Up to 50% of people experience hair thinning in their lifetimes, especially when hormones shift due to aging. But those impacted by hair loss don’t have to settle for their hair’s thinning appearance. Treatments, products, and best practices can often help prevent hair loss and even help to regrow hair. One of the easiest ways to address thinning hair is to use a shampoo specially designed for its unique needs.
What is hair thinning?
Thinning hair can be caused by various factors but one of the most common kinds of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, which is partly genetic and becomes more common with age Those whose parents experienced hair loss or hair thinning may also be impacted by it.
Another common kind of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. This condition is characterized by an increase in shedding, often a loss of more than 100 hairs a day. Life factors like stressful events, major surgery, childbirth, and menopause, can play a role.
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Health conditions can also contribute to hair shedding, either as an associated symptom or as a result of medication. Blood pressure and gout medication are often linked to hair thinning. An excessive amount of vitamin A can also lead to thinning hair. Those with anemia, precocious puberty, thyroid disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome can also experience hair thinning.
Telogen effluvium is usually temporary, lasting six to twelve months, but sometimes it can unmask androgenetic alopecia.
Do hair-thickening shampoos work?
Hair-thickening shampoos can help those with thinning hair improve the overall appearance of their hair. Depending on their ingredients, these shampoos can sometimes even support healthy hair growth. Your hair condition can help determine which products are right for you. However, both thickening shampoos and those that boost growth require consistent usage long-term to achieve results.
What ingredients should you look for in shampoo for thinning hair?
The active ingredients in shampoos marketed to thicken hair are key to getting results. Minoxidil, an FDA-approved topical treatment for hair loss, works through the scalp to encourage follicular growth. Especially effective in those with hereditary hair loss, consistent use can lead to thicker, fuller hair. This ingredient can be found in shampoos and products directly applied to the scalp.
Caffeine is another ingredient that can benefit thinning hair. It’s been found to suppress excess testosterone in the hair root, and testosterone can suppress hair growth for both men and women. Caffeine also can stimulate hair follicles to improve growth.
What ingredients should you avoid if your hair is thinning?
Many ingredients commonly found in standard haircare products can be harmful to delicate, thinning hair. Cleansing agents like sulfates, smoothing ingredients like silicones, and chemicals like formaldehyde should be avoided by those with thinning hair. While these ingredients may be safe to use for many, they can cause unnecessary damage and breakage if you’re struggling with hair loss.
Shampoos and conditioners also contain many potential allergens, which should be avoided by those with sensitivities and thinning hair. These include fragrances, preservatives, and agents that contribute to making suds. If your scalp is itchy, rashy, or scaling after shampooing, you may be having an allergic reaction to your shampoo. In turn, this can contribute to scalp dermatitis, which can sometimes contribute to hair thinning.
What are some recommended shampoo types for thinning hair?
Many shampoos are available both over the counter and through prescription for those experiencing thinning hair. Speak with a trusted provider to first diagnose your condition, as this may influence the products best suited for you. If your condition indicates that more hair loss can be expected, you may need products to support hair regrowth and retention. Those whose thinning has stopped may be good candidates for regrowth products and thickening agents.
Protein-based thickening agents get to work within days, but results hinge on continued use. Traditional shampoos’ clarifying agents will strip the hair of the hair-thickening ingredients, so consistent use is essential for maintaining results. For thickening shampoos that may improve hair growth, look to those with powerful active ingredients, like those mentioned above.
What other products can help thinning hair?
Improving hair health starts well before the point of shampooing. Nutritional habits, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors all contribute to your hair condition.
Vitamins and supplements: B-vitamin biotin is widely regarded for its support of hair, skin, and nails. Add this and other healthy hair vitamins to your regimen while ensuring overall vitamin A intake is managed, as too much can lead to hair loss. Iron supplements and an iron-rich diet can also support hair growth. Look for iron supplements with vitamin C carriers that maximize vitamin absorption.
Anti-androgens: Prescription medication can help those whose hair loss is caused by excess androgens, the hormone responsible for growth and reproduction. This medication can help correct hormone imbalances.
Healthy scalp care: The scalp is the foundation for your hair’s overall health, but it’s often neglected in favor of strand-level care. However, regularly washing, massaging, and treating scalp conditions can result in healthy, strong hair follicles.
Incorporate healthy hair growth into your routine.
Washing your hair is already part of your routine, so it’s a perfect opportunity to deploy your hair regrowth strategy. Shampoos designed for thinning hair generally require little adjustments to your routine, making your pursuit of thicker hair simple. Review all product and provider instructions to ensure you get the maximum benefits of your shampoo.
Discuss your overall treatment plan with your provider, establishing a timeline, goals, and when to check in on your progress. Pair your prescription treatment with lifestyle adjustments that support your goals. If you’re ready to regrow your hair, schedule a consultation with a provider today. With the right treatment plan and products, many people can see fuller, thicker hair in months.