Do Hair Thickening Shampoos Really Work? An Inquisitive Investigation

"Thickening shampoos help your strands to swell, which gives your hair a more voluminous appearance."
How does thickening shampoo work?

All shampoos remove dirt, oil and product build-up from your scalp and hair. However, once these are gone and your hair is clean, there is more space left between each strand than when your hair was dirty. This is where thickening shampoos do their magic: they help your strands to swell, which gives your hair a more voluminous appearance.

What ingredients should you look for?

Protein: Your hair is almost 90% keratin, so the best thickening shampoos contain proteins that strengthen the outer layer of each strand. 
Panthenol: A water-soluble form of vitamin B5, which is essential for hair health. It penetrates the scalp and hair, creating and attracting moisture: the more moisture a strand of hair has, the more it swells into volume.

Are thickening shampoos bad for hair?

The only real downside of using a thickening shampoo is that its effect is temporary, so they’re not harsh enough to cause damage. However, when you regularly use it, a coating can build up on your hair, which makes your hair look lifeless and dull, rather than thicker. To combat this, use the product sparingly, or use a clarifying shampoo once a month or so to deep clean your scalp and hair.

Does hair thickening shampoo work permanently?

These shampoos don’t change the chemical structure of your hair, so they can’t permanently make it thicker. A thickener is also different to a hair replacement treatment, as it doesn’t halt or reverse the effects of thinning hair, but simply masks the effect. So a thickening shampoo is only a temporary solution, with the results lasting until the next time you wash your hair.

 Why is my hair thin, fine or limp to begin with?

Genetics: The human scalp is covered with hair follicles, from which strands of hair grow. If you have fewer follicles, larger gaps between these follicles, and/or the diameter of the hair strands is thinner, the result is fine hair.

Age: Everyone loses hair as they get older - from your twentieth birthday onwards, to be precise. 

Health: Illness, stress, medication, diet, and environmental issues can all cause abnormal or premature hair loss.

Condition: Your hair may lack volume because it’s dehydrated or damaged. Sometimes, hair is also thin because your scalp’s follicles are partially blocked, which prevents the hair from growing at its full width.

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