The Best Thickening Products for Hair That Has Started to Thin Over Time

These shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in treatments can help make your hair look and feel stronger.

Rear view of senior woman with hands in her white hair
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Whatever you do to your hair—whether you regularly dye it or embrace your natural color and texture—it is bound to change over the years, especially as you (and your strands) begin to mature. Hair thinning, in particular, can take place with time. If this does happen to you, don't fret—there are several treatments on the market that can help you achieve thickness and body.

There are many reasons why hair density changes over time. One of the most common causes is hereditary-based alopecia, says William Yates, MD, FACS, which is called androgenic alopecia in men and female pattern alopecia in women. "Other causes of hair thinning which are not hereditary are medical diseases, such as autoimmune disorders like lupus, polymyositis, and sarcoidosis," he adds. "Anemia, thyroid issues, and severe malnutrition can also cause thinning of the hair."

If you're experiencing any of the above, note that it is still possible to give strands a fuller feel and appearance with specially formulated thickening hair products. "The main component of thickening products are known as humectants," says Dr. Yates. "Humectants add volume by drawing moisture into the external hair shaft to give the hair shaft more thickness and more strengthening properties."

We've gathered thickening shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in treatments on the market that will not only plump up each strand, but also nourish them with added shine and softness.

Shop the Best Hair Thickening Products

The Best Hair Thickening Shampoos

01 of 18

Wella Volume Shampoo

wella invigo volume boost shampoo
Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

To give your hair some volume and body, consider this shampoo filled with nourishing seed oil. It's lightweight, but effectively washes away product residue and oil—and will leave your scalp feeling ultra-clean.

02 of 18

Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash

kevin murphy plumping wash
Courtesy of Amazon

Filled with ginger root and nettle extracts, this shampoo adds density to fine hair and strengthens strands with every wash. These ingredients also stimulate blood circulation in the scalp to promote growth.

03 of 18

Sebastian Volupt Volume-Boosting Shampoo

sebastian volupt volume boosting shampoo
Courtesy of Amazon

This volume-boosting shampoo strengthens strands by penetrating the hair shaft with bamboo extract, which also promotes volume and softness.

04 of 18

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Volume Shampoo

bumble and bumble thickening volume shampoo
Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

Vitamin B5 is the key to improving thin hair's volume, shine, and texture, says Jennifer Weiss, a dermatology PA at Marmur Medical—and this shampoo is full of it (pun intended!). "[It] will give your hair added moisture, plumping the follicle and thickening the hair," she adds.

05 of 18

Dr. Yates MD Thickening Shampoo

Courtesy of Dr. Yates, MD Hair + Science

Dr. Yates' shampoo formula boasts pumpkin seed oil, zinc, and magnesium—and all three play a role in promoting thicker strands. They refresh the scalp with their anti-inflammatory properties and stimulate circulation around the hair follicles for growth and added strength.

The Best Hair Thickening Conditioners

06 of 18

Sebastian Volupt Volume-Boosting Conditioner

sebastian volupt volume boosting conditioner
Courtesy of Amazon

Your hair will be that much fuller if you pair the Sebastian Volupt Volume-Boosting Shampoo with its matching conditioner, which won't weigh strands down. Cactus and other botanical extracts ensure strands feel light and soft after your shower.

07 of 18

Kevin Murphy Plumping Rinse

kevin murphy plumping rinse
Courtesy of Amazon

If you follow up the Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash with this thickening conditioner, your strands will look and feel fuller thanks to the product's keratin content; this is one of the formula's main ingredients. "Keratin is a protein found naturally in our hair follicles and it will help to protect and strengthen the outer layer of your hair strands," says Weiss.

08 of 18

Living Proof Full Conditioner

living proof full conditioner
Courtesy of Sephora

This conditioner adds volume to thinning, limp hair of all types, from straight and wavy to curly. Weiss likes this option, as it "is all-natural and contains peptides that will not only hydrate your hair, but also plump the hair follicles."

09 of 18

Kérastase Densifique Thickening Conditioner for Thinning Hair

Kérastase Densifique Thickening Conditioner for Thinning Hair
Courtesy of Sephora

The hyaluronic acid in this thickening conditioner strengthens hair and prevents breakage. Ceramides boost strands' shine and elasticity, while gluco-peptides strengthen hair fibers and reduce breakage.

The Best Hair Thickening Leave-In Treatments

10 of 18

Moroccanoil Thickening Lotion

Moroccanoil Thickening Lotion
Courtesy of Sephora

If you want fuller hair, this thickening leave-in lotion will deliver that and more. The formula's geranium extract strengthens strands and green tea leaf extract offers nourishing antioxidants.

11 of 18

Oribe "Maximista" Thickening Spray

oribe maximista thickening spray
Courtesy of Amazon

Watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts work together to protect delicate hair from hot tools and damaging UV rays in this thickening spray, which adds a durable lift to hair and provides medium hold, too. Weiss recommends this product for its amino acids, which strengthen hair follicles.

12 of 18

Pantene Blends Hair Multiplying Tonic

pantene blends hair multiplying tonic
Courtesy of Walgreens

Aging hair—especially if it has been chemically treated—will benefit from this leave-in tonic. The bamboo-infused thickening serum adds fullness to hair and also helps prevent breakage.

13 of 18

TGIN Hydrating Mousse

tgin honey whip hydrating mousse
Courtesy of Ulta

Those with curly hair types require constant moisture to maintain elasticity. That's where this hydrating mousse comes in. The coconut and argan oils give aging textures a solid amount of hydration, while also providing enduring hold.

14 of 18

Wella Invigo Volume Boost Bodifying Foam

wella invigo volume boost bodifying foam
Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

When used in tandem with its shampoo counterpart, this body-boosting foam is meant to add volume to even the finest of hair without weighing it down. It's especially helpful during the styling process, since it eliminates static.

15 of 18

Dove Style + Care Mousse Volume and Fullness

dove style mousse volume fullness
Courtesy of Walmart

Gain more volume from roots to ends with this lightweight mousse, filled with amino acids. It also combats frizz, dehydration, and split ends and ensures all-day hold.

16 of 18

Original Mineral Atonic Thickening Spritz

original mineral atonic thickening spritz
Courtesy of Amazon

This thickening spritz is the perfect product to use before styling your hair, especially if you use hot tools; it's also a heat protectant. It contains Lilly Pilly, an antioxidant known for thickening the hair shaft.

17 of 18

Hair Biology Thickening Treatment With Biotin

hair biology thickening treatment
Courtesy of Target

Infused with biotin and caffeine, this thickening treatment adheres to and fluffs each strand, resulting in a fuller, healthier look and feel.

18 of 18

Not Your Mother's "Plump For Joy" Thickening Hair Lifter

not your mothers thickening hair lifter
Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

This vegan thickening lifter provides a boost of strength and body at the root. Best of all, the formulas that this ingredient-conscious company makes have everything you want and nothing you don't—which is why this product is sulfate surfactant-, silicone-, paraben-, phthalate-, gluten-, dye-, alcohol-, and cruelty-free.

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