural growth-stimulating ingredients like aloe, biotin, vitamin E, keratin, amino acids, hydrolyzed protein, in addition to rosemary, peppermint, castor, and grapeseed oil. Read on to discover the five shampoos that can help bring your thinning hair back to life.
Rthvi Replenivate Hair Strengthening Shampoo
Ghanima Abdullah, hair expert and beauty blogger, explains that you should look for a shampoo that will "add volume, help grow new hair, and make the growth cycle longer for hair that's still in the follicle."
Since thinning hair is the first sign of hair loss, Meerika Khanna, founder of the Ayurvedic hair wellness brand Rthvi, believes "people experiencing hair thinning should use shampoos specially created for hair thinning." Her solution? Rthvi Replenivate Hair Strengthening Shampoo ($32), which helps solve the problem with "accessible, reasonably-priced Ayurvedic formulas to support hair wellness."
To create it, she used Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old medicinal practice "that prizes hair health as an indicator of overall health" to create a gentle, sulfate-free formula with rosemary, peppermint, stinging nettle, and gotu kola. The ingredients work to "strengthen the hair follicle and block dihydrotestosterone (a hormone linked to hair loss) to create an optimum scalp environment to boost hair growth while strengthening the hair roots."
Even better? The formula, she says, "will not weigh hair down, which is extremely important when hair is thin or thinning."
Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo
Marie Burke, the resident hair and skin expert at O'Flynn Medical, explains that "hair shedding is a completely normal process, where the average person loses "about 100 hairs per day." So, don't panic if you notice some light shedding. "Your hair usually enters something called the telogen phase when the actual hair itself is at rest and you see natural shedding as a result," she explains. "The opposite is the anagen phase, which promotes growth and sees less hair loss."
Her go-to recommendation? The Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo ($10) which helps improve scalp health. She says this affordable product helps treat the scalp with biotin, or vitamin B7, which "aids the overall production of keratin in the body and can increase the amount of hair follicle growth." In turn, it strengthens the hair and makes it thicker.
OGX Thick Full Biotin Collagen Shampoo
One of Abdullah's favorites is the OGX Thick Full Biotin Collagen Shampoo ($8), an extremely affordable option that includes biotin to help regrow hair and make existing hair stronger. The shampoo has more than 4,000 reviews on Ulta and almost five stars.
Jae Pak, MD, an engineer and hair restoration specialist, supports the fact that biotin is one of the best ingredients to promote hair follicle regeneration. According to studies, he says, "biotin supplementation is proven effective for improving hair and nail growth."
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Nioxin Hair Care Kit System 3, Color Treated Hair with Normal to Light Thinning
Natalie Dixon, the editor-in-chief of fashion and beauty magazine Chic Style Collective, has suffered from hair loss and loves Nioxin ($45), which is specially formulated by trichologists. Dixon suggests that people who are losing their hair also get checked by a doctor for low iron levels, which could be the cause.
Madison Dufour, barber and author of The Exquisite Find hair blog, also swears by Nioxin. "Nioxin was originally designed for chemo patients to help their hair grow back by creating the best environment to encourage hair growth," she explains. "Though Nioxin doesn't grow hair back, it is a therapeutic, medicated, product line that can clear out clogged follicles that may still be alive and encourage them to grow again."
MDhair's Hair Regrowth Shampoo
Yoram Harth, a board-certified dermatologist and medical director of MDhair, believes modern shampoo should do more than just clean the hair. "The best shampoo for people with thin hair should, in addition to removing oil dirt from the scalp, balance the microflora, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the hair follicle to move from their resting phase (telogen) to their active growth phase (anagen)," she says.
Regrowth Shampoo ($22) is one of his favorites because it's free of sulfates, parabens, or alcohols that can "dry the hair and the scalp, slow down hair regrowth, and cause more dryness and breakage." This shampoo has 20 active ingredients, including DHT blockers, reishi mushrooms, biotin, and argan oil.
Harth also warns that people suffering from hair loss should avoid "synthetic fragrances and colors in shampoo because they can cause an allergic response in the scalp, increased inflammation, and slow hair regrowth."