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The Finest Thickening Shampoos to Plump up Thinning Hair

20 Min Read
13 Finest Hair-Thickening Shampoos of 2024, Examined by Specialists

Not everyone seems to be blessed with lush, thick, industrial kind hair. Some persons are born with thinner strands, whereas others expertise hair thinning (assume an increasing half or shrinking ponytail) in some unspecified time in the future of their life.

“The diameter of the hair shaft diminishes as we get older,” explains Zoe Draelos, M.D., a medical and analysis dermatologist in Excessive Level, North Carolina. Which means you will have the identical variety of follicles, however thinner particular person strands will make it appear like there’s much less quantity. Skinny hair can also be extra susceptible to breakage, and since hair progress slows as you age, the harm turns into extra obvious.

When you cannot completely restore thickness to particular person strands, there are many methods (and hair thickening merchandise) that will help you pretend it. The primary (and best) step: a volumizing shampoo. In response to our Good Housekeeping Institute Magnificence, Well being and Sustainability Lab specialists, these cleansers may also help make hair seem fuller and thicker since they usually comprise fewer conditioning components, so that they’re much less more likely to weigh hair down.

To search out the formulation that actually work, our scientists evaluated hair thickening and volumizing shampoos each within the Lab and with client testers at residence, taking a look at varied elements together with software, scent, cleaning skill, weight and thickening results. We tallied over 6,254 knowledge factors in our most up-to-date check, combining these outcomes with insights from hair specialists to create this checklist of the greatest hair thickening shampoos.


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Best Overall

Kérastase Densifique Bain Densité Shampoo

This Kérastase formula was a winner across the board in the GH Beauty Lab’s hair thickening and volumizing shampoo test. It scored highest for making strands feel thicker, best at leaving hair feeling clean and earned top points for being lightweight. The only negative? A few testers didn’t love the twist off caps.

“They truly worked!” a tester marveled. “My hair has so much volume and bounce when I use these products!” Another loved that her hair “by no means felt weighed down and didn’t go limp by mid-day.”

Main ingredients Hyaluronic acid
Finest for All types of thinning hair
Dimension 8.5 oz.


Best Value

Garnier Fructis Full & Plush Fortifying Shampoo

Fructis Full & Plush Fortifying Shampoo
  • Extremely volumizing
  • Measurable conditioning advantages
  • Nice scent
  • Complementary conditioner is tough to rinse out

Garnier’s sweet fruity-scented shampoo tied for top in GH Beauty Lab testing for volumizing strands while also leaving hair feeling soft and conditioned — at a fraction of the price of other products. The formula was easy to dispense and left hair easy to comb after towel-drying. If you are using the matching conditioner, start sparingly: One tester noted that it was difficult to rinse out.

Reviewers loved both the instant and long-term effects. “My hair instantly felt fuller after just one use,” a tester raved. “I was shocked!” Another commented that she liked it even more after multiple uses.

Main ingredients Citrus protein, vitamins B3 and B6
Finest for Oily, fine and flat hair
Dimension 12.5 oz.


Best for Hair Growth

Biolage Volumebloom Shampoo

Volumebloom Shampoo
  • Purifies the scalp
  • Highly effective thickening components
  • Some reviewers felt it dried out hair

Celebrity hair colorist George Papanikolas loves this Biolage shampoo because it “actually exhibits outcomes!” Here’s why: “One of many issues that forestalls fullness and hair progress is a clogged scalp, and this thickening shampoo helps to take away impurities and buildup to encourage hair progress,” he explains, adding that he also loves that it’s combined with an effective “thickness method” including ingredients like biotin, zinc PCA and gluco-omega.

While many reviewers loved the fullness this shampoo provides, a few felt it dried out their strands.

Main ingredients Biotin, zinc PCA, gluco-omega
Finest for Fine, color-treated hair
Dimension 13.5 oz.

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Best for Dry Hair

Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume Shampoo (Pack of 2)

Pro-V Sheer Volume Shampoo (Pack of 2)
  • Extremely conditioning method
  • Boosts fullness
  • Good worth
  • Could be onerous to rinse out

This affordable Pantene powerhouse can transform fine or flat hair that’s also dehydrated and in need of extra conditioning. One GH Beauty Lab tester commented, “This shampoo made my hair so nice and full, and considerably cut down the frizz.” Others loved the “clean,” “fruity” scent and how well it conditioned hair, which made for easy combing after towel-drying.

While testers overall liked the formula, there was one consistent complaint: a few found it hard to fully rinse the shampoo out.

Main ingredients Pro-V nutrients, antioxidants
Finest for Fantastic hair
Dimension 25.4 oz.


Best Sulfate-Free

OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Extra Strength Volumizing Shampoo

Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Extra Strength Volumizing Shampoo
  • Nice worth
  • Lathers properly
  • Deeply cleans
  • Robust scent

Despite being made without sulfates, bargain-priced OGX was beloved in GH Beauty Lab testing for its “luxurious” cleansing lather. The formula rated highly at applying and rinsing easily, effortlessly providing sufficient lather and leaving hair feeling cleansed and easy to comb. It does have a strong scent which had mixed reviews amongst our testers.

“It helped give my hair extra physique,” a tester commented. “I beloved the scent and that I did not want to make use of so much to supply a pleasant lather,” stated one other.

Main ingredients Biotin, collagen
Finest for Fine, color-treated hair
Dimension 13 oz.


Most Lightweight

Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Shampoo

Extra-Body Shampoo
  • Not heavy on hair
  • Tester favourite for volumizing strands
  • Lengthy-lasting quantity
  • Would not lather properly

Those with fine hair that are concerned about products making it feel heavy can turn to Paul Mitchell’s shampoo. Testers rated the formula best for not weighing hair down. However, it didn’t lather as well as some others.

“This definitely added a good amount of volume to my fine, limp hair,” a tester reported. I didn’t have to put any product in to help with volume.” Another shared that her “hair was thicker trying and the quantity lasted the entire day.”

Main ingredients Panthenol, wheat-derived ingredients
Finest for Fine to normal hair
Dimension 16.9 oz.

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Best for Curly Hair

Briogeo Destined For Density Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Density Shampoo

Destined For Density Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Density Shampoo
  • Boosts microcirculation at scalp
  • Light-weight
  • Good for curly hair
  • Might be irritating on a delicate scalp

Briogeo’s shampoo boasts a powerful combo of caffeine, biotin and peptides to stimulate microcirculation at the scalp and nourish and strengthen strands. “It is mild, smells good and rinses simply,” one GH editor said. “Plus, it leaves my hair bouncy and full after I blow dry it.”

Curly girls with fine hair really like the formula. A few reviewers noted that it didn’t dry out or weigh down their curly hair. Although a few others noted scalp irritation, so proceed with caution if you have a sensitive scalp.

Main ingredients Caffeine, biotin, peptides
Finest for Fine, thinning hair (including curly)
Dimension 8 oz.


Best Natural

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo

Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo
  • Made with plant-based components
  • Makes hair really feel thicker
  • Fast outcomes
  • Botanical scent could also be polarizing

Made with natural ingredients like wheat protein and aloe, Aveda’s shampoo earned top marks from GH Beauty Lab testers for making their hair feel thicker. It has a natural, botanical scent that some loved, while others found it too intense.

“This product gave my hair volume and thickness — and created the appearance of actually having more hair!” one exclaimed. Another loved the instant effect: “When lathering the shampoo it felt like my hair was already pumping up with quantity.”

Main ingredients Wheat protein, aloe
Finest for Fine, limp hair
Dimension 8.5 oz.


Best for Dandruff

Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo, Volume Boost

Dandruff Shampoo, Volume Boost
  • Multitasking method that treats dandruff and flat hair
  • Nice scent
  • Not nice for coarse hair

Even those with dandruff can use volumizing benefits, too. This shampoo from Head & Shoulders contains pyrithione zinc to treat dandruff, while adding lift and volume for up to 24 hours, according to the brand. “I’ve used and at all times preferred Head & Shoulders merchandise and particularly love their good, clear scents,” says GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Danusia Wnek.

While it is ideal for those with fine or thin hair, a few reviewers noted it doesn’t work well on coarse strands.

Main ingredients Pyrithione zinc
Finest for Dandruff-prone, color-treated and fine hair
Dimension 12.8 oz.

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Best for Oily Hair

Kenra Professional Volumizing Shampoo

On Sale

Volumizing Shampoo

  • Rinses totally
  • Deep cleans hair
  • Makes strands straightforward to comb
  • Might make hair dry

If you have hair that gets greasy easily, this pick from Kenra, which performed well in GH Beauty Lab testing for giving hair a clean feel, may be for you. It scored highly for washing out easily and leaving hair feeling clean after rinsing, plus highest for making strands easy to comb after towel-drying. A few reviewers did find that it made hair feel drier, so keep that in mind if your hair is on the dry side.

“My tremendous, skinny hair appears thicker, has extra quantity than earlier than and it lasts all day!” a tester remarked. “I preferred the scent and the ease of use,” stated one other.

Main ingredients Panthenol, sodium carbonate
Finest for Fine, thin, oily hair
Dimension 10.1 oz.


Best Scent

Dove Nutritive Solutions Oxygen Moisture Shampoo

Nutritive Solutions Oxygen Moisture Shampoo
  • Interesting scent
  • Purifies and softens
  • Would not overwhelm hair
  • Shampoo does not lather properly

Give lifeless strands a refresh with this Dove shampoo, which ranked at the top for its pleasant “recent and clear” scent. It also scored well for leaving hair feeling clean, soft and not weighed down. Keep in mind, some testers felt that the shampoo didn’t lather well and was hard to move through hair.

“My styled hair had extra quantity and physique after utilizing these merchandise and I obtained compliments,” a tester noted. Another said: “My hair had extra bounce.”

Main ingredients Oxyfusion technology
Finest for Fine, flat hair
Dimension 12 oz.


Best Strengthening

NatureLab Perfect Volume Shampoo

 Perfect Volume Shampoo
  • Immediate and long-lasting advantages
  • Strengthens strands
  • Gentle, candy scent
  • Some discovered it drying

A powerful combination of apple stem cells and rice and soy protein help strengthen strands and add lift and bounce in NatureLab Tokyo’s sweetly-scented formula. While it has serious volumizing power, some reviewers felt it was drying at the same time.

“That is one of many solely shampoos I’ve tried that made my hair immediately really feel fuller as soon as it was dried,” says GH Beauty Director April Franzino. “Even the subsequent morning, my hair nonetheless has seen elevate and quantity — it is mild and bouncy as a substitute of going flat.”

Main ingredients Apple stem cells, rice and soy proteins
Finest for Flat, limp hair
Dimension 11.5 oz.

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Most Gentle

ARROJO Gentle Sulfate Free Shampoo

 Gentle Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • Delicate method
  • Sulfate-free
  • Some really feel it has a runny texture and drips simply

Desire a mild possibility that will not overwhelm your hair? “Tremendous light-weight, this shampoo solely makes use of gentle pure components, and encourages pure thickness,” explains Nick Arrojo, hairstylist and founder of Arrojo Salon in New York City. “It is nice for making all hair varieties appear and feel full and thick.” A thin, liquid formula, some reviewers felt the texture was “runny” and that it drips simply.

Main ingredients Vitamin B5, coconut and avocado oil
Finest for All hair types, including sensitive scalps
Dimension 8.5 oz.

How we test hair thickening shampoos

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GH Beauty Lab scientists test label-masked hair thickening shampoos and conditioners of various price points on consumers across the country for attributes like application, scent, cleansing ability, weight and feel on hair, and volumizing and thickening effects.

the instron machine at work in the beauty lab
Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab

In the Lab, the Instron machine (pictured here) is used to measure the conditioning ability of each pair on human hair samples. In total, 6,254 data points were tallied in the most recent test to find the best thickening shampoos.

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What to look for when shopping for the best hair thickening shampoo


When it comes to product selection, Chiara Butler, GH’s Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab Reviews Analyst, suggests focusing on certain buzzwords on the packaging.

“Search for key phrases like ‘thickening,’ ‘volumizing,’ ‘lifting’ or ‘for skinny hair,'” she says. “Keep away from merchandise with key phrases akin to ‘deeply moisturizing’ and ‘deep conditioning’ since these can really feel heavy on tremendous hair.” Ingredients may vary within this category; Butler doesn’t feel there are specific ones to look for or avoid.

Does hair thickening shampoo really work?

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Yes, thickening shampoos can help make hair temporarily look and feel fuller and thicker.

Products that make hair thicker usually refer to increasing volume within hair. “Quantity is used to explain the 3-D state of hair,” Wnek explains. “There are a variety of hair properties that affect quantity which embrace curvature of the hair strand, the quantity of hair on one’s head, the diameter of the person strand and the friction between strands — the extra curls in your strands, the extra hair in your head or the bigger the diameter of the hair strand, the extra space it can take up and the extra voluminous it can look.”

Currently the GH Beauty Lab is not aware of any ingredients that can permanently increase the diameter of hair, she says. And only a handful of products claim to actually increase the individual diameter of hair strands; most refer to increasing volume. “We imagine that the thickening claims echo quantity within the sense that the general hair seems and feels thicker,” Wnek adds.

In that sense, thickening shampoos can “work” to impact the appearance and feel of the hair. “It’s important to use shampoos with their matching conditioners as a pair,” she says. “Companies test how well shampoos and conditioners work in tandem, so to get the benefits promised by either, you’ll need to use them together.”

Why trust Good Housekeeping?


Dori Price has over 15 years of experience researching and writing haircare and hairstyling stories, combining her knowledge with the expertise of top industry professionals such as hairstylists, hair colorists and trichologists.

For this story, she worked closely with GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Danusia Wnek, who contributed her expertise on top Beauty Lab-tested product picks and her knowledge of how the shampoos work. She has spent seven years researching and developing testing protocols for haircare products at the Good Housekeeping Institute in categories including cleansing conditioners, moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, volumizing sprays, flat irons, hairdryer brushes and dry shampoos.

Dori also consulted Chiara Butler, Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab Reviews Analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, about hair thickening shampoos and how to shop for them. At the Lab, Chiara conducts hands-on testing of health and beauty products. Before joining GH in 2022, she worked as a cosmetic chemist, formulating skincare products for a variety of brands and learning to decode ingredient lists, evaluate ingredient efficacy and scrutinize product claims.

Headshot of Dori Price

Dori Price is a New York City-based freelance writer and editor and beauty, style and wellness expert who was the Beauty & Fashion Director at Family Circle for 13 years before she joined Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman’s Day as a freelance beauty editor. She has also written for WomensHealthMag.com, Elle.com and HealthCentral.com.

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