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How to Thicken Hair | 5 Things You Can Do Today

Wondering how to thicken hair? You’re not alone. Every day, tens of thousands of people look in the mirror and wish they could get thicker locks. But don’t worry — there are 5 easy things you can try to do just that.

How to Thicken Hair: A Summary

Image titled How to Thicken Hair featuring a woman with Alopecia looking at her thinning hair in the mirror

Looking for effective ways to thicken hair? We’ve got solutions that work right away and some that are proven to boost thickness and volume long-term.

We’ll show you how to thicken hair using products with thickening ingredients, adding more nutrients and protein into your diet, taking a daily hair growth supplement, and avoiding common sources of damage and breakage.

Use these methods to achieve thicker, fuller hair – today and long-term! 

How to Thicken Hair: 5 Things You Can Do Today

When you’re dealing with thinning hair, hair loss, or baby-fine hair that won’t hold volume, it’s hard to be patient. You want a fix that works right away! Trying to manage limp, lifeless hair on a daily basis can make you feel a bit limp and lifeless, too. 

But that’s all about to change because there are concrete steps you can take today – right now – to get hair that looks and feels thicker and more voluminous. We’ve got 5 effective techniques you can use to thicken up your hair starting today.

These techniques can work for anyone, and some can give you a thicker, more voluminous look right away. Others target the biological hair growth process and take a month or two before the results are clearly visible.

And some are lifelong changes that you’ll need to keep up if you want to keep your newly-thickened look! The techniques and methods we’ll show you below are going to be most effective if you’re dealing with any of the following:

  • Naturally fine, thin hair that needs a boost
  • Sudden hair loss and thinning when you previously had thick hair
  • Gradual thinning or hair loss over time
  • Hair thinning or loss in specific sections (temples, crown, etc.)
  • Extreme breakage (due to damage) and overall thinner hair

Whatever the cause of your thinning, we’ve got effective ways for you to thicken it up and get denser, fuller hair that has the volume and body you’ve been dreaming of.

Ready to see how to thicken hair both short and long-term? Take a look at the 5 methods you can use starting today! 

1. Use Thickening Hair Products

To thicken hair, a woman using a hair serum out of an eyedropper

Progressman/Shutterstock

Let’s get this out there first and foremost: Thickening hair products are effective, but the results are temporary. You won’t permanently thicken your hair with products like thickening sprays, powders, and mousses, but your hair will look a lot thicker when you use them. 

Using these types of products is a great way to get instant gratification while you wait for the other methods to take full effect. Once you use a thickening spray, powder, or mousse, you’ll see the results instantly.

And if you choose the right product, you’re going to love what you see! Thickening hair products usually contain some type of protein that binds to the hair and physically makes it thicker and smoother.

This added protein in the product is lightweight enough to help you achieve extra volume and body without weighing the hair down. Some thickening products work by giving your hair a little more texture and grit that acts like scaffolding for your hair to “climb.”

Others contain hair thickening fibers that physically extend the diameter and thickness of each strand. Some work by boosting blood flow to the scalp, plumping the strands and raising the follicle for more volume. 

You’ll notice that your hair looks more filled in and thicker with more scalp coverage when you use a good thickening product. When you shop for a good thickening hair product, look for effective thickening ingredients like:

  • Hydrolyzed keratin, wheat, silk, soy, or pea protein 
  • Collagen 
  • Amino acids
  • Peptides
  • Wheat starch, aluminum starch, or cornstarch
  • Caffeine

Any of these ingredients will help you instantly thicken the appearance of your hair. You’ll find ingredients like these in a variety of dry shampoos, thickening powders, thickening sprays, and thickening hair fibers. 

Keep in mind that the results of any of these types of products are temporary.

You’re essentially adding a lightweight coating to your hair that makes it look thicker, but washes out with your next shampoo. Speaking of shampoo, that’s the next thing on the list you can try to make your hair look and feel thicker. 

2. Switch to a Thickening Shampoo

Attractive woman shampooing her head for a piece on how to thicken hair

Christinarosepix/Shutterstock

Thickening shampoo is another way to instantly achieve hair that looks fuller, thicker, and more dense with extra volume. Thickening shampoo should be a mainstay in your hair care routine if you have naturally fine hair, your hair is thinning, or you’re seeing spots with sparse growth. 

Thickening shampoo should be one of your first lines of defense against thinning. After all, you’ve got to wash your hair anyway – why not make each wash a thickening treatment?

Shampoos that give you thicker hair usually contain specific ingredients that are proven to increase hair diameter and result in fuller, thicker-looking hair until your next wash. You’ll typically find ingredients like the following in thickening shampoos:

  • Hydrolyzed protein (keratin, silk, wheat, soy, etc.)
  • Amino acids (the precursors of protein)
  • Vitamins like biotin (essential for hair growth and protein metabolism)
  • Minerals like zinc (fights dandruff and aids in cell division during hair growth)
  • Caffeine (increases blood flow to the scalp and follicles)
  • Ketoconazole (antifungal that balances hormones to prevent thinning) 

Hair thickening shampoos work both instantly and long-term. Just like thickening hair products, thickening shampoos can instantly make your hair look and feel thicker due to the proteins and amino acids they contain. 

Additionally, the vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients you’ll find in many thickening shampoos are helpful for a longer-term boost in thickness and volume.

The ingredients in thickening shampoos are often hydrolyzed (with molecules small enough to penetrate the hair shaft and follicles) to deliver nutrients needed for long-term growth and thickness. 

We’ve researched all the thickening shampoos on the market to find the best. Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo is our #1 pick, but you can check out more about these thickness-boosting shampoos and other options in our guide here: Best Shampoo for Hair Loss: Our Top Picks.  

3. Pay Attention to Your Nutrition

Image for a piece on how to thicken hair featuring a well-balanced diet packed full of nutrients and minerals

Aleksandr Talancev/Shutterstock

The nutrients you take in on a daily basis have a lot to do with how thick (or thin) your hair is. If you’ve noticed a change in thickness, it could be a problem with your diet!

Are you getting enough protein? Are you meeting the daily recommended amounts for essential vitamins and minerals? Are your hormone levels in check? It can be hard to stay on top of your body’s intensive nutritional requirements.

But if you want amazingly thick, healthy hair, it’s something you’ve got to do. If you don’t think you’re giving your body the ingredients it needs to grow thick, healthy hair, now’s the time to make a change. 

The good news is that it’s easy to correct the problem if you find you’re not getting enough protein, vitamins, or minerals to sustain healthy hair growth. 

Protein deficiencies are one of the reasons people may experience thinning hair. Your hair is mostly protein (keratin) and your body can’t make more unless you’re supplying it with enough through your diet. 

Adult men should be getting around 56 grams of protein each day, while adult women need around 46 grams each day. Pregnant or breastfeeding women need around 71 grams of protein per day – the saying “you’re eating for two” is true! 

Work more lean protein into your diet to ensure you’re getting the recommended amounts daily. Lean meats without a lot of saturated fat are healthiest (fish, chicken breasts, lean beef, etc.).

But many people forget about other sources of protein, like nuts and legumes, eggs, and beans. Vary your protein intake to avoid getting bored as you try to hit your daily recommended amount. 

Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to thinning hair in need of a thickness boost. Hitting your daily recommended amounts for each essential vitamin ensures your body has everything it needs to naturally grow healthy, thick hair.

The most important vitamins to consider for thicker hair growth are the B-vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin AB-vitamins are deeply involved in the natural hair growth process. There’s a reason you’ll see biotin and folic acid in so many hair growth supplements and thickening products!

If you’re not getting enough of the B-vitamins, you may see thinning hair as a response. Women should aim to hit the following recommended daily amounts for B-vitamins:

  • 1.1 mg per day (B-1 and B-2)
  • 14 mg per day (B-3)
  • 5 mg per day (B-5)
  • 1.3 mg per day (B-6)
  • 30 mcg per day (biotin)
  • 400 mcg per day (folic acid)
  • 2.4 mcg per day (B-12)

Men’s recommended daily amounts are slightly higher for some B-vitamins:

  • 1.2 mg per day (B-1)
  • 1.3 mg per day (B-2)
  • 16 mg per day (B-3)
  • 5 mg per day (B-5)
  • 1.3 mg per day (B-6)
  • 30 mcg per day (biotin)
  • 400 mcg per day (folic acid)
  • 2.4 mcg per day (B-12)

Vitamin B sources include meat, eggs, dairy, leafy greens, legumes, seeds, and fortified grains and cereals. Include more of these in your diet to increase your B-vitamin levels across the board. 

Vitamin E contributes to healthy hair growth as an antioxidant that reduces free radicals that damage follicles. If you’re not getting enough vitamin E, you may see the effects with thinning hair and fewer strands on the scalp.

Make sure you’re getting enough by ensuring you hit 15 mg of vitamin E per day (men and women). If you’re breastfeeding, increase your daily intake to 19 mg per day. Vitamin E sources include plant and vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, pumpkin, and avocados.

Include more of these in your diet to boost your E intake. Vitamin A is used by every cell in the body for growth, and hair is the fastest growing tissue in the entire body.

If you want to improve the rate and quality of your hair growth (i.e., get thicker hair), you need to ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamin A each day. That’s 700 mcg per day for women and 900 mcg per day for men. 

Vitamin A sources include leafy greens, milk, eggs, orange and yellow vegetables, liver, and fish oils. Make sure you’re including plenty of these to hit your recommended daily amount for vitamin A. 

Mineral deficiencies are a factor in thinning hair for many people who aren’t consuming enough essential minerals in their diet or through supplements. Iron and zinc are the major concerns to ensure you’re getting enough of.

Both are key components in the natural hair growth process. You need to ensure you’re getting enough iron and zinc to thicken your hair naturally. Deficiencies in either mineral can lead to hair loss and less thickness. 

Iron is an essential mineral that is abundant in red blood cells and muscle cells. You need 8 mg per day (men and post-menopausal women) to 18 mg per day (premenopausal women).

You can get iron from a variety of sources, including red meat, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, tofu, nuts, whole grains, and enriched grains and cereals. Zinc is another mineral involved in the hair growth process. It’s used in cell division and repair.

Adult men need 11 mg per day and adult women need 8 mg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more zinc – 11 mg per day for pregnant women and 12 mg per day for breastfeeding women. 

4. Take a Hair Growth Supplement

Close up of the pill size for a piece on how to thicken hair

Another way to thicken hair is by taking a hair growth supplement. These natural, non-prescription supplements usually contain vitamins, minerals, macronutrients (like protein and collagen), and/or botanical extracts to support your body’s natural hair growth process. 

Hair growth supplements don’t just increase the rate of growth and help fill in thinning or bald spots. They can also physically thicken hair in terms of hair diameter and overall scalp coverage.

Studies have shown that oral supplements can be extremely effective in both thickening existing hair (increasing the hair diameter, density, and scalp coverage) and helping promote new hair growth. So, which hair growth supplement should you take?

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We’ve done extensive research on the top 3 supplements currently on the market (FolexinViviscal, and Nutrafol), and Folexin is the supplement that will work best for most people. 

Among the most popular hair growth supplements, Folexin has the best user reviews (4.8 stars!), the most affordable price, and the most proven-effective ingredients to thicken and restore thinning hair growth. 

You’ll get a daily dose of hair-thickening vitamins and minerals like biotin, iron, zinc, and folic acid when you take Folexin. Proven-effective botanical ingredients like Fo-Ti (Chinese climbing knotweed.

This magical vitamin has been shown to be more effective than the main ingredient in Rogaine) help balance your hormone levels. Taking Folexin is like biohacking your body’s natural hair growth process to promote thicker, stronger, and fuller hair. 

5. Avoid and Repair Hair Damage

As a step in a guide on how to thicken hair, a woman using a towel to dry her hair

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

One of the leading causes of thinning hair isn’t hair loss – it’s breakage. Damaged, weak, and unhealthy hair is compromised at a microscopic level. Cracks, weak points, and an eroded cuticle layer can all lead to fragile, thin hair that is easily broken off. 

If breakage and hair erosion is leading to thinner hair for you, learning how to avoid the main sources of hair damage and repair the damage that’s already been done is going to help thicken up your mane. 

Some of the main causes of damage that lead to hair breakage and thinning include:

  • Chemical damage from processing with colors, bleach, perms, etc.
  • Heat damage from styling with hot tools
  • Physical damage from rough brushing, tight styles, etc.
  • Over-exposure to the elements (sunlight, wind, etc.)
  • Chronic dryness and over-washing
  • Nutritionally poor diet

The good news is that all of these sources of damage are easily corrected! To avoid breakage and get a thicker, fuller look, you just need to take it easy on your hair for a while. That means:

  • Limit or avoid chemical processing
  • Limit heat styling and use heat-safe tools like the Dyson Airwrap
  • Switch to a satin or silk pillowcase 
  • Opt for loose, relaxed hairstyles for a while
  • Wear a hat outdoors
  • Moisturize more often
  • Wash your hair less often (2-3 times/week)
  • Eat a nutritionally complete diet

If you can take one or all of these measures to protect your hair from damage, you’ll experience less breakage and achieve thicker, fuller hair. 

Things to Consider

Image showing the before and after image of a woman with thin then thick hair for a piece on how to thicken hair

Ladie_c/Shutterstock

We’ve talked about how to thicken hair with 5 proven ways for a fuller, denser, and more voluminous look. There are pros and cons for each, and it’s wise to consider them all if you want to achieve thicker hair that is healthy and strong. 

  1. Using thickening products (sprays, fibers, dry shampoo, etc.) will give you instant gratification, but the results are temporary. 
  2. Thickening shampoos can give you instant results and the benefit of long-term hair growth boosting benefits. 
  3. Changing your diet to include more of the essential protein, vitamins, and minerals needed for hair growth ensures your body has the required “ingredients” for hair growth and eliminates deficiency-related hair loss. 
  4. Taking a proven-effective hair growth supplement like Folexin supplies a boost of hair growth vitamins, minerals, and hormone-balancing plant extracts for thicker, fuller hair and more scalp coverage. 
  5. Avoiding common sources of hair damage and helping repair existing damage can boost thickness in thinning or fine hair, especially if breakage is a cause of thinning.

You might try every method on this list or pick out 1 or 2 that seem doable for you. As long as you’re taking action, you’ll see some positive results! 

Remember that some of the causes of thinning hair are biological and take time to balance out. Even when you start giving your body what it needs to actively grow healthy, thick hair, it takes time for those changes to take full effect!

So when you start taking steps to thicken hair, don’t expect an overnight cure (though thickening hair products can provide a temporary, quick fix). 

So, How Do You Thicken Hair?

If you’ve been eating a nutritionally poor diet for a while, are experiencing hormone-related thinning, or are recovering from COVID-19 (which has been linked to thinning and hair loss), you might start taking a hair growth supplement like Folexin to reverse those changes and achieve thicker, fuller hair. 

But it’s important to manage your expectations and know that results won’t be visible for about 30-60 days. This is because hair growth is a slow process – usually, hair grows about a half inch per month.

With such a slow-paced growth rate, it’s going to take a month or two to really see the positive effects of taking a supplement, avoiding hair damage, and improving your diet. The key is sticking with your supplement for at least 2 months to give it a chance to work. 

Looking for more ways to boost thickness? Read our guide next to learn how to thicken hair naturally: How to Get Thicker Hair | Step-by-Step Guide for Luscious Locks.