The 13 Best Shampoos for Fine Hair of 2023

The Colorproof Biorepair Thicken Shampoo offers volumizing benefits and keeps the scalp healthy.

In This Article

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Shampoos That Lift Fine Hair

Target / Lonor Greyl / Color Proof

Sure, a blow dryer and a round brush equal extreme volume for anyone with fine hair, but it takes a certain level of arm aerobics to give yourself a blowout. So if your skill level falls flat, a volumizing shampoo can help add body to fine or thinning hair.

Before adding any shampoos to your cart, it's important to understand the difference between the two hair types. "Fine hair usually describes the diameter or width or the actual hair strand," says Dr. Sheila Farhang, board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics in Tucson, Arizona. "Hair thinning is usually used to describe the density of hair, that is, the actual amount of hair."

While both fine and thinning hair can be determined by genetics, Dr. Farhang says medical conditions like thyroid issues, medications, and nutrient deficiencies can make dry hair fine and brittle. Thinning hair is essentially hair loss and is often associated with age (think female pattern baldness). "This 'inevitable' hair loss can be exacerbated with stress, trauma, and hormone change called telogen effluvium, where instead of normally losing 100 strands of hair, people lose three to five times that amount," she says. The good news? It's often temporary — and you can use volume-boosting shampoos in the meantime.

Volume, bounce, and thickness start in the shower, so to help you select the best shampoo for fine hair, we consulted with the pros on what to look for in a product for this hair type. Ultimately, the Colorproof Biorepair Thicken Shampoo took the spotlight for our Best Overall because it suits all hair types (including color-treated) and creates the optimal environment for hair growth — a true win for fine-haired folks.

Ahead, find our favorite volumizing and body-building shampoos for fine and thinning hair.

Best Overall

Colorproof Biorepair Thicken Repair

Colorproof Biorepair Thicken Repair

Colorproof

What We Love: This contains a proprietary blend that makes it safe for color-treated hair — it also slows down color fade.

What We Don’t Love: The minty eucalyptus scent may not be for everyone.

In case you missed it, your scalp is an extension of your skin, and if it's not in tip-top shape, it'll definitely show through in your hair (flakiness and oily roots, anyone?). That's why we're such fans of this formula from Colorproof. On top of lifting fine hair and adding more volume, it washes away buildup, dead skin cells, and dirt to create an ideal condition for hair growth — and it uses a medley of scalp-first ingredients (like AHAs, biotin, copper peptides, and tea tree leaf oil) to do so. Plus, this particular shampoo is safe for color-treated hair as it contains a proprietary blend that ensures color fading is a non-issue. (Pro tip: because this cleanser has a thicker consistency, a little goes a long way, so squeeze it out slowly.)

This formula comes with a minty scent, so be sure not to rub your eyes after your hands get into contact with it.

Size: 8.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best Budget

Tresemmé Beauty-Full Strength Shampoo

Tresemme Beauty-full strength shampoo

Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Love: This comes with an attainable price tag for its generous size.

What We Don’t Love: While this works into a generous lather, it contains sulfates and may feel stripping.

Is there anything this hefty bottle of shampoo can't do? Not only does the ProPlex Fortifiant technology in the formula work hard to strengthen hair follicles that have been damaged by hot tools, tight hairstyles, and product buildup, but it also boasts an airy consistency that won't add weight to fine, flat hair types. And, if you're prone to breakage (an issue many people with fine hair struggle with), it'll even smooth out your ends when used in conjunction with the conditioner. We appreciate that the shampoo's fruity scent actually lasts on the hair (unlike other formulas whose smell you only get to enjoy in the shower). Overall, this Tresemmé bottle is proof you don't have to shell out the money to get a shampoo that delivers results — at $5 for 20 fl. oz. of product, it definitely gives you a good bang for your buck.

FYI: this formula is made with sulfates — keep a hydrating conditioner handy if your hair is prone to dryness.

Size: 20 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: No

Best Splurge

Leonor Greyl Shampooing au Miel Gentle Volumizing Shampoo

Leonor Greyl Paris - Shampooing Au Miel - Gentle Volumizing Shampoo

Amazon

What We Love: Though it's pricey, this shampoo uses sustainably-sourced botanicals and recyclable packaging.

What We Don’t Love: This only comes in a small, four-ounce bottle (unless you find it in a salon or spa).

The only thing worse than hair that lacks volume is hair that lacks volume and shine. In this case, make like the French and look for a minimal, no-fuss formula whose only goal is to improve your hair's health and vitality. This shampoo from Parisian brand Leonor Greyl uses wheat protein extract to make every single strand look thicker, shinier, and more hydrated. And when combined with lavender honey (which conditions the hair) and French rose extract (to increase your hair's manageability), it makes for one luxurious formula that just makes your hair look damn good. It doesn't hurt that the formula is gentle, lightweight, and comes with a honey scent that's as heavenly as it is sweet.

One thing we wish weren't the case? This only comes in a small four-ounce size on the website. But, if you're really loyal to the formula, you can snag a bottle at a spa or salon near you (or keep your eyes peeled for the brand's twice-a-year sale when you can get it in a pro size).

Size: 4 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: No

Best for Oily Hair

Luxy Charcoal Detox Clarifying Shampoo

Luxy Detox Shampoo

Luxy

What We Love: If you usually shampoo your hair everyday, this shampoo lets you extend days in between washes.

What We Don’t Love: Though this helps to thoroughly cleanse the scalp, it won't get rid of dandruff.

Oily roots, limp strands, and all-over grease got you feeling down? Luxy's Charcoal Detox Clarifying Shampoo is everything your hair care routine is missing. Don’t be alarmed by the formula’s black hue — that’s the activated charcoal making its presence known. This, along with apple cider vinegar are the hair-refining ingredients that remain hard at work getting your hair nice and clean, but it's the baobab oil and antioxidants that ensure the formula doesn't take away your hair's natural oils along with the grease. Plus, if you ever find that your clip-in extensions are looking a little ragged, lather them up with this shampoo to bring them back to their natural state (this is formulated by a hair extension brand after all).

Size: 9.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Dry Hair

Neuma Neuvolume Shampoo

Neuma Volume Shampoo

Neuma

What We Love: This shampoo is formulated with ingredients to protect hair from UV damage, making it a solid choice for your summer hair care routine.

What We Don’t Love: This is personal preference, but the color of the bottle may not match every bathroom aesthetic.

Many shampoos rely on sulfates for that satisfying lather, but they can be quite stripping (even on fine hair that's prone to oil). That's where this formula from Neuma comes in — it relies on a coconut-derived surfactant to deeply cleanse the hair without leaving it feeling parched. And, it's a stellar detangler, meaning you could skip conditioner if you're looking to cut a step out of your shower routine (though if your hair is past shoulder length, we still recommend applying a small amount onto your ends). Beyond the volume-boosting benefits, this formula has to offer, it uses sunflower seed oil to keep strands from becoming brittle or dry at the hands of UV damage. TL;DR: It's hard finding a shampoo that has the ability to make your hair feel clean and add body without drying out your scalp, but this formula manages to do all of that and more.

Size: 10.1 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Curls

Monday Haircare Smooth Shampoo

4.6
Monday Smooth Shampoo

Amazon

What We Love: It's excellent at taming frizz and enhancing your curl pattern.

What We Don’t Love: This contains sulfates, which could strip your hair in the long-run.

Curly-haired folks, we hear you. You want a shampoo that'll reduce frizz without taking anything away from your gorgeous curl pattern. Meet your newest shower sidekick: the Monday Hair Smooth Shampoo. This creamy cleanser contains such hydrating ingredients for your curls (like vitamin E, coconut oil, and shea butter), we wouldn't be surprised if you mistook it for a hair mask. It's perfect for those with curly, coily, coarse hair that's also fine, as it manages to ward off unwanted frizz and keep your curls alive despite having a rich consistency. As far as packaging goes, we can't get enough — the muted pink bottle isn't an eyesore and will be a welcomed addition to your shower caddy.

Size: 12 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: No

Best for Waves

Verb Sea Shampoo

Verb Sea Shampoo

Verb

What We Love: You won't have to spend time styling or tending to your waves — this formula does all the work by adding a slight grit and light body.

What We Don’t Love: This doesn't get rid of frizz well.

The goal: tousled hair. The problem? Sea salt sprays just aren't cutting it. If this sounds familiar, try achieving the look in the shower with Verb's Sea Shampoo, a texture-building cleanser that'll let your natural waves do all the talking. There'll be no more need for post-shower styling via hair sprays, curling irons, and pomades — just lather this sulfate-free shampoo onto your hair and enjoy the full body and enhanced waves that come along. Warning: after rinsing this out, you’ll feel a little bit of grit left behind — that’s just the natural sea salt adding a gorgeous texture to your hair. Fine hair will appreciate how the seaweed and kelp extract in this formula freshens up the scalp. Plus, thanks to glycerin and pro-vitamin B5, the volumizing shampoo hydrates flat hair without overloading it with heavy ingredients. A true winner in our book.

While this wash-and-go shampoo is great for elevating your natural waves without needing to use any other products, it won't do much for frizz, so we recommend applying a small amount of hair serum if this is of concern.

Size: 12 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Straight Hair

Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo

Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo

Ulta

What We Love: You don't need a ton of product to cleanse your hair, which is nice to know considering the price tag.

What We Don’t Love: This doesn't do much in the hydrating department.

Calling all straight-haired beauties: We predict mega volume is in your future. Pureology's Pure Volume Shampoo is a coveted product among pros and novices alike — and for good reason. For one, it's safe for color-treated hair, meaning you won't have to worry about your dye job fading or straw-like strands. It also uses wheat protein to add unparalleled volume to limp hair, especially if your hair is running against straightness and a long length (which inevitably makes it appear flat). Finally, because of how concentrated this formula is, a little goes a long way — so much so that the brand claims one bottle will last you a minimum of 75 washes. (Depending on how often you wash your hair, this could last you a whole year!)

Size: 9 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Long Hair

Living Proof Full Shampoo

4.5
Living Proof Full Shampoo

Nordstrom

What We Love: This is a formula that works for all types of long hair — from straight strands that don't want to be weighed down to curly hair that needs a lift.

What We Don’t Love: You may need to use a detangler with this.

A trusted brand among haircare devotees, this formula from Living Proof doesn't disappoint. The Dr. Farhang-backed shampoo lifts the roots without weighing hair down, making it ideal for those with long hair. How you ask? The not-so-secret ingredient at play here is amaranth, a perennial plant that helps thicken hair fibers and minimize friction among each individual hair. Translation: your hair is left with more bounce, volume, and movement than what you started out with. But at InStyle, we don’t just love a shampoo that makes your hair look good — we like a formula to do more. That’s why we’re all for the amino acid complex taking the place of stripping sulfates, which nixes dirt and product buildup for a healthier-feeling scalp.

Size: 8 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Short Hair

Native Almond & Shea Butter Strengthening Shampoo

Native Shampoo

Walmart

What We Love: This formula prioritizes quality over quantity — it's only made with 10 ingredients.

What We Don’t Love: Fragrance is an ingredient on the label, which could be irritating if you have a sensitive scalp.

You know and love Native for their natural deodorants, but this shampoo proves that the brand's hair care products are worthy of throwing into your cart, too. The Native Strengthening Shampoo is only made with 10 ingredients, and sulfates aren't any of them. What you will find in the formula, though, is hair-conditioning almond and shea butter, two ingredients that douse your hair with moisture without making it feel greasy. What's more, because of how hydrating this formula is, it's great for covering up breakage and stringy ends (which are often more noticeable on those with shorter hair). 

We appreciate that this shampoo is made with straightforward ingredients, but wish it were formulated without synthetic fragrance.

Size: 16.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Color-Treated Hair

Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo Weightless Amplifier

Fekkai Full Blown Volume

Amazon

What We Love: This shampoo works its magic well after application for all-day volume and bounce.

What We Don’t Love: If you're prone to greasy hair, this may not do a good job cleansing.

Volume, is that you? This salon-grade shampoo has all the makings of a successful hair wash day if you're looking to revive flat strands. The formula is full of hair-boosting ingredients like French oak extract to keep your scalp healthy, green coconut water to thicken thinning hair, and cottonseed oil to make tangles a thing of the past. Plus, it takes into account factors that work against aging hair (like UV damage, pollution, and environmental elements) by incorporating rice protein, Edelweiss flower extract, and vitamin B5. The best part: even though it'll do the job on non-styled hair, it'll give you even extra bounce and plumpness when paired with a blowout (and will even keep your style from falling flat for up to eight hours).

Size: 8.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Flat Hair

Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Multiplying Volume Shampoo

ALTERNA HAIRCARE CAVIAR Anti-Aging Multiplying Volume Shampoo

Sephora

What We Love: This shampoo is made with a proprietary technology that ensures your color doesn't fade.

What We Don’t Love: The packaging could use some work — it's difficult to get the product out.

What's more luxurious than caviar on your cheese board? Caviar in your shampoo, of course. But the caviar in Alterna's Multiplying Volume Shampoo doesn't exist just to sound fancy — it actually helps to tackle signs of aging your hair may be facing (think: dullness and dryness). Sticking with the theme of nourishing strands that need it, this formula incorporates a unique Marine Plumping Complex that's chock-full of hair-volumizing extracts like sea kelp, panthenol, biotin, and keratin, all of which work to transform flat hair. It's gentle, non-stripping, and even keeps your color vibrant thanks to the brand's Color Hold technology.

Though we're fans of the formula, one thing that needs some improvement is the packaging. It requires a good amount of squeezing and shaking to get the product out.

Size: 8.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for Thinning Hair

Rene Furterer TONUCIA REPLUMPING SHAMPOO

Rene Furterer TONUCIA REPLUMPING SHAMPOO

Rene Furterer

What We Love: If you're looking for a shampoo to make your hair voluminous and soft, this one does the job.

What We Don’t Love: This formula isn't sulfate-free.

The folks at Rene Furterer understood the assignment: lift roots and clean hair without breaking out your scalp or drying out strands. "The René Furterer Tonucia range uses a wheat micro-protein to plump the hair, and tamarind seed extract to soften the scalp to prevent miniaturization (hair becoming skinnier with age)," says Chuck Hezekiah, the René Furterer education manager of the retail and salon space. Beyond this, if you struggle with humidity wrecking your 'do, this formula keeps your style intact no matter what weather conditions your hair faces.

Size: 6.7 fl. Oz | Cruelty-free: Yes | Sulfate-free: No

What to Keep in Mind

Ingredients

If you have fine or thinning hair, the ingredients you choose for your shampoo products matter. Biotin is a prime shampoo ingredient to seek out, and several studies have shown that it has promising results for hair growth. If nothing else, biotin “acts as a protein binder and can seal the hair shaft, which increases volume and lifts the hair,” says Dr. Diane Madfes, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist. Jasmine Rilington, hair stylist and founder of The Glam Room also calls out peppermint, lavender, and thyme as solid shampoo ingredients, as they're natural and can help with hair thickening and maintaining overall hair health, she says. Also, steer clear of alcohol in your shampoo, as Rilington says it could lead to breakage and brittleness.

Volumizing and Thickening

It seems pretty obvious, but if your hair is fine or thinning, a specially-formulated shampoo that addresses these concerns is important. In other words, don’t just reach for a pretty bottle or nice scent — instead, choose formulas that are thoughtfully made for your hair type. If you’re dealing with hair loss or shedding, find a shampoo that improves your scalp’s condition in addition to boosting volume, says Rilington. If fine or flat hair is your issue, a shampoo that helps build volume can give the look of a fuller-looking mane.

"The key is to use shampoos that are designed for frequent use that are suitable to your hair needs," says Hezekiah. "For temporary volume, look for volumizing shampoos that use ingredients that do not weigh the hair down," Hezekiah adds. "For thickening, look for shampoos that densify.

Sulfates

As for what not to look for in a shampoo for fine hair, sulfates are high on the list. “Sulfates are very good at cleaning the hair, so much so that they can begin to strip the hair of its oils,” says Rilington. Not only can this leave your hair feeling dry, but it can make your hair brittle and damaged, too, as “sulfates can cleave the collagen bonds that give hair its strength,” says Dr. Madfes. Thankfully, it doesn't require much digging to find a sulfate-free shampoo — the market is brimming with options.

Your Questions, Answered

What makes a shampoo good for fine hair?

The key is to look for a formula that’ll do a good job of cleansing your hair, but won’t cause damage or breakage while doing so, says Dr. Madfes. Find a formula that contains ingredients that help plump the hair (and keep it looking that way until your next shampoo session). If your scalp is prone to irritation or breakouts, you'll want to use a shampoo that considers the health of your scalp (i.e.: it doesn't contain fragrance or sulfates). Bonus points if it's formulated to address signs of hair aging like dullness, shedding, and brittleness.

How do you prevent build up on fine hair?

If you have fine hair, you’re probably used to slapping on every serum, cream, and hair spray to make it appear thicker. But this can quickly lead to buildup and oily roots. The only way to really prevent buildup is to avoid using too many products on your hair, but if this isn’t possible, a clarifying shampoo will help with managing buildup and creating a cleaner scalp. Clarifying shampoos will help remove excess oil, residue, and buildup on the hair, says Rilington, just make sure you’re not overdoing it, as these formulas can be stripping (once a week should suffice).

Can a shampoo for fine hair help with hair loss?

While shampoo may help hair appear thicker, remember it's not a solution for hair loss. "If someone is losing quite a bit of hair, I wouldn't get too caught up with shampoos and recommend they see their board-certified dermatologist to make sure they don't have another type of alopecia such as alopecia areata or a scarring alopecia," Dr. Farhang says. "As a dermatologist, not only do we diagnose but also check labs, and can provide treatment options to decrease hair loss and improve hair growth."

Why Trust InStyle

Michelle Rostamian is a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer with nearly 10 years of experience in the beauty industry and bylines at PEOPLE, Byrdie, Real Simple, InStyle, and more. For this story, she interviewed Dr. Sheila Farhang, board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics, Dr. Diane Madfes, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, and Jasmine Rilington, hair stylist and founder of The Glam Room.

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