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Shampooing Techniques For Thin Hair

First, let's get a couple of basics out of the way. One, thin hair doesn't necessarily mean "thinning hair" (as in losing hair. What thin hair does mean is that there are fewer follicles per square inch than most (or at least as many as you want). It can also mean that the thickness of the follicle shaft is thin (read skinny) versus fatter or thicker as with most coarse hair.

With that out of the way, shampooing techniques for thin hair focuses on either getting hair thicker (done with gels, shampoos, conditioners and elixirs) or making sure we don't shampoo in a way that does harm (making hair thinner or making it fall out).

Almost everyone wants thick, full locks. Those with thin or thinning hair look for products and methods that will help make their hair thicker and more volumized. There are many things you can do to have a thicker head of hair, for starters how you shampoo your hair can make a difference. First of all, you may be tempted to skip washing your hair but this isnít the best method. Letting your hair go unclean can cause a further build-up of chemicals as well as dead skin.

Pick An Appropriate Shampoo

Before you even step in the shower youíll want to make sure you select good shampoo for thinning hair. You often arenít going to find this product at the grocery store because they have highly specified ingredients. Avoid silicone because it weighs your hair down and will make it look even thinner. A shampoo for thin hair often has various proteins - wheat, rice, and silk - to strengthen and "puff" or enlarge the size of the follicles. An Elixir (type of gel - see below) works well also. Also, avoid chemicals like sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates. These create suds but arenít good for your hair and can even damage it.

What Ingredients To Look For

Protein is one of the best ingredients to look for. Wheat protein in particular is an integral part to helping boost the volume in your hair. Peppermint is another great ingredient because it can stimulate the scalp which can boost hair follicles therefore creating more volume. Vitamin B-3 or Niacin is another great ingredient because it will adhere to the shaft of a hair and make it fuller, visibly. In addition, it is a protein that thickens hair and doesnít stiffen it. Consider an ingredient like citric acid because it will help to eliminate the build-up of product on your hair. Most volumizing shampoos can dry hair out (because they are meant to strip or clarify your hair) so youíll want a high quality moisturizer that isnít heavy. Vitamin E and Panthenol are both good. Another idea is consider a shampoo with emu oil. Emu oil shampoo is rich in Omega 3, 6, and 9 and is excellent for adding moisture and plumping thin hair.

Method For Washing

Itís easy to rush through it, but you should be sure to rinse your hair very thoroughly with warm or even cool water. This is important because you want to get as much of the grim as possible off before you start washing. Be gentle to avoid breaking hair further. Now you can use the specially picked out shampoo and start at your scalp. Be gentle and make sure to take the time to thoroughly massage the scalp. This will help to stimulate your hair follicles. Many people tend to pile their hair on top of their head and work the shampoo through. This can cause a lot of unnecessary breakage and damage. You are better to gently massage down the shaft without bunching the hair up.

As we mentioned earlier, one of our objectives in shampooing thin hair is to cause no more harm - meaning we don't want hair to be pulled out while combing or brushing. Pat drying and combining with a rake comb before styling is helpful. Using a spray-in, leave-on conditioner helps prevent tangles and snagging and resists heat damage.


After shampooing, rinse your hair very carefully and try to use cooler water. Now you can work your conditioner into your hair. Start at the ends and work your way slowly up, using minimal conditioner on the scalp area. The reason for this is that you donít want to weigh your hair down and make it look thinner than it is. Rinse your hair well, again with as cool of water as possible. Cooler water will help to close the hair cuticle, keeping it safer from toxins.

To increase thickness of thin hair you can also consider using thinning hair vitamins. While a bit of a misnomer, these supplements contain high levels of Vitamin B complex, E, and along with several minerals needed to maintain or increase, as they say, this is a good "supplement" to shampoo techniques.

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