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    20 Hair Growth Shampoos That Actually Work


    paris, france   march 05 tina kunakey is seen outside stella mccartney during paris fashion week womenswear fallwinter 20182019 on march 5, 2018 in paris, france photo by christian vieriggetty images

    Christian Vierig

    It can feel completely devastating to realize your hair is thinning or falling out. Too many of us experience female pattern hair loss, and it can happen to anyone for a myriad of reasons—from genetics to stress and even overuse of hot tools like your everyday flat iron. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of shame around the issue, making it harder to get information about how to treat hair loss. Alongside using hair growth vitamins and oils, hair growth shampoos (and conditioners) can actually help re-grow patchy sections, add density to thin hair, and prevent sparseness in the first place.

    When it comes to a hair growth shampoo, you have two options: prescriptions or over-the-counter treatments. Prescription shampoos like ketoconazole are “anti-androgenetic,” which means they prevent two hormones associated with triggering hair loss from activating—testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—by “targeting hair growth at the site of the follicle and helping to interrupt the hormone cycle locally that causes thinning,” explains Dr. Eric Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. Meanwhile, “over-the-counter growth shampoos typically contain amino acids and antioxidants to provide the components to rebuild hair as well as reduce damage and inflammation,” Schweiger adds.

    Depending on what’s causing your hair loss, consulting with a doctor, trichologist, or dermatologist is always a good first step. To find the best drugstore shampoos that can improve hair growth and density, we consulted some of the best minds in the industry—including cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat; Krupa Koestline, cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants; Dr. William Yates, board-certified hair loss expert and surgeon; and Dr. Nava Greenfield of Schweiger Dermatology Group. Ahead, shop 20 of the best hair growth shampoos available.

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    1

    Best For Hair Growth

    Honeydew

    Biotin Shampoo for Hair Growth B-Complex Formula 2

    Best For Hair Loss

    Pure Biology

    Growth Stimulating & Anti Hair Loss Shampoo 3

    Best Hair Growth Set

    SheaMoisture

    Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner Set 4

    Best Hair Growth System

    Nioxin

    System 1 Hair Care Kit 5

    Best For Scalp Care

    Strong HairPro Hair Care

    Deep Scalp Hair Therapy and Follicle Stimulation Tonic 6

    Best For Thin Hair

    Biolage

    Full Density Thickening Shampoo 7

    Best For No-Breakage

    Keranique

    Scalp Stimulating Shampoo 8

    Best For Everyday Use

    Pura D’or

    Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo 9

    Best For Damaged Hair

    Kérastase

    Resistance Length Strengthening Shampoo 10

    Best For Growing New Hair

    Ultrax Labs

    Hair Surge Caffeine Hair Recovery Stimulating Shampoo 11

    Best For Cell Turnover

    Andalou Naturals

    Argan Stem Cell Age Defying Shampoo 12

    Best Biotin Shampoo

    Bellisso

    Biotin Shampoo and Treatment Conditioner 13

    Best For Curly Hair

    Carol’s Daughter

    Goddess Fortifying Shampoo 14

    Best For Dry Hair

    Davines

    NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo 15

    Best Volumizing Shampoo

    Briogeo

    Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo 16

    Best For Dandruff

    Nizoral

    Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 17

    Best For Quick Results

    NISIM

    F.A.S.T Fortified Amino Scalp Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner 18

    Best For Natural Hair

    Dream Girls

    Renewing Shampoo 19

    Best Drugstore Pick

    OGX

    Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo 20

    Best For Sensitive Scalps

    Urban Hydration

    Moisturize & Grow Aloe Vera & Cucumber Clarifying Micellar Shampoo

    Hair loss is more common than you think and can happen to anyone. According to Dr. Eric Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, causes range from “androgenetic, or hormone-related hair loss, stress-related hair loss, also called telogen effluvium, and dandruff. Medications, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders, excess styling, and autoimmune disorders can also cause hair loss and thinning.”

    Does shampoo help hair growth?

    Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat says that shampoos can help to improve hair growth, but not single-handedly. “Because shampoos are rinsed out shortly after they are applied, the ingredients are not staying on the scalp long enough to make a significant impact on their own.” However, Schweiger points out there are other benefits to shampoos, including ingredients like amino acids and antioxidants, that can assist with hair growth in the long run.

    What should you look for in a hair growth shampoo?

    Krupa Koestline, cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants, notes that when shopping for a hair growth shampoo, some ingredients have proven benefits in hair growth stimulation: zinc, keratin, procyanidin B2, biotin, ginseng, caffeine, peppermint, arginine, amino acids like cysteine and tyrosine, vegetable proteins from wheat or soy, and tri-copper peptides. If you think over-the-counter hair loss shampoos are for you or just want to promote growth and strength, Schwieger also backs these ingredients as effective and cautions against using shampoo with parabens, sulfates, and fragrances, which can irritate hair and reduce moisture. Additionally, Robinson says that ingredients like salicylic acid that exfoliate the scalp and improve blood flow, and biotin, which may nourish the hair follicles, can also be beneficial in a hair growth shampoo.

    Can natural ingredients help grow hair?

    Board-certified hair loss expert and surgeon Dr. William Yates recommends gentle ingredients that don’t strip the hair and preserve the integrity of the hair shaft to help prevent breakage. “My patients report improved hair growth natural ingredients like pumpkin seed extract, yucca root extract, saw palmetto, algae, horsetail, and green tea extract,” says Yates. He also notes that biotin and rosemary oil show promise as natural ingredients in hair products to promote hair health and growth.

    What’s the difference between regular shampoo and a hair growth shampoo?

    “Hair growth-promoting shampoos are specifically designed with follicle-stimulating actives and antioxidants while maintaining optimal scalp health,” says Koestline. Whereas traditional shampoos are formulated for different hair types and focus more on the hair itself and not the scalp. And remember, hair growth is a slow process, and everyone is different. Dr. Nava Greenfield of Schweiger Dermatology Group recommends that you try a product out for three to four months before determining whether it is effective. “Take before and after photos since the change may be too gradual to notice,” Greenfield adds.

    Chloe Hall Beauty Director Chloe Hall oversees all beauty coverage at ELLE.com. Sam Peters Commerce Editor Sam Peters is a Commerce Editor at Hearst covering fashion, beauty and more.

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