The bad news: if you’re shopping shampoos for hair thinning, chances are you’re among the 40 percent of women experiencing female hair loss. The good news–aside from the fact that you’re not alone? More and more companies are pouring money into researching the perfect solution to meet the ever-growing demand for a cure. That means there is no shortage of search results to sift through when trying to find the best one.
To give you a head start on the process, we’ve sorted through reviews, sales, studies, consumer reports–anything we could get our hands on to separate the solutions from the snake oils. We’ll also let you know which use natural DHT blocking, which rely on minoxidil, and which are safe to use on color-treated hair. Now, without further ado, here is our list comparing six top shampoos for female hair thinning:
Keranique system is a three-step, four bottle regimen that includes the Scalp Stimulating Shampoo, Volumizing Keratin Conditioner, Hair Regrowth Treatment and the Lift and Repair Treatment. The shampoo and conditioner are meant to deep clean the hair and scalp before you apply the Hair Regrowth Treatment. The Lift and Repair Treatment is a styling treatment also meant to protect your hair and scalp.
The shampoo, conditioner, and Lift and Repair Treatment can be applied either daily or every other day. The Hair Regrowth Treatment is to be applied twice a day, every day. It’s certainly a commitment, but Keranique fans seem to think it’s worth it.
How it works
Topping the list of shampoos for hair thinning isn’t an easy feat these days, but the buzz around Keranique is building because, well, it works. The company touts the fact that they use the only ingredient that’s FDA-approved to reverse female hair loss–Minoxidil 2%, which is the same stuff that’s in Rogaine.
The shampoo and conditioner have some impressive ingredients of their own, though. The Scalp Stimulating Shampoo uses Keratin and Pro Vitamin B5, which have been shown to aid in scalp health. The Volumizing Keratin Conditioner promises to strengthen hair with the help of a proprietary Keratin Amino Complex that fortifies hair. Finally, the Lift & Repair Treatment spray applies more Keratin Amino Complex which is meant to attach to the hair at the root, giving some lift and bounce.
Pricing and packages
$49.95-$115 for 30-day supply, with auto-reorder of $149.85 for additional 120-day supplies.
The Shapiro MD Triple Action Hair Therapy Formula is a shampoo/conditioner aimed at reversing the effects of 5a-dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, one of the main causes of female hair loss. The company says that leaving the shampoo in for 20 minutes at a time will deliver the best results, but a minimum of two minutes is acceptable to see improvement. The conditioner only needs to sit for one to two minutes.
How it works
DHT is created when testosterone enters the hair follicles and mixes with enzymes. That DHT then shrinks the follicles and forces them into a resting phase, causing female hair thinning and hair loss. The Shapiro MD products are known as DHT blockers, and they do just that–they block the testosterone from entering the follicles in the first place.
Shapiro MD’s ingredient list includes three naturally occurring DHT blockers: caffeine, green tea and saw palmetto berry extract, each of which plays a different role in the process. It’s important to note, however, that the product is only to be used by women who are postmenopausal, as it may pose risks to unborn or nursing babies.
Pricing and package
A one-month supply of shampoo and conditioner alone is $72.90, but that drops to $49.95 per month if you buy a 4-month supply (4 shampoos, 4 conditioners). For those who may be curious, a 2-month package will run $119.80, or $59.90 per month. Shipping ranges from $6.95 to $9.95.
Like the pick above, Ultrax Labs’ system offers a Minoxidil-free solution for female hair loss. The brand has built a strong name with critics and consumers alike and has been one of the top-selling shampoos for hair thinning since 2012.
The system includes Hair Surge Shampoo and Hair Solaye Conditioner. The two are formulated to complement each other, which the company promises not only thickens and fortifies hair, but actually ignites regrowth. The company recommends five washings per week, and letting the shampoo and conditioner each sit for at least two minutes before rinsing. Probably not too different from your regular routine.
How it works
Hair Surge Shampoo uses a one-two punch of DHT-blockers (caffeine and saw palmetto), along with ketoconazole. Used in prescription dandruff treatments, ketoconazole has powerful anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and early studies highlight its potential to regrow hair. The addition of caffeine and saw palmetto aims to inhibit the creation of the enzyme that interacts with testosterone to create DHT, giving Ultrax Labs a potent DHT blocker to help battle female hair thinning. And not surprisingly, caffeine also helps your follicles boost productivity by stimulating activity. Sound familiar?
Hair Solaye Conditioner brings another dose of caffeine, but this time with jojoba oil and chamomile extract to clean and stimulate the scalp. For a third dose of caffeine, Ultrax Labs also offers Hair Plush, a leave-in thickening treatment that also includes more keratin and biotin. In other words, Ultrax Labs’ system uses a barrage of natural ingredients (aside from ketoconazole) to battle female hair loss.
Pricing and package
The Hair Surge system packs a punch, and so does its price tag: if purchased separately, the shampoo is $59.99; the conditioner is $49.99; and the Hair Plush is $59.99. The company offers a shampoo/conditioner bundle for $99.99. The shampoo and conditioner come in small, 8-ounce bottles, while the Hair Plush is 1.7 ounces. Some reviewers recommended washing with their regular shampoo before using Hair Surge in order to stretch their supplies.
To battle female hair loss, Pure Biology explains that the key to its RevivaHair system is the use of proprietary compounds, amino acids, and stem cell technology. According to the brand, these work to “promote the body’s own ability to stimulate growth and prevent breakage and hair loss,” according to the Pure Biology’s website. The lack of any Minoxidil means nothing is FDA approved, but the company’s site stated that clinical studies showed some subjects reported a 21% reduction in hair loss within just three weeks.
Pure Biology’s RevivaHair system includes RevivaHair Shampoo and RevivaHair Conditioner. At under $55 for both, it’s one of the more affordable shampoos for hair thinning. That’s a welcome detail for a product that recommends daily use.
How it works
Pure Biology RevivaHair works against female hair thinning by starting with tried-and-true supplements biotin and keratin, and giving them a boost with proprietary compounds. Amino Kera NPNF is an amino acid aimed at allowing keratin to penetrate deeper into the root. 3HC is meant to stimulate the stem cells responsible for hair growth.
Other ingredients include saw palmetto and green tea, as well as a few other regularly used hair loss supplements. A word to the wise, though: RevivaHair’s system does include sulfates, meaning you may have trouble with dyes and treatments. That’s an important thing to consider when shopping shampoos for hair thinning–let’s make sure we don’t damage the hair we do have!
Pricing and package
The eight-ounce bottle size is small, but it’s pretty standard for the industry. That said, the combined price of $54.85 ($26.90 for the shampoo, $27.95 for the conditioner) is roughly half of many other systems. Better yet, Pure Biology will throw in the shipping and handling on orders over $50. How’s that for encouragement?
As the product’s name not so subtly suggests, Revivogen sells its ability to awaken dormant follicles that have been lulled to sleep by DHT. The company is so confident in its claims, it even features before and after pictures on its site, which isn’t common for minoxidil-free shampoos for hair thinning.
The three-pronged system includes Revivogen MD Bio-Cleansing Shampoo, Revivogen MD Thickening Conditioner, and Revivogen Scalp Therapy. The company suggests using the shampoo at least three to four times per week, while letting it sit on the scalp for at least a minute each time. The conditioner requires five to seven minutes. The Scalp Therapy, applied via sprayer, needs at least three hours of contact after each application.
How it works
Like most of the minoxidil-free systems for female hair loss, Revivogen is loaded with DHT blockers. Again, these are ingredients that stop the follicle-shrinking effects of DHT. Some, like caffeine, have also been shown to restart hair growth. Revivogen claims that results can be seen in 90 days, and independent studies have shown a success rate of 88 percent, though those studies were not displayed on the company’s site.
Caffeine, saw palmetto and Gamma Linolenic Acid–a fatty acid used to treat a host of ailments, including hair loss–are all part of the main formulation, which is essentially the same for the shampoo and the scalp treatment. The conditioner uses biotin and keratin to clean and moisturize the scalp, which isn’t unlike many other products.
Pricing and package
The shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment each run for as much as $33 per bottle; at 12 ounces, the shampoo and conditioner offer bigger portions than many of their competitors’ 8-oz bottles. The Scalp Therapy, while only two ounces, is enough for 30 days, according to the company. The most cost-effective package includes two bottles of shampoo, two bottles of conditioner and a 6-month supply of the Scalp Treatment for $225.
Honeydew rounds out our list thanks to strong publicity and even stronger sales, ranking among the best-selling options for female hair loss. It’s pretty simple–the system consists of shampoo and conditioner, which can be used in place of your normal products. The result, says Honeydew, is stronger, fuller hair, and the removal of DHT buildup.
How it works
“Healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp,” says Honeydew. Biotin Shampoo, with strong anti-dandruff properties, cleans the scalp using Vitamin B5, zinc, and, of course, biotin. The hope is that cleansing leads to stimulated cells and the increased circulation needed for hair regrowth. For good measure, Honeydew also included fatty-acid all-star jojoba oil, as well as fungus-fighting tea tree oil and moisturizing argan oil. If DHT buildup is at the root (ahem) of your issues, Biotin Shampoo could be a great solution to start with.
Honeydew suggests allowing the shampoo to sit on your scalp for two to three minutes. It’s sulfate free, meaning you’re safe to use it with color-treated hair. Honeydew recommends using it three to five times per week.
Pricing and package
Biotin Shampoo comes in both eight- and 16-ounce bottles. At $12.95 for an eight-ounce bottle (and $17.95 for 16), it’s by far the cheapest option on this list, even considering the system only consists of shampoo. The company doesn’t specify their quantities by how long they last, so try to gauge it by how quickly you go through your regular shampoo.
Side by Side Comparison
|Brand||Active Ingredients||How Long Product Lasts||What It Delivers||How Long Before Results||Pricing|
|Keranique||Minoxidil 2%, keratin, and pro vitamin B5||Available in one-month to four-month supplies||Hair regrowth, thicker, stronger, healthier hair||At least four months||$49.95-$115 per 30-day supply. S&P free for first order, additional after|
|Shapiro MD||Saw palmetto berry extract, caffeine, Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate, (EGCG) green tea||Offers one, two, , and four-month supply||DHT blocking. Hair regrowth.||Six to eight weeks||Price ranges from $49.95-$69.95 depending on order size|
|Ultrax Labs||Caffeine, saw palmetto, ketoconazole||Depends on user (bottle size: 8 ounces)||DHT blocking. Hair regrowth.||Per Ultrax website: “Some of our customers see results within a few days, while other people need months to start seeing results.”||$59.99 for 8 oz shampoo; $49.99 for 8 oz conditioner; $99.99 for combo|
|Pure Biology||Biotin, keratin, amino kera NPNF, 3HC||Depends on user (bottle size: 8 ounces)||Healthy, stronger hair, possible hair regrowth.||Clinical evidence shows reduced hair loss in 21 days||$54.85 for shampoo and conditioner separately. Free shipping over $50|
|Revivogen||Caffeine, linolenic acid, saw palmetto, grapeseed||Scalp Therapy available in one-, three- and six-month supplies; shampoo and conditioner available in one- and two-bottle supplies.||DHT blocking. Thicker, stronger hair, possible hair regrowth.||Estimated 90 days||Single bottles of shampoo, conditioner start at $24 each and drop to $21 in two-bottle supplies; Scalp Treatment is $33 per 30-day supply; $30.83 per month in six-month package|
|Honeydew Biotin Shampoo||Argan oil, linolenic acid, tea tree oil, biotin, phytokeratin, jojoba oil||Biotin Shampoo available in eight- and 16-ounce bottles||Deep cleaning, DHT removal and hair regrowth.||Not specified||$12.95 for 8-ounce bottle; $17.95 for 16-ounce bottle. Shipping via Amazon (Prime eligible)|
The addition of FDA-approved minoxidil 2% helps earn Keranique a good amount of klout, in addition to the product’s holistic approach to hair and scalp health.. But perhaps more encouragingly, it’s the only minoxidil product on the list, meaning advancements in natural solutions like DHT-blocking are getting more and more effective.
If nothing else, we hope the list we’ve put together show how many options are out there. Hair thinning can be approached from a variety of angles and from a variety of price points. These products are relatively expensive, so hopefully this thorough breakdown will inform you enough to be able to make a decision that works for you.