If you have thinning hair, you probably shampoo your hair as gently as you can to keep as much hair on your head as possible. But are you using the right shampoo for your hair? There are a broad range of shampoo and conditioner options to help prevent further hair loss. However, the ingredients and results may differ for each. Understanding product contents and how they work can help you figure out which hair loss shampoos are best for you.
How do shampoos for thinning hair prevent hair loss?
Hair loss shampoos are also known as “hair thickening” shampoos. These products aren’t an overnight solution to thinning hair, but they can make a difference in two ways:
- Fortifying, thickening, and strengthening individual hair strands to give the illusion of thicker hair. Many hair loss shampoos work with the hair that you do have by making each strand fuller and thicker. Some ingredients in these hair thickening shampoos penetrate into the hair shaft and fill in any spaces, causing the strand to swell and bulk up. These thicker strands then create the appearance of more hair.
- Encouraging the growth of new hair. Over-the-counter shampoos for thinning hair aren’t typically medicated, but they do contain ingredients that promote hair growth. For example, some may include vitamins and minerals that are known to make scalp healthier and boost hair growth.
Shampoos for thinning hair contain ingredients that are categorized as thickeners, but they may also contain ingredients called opacifiers. (01) These ingredients are added to improve the appearance of the existing hair, like pearlescent flakes to make hair appear thicker and healthier. Before taking a deep dive into the ingredients of hair loss shampoos, it’s important to remember that most of the results from thickening shampoos are temporary. That said, they’re still an excellent choice for someone concerned about hair loss.
Most Common Ingredients In Hair Loss Shampoos
What sets hair loss shampoos apart from average run-of-the-mill shampoos are their ingredients. (01) Average shampoos often contain elements that are too harsh for thinning hair, raising the potential of further hair loss. Hair loss shampoos are much more forgiving, cleaning the hair without disrupting the hair’s full life cycle.
The following are the most common ingredients found in hair loss shampoos.
Look at any hair strengthening shampoo on the market, and you’ll likely find biotin on the ingredient list. Why? Because biotin deficiencies result in weak and brittle hair and nails. (02) Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s crucial for keratin production. Keratin and collagen are the primary structural components of each strand of hair, essential for hair growth. Many foods contain biotin, and this nutrient works best when consumed. Biotin is also available through supplements as a nutraceutical. However, hair loss shampoos and conditioners also contain biotin to help strengthen hair from the outside.
Essential Amino Acids
Shampoos for thinning hair often include essential amino acids on their ingredient list. Like biotin, amino acids are vital for the production of keratin and collagen. Keratin and collagen require the following amino acids: (03)
To generate enough keratin and collagen needed for sufficient hair growth, the body needs a steady supply of amino acids. In particular, lysine and methionine are the most essential amino acids for hair. Hair thickening shampoos that contain these amino acids can help combat hair loss and encourage growth.
Saw palmetto, also known as serenoa serrulata, serenoa repens, or sabal serrulata) comes from palmetto berries (also called serenoa repens, serenoa serrulata or sabal serrulata). Studies show this berry extract acts as an anti-inflammatory for the scalp and skin. Furthermore, saw palmetto extract decreases sebum production and increases hair density in cases of androgenetic alopecia and polycystic ovary syndrome. (04, 05)
Niacin (Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid) is a common ingredient in hair growth shampoos because it increases blood circulation, especially through the scalp. Improved blood flow feeds nutrients to hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Niacin also repairs DNA and boosts keratin production, helping to keep hair strong. (03)
Caffeine not only boosts the energy in your body, but it can protect hair follicles from dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is converted from testosterone and – when linked to receptors in hair follicles – results in hair loss. By preventing DHT from negatively impacting hair follicles, caffeine encourages hair growth and retention in both female pattern hair loss and male pattern hair loss. Additionally, caffeine may stimulate already weakened hair follicles, potentially repairing damaged roots. (06)
Known for its immune boosting properties, zinc is also a hair-strengthening mineral. Zinc balances sebum production and boosts scalp health. Many dandruff shampoos contain zinc because of its dandruff-busting capabilities. Shampoos for thinning hair, however, also include zinc for its ability to strengthen hair and keep hair follicles free from obstructions like oil and dandruff. (03)
Green tea is a popular drink, but it’s also a common ingredient in hair growth shampoos. Green tea inhibits the production of a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase is responsible for the conversion of into DHT. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors prevent the production of DHT, reducing hair loss. An additional benefit of green tea is its high antioxidant consent. Antioxidants combat environmental cell damage from free radicals, keeping your scalp and hair healthy. Green tea may also improve scalp health, balance sebum production, and treats dandruff. (07)
What to keep in mind when choosing shampoos for thinning hair?
Choosing the right hair loss shampoo can be overwhelming, but following three simple rules can help you choose the one for you.
Stick With Companies that Specialize in Hair Loss
When finding shampoos for thinning hair, stick to hair products from businesses that specialize specifically in hair loss. While cosmetic companies may know all about healthy hair, they may be unfamiliar with hair loss or balding. Whenever possible, take the time to find products sold or endorsed by reputable hair-loss companies. Although you may have to wait for shipping or make a special trip to another store, using shampoos from reputable companies that specialize in hair loss can make all the difference in how your thinning hair progresses. These companies understand hair loss and all its nuances, therefore their products are more likely to suit your needs.
Pay Attention to the Ingredient List
Just like the way you check ingredient lists on food, you should check the ingredient lists on products you place on your body. When looking at the ingredient list, keep an eye out for items listed above. Furthermore, if you’re thinking about buying more than one product, keep using the same company product line. For example, a manufacturer of a hair loss shampoo may also have hair loss conditioner and hair loss hair spray from the same product line.
Choose For Your Hair Type
Thickening shampoos may target various hair types. For example, one shampoo may be ideal for fine hair while another may be best for dry hair. Because these shampoos are formulated to work with a specific type of hair, you may need to find the one that matches with your hair type. The results can vary wildly depending on the different formulations, so finding the right shampoo for your hair type is essential.
Don’t Wash Your Hair Away
Keeping your hair healthy means keeping it clean, but you don’t need to wash your hair away in the process. Finding an excellent quality shampoo for thinning hair may take some research, but it’s worth it to keep as much hair on your head as you can. Matching the right shampoo to your hair’s needs can help you resolve trouble spots and help reduce further hair loss.
If you’re thinking you may need more than shampoo for thinning hair, contact our specialists at Happy Head. Our physicians tailor each hair treatment for every client, ensuring safe treatment aimed at your unique situation. Happy Head is so confident you’ll be satisfied with our services, we offer a six-month money-back guarantee. Contact us today for your personalized hair loss treatment!