8 Hair-Growth Shampoos That Actually Do Something

When the amount of hair swirling around the shower drain increases, panic inevitably follows. While there are lots of reasons why your hair might look and feel less lush (for example over-styling, stress, PCOS) there there are plenty of things you can do to help stop the shedding before you even step out of the shower — as long as you know what's causing it in the first place.

According to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist and president of Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinics, as well as stress, poor diet and physiological changes can contribute to hair loss, too. For women, that includes a weakening of the connective tissue on the scalp (the stuff responsible for anchoring new hair growth), which happens naturally with age. Hormonal changes also come into play: Temporary hair loss is common after childbirth, for example, while perimenopause and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can mean an increase in androgens, like testosterone, which our bodies naturally convert to dihydrotestoserone (DHT). The hangup? DHT can damage and shrink hair follicles, resulting in the growth of finer and shorter hair, says Kerry E. Yates, trichologist and founder of Colour Collective.


While tackling an ongoing issue with a doctor is the best way to fix whichever root cause it might be, there are things you can do immediately and from home to help. For one, shampoos stocked with circulation boosters and DHT blockers can optimise scalp health, protect weakening hair follicles, and build the illusion of having grown more hair while you work out the issue. “'Hair growth' shampoos that contain bodybuilding ingredients like protein can help to add immediate thickness and volume to strands,” Kingsley says. “However, they simply give the illusion of fuller hair and do not trigger new growth or stop hair loss.”

The pros share their favourite shampoos for supporting hair growth, plus their tips for thick and healthy strands, ahead.

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It's tough to surf hair-thinning forums on Reddit without seeing mention of this shampoo, which uses 15 botanical and food-grade DHT blockers (like biotin, niacin, and grapefruit seed oil) to help counter constricting hair follicles. The vegan and cruelty-free formula skips SLS and other traditional surfactants for more gentle versions and smells like lemongrass, to boot. "I’m a big fan of going gentle on the scalp and limiting the amount of harsh detergents we use to wash our hair," says Yates.
Pura d'or Scalp Therapy Shampoo, $27.66 Buy
Another factor in hair thinning and loss in women: poor blood circulation. “It is essential for nourishing cells throughout your body, including the scalp, but slows down as we age,” Philip B. says. He suggests performing a daily scalp massage with a product made to stimulate circulation and regulate cell turnover, like this shampoo made with a high concentration of invigorating medical-grade peppermint oil.
Philip B. Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo, $18.25 $10.95 Buy
As Kingsley points out, hair loss can be also be due to unbalanced scalp (versus androgenic alopecia). “If you have a flaky scalp, a targeted antimicrobial shampoo that clears it can help minimise hair that is shedding as a result of your scalp condition,” she says, noting that an anti-dandruff shampoo like this one, not a hair loss shampoo, can help in these cases.
Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $11.50 $10.35 Buy
Formulated with amino acids (which "can add bulk and body to strands," according to Kingsley) and caffeine ("thought to stimulate blood supply, feed the follicle and improve hair growth," says Yates), this shampoo also taps biotin to target thinning hair.
Grow Gorgeous Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Shampoo 250ml, $16.00 Buy
The brand famous for boosting the look of lashes now makes shampoo that aims to do the same for hair. The formula includes willow bark to help manage oil control (and therefore, the clogging and irritation of hair follicles) and flax protein, which is "thought to feed the follicle and improve hair growth," says Yates.
RevitaLash Thickening Shampoo, $41.00 Buy
This clean and fruity smelling shampoo calls on amino acids to strengthen strands and minimise breakage.
Kérastase Bain Force Architecte 250ml Shampoo Duo, $40.40 $32.30 Buy
A healthy scalp equals healthy hair. This shampoo enlists pea sprout extracts and strand-fortifying proteins to strengthen hair and make it less susceptible to breakage, which can chip inches off.
Charles Worthington Grow Strong Activating Shampoo - 250ML, $16.50 Buy
This shampoo boasts an anti-pollution (essentially super-clarifying) formula, to rid your scalp and roots of dirt and product build up. Caffeine promotes circulation, while fine sea salt granules exfoliate the scalp, promoting stronger, healthier hair over time.
Umberto Giannini Root Stimulating Shampoo, $8.00 Buy
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