Thinning hair, beware of these hero formulas...
Finding your hair thinner than it once was, or noticing it falling out more than usual, can be not only be disheartening, but downright distressing, too. Which is why the best shampoo for hair loss can be an invaluable aide.
But when we talk about shampoo for hair loss, it’s important to remember that these can help make your hair appear thicker, but not magically reverse hair loss (sadly). ‘Even if a shampoo contains ingredients that could help with hair loss, they are not left on your scalp for long enough to take effect,’ trichologist Anabel Kingsley at Philip Kingsley tells us. ‘As you’re applying them to a damp scalp and under running water, the formula will also be thoroughly diluted – again, making it ineffective.’
Don’t be disheartened, as that’s not to say that your shampoo can’t help your hair look and feel bouncy and full. Keep reading for what you need to know about thinning hair, and the shampoos to shop now.
What causes hair loss and thinning hair?
One of the most commonly cited causes of thinning hair is a lack of iron, but there are other factors that can lead to hair thinning too. While it could be down to losing excessive hair, it can also be caused by the actual diameter of your hair shafts reducing.
Although both result in volume reduction, hair diameter thinning happens over a long period of time, while excessive hair shedding can result in more rapid reduction of volume if the daily loss is substantial.
In terms of actual hair loss, there are several different types. ‘The two most common are androgenetic alopecia (aka hair thinning, female pattern hair loss, reduced hair volume), and telogen effluvium (aka excessive daily hair shedding),’ Anabel Kingsley explains. ‘They are caused by completely different things and need different treatments.’
If you suffer from androgenetic alopecia, you will notice thinning hair at the top, frontal area and just behind your hairline, while hair at the back stays thick. Annabel tell us that this is mainly down to genes, causing your hair follicles to be sensitive to normal levels of androgens, aka male hormones. It can be exacerbated by any conditions that affect your hormone levels, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and is a progressive type of hair loss, meaning it’s very important to be consistent with treatment.
On the other hand, telogen effluvium is characterised by very obvious, excess hair shedding, which is caused by some sort of internal disruption. This can be because of multiple factors, for example iron or vitamin D deficiencies. However, once you identify the cause and fix it, it almost always goes away.
‘A third, and quite common, hair loss I want to mention is alopecia areata – a hair loss that occurs in patches. This is an auto-immune hair loss and occurs when your immune system attacks certain hair follicles that are in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle.
‘Currently there is no proven treatment, but in many cases, hair will spontaneously grow back on its own. Please do not buy products that claim to re-grow patchy hair loss – they do not work. The only treatments that “may” work are prescription-only.’
Remember, if you’re concerned with excessive and or unusual hair loss, always speak to your doctor for tailored medical advice and treatment.
The best shampoo for hair loss – what should you look for?
‘Frequent shampooing is important to hair growth,’ Annabel tells us. ‘This is because it helps to keep the scalp environment clean and in good condition – and a healthy scalp encourages the growth of healthy strands.
‘A flaky scalp can cause hair loss, so it is important to keep your scalp clear. If you have a scaly scalp, look for a shampoo that is specifically geared towards clearing flaking and itching. I recommend our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo.
‘Avoid heavy-weight, oil-rich shampoos, as these can weigh fine hair down,’ she adds. ‘Instead, choose a volumizing shampoo that adds immediate body and texture. However, keep in mind that volumizing shampoos will not actively make your hair grow faster or thicker – they will simply make your hair appear fuller.’
Which ingredients can help thinning hair?
Certain ingredients can help to optimise the scalp environment and may in turn encourage growth, Annabel tells us. They include:
Menthol – a stimulantPiroctone Olamine – an antimicrobial that helps to clear flaking and itching
Methyl nicotinate – a vasodilator that can also help to aid in the effectiveness of other ingredients
A combination of zinc sulphate, vitamin B6 and azelaic acid – Combined in topical drops they can help to block the conversion of testosterone to the more damaging dihydrotestosterone. Found in the Tricho 7 stimulating Scalp Drops – which also contain piroctone olamine and methyl nicotinate.
Betaine salicylate or salicylic acid – exfoliants that can be formulated into scalp masks to gently remove dead-skin cells.
Time to volumise? We’ve pulled together the best shampoos for hair loss to help give your hair the volume boost you’re after. Keep scrolling to find your new hair hero.
Clinically proven to remove the build-up of sebum and product residue that can clog pores and affect healthy hair, this shampoo nourishes dry, tight scalps with extracts from millet seed and milk thistle, equalizing the lipid balance while cleansing, exfoliating and renewing the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid.
'I love our Body Building Shampoo,' says Annabel. 'Containing Natural Cellulose and Proteins, it adds instant volume and shine to fine or thinning hair. It also has exceptional anti-static properties to tame frizz and flyaways.' We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
The key is in the patented ingredient that penetrates deep within the hair fibre to expand and increase the diameter of each hair, so that over time your hair appears thicker.
Deeply cleanse fine hair to promote a fuller finish. Offering protection against both damaging environmental radicals and heat styling, this bodifying shampoo leaves the hair looking voluptuous, shiny and sensationally fuller.
Designed to remove oil and debris such as sebum, fatty acids and environmental residue which can block hair follicles, this shampoo gently removes product build up, clearing nutrient pathways to your scalp and hair follicle sites without stripping hair of essential oils.
Not only is flax seed great for our diet, it's also a great way of giving a boost to your roots. The fortified flax fibre has thickening properties, which make the hair look bouncier and thicker.
This gentle cleanser will leave your hair feeling denser and more resistant to damage. Enriched with Stemoxydine®, which is a state-of-the-art densifying molecule, it also contains hyaluronic acid which plumps up the hair fibre for a fuller and thicker appearance with added bounce.
Add volume by name, add volume by reputation. First this shampoo cleans each strand of dirt and grime that weighs down thin hair, and then the special complex inside strengthens hair to make it look fuller.