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Applying thickening shmpoo

Do you have thin or fine hair? If so, you’ve probably scoured the shelves for the best hair thickening shampoo over the years. It makes sense – you want an easy-to-use product that promises your hair will look thicker, fuller, and healthier after just a single use.

Are hair thickening shampoos actually worth it, though? Also, what’s actually in them? In this article, we’ll go into the ins and outs of hair thickening shampoos, from their ingredients to how they work to thicken the strands.

Hair Thickening Shampoos: The Common Ingredients and How They Work

A hair thickening shampoo is a lot like a regular shampoo; you use it in the shower, washing your hair with it before following up with conditioner. However, they contain specific ingredients that help your strands appear thicker. The key word here is ‘appear’ – a hair thickening shampoo cannot permanently make your hair strands denser, nor can it cause your scalp to grow more hairs.

Different hair thickening shampoos use different ingredients to create the illusion of thicker hair. Here are some of the most common:


Keratin is a kind of protein that’s naturally found in the hair, skin, and nails. It’s very strong, making its presence in a hair thickening shampoo very understandable. This strong protein attaches to the hair strands and fills in the gaps, giving the appearance of thick, full, strong, and smooth hair.


Biotin is an ingredient that boosts the production of keratin. As a result, biotin in a shampoo can create the appearance of stronger and thicker strands.


Caffeine is quite a common ingredient in hair thickening shampoos. It’s said to stimulate hair growth by boosting blood circulation and also even blocking the hormone DHT. While there has been studies showing the effectiveness of caffeine on hair growth – one showing [2] definite improvement in anagen when using topical caffeine – there still needs to be more research done on the topic.

Is a Hair Thickening Shampoo Worth It?

For people with fine or thin hair, hair thickening shampoos can be an excellent addition to a shower routine, as they create the look of thicker, fuller hair (and doesn’t everyone want that?). However, that’s where their efficacy ends. If you’re looking for a shampoo that can help regrow the hair, you’ll need to look elsewhere, as a thickening shampoo is not a hair loss treatment.

Hair Thickening vs. Hair Loss Shampoos

Hair thickening shampoos create the appearance of denser strands, whereas hair loss shampoos target the cause behind hair loss. A hair thickening shampoo will cause an instant result that won’t last, whereas a hair loss shampoo will take time to see results, but the results will be more permanent.

A hair loss shampoo includes ingredients that are known to promote hair growth, such as niacinamide, salicylic acid, vitamin B5, and certain oils (such as rosemary oil or castor oil).

How to Use a Hair Thickening Shampoo

If you have not experienced hair loss and you only want to give the appearance of thicker hair, a hair thickening shampoo will work fantastically. Here’s how to use one:

Wet the Hair

The first step is pretty simple – wet the hair. Usually, you’ll do this in the shower, the bath, or over the sink.

Apply the Shampoo to the Roots

Next, apply the shampoo to the roots of the hair. From there, massage into the scalp.


Next, rinse the hair thickening shampoo out, making sure all the product rinses out before carrying on with your routine.


It’s often best to repeat using your shampoo. The first wash is to get any dirt and build-up out of the scalp, and the second wash is to fully clean the hair. It makes a difference!

Follow Up with a Conditioner

It’s always best to follow up by shampooing your hair with a good conditioner. You can invest in a hair thickening conditioner to improve the overall results. If you have very fine hair and you want to avoid that lifeless look, it’s best to avoid a conditioner that’s overly moisturising, as that will weigh down your strands.

Enjoy the Results

The best part about a hair thickening shampoo is that results are instantaneous. As soon as you dry your hair, you’ll be able to enjoy the results. Of course, the thick-looking strands won’t last forever, and you’ll need to rewash and reuse the shampoo to keep it up. Plus, some hair thickening shampoos are better than others, so you may have to test a couple out before finding the best hair thickening shampoo for you.

Is Your Hair Fine, Thin, or Falling Out?

When looking at shampoos and treatments for fine or thin hair, it’s important to understand exactly the kind of hair you want to treat. There’s a big difference between fine and thinning hair! Hair thickening shampoo works well on fine hair, but thinning hair requires a different sort of treatment.

On the one hand, fine hair is a specifical type of hair in which the strands have a very small diameter. A person with fine hair may still have lots of strands and hair follicles [1], but those strands just aren’t dense. Often, fine hair gets frizzy and oily faster – people with fine hair often need to wash their hair more often.

Then, there’s thin hair. Thin hair refers to fewer strands on the scalp. Someone can have thick strands but still have thin hair, for example. If you look at your scalp and there are larger gaps compared to other people, but it’s always been that way and there’s no sign of shedding, that’s probably thin hair.

Hair that’s falling out is something else entirely. A person can have fine, thin hair without it falling out – that can be how their hair is genetically. However, hair that’s falling out (or thinning hair) is when the hair gets thinner over time, sometimes to the point of bald patches. There are many potential causes behind this, from alopecia areata to male or female pattern hair loss. In this situation, a shampoo to thicken hair is not going to help at all.

Treating Thinning Hair

Do you have hair loss? It can be emotionally and mentally hard to deal with, but there are treatment options out there to help you regrow your locks. You don’t need to waste your time and money on hair thickening products! Here are some treatments and procedures that genuinely lead to hair growth.


Finasteride is an extremely effective treatment for men experiencing male pattern baldness. This oral treatment must be taken once a day and works by preventing the production of DHT, a hormone often responsible for men losing their hair. You can only get it as a prescription.


Another medical treatment for male pattern baldness is minoxidil. It also treats female pattern baldness, and works by boosting blood flow and widening hair follicles. It’s to be used topically at least once per day (but often twice), with results only lasting as long as you use it. You can get minoxidil over the counter at most pharmacies.

Low-Level Light Therapy

A popular hair loss treatment is light therapy, which uses low level leasers to stimulate hair growth. It’s effective, too, with reports showing that it works for both men and women with androgenetic alopecia. [3]

Addressing Medical Issues

Sometimes, an underlying health concern causes hair loss. For example, stress can result in telogen effluvium, a type of alopecia that causes rapid hair shedding. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause the hair to fall out, and taking supplements for that can reverse it. It’s best to speak to your doctor to figure out the exact cause of your hair loss, as that way, you’ll find a treatment that works best for your specific case.


Steroids for hair loss can be administered two ways: via injections or through a steroid cream. These will require a prescription, so speak to your doctor if it’s an option you want to consider.

Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are only growing in popularity. A hair transplant these days looks a lot different to how they did years ago – the FUE (follicular unit extraction) method is particularly beneficial, as it only grafts single follicles at a time, leaving minimal scarring and resulting in a natural finish. For those who’ve had no luck with steroids, minoxidil, or other hair treatments – or those who simply want a result that lasts and lasts – hair transplants are an excellent choice.

Hair Transplant Results

The difference a hair transplant can make is incredible. They can help people with alopecia grow hair in places they never thought they’d grow hair again. If you want to see just how life-changing hair transplants can be, just look at this patients gallery.

In Summary

A hair thickening shampoo works well if you have fine or thin hair that you want to liven up. The ingredients attach to the strands, giving the appearance of thicker, denser hair. The results are instant and can leave you with tons more confidence.

However, if you’re experiencing hair loss, a thickening shampoo will not make much difference, so consider one of the other treatment options. Here at Harley Street Hair Clinic, we have an incredible team of surgeons who can help you with your hair restoration journey. Download our revolutionary hair track app to book a no-obligation consultation!


  1. https://www.byrdie.com/fine-vs-thin-hair-5267987
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5804833/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8906269/#:~:text=%5B2%2C3%5D%20LLLT%20has,proliferation%20in%20active%20anagen%20HFs.
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