The 10 Best Thinning Hair Products to Lift Roots, Plump Strands, and Boost Growth

Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Thinning and Loss is clinically proven to aid in rejuvenating thinning hair.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Thinning Hair Products to Lift Roots

Nutrafol

As someone with fine hair that’s seemingly always been a bit thin around my temples and hairline, I’m all too aware of the fact that hair doesn’t necessarily stay full and voluminous forever. While I’ve only recently begun to hone in on my patchier areas, I was shocked to learn board-certified dermatologist Andy Goren, M.D.'s fun fact about hair thinning.

“Once a patient notices hair loss in a region of the scalp, it is estimated she or he has already lost 50 percent of the hair in that region,” he reveals. Shocking, no? Thankfully thinning hair products — which include formulas that treat thinning, as well as those that mask it — exist.

Since there are so many thinning hair products on the market, we set out to uncover the top 10 best products for thinning hair with the help of five hair experts. Overall, Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Thinning and Loss is the top choice given the FDA-approved hair growth-boosting ingredient in its formula.

Keep reading for the best thinning hair products.

Best Overall: Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Thinning and Loss

4.7
Rogaine Women’s 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol Hair Regrowth Treatment

Amazon

What We Love: It’s made with the only FDA-approved treatment for hair thinning.

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t work for everyone.

So often, people don’t begin to recognize that their hair is thinning until it has already significantly transitioned from its fullness. “Once hair is lost it is extremely difficult to regrow,” admits Dr. Goren, who specializes in scalp health. That said, he points out that Minoxidil (AKA the main ingredient in Rogaine) can be an effective treatment.

“The only two clinically proven products for hair thinning are topical minoxidil and the accompanying Minoxidil Response Test,” he says. “Unfortunately, only 30 to 40 percent of patients benefit from this drug after six months of daily use.” The reason? Not everyone has the SULT1A1 enzyme — which is necessary for Minoxidil-based treatments to thrive — present in their hair follicles. “While minoxidil is an FDA-approved and effective treatment for hair thinning, it only works in a minority of patients; thus, combining the at-home Minoxidil Response Test diagnostic with the treatment allows physicians to provide the proper treatment for patients suffering from hair thinning.”

That said, considering minoxidil is the only FDA-proven method for hair regrowth, it’s no wonder the Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Thinning and Loss is such a popular choice among shoppers. With over 8,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, this treatment foam is designed to reactivate hair follicles to stimulate growth, which can be seen within 90 days of daily use. It’s because of this that Dr. Goren touts minoxidil’s performance as top notch in the realm of hair thinning.

Price at time of publish: $45

Results: 90 days | Key Ingredients: Minoxidil | Benefits: Gently exfoliates the scalp to keep hair follicles open

Best Budget System: BosleyMD mendXtend Strengthening System

BosleyMD mendXtend Strengthening System

Ulta

What We Love: It includes a coordinating shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment to boost hair growth and appearance.

What We Don’t Love: The bottles are a bit smaller than we’d like.

BosleyMD is synonymous with hair growth solutions for thinning hair, and the brand’s new mendXtend Strengthening System includes three expertly-formulated products to revitalize the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. According to Certified BosleyMD Trichologist, Gretchen Friese, pumpkin seed extract and saw palmetto (two of the top ingredients in the system) help to restore visibly thinning hair and prevent more hair loss by inhibiting DHT (the hormone that promotes hair thinning). That said, in order to reap the rewards of this 3-step system, she says it’s important to follow the directions on the bottle (ie: make sure to leave the conditioner on for at least three to five minutes, and brush the leave-in treatment throughout your hair so that it coats each and every strand).

Even when following the instructions, though, it’s important to remember that the results aren’t immediate. The brand conducted a study on 14 women, 100 percent of whom reported longer, fuller, stronger, healthier-looking strands in three months time. In other words, be patient and keep at it.

Price at time of publish: $45

Results: 90 Days | Key Ingredients: DHT-blocking saw palmetto, plumping hyaluronic acid, and stimulating pomegranate extract | Benefits: Repairs bleached or damaged hair, boosts volume, and adds shine

Best Splurge System: Aveda Invati Advanced Rich System Set

Aveda Invati Advanced Rich System Set

Nordstrom

What We Love: It includes four products to cleanse, hydrate, and exfoliate hair, all while boosting growth.

What We Don’t Love: The Thickening Tonic is only one ounce, so you’ll have to invest in more rather quickly.

Medical and cosmetic dermatologist Jodi LoGerfo, DNP, who specializes in hair and scalp health, holds Aveda on a pedestal for all hair types, but especially when it comes to thinning hair.

“I think every kind of hair loss can benefit from using the Aveda Invati Advanced Rich System,” she reveals. “Since the Invati system decreases hair loss (caused by breakage) by 53 percent, it could certainly help increase the tensile strength of hair (making hair stronger) which would help improve thinning hair with any type of hair loss.”

As she points out, one of the most effective ways to prevent and treat hair loss is to thicken it over time — which each product in this system is formulated to do. “When treating a hair loss patient, you want to make their scalp the best setting to grow, because a healthy scalp equates to healthy hair,” LoGerfo says. With this in mind, she says that the Invati Exfoliating Shampoo and Conditioner (which are formulated with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid and a blend of nourishing plant oils), as well as the Scalp Revitalizer and Thickening Tonic, make for a truly superb haircare system for thinning strands. These products help exfoliate and purify the scalp, soften, smooth, and hydrate hair, and enhance shine and the overall health of both the scalp and strands, she shares.

Price at time of publish: $138

Results: 90 Days | Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, invigorating turmeric, and thickening amla | Benefits: Boosts growth over time while immediately enhancing texture and shine

Best Growth Serum: Nutrafol Growth Activator

Nutrafol Growth Activator

Nutrafol

What We Love: It’s super lightweight and sinks quickly into the scalp, so it doesn’t leave behind a super greasy feel.

What We Don’t Love: For the size of the bottle, it’s pricey.

Nutrafol may be best known for its ingestible hair health solutions, but Colour Collective trichologist, Kerry Yates, says that the brand’s Growth Activator is a fabulous product for folks with thinning hair. “It’s designed to support follicle health and wellness,” she says, reminding us that a healthy scalp means healthy hair.

Logistically, this scalp serum is infused with Ashwagandha Exosomes, which is known to boost cell renewal, making way for new thicker, fuller strands with continued use. While best results are seen within three months of use, a clinical study testing the daily use of Growth Activator found that 87 percent of participants noticed healthier, higher-quality hair after just 30 days.

To achieve those results for yourself, it’s best to apply the serum properly and consistently. To do so, section your hair and administer the oil along each part with the dropper. Once applied, massage it in to further stimulate the formula. Repeat once daily.

Price at time of publish: $69

Results: 30 to 90 days | Key Ingredients: Ashwagandha Exosomes, green tea, sea buckthorn, moringa, and pea sprouts | Benefits: Thicker-looking, stronger-feeling hair

Best for Instantly Thicker-Looking Hair: Toppik Hair Building Fibers

Toppik Hair Building Fibers

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Love: It instantly creates the appearance of thicker strands and masks patches of highly noticeable thinning.

What We Don’t Love: The fibers can be a touch messy to apply, which can be wasteful.

Trichologist Penny James, of the eponymous PENNY JAMES SALON, counts Toppik Hair Building Fibers at the top of her list of products for thinning hair. That’s because where so many products work to treat thinning over time, few work in the moment — but these do. The keratin fibers are colored — and available in seven shades ranging from blonde and brown to red, gray, and black. The beauty of these fibers is that they nestle into the strands to cast patchy areas in a swatch of color, effectively masking sparse areas on a moment’s notice.

That said, sometimes the fibers have a tough time staying put. If you find that your hair is too dry or oily for them to adhere, make sure to add Toppik Fiber Hold Spray to your routine, as well. When sprayed over top the fibers, it locks them in place while enhancing shine.

Price at time of publish: $25

Results: Instant | Key Ingredients: Keratin Fibers | Benefits: Masks patchiness to create a fuller-looking head of hair

Best Scalp Treatment: The Innate Life Rosemary Scalp Treatment

The Innate Life Rosemary Scalp Treatment

The Innate Life

What We Love: It smells delicious and lends to thicker, fuller hair over time — not to mention healthier-looking hair in the moment.

What We Don’t Love: The dropper sometimes leaks, which makes the oil spill over.


The Innate Life Rosemary Scalp Treatment is certified hair practitioner, Dr. Gaby Longsworth’s top pick for thinning hair. “It’s packed with 32 ingredients for optimal hair health and growth, including over 15 herbal extracts,” she marvels. In addition to circulation-boosting rosemary, this scalp treatment oil is infused with balancing castor oil, Bhringaraj (which is an ayurvedic remedy for thinning and graying), and DHT-blocking pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto fruit extract (which by now you know work wonders for preventing and treating hair loss), just to name a few.

“It is the ultimate clean product to achieve thicker, fuller, and healthier hair,” Longsworth confirms. It’s vegan, organic, cruelty-free, antioxidant-rich, and extremely effective — though, like most true hair thinning treatments, it takes time to do its thing.

Like Nutrafol Growth Activator, this serum is best applied in sections along the parts before being massaged fully into the scalp.

Price at time of publish: $45

Results: 30 to 90 Days | Key Ingredients: Rosemary essential oil, pumpkin seed oil, and saw palmetto fruit extract | Benefits: Thicker, fuller, healthier hair

Best Dry Shampoo: Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo

4.4
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo

Courtesy of Nordstrom 

What We Love: It smells delicious, absorbs oil, and creates thicker-looking hair.

What We Don’t Love: While it thickens the appearance of thinning hair, it’s not always the most effective for folks with thin and fine hair.

As lovely as fresh, clean hair feels, shampooing your hair daily isn’t good for its natural oils — it strips them away and can actually lead to scalp issues which could potentially tie into thinning. With that in mind, James and LoGerfo both recommend adding dry shampoo to your thinning hair routine — specifically Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, which smells lovely and lifts to the high heavens when sprayed between layers of hair.

“Dry shampoo at the roots can give you a boost of volume,” LoGerfo shares. “They contain powders and minerals to increase the friction between the strands and absorb oil to create volume.”

This pick is made with a unique Translucent Starch Blend, so it never leaves a dreaded white cast behind. What's more, with Fragrance-Retention Technology, it not only smells great directly out of the can, but all day long, too.

Price at time of publish: $23

Results: Instant | Key Ingredients: Translucent Starch Blend | Benefits: Lifted, less oily-looking strands that are protected against UV damage

Best Budget Mousse: Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse

Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse

Amazon

What We Love: It smells like summery citrus and works well to volumize thin strands.

What We Don’t Love: The brand doesn't call out any key ingredients.

Another great hair styling product for thinning hair is mousse. According to LoGerfo, Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse is a great option if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a quick fix. “It makes hair look and feel thick and full,” she says.

A little bit goes a long way with this creamy mousse, and because it comes in such a large can, it will last you a long time. It’s also formulated without parabens or sulfates, and it touts a delightful citrus scent. Best of all, it offers medium hold but never leaves behind a sticky residue in the process. For best results, massage one pump of the mousse through damp, towel-dried hair before heat styling.

Price at time of publish: $17

Results: Instant | Key Ingredients: N/A | Benefits: Boosts volume and provides light hold

Best Volumizing Mousse: R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam

R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam

Dermstore

What We Love: It smells great and beautifully lifts strands without making them look sticky or stiff.

What We Don’t Love: If you use too much, it can lead to the opposite effect (ie: limp hair).

LoGerfo is a big fan of mousse for thinning hair, and another of her go-tos is R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam. Adorable kitschy packaging aside, this foam breathes new life into thinning strands thanks to a formula rich in shine-enhancing provitamin B5 and conditioning aloe vera, kiwi fruit extract, and vitamin E. Together, these ingredients ensure that hair looks hydrated and nourished, which is often not the case with mousse. So while it lifts and thickens, it also helps to nourish the hair and scalp, preventing free radical damage and transepidermal water loss — which, as we’ve said before, caring for your scalp is the starting point to achieving thicker, healthier hair.

Price at time of publish: $32

Results: Instant | Key Ingredients: Vitamin B5, aloe vera, and vitamin E | Benefits: Soft, shiny, voluminous hair

Best Splurge Mousse : Shu Uemura Awa Volume Hair Mousse

Shu Uemura Awa Volume Hair Mousse

Sephora

What We Love: It smells great and makes thinning hair look even fuller.

What We Don’t Love: It’s best for fine and medium hair, so it doesn’t work for all hair types.

Back at it with one more mousse to round out our list of the best hair products for thinning hair, LoGerfo says that Shu Uemura Awa Volume Hair Mousse is a great option for folks with a luxe taste looking to achieve silky-smooth, lifted strands that smell tantalizingly good. Infused with a warm and spicy scent, this mousse works to hydrate and smooth strands while adding lasting volume and medium hold. Because of this, it’s particularly great for those looking to rock a bouncy blowout. With this in your hair, you might just forget about your thinning patches altogether — it’s that good.

Price at time of publish: $42

Results: Instant | Key Ingredients: Bamboo leaf extract | Benefits: Smooths, lifts, and adds hold

What to Keep in Mind

Results

Results vary based on the type of hair product you’re using for your thinning hair. If you’re looking to instantly mask the look of thinning hair, products like pigmented fibers (like Toppik Hair Building Fibers), dry shampoo (like Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo), or mousse (like Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse) can immediately enhance the look of your hair. That said, if your goal is to actually treat thinning hair (as in boost growth), you have to be realistic with your expectations, Yates says. “You will not see immediate regrowth,” she assures us. “Be patient! Honestly it can take upwards of four to six months before you see any real changes.”

Key ingredients

While the ingredients in products play a role in delivering the marketed benefits of each, when it comes to thinning hair products, only a few key ingredients really matter. From a growth perspective, you want to look for minoxidil (which is the star ingredient in our best overall pick Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Thinning and Loss) and DHT-blocking ingredients like pumpkin and saw palmetto (both of which can be found in The Innate Life Rosemary Scalp Treatment), as these adequately boost growth over time. When it comes to styling products for instant results, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which plumps strands for a thicker-looking appearance; and starches, which physically make each strand look thicker.

Benefits

Like so many beauty products, thinning hair products often address more than that one concern. As such, think about the other ways in which you’d like your strands to look and feel better. If you’re hoping for softer, smoother hair, opt for formulas made with ingredients that deliver said results. Fortunately, many brands make it easy to decipher what each formula can improve, so it shouldn’t require tons of research.

Your Questions, Answered

What causes hair thinning?

Hair thinning doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all cause. “There are lots of reasons why our hair thins,” James admits. “Is it hormonal? What about your diet? Have you changed your medication? Are you stressed? These can all contribute to hair thinning.”

That said, Dr. Goren reveals that while many things can contribute to thinning, it’s often the result of genetic hair loss (or pattern hair loss). “It is the most common form of hair loss and affects up to 50 percent of people by the age of 50,” he says. “Hair follicles undergo a cycle of regeneration and in genetically susceptible people, successive hair cycles after a certain age produce smaller and thinner hair.”

How can I prevent hair thinning?

The best way to prevent hair thinning is to ensure that you’re living a healthy life. According to Friese, maintaining a healthy diet consisting of lean meats, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich foods, keeping stress to a minimum, and exercising regularly all can help keep the hair on your head.

How can I stop my hair from thinning?

If your hair has already begun thinning, there are some things you can do on a daily basis to keep your hair looking and feeling its fullest and best.

First of all, LoGerfo says to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. “Insufficient sleep or poor sleeping habits have been shown to have negative consequences on the body, which theoretically can change hormone levels and could contribute negatively to your health, which can have an impact on hair,” she says, though she notes that more studies are needed on the subject.

James tacks onto this, noting that cutting back on chemical-laden coloring and excessive heat use can also help slow down thinning. If you can’t go without heat styling, she suggests using T3 Styling tools. “With their Heat ID, you program your hair type into the tool,” she explains. “This stops the hair from becoming damaged.”

While these recommendations can all be helpful in slowing down the thinning process, James admits that your absolute best bet is making an appointment with a trichologist.

“You can find out why your hair is thinning,” she says. “Once you know what has caused your thinning hair, you can start the correct treatment plan.”

How can I make thin hair look thicker?

As we mentioned above, the quickest and easiest ways to make thin hair look thicker is with styling products, which offer instant results.

Beyond styling products, LoGerfo says that opting for a short to mid-length haircut can create the appearance of thicker, fuller-looking hair. “Thin or fine hair that is very long can look stringy and can get weighed down by the length — sometimes a blunt cut looks the best,” she says.

Another option is to add extensions or a hair topper to your hairstyling routine. “A hair topper is an excellent solution to add volume at the crown of the head and help cover up areas of thinning,” Dr. Goren says. “Toppers, such as the ones from the FOLLEA line by Daniel Alain, can be seamlessly blended into your natural hair to give more body and fullness, offering instant results as compared to waiting several months or even years to see significant hair growth from a topical hair growth treatment like minoxidil.”

Why Trust InStyle

Rebecca Norris is a freelance writer with over eight years in the beauty space. For this story, she worked with five hair experts, including both well-known trichologists and dermatologists, to uncover the top product formula considerations for people with thinning hair. Every product that’s included is recommended directly by an expert and touts resounding 4- to 5-star reviews.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles