When you’re looking for remedies for thinning hair, thickening shampoo seems like a no-brainer. After all, you’re going to be washing your hair either way, so you might as well use something that’ll help it look thicker and cleaner.
Of course, not all shampoos are created equal—and not all of them can deliver on their big promises. So we wrote this guide to help you avoid wasting your money on stuff that won’t get the job done.
Shampooing already helps give your hair some volume because grease and dirt can weigh down your locks. (Shampoo also helps protect your hair from future damage.) By including ingredients that keep hair follicles clean and nourished, thickening shampoo (also called “volumizing shampoo”) aims to make thin or thinning hair look thicker and fuller.
Many of them, especially thickening shampoos, also say they can stop hair loss on their own, but you should be skeptical of such claims.
According to hair loss expert and Keeps medical advisor, Dr. Jerry Shapiro, hair loss shampoo only works to stop hair loss “if you have a scalp condition,” such as dandruff or psoriasis. Both conditions can cause or exacerbate hair loss and can be treated effectively with ketoconazole shampoo.
Even hair loss shampoos that claim to be able to naturally block DHT aren’t effective against hair loss on their own. That’s because shampoo doesn’t spend enough time on your scalp to block the DHT that’s causing hair loss. (And because there are only two treatments that are clinically proven to stop hair loss: finasteride and minoxidil.)
Yup! Thickening shampoo can’t treat hair loss on its own, but it really can give your hair a fuller, healthier-looking appearance over time. How? Every day, sweat, dirt, and styling products gather on your scalp and clog up your hair follicles. Left unaddressed, these common pollutants can damage or even kill the follicles.
Thickening shampoo keeps your follicles clean and healthy, which helps your hair look as thick and full as possible.
If you want to know if a hair product actually works, you usually don’t have to look further than the ingredient list on the back of the bottle. Of course, that only helps if you know what you’re looking for.
Studies say these ingredients can help hair look thicker:
On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid these ingredients, which may damage hair: - DMDM hydantoin - Imidazolidinyl - parabens - phthalates - triethanolamine
We’re guessing you don’t need a refresher on how to wash your hair, but you might be surprised to learn how often you should be washing it. Yes, cleaner hair does look fuller, but it’s always possible to get too much of a good thing.
Be sure to shampoo your hair no more than two to three times a week for about two to five minutes. (Unless it’s medicated shampoo and your doctor says otherwise.) If you wash it too often, you’ll strip your scalp of natural oils it needs to stay healthy.
To recap, thickening shampoo can’t stop hair loss on its own, but it can help you maximize the hair you have. That said, it’ll only work if it includes ingredients that boost hair health and excludes ones that weigh hair down or damage it. Once you know what to look for, you’ll get the most out of every shower.
And once you’ve got that down? It’s on to conditioner!
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Finasteride is an oral medication used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. It is not for use by women. When used by men, finasteride is generally safe but it can also cause serious side effects, including but not limited to allergic reactions, sexual dysfunction, and high-grade prostate cancer. Most patients find that problems with sexual function resolve when they stop taking the medicine. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.
Ketoconazole is an antifungal medicine used to treat certain kinds of fungal or yeast infections. When used as prescribed, ketoconazole is generally safe, but it also can cause side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, pain, tingling or numbness. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.
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