There are multiple reasons why your hair might suddenly start to appear thinner, and many of them have a hormonal component. "In women, this can be caused by many things, including genetics, diet, stress, your overall body health, and the environment," says Cash Lawless, Mane Addicts stylist, adding that there are two main ways hair can change and appear thinner. The first is "follicular shrinkage," which means that your hair follicles are getting smaller, causing slimmer strands to grow out of them. The other is actual hair loss, which means fewer strands are growing.
If your hair is thinning due to follicular shrinkage, it's important to choose the right product not only to maintain the strength of the weakened strand but also to adjust how you style your hair so it looks more voluminous, says Lawless. "And if the thinning is due to hair loss, then it's important to keep what hair you have left in its best possible condition to avoid any other hair-loss contributors, like breakage, which would compound the problem."
Regardless of what's causing your issues, product buildup on your scalp can make things much worse. "Buildup is the enemy of thin hair," says Lawless. "It compounds damage, weighs down your hair, and sometimes it can be the root cause of thinning."
With that in mind, shampoo is one of the best ways to get rid of the problem. "Using a clarifying shampoo regularly is critical for maintaining volume and the appearance of density," says Lawless. "For thinning hair, the choice of shampoo is important because it is the product that first treats the scalp," adds Patricia Debrant, president and co-founder of Mon Shampoing. Using a clarifying shampoo helps to keep your scalp clean, which will ultimately help you maintain volume and density in your strands. Celebrity stylist Frédéric Fekkai suggests looking for products without silicones, which can weigh down the hair and potentially cause more buildup on your scalp.
While stylists agree that your shampooing routine is by far the most important one to pay attention to for the sake of thinning hair, you'll want to be sure to follow it up with a proper conditioner. "For thinning hair, the lighter the conditioner, the better, because you want to avoid weighing things down," says Fekkai. In these situations, he suggests looking for a lighter conditioner—ideally one formulated without heavy oils—to detangle hair without adding too much moisture. For the best results, he suggests looking for ingredients like panthenol, French oak extract, saw palmetto, and vitamins B5 and B6 in your conditioning formula.
To keep your strands thick, voluminous, and healthy, lather and rinse on the reg with one of these stylist-approved shampoos for thinning hair.
According to Lawless, using clarifying shampoo, such as this one, twice a month is a great way to ensure that any gunk and grime on your scalp is a thing of the past. It removes residue, but won't strip your hair of moisture thanks to its infusion of hydrating ingredients.
Shop now: Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo, $3
2. Ouai Detox Shampoo, $30
To get a solid scalp cleanse, look no further than this luxurious lathering option. It's formulated with apple cider vinegar, which acts as a tonic to gently whisk away grease and product buildup. And don't worry: It doesn't leave your hair stinking like actual vinegar; it's deliciously-scented with bergamot, rose, and white musk.
Shop now: Ouai Detox Shampoo, $30
3. SEVEN Cubica Clarify Shampoo, $28
Lawless is a fan of this clarifying wash, which naturally cleanses the scalp and contains ingredients like rosemary and eucalyptus. Use the shine-enhancing formula bi-weekly to reduce sebum buildup, which will help to add volume to your strands.
Shop now: SEVEN Cubica Clarify Shampoo, $28
4. Pattern Clarifying Shampoo, $20
Designed specifically with maintaining moisture in mind, this clarifying shampoo is made with an antioxidant-rich combination of matcha and aloe vera, plus panthenol to keep strands strong. It will give your scalp a deep clean without stripping away its natural oils—perfect for coily textures.
Shop now: Pattern Clarifying Shampoo, $20
This deep-cleaning shampoo is designed to be used in place of your regular lather and rinse and works to balance, hydrate, and clarify with ingredients like vitamin C and lemon and grapefruit extract.
Shop now: Tresemmé Cleanse and Replenish Deep Cleansing Shampoo, $4
6. FEKKAI Full-Blown Volume Shampoo, $20
This shampoo isn't labeled clarifying, but it will deep clean your scalp and give fine hair a major boost of volume. Its weightless, protective formula helps eliminate buildup and keep new gunk from forming, but won't weigh down your strands in the process.
Shop now: FEKKAI Full-Blown Volume Shampoo, $20
7. TPH by Taraji Honey Fresh, $10
Whether you've got tight coils or naturally straight hair, you'll benefit from this honey-infused clarifier. Thanks to aloe vera and willow bark extract, it boosts moisture while cleansing your scalp.
Shop now: TPH by Taraji Honey Fresh, $10
Got more questions about hair loss (and how to deal)? Check out the video below.
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