Sure, a blow dryer and a round brush equal extreme volume, but it takes a certain level of arm aerobics to give yourself a blowout. So if your personal skill level falls flat, a volumizing shampoo can help add body to fine or thinning hair.
Before adding any shampoos to your cart, it's important to understand the difference between the two hair types. "Fine hair usually describes the diameter or width or the actual hair strand," says Dr. Sheila Farhang, board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics in Tucson, AZ. "Hair thinning is usually used to describe the density of hair ie. the actual amount of hair."
While both fine and thinning hair can be determined by genetics, Dr. Farhang says medical conditions like thyroid issues, medications, and nutrient deficiencies can make dry hair fine and brittle. Thinning hair is essentially hair loss and often associated with age (think female pattern baldness). "This 'inevitable' hair loss can be exacerbated with stress, trauma, hormones change called telogen effluvium, where instead of normally losing 100 strands of hair, people lose three to five times that amount," she says. The good news? It's often temporary.
As for what to wash your hair with, "The key is to use shampoos that are designed for frequent use that are suitable to your hair needs," says Chuck Hezekiah, René Furterer education manager, retail and salon. "For temporary volume, look for volumizing shampoos that use ingredients that do not weigh the hair down," Hezekiah adds. "For thickening, look for shampoos that densify."
And while a shampoo may help hair appear thicker, remember it's not a solution for hair loss. "If someone is losing quite a bit of hair, I wouldn't get too caught up with shampoos and recommend they see their board-certified dermatologist to make sure they don't have another type of alopecia such as alopecia areata or a scarring alopecia," Dr. Farhang says. "As a dermatologist, not only do we diagnose but also check labs, and can provide treatment options to decrease hair loss and improve hair growth."
Ahead, our favorite volumizing and body-building shampoos for fine and thinning hair, including Dr. Farhang and Hezekiah's expert picks.
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Living Proof Full Shampoo
Dr. Farhang is a fan of Living Proof’s Full Shampoo. The formula lifts the roots without weighing hair down.
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Shampoo
There’s no need to use volumizing styling products after you’ve blow-dried your hair because this shampoo coats each stand of hair to make it appear fuller, while biotin and ginseng strengthen hair and promote healthy follicles for growth.
Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo
Made with French oak extract, green coconut water, plant extracts, and UV and heat protectant polymors, this shampoo promises to leave hair with twice as much bounce.
Redken Volume Injection Shampoo
The body-building polymers in Redken’s shampoo gives hair newfound extreme fullness.
René Furterer Tonucia Replumping Shampoo
“The René Furterer Tonucia ranges uses a wheat micro-protein to plump the hair, and tamarind seed extract to soften the scalp to prevent miniaturization (hair becoming skinnier with age),” says Hezekiah of his pick for thinning hair.
OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen
This OGX bottle is proof you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a shampoo that delivers results. With biotin, collagen, and vitamin B5, the formula works to make every single strand look thicker.
Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo, System 3
On top of adding volume to hair, Nioxin’s cleanser washes away buildup, pollution, and dirt to create optimal conditions for hair growth. Whats more, this particular formula is designed to be safe for color/chemically-treated hair.
Kérastase Densifique Bodifying Shampoo
Thanks to hyaluronic acid, Kérastase’s volumizing shampoo hydrates fine, flat hair without overloading it with heavy ingredients.
ISDIN Lambdapil Hair Density Shampoo
Dr. Farhang suggests ISDIN’s shampoo for thinning hair because the formula is fortifying, meaning it strengthens hair to prevents future shedding.
R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo
Biotin and palmetto berry extract work to plump and hydrate strands for instant volume, fullness, and shine.
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