What to Buy Haircare Products The 7 Best Hair Growth Shampoos of 2023 KaraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp shampoo helps promote hair growth by healing your scalp. By Alexandra Frost Updated on November 28, 2022 Medically reviewed by William Truswell, MD Medically reviewed by William Truswell, MD William Truswell, MD, FACS, operates his own cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgery practice. Dr. Truswell was the first in his area in Western Massachusetts to have an accredited private office surgical suite. learn more Fact checked by Richard Scherr Fact checked by Richard Scherr Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post. health's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews How We Selected What to Know Your Questions, Answered Who We Are We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Amazon / KeraCare / Olaplex Around four out of five men and half of women have hair loss issues by the time they are middle-aged. Thankfully, products like hair growth shampoos can mitigate hair loss. Hair growth shampoos work by improving the health of your scalp and stimulating hair follicles to grow, according to Brendan Camp, MD, from MDCS Dermatology. “Hair follicles on the scalp grow about 1 centimeter per month. While shampoos may not make the hair grow faster, they may help return the hair to its normal growth rate,” he says. With that being said, the results of growth shampoos are individual and depend on each person’s specific cause of hair loss. “Growth shampoos are typically most helpful for forms of alopecia…[and] telogen effluvium (excessive shedding of hair)... Many scalp conditions aside from alopecia may affect hair growth. These include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema,” Dr. Camp explains. Hair restoration surgeon Alan J. Bauman, MD, ABHRS, IAHRS, FISHRS, urges people to get a proper diagnosis for any scalp condition before experimenting with products. “It would be hard to recommend a treatment without a diagnosis. For example, dandruff flakes can be oily or dry—and as such, should be treated differently.” He adds that using a shampoo in conjunction with a hair growth serum can lead to better results for hair thinning. So what should you look for when shopping for hair growth shampoos? Well—it depends. Our experts recommend anti-dandruff formulas because they can improve the health of the skin on your head, which contributes to improved hair growth. Experts also recommend avoiding products that contain alcohol, which might strip hair of normal oils, causing dry and frizzy hair. But once you have a consultation with a hair specialist, you’ll have more specifics on exactly what to look for. Dr. Bauman says, “Each variable—moisture level of the skin, pH level, sebum level, hair density, age, and styling habits—needs to be considered when making a scalp and hair hygiene choice.” Ultimately, the best way to approach the issue of hair loss is to treat the underlying issues, such as a dry scalp. For this reason, the products we recommend as the best shampoos for hair growth treat root causes and don’t solely claim to cause hair growth. After researching dozens of brands based on expert guidance, we’ve narrowed down the list of the best products on the market. Here are the best hair growth shampoos. Our Top Picks Best Overall: Avlon KeraCare Anti-Dandruff Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget: Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Beset Dandruff: CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Men: Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo Jump to Review Best Hypoallergenic: Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Best Thickening: Olaplex Clarifying Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Thinning: Pura D'Or Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo at Amazon Jump to Review Best Overall Avlon KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Keracare.com Why We Like It: KeraCare uses clean ingredients to get to the root cause of hair loss by easing scalp dryness. It’s Worth Noting: If your hair loss isn’t caused by dry scalp, this may not help with hair growth. KeraCare Dry & Itch Scalp Anti-Dandruff shampoo is our pick for overall best hair growth shampoo because it doesn’t mask your hair loss struggles with marketing claims of providing miracle hair growth—it gets to the root of the problem. Morgana Colombo, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Skintap, explains, “People with ongoing hair loss and hair shedding can present with a painful, itchy scalp. The most common cause of an itchy scalp is seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff.” Choosing a shampoo that addresses dry and itchy scalp issues is a great first step toward achieving scalp health that will result in hair growth. KeraCare’s moisturizing shampoo tackles these symptoms with natural ingredients such as green tea leaf extract, lemon peel extract, and aloe leaf juice. Experts recommend it for scalp health by using it daily in your regimen. They also suggest looking for shampoos that don’t contain sulfates and parabens, which KeraCare kindly leaves out of its ingredients list. For those who aren’t battling dandruff, the extra moisturizer will still improve scalp health and can act as a preventative product. However, if your hair loss isn’t caused by dry or itchy scalp, this product may not give you the results you’re looking for. Price at time of publication: $13 Product Details: Helps with: Scalp healthSulfate-free: YesActive ingredient: Pyrithione zinc 1%Safe for color-treated hair: Yes Best Budget Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo With Build-Up Control Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Herbspro.com Why We Like It: This budget friendly product packs a punch against major hair loss contributors. It’s Worth Noting: You’ll need to be consistent to see results with this product. T/Sal’s therapeutic shampoo is an affordable, dermatologist-recommended shampoo that effectively targets causes of hair loss such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Dr. Colombo recommends this shampoo as the best budget-friendly hair growth shampoo. If you struggle with a flaky scalp, this product will leave your skin feeling refreshed, which will create an optimal environment for your hair to grow at its best rate. One of the reasons some people prefer T/Sal is that it starts working after just one use, whereas other products require weeks or months of patience and consistency. If that does help, use this product at least twice per week to see results, and leave the lather on your head for a few minutes. It also keeps working after use, so your product is doing double time for you while you aren’t having to worry about it, making it a top choice, especially for those on a budget. It’s important to note, however, that if you stop using this product, you may not continue to see its benefits. Consistency is key for this hair growth shampoo. Also know that the shampoo can be very drying to the actual hair. Price at time of publication: $11 Product Details: Helps with: Scalp build-upSulfate-free: YesActive ingredient: Salicylic acid 3%Safe for color-treated hair: No Beset Dandruff CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo CLn View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Clnwash.com Why We Like It: It alleviates scalp dandruff to improve skin for hair growth, and it’s great for beard acne and dandruff as well. It’s Worth Noting: This shampoo is for normal to oily scalps, and may not be the best for extremely dry scalps. You probably spend lots of time concerned with the pores on your face, but what about the ones on your scalp? This dandruff shampoo alleviates itchy scalp, folliculitis, razor bumps, and more by removing excess oil and dead skin cells, which reduces dandruff. Dr. Colombo has found that her clients consider it helpful for both scalp and facial hair areas that suffer from those issues. Anti-dandruff shampoos have a few go-to ingredients to alleviate the itch, and there are additional solutions your doctor can provide too. “Those shampoos contain ingredients such as tea tree oil, antifungal agents such as ketoconazole or ciclopirox, tar, salicylic acid, [or] selenium sulfide. Topical steroid solutions or foams can also help decrease inflammation and itch,” she says. For anyone experiencing serious dandruff alongside their hair loss issues, CLn Shampoo is a great option for improving scalp health in a way that can stimulate hair growth. However, if you’re someone who suffers from an extremely dry scalp, CLn Shampoo may not be right for you. This shampoo works best for people who have normal to oily hair. If you suffer from a dry scalp, we recommend trying another option on this list. Price at time of publication: $36Product Details: Helps with: Folliculitis and dandruffSulfate-free: NoActive ingredient: Salicylic acidSafe for color-treated hair: No Best for Men Nioxin System 2 Cleanser Shampoo for Natural Hair with Progressed Thinning Amazon View on Ulta View On Amazon View On Macy's Why We Like It: Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo is clean and fresh-smelling, increasing the chances you’ll want to keep using it. It’s Worth Noting: You might need additional parts of the Nioxin system for full effects. If you’d describe your hair as fine and thinning, a concern most men have as they age, the Nioxin Cleanser line is a top choice for you, according to Dr. Camp. “The Nioxin brand can be used alone or as part of a system to clean hair and fortify follicles for improved growth,” he says. Nioxin is well-known for its fresh and clean scent, so you don’t have to choose between scalp health and a nice-smelling shampoo. This shampoo is great for hair growth because it strengthens hair and amplifies hair structure as a part of a hair-thickening treatment system. It also uses natural ingredients like peppermint oil for a refreshing feel. Experts agree that this is one of the best hair growth shampoo products on the market because it simply replaces your normal shampoo (and the routine you’ve been used to) rather than adding an additional product to your shelf. It’s worth noting, however, that Nioxin’s Cleanser Shampoo System 2 is part of a treatment set, and users may experience best results if it’s used in tandem with the other treatment products. Price at time of publication: $45 Product Details: Helps with: Hair thinningSulfate-free: NoActive ingredient: Minoxidil Safe for color-treated hair: No Best Hypoallergenic Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On CVS Why We Like It: It’s dye-, fragrance-, and paraben-free, which makes it great for sensitive skin. It’s Worth Noting: Because this shampoo is unscented, you may miss the smell of freshly cleaned hair at first. Achieving optimal scalp health so that you can start to grow more hair starts with a non-irritated scalp. However, that’s easier said than done if you suffer from sensitive skin and you’re prone to allergic reactions. Dr. Camp recommends Vanicream’s Free & Clear shampoo, saying that it’s “a great option for people with sensitive skin because it is free of dyes, fragrance, and parabens.” The ingredients in this shampoo will serve as a scalp reset for your skin and, as a result, promote hair growth. While we don’t often think about the pH of our scalp, this shampoo does the work for us as it’s non-alkaline and helps balance our skin’s normal pH. It’s also compatible with permed or color-treated hair and can be used by the whole family. The fragrance-free feature of this shampoo is ideal for avoiding allergic flare-ups. But, with that being said, the lack of fresh scent after washing your hair may take some getting used to. The good news is that you’ll be able to smell your favorite body perfume or cologne that much more. Price at time of publication: $22 Product Details: Helps with: Allergic reactionsSulfate-free: YesActive ingredient: Pyrithione zinc 2%Safe for color-treated hair: Yes Best Thickening Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo Olaplex View On Amazon View On Sephora View On Ulta Why We Like It: Olaplex Nº.4C is pH-balanced and produces thicker, softer, and shinier hair. It’s Worth Noting: This product won’t make your hair grow longer, just fuller. If you’re happy with your hair’s length but dissatisfied with the total amount of hair on your head, a thickening product might be for you. Dr. Colombo’s favorite thickening shampoo, Olaplex Nº.4C, is our pick for best thickening hair growth shampoo because it’s free from harsh ingredients, promotes volume, and deeply cleans your scalp. This brand has a line of products that can be used together for even better results, or you can use the shampoo to try to achieve a thicker head of hair. Its sulfate-free and pH-balanced formula removes impurities from the hair, improves the health of your scalp, and creates an ideal environment for thicker, healthier hair. And, as experts point out, a cleaner and healthier scalp directly impacts hair growth. Plus, for those looking for an eco-friendly product, Olaplex has a commendable commitment to sustainability—eliminating 0.4 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions for every product produced and saving 44,000 trees per year. It’s worth noting that Olaplex Nº.4C won’t help your hair grow longer, however. This product only aims to help you achieve fuller hair. Price at time of publication: $30 Product Details: Helps with: Volumizing hairSulfate-free: YesActive ingredient: Rosmarinic acidSafe for color-treated hair: Yes Best for Thinning Pura D'Or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Purador.com Why We Like It: PURA D’OR’s anti-thinning shampoo is hypoallergenic, full of natural ingredients that thicken your hair, and has a one-year money back guarantee if you don’t like it. It’s Worth Noting: Its botanical scent may not be for everyone. PURA D’OR Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo is our best pick for people who are experiencing hair thinning because it’s clinically proven to reduce hair thinning in eight weeks. It’s also sulfate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free, and packed full of natural ingredients that help with hair thinning. This shampoo uses DHT blockers (which is a name for medications used to treat scalp hair loss) such as biotin, vitamin E, and tea tree oil to heal your scalp and promote hair growth. It’s also eco-friendly and vegan, boasting a USDA Biobased Product certification, and uses aloe vera as its base instead of water to achieve real results. We love that this product tackles the root cause of hair loss by treating your scalp with plant-based extracts. With that being said, it does have a strong botanical scent as a result, which may not be for everyone. If you don’t like shampoo that has an herbal smell, we recommend looking elsewhere. Price at time of publication: $20 Product Details: Helps with: Thinning hairSulfate-free: YesActive ingredient: Herbal DHT blockersSafe for color-treated hair: Yes How We Selected To determine the best hair growth shampoos, we talked to experts about how the shampoos work. Our experts agree that great hair growth shampoo aims to improve scalp health, which increases the chances of optimal growth. So while these products may not promise faster growth on the label, they do target scalp conditions that cause hair loss and, as a result, target the root cause of most people’s hair loss issues. Achieving the healthiest scalp skin and stimulating hair follicles can lead to longer, thicker, and healthier hair. What to Know About Shampoo for Hair Growth Ingredients to Look for When Shopping for Hair Growth Shampoo Dr. Camp recommends ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, and ketoconazole, which he says help address dandruff. “Their inclusion in hair growth shampoos may help address scaling, itching, and redness associated with dandruff.” Our experts recommend avoiding sulfates, phosphates, parabens, and phthalates. Instead, look for natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, rosemary, and mint. Finally, consider choosing a color-safe product if you dye your hair regularly, so you aren’t wasting money at the salon and washing away your new highlights with a hair growth shampoo. How to Incorporate Shampoo for Hair Growth in Your Routine If you struggle with consistency, choose shampoos that can be used a few times per week rather than daily, so there’s less pressure as you integrate the product into your current regimen. Regardless of your preference—daily or weekly—we highly recommend staying consistent with your hair growth shampoo, as this will give you better results. What You Can Expect to Pay for Shampoo for Hair Growth There are helpful products with high-quality ingredients for under $20, so your hair improvement plan doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of seeking the most expensive product and confusing price with quality, choose a recommended product above that fits nicely into your budget. Your Questions, Answered How do hair growth shampoos work? Instead of actually making your hair grow faster, good hair growth shampoos will improve the health of your scalp through nutritious ingredients for the skin. In turn, this stimulates follicles and increases blood flow to the scalp, restoring your hair’s natural ability to grow new, longer hair. How should I use a hair growth shampoo? You can replace your typical shampoo with a hair growth shampoo, using it as often as you normally wash your hair or as prescribed on the bottle. Dr. Colombo recommends switching shampoos every three months. “Your scalp and hair can get immune to your routine, and you don’t want to dry out your scalp if you’re addressing an issue,” she explains. Who We Are Alexandra Frost is a health and wellness journalist with over 15 years of experience interviewing physicians and writing articles in the medical field. She has worked with other publications such as Popular Science, Huffington Post, and Washington Post, and has tested many products in her time as a journalist to help readers best understand what will work for them. She also has a master’s degree in education and a bachelor's degree in journalism, both of which she uses to help fully educate readers on the health and wellness products she researches. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Most men experience hair loss—but it isn’t inevitable. NYU Langone Health NewsHub. 2016. Hair loss in women: causes, treatment & prevention. Cleveland Clinic. Reviewed 2021.