October 22, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

14 Best Shampoos for Fine & Thinning Hair in 2021: Volumizing Formulas, Doctor-Backed Shampoo & More

If you’ve been shedding more hair than usual lately, you might find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Amidst the ever-blurred boundaries between work and home life, the ongoing toll of all-virtual everything, and the logistics of balancing it all, stress-induced hair thinning has become a common grievance in the past year.

“Stress increases cortisol levels, which directly affects the function of the hair follicle,” explains Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist and colorist based in New York City. “Stressors also impact other factors that may be cause for sudden or reactional hair loss, such as our diets, sleeping patterns, and exercise routines. These three factors can impact hormonal imbalances and trigger this stress-induced hair loss.”

Of course, it would be far too easy to blame such thinning hair entirely on stress. In addition to feeling frazzled, “some of the more common factors that can impact hair loss and thinning include age, genetics, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, illness, and even certain medications,” says Steven Shapiro, M.D., a dermatologist in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Some shampoos come to the immediate aid, conjuring a thicker feel with the help of volumizing agents. Others aim to get to the root cause, literally speaking. Designed to address the health of the scalp as much as the hair, these tend to work “by extending the growing phase of the hair cycle and increasing nutritional support to the cells and tissue of the hair follicle,” says Hill.

That’s a sound approach, as hair loss is linked to higher levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp. “It’s a hormone known to shrink and damage hair follicles,” says Shapiro, explaining thatit typically works by trapping hair in the telogen, or resting, phase. Fortunately, certain botanicals may help in this regard—namely, saw palmetto berry, green tea, and caffeine extract. “These ingredients have been shown to protect against DHT,” says Shapiro. (His own targeted hair-care range makes use of such plant-derived actives.) Massaged intothe scalp as you’re lathering up, they can help create the optimal conditions for healthy hair growth.

Beyond the shower, both experts agree that diet should not be overlooked. “What you eat and what you don’t eat can have a very real impact on your hair,” says Shapiro. “I recommend eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients like protein, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids.” Iron, B12, and zinc can also be helpful in your diet.

It’s important to remember that washing with a dedicated shampoo is only one piece of the relatively large puzzle of growing thick, full hair. “Simply taking care of our bodies and doing our best to maintain healthy habits are going to make our healthy scalp and hair journey attainable,” says Hill. Consider these hair and scalp cleansers a good place to start.

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