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15 Best Hair Growth Shampoos 2024
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Updated on February 16, 2024

Looking for a cheap, easy way to boost your hair growth? Switching to a hair growth shampoo is often the first port of call for people with hair loss.

But while many shampoos contain ingredients that are proven to stimulate hair growth, there’s limited evidence that specific shampoos can actually tackle problems like female pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness. So are they worth trying — or is it best to use a tried-and-tested hair growth solution like Minoxidil or Finasteride?

In general, you’re more likely to get results using licensed hair loss treatments. But there are expenses and side effects to consider, too, so switching to a hair growth shampoo may be better if you’re in the early stages of hair loss, or you just want to minimise breakage to improve your hair density.

Here, we’ll explore what causes hair loss, why you might want to try a hair growth shampoo, and outline the 15 best hair growth shampoos that contain proven hair growth ingredients.

Table of Contents

Understanding hair loss

Hair loss is very common, particularly as you get older. Around 85% of men and 55% of women are affected by the age of 50 [1-2]. So it’s not unusual to seek hair loss treatments, including shampoos that stimulate hair growth.

Most cases of hair loss are genetic. If other people in your family are balding, you’re more likely to experience pattern hair loss yourself. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a combination of hormones (specifically dihydrotestosterone, or DHT), age, and genetics.

Female pattern baldness (left); male pattern baldness (right).
Female pattern baldness (left); male pattern baldness (right).

But other types of hair loss can have other triggers. Telogen effluvium is usually caused by stress, illness, or trauma, while traction alopecia is caused by damaging styling techniques. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your white blood cells mistakenly attack the hair follicles.

If you’re not sure why your hair is falling out, it’s best to speak to a professional trichologist. They can diagnose your hair shedding and help you find the right treatment (as well as the right hair growth shampoo for your hair type).

Can shampoo actually regrow hair?

A handful of studies have shown that some shampoos can have a positive effect on your hair growth [3-5]. Ingredients like salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and zinc pyrithione can all help prevent hair loss and hair breakage, helping your hair look thicker, longer, and healthier.

But switching to a hair growth shampoo probably won’t give your hair a sudden growth spurt. Even shampoos that contain proven hair growth ingredients will take a while to kick in, and you’ll need to use it all the time to see sustained growth (despite the rumours, washing your hair everyday won’t make it fall out — in fact, not washing your hair is more likely to lead to hair loss).

Active hair growth ingredients in shampoos

Certain shampoo ingredients can actively promote hair growth as part of a consistent haircare routine. Here are some of the active ingredients to look for in your hair growth shampoo:

  • KetoconazoleKetoconazole for hair loss is an antifungal ingredient that also blocks DHT production in the scalp, helping reduce hair loss [6].
  • StemoxydineStemoxydine for hair may induce hair growth by limiting the amount of oxygen reaching the hair follicles, prolonging the growth phase of the hair growth cycle [7-8].
  • CaffeineCaffeine for hair can counteract the effects of DHT, regulate hair growth, and protect the outer root sheath of your hair [9].
  • Salicylic acid — Although the exact mechanism isn’t known, salicylic acid has been shown to boost hair count on the crown by almost 18% as part of a shampoo formula [10].
  • Niacinamide — Niacinamide and other topical vitamin B3 (niacin) derivatives can boost hair fullness [10-11].
  • Essential hair growth oils — Rosemary oil, black seed oil, and peppermint oil have all been shown to promote hair growth [12-14].
  • Piroctone olamine — Piroctone olamine has antioxidant properties that have been shown to reduce hair shedding by minimising oxidative stress in the follicles [15].
  • Saw palmetto — Like ketoconazole and caffeine, saw palmetto for hair loss can reduce the effect of DHT on your hair growth [16].
  • Plant extracts — Certain plant extracts (including pea sprout, ginseng, and amla) have been shown to improve hair density and growth [17-19].

15 best hair growth shampoos at a glance

Here’s our round-up of the best commercially available shampoos for hair growth, based on the clinical evidence for their active hair growth ingredients.

ShampooActive ingredientsHow it helps: clinical evidenceHair types
Nizoral Anti Dandruff ShampooKetoconazoleKetoconazole fights scalp fungal infections like seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Nizoral shampoo may also reduce hair loss by minimising the effects of scalp DHT.Hair that’s prone to dandruff and other flaky scalp conditions, as well as genetic hair loss.
Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine ShampooCaffeinePlantur 39 shampoo reduces hair shedding and hair loss intensity, while improving hair strength in those with female pattern baldness [20].A shampoo designed for menopausal hair, it’s ideal for those with female pattern hair loss.
Alpecin Double Effect ShampooCaffeine, piroctone olamine, niacin, salicylic acidIn addition to caffeine, Alpecin contains antioxidants that fight oxidative stress. Alpecin works within two minutes, though leaving it on longer may improve caffeine scalp absorption [21].Male pattern baldness.
Vatika Black Seed Complete Care ShampooBlack seed oil for hairBlack seed oil has lots of healthy hair properties, including promoting growth, reducing follicle inflammation, and regulating the hair growth cycle.Excessive hair shedding (e.g. telogen effluvium, including stress-related hair loss).
Alice England Lengthen & Strengthen ShampooRosemary oil, hydrolysed wheat proteinsRosemary oil is a natural DHT blocker. Hydrolysed wheat proteins have also been shown to smooth the hair surface and recover damaged hair [22].Damaged hair, which may also be affected by hair loss.
OGX Anti-Hair Fallout Niacin + Caffeine ShampooNiacin, caffeine, saw palmettoCaffeine, saw palmetto, and niacin derivatives have been shown to reduce hair loss.Various types of hair loss, including pattern baldness and telogen effluvium.
JVN Embody Volumising ShampooAloe leaf extract, caffeineAloe vera can improve symptoms of hair loss and dandruff, such as scalp dryness, irritation, and itchiness [23].Suitable for dandruff-prone scalps and various types of hair loss.
John Masters Organics Volumising Shampoo with Rosemary & PeppermintRosemary oil, peppermint oilRosemary oil blocks DHT, while animal studies have shown that peppermint oil can promote hair growth.Androgenetic alopecia (especially for those seeking organic, natural hair loss treatments).
Redken Stemoxydine 5% Thickening Treatment ShampooStemoxydineStemoxydine restricts oxygen flow to the hair follicles, which can prolong the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. It also has antioxidant properties.Fine or thinning hair.
Umberto Giannini Grow Long Hair Lengthening ShampooCaffeine, piroctone olamineCaffeine promotes hair growth, while piroctone olamine contains antioxidants that fight follicular oxidative stress.Damaged hair, which may also be affected by hair loss.
Blu Atlas ShampooSaw palmetto, aloe leaf extractAloe leaf extract reduces symptoms of dandruff and scalp flaking, while saw palmetto is a natural DHT blocker.Hair that’s prone to dandruff and other flaky scalp conditions, as well as hair loss.
O’Douds Pumpkin Seed Oil ShampooAloe leaf, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmettoAlongside the benefits of aloe vera and saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil is another natural DHT blocker that may promote hair growth [24].Dandruff-prone hair alongside male pattern baldness.

Aveda

Invati Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo Rich

Ginseng root extract, caffeine, amla extract, salicylic acidNatural ingredients including ginseng and amla extract can regulate and prolong the growth phase of the hair growth cycle.Non-specific excessive hair shedding (e.g. telogen effluvium).

Philip Kingsley Density

Hair Thickening Shampoo

Pea sprout extract, salicylic acidA small study has shown pea sprout extract can reduce hair loss after just 28 days [17].Excessive hair shedding (e.g. telogen effluvium).
L’Oréal Elvive Full Resist Reinforcing ShampooAminexilAminexil can slow the ageing process within the hair root, delaying age-related hair loss [25]. It can also help anchor the hair in the follicle.Age-related hair loss.

What’s the best shampoo for hair growth?

Here’s a rundown of our top-ranked hair growth shampoos for different hair types and scalp conditions:

  • Best shampoo for hair growth and thickness — Philip Kingsley Density Hair Thickening Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for women’s hair lossPlantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for men’s hair loss — O’Douds Pumpkin Seed Oil Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for fast hair growth — Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for hair breakage and damage — Alice England Lengthen & Strengthen Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dandruff and hair loss — Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for stress-related hair loss — Vatika Black Seed Complete Care Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for age-related hair loss — L’Oréal Elvive Full Resist Reinforcing Shampoo
  • Best natural shampoo for hair growth — John Masters Organics Volumising Shampoo with Rosemary & Peppermint

15 best hair growth shampoos: a deep dive

Let’s take a look at each of these recommended hair growth shampoos in more detail to discover which is best for your hair.

1. Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo is a medicated shampoo designed to treat dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and other causes of a dry scalp or flaking. A dry scalp can lead to hair loss if left untreated. The active ingredient ketoconazole improves these symptoms, while also reducing the effects of DHT on hair growth.

In addition to helping treat a dry scalp, Nizoral is also one of the best hair loss shampoos for men.

2. Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo

Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo

Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo is marketed at women with menopausal hair loss, but it can be used more widely. Caffeine shampoo for hair loss is also effective for male pattern baldness and other types of alopecia.

3. Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo

Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo

Like Plantur 39, Alpecin uses caffeine to stimulate hair growth as part of its shampoo formula. But Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo also includes piroctone olamine, salicylic acid, and niacin, all of which can also promote growth and minimise hair loss.

4. Vatika Black Seed Complete Care Shampoo

Vatika Black Seed Complete Care Shampoo

This multipurpose shampoo from Vatika contains black seed oil, one of the best essential oils for hair growth. Black seed oil can promote healthy hair via lots of different mechanisms, including helping you regain hair after stress, fighting oxidative stress, and improving symptoms of scalp psoriasis.

5. Alice England Lengthen & Strengthen Shampoo

Alice England Lengthen & Strengthen Shampoo

With hydrolysed wheat proteins and rosemary oil for hair loss, this Lengthen and Strengthen Shampoo from Alice England contains gentle, natural ingredients that benefit your hair. Rosemary oil has been shown to be as effective as 2% Minoxidil for hair growth, and can also be applied to your scalp as part of a diluted rosemary oil solution.

6. OGX Anti-Hair Fallout Niacin + Caffeine Shampoo

OGX Anti-Hair Fallout Niacin + Caffeine Shampoo

This shampoo from OGX contains saw palmetto and caffeine, both of which can minimise the impact of DHT on your hair follicles. It’s also sulphate-free, which is ideal if your hair is prone to damage and dehydration, as sulphates can be too harsh on your hair. See more of the best shampoos for dry hair.

7. JVN Embody Volumising Shampoo

VN Embody Volumising Shampoo

Created by Fab Five haircare expert Jonathan Van Ness, this hair growth shampoo contains aloe vera to soothe a dry, irritated scalp. It also contains caffeine to promote hair growth. Like the OGX formula above, this JVN shampoo doesn’t contain sulphates, so it’s more gentle on dry, brittle hair.

8. John Masters Organics Volumising Shampoo with Rosemary & Peppermint

John Masters Organics Volumising Shampoo with Rosemary & Peppermint

Looking for a natural, organic hair growth shampoo? This Volumising Shampoo with Rosemary & Peppermint from John Masters Organics is ideal, thanks to its rosemary oil and peppermint oil extracts. These ingredients can promote hair growth without irritating your scalp.

9. Redken Stemoxydine 5% Thickening Treatment Shampoo

Redken Stemoxydine 5% Thickening Treatment Shampoo

If your hair is starting to feel thinner, a hair thickening shampoo like Redken Stemoxydine 5% Thickening Treatment may help boost hair density. That’s because stemoxydine can keep your hair in the anagen (growth) phase for longer, so it’s less likely to shed. While you’re waiting for this treatment to work, consider trying one of these female hairstyles for crown hair thinning.

10. Umberto Giannini Grow Long Hair Lengthening Shampoo

Umberto Giannini Grow Long Hair Lengthening Shampoo

Despite the name, there’s not much evidence that Umberto Giannini’s Grow Long Hair Lengthening Shampoo will help lengthen your hair if it’s already healthy and intact. But if your hair is prone to shedding and thinning, the caffeine and piroctone olamine in its formula will give your hair a better chance of recovery.

11. Blu Atlas Shampoo

Blu Atlas Shampoo

This sulphate-free formula from Blu Atlas is enriched with saw palmetto and aloe leaf extract for a soothing, DHT-blocking shampoo. So it’s ideal for those experiencing the early stages of male pattern baldness, especially if you also have scalp irritation.

12. O’Douds Pumpkin Seed Oil Shampoo

O’Douds Pumpkin Seed Oil Shampoo

Another hair growth shampoo that contains mainly natural ingredients, O’Douds Pumpkin Seed Oil Shampoo is ideal for men with male pattern baldness. Formulated with natural DHT blockers pumpkin seed oil for hair and saw palmetto, it may reduce the impact of DHT when used regularly. Aloe leaf also helps soothe an itchy or irritated scalp.

13. Aveda Invati Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo Rich

Aveda Invati Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo Rich

Extracts of ginseng and amla fruit are both said to help boost hair growth and reduce thinning, which is why Aveda’s Invati Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo Rich makes our list. In addition, this formula contains caffeine and salicylic acid to offer even greater regrowth effects.

14. Philip Kingsley Density Hair Thickening Shampoo

Philip Kingsley Density Hair Thickening Shampoo

The combination of salicylic acid and pea sprout extract in this Density Hair Thickening Shampoo from Philip Kingsley may reduce hair loss, leaving you with visibly thicker hair across your scalp.

15. L’Oréal Elvive Full Resist Reinforcing Shampoo

15 Best Hair Growth Shampoos 2024, Wimpole Clinic

Protect your hair from age-related shedding with L’Oréal Elvive Full Resist Reinforcing Shampoo. The active ingredient Aminexil has been shown to improve hair anchorage within the follicle, so you can retain more hair as you get older.

Get a personalised hair growth treatment plan from the Wimpole Clinic

While switching to a hair growth shampoo may enhance your hair slowly over time, if you have moderate to severe hair loss, you probably need a more powerful treatment plan.

With approved medication, painless laser hair therapy, and cutting-edge hair transplants available at our nationwide hair clinics, you can get a personalised hair regrowth plan that works for you. Find out more about how our specialists diagnose and treat female hair loss at the Wimpole Clinic, then book a consultation to start your hair regrowth journey.

15 Best Hair Growth Shampoos 2024, Wimpole Clinic

Sources:
  1. Men’s Hair Loss | American Hair Loss Association
  2. Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts
  3. Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of hair loss prevention shampoo containing salicylic acid, panthenol, and niacinamide in alopecia patients
  4. Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress
  5. Hair Cosmetics for the Hair Loss Patient
  6. Ketocazole as an adjunct to finasteride in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men
  7. Hair growth stimulated by conditioned medium of adipose-derived stem cells is enhanced by hypoxia: evidence of increased growth factor secretion
  8. Oral Presentations | NLM
  9. Caffeine and Its Pharmacological Benefits in the Management of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Review 
  10. Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of hair loss prevention shampoo containing salicylic acid, panthenol, and niacinamide in alopecia patients
  11. A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia
  12. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial
  13. Nigella sativa seed, a novel beauty care ingredient: A review
  14. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs
  15. Scalp application of the antioxidant piroctone olamine reduces hair shedding in an 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study
  16. The Use of Serenoa Repens (Saw Palmetto) in Hair Care Products
  17. Short communication: Clinical evaluation of pea sprout extract in the treatment of hair loss
  18. Hair-Growth Potential of Ginseng and Its Major Metabolites: A Review on Its Molecular Mechanisms
  19. The effect of an oral product containing Amla fruit (Phyllanthus emblica L.) on female androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled trial
  20. Efficacy of a cosmetic phyto-caffeine shampoo in female androgenetic alopecia
  21. An Open-Label Randomized Multicenter Study Assessing the Noninferiority of a Caffeine-Based Topical Liquid 0.2% versus Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia
  22. Modification of wheat gluten for improvement of binding capacity with keratin in hair
  23. A Close Look at Aloe Vera Barbadensis and It’s Effect on Hair Health
  24. Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
  25. Topical Products for Human Hair Regeneration: A Comparative Study on an Animal Model
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)Updated on February 16, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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