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Gramercy Hair Salon

Do Hair Thickening Shampoos Really Work?

The short answer is yes – but only temporarily. They’re a fleeting solution for those born with thin hair. However, the shampoos can also mask vitamin deficiencies and skin conditions rather than solving them. They’re not able to alter the hair’s chemical construction, make hair grow in thicker and lusher, or change the number of hair follicles on a person’s scalp.

Hair thickening shampoos, sometimes equated with volumizing shampoos, give the illusion of thicker hair by plumping each strand. A hair thickening shampoo is a protein-based cleanser that infuse strands with panthenol, a chemical compound also known as vitamin B5. It can be either animal or plant based. Some people are born with fewer hair follicles on their scalp and that can’t be changed. Fewer hair follicles result in a thinner head of hair.


The biggest drawback is that the effects of thickening shampoos are temporary. Individuals that go back to using their regular shampoo and conditioner will experience the same effects as before they began using the thickening shampoo.

Thinning Hair & Hair Loss

Many people are using hair-thickening shampoos as a means of addressing thinning hair and hair loss, and as an alternative to expensive “hair growth” formulas. Thinning hair and hair loss can be caused by a myriad of situations.

Age, hormone imbalances, thyroid disease, stress, illness, childbirth, and hereditary conditions are all factors in hair loss and thinning. Medications, cancer treatments, and hairstyles that pull on hair, along with scalp infections and conditions also cause thinning. A lack of certain vitamins and trace minerals also contributes to loss and thinning.

The Bottom Line

Hair thickening shampoos work to plump hair strands by infusing them with protein and vitamins. It provides a temporary solution for those born with thin hair. The body normally sheds a certain amount of dead hair, but anyone experiencing unusual or excessive hair thinning should see a dermatologist.

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