If you want thicker hair, you should consider hair growth shampoo. It’s not a miracle cure, but we’ve found 10 science-backed options proven to be effective. Read on to learn all you need to know.


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Hair Growth Shampoo: Scam or Miracle?

Image of a man standing in front of a blue wall with his half and half head for a piece on hair loss shampoo
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Here at YouProbablyNeedaHaircut.com, we’ve reviewed and analyzed hundreds of products intended to boost hair growth, stop thinning or balding, and increase hair growth speed.

We’ve found that some work better than expected and others seem to be ineffective. One of the most popular options is hair growth shampoo. Hair growth shampoo is applied topically, not taken internally.

Different shampoos contain different ingredients, but most say they’re formulated to:

  • Boost new hair growth
  • Thicken existing hair
  • Speed up growth
  • Or even stop thinning

That’s a tall order for a shampoo to fill! People like hair growth shampoos because they’re easy to use – just switch it out with your normal shampoo and use as directed. The effectiveness is really what comes into question.

Do hair growth shampoos really work? 

That’s what we’ve decided to find out. We’re taking an unbiased look at hair growth shampoo, how it works, common ingredients, pros and cons, and how soon you can expect to see results.

Along the way, we found 10 of the most promising hair growth shampoos to share with you. The ones that made our list had to meet rigorous criteria, including: 

  • Must contain proven effective ingredients 
  • Are backed by scientific studies or clinical trials
  • Have a large number of honest, positive customer reviews
  • Visible results in 3 months or less
  • Don’t require a prescription

Find out everything you need to know about hair growth shampoo so you can make the best decision for your mane. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Read Next: Folexin Hair Growth Review

What Is Hair Growth Shampoo?

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Hair growth shampoo is a topical supplement used to promote or support the body’s natural hair growth cycle. These shampoos contain special ingredients that serve one of a few purposes.

They either stimulate the scalp for new growth in thinning areas, increase the rate of hair growth, thicken existing hairs for a fuller look, or reverse thinning and hair loss. 

People use hair growth shampoo for different reasons. Some reach for it when they’re having trouble growing their hair beyond a certain length. Others try it in hopes of restoring hair to thinning or balding areas.

Some use it to get fuller, thicker-looking hair or to slow down natural shedding and thinning. The way hair growth shampoo works depends on the active ingredients it contains. Some include essential nutrients and vitamins the body needs to naturally produce and grow hair.

Some contain natural DHT blockers (more on that in a bit) meant to curb hair loss and thinning. Others contain ingredients proven to stimulate more blood flow to the scalp to wake follicles up and get them working overtime.

There are 5 main ways hair growth shampoos can work:

  1. Increase blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles 
  2. Work as anti-inflammatories to encourage hair growth 
  3. Stimulate the scalp and follicles with caffeine
  4. Block DHT to combat male pattern baldness
  5. Thicken existing hair with protein for a fuller look

The type of hair growth shampoo you’ll need depends on the results you want. You’ll be able to see the best growth shampoo recommendation for your needs in the product recommendation section.

Hair Growth Shampoo Pros and Cons

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons associated with using hair growth shampoo. You’ll learn about the benefits and possible disadvantages of using these shampoos to support hair growth. 

Hair Growth Shampoo Pros

Hair growth shampoo pros and cons featuring a before and after to use the product in a cutaway image of the scalp and hair follicles
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Hair growth shampoo can either thicken existing hair, speed up growth, or increase blood flow to the scalp to stimulate follicles for new growth. Here’s a look at some of the benefits you may see when using a good hair growth shampoo. 

Boost Hair Growth and Quality

Hair growth shampoos can help boost growth and the overall quality and health of the newly grown hairs. This is possible when the right ingredients and nutrients are in the shampoo formula to support your body’s natural hair growth process. 

Like baking, growing hair requires a list of vitamin and nutrient “ingredients.” If your body is fresh out of even one of these ingredients, like biotin or zinc, you won’t see fast, healthy hair growth.

So in theory, using a shampoo that ensures all the necessary ingredients for hair growth are in place can boost your growth speed and quality. 

Increase Hair Length

Some people look to hair growth shampoos to supercharge their hair growth speed for longer locks. If you want to increase hair length, a good growth shampoo (in conjunction with a nutrient-dense diet) is a great place to start. 

Stress, your age, genetics, and hormone levels all play a role in how quickly your hair will grow. If you’ve hit a wall in terms of hair growth, using a shampoo with the right ingredients can help your scalp get back to growing hair at the normal rate of about half an inch per month. 

Thicken Hair for a Fuller Look

Hair consists mostly of a fibrous protein called keratin. Some hair growth shampoos work by thickening existing hair with additional protein to make it look fuller. Protein in hair growth shampoos fills in the gaps on the outside of hair strands that are looking thin or wispy.

It can also penetrate the scalp and follicles to provide essential nutrients for hair growth and draw additional moisture into the hair. The result is hair that is bulked up with natural protein for a fuller, more lush look. 

Curb Thinning and Hair Loss

A host of factors can lead to hair thinning and loss, from vitamin deficiencies to genetics. There are hair growth shampoo options available containing ingredients that specifically target hair loss and thinning due to male pattern and female pattern baldness. 

These shampoos can stimulate the scalp and follicles to encourage growth. They also provide essential vitamins and nutrients the scalp needs to push out new growth. 

Many people start using a growth shampoo when they notice the first signs of thinning or hair loss. It can keep shedding at bay and thicken existing hairs so your mane remains full and healthy. 

Hair Growth Shampoo Cons

Man holding his head and in the other hand holding up a bottle of hair growth shampoo
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Hair growth shampoos can be effective, but they aren’t a miracle cure for slow-growing or thinning hair. Here’s why. 

Only Grows Existing Hair

Hair growth shampoos help grow the hair you have to longer lengths. Most (but there are exceptions!) won’t grow hair where there isn’t any or stimulate dormant follicles to start producing hair again. 

The good news is that hair in spots prone to thinning – around the temples, the crown, and hairline – can benefit from these shampoos to stimulate new growth for fuller scalp coverage.

Ingredients Vary in Effectiveness

Growth shampoos all contain different active and inactive ingredients. Some active ingredients in hair growth shampoos have been shown to be very effective in encouraging and supporting hair growth. Others won’t do much more than cleanse your hair. 

The most common proven-effective ingredients to look for in growth shampoos include:

  • Saw palmetto
  • Biotin
  • Chinese climbing knotweed (he shou wu)
  • Zinc
  • Niacin
  • Ketoconazole

Topical Formulas May Not Be As Effective

Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is associated with an increase in the male sex hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Natural DHT blockers are often included in hair growth shampoos, including saw palmetto, fenugreek, stinging nettle, and pumpkin seed oil for this reason.

But since these DHT blockers are delivered topically in a shampoo instead of internally with a supplement, less is absorbed by the body.

The result is less effectiveness overall. But the upside to the topical tradeoff is fewer side effects compared to internal supplements containing DHT blockers. 

Best Hair Growth Shampoo: 10 to Consider

Finding the best hair growth shampoo is a challenge because there are just so many options out there. With most available at your fingertips from online retailers, it’s easy to get hair growth shampoo.

But it’s harder to sift through all the products to find the ones that actually work. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Below, you’ll see the 10 best hair growth shampoo options to choose from.

Best Hair Growth Shampoo:
  1. Rogaine Minoxidil Topical Foam Treatment
  2. Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo
  3. Folimax Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
  4. Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo
  5. Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo
  6. Redken Extreme Length Shampoo
  7. Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Shampoo
  8. Bellisso Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner Set
  9. Honeydew Biotin Thickening Shampoo
  10. Renpure Biotin and Collagen Shampoo

We’ll let you know who each formula is best for and what kind of results you can expect. You’ll also see the potent, proven ingredients contained in each formula. Let’s take a look at the best shampoos for hair growth! 

1. Rogaine Minoxidil Topical Foam Treatment

Men's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Loss
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First on our list is Rogaine Topical Foam Treatment, which isn’t technically a shampoo, but still a topical treatment you can apply to your hair and scalp. This is the gold standard for hair growth if you’re experiencing hair loss as a result of male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil 5% is the active ingredient here, and tons of scientific studies and clinical trials back it up. This is the real deal! It will stimulate hair follicles to begin growing hair even if they’ve been dormant for a while.

You can see as much as 25% more growth when you use this foam treatment. Results should be visible in as few as 12 weeks, so you won’t have to wait long to see if it’s working. We love that it comes as a 3-month supply.

You should see results before you run out so you can decide if you want to buy more. More than 17,000 reviewers give it 4.3 stars on average, and the reviews say it is incredibly effective. 

2. Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo

Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo for Thicker, Fuller Hair
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If Rogaine topical foam isn’t an option for you, then Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo is a great option. This growth-enhancing shampoo gets 4.5 stars on average out of more than 12,000 reviews.

It is one of the best options on the market if you want longer, stronger hair. It contains effective ingredients proven to support and encourage hair growth and density, like zinc, biotin, and keratin.

It smells like a floral bouquet! You’ll find nutrient-dense nourishers like green pea sprouts and grape seed oil in the mix for healthy, moisturized hair.

Reviewers love sharing their before and after photos because this growth shampoo really works. It takes about 3 months of regular usage to see your results, but if long-term growth and thickness is what you’re after, this is a great way to get it. 

3. Folimax Biotin Volumizing Shampoo

Folimax Biotin Shampoo for Thinning Hair - Volumizing Shampoo for Fine Hair
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Folimax Biotin Volumizing Shampoo is a powerful hair growth shampoo that can be helpful for anyone with excessive shedding, slow-growing hair, or thinning due to male pattern baldness.

It covers all the bases. It has a solid 4.3 stars from more than 7,400 reviewers for a reason. It works because it contains effective ingredients and doesn’t contain harmful ones like sulfates.

Biotin is the main ingredient, but there are also proven natural DHT blockers (to combat male pattern baldness), keratin, zinc, and nourishing oils and plant extracts inside. 

This shampoo can not only thicken hair and stop thinning, but it also treats dandruff and other scalp conditions. For an all-over healthy scalp and better hair growth, this is such a great shampoo. 

4. Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo

Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo
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Guys, you may want to consider trying Viviscal Man Full Force Fortifying Shampoo to boost hair growth. Viviscal makes a variety of products and this is their growth shampoo designed specifically for men. 

This formula is a little different from their Gorgeous Growth Densifying shampoo. It still contains powerful biotin and the patented Ana:Tel complex to reduce shedding and prolong the hair growth phase, but it contains bonuses like zinc and keravis protein. 

The protein in the shampoo actually thickens existing hair for a fuller look, while botanical and vitamins work to support the natural hair growth process. Reviewers give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is an incredible rating for a hair growth shampoo. 

5. Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo

PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Biotin Shampoo
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Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo is a proven winner in the hair growth shampoo category. It not only targets thinning or slow-growing hair, but it also strengthens hair and reduces breakage. 

It’s formulated with some of the most powerful, proven-effective ingredients for growth shampoo. You’ll find stinging nettle extract, saw palmetto, argan oil, and other natural DHT blockers. This makes it effective for women experiencing thinning and men with male pattern baldness. 

More than 15,800 reviewers leave it an average 4.3 out of 5 stars. This indicates this is a great product for anyone who wants to grow their hair longer, reverse thinning, or achieve thicker-looking hair. 

6. Redken Extreme Length Shampoo

Redken Extreme Length Shampoo | For Hair Growth
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Redken Extreme Length Shampoo is an easy addition to our list. It gets excellent reviews. The fact that it’s made by Redken, the #1 professional salon brand in North America, makes it a trustworthy option for hair growth. 

It is formulated with biotin, which is proven to strengthen damaged hair and encourage faster, longer hair growth. While growth is the main priority of this shampoo, it also helps reduce breakage by up to 81% when you use the entire Extreme Length line. 

Redken is known for their investments in lab testing and research and development. They’ve formulated this shampoo specifically to encourage growth and stronger locks.

This Redken shampoo holds an impressive 4.6 star average in reviews with more than 2,000 reviewers chiming in. If you want longer, stronger hair, this is a trusted brand to try. 

7. Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Shampoo

Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Shampoo for Hair Growth & Breakage
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Don’t miss Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Shampoo when you’re looking for the best growth shampoo. This is part of Marc Anthony’s Grow Long product line. We’ve reviewed the Grow Long hair mask and it is *chef’s kiss*.

This shampoo contains similar ingredients to promote and boost hair growth and health. You’re getting a hefty dose of biotin, keratin, vitamins, and nourishing oils packed into this shampoo.

It’s also infused with caffeine and ginseng to promote additional blood flow to the scalp and follicles (which stimulates more growth). It’s sulfate-free, so it won’t undermine your efforts to get healthier hair. 

It’s super affordable, and with a 4.5 star average from more than 5,900 reviews, it’s a definite winner. You can find the matching hair mask here

8. Bellisso Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Check out the Bellisso Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner Set if you’re looking to double up on your hair growth efforts. This duo contains growth-boosting biotin and zinc, thickening keratin and collagen, and nourishing plant extracts from natural DHT blockers like spirulina. 

You can expect to see denser, thicker hair that looks full and healthy when you use this shampoo. It gives your scalp everything it needs to grow healthy hair fast.

If you’ve been dealing with thinning, this shampoo may be able to stop or completely reverse it. It works equally as well for men and women, which we love.

It’s earned an average of 4.3 stars from more than 6,200 reviews. In terms of hair growth shampoo ratings, this is a clear indicator that it’s a product that works. 

9. Honeydew Biotin Thickening Shampoo

Biotin Hair Shampoo for Dry Hair - Biotin Shampoo
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Sometimes, the little-known brands make some of the best products. That’s certainly the case with Honeydew Biotin Thickening Hair Shampoo. It’s a customer favorite in hair growth shampoos and there are a lot of reasons why. 

Zinc and biotin in the formula work to stimulate and encourage your natural hair growth process. The zinc also treats dandruff! It contains natural DHT blockers to help reverse male pattern baldness, including argan and jojoba oil. 

But the reviews. Oh, the reviews! There are hundreds of before and after photos showing how excited users are to unveil the new growth from this shampoo.

It’s one of those “see it to believe it” things. It has an average of 4.3 stars in ratings, which is great. But this shampoo holds that rating with more than 30,000 reviews. That’s amazing! 

10. Renpure Biotin and Collagen Shampoo

Renpure Biotin and Collagen Shampoo, 32 Ounce
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Last but not least, we’ve gotta talk about Renpure Biotin and Collagen Shampoo for hair growth. This is an effective plant-based shampoo that contains potent ingredients like biotin (and other B vitamins), and thickening keratin and collagen. 

It doesn’t contain harmful substances that can harm hair, like sulfates, parabens, artificial dyes, or phthalates. When you’re focusing on growing your hair and making it healthier, you don’t want nasties like these in your shampoo! 

More than 8,100+ reviewers have shared their opinion on this shampoo. Overall, it has 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Customers say it helped stop excess shedding and thinning, helped them reach new lengths, and made their hair feel healthier. Growth results seem to occur within a 1-3 month range. 

How Soon You’ll See Results

Illustration of three bald men using hair growth shampoos and the middle one getting water poured on his head from a watering can
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Once you’ve settled on the hair growth shampoo you want to use, it’s a good idea to know what to expect moving forward. How long will it take to see actual results? 

Hair growth is a frustratingly slow process even when hair is at its healthiest, so you won’t see results overnight or after the first use.

Everyone’s body chemistry and hair growth process is different, but there are some general time frames you can keep in mind for when you can expect to see results. 

Since most hair growth shampoos target the body’s natural hair growth process, results will begin to be noticeable when your hair is in the anagen phase of growth.

That takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks, or 1-2 months.

Depending on how long your natural hair growth phases last, it could take about 3 months to see results. But you shouldn’t have to wait 2 or 3 months to know if the product is working.

The first sign you’ll notice will be reduced shedding. Increased growth happens next. 

The key to getting results from any hair growth shampoo is being consistent in your application and using the same product (so you get the same active ingredients) for the entire duration. 

Once you’ve chosen the best hair growth shampoo for your needs, make sure to stick with it for at least 2 months to give it a chance to deliver the results you want.

If you pick one of the products from our list, you’ll know you’re using a proven effective shampoo that does all the work for you – all you’ve got to do is keep lathering up. 

Author: Debra Carpenter

Debra is a Nashville-based content creator and strategist. As the daughter of a long-time hair stylist and salon owner, she’s spent most of her life as a guinea pig for new color and cut techniques. Writing for respected publications like Forbes and HuffPost, she’s committed to bringing her passion for great hair to the masses.