When it comes to the best products for thinning hair, there is so much information to sift through to ensure your hair, scalp (and money) will reap the most benefit. Is topical minoxidil the right approach? Is a hair growth oil, serum, shampoo or a supplement the best route for your needs? What are the best ingredients to look for in a product for thinning hair?
Thankfully, there are plenty of great products out there that work, the trick is finding something that not only works with your daily hair care routine and budget, but also your skin type. Those with sensitive skin should "opt for natural and nourishing products that are suitable for your hair type," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jose Diego Mier. Or maybe your skin is as tough as nails, in which case you want to opt for a powerful medicated solution like the FDA-approved hair growth treatment minoxidil. "The oldest established remedy and still one that is used quite a bit is topical minoxidil," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Amy Forman Taub. Obviously, though, it is a major medication and has potential side effects that need to be evaluated for each person, she added. Above all, consistency is going to be key in hair regrowth - even tho most potent products will take a couple of months to fully produce the results you want.
To help you decipher which product is best for your needs, we consulted with six board-certified dermatologists and trichologists to learn what key ingredients to look for in hair growth products, what products work best, and which ones don't. We then researched a multitude of hair growth products based on their feedback to find the best hair growth products for thinning hair based on key ingredients, clinically proven results, cost, user success and reviews, as well as testing quite a few products ourselves.
Pros: Doctor-recommended, formulated to individual needs, award-winning, incredible results
Cons: Expensive, requires a consultation before purchase
Harklinikken's award-winning Hair Gain Extract is a targeted scalp treatment developed by Lars Skjøth, a globally recognized expert in hair growth who has spent over three decades researching and developing products that care for the scalp’s unique ecosystem, with a focus on enhancing overall scalp and follicle health to restore an individual’s hair growth cycle. The Hair Gain Extract works by restoring the condition of the scalp, strengthening the hair at the roots, re-engaging the hairs’ follicles and stimulating regrowth. In short, it creates the ideal environment for high-quality, sustainable hair growth. Every Extract is individually formulated for each client’s unique scalp profile.
Even one of our experts loves it and recommends it by name to his patients. Board-certified plastic surgeon Glenn Vallecillos, MD, told us "In our practice, we have seen great success with the Harklinikken line, which addresses specific types of hair loss by offering customized, targeted, and responsive treatments, based on the patient's unique history, scalp profile and hair loss circumstances."
Key ingredients: Proprietary blend for individual needs
Best for: All hair types experiencing thinning and loss
This Vegamour GRO Hair Serum is the best for thinning hair and is quickly becoming a favorite amongst those looking to reduce signs of shedding for more thicker and fuller hair. Available at $49 per month, the gender-neutral formula is 100% vegan, color-safe and cruelty-safe and formulated without parabens, silicones, phthalates, harmful sulfates and artificial fragrances. The shinning star in this serum is the turmeric, which has been clinically shown to block DHT production, a naturally occurring hormone that inhibits hair growth.
Mandy Moore and Bella Hadid swear by this serum and so do thousands of happy users. "This Works" said one user, "I’m constantly looking for products for my hair to grow. At age 60 this works for me!!! Thankful I found this product!! I have new hair growth around my hairline. My hair is growing and strong!!"
Key ingredients: Plant-based phyto-actives, cumin, curcuma longa (turmeric) bergamia (bergamot) peel oil, mung bean, trifolium pratense (red clover)
Pros: All-in-one kit, clinically proven key ingredients that promote growth and scalp health,
Cons: Does contain dyes, parabens and synthetic preservatives
Nioxin offers a three-hit combo approach to thinning hair and loss with its haircare "system kits." The company offers six different system kits (1-6), each tailored for specialized needs, including products to help with natural hair, bleached hair and color-treated hair, thinning or severe loss. This bundle of products is formulated for fine to normal hair with progressed thinning, and is a great choice for someone wanting to take an aggressive approach to hair restoration. The first step in the kit is the shampoo, which is especially great for removing environmental and product build-up, as well as Seabum, which is linked to increased dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring hormone that also stifles hair growth and follicle health. The second step is the conditioner, which moisturizes the scalp and strands, strengthens hair and prevents breakage. The final step is the all-important serum that stimulates the scalp, promotes blood flow and new growth.
One fan shared that the kit greatly improved their hair's texture and manageability. "After 35 days of use, I see obvious improvement. The short, fine hairs at my hairline (particularly at the temples) never seemed to grow until I started using Nioxin. Now it’s nearly filled in."
Types: shampoo, conditioner, serum
Key ingredients: Proprietary blend of proven hair growth helpers, as well as peppermint and tea tree oils, saw palmetto
Pros: Three-month supply, clinically proven to work, mess-free foam
Cons: Can be irritating for sensitive skin, not safe for female use
Rogaine has been an industry leader for more than three decades and for good reason: it works. The Minoxidil Foam for men features a 5% minoxidil topical solution that has been approved by the FDA to treat pattern hair loss, and has numerous clinical trial results to prove its worth. The product works by boosting hair follicle activity and hair protein production. This number one doctor-recommended product also contains botanical extracts and emollients to help maintain a healthy, conditioned scalp, while the alpha-hydroxy acid promote natural skin exfoliation to help keep follicles open.
One happy customer said, "Be patient, it works! After just four months, I'm seeing noticeable improvement. The results are worth the 2x daily applications and I've noticed I feel better about myself and restored confidence."
Pros: FDA-approved minoxidil hair growth treatment, mess-free foam, clinically proven to work
When it comes to medical-grade hair growth products, it's going to be hard to top Minoxidil, which is one of three FDA-approved hair growth treatments, and the only one safe enough for women. If you want to break out the big guns, the experts say that minoxidil is the way to go. Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD, tells Yahoo Life, "The oldest established remedy and still one that is used quite a bit is topical minoxidil." Obviously, though, it is a major medication and has potential side effects that need to be evaluated with each person, she adds. This topical solution and medication is the key active ingredient in Women's Rogaine. (So, if natural methods are more your thing, be sure to select something else from our list.)
When used daily, Rogaine is clinically proven to boost hair follicle activity and hair growth for improved hair density. One user claimed that it's life changing: "I have been using this product for three months and I’m genuinely THRILLED with my results! My scalp has so much new hair growing in, for the first time in years I can part my hair however I want without fear. All my thin spots are filling in. Even my husband keeps commenting on how much thicker my hair is. This product is 100% worth the money!!"
Pros: Clinically proven to promote reduce shedding and increase hair thickness, suitable for all hair types
Cons: Must take twice daily, results take 6+ months
Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements offer a clinically proven formula that helps nourish hair from within to promote healthy and strong hair growth. Its unique blend of ingredients, such as biotin, iron, vitamin C, zinc, AminoMarTM promote hair growth and nourish the scalp from within. With over 11,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon, many users agree. One reviewer shared, "I am in [my] 10th week of using [the] product and EVERYONE I know comments on how [much] longer my hair is and how healthy it looks."
People truly swear by its growth cycle to help new hair appear full and strong. "When I started to notice major hair loss, I went to my derm and asked her to tell me what works vs. junk that just takes your $$$. She gave me a list of proven products to grow hair. Viviscal was on the list," one happy shopper said. "I am happy to report I have baby hairs everywhere!!!! I’m so happy!!! It can be so devastating for a person to lose their hair, but I’m here to report we have options and hope. We don’t have to lie down and take it! We can proactively fight and do everything in our power to look the way we want to look."
Pros: Organic,proprietary blend of 17 different herbal ingredients
Cons: Smell may be overpowering for some
If the chemical compounds and preservatives in the Nioxin kit are too much for you, Pura D' Or is the shampoo and conditioner combo for you. It's an all-natural biotin-rich combo that's also cruelty-free and paraben-free. The products are formulated with a proprietary blend of 17 different herbal ingredients proven to promote a healthy scalp, follicles and growth, such as nettle extract, pumpkin seed oil, tea tree and black cumin seed oil, green tea and rosemary, which alone has been clinically proven to be as effective as a 2% solution of minoxidil.
More than 13,000 people on Amazon gave this set a five-star review. One said: "My hair has been thinning over the last several years. It got so bad that my hair was shedding in clumps when I shampooed. After trying several hair treatments that never worked for me, I tried Pura D'or and am blown away!! My hair has filled in and the hair follicles are thick, soft and healthy!"
Product type: Shampoo and conditioner
Key ingredients: Nettle extract, biotin, pumpkin seed oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil
Pros: Strengthens hair, packed with hair growth ingredients
Cons: Spray may be messy for some
Marc Anthony's Grow Long Super Fast Strength Leave-in Conditioner helps strengthen hair, and reduce split ends and breakage so you can grow your hair longer than ever, thanks to clinically proven ingredients that help strengthen and grow hair, such as caffeine, ginseng, and vitamin E. The extra help with detangling long hair is a serious bonus for those who deal with breakage when combing after washing. The Benefits: This daily leave-in conditioner helps to restore moisture, strengthen and repair split ends and breakage, control frizz, and detangle even the toughest lengths of hair. It's also cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
Over 26,000 five-star reviewers depend on this magic in a bottle to keep their hair looking stronger and longer. One loyal user said this stuff works: "This detangler is a miracle. I’ve noticed around the crown of my head, new growth. I haven’t been using it that long and I see results! I will continue using this product."
Product type: Leave-in conditioner spray
Key ingredients: Caffeine, ginseng, biotin and vitamin E
Best for: Those with long hair who will also benefit from a detangling conditioner
Pros: Organic, promotes a healthy scalp and environment for hair growth, infused with Ayurvedic herbs
Cons: May be too heavy for fine hair
Life & Pursuits Bhringraj Hair Oil features cold-pressed organic oils infused with authentic Ayurvedic herbs that are clinically proven to promote a healthy scalp, growth and can prevent scalp irritation and dryness. This oil is free from harmful chemicals and features a trifecta of Ayurvedic herbs, including bhringraj, hibiscus and neem oil. Bhringraj is used in many parts of the world to promote hair growth, with multiple lab studies showing it can increase hair thickness. Clinical studies show the leaves and flowers of the hibiscus plant promote hair growth and offer anti-greying and aging properties. Last but not least, multiple studies show neem oil has antimicrobial properties that help fight dandruff and scalp infections, increase blood circulation to the scalp and stimulate hair growth.
"I love this oil," raved one reviewer, adding "My hair has a tendency to get dry and break off, but I have noticed MUCH less of that happening since using this product."
Pros: Cleanses and exfoliates the scalp, can be used on the body as well
Cons: May be too messy for some
Some products that are great for hair growth, are more about creating a healthy scalp environment for hair to grow. Since buildup can clog your hair follicles and create a dry scalp, it's important to clarify the scalp on a regular basis. The Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub from celebrity stylist Jen Atkin's brand is great choice. This luxurious hair care product is not only for scalp health but works double duty as body scrub. Reviewers rave about everything from the scent to its wonderful scrubbing powers. "This by far the nicest, most luxurious scrub I’ve used to deep clean my scalp and get rid of buildup," one user said. "I do also love to use it on my arms and legs to keep them nice and soft. Just try it, the scent is heavenly!"
Product type: Scalp scrub
Key ingredients: Coconut oil and sugar
Best for: Those who use lots of products or are regularly outside in environmental elements that also cause buildup
One way to fight hair loss is to make your existing strands look even fuller while you're working to encourage new growth and a great product for the job is R+Co's Dallas Thickening Spray. Aloe leaf and ginger root extracts lock in moisture while smoothing and conditioning the hair, while vitamin B5 thickens and boosts volume. The product is free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and glute. Two members of our team and five-star reviewers on Amazon note that it smells amazing. "I have fine hair and an upscale salon introduced me this this product," one reviewer shared. "It really works and the scent is the best! You feel like you’ve been to the salon when you use it. I do not blow out my hair, but it still gives me volume."
Pros: Cult favorite, patented Olaplex Bond Building technology
Cons: Pre-shampoo treatment can be time-consuming
If you deal with hair loss from chemical damage then Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 is for you! Easily repair damaged hair and broken bonds with Olaplex's patented Bond Building technology. Professional stylists and nearly 95,000 five-star Amazon reviewers are smitten with this treatment. Similar to its in-salon counterparts, the Olaplex Hair Perfector treatment goes beyond a traditional conditioning treatment and works to repair the broken bonds in your natural hair. "It really is a miracle," shared one reviewer. "It's worth every penny."
Product type: Conditioner
Key ingredients: Patented OLAPLEX Bond Building technology
How do I choose the best products to help my thinning hair?
Selecting the best products to address thinning hair involves a thoughtful approach to finding solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Consult with a healthcare professional: Since hair loss and thinning can be directly related to an underlying health condition, it’s always best to share your hair loss and thinning concerns witha dermatologist, trichologist or your general practitioner before starting any new haircare regime.
Key ingredients: Look for products containing proven ingredients like finasteride, minoxidil, rosemary oil, and proprietary blends from leading hair loss brands.
Type of product: Consider which type of product will fit best with your lifestyle and needs, such as a shampoo, foam, serum, oil, vitamin or supplement.
Budget: Since even the very best hair growth products can take three months to show full results, make sure the product you use is something you can afford to keep up for at least three months.
Gendered formulations: many hair growth products, especially prescription strength products, are formulated according to genetics and what a person’s skin can withstand without irritation. It’s important to take note of the formalation and look for products labled to meet your genetic makeup, such as best hair growth products for men.
How we chose the best products for thinning hair
To find the best hair growth products for thinning hair, we spoke with six top dermatologists and trichologists (hair loss experts) for their input on what key ingredients to look for hair regrowth products. We then scoured the retail shelves and online stores, looking for the most popular options and assessed each based on the quality of ingredients, brand reputation, clinical tests, proven results, user reviews, ease of use and value.
Ingredients to look for when choosing hair growth products
What else should you keep in mind regarding hair thinning, hair growth products, and serums that promise all the nutrients and support for your mane? Ingredient selection is also incredibly important. At this time, the FDA has only approved three things for hair growth (depending on the solution, you may need a prescription): Finasteride, Minoxidil, Baricitinib (the first systemic prescription-only treatment). Our experts recommend looking for products that contain amino acids, rosemary, peppermint, biotin, vitamins A, B5, B12, C, and D, tea tree and aragan oils, probiotics, and proprietary blends by leading brands in the hair growth space.
Other hair growth products we love but did not make the list
Dr. Andy Goren, board-certified dermatologist and trichologist, tells us,“There are several common causes of hair loss like alopecia, high cortisol levels, stress, post-partum, hair shedding, and more, but genetic predisposition happens to be the most common, specifically hormonal and genetic mediated alopecia.”
Does hereditary hair loss affect men and women equally?
Genetic hair loss does not distinguish between men and women, “This hereditary condition affects both men and women, leading to gradual hair thinning predominantly at the crown and temples for men, and diffuse thinning for women,” explains Goren.
Can you fix thinning hair with a diet?
Yes! Focus on eating food that include lean proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins and iron. Examples include salmon, eggs, nuts, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, chickpeas, lentils and beans. Foods high in vitamin E like green leafy veggies, spinach and broccoli are also helpful. (While we fully support evaluating your overall health and not just relying on hair products, remember to talk to your doctor or board-certified dermatologist about topics such as hair loss, hair thinning and the best diet and wellness plan for you.)
Can you stop or reverse hereditary hair loss?
Dr. Amy Taub, a board-certified dermatologist, tells us, "Yes you can effectively stop genetic hair loss to a large degree." The main caveat is that this is temporary and you must remain on medication or treatments indefinitely otherwise your hair loss will resume at the point where it would be without treatment, she explains.
What are the most effective hair growth treatments?
Aside from the products mentioned here, there are prescription-only hair medications, such as Finasteride, or Baricitinib, but each comes with its own subset of side effects that should be discussed with your primary care physician or dermatologist. "For those who prefer more “natural” or non-medication approaches, newer treatments such as platelet-rich plasma and growth factor solutions with or without laser have become more popular and are also effective, although can be very expensive," says Taub. You could also try a shampoo for thinning hair,
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