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Can your shampoo help with hair growth? Here’s what experts say

Plus, the ingredients that you should look for.
Vivian Le / TODAY
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Hair loss is more common than you think — it's estimated that around 80% of men and 50% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetimes. Still, knowing that you're not alone in your struggle isn't always enough to quell the stresses and anxieties that can come with seeing your hair come out in clumps.

That's why many people seek out products that promise to help regrow some of those lost strands. While it's always wise to first consult your dermatologist or doctor, who can help you get to the root of the problem and figure out the right solution, if you're looking for over-the-counter treatments, there are a number of options available, including serums, medicated creams and, yes, shampoos.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know when shopping for shampoo for thinning hair, including expert advice on what to look for.

What are the best shampoos for hair growth? | Ingredients to look for | Best shampoos, according to experts and editors | Best shampoos, according to shoppers | How we chose | Meet our experts

Best shampoos for thinning hair

What are the best shampoos for hair growth?

Let's set the record straight: "No shampoo to my knowledge grows hair," shares dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine.

That being said, there are ingredients in certain shampoos that may help boost the appearance of fuller hair — or even create a better environment for growth. "There are shampoos that infuse hydrating ingredients into existing follicles, which in turn make thinning hair appear thicker," Gohara says. "Also, when the scalp and follicle[s] are cleaned and free of buildup, it sets up a prime environment for the hair to grow — like ripe soil to a blossoming flower." 

Ingredients to look for in shampoo for thinning hair

While there aren't any ingredients in your over-the-counter shampoos that will have a direct effect on hair growth, Gohara says there are ingredients that can "make the strands appear fuller, and support the tensile strength reducing breakage." She adds, "This sets the foundation for the hair to grow in a healthy environment."

Things that can have this effect include "hydrating ingredients like peptides, strengthening ingredients such as B vitamins and humectants [substances that can absorb and retain water]," Gohara says.

Dr. Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist in New York City, says that hydrolyzed wheat protein is a good ingredient to look for, since "it binds water and gives the illusion of thicker hair." She adds that rice water protein is another, as it binds water to help the keratin in your hair, helping to increase its volume.

With that in mind, we rounded up some of the best shampoos that can help your hair look thicker, fuller and create a healthy environment for growth.

Best shampoos for thinning hair, according to experts and editors

OGX Thick & Full + Biotin Collagen Extra Strength Volumizing Shampoo 

What we like
  • Works well for most hair types
  • "Nutrient rich"
Something to note
  • Strong scent

Key ingredients: Biotin, collagen and wheat proteins

This formula features hydrolyzed wheat protein, which can help to "make your hair look thicker," Jaliman shares. According to the brand, the formula is designed to be lightweight to deliver nutrients to hair without weighing it down.

Pura D’or Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo

What we like
  • Bestseller
  • Gentle
Something to note
  • Some note it dries out hair

Key ingredients: Biotin, pumpkin seed, black cumin seed oil, nettle

Currently the No. 1 bestselling hair regrowth shampoo on Amazon, this shopper-favorite formula has nearly 17,000 perfect five-star ratings. But that's not all. Dr. Liia Ramachandra, a skin care expert and former pharma executive, also gave it her seal of approval.

“I love it since it is clean and great for sensitive scalps,” she previously shared. “This formula is packed with a powerful blend of biotin, nettle extract, pumpkin seed and black cumin seed oil.”

Kitsch Solid Strengthening Shampoo 

What we like
  • Zero-waste packaging
  • Nourishing
Something to note
  • Can be heavy for some hair

Key ingredients: Rice water, castor oil

Jaliman also recommends this shampoo for those with thinning hair.

Dr. Robert Finney, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously told us that while rice water may not directly help with hair growth, "it usually contains the compound inositol, which has anecdotally been shown to increase the growth phase and also decrease friction amongst the hair shafts,” he says.

To use the solid shampoo simply wet your hair, rub the bar between your hands to create a lather and massage into your scalp, the brand instructs.

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo

What we like
  • Hydrating
  • 30-Day money back guarantee
Something to note
  • May leave residue on fine hair

Key ingredients: Aloe vera, peppermint, rosemary and saw palmetto 

"It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that revitalize the hair shaft, plus gentle cleansers to help whisk away scalp buildup,” celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy previously shared with us about this shampoo, which she recommends for those with thinning hair.

According to the brand, the formula's key ingredients provide a range of benefits, from strengthening and hydrating strands to nourishing your scalp.

R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo

What we like
  • Works on all hair types
  • Provides volume
Something to note
  • Does not lather
  • Strong scent

Key ingredients: Biotin, coconut oil and saw palmetto 

This formula was named the best shampoo for thinning hair during our 2023 Shop TODAY Beauty Awards. While it's designed to work on all hair types, the brand says that it's great for fine, thin hair specifically as it adds vitality and thickness.

“I love that my hair genuinely feels smooth after each wash — something that doesn’t often happen,” says editor Vivien Moon. “My hair is thin and gets oily fast so any product that’s too heavy instantly shows on my hair (yes, this has happened with shampoo too) and this shampoo is not only a quality product but something I know I will repurchase.”

Harklinikken Fortifying Shampoo

What we like
  • Lathers well
  • "Feels refreshing"
Something to note
  • Should mix with other shampoo

Key ingredients: Aloe vera and glycosides

While SEO commerce writer Jannely Espinal says that she's never had issues with hair thinning, her hair does grow slowly. "I started using Harklinikken in 2021 and it has been the best beauty decision I’ve made," she shares. "My baby hairs grow stronger and healthier and I don’t experience frequent shedding when I wash my hair now. While the product is pricier than other ones, I love how well it lathers and how clean my scalp feels afterward."

More of the best shampoos for thinning hair, according to shoppers

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo

What we like
  • Made for all hair types
  • Rosemary and mint scent
Something to note
  • May irritate sensitive scalps

Key ingredients: Biotin, rosemary leaf oil, coconut oil

Not only does this shampoo contain biotin (a B vitamin), but it's also made with rosemary oil. The ingredient has gone viral for its ability to promote hair growth, and according to one dermatologist we spoke to, it's actually been shown to be equivalent to 2.5% minoxidil (otherwise known as Rogaine).

The formula has nearly 12,000 five-star ratings and some shoppers have noted that it has helped with hair loss and improved volume. "One of the standout features of this thickening shampoo is its impressive ability to add volume to my hair," shared one reviewer. "After each wash, I noticed a noticeable lift and fullness that persisted throughout the day. My hair felt bouncier and looked visibly thicker, especially at the roots."

Maple Holistics Rosemary and Biotin Shampoo

What we like
  • For thin/fine hair
  • Moisturizing ingredients
Something to note
  • Bottle smaller than it appears

Key ingredients: Biotin, rosemary leaf oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil

This shampoo also features ingredients like biotin and rosemary oil, which the brand says helps your hair look fuller and more voluminous. It has more than 34,000 five-star ratings from shoppers who say that it made their hair feel "very soft" and helped them see an " improvement in volume."

Nioxin System 2 Scalp Cleansing Shampoo

What we like
  • For "progressed thinning"
  • "Subtle and pleasant scent"
Something to note
  • Irritating for some

Key ingredients: Caffeine, peppermint oil, niacinamide

This shampoo contains multiple ingredients that are said to be beneficial for those with thinning hair. It contains expert-recommended B vitamins in the form of niacinamide (vitamin B3). Plus, it features caffeine. According to a dermatologist we previously spoke to, caffeine is "a stimulant that increases circulation, allowing beneficial nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to the hair follicles to keep them healthy," and thus may be helpful for hair growth. This shampoo is part of a three-part treatment and Nioxin says you'll want to use all the products together to see the best results.

How we chose the best shampoos for hair growth

The Shop TODAY team created this list of the best shampoos for thinning hair by enlisting recommendations from dermatologists and pulling product recommendations from experts we have previously interviewed, as well as polling our editors and combing through reviews to find top-rated options.

As an editorial team, we independently create content and determine coverage based on research, reporting and what we think TODAY.com readers would like to read about. The goal of our content is to provide a service and inform readers who are on the hunt for the latest products to help make their life better. Items are sold by retailer, not TODAY. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Meet our experts

  • Dr. ​Mona Gohara, MD, is a dermatologist at the Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut, specializing in medical and surgical dermatology and treating skin of color. She is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Debra Jaliman, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Her dermatology practice focuses on cosmetic and general dermatology.