A shampoo should do more than get your hair clean. Any bar soap can scrub away sweat, oil and product buildup, but if you’re interested in taking the best possible care of your hair, you should find a shampoo that’s purpose built to keep your locks healthy. This applies doubly to guys with thinning hair. The best shampoos for people in this camp should add density and volume to the hair, or at least resuscitate it from looking limp and lifeless. And if your hair is in free fall (or you’re proactively preventing it from increased hair loss), your shampoo can play a key supporting role in thickening hair as it grows back.
Read on for our picks for the best thickening shampoos for men across a variety of categories. One or more should speak to your specific needs, and will get you one step closer to having a great hair day every day.
Best All-Around: Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash
Whether your hair is naturally fine or increasingly growing thinner, Kevin Murphy’s shampoo is a fit. Not only does this salon staple thicken your hair on contact, but it also supplements your hair retention efforts at the root. The trio of nettle, ginger root and oleanolic acid help to reduce, counter and reverse DHT damage, respectively. (DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a byproduct of testosterone and is the primary culprit behind male-pattern hair loss.) Meanwhile, rice proteins and amino acids pump keratin back into each strand, so you get a fortifying and nourishing wash while you flush away grime, sweat and excess oil.
Best for Longer Hair: Sachajuan Thickening Shampoo
The Swedes do everything better, and Sachajuan’s Thickening Shampoo is a prime example. If you keep your hair longer, this product will smooth and thicken each strand, delivering a fullness that lasts for days at a time. This cleanser provides both thickness and volume, as well as a UV/heat shield to protect strands from the frizzing and frying effects of blow-drying, humidity and sun exposure. No wonder it’s a salon favorite, even on this side of the Atlantic.
Best for Fine, Curly Hair: DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight Shampoo
If you have fine, fragile curls, then stick with a gentle but hydrating hair wash like DevaCurl. This stuff gives hair more bounce than a basketball and flushes away oil, product buildup and grime without any compromise to your strands’ moisture levels. It’s also a great way to reset your curls, by building back curl definition as it cleans.
Best for Damaged, Dyed or Brittle Hair: Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
If your hair is weak or prone to breakage (naturally, or because it’s damaged from heat or coloring), then get your mitts on some Olaplex. This is the hair care brand trusted by the plurality of folks with dyed hair, which itself is severely damaging to hair. This shampoo works by “filling in” or connecting the broken bonds along your hair shafts so that it fortifies and thickens each strand as it cleans. This in turn prevents frizzing, split ends and the likes—all the bad kinds of volume, as opposed to hair with a healthy, full body.
Best for Custom Results: Prose Custom Shampoo
Prose’s shampoo can do whatever you need it to: Want thicker hair and better volume? Tell them so. They’ll outline the recipe that goes into your unique formula, with ingredients ranging from biotin and castor oil (for strength), honey and carob seed (for density), as well as collagen and argan oil (for repair). So, while your formula may vary from the next person’s, that’s a good thing: Prose’s entire assortment caters to you specifically, since “thickness” might not be the only benefit you want in a shampoo.
Best for Limp, Lifeless Hair: Davines VOLU Shampoo
Often, when people say they want thicker hair, they actually seek more volume and body (which gives the hair the appearance of fullness). Davines’ lightweight wash delivers this fullness in an instant, and with a healthy, soft glow no less. Suddenly, flat and lifeless hair comes alive, while looking the best it ever has.
Best for Scalp Health: Sisley Paris Hair Rituel Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo
Sisley’s products are guided by the idea that better hair growth starts at the scalp—which makes sense, because that’s where the follicles reside. This positively luxurious shampoo uses camellia oil to cleanse and balance the scalp while stimulating better growth from the follicle. It also leaves hair softer, smoother and more voluminous. It’s the most top-shelf pick on this list, and it works overtime to earn that status.
Best for Short and Medium Hairstyles: Living Proof Full Shampoo
This is my go-to for thrice-weekly thickness boosts when I’ve got my hair cut shorter than a few inches. It’s packed with peptides to help plump the hairs, as well as algae extract to shield it from further wear. It gives my hair the same effect as a texturizing sea salt spray, paving the way for a lightweight, choppy styler like clay or fiber.
Best for Thicker Hair at the Root: MDHair Regrowth Shampoo
If you want a wash that supplements your hair retention efforts, then get some MDHair shampoo: It is loaded with saw palmetto and pumpkin seed oil to block DHT from shrinking your hair follicles. This shampoo also packs biotin, argan oil, and 20 plant complexes and proteins to reinforce existing hair while also stimulating the follicle. This wash won’t give you thicker hair immediately, nor should it be used as the sole defense against hair loss (see your dermatologist for a fully considered plan), but it can play a key supporting role in boosting thicker, healthier growth for the long term.
Best for Between Washes: R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste
Dry shampoo isn’t a replacement for shampoo, but it is a great volumizer between wash days, since daily shampooing isn’t typically advised. You can get dry shampoo from powders and sprays, but this styling paste is one of the more peculiar and efficient means. It soaks up excess oil at the scalp, giving hair a healthy lift.