I am the self-proclaimed president of the fine hair club. I *need* to shower every single day to avoid looking like a greasy mess, have dry shampoo on standby, and crave volume more than anything. As such, I’ve made it my beauty editor mission to uncover the best hair thickening shampoos in existence. Over the years, dozens upon dozens of shampoos promising fuller, healthier hair have taken up real estate in my shower. But these 15 are without a doubt, hands down, no questions asked, the best of the best.
That in mind, it’s important to have realistic expectations with a thickening or volumizing shampoo. They’re not going to transform your genetically-given hair texture. But, they can reduce inflammation and detox the scalp to create an ideal environment for healthy hair growth. “Quite simply, a thickening shampoo will keep the scalp clean and clear of dirt and grease,” says hairstylist and trichologist Gregorio Ruggeri. “They’re helping to not only fight hair loss, but also promote hair growth.”
At the same time, ingredients like biotin, green tea, caffeine, rosemary oil, saw palmetto, and more, are able to “create temporary density by swelling strands'' and “plump the cuticle,” so you “feel” results after one to three washes. While hair doesn’t grow overnight (you won’t notice a difference for at least three months), incorporating one of the best hair-thickening shampoos into your routine can be a game-changer. So without further ado, keep scrolling to shop my all-time favorites.
This brand was created with hair growth in mind, so rest assured it’s going to deliver a slew of benefits. This particular product gives all the TLC to the hair cuticle, working to make it stronger and healthier. While hair shedding is totally normal (everyone loses 50 to 100 strands a day), you should notice less fallout in the shower with consistent use of this shampoo. (PSA: you don’t need to use a lot of product to work up a solid lather. A quarter-sized amount will do the trick.)
With a handful of Ruggeri’s highlighted ingredients like biotin and saw palmetto, it’s no surprise that this uber-volumizing shampoo landed on my list. While the biotin works to increase hair strength over time, the saw palmetto berry extract creates a thicker feel almost instantly. It’s worth noting that coconut oil also worked its way into this formula. While that’s typically a no-go for fine hair, I promise it’s super lightweight, won’t weigh your hair down, and gives you a shiny finish.
You may have heard the buzz around the brand’s eyelash conditioner (it really works, FYI), but this haircare product deserves the same amount of attention. With an ideal roster of ingredients (green tea! amino acids! salicylic acid!), the foaming formula effectively detoxes the scalp, restores hydration, and protects against breakage. The smell is super subtle too, leaving nothing but a fresh fragrance behind.
I’ve found that some hair-thickening shampoos take away shine in exchange for density, but such isn’t the case with this volumizing option. It leaves hair equal parts glossy and bouncy. And, thanks to an ingredient called phytantriol, it’s not going to strip your hair color or bring on unwanted brassiness.
Ideal for those constantly itching their scalp and dealing with dandruff (hi, yes, me), this anti-inflammatory shampoo is a godsend. Ingredients like aloe vera soothe the scalp and reduce irritation, while peptides work overtime to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
While fine hair can get greasy quicker, that doesn't mean your strands can’t be dry or rough. For an extra boost of hydration (and, obviously, volume) this citrus-smelling formula is the way to go. It does it all: nourishes, soothes, softens, and smooths. The best part? When you hit the bottom of the bottle, just toss the whole thing into the recycling bin.
Ginseng has been proven to encourage hair growth, so there’s no question why it’s the superstar ingredient in this thickening shampoo. In the short run, it will plump the hair shaft. In the long run, it will promote hair growth. What's more? The shampoo offers heat protection up to 450 degrees, so you don’t have to weigh down fine hair with yet another product.
There’s *nothing* better than the smell of Oribe Côte de Azur. So, when the brand infused the scent into a body-building shampoo that gave me next-level volume, I was hooked. It’s not a very foamy formula, but it works wonders balancing the scalp. After just one wash, my roots stand taller.
Ideal for those dealing with hair loss, this plant-based formula, which is packed with vitamins and caffeine, takes a 360 approach to hair health. It’s going to strengthen hair at the root thanks to quinine bark extract, stimulate the scalp, and serve up all the key nutrients and vitamins to promote long-term hair health.
While your hair won’t actually be thicker, this densifying miracle worker will surely make you think it is. Because whether you were born with uber-fine hair or have noticed thinning with age, this shampoo, which is formulated with rice amino acids, creates a dense feeling.
Repair is the name of the game with this shampoo. It’s formulated with a proprietary keratin complex (basically the same protein naturally found in your hair, skin, and nails), which allows it to restore damaged cuticles and create a healthy environment for hair growth. It also includes spearmint leaf oil, so you’ll feel a tingle when you work it into your scalp.
Best for straight or wavy hair, this thickening shampoo leaves hair ridiculously soft to the touch. It does everything right: cleanses without stripping natural oils, visibly boosts volumes, and strengthens hair over time. To up the ante, use this shampoo in tandem with the Go Big Plumping Treatment, a just-launched leave-in treatment.
If you’re on the hunt for a product that puts sustainability at the forefront, turn your attention to this Amika option. Not only is it going to give you volume from root to tip, but the shampoo also comes in refillable pouches so you can use your bottle on repeat.
Sensitive scalp? Hear me out: the Indian gooseberries in this luxe shampoo do wonders for irritation. It calms down redness, inflammation, and itching to create a prime environment for new hair to grow.
For a shampoo that you can feel working wonders, this is the way to go; it tingles upon application. Unlike a normal shampoo, this is designed to be used more like a treatment for thinning hair. Apply it every other day for one month’s time, and then reduce usage to two times a week for the following two months.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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