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Everything You Need To Know About Hair Thickening Shampoo

Searching for the answer to your hair loss can be a bit overwhelming. There’s so much information out there. Sorting the real solutions from the snake oil can be a challenge.

You’ve got a dizzying array of lotions and potions to choose from. And then there’s the pills and supplements, hair thickening sprays, scalp micropigmentation — the list goes on.

Pretty confusing, right?

But what about hair thickening shampoo? If you’re looking for something that produces results quickly and without breaking the bank, it could be worth exploring a shampoo for thinning hair.

Thicker, healthier looking hair for the price of a night down the pub. It sounds great, but does hair thickening shampoo work?

Let’s dive in and explore what’s making these shampoos an increasingly popular tool in the battle against thinning hair.

What is hair thickening shampoo?

This might sound like a silly question. It thickens your hair, of course! But we need to delve a little deeper. This is hair loss after all, and it’s a complicated business.

Just like your normal shampoo, hair thickening shampoo is used to wash your hair. But these shampoos are also specially formulated to create the appearance of fuller, thicker hair.

This is a useful benefit for people who are suffering from thinning hair, a problem caused by the miniaturisation of hair follicles. Miniaturisation occurs when hair shafts become thinner and thinner over time, leading to the appearance of a weak and limp head of hair. Hair thickening shampoos fight against this phenomenon by using a range of active ingredients to plumpen the look of those miniaturised hairs.

In addition, these specialised shampoos also work just like conventional shampoos. They wash away grease and dirt which can combine to weigh down hair and make it appear flat and lifeless. This cleansing and thickening combination can produce excellent and immediate results.

How does hair thickening shampoo work?

There are a lot of shampoos for thinning hair on the market, and they don’t all work in exactly the same way. Each brand consists of different ingredients and targets the problem in different ways. There are, of course, some similarities across the board specifically the cleansing action just mentioned.
Let’s have a look at the different ways hair thickening shampoos work:

Targeting individuals strands of hair

One way that thickening shampoos work is by targeting individual strands of hair with key ingredients, such as proteins and collagens. This can have the effect of making the hair shafts appear thicker. After all, hair itself consists mostly of the protein keratin.

Boosting overall health of hair

Another way hair thickening shampoos work is by targeting the hair with ingredients known to boost the overall health and vitality of hair in the long term. Two of these include saw palmetto and biotin which promote stronger and thicker growth. We’ll look at these and other key ingredients in more detail below.

Moisturising the follicles

Some shampoos also draw on the fact that after keratin, the next largest component of hair is water. These shampoos aim to add more moisture to the follicles, making them swell and therefore creating a thicker looking head of hair.

What are the ingredients of shampoos for thinning hair?

With a wide array of shampoos on the market, here are some of the ingredients to look out for. It’s important to understand what each ingredient brings to the table. Some offer cosmetic improvements, while others stimulate healthy growth.

  • Keratin

    Human hair is approximately 90% keratin, so it’s no surprise to see this super protein on this list. Extra keratin adds body to each follicle, creating a fuller look overall.

  • Caffeine

    Just like your morning coffee kicks you into life, the caffeine in shampoos acts as a stimulant, encouraging speedy and healthy growth.

  • Clay Fibres

    These natural looking fibres can cling to the hair shaft, adding thickness and volume.

  • Saw Palmetto

    This natural palm tree extract acts as an agent to prevent further miniaturisation and hair loss.

  • Niacin

    This B3 Vitamin opens up blood vessels and encourages improved blood circulation. This in turn promotes follicular growth.

  • Collagen

    This protein promotes excellent scalp health, creating a fertile ground for healthy growth.

  • Biotin

    Another B Vitamin which stimulates hair and nail growth. It boosts keratin production and therefore increases the rate of hair growth

Hair thickening shampoo vs. hair loss shampoo

Before putting your faith in a new product, it’s important to understand that there are two main types of shampoo for thinning hair. You see, there’s a difference between a hair thickening shampoo and a hair loss shampoo.

Thickening shampoos are cosmetic

While hair thickening shampoo focuses primarily on improving the cosmetic appearance of your hair, hair loss shampoos aim to slow down and stop the hair loss itself.

Thickeners add volume to your hair

Thickening shampoos usually focus on adding extra protein and moisture to your hair shafts. This makes the follicles appear thicker and creates a fuller look with extra volume.

Hair loss shampoos aim to tackle the root cause

Hair loss shampoos contain ingredients focused on preventing additional hair fall and promoting new growth. These ingredients have effects such as increasing blood flow, boosting scalp health and managing hormonal balance. Therefore, these shampoos try to solve the problem of hair loss, whereas thickening shampoos only conceal the problem.

Some shampoos aim to do both

There are some shampoos that promise to conceal your existing thinning hair and prevent future hair loss. This may seem like an ideal solution, but it’s always worth experimenting with different products as each person’s experience is different.

How often should you use a thinning hair shampoo and what results should you expect?

There can be no set answer for this question, because everyone’s hair and scalp is different. But it’s generally recommended to use an effective shampoo on your hair every two or three days.

If your focus is on the cosmetic benefits of thickening shampoos, this regular usage is important as the effects of the shampoo will start to lessen after a few days.

The natural build up of oil in the hair will lead to heavier hair and a greasier, flatter appearance. In addition, the thickening effect of the added proteins and moisture will start to wane.

And if you’re looking for your shampoo to slow hair loss itself, it’s also important to wash your hair several times a week. For the shampoo to be effective, your hair and scalp need regular exposure to the active ingredients such as saw palmetto, caffeine and biotin.

Having said that, it’s equally important that you don’t over-wash your hair. Washing too frequently can strip away the essential oils and sebum which promote strong hair and a healthy scalp.

Final verdict: does hair thickening shampoo work?

The short answer is yes.


You need to understand what we mean when we say it works. It works because it does its job of helping to conceal your hair loss and improving your appearance.

What doesn’t it do? It doesn’t slow down or stop your hair loss.

For that, you’ll need to look for a shampoo that tackles hair loss and promotes hair growth. And that means checking for ingredients such as caffeine, saw palmetto and biotin, among others.

And remember…everyone’s hair loss is different. It pays off to take your time and experiment. That way, you’ll find the right shampoo that works for you and your hair loss.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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