The Best Shampoos to Support Thinning Hair and Fight Female Hair Loss
Hair loss can be traumatic for women. If you're noticing significant hair loss, it might be a sign that your body's lacking nutrients or that you have a thyroid disorder and that you should be assessed by a medical professional. It could also signify the need to make some lifestyle changes: manage stress, eat healthier, and get more sleep.
While working on the whole picture, one simple task we can do at home is to take care of our scalp. "Great hair starts with a healthy scalp," says Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at Philip Kingsley. "Simply put, that means caring for the scalp as you would your face. Hair follicles sit [right] beneath the scalp and therefore can be disrupted by excessive sweat, product, environment, sebum, and debris (scale)." Caring for those hair follicles means shampooing frequently in order to maintain a clean surface. "[This] will ensure that whatever topical solution you use to support hair growth is then well absorbed," says Phillips. What you want to target is the hair that's going to be growing, not what's currently on your head. But in order to look and feel your best, Cunnane says to pick a shampoo that supports your hair texture's needs such as a volumizing shampoo for thin hair, or a moisturizing formula for coarse hair.
When it comes to shampoos and conditioners, it's more about what to avoid when you label-read, says New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Rita V. Linkner. "This is a good time to invest in products that are clean and free of allergens that could potentially add inflammation to an already volatile state." Ingredients to avoid, according to Dr. Linker, include phthalates, parabens, and sulfates. "Sulfates strip hair of its natural oils and can make hair dry and brittle, creating an unhealthy environment on the scalp, which can be more prone to hair loss through breakage," says Dr. Suneel Chilukuri, a cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon in Huston, Texas. He says consider shampoos that have organic, botanical ingredients and natural oils (like avocado or coconut) to moisturize the scalp. Another ingredient he says to look out for is redensyl, "that may allow the hair follicles to stay in the growth phase (anagen) longer." Overall, when shopping look for shampoos that contain amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin E and B-vitamins.
Ahead, we rounded up shampoos to help support the health of your scalp and hair, which are important steps to take when trying to correct female hair loss.
Dr. Chilukuri likes this shampoo because it contains proteins that reduce the production of Dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that causes hair follicles to become weaker.
Shop Now: Cel "Microstem" Shampoo, $39.80, amazon.com.
Clean hair and scalp are essential when trying to combat hair loss, and this natural shampoo is delivers both a deep clean and plenty of hydration—and that's before a conditioner goes on.
Shop Now: Briogeo "Don't Despair, Repair!" Super Moisture Shampoo, $36, sephora.com.
For those with fine hair, Michelle Blaisure, a trichologist and product specialist at Bosley Professional Strength, says you want a shampoo that's lightweight and volumizing, like BosDefense. This gentle (sulfate-free) option is formulated with anti-aging ingredients (apple stem cell extract, apigenin, and niacin) and DHT inhibitors (saw palmetto, algae extract, and nettle extract).
Shop Now: Bosley "BosDefense" Nourishing Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair, $39.95, ulta.com.
Dr. Linkner encourages her patients to use Prose hair care products since they can be customized to specifically target an individual's hair condition—and the environment! During a consultation, you reveal all your hair and scalp issues and an algorithm processes the information to come up with a unique blend to treat your concerns. Hair growth ingredients include watercress extract and Maca root. Bonus: The made-to-order formulas never sits on the shelf and is a waste-free approach to beauty.
Shop Now: Prose Cleanse Shampoo, $25, prose.com.
Phillips says to start with the Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo which provides therapeutic scalp care for any kind of inflammation or irritation. "Ingredients such as piroctone olamine relieve flaking and itching caused by seborrheic dermatitis and really clean the scalp well," she says.
Shop Now: Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, $37, dermstore.com.
This nourishing shampoo uses a blend of argan oil, aloe vera, and rosemary to wake up hair follicles and includes multiple DHT blockers.
Shop Now: ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo Hair Rejuvenation, $26.95, amazon.com.
This natural brand (which can be found at drug stories, too!) uses biotin and panthenol to thicken and strengthen hair.
Shop Now: JĀSÖN "Thin to Thick" Extra Volume Shampoo, $7.59, amazon.com.
Made with certified organic argan oil and hair strengthening essential oils such as rosemary, sage, and palmarosa, this shampoo stimulates the scalp and hair follicles and increases blood flow in order to promote hair health.
Shop Now: Laritelle "Sensual Bliss" Shampoo, $49.99, amazon.com.
Thinning hair often looks limp and feels fine. OGX's Biotin & Collagen Shampoo doesn't weigh hair down. It's packed with biotin, collagen, and wheat proteins to strengthen and plump locks.
Shop Now: OGX "Thick & Full" Biotin & Collagen Shampoo, $5.79, target.com.
This sulfate-free shampoo contains a nourishing blend of biotin, collagen, and wheat proteins to soothe and moisturize dry hair.
Shop Now: By Gina Rejuvenating Shampoo, $29.99, by-gina.com.
This shampoo optimizes scalp health with ingredients that moisturize and revitalize such as organic shea butter, activated charcoal, ginger, and mint.
Shop Now: Shea Moisture African Water Mint & Ginger Detox & Refresh Hair & Scalp Gentle Shampoo, $7.99, target.com.
Inspired by traditional Ayurvedic treatments, Aveda's shampoo (part of a three-step system) gently exfoliates and cleanses the scalp with a wintergreen-derived salicylic acid and then activates with ginseng and turmeric, while amla thickens locks.
Shop Now: Aveda "Invati" Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo, $34, amazon.com.
Buzzy Denmark-based hair loss brand Harklinikken's Balancing Shampoo is a gentle scalp cleanser that reduces irritation and helps restore the ph balance of the scalp—essential in the fight for healthy hair growth.
Shop Now: Harklinikken Balancing Shampoo, $36, harklinikken.com.