What to Look For
Many people have fine, limp or thin hair which can become even more of a problem with age. Recently various hair-thickening or volumizing shampoos and conditioners have been introduced to the market. Hair thickening products claim to work by infusing the hair cuticle with vitamins and proteins. These agents give the hair fuller body by strengthening the hair shaft and adding moisture. Supportive ingredients to look for in hair thickening products include panthenol, a derivative of vitamin B5, hydrolyzed wheat proteins to nourish the hair shaft and silk proteins to hydrate the hair and prevent splitting.
Some volume-building hair products contain silicone which when used daily can cause build up and weigh hair down, making it look flat and greasy. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to alleviate this problem.
Where to Buy
Testing was conducted on current products by The Good Housekeeping Research Institute and consumers to determine the best hair thickening shampoos. Tested with blond hair, which is typically finer than brown or red, The Full & Thick Collection from Pantene Pro-V was the overall top performer, winning the highest marks from consumers.The panelists agreed that this hair-thickening duo made their hair look smoother and feel softer. In addition to improving the overall appearance of their finished hairstyles, the product testers liked the scent of the Pantene products.
In addition to being the top overall performer, The Full & Thick Collection was the least expensive of all of the products tested in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's study making it an excellent buy. Pantene's products can be found in drugstores nationwide for about $4 each, as of September 210.
Other results of The Good Housekeeping Research Institute placed Nexxus Diametress Luscious Hair Thickening Shampoo and Sublime Volume Luscious Bodifying Conditioner Conditioner as close rivals. These products reportedly made hair thicker and more manageable. The shampoo cost $14 in September 2010; the conditioner cost $15.
Their Best Thickening Shampoo result for silver hair was Samy Fat Hair Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. These products produced the greatest increase in gray hair-shaft diameter; cost, $8.
In other studies, Redken for Men Densify Texturizing Shampoo is the men's favorite. Redken claims that it reinforces thinning hair with ceramide and polymers, adding dimension. The Redken product cost $12.95 in September 2010.
In addition to using specialized shampoos to help thicken your hair, the hair-thickening-shampoo research Web site suggests adding Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon which is rich in vitamin B-12 and iron, to your diet to promote a healthy scalp. Spinach and broccoli are also very beneficial, providing vitamins A and C. These vitamins help promote the sebum which naturally conditions your hair. Whole grains contain zinc and iron as well as B vitamins which help to strengthen hair.