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While there is no way to change the texture of the hair follicles, there are many ways to make the hair appear thicker and reduce breakage and hair loss, such as eating a nutritious diet and scalp massage.
Thin or thinning hair is common and can affect anyone. Aging, chemical allergies, illnesses, and poor nutrition are just some of the factors that may contribute.
In this article, we list several natural ways to make the hair look and feel thicker that a person can try at home. We also describe products, such as shampoos and supplements, that may help.
Hair loss can develop differently, depending on a person’s sex.
For example, the British Association of Dermatologists reports that female pattern hair loss typically affects people aged 30 or older and causes thinning of hair on the crown of the head. It also says that the hair may appear shorter in other areas. There is currently no cure.
A person might try home care strategies, but these should not replace professional treatment for an underlying health condition that may be causing thin hair, such as a nutritional deficiency or alopecia.
The natural remedies below may help thicken thin hair, regardless of whether further treatment is necessary.
Eggs are rich in protein, which is essential for strong, thick hair.
To use an egg treatment:
- Beat 1 or 2 eggs together.
- Apply the mixture to the scalp and damp hair.
- Leave it on the scalp for about 30 minutes.
- Wash the hair thoroughly with warm water and mild shampoo.
Alternately, combine the eggs with oil and water. To try this method:
- Mix egg yolks, 1 tablespoon (tbsp) olive oil, and 2 tbsp of water.
- Apply the mixture to the scalp and dry hair.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Wash it out with warm water and a mild shampoo.
Using an egg treatment once or twice a week for several weeks might help strengthen and thicken the hair.
Olive oil is rich in omega-3 acids and other nutrients that are essential for overall health, including hair health. When applied directly, olive oil helps promote thicker hair. It may also soften the hair and moisturize any dry areas of the scalp.
To use olive oil:
- Heat the oil to body temperature.
- Massage the warm oil into the scalp and hair.
- Leave it on for about 30–45 minutes.
- Wash it out with mild shampoo.
Some people add honey to the olive oil. Others recommend leaving the oil on overnight while wearing a shower cap.
A nutritious diet that contains healthy fats, protein, and a range of vitamins
Anyone with thin hair might consider incorporating some of the following nutrient-rich foods into their diet:
- salmon, which is rich in protein and fatty acids
- eggs, which contain protein, omega-3s, and iron
- walnuts, almonds, and other nuts, which are sources of fatty acids
- Greek yogurt, which is a source of protein
- green, black, pinto, or other beans, which contain protein
A person might add 1 or 2 servings of any of these foods to their diet every day. Even adding 3 or 4 servings a week might improve hair health.
Vitamin C, pectin, and acid in oranges can help the hair in a few different ways.
The vitamins and nutrients may improve the hair’s natural sheen, which may make it appear thicker.
The acid helps break apart residue from hair products that may interfere with hair growth. Unlike some of the other treatments, orange puree also has a pleasant scent.
To make the puree, blend fresh oranges, then massage the mixture into the hair and scalp. Leave it on for about 1 hour before washing it out.
A person might use a light conditioner to rehydrate their hair after this treatment.
Aloe gel or oil
The Aloe vera plant may have various health benefits for the skin, scalp, and hair.
Applying aloe oil directly to the hair and scalp may help strengthen the hair and thicken it over time. Several commercial treatments, including gels and creams, contain aloe as an active ingredient.
For a homemade treatment, try rubbing some pure aloe gel into the hair and scalp and letting it sit for 30 minutes before washing it out. Some people mix the aloe with coconut oil or olive oil.
A person might use this treatment once or twice a week.
Avocado is rich in vitamin E, and many people believe it to be a good moisturizer. A person might apply a simple avocado rub twice a week.
To make an avocado rub:
- Combine the fruit of 1 avocado with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Apply the mixture to the hair and scalp.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Wash thoroughly with mild shampoo.
Castor oil is also rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which may help hair health.
A person can rub the oil over their scalp and hair until the hair is coated. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before washing it out.
A different 2015 study observed that coconut oil can thicken the hair and stimulate its growth.
Read our article about using coconut oil for the hair.
People can apply rosemary oil directly to their scalp or mix it with their regular shampoo.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) explains that thin hair is fragile and has an increased risk of damage. The association provides these tips for people with hair loss:
- using a gentle shampoo that does not remove moisture
- using a moisturizing conditioner to reduce breakage and split ends
- applying a leave-in conditioner after washing and conditioning to prevent frizz and breakage
- wrapping the hair in a microfiber towel before blow-drying it
The AAD also warns against using curling or flat irons, as these can weaken the hair. A person might also reconsider other styling options. For example, pulling the hair back in a ponytail or bun can lead to permanent hair loss over time.
Also known as micro-rolling, this involves shaving the scalp and pricking it with tiny, sterilized needles in a handheld tool.
Microneedling stimulates the hair follicles, and a
The University of Michigan Health System mentions two medications that can help slow hair thinning and thicken hair shafts:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine): Versions marketed for men and women are available without a prescription, and a person can spray or rub it into their scalp twice a day. This drug, however, does not cure baldness, and overusing it does not cause the hair to grow faster. Once a person stops using this product, they may lose the new hair within a few months. Learn more about Rogaine here.
- Finasteride (Propecia): This prescription treatment involves taking a daily pill, but it is not suitable for females. Learn more about finasteride here.
The university’s health system warns that it may take 1 year to start seeing results from these medications and that most private insurance plans do not cover the costs.
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy can cause hair thinning or loss.
Anyone looking to prevent this might try a cold cap, a hat-like garment designed to protect the hair follicles from the effects of chemotherapy.
Many companies manufacture cold caps, including Penguin Cold Caps, Chemo Cold Caps, and Arctic Cold Caps.
Many brands sell supplements and shampoos promising to help stimulate hair growth and thickness.
However, the AAD recommends seeking medical advice before making a purchase. Some supplements and shampoos can interact with medications, and a dermatologist can help a person make a suitable choice.
Below are some products that are available to purchase online.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Country Life Maxi Hair Plus
These supplements contain biotin, calcium, zinc, and vitamins.
They are gluten-free and suitable for people with vegetarian diets.
The company says that the supplements promote hair growth, as well as nail and skin health. Reviewers report increased hair thickness, as well.
One bottle includes 120 supplements and is available to purchase online for around $20.
MegaFood Skin, Nails & Hair 2
These supplements contain biotin, vitamins, zinc, and selenium and may help strengthen the hair and nails.
They are free from gluten, dairy, and soy, and the company recommends taking two a day.
Bottles contain either 60 or 90 tablets, and pricing starts from around $24.
Nioxin 3D Intensive Hair Booster
This leave-in treatment conditions and protects thin hair, particularly receding hairlines and low-density crowns, the makers say.
They recommend massaging this conditioner into the scalp twice a day. A person may notice a warming sensation afterward.
Nioxin 3D Intensive Hair Booster is available to purchase online for around $50.
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This contains ketoconazole, an anti-androgen and antifungal treatment for infections such as dandruff, and it may help control hair loss that can occur when a person has dandruff.
The company recommends using it twice a week.
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is available to purchase online for around $15.
Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo for Women
This shampoo may make the hair appear more full-bodied, possibly after the first use. Its deep-cleaning formula contains hyaluronic acid and no parabens or alcohol. The product is also not animal tested.
The company says that a person can use this for each wash. It recommends massaging the shampoo through the hair and rinsing after 1 minute.
Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo is available to purchase online for around $20.
Below are some common questions about hair thickening.
Can thin hair become thicker again?
A person cannot change the texture of their hair. However, the hair may grow back after chemotherapy or pregnancy, for example.
Styling the hair in certain ways can lead to hair loss over time, so a person might reconsider straightening or curling their hair or pulling it back frequently.
How can women get thicker hair?
Some companies market products to people of different genders and promise to make the hair appear thicker and fuller. These may also help slow hair loss. The AAD reports that some shampoos can lock in moisture and reduce breakage, preventing hair thinning.
Anyone who suspects that they have hair loss should see a dermatologist, who can identify the cause of thinning or shedding hair and recommend the right treatment. The doctor may prescribe minoxidil, a drug that can stimulate hair growth and slow balding.
What are the best natural hair thickening products?
A person can make a hair treatment from everyday products, such as eggs, olive oil, and avocados. The results may vary from person to person.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that various everyday ingredients, such as coconut oil, can help thicken and strengthen the hair. It is important to note that very little scientific evidence, if any, supports these treatments, and the effects may vary from person to person.
It is also crucial to avoid any known allergens.
Anyone with sudden or unexplained hair loss or thinning should receive medical attention, as a health condition may be the cause.
Natural home remedies may be low cost and low risk. In some cases, a person may prefer a commercial product designed to treat or prevent hair loss.