Shampoos are a critical part of any curly regimen, particularly when dealing with thinning hair. This condition, also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), Androgenic Alopecia, and pattern thinning, is due largely to the binding of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) to androgen receptors in the hair follicles. This alters the growth cycle of the hair, causing many hairs within the pattern to fall out prematurely, and be replaced with thinner and thinner strands over each shortened hair growth cycle. Eventually, if left untreated, these follicles will die. Unfortunately, there is no shampoo that can fully reverse this process once it has begun, but the right shampoo(s) can do the following:

  • Remove excess sebum, dirt, and debris that would block and/or irritate the hair follicle.
  • Cleanse hair of topical hair loss products which can be oily, sticky, or drying to the hair.
  • Relieve and resolve scalp conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
  • Get rid of calcium build-up from hard water.
  • Optimize scalp health to encourage new hair growth.

In order to create a custom-care regimen for your scalp, you may want to alternate stronger clarifying shampoos with more gentle ones that will not dry out your hair. Determining a wash schedule will take some trial and error because although most hair loss professionals suggest shampooing every day or every other day when you have FPHL, this is much too damaging for delicate curls (even when conditioner is used afterwards). If you want to protect your hair and keep it hydrated while washing your scalp, try the Condition-Wash-Condition Method.

1. Girl+Hair Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

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Apple cider vinegar and rice water are combined in a pH Balancing powerhouse that deeply cleanses your scalp while leaving your hair smooth and silky. The applicator nozzle on the bottle enables you to easily apply the product when you are wearing protective styles. This is a great shampoo choice when you have hard water.

2. Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo

The holy grail, the OG, the one that everyone loves for its peachy-scented goodness, can be the mainstay of your wash routine. It cleanses enough to get out the gunk, but it doesn’t strip your hair or make it feel like straw. It is full of scalp-nourishing botanical extracts of peach, anise, ginseng, and gingko biloba. It does have a gentle sulfate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, which is derived from coconut, but the shampoo with not rob your hair of its beneficial oils.

3. Curly Hair Solutions Treatment Shampoo

Inevitably, in your thinning hair battle, there is going to be that one topical treatment that you cannot get out of your hair no matter what you do. This shampoo will do the trick. It also has strengthening agents like panthenol and silk amino acids, and it contains magnesium sulphate to help remove build-up on your hair follicles.

4. Wonder Curl Detoxifying Clay Cleanser

Coming soon to our shop, this Kaolin clay-based cleanser gently removes dirt and impurities while keeping your strands soft. Unlike most shampoos, you can use it to detangle, as it contains moisturizing fatty alcohols and botanical butters and oils.

5. Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo

This volumizing shampoo will leave your hair fully of body and sheen. Coconut-derived cleansers gently yet thoroughly cleanse your scalp, while aloe, coconut, biotin and panthenol leave your hair strong enough to stand up to daily stressors.

6. Eprouvage Gentle Volume Shampoo

This strengthening, anti-aging, anti-breakage shampoo gently cleans without stripping. Give your hair and scalp a boost with botanical ingredients like the following:

  • Egyptian Blue Lily to protect skin from the effects of aging.
  • Keratins to help fortify the hair and rebuild it from the inside.
  • French Oak Extract to fight free radicals.

7. Hairfinity Beneath The Weave Scalp Purifying Shampoo

If you are wearing protective styles, wigs, and hairpieces you need this shampoo in your life. It comes in a bottle with an applicator tip that will help cut down on the time it will take to apply the product and give your scalp the TLC it needs. Some key ingredients are aloe (great for high porosity hair), peppermint (to stimulate new hair growth), and biotin and panthenol for longer, stronger hair.

8. Many Ethnicities Invigorating Shampoo

Balance is critical for healthy hair, and that is what you get with this shampoo. It cleanses well, but it does not dry out your tresses. Reviewer Cecelia writes: "Tried it and LOVED it!"

Saw Dr. Ena was named one of the 2018 style heroes by the Today Show and bought all three of their adult products. The shampoo is amazing! Great moisturizing – even before conditioning. Very impressed. Will buy again!

9. As I Am Long and Luxe GroWash Cleansing Creme Conditioner

If you do the Condition-Cleanse-Condition method, this co-wash can be used as the conditioner applied to your hair before you apply the shampoo. Growash is a moisturizing yet strengthening cleansing conditioner that has hair growth promoting ingredients like castor seed oil, caffeine, and nettle.

10. Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo

For any scalp condition from dandruff to psoriasis to scalp irritation from topical products, this is the solution. It has a blend of scalp-soothing sage, rosemary, and tea-tree essential oils. It will also get your curls clean and leave them bouncy and voluminous. This shampoo is on the stronger side, so I would recommend pairing it with your favorite conditioner and leave-in for a wash day you are sure to love.

What is your favorite shampoo for properly caring for your thinning hair? Let us know in the comments.