What Is The Best Shampoo For Thinning Hair?

Notice that your hair looked a little thinner than average? You’re not the only one. According to the journal Dermatologic Surgery, hair loss is a common problem for men. More than half of all men lose some to all of their hair by 50. Men lose their hair most of the time because of male pattern baldness caused by their genes and the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which makes hair fall out.

As a rule, the best way to block DHT and stop hair loss is to take medicine. But taking care of your hair with a shampoo meant to prevent hair loss may also help keep DHT from building up and encourage hair growth. Unfortunately, not all shampoos for thinning hair work the same way. Some people use ingredients that have been proven to work, but others use ingredients that sound good instead of ingredients that work.

Shampoo for thinning hair should have a lot of essential things on it. We’ve told you what to look for and what to avoid. We’ve also talked about other science-based ways to stop hair loss, keep your existing hair, and even stimulate re-growth in regions of your scalp where there is a lot of hair loss.

Shampoos for Thin Hair: The Essentials

  • Most of the moment, men lose their hair because of male pattern baldness, caused by the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This hormone makes hair fall out.
  • The shampoo you utilize to wash your hair can help you fight off male pattern hair loss. It can also support you get rid of DHT buildup and protect your follicles.
  • In shampoos for hair loss, active ingredients are more important than the company name that makes them. Components like saw palmetto and ketoconazole, linked to lower DHT levels in studies, should be on your lookout for.
  • Another thing to avoid is sodium lauryl sulfate, which can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause it to break.
  • Also, you’ll get the best results if you use proven hair loss medicines like finasteride and minoxidil.

What to Look for When Purchasing Shampoo

Like other hair growth products, shampoos that help stop hair loss and grow hair are all about active ingredients. The ingredients in a hair growth shampoo are more important than the brand name or how much it costs. These things aren’t as important as the ingredients. There are certain ingredients to look for when you’re comparing shampoos.

These ingredients are proven to stop hair loss, stimulate hair growth, or do both simultaneously. You can see some science-based ingredients below and the most recent scientific research on each one. When looking for shampoo, you don’t need to look for all of these ingredients. It’s best to stick with shampoos with at least one of the active ingredients on this page.


Ketoconazole is an antifungal drug. It comes in many different forms, including a lotion for fungal skin and nail infections. You can find ketoconazole in many shampoos that help with hair loss, especially shampoos that help with and prevent dandruff. Some studies have linked ketoconazole, located in some shampoos, to hair growth and more anagen (growth phase) hair follicles.

In the late 1990s, a 2 percent ketoconazole shampoo made hair thicker, and more coats were in the growth phase of the growth cycle, which is the part of the cycle that makes hair grow. This study was interesting because it found that ketoconazole shampoo worked just like minoxidil, which is a standard treatment for hair loss.

A more recent study published in 2004 said that ketoconazole could stop DHT from getting into the body. This hormone makes the hair fall out on the scalp in men. Finally, a systematic review in the journal Dermatologic Therapy looked at data from seven different studies and found that ketoconazole could be a promising treatment for male pattern baldness.

However, it’s crucial to note that two of the seven studies looked at were animal studies. Additionally, better studies are needed to find out more about the possible benefits of ketoconazole. Even though ketoconazole hasn’t been studied as much as other hair loss medications, there’s a lot of evidence that it can help with thinning hair.

Palmetto (Saw Palmetto)

It’s made from the fruit of the Serenoa repens plant, which grows all over the southeastern United States. It’s a common ingredient in shampoos that fight hair loss, like our Thickening Shampoo. Many studies have found that saw palmetto might help men keep their hair and grow it. It looked at how palmetto products made hair grow in men who had male pattern baldness.

Over 24 weeks, the men who used palmetto products saw an increase in the number of hairs on their bodies. There were no side effects. However, it’s significant to notice that this study didn’t have a placebo control group. Other men with mild to moderate male pattern baldness who took saw palmetto supplements saw their hair grow back faster in 38% of the men who took the supplements.

Saw palmetto may work by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which turns testosterone into DHT. This enzyme is essential for making DHT. Saw palmetto has scientific evidence that it can help people with hair loss. We talked about this more in our guide to using saw palmetto for hair loss.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to shampoos for hair loss, it’s better to look for ingredients like saw palmetto and ketoconazole than to look for brand names. When used with medicines like minoxidil and finasteride, these ingredients can help slow down the effects of male pattern baldness. New hairs may even start to grow back in parts of your scalp that get thinner over time.


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