Thickening Shampoo For Thin Hair: Does It Actually Work?

There’s no doubt that a thick, full head of healthy hair can look great and do wonders for your confidence. But if your locks are lacking in volume or just a little bit on the thin side, a hair thickening shampoo is a great option to start with to help you get those thicker, fuller locks you’re after. With so many thickening hair products available, there’s something to cater for every budget – but how do you know what works and what doesn’t? In this article we’ll cover the basics on hair thickening shampoo to help you choose the right shampoo for your hair needs.

What Is A Thickening Shampoo?

thickening shampooAll forms of hair shampoo are designed to help clean your hair and scalp, removing any excess oil, dirt and other impurities that have accumulated since your last wash. Most shampoo and conditioner products also give your hair a clean, pleasant aroma, and add a protective coating on the hair strands to help prevent stress and damage from heat, pollutants and environmental factors. In addition to the basic role of most shampoos, hair thickening shampoo products also help to plump out individual hair follicles which assist in giving the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. Unlike medicated hair thickening products, the average thickening shampoo that you buy from the drugstore or supermarket doesn’t alter the internal structure of the hair; instead, they work by adding a coating to the hair strands to give the impression of fuller hair.

Who Should Use A Thickening Shampoo?

For anyone who’s used the same shampoo and conditioner for years on end, it can be tricky sometimes when deciding whether or not to try out a different product. After all, if it’s not broke, why try and fix it? The good news is that over the counter hair thickening shampoos  are usually inexpensive, and aren’t likely to do any damage to your hair, so if you’re not happy with the product after a few washes it’s easy enough to switch back to your previous shampoo. However, if you have fine, limp hair or locks that are lacking in body or volume, then a thickening shampoo is well worth a try. In addition, if you feel that you are beginning to notice thinning hair or the early stage of onset baldness, you should also see if a thickening shampoo gives you the results you are after.

How To Select The Best Shampoo For Thickening Hair

Most commercially available hair thickening shampoo and conditioner brands will generally exhort a range of virtues and promises about their particular product in the hope that you’ll choose that brand over another. To separate the facts from the fluff, you’re best off going through the list of ingredients for any thickening shampoo or conditioner to see what the product actually contains and use this to decide on the best shampoo option. Online thickening shampoo reviews may also provide insight into which products are the most effective.

Some key hair thickening shampoo ingredients to look for include:

  • Keratin – Your hair naturally contains keratin, which is a family of proteins that help give your hair its form and structure. Hair thickening products that include keratin will help keep your hair looking healthy and shiny, and by filling out any gaps in the hair cuticle each strand will look fuller and give your hair more body and bounce.
  • Panthenol – Panthenol, also known as Provitamin B5, is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer. In thickening shampoo formulas, panthenol binds readily to the hair shaft, coating the hair and sealing the surface. This helps to improve the hydration and natural moisture retention of your hair which boosts hair volume, and improves the elastictity and lustre of hair strands to give a shiny, healthy appearance. Other names for panthenol to keep an eye out for include Butanamide, Dexpanthenol, Dexpanthenolum, Propanolamine and Bepanthen.
  • Protein – Protein strengthens and fortifies hair strands and allows it to attract moisture more effectively, making it one of the most important components of a good hair thickening shampoo. When hair is dry and lacking in moisture, it can look thin and lack volume; increasing the hydration of your hair causes the strands to swell and give each strand a plumper, fuller appearance. Hair thickening shampoo formulas that combine protein with panthenol can be highly effective and have great positive results on thin hair.

In addition to these three key ingredients, some shampoos for thickening hair will include natural botanicals (such as lavender oil, lemongrass and rosemary), amino acids and other nutrients to help promote healthy, shiny, thick hair. The best hair thickening shampoo formulas will include some combination of keratin, protein and panthenol for maximum effectiveness in adding body and volume to thin or fine hair.

To get the best results from your shampoo, make sure you work it in well with your fingers when you wash your hair, as stimulating the scalp with gentle massage helps to promote circulation and hair growth. If after a period of use you are still noticing thinning of hair, you may wish to consult with a hair loss specialist to recommend a specialized hair growth product that may be more effective than a general hair thickening shampoo.