Hair-Care Tips

I Tested 20 Top-Rated Anti-Thinning Shampoos Over the Span of 6 Months—And These Are the 9 Best

Photo: Stocksy / Asya Molochkova
With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to work in order to pick products (from skin care to self care and beyond) they’re betting you’ll love. While our editors independently select these products, making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission. Happy shopping! Explore the SHOP

Between postpartum hair loss and the stress of the pandemic, my hair has seen better days as of late. And I know I’m not alone. Hair loss in women is becoming more and more common. There are more serious medical conditions that cause this, like alopecia, but stress, diet, pregnancy, aging, and hormonal changes related to menopause can also cause thinning hair for a growing number of women.

“Your hair is a marker of your health,” says NYC-based trichologist and hair expert Shab Reslan. “If you have a poor diet lacking in animal protein and essential nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, and B vitamins, your hair will not grow optimally and you could be weakening the cells in your hair follicles that are responsible for growing hair,” adds Reslan, who is launching a hair retail concierge platform for women to determine the best course of action for their hair issues.

The surge of women seeking advice from their dermatologists and hairstylists about this issue has lead to an explosion of beauty products that claim to help slow loss, revive the health of your scalp, and help treat the symptoms of hair loss, like a lack of volume. “For women, if you’re experiencing a shift in your hormones, like getting off birth control, postpartum, or menopause, it is very common to experience temporary hair fall due to the irregular change in estrogen,” says Reslan.

There are no miracle products for hair loss, especially if it’s related to a larger medical issue, however, there are treatments and shampoos available that will help minimize the appearance of the condition. “A shampoo cannot single handedly be responsible for growing hair back in, but instead should contain gentle cleansing agents to ensure a healthy scalp environment free of irritation and flakiness,” says Reslan.

“Gentle cleansers are very important in a shampoo, specifically for thinning hair, as the scalp needs protection and special care. Harsh cleansers such as sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate strip and irritate the scalp and hinder healthier hair growth. I recommend using only gentle cleansing agents that are safe and effective such as sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and cocamidopropyl betaine,” adds Reslan.

A little bit about my hair

I've always been told my hair is very fine, but since I had a lot of it, it appeared healthy and full. But since having a baby in 2019 and the stress of raising a toddler during the pandemic, I've experienced steady hair loss for the last three years. Recently, trichologist William Gaunitz told me I'd lost a large percentage (upwards of 30 percent) of the hair I once had, and showed me with a high-powered camera how inflamed and flaky my scalp was and continues to be to this day. Below, I ranked the shampoos that did the most work for my hair.

9 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair

#9: Living Proof Restore Shampoo — $32.00

A stunning pearl white color out of the bottle, this shampoo promises “over 70 percent breakage reduction with one wash.” Clearly, if you’re experiencing hair loss, you want every strand you currently have to be as healthy and strong as possible.

This gentle yet effective formula removes buildup, dirt, and sweat without stripping or drying out hair. It can be used every day for smoother, healthier hair. It’s also a great pick if you bleach your hair, since it helps provide moisture to stressed-out strands and is color-safe.

It doesn’t contain formaldehyde, parabens, silicone, phthalates or sulfates, and is vegan and PETA certified cruelty free. I’ve been a huge fan of the brand for years, because I know their science-focused formulas really work. This restore shampoo is just the latest home run to be added to my arsenal of hair care.

#8: Rene Furterer Triphasic Strengthening Shampoo — $34.00

This delightful shampoo has tiny pearls of goodness (which are actually essential oils of orange, lavender and rosemary) suspended in its powerful formula. These oils help to purify the scalp while also delivering an amazing-smelling experience.

The super-rich lather will make you feel like you’re in a fancy hair salon, while the ingredients work to energize your hair follicles to deliver healthy, stronger hair. This shampoo is silicone- and paraben-free and can be used daily.

“When thinning hair is cleansed properly with a gentle shampoo that will protect the strands and maintain a build-up and flake free scalp, then it is prepared for the use of a topical that can penetrate the scalp and enhance and nourish hair growth,” says Reslan.

Using this shampoo made my hair soft and shiny, and the smell was one of the favorites that I tested. I felt like my hair was stronger after using this just a couple of times. It’s definitely a worthwhile splurge in my opinion.

#7: Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo — $32.00

This light and airy shampoo didn’t weigh my fine hair down at all, and it truly smells amazing. The ginger and menthol scent was totally calming during my shower.

This shampoo helped to soothe and tame my red and inflamed scalp, and thanks to ingredients like Piroctone Olamine and Climbazole, flakes were minimized and excess oil was balanced.

Piroctone Olamine is an antifungal ingredient that has been proven to reduce hair shedding and thinning, and salicylic acid on the scalp helps to reduce dandruff, thereby reducing irritation and itchiness.

This light and airy shampoo didn’t weigh my fine hair down at all, and it truly smells amazing. The ginger and menthol scent was totally calming during my shower. I loved the smell. The formula helped to soothe and tame my red and inflamed scalp, and thanks to ingredients like Piroctone Olamine and Climbazole, flakes were minimized and excess oil was balanced.All in all, it helps to balance and protect the health of your scalp, which in turn, allows healthy hair to grow.

#6: Michael Van Clark 3''' More Inches Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo — $33.00

I know that I’m guilty of not washing my hair as often as I used to, thanks to less in-person meetings because of the pandemic. But sometimes, that means there is an excess build-up of products like dry shampoo sitting on our scalps.

I love the 3”’ More Inches Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo because I really feel like it makes my scalp clean. It works to rebalance the scalp and increase blood circulation, which helps hair grow. There is a multi-vitamin complex including vitamins A, B, and E that help with hair loss. Simultaneously, amino acids help repair and strengthen strands to make hair look fuller and more voluminous.

Founded by celebrity hair stylist Michael Van Clarke, who runs “the most professional salon in London” according to British Vogue, his products contain no silicones or parabens and really target both scalp and hair health.

While you’re at it, pick up his No. 1 brush, which is amazing at detangling stubborn knots to minimize breakage.

#5: Petal Fresh Hair ResQ Original Formula Natural Thickening Biotin Shampoo — $30.00

This formula for thinning hair helps to strengthen and volumize strands for a gorgeous look. The invigorating minty menthol scent was so amazing in the morning (from the certified organic peppermint) and it works alongside green tea and rosemary to remove impurities and ensure a healthy scalp.

It doesn’t burn or sting and provides a rich lather. It uses biotin and vitamins B3, B5 & B7 to strengthen and grow the hair. Caffeine kick starts growth starting at the hair follicles, resulting in more pronounced strands. If you get the corresponding conditioner, it won’t weigh hair down, even if you have finer strands like me.

The shampoo is vegan, color-safe, pH balanced, and free of sulfates and parabens. The bottle is made with 100 percent recycled ocean-bound plastic, and the formula is made with natural and organic ingredients.

#4: Foligain Triple Action Shampoo For Thinning Hair — $20.00

With over 500 reviews on Amazon, this product has 4.3 stars and customers rave about how they have noticed a difference in the fullness, texture, and growth of their hair.

In my testing phase, I noticed that this isn’t a super bubbly shampoo, instead, it’s a rich, creamy lather. Since it’s not very sudsy, I did have to use more shampoo than I normally do. However, despite the 2 percent Trioxidil, which has been clinically proven to slow hair loss, it doesn’t have a harsh chemical smell. Additionally, there are no parabens, sulfates or phthalates.

Since the instructions are to massage the shampoo on your head for a few minutes to stimulate growth, you’re basically forced to give yourself some self-care, something that I appreciated.

#3: Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo — $48.00

This (Nicole Kidman-approved) anti-thinning shampoo provided a rich, easy lather with a lovely citrus scent (bergamot). My hair felt smooth and silky after just one use. With continued use, the brand has clinicals stating hair appeared denser by up to 52 percent, and that customers saw fuller-looking hair at 90 days. Remember that hair doesn’t grow at super speeds and it may take a while for you to see noticeable results with any new routine you try.

This color-safe shampoo is vegan and cruelty free and uses Karmatin (which is a vegan keratin alternative) to smooth and strengthen the hair. It also delivers a silky shine, which I can attest to, and body. The shampoo is free of GMOs, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, gluten, and synthetic fragrance.

#2: Nioxin Scalp Relief System — $22.00

This cleanser is for a sensitive scalp, something you most likely have if you’re experiencing hair loss. Since many people with inflamed, dry, flaky scalps do shed more, this shampoo sets out to target your scalp health and provide relief. There is a stimulating scent thanks to the aloe vera. There is a rich lather, and I did notice less shedding after only a couple of uses.

It’s to be used in its system, and I found the corresponding conditioner was thick but not heavy after rinsing. This product has a nearly 5-star rating with hundreds of positive reviews. One con is that this shampoo bottle is quite small and it’s meant to be used four times a week or more. It’s gentle yet effective and formulated without parabens, sulfates, or colorants.

#1: Pura D’or Anti Hair-Thinning Biotin Shampoo — $40.00

This aloe vera-based formula has over 13,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Made with an herbal blend of Vitamin E oil, Argan Oil, Tee Tree Oil, and more, it helps promote fullness and helps hair look visibly healthier thanks to a reduction in breakage.

This shampoo can be used by both men and women daily and contains no SLS or parabens. The biotin helps nourish and cleanse the scalp, all while strengthening the hair.

I loved that my hair felt stronger after just a couple of washes. I still shed, but I have noticed that the strength and overall health of my strands appeared to improve, and did lead to less breakage and an overall look of full, voluminous hair.

Customers rave that after only a couple of months, their hair felt stronger and thicker, and they noticed less shedding on their brush.

Want to be the first to hear about the latest (and greatest) SHOP product drops, custom collections, discounts, and more? Sign up to have the intel delivered straight to your inbox.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...