If your part is expanding or your ponytail is getting thinner, hair thinning may be to blame. “The hair shaft gets thinner as we age,” says Zoe Draelos, M.D., a North Carolina dermatologist. Thinner individual strands make it look like you have fewer follicles. Thin hair is more prone to breakage, and as you age, the damage becomes more noticeable.
While you can’t permanently thicken individual strands, you can boost overall volume. Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts recommend using a volumizing shampoo. Volumizing shampoos are less likely to weigh hair down because they contain fewer conditioning ingredients. Our scientists test hair thickening and volumizing shampoos on consumer testers and in the lab. These are the best thickening shampoos of 2022, according to the CM Beauty Lab and hair experts.
We tested Thorough cleansing Lightweight Easy to apply and rinse
CM Beauty Lab’s hair thickening and volumizing shampoo test favored this Kérastase formula. It made hair feel thicker, was cleanest, and lightest. “It worked!” “Tester was impressed. “These products gave my hair volume and bounce!”
Best Thickening shampoo
Fructis Full & Plush Fortifying Shampoo
HAS GREAT SMELL
BEST HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO FOR HAIR GROWTH
Volume bloom Shampoo
BEST THICKENING SHAMPOO FOR DRY HAIR
• Highly conditioning formulation
• Increases fullness
This cheap Pantene product can improve fine, lifeless, dry hair in need of additional conditioning. One CM Beauty Lab tester remarked, “This shampoo made my hair so full and reduced frizz significantly.” Others praised the “clean” and “fruity” aroma, as well as the conditioner’s ability to make towel-dried hair simple to comb.
BEST SULFATE-FREE HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO OGX
• Great value
• Foams effectively
• Deeply cleans
Despite being created without sulfates, OGX’s “luxurious” washing lather was a favorite in CM Beauty Lab testing. The product was scored favorably for its ease of application and rinsing, producing sufficient lather without effort and leaving hair feeling clean and combable. “It helped give my hair more body,” said one tester.
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO
• Does not weigh down hair
• Favorite among testers for adding volume to hair
• Less conditioning
Paul Mitchell’s shampoo is ideal for those with fine hair who wish to avoid products that make their hair feel heavy. The mixture was ranked highest by testers for not weighting hair down. “This offered a substantial amount of volume to my fine, lifeless hair.” “A tester indicated. “I did not need to add any product to increase volume.”
BEST NATURAL HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO
• Composed of plant-based ingredients
• Creates the sensation of thicker hair
• Botanical scent may be divisive
Testers at CM Beauty Lab gave Aveda’s shampoo top marks for making their hair feel thicker. The shampoo is made with natural ingredients like wheat protein and aloe. One user stated, “This product increased my hair volume and thickness, as well as the appearance of having more hair.”
BEST HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO FOR DANDRUFF
HEAD & SHOULDERS
• Multifunctional formula that heals dandruff and limp hair
• Wonderful fragrance
Even individuals with dandruff can benefit from volumizing properties. According to Head & Shoulders, this shampoo contains pyrithione zinc to treat dandruff while giving lift and volume for up to 24 hours. CM Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek says, “I’ve always used and appreciated Head & Shoulders products, and I particularly enjoy their fresh, pleasant scents”
BEST THICKENING SHAMPOO FOR OILY HAIR
• Thoroughly rinses
• Deeply cleanses hair
• Facilitates combing
This Kenra product, which did well in CM Beauty Lab tests for providing hair a clean feel, may be ideal for those with easily greasy hair. It received great marks for being simple to remove and for leaving hair feeling clean after rinsing, as well as for making hair easy to comb after towel drying. A tester noted, “My fine, thin hair looks bigger, has more volume than before, and lasts all day!”
HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO FOR SCALP CARE KEEP IT ANCHORED
Starter Kit For Women
• Keeps scalp healthy
• Maintains hair volume
• Includes conditioner and scalp serum
Winner of the CM Beauty Award, the shampoo from KeepItAnchored works with the included conditioner and scalp serum to nourish and care for the scalp with components such as niacinamide, zinc, and caffeine. By enhancing the condition of the scalp, the ingredients assist hair retain its fullness. After six months, users of the kit had around 2,400 more hairs on their scalps than those using a placebo, according to a clinical research on the device.
BEST SCENTED HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO
The product has a pleasant aroma, and it cleanses as well as softens the hair. Additionally, it does not weigh hair down.
This Dove shampoo, which voted first for its lovely aroma that was described as “fresh and clean,” can breathe new life into strands that have lost their luster. It also received high marks for the way it leaves hair feeling after use: clean, supple, and unburdened. After utilizing these products, the tester’s styled hair had more volume and body, and she earned compliments on her hair’s appearance as a result. Someone else mentioned that their hair was more buoyant
BEST STRENGTHENING HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO
Perfect Volume Shampoo
Immediate and permanent advantages
Light, pleasant scent
In NatureLab Tokyo’s pleasantly fragrant solution, a potent blend of apple stem cells, rice protein, and soy protein strengthens hair strands and adds volume. “This is one of the few shampoos I’ve tested that made my hair seem instantaneously fuller after drying,” says April Franzino, director of beauty at CM. Even the next morning, my hair retains its lift and volume; it is light and buoyant as opposed to becoming flat.
BEST GENTLE HAIR THICKENING SHAMPOO
Want a delicate, weightless solution for your hair? “This ultra-lightweight shampoo is sulfate- and sodium-chloride-free, has only gentle natural ingredients, and promotes natural thickness.” It is excellent for making all hair types seem and feel thick and full.
How we evaluate shampoos that thicken hair
Scientists at the CM Beauty Lab examine label-masked hair thickening shampoos and conditioners of varying price points for application, aroma, cleansing ability, weight and feel on hair, and volumizing and thickening effects on users from around the nation.
The illustrated Instron equipment is used to assess the conditioning capabilities of each pair on human hair samples in the laboratory. In the most recent evaluation of thickening shampoos, 6,254 data points were collected.
Does shampoo for thickening hair actually work?
Yes, thickening shampoos can temporarily make hair appear and feel thicker and fuller. Typically, products that make hair thicker increase the volume of hair. “Volume is utilized to characterize the three-dimensional state of hair,” explains Wnek. A number of hair properties influence volume, including the curvature of the hair strand, the amount of hair on one’s head, the diameter of the individual strand, and the friction between strands — the more curls in your strands, the more hair on your head, or the larger the diameter of the hair strand, the more space it will occupy and the fuller it will appear.
She states that the CM Beauty Lab is unaware of any substances that might permanently improve the width of hair. And few products promise to genuinely expand the width of individual hair strands; the majority allude to raising volume. Wnek adds, “We believe that the thickening promises ring true in the sense that the hair appears and feels thicker.” In this way, thickening shampoos can affect the appearance and texture of hair. “It is essential to utilize shampoos with their corresponding conditioners,” she advises. “Companies test how effectively shampoos and conditioners work together, so if you want to receive the benefits of either, you must use them together.”