The 26 Best Hair Growth Shampoos, According to Stylists and Derms

Rapunzel-like locks, coming right up.

hair growth shampoo
(Image credit: Hearst Owned/Design by Morgan McMullen)

When you desperately want longer hair—whether you're trying to grow out a short haircut you're not feeling anymore or dealing with hair loss, a problem that affects 40 percent of women—looking in the mirror can get depressing, and waiting can feel like an eternity. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to speed up hair growth, like nourishing hair vitamins and incorporating special shampoos into your routine. But before you try to give your hair a nudge, it's essential to understand the science behind it.

Can shampoo really promote hair growth?

Yes, but there are other things you can do, too. Dr. Shani Francis, board-certified dermatologist and member of DevaCurl’s Expert Curl Council, says that to really speed up the process, supplement a hair growth shampoo with a diet rich in omega-3, fiber, sulfur ("our hair has a lot of sulfur in its internal structure"), and protein. Foods like lean meats, leafy greens, nuts, beans, and fish fit the bill. Most importantly, make sure you drink a lot of water. Francis recommends two liters a day if you want to see results. While most of this may seem like common knowledge, she adds: "It’s important to remember that our hair ends up receiving the 'leftovers' of the nutrients that our body needs."

And if you're thinking of taking supplements to get the necessary nutrients, just don't overdo it. Francis explains: "What some people don’t realize is that most hair, skin, and nail supplements are multivitamins," she explains. "As with anything, balance is key."

What should I look for in a hair growth shampoo?

Francis recommends avoiding formulas with harmful sulfates that can strip your hair of the natural and essential oils that it needs. "This occasionally results in a cleansing experience that doesn't lather but is gentler for your hair," she says. "Other ingredients to avoid are parabens, silicones, and phthalates." Here, celebrity stylists and dermatologists share the shampoos that will give you Rapunzel-like locks.