The best shampoo for thinning hair can keep your dome hydrated and looking fuller—and in some cases, even help prevent further loss. From pills to plasma injections to transplants, you’ve got a bunch of options for treating and preventing hair loss, but having the right shampoo at the ready is essential. Regardless of how you decide to address a receding hairline (if you do anything at all), one of the best defenses is a proper hair care regimen of shampoo and conditioner.
Before we go any further, it should be noted that here at GQ, we are, for the most part, shampoo skeptics. The fact is that most men grossly overwash their hair. This is counterproductive for most guys. But sometimes you’ve got to audit your priorities and choose accordingly, and if you need voluminous, fuller hair, then perhaps you should shampoo daily. (We suggest aiming for every 2 or 3 days, though, and using a conditioner every day.)
So, which cleanser will serve you best? We tested a ton of them so that we could answer that question. We like them for different reasons: Some of the best shampoos for thinning hair stimulate circulation and use ingredients like antioxidants and biotin to promote healthy growth while removing buildup, some block hair-suffocating DHT, and some are adept at adding volume to the fine hair you’ve already got. So, stop scratching your head and check out this list—surely one of them is best for your particular case.
The Best Thickening Shampoo for Thin or Thinning Hair
The protein-rich formula in R+Co BLEU’s thickening shampoo seeps into each strand of hair, making them individually thicker. The overall result, when applied across all of your head, is immediately noticeable, and it even feels thicker as you run your hands through it. It leaves hair shiny, hydrated, and with added volume—and should be chased with the brand’s thickening conditioner too.
The Best Volumizing Shampoo for Thinning Hair
This ocean-blue shampoo floods your hair with vegetable proteins, making it stronger so that it stands upright—strong and proud. And unlike other shampoos that give your hair volume by stripping it of all moisture, Sachajuan’s never compromises hair quality or health. You get volume, plus that healthy shine.
The Best Medicated Shampoo for Busting DHT
We love Hims’ lineup of hair-growth products, and its shampoo is a great supplement to any aggressive regrowth regimen. This one targets DHT—the hormonal byproduct that leads to hair loss, or so our dermatologist tells us. By reducing the synthesis of DHT, the shampoo then reduces the rate of hair loss. A nice perk is its lovely peppermint and tea tree scent.
The Best Shampoo Alternative/Co-Wash
If you’re shampoo-averse, then you may want to try co-washing, which is when you rely on conditioner to flush away grime and excess oil. It works wonders, especially with a product like Modern Mammals’ everyday rinse. It almost straddles the line between shampoo and conditioner, though it is definitely more the latter. It delivers a hydrating rinse that won’t compromise your thinning hair’s health, and will instead preserve its buoyancy while also promoting a healthy, habitable scalp. Best of all, you can use it daily.
The Best Everyday Thickening Shampoo
Brickell’s gentle wash is specifically engineered for hydration—and thus for daily use. It’s packed with aloe, tea tree oil, vitamins E and B5, and peppermint. That last ingredient stimulates circulation in the scalp, too, so it encourages hair growth. It’ll leave your hair looking fuller, and not dried out like a standard shampoo.
The Best Shampoo for Scalp Stimulation
Caffeine wakes up your scalp, too: It’s pumped into Davines’ shampoo, and boosts circulation to the scalp and into each hair follicle. This increases nutrient delivery to each strand, and in turn strengthens hair as it grows. The gradual effect is that it slows future loss, and prevents breakage along any of the strands.
The Best Shampoo for Curly, Thinning Hair
If you have curly hair, you know different hair types call for specific products. While it’s packed with biotin to fortify thin hair and promote growth, Briogeo’s shampoo also lifts hair without parching it. This is music to the ears of anyone with curly hair, because it promises bouncy, full, lively curls, even if your hair isn’t as full as it used to be. (With argan oil and other hydrating ingredients, this one makes it look fuller, too.)
The Best Shampoo for Infrequent Washers
For some guys, shampooing less is the real trick to keeping the scalp healthy. Yes, it still needs to be cleaned, but some of us just aren’t as grimey up there. This one from Living Proof has some serious endurance—it really should be called Perfect Hair Days (plural) for its ability to keep hair buoyant for a few days on end. As an infrequent washer, I like something that gives me a deep clean, but rarely can a shampoo do that without completely obliterating hair qualitThis one perfects my hair, like a co-washing mega conditioner, and it’s just as trusted on curls as it is straight hair.
The Best Dry Shampoo for Men
Swedish hair brand Maria Nila is finally getting its deserved US love, and this lighter-than-most dry shampoo spray is a good entry into the brand, especially since it leaves no residue in its wake (unlike many spray-to-powder dry shampoos). Use it on the mornings your hair needs a little extra lift, volume, and texture, but only if you haven’t shampooed that day. Make sure hair is rinsed and dried before use, then follow with your usual styler. It’s best to rinse dry shampoo clean in the evening with a conditioner or shampoo.
The Best A-List-Approved Thickening Shampoo
Virtue’s top-shelf shampoo is the product Hollywood’s elite rely on when their hair is in dire need of a boost. It comes formulated with Alpha Keratin 60Ku, a proprietary blend of proteins that binds to damaged areas while working to bolster elasticity down the line. (It also incorporates peptides to promote scalp health and sodium hyaluronate to lock in moisture.) It’s expensive, but it works miracles on hair of all types and textures.
The Best Volumizing Paste
If you’re hellbent on foregoing traditional shampoo entirely, this volume-boosting paste is a stellar alternative. There’s one more step involved that usual (you need to mix it with water to get a solid lather going), but the extra lift is worth the, uh, extra lift. While the rassoul clay and rose extract go to work ridding your locks of the oil and residue that weigh it down, follow with a well-chosen conditioner to nip excess dryness in the bud.
The Best Hair Thickening Kit
So you’re the type of shopper who like check off their entire list in one fell swoop. No shame in that—if anything, we respect the efficiency. Luckily, so do the hair loss specialists at Collective Labs, the brand behind this comprehensive kit specifically designed for long-term, daily use. The whole shebang doesn’t come cheap, and the shampoo (heavy on active botanicals like soap bark and saw palmetto) is killer as a standalone product. But the accompanying conditioner, serum, brush, and cloth, make for a starting five that puts the Dream Team’s to shame—and will leave your mane looking as buoyant as Bird’s in his prime.