What’s The Best Shampoo For Fine Hair? Top 5 Breakdown

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Do you find yourself staring wistfully at your friend’s luscious locks? Do you dream of hair so thick you can barely run your hand through it? If you’ve nodded your head twice, then you my friend, are a ‘fine hair’ victim.

If you have fine hair, you can testify that ‘the struggle is real.’ How do I get more volume? What can I do to get my styling to stay? How do I just get my hair to behave like everyone else’s? The truth is that there are so many varieties of hair types that there is no ‘normal.’ Fine hair, thick hair, dry hair, oily hair- there’s a product to help them all. Each hair type has its pros and cons and the required maintenance regime to keep your hair looking fresh. Don’t give up on your skinnier-than-most hair strands just yet.

There are some of you reading this and thinking “Well, I didn’t realize I had fine hair. Maybe I have fine hair? My hair isn’t thin but, well, it’s definitely not thick…” Now, you may just be a ‘hair-pocondriac’ but chances are you’re probably another victim on the list. Confused yet? Let me explain what exactly fine hair is (also known as ‘thin’ hair) and why you might not realize you’re a ‘sufferer’ (it’s not as dramatic as it sounds).

What Is Fine Hair? 

Back of woman's head with woman's hands in hair.

What kind of hair do you have?

So what is fine hair? It’s a type of hair texture where your individual hair strands are smaller in diameter. Having less hair does not necessarily constitute having fine hair. 

Often, fine hair is naturally silky and soft in texture, whereas thicker hair with a wider diameter of hair strands is more coarse and rough. Although thin hair is somewhat easier to style, it lacks the volume it needs to hold any real treatment. It can also sometimes wind up getting greasier quicker and tangled easily. Fine hair is also more prone to breakage due to the weakness of the actual fibers.

For those of you still not sure if you have fine hair? Pluck a strand of hair and rub it between your fingers. If you can’t even feel it’s there then welcome to the Fine Hair Club.

What Causes Fine Hair?

relaxing woman

Woman Relaxing

I don’t think it comes as a surprise that stress is a common source of fine hair. When you’re stressed, certain chemicals and substances in your system don’t function to the best of their abilities. This leads to various deficiencies. According to a report in the March 2003 American Journal of Pathology, researchers found that “psycho-emotional stress indeed alters actual hair follicle cycling” when they subjected mice to rodent-repellent sounds. High-stress environments can cause your hair to become thin and can lead to easy breakage.

Medical conditions such as thyroid, hormonal or malnourishment issues can also cause fine hair. A lack of nutrients in the hair causes the strands themselves to become weak. Certain medications could also be the reason your hair is looking a little limp. The American Association of Family Physicians suggests that medications such as blood thinners, antidepressants and some birth control pills can all cause hair to become thinner.

If you notice a change in your hair, you should consult with your doctor to check that there isn’t another factor affecting your hair thickness. I know it sounds silly to visit the doctor because your tresses aren’t looking as shiny as your friends,’ but don’t be so quick to turn a blind eye. Be attuned to your body’s changes.

Over-washing is another component that can cause fine hair. It’s a catch-22. Your thin hair gets greasy quicker, but over-washing it causes it to be thinner.  Washing your hair often (‘often’ in hair-washing terms is anything more than the average every-other-day routine) can strip it of its natural oils. This is something you don’t want to be doing when your hair already has that ‘whispy,’ non-moisturized look. This makes you hair less resilient and breakable.

Ingredients To Look For In Shampoo For Fine Hair

You’ve identified with at least 1 out of 3 reasons as to why your hair has been crowned the Prom Queen of the Fine Hair Club. What now? The good news is that by recognizing the specific ingredients that will salvage your whispy waves, you’re one step closer to getting thrown out of the Club. (Who knew that would be a good thing?). Ingredients to look for in shampoo for fine hair include ones that are moisturizing and contain plenty of proteins.

These aid in repairing any apparent hair damage, which is more common in fine hair. For example, when glycerin is applied to the skin or hair, it seals in moisture that would otherwise disappear. Used in many lotions and skin care products specifically aimed to target dry skin, this ingredient contains the proteins needed to add shine and volume to your hair.

Silicone is also a great ingredient that will leave your hair looking fuller and voluminous without making it greasy. (But make sure the silicone ingredient is water-soluble to prevent any buildup). Bridget Brager, Celebrity and Editorial Stylist, claims that silicone gives hair “a luxurious, conditioned feel”, locking in conditioner on frizz and split ends. 

Keratin is another key ingredient that will directly target the restoration of your hair shaft. Keratin proteins work to strengthen the hair fibers themselves, building up the individual strands we mentioned earlier. Your hair cuticle absorbs the keratin, giving your hair a fuller look.

Top 5 Shampoos For Fine Hair Explained

1. Nioxin Cleanser For Fine Hair Review

Bottle of Nioxin Cleanser for Fine Hair.

Nioxin Cleanser for Fine Hair.

Although the Nioxin Cleanser for fine hair is not a quick fix and needs to be used over time to reap results, it is used by numerous hair salons to thicken hair. It nurtures a healthy scalp, which in turn creates healthy, strong hair. The ingredients are targeted to thickening the hair shaft diameter, which as mentioned earlier is the crux of thin hair.

My hair is quite frizzy and definitely falls under the ‘whispy-but-not-wholesome’ category. I was skeptical about this product mostly because I knew it would take time to see results and I’m definitely the instant gratification type. Having said that, I was not let down. I could feel the ingredients working on my scalp, as my hair was noticeably less itchy after use. It took time, but my hair strands are surprisingly thicker now! I did the previously mentioned pluck-a-hair-and-rub-between-fingers test, and my hair was noticeably, well, noticeable! The strands themselves had responded to the treatment. I would recommend this for someone who is looking for lasting effects on their hair.

2. Era Organics Volumizing Shampoo Review

Bottle of Era Organics Volumizing Shampoo.

Era Organics Volumizing Shampoo.

One of the most affordable choices, Era Organics volumizing shampoo contains a nine-in-one formula to promote hair strength and volume. It is a sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo aimed to revitalize lifeless hair. The brand boasts of its use of natural and organic ingredients, which is always good – nobody willingly desires to coat their hair in chemicals.

Being natural, I felt that this shampoo would have a gentle yet subtle effect on my hair. I was wrong. Gentle? Yes. Subtle? No. My hair feels and looks stronger and healthier. I think this is largely due to the manuka honey and argan oil it employs – which, coincidentally, smell amazing too. Highly recommended if you want to see results without the chemicals.

3. It’s A 10 Miracle Volumizing Shampoo Review

Bottle of It’s A 10 Miracle Volumizing Shampoo.

It’s A 10 Miracle Volumizing Shampoo.

Designed to free your hair of buildup residue and enhance natural bounce, the It’s A 10 Miracle volumizing shampoo moisturizes the hair without weighing it down. It reduces fine hair’s tendency to look limp and listless. It’s great for colored hair and it also preserves dye and heightens vibrancy.

I hate the weighed-down feeling my hair gets after using any kind of product. This shampoo is different in that my hair genuinely felt stronger but lighter after use. This shampoo had such immediate results that at first, I wasn’t convinced that it was the shampoo that had caused the improvement. I thought maybe another factor had affected the change.

I went back to my regular shampoo, and then again used the It’s A 10 Miracle volumizing shampoo. It was real! If you want instant results, this is the product for you. This leaves your hair bouncy but light. If you have baby-fine hair, this product provides the drastic results you’re looking for.

4. Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive Review

Bottle of Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive.

Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive.

The Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive shampoo is thick shampoo designed specifically to give your hair body and lock in the shine in your strands. It contains cationic polymer technology, which creates shape memory in the hair follicles. This means it works to really restore thin hair rather than just adding that temporary shine.

The most noticeable result in this shampoo is the way it lifts your roots.  Fine hair has a tendency to just fall flat around the scalp, but this shampoo does what it says on the bottle – volume! A volumizing shampoo can sometimes leave the hair frizzy, as it lifts somewhat uncontrollably.

I would recommend following this shampoo with a conditioner (and I don’t think that’s too much to ask, giving the impressive outcome of this product). If you’re searching for a solution to the flatness that thin hair can cause, then Kerastase Volumactive is the shampoo for you.

5. Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo Review

Bottle of Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo.

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo.

This plant-based shampoo will leave your fine hair full and infused with natural shine. With the key ingredient being acacia gum, which is a volumizer (I know, it sounds good already, right?), this product lifts limp hair. It also contains marshmallow (I promise I didn’t make that up) to thicken the hair follicles.  Being cruelty-free is just another aspect of why Aveda Pure Abundance volumizing shampoo should be one of your top choices to cure your thin hair.

I have to admit, I was wary of using this shampoo for one reason only: it sounded too good to be true. Everything I’d heard about it led me to think it couldn’t actually deliver. Nonetheless, delivering what it promises on the bottle, my hair was left feeling more ‘abundant.’ This shampoo has a creamy lather and a minty scent.

After using it, my hair felt fresh and alive, like it had found water in the desert (for those of you rolling your eyes at the dramatic flare – you’re clearly not a fine hair victim). My hair was full of body and its whispy-ness and frizzy-ness were eradicated. Putting it simply, this volumizing shampoo fits the bill: fluffy hair without the frizz.

How To Prevent Fine Hair With Lifestyle Changes

It is important to note that no shampoo will ‘cure’ thin, fine hair on its own. However, turning your attention to your lifestyle will mean that the shampoo you choose will have added benefits for your hair.

1. Exercise

Back of woman as she does a jumping jack.

Exercising can help keep your hair healthy.

It may sound unexpected, but a healthy workout regime can increase blood flow to various parts of the body, including the scalp. This, in turn, nurtures healthier hair. If your hair doesn’t get a good blood supply it actually shrinks. I think we’ve established that this is the antithesis of what we want our hair strands to be doing. So how do you prevent this?

An easy way to increase blood flow is by making sure your body gets enough sleep to regenerate. We discussed earlier how stress can cause hair to thin, so its safe to suggest that lightening the load on your life, whether that be through exercise or sleep, will help your locks regain their strength. A healthy cardiovascular system (aka exercise) boosts circulation and ensures your scalp gets the blood-flow-attention it deserves.

2. Brush

Woman holding comb and her hair.

If you have fine hair, make sure to use the right type of brush or comb.

Knots and tangles can be a nightmare, regardless of hair type. But if you have fine hair, you already know that your hair is more prone to breakage. It won’t come as a surprise to hear that the specific type of brush or comb that you use is an added factor to preventing thinning hair. Aggressive brushing leads to the weakening of the hair follicles, which obviously is not the result you want when your hair is already on the verge of a break down.

Boar bristle brushes are typically considered essential for fine hair. Not only do they gently detangle, but they distribute the scalp’s natural oils along the hair. I know this sounds gross, but it actually promotes your hair’s self-cleaning tendencies and makes it less grease-concentrated at the roots.

3. Diet

Woman holding a piece of sushi.

Eating fish will help you have thicker hair.

When I notice that my hair is thinner than usual, I almost always turn my attention to my diet first. We’ve established that your hair needs nutrients just like any other part of your body. Work from the inside out. What are you missing in your diet?

Keratin is the protein which strengthens the nails and hair. It will come as no surprise then that adding more omega-3 to your diet, whether through fatty fish or supplements, helps maintain thicker hair. It restores the fullness of your hair by providing the nutrients your hair might be missing.

Deficiencies in iron could also affect your weak hair follicles. Iron aids the red blood cells in carrying oxygen and nutrients to your hair. So, if you notice your hair is more brittle than usual, I would suggest upping your leafy green and bean intake.

Thin hair? Try our popular Pomegranate Shampoo!


Having taken a closer look into the meaning and solutions to fine hair, most of you Club members should be feeling confident that you’re on your way out. Essentially, fine hair is just super-skinny hair. So just fatten up the follicles!

There are numerous solutions to keeping your hair looking lush. Some are just a quick fix, while others reap more lasting results. It’s crucial to keep in mind that maintaining healthy hair is just as vital as maintaining a healthy body. It’s all connected. The human body is a tightly interwoven network, and attention to detail cannot be overlooked. There are many shampoos out there made to target thin and fine hair, but keep your eye out for ingredients like keratin, silicone and other moisturizing substances.

I would recommend starting with the lifestyle changes first, really fixing the root of the problem. But why not also try one of the 5 shampoos mentioned to see if your hair is just missing the right kind of attention it needs? Either way, its safe to say that your membership to the Fine Hair Club has expired.

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