The best shampoo for fine hair
Having fine hair can be challenging to style because it lacks volume and body. Fine hair often falls limp and flat and can also get greasy easily. While fine hair is a result of genetics, there are products that can help. Shampoos formulated for fine hair will volumize and thicken hair while also being gentle on your tresses because fine hair is more prone to damage and breakage.
To learn more about what to look for in these volume-boosting shampoos, read this quick buying guide. We've also included our top picks for shampoos that will perk up fine hair, like the Matrix Biolage Volumebloom Cotton Shampoo, which adds volume and bounce.
Considerations when choosing shampoos for fine hair
Formula: Not all shampoos for fine hair are labeled as such. Select shampoos labeled as "volumizing" or "thickening" on their bottles. They are formulated to coat or open the cuticle to make hair appear thicker. Volumizing shampoos are also designed to be lightweight, so as not to weigh down hair. A "strengthening" shampoo will help to repair fine hair that has been damaged, which will help make your hair appear fuller and thicker.
Ingredients: Select a shampoo featuring ingredients that are a good fit for fine hair, regardless of whether the shampoo advertises itself as a volumizing or thickening shampoo. Look for the following:
Polymers, like polyquaternium 7, 10, or 11, bond large molecules to the surface of your hair resulting in thicker, fuller-feeling hair.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein forms a film on your hair to strengthen strands and help it appear thicker.
PG-propyl silanetriol is also a vegetable-based protein that strengthens hair and protects it from damage. It bulks up hair by also forming a film on strands.
There are also a couple common haircare ingredients you want to avoid if you've got fine hair:
Silicones are a popular ingredient to add shine, but they can weigh down your hair, which can make fine hair appear even more limp and listless. Avoid any ingredient with "-cone" at the end of its name.
Sulfates create the lather we love in shampoo but can also be quite drying, making fine hair vulnerable to breakage and frizz.
UV protection: As you know by now, fine hair is more prone to breakage than normal hair. UV damage from daily sun exposure can break down the natural proteins in your hair and make them vulnerable to breakage, frizz, and splitting. Fortunately, some shampoos feature UVA and UVB protection to keep your hair healthy and full.
Dry shampoo: While most shampoos for fine hair are in liquid formulas that are designed to be rinsed out, dry shampoo formulas are a great option to bulk up your fine hair. These shampoos are applied directly onto dry hair at the roots and will boost volume and add texture while soaking up excess oil. These are a great option for busy people with fine or thin hair.
Shampoos for fine hair prices
Shampoos for fine hair can range widely from $7 to $180. For a mid-priced, sulfate-free shampoo with quality ingredients, expect to pay between $27 and $60.
Q. What's the difference between fine hair and thin hair?
A. While sometimes used interchangeably, fine hair and thin hair are not the same thing. Fine hair refers to a smaller diameter of a hair strand while thinness refers to the density of hair follicles and less hair strands on your head.
Q. How often should I use a shampoo for fine hair?
A. Because fine hair gets oilier faster than most other hair types, you can use a volumizing or thickening shampoo every day, though we recommend opting for a sulfate-free formula if you plan to wash daily to avoid overdrying your tresses.
Shampoos for fine hair we recommend
Best of the best: Matrix Biolage Volumebloom Cotton Shampoo
Our take: A volumizing shampoo that plumps up even the finest and limpest hair.
What we like: Cotton flower extract naturally expands hair strands. Paraben-free formula won't strip hair. Pleasant scent.
What we dislike: Not ideal for curly-hair types.
Best bang for your buck: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
Our take: An inexpensive dry shampoo that'll provide a bouncy clean to limp, greasy hair.
What we like: Fast and convenient for when you don't have time to shower. Time-release fragrance. Absorbs oil. Affordable.
What we dislike: Can leave white residue if not properly used.
Our take: A strengthening shampoo that restores and prevents damaged fine hair.
What we like: UV protection. Salon brand. Can reduce hair loss from breakage by as much as 46%. Invigorating minty smell that'll leave your scalp pleasantly tingling.
What we dislike: Nothing.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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