Thickening Hair Shampoo: Does It Really Work?

Thickening Hair Shampoo: Does It Really Work?

Who wants thicker, fuller hair? We do! Apparently, many of us out there want thick, lustrous hair but are currently dealing with thin hair, breakage, impurities, or frizz. 

The advertisements, hair products, and hair salons prove it. There certainly isn’t a shortage of hair growth and thickening products either. So, why all the fuss? 

Are thickening shampoos really worth all the hype? We’ll spill all the info here at ForChics.

What Is Thickening Shampoo?

You’re familiar with shampoo. You know, that thick syrupy soap that lathers into dreamy bubbles as it cleanses your scalp and hair in the shower? Well, volumizing shampoo or hair thickening shampoo is the same, but it serves an additional purpose for some hair types. 

Thickening shampoo is formulated to thicken the hair. It thickens hair strands by ‘plumping’ them up with special ingredients like vitamin B5 or biotin. Some formulas nourish the hair by locking in moisture with proteins and vitamins. 

Other formulas utilize polymer ingredients to plump the strands. When the hair is rinsed, you’re left with thicker hair. The strands are actually just coated with nourishing ingredients or polymers. This coating allows the hair to appear fuller, thicker, and more voluminous. 

What Ingredients Are Used In Thickening Shampoo?

The healthiest, best hair looks clean, shiny, and manageable. Thickening shampoo cleans the hair and makes the hair appear thicker. There are two main ingredients in thickening shampoos. Keratin, a protein found in your hair naturally, and panthenol (vitamin B-5). 

These ingredients work together to nourish and strengthen the hair. 

The keratin protects the hair cuticle by strengthening it, and the B-5 moisturizes the scalp and strands. The two together are a powerhouse for hair thickening. Some formulas may also include zinc, collagen, and coconut oil.

Thickening Shampoo Pros

Thickening shampoo is good for many reasons. It gives the appearance of thicker hair, but it also has many other benefits.

Hair Growth

There are ingredients in some thickening shampoos, such as botanicals, herbs, and antioxidants, that support shiny, nourished hair and healthy hair growth. 

Coffee, botanicals, amino acids, and plant extracts stimulate the scalp, thus supporting hair growth in some formulations. This is a huge plus for those people with thin, lifeless hair.


Some natural thickening shampoos actually contain essential oils derived from superfoods such as olives, almonds, coconut, and avocado. The hair is often nourished with coconut and shea butter as well. These ingredients provide luster to tired, dry strands by adding moisture to dehydrated locks and hair follicles.


Thickening shampoos give the appearance of a thicker strand, and they also help make the hair feel more voluminous. 

The coating around each strand makes the hair feel and look shiny, bouncy, and alive. People with thin, fine hair will notice results right away.

Thickening Shampoo Cons

Just as thickening shampoo has its pros, it also has a few cons that must be considered. These will help you weigh your decision on whether or not this type of shampoo is something you want to invest your money in. 

Results Are Temporary

Thickening shampoo makes your hair look and feels fantastic, but the results won’t last forever. These types of shampoo add temporary thickness and temporary volume.

Scalp Buildup

While the thickening agents in thickening shampoos work well to add temporary volume and density to the hair, they also build upon the scalp and hair and lead to dandruff. These ingredients bind to the strands to make them plump, but it also bind to your scalp. 

This buildup causes clogged follicles and slows or prevents new hair growth, leading to hair loss.

Doesn’t Always Work For Everyone, Everytime

Long-term use of thickening shampoo and other products may lead to limp hair. Over time, your hair will collect buildup from these products if you do not clarify your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove it. It is essential to pay attention to your hair

When it becomes limp, dull, and lifeless, it may be time to switch up your shampoo and conditioner products and routine. 

Shampoo Ingredients To Avoid

It is essential to pay attention to the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner products. There are many dangerous yet common ingredients included in many hair care products today. Avoid the following ingredients whenever possible:

  • SulfatesSulfites have the potential to form carcinogens and lead to hormone disruption. Sulfate-free products may be a safer option.
  • Parabens and phthalates - Parabens, known as xenoestrogens, can cause hormonal imbalance, skin irritation and affect reproductive health.
  • Triclosan - Triclosan is an antibacterial that is a carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and may cause weight gain or loss and depression.
  • Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a toxic carcinogen. It causes asthma and is linked to cancer.
  • Dimethicone - Dimethicone is a silicone that causes buildup that may clog pores.
  • Synthetic fragrance - Synthetic fragrances and colors contain chemicals that are linked to asthma, infertility, irritation, and cancer.

Shampoo Ingredients You Can Trust

There are plenty of thickening shampoos and other types of hair care products that contain safe ingredients. These ingredients work to cleanse, volumize, or thicken the hair. Here are a few safe ingredients to look for, but always check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns or are pregnant or nursing.

  • Plant-based -- Plant-based means that most ingredients are derived from plants, including vegetables, fruits like lemon, nuts, seeds, herbs like peppermint, or legumes.
  • Raw -- Raw refers to mostly organic, unprocessed, and unpasteurized items.
  • Organic - Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed.
  • Minimal Packaging - Simple designs capture the attention of consumers, and it also means that the company may be green and use recyclable materials.

Does Thickening Shampoo Really Work?

Yes. Thickening shampoo does work, and it works well. If you have fine, lifeless hair, consider switching to a thickening shampoo for a few days. Make sure to read bottle labels, so you know what ingredients are in the products you choose. 

Try to stick with natural, organic, paraben-free or products containing botanicals and plant-based ingredients. With these types of ingredients, you will feel confident that you are using a product that is not harmful.

If you have color-treated hair, opt for a shampoo labeled as color care or color-safe shampoo. 

The color-safe shampoo will protect your hair color while adding thickness and volume. If you are unsure which shampoo to choose, ask a salon professional. Sometimes professional hair care products are higher quality products and provide better results. 


Thickening shampoo works well for fine, lifeless hair. Be sure to read the shampoo bottle ingredient labels. Harmful chemicals and additives will weigh the hair down and may be potentially harmful to your health. 

Plant-based and botanical ingredients are best when you’re looking for shampoo or other hair care products. Natural ingredients are generally safer than their counterparts, as safe ingredients will help you feel at ease.

ForChics offers ForLash eyelash enhancing serum to thicken and grow your lashes in as little as 30 days. The plant-based serum is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. 


We harness the natural properties of plants to promote clean and gentle hair growth.


Does Thickening Shampoo Really Work? | Everyday Health

Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? | NCBI

Do You Really Need to Switch Shampoos for healthier-looking Hair? | Women's Health Magazine

Sulfate in shampoo: what to know | Medical News Today