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Choosing the right shampoo can help reduce the appearance of frizz and dandruff. And while some shampoos even claim to help hair growth, there is limited evidence available to support these claims.

There are various over-the-counter shampoos available online to reduce the appearance of hair loss and hair thinning. However, people with concerns about hair loss or hair thinning can contact a healthcare professional for further advice and treatment options.

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The average person has around 80,000–120,000 hairs on their scalp, and each year, their hair grows approximately 6 inches.

Learn more about hair growth.

Hair goes through three stages of hair growth:

  • Anagen: This stage is the growth phase, which lasts 2–6 years. At any point, 85–90% of hair follicles are in this stage of growth.
  • Catagen: This stage describes the transitional period between anagen and telogen phases.
  • Telogen: This stage is the resting phase, which lasts for around 3 months.

After the telogen phase, the scalp sheds inactive hairs. A person sheds an average of 100 hairs per day, although this can increase with shampooing and other hair care practices.

However, there are conditions that can affect an individual’s hair growth. Scientists split these conditions into two categories: effluvium and alopecia.

Effluvium describes an increase in hair loss. An example of this is the condition telogen effluvium, which disrupts typical hair growth and leads to an increase in hair shedding.

Alopecia refers to complete hair loss. People with this condition may experience hair loss on the scalp or the body.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria where possible:

  • Price: Products that are available in a range of budgets.
  • Availability: Products that are available to purchase online.
  • Suitability: Products that companies market as suitable for all adults and for scalp concerns such as dandruff.
  • Reviews: Where possible, products feature a range of customer reviews discussing their advantages and disadvantages.

The following are some shampoos that may encourage hair growth.

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.

Learn more about products for hair loss.

hims Hair Thickening Shampoo

Best for a thicker feel

This shampoo is free from parabens or sulfates.

Its active ingredient is saw palmetto. While there is a lack of high-quality research investigating the effects of this ingredient on hair thickness, recent research suggests it may have some benefits for hair regrowth. The authors reviewed seven studies and found that topical and oral saw palmetto supplements improved overall hair quality by 60% and increased hair density in 82% of study participants.

The company states that this shampoo is suitable for all hair types. People should leave the product on the scalp for 1 minute before rinsing it off.

Reviewers on the company’s website stated that this shampoo has made their hair feel thicker. However, other users said they noticed little difference.

At the time of publishing, hims Hair Thickening Shampoo costs $19.

hers The Shampoo

Best for reducing hair shedding

This shampoo may help reduce hair shedding while adding extra moisture.

The company does not state what the active ingredient is in this product. However, it reportedly removes excess oil from the scalp to reduce hair shedding.

hers recommends leaving this shampoo on the scalp for 1 minute before rinsing it off.

Customer reviews on the company’s website said the shampoo makes their hair feel thicker and fuller, with several noting that they did not notice as much hair shedding. However, others stated that they did not see any differences in hair thickness or retention after using the product. Some also said it made their hair very dry.

At the time of publishing, hers The Shampoo costs $38 for a one-time purchase. The company also offers several subscribe and save options.

Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 1

Best for light thinning

Nioxin states this shampoo is suitable for hair that is lightly thinning and is free from chemical treatments.

This shampoo is part of a three-step system that can reportedly thicken and strengthen the hair. The product also contains peppermint oil.

Learn more about peppermint oil and hair growth.

A 2014 animal study suggests peppermint oil can help with hair growth. The researchers investigated the effects of saline, jojoba oil, minoxidil, and peppermint oil on mice, and they found that peppermint oil was the most effective topical treatment that may cause rapid hair growth.

However, customer reviews on Amazon are mixed. Some said this system helped reduce hair thinning and hair shedding, while others reported no noticeable differences after using this product.

Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 1 is available in stores and online, including Amazon. At the time of publishing, it has a list price of around $21.

Head and Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Best for dandruff

While this shampoo aims to protect against dandruff, one of its ingredients is 1% zinc pyrithione, which may help support hair growth.

A 2018 article states that oxidative stress can impact hair growth and lead to hair loss. The authors suggest that certain ingredients, such as zinc pyrithione, which inhibit Malassezia — a scalp organism — can help reduce premature hair loss.

The company states this shampoo is suitable for daily use.

Head and Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is available to purchase in stores and online, including Amazon. At the time of publishing, it has a list price of around $13 for two bottles.

Bioken Biotin Thick & Full Hair Growth Enhancer Shampoo

Best for volumizing hair

The manufacturers of this product state that its herbal ingredients can prevent hair loss.

The main ingredient in this shampoo is biotin, a water-soluble form of vitamin B7. A 2017 review found that biotin supplements may benefit those with brittle nail syndrome or hair that tangles easily. However, the authors stated there is insufficient evidence that the substance is effective in those who do not already have a deficiency in this vitamin.

Customer reviews stated this product volumized their hair. However, others said they did not notice any new hair growth, while some users reported experiencing numbness and irritation after using the shampoo.

At the time of publishing, Bioken Biotin Thick & Full Hair Growth Enhancer Shampoo had a list price of around $25.

Davines Naturaltech Energizing Shampoo

Best for strengthening hair

This shampoo uses a proprietary Hair Energy Complex that contains caffeine.

Caffeine can be effective at encouraging new hair growth and lengthening the anagen phase in people with androgenetic alopecia.

The company recommends using his shampoo every other day during the first month, then two times a week for 2 months.

Customer reviews on Davines’ website are all positive. Reviewers stated they felt energized after using the shampoo and that they noticed their hair seemed stronger. Despite this, some reviewers said that the product has a strong smell and that the bottle is fragile.

At the time of publishing, Davines Naturaltech Energizing Shampoo costs $32 for one bottle.

Revita 2-Pack Bundle Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo

Best for post hair transplants

Revita states that this shampoo is suitable for people at any stage of hair thinning. It is also suitable for those who have recently had a hair transplant.

This shampoo contains ketoconazole, caffeine, and biotin. Ketoconazole can increase the diameter of the hair shaft and can encourage new hair growth in individuals with androgenetic alopecia.

The company recommends using this shampoo five times a week. Before rinsing it out, people should leave the shampoo in their hair for 2 minutes.

At the time of publishing, Revita 2-Pack Bundle Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo costs $63.

There are several factors to consider when buying a hair growth shampoo:

  • Allergies or sensitivities: People should carefully read through the ingredients list to ensure a product will not irritate their skin.
  • Hair type: Some products may advertise that they are most suitable for a particular type of hair, such as dry or oily hair.
  • Scent: Some individuals may prefer to use shampoos that do not have a strong scent.
  • Ingredients: Companies may state that the product contains ingredients that are clinically proven to treat hair loss. Some ingredients, such as caffeine, biotin, and ketoconazole, may help prevent shedding and promote hair growth.

Below are some frequently asked questions about hair growth shampoos.

Do hair growth shampoos work?

While there is evidence that certain ingredients, such as zinc pyrithione, caffeine, biotin, and ketoconazole, can help prevent hair loss, more research is necessary to examine effective dosages.

Additionally, customers who buy hair growth shampoos tend to give mixed reviews, with some people stating the products worked as intended and others saying they have not noticed any difference.

If a person is worried about hair loss, they should contact a healthcare professional for further advice and treatment options.

Learn more about hair loss treatments.

Do vitamins help grow hair?

There is some evidence that certain vitamins may help promote hair growth. A 2019 review investigated the effects of the following vitamins:

  • Vitamin B7 (biotin): Biotin supplements may help promote hair growth in people with vitamin B7 deficiencies. However, individuals who do not have this vitamin deficiency should only take biotin supplements under the advice of a doctor, as it can artificially raise or lower thyroid function.
  • Vitamin D: While there is a lack of high-quality evidence that vitamin D can help hair growth in people with alopecia, case studies and meta-analyses have shown that topical vitamin D may be beneficial.
  • Vitamin E derivatives: Vitamin E derivatives, such as the fat-soluble compounds tocopherols and tocotrienols, may prevent hair loss. And while the above study found that vitamin E supplementation led to hair growth of 34.5% in 38 study participants, more research is necessary.

Can a shampoo cause hair loss?

Shampoos generally do not cause hair loss.

However, some ingredients in these products can cause contact dermatitis or rashes on the scalp. Some common ingredients that may cause irritation include:

  • cocamidopropyl betaine
  • methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • propylene glycol
  • vitamin E (tocopherol)
  • parabens
  • benzophenones

People who experience scalp irritation may notice an increase in hair loss or hair shedding. If a person experiences any irritation after using a product, they should discontinue use immediately and speak with a healthcare professional.

People with hair loss may choose to purchase shampoos that claim to increase hair growth. While there is some evidence that ingredients, such as caffeine and saw palmetto, may increase hair growth, more research is necessary to determine effective dosage.

If a person has concerns about hair loss, they should contact a healthcare professional for advice and treatment options. A doctor may recommend prescription treatments that yield better results than hair growth shampoos.