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Style Can a Hair Growth Shampoo Really Give You Longer Locks?

21:20  26 july  2022
21:20  26 july  2022 Source:   womenshealthmag.co.uk

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Hair vertically challenged? If so, you’re far from alone. It's the reason why myriad hair growth shampoos, gummies and supplements have flooded your local Boots in recent years.

And yet with so many formulas out there promising to give you strands long enough to rival a Love Island contestant, how do you know if they really work? Or, rather than truly having the ability to add inches to your strands, are these products money down the drain?

WH spoke to the experts and put products to the test in the WH Lab to find out if these next-gen shampoos are miracle workers or marketing BS. Stay with us for the honest truth.

Skip straight to the products that work.

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What makes your hair grow faster?

First things first, it’s important to assess why your hair isn’t growing as you’d like it to. Of course, if it’s hair thinning or loss you’re dealing with, then it’s best to consult a doctor. (If you’re noticing too much hair in your hairbrush, or think you might be struggling with a medical condition like alopecia, there may be a prescription-only solution that’s open to you.)

That said, if you’re simply struggling to grow out a bad haircut or get your ends to creep past your shoulders, a hair-growth shampoo might be your first port of call.

When it comes to environmental factors, there are many things that could be slowing down your hair growth.

There is some evidence that sulphates (lather-inducing detergents used in many mainstream beauty products) can irritate a sensitive scalp. And, when it comes to lengthy hair, this is an issue. 'The scalp is the bedrock for the hair follicle, and if it is not in good condition the chances of you experiencing problems with hair growth and health increase significantly. In fact, research has proven that a flaky, itchy scalp can cause and/or worsen hair loss in certain individuals, Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, tells WH.

Do hair growth serums actually work? We asked 285 people to try them out...

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Or perhaps it’s the way you’re brushing your lengths: attacking tangles with a hairbrush is likely to snap your strands, which results in hair that just won’t reach the mile-long lengths of your dreams.

What foods help hair growth?

Plus, ensure that your diet includes plenty of hair growth-supporting Biotin, AKA water-soluble vitamin B. You can find this in egg yolk, yeast and wholegrains – or pop a supplement.

Philip Kingsley Biotin Boost © lookfantastic.com Philip Kingsley Biotin Boost

£25.50

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Now, onto the big question.

Do hair growth shampoos really work?

According to aesthetic dermatologist and hair-restoration surgeon Dr Max Malik, hair growth shampoos may not live up to the hype.

‘As far as over-the-counter options go, shampoos and other treatments are very widely sold and it’s a huge industry. However, there is actually very little evidence in support of these treatments,' is his take.

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Kingsley agrees that the buzzy claims made by hair-growth shampoos may be misleading, drawing attention to the many factors that can hamper their success.

‘It’s important to note that the effectiveness of a product is not just reliant on the ingredients inside: it’s heavily dependent on the concentrations of the ingredients, the quality of them and how they are formulated into the product,’ she explains.

What’s more, Kingsley suggests that the way these shampoos are used may determine whether they work or not.

‘For instance, many ingredients need to be left on the scalp for an extended period of time and/or be used daily, in order to be effective.’

What is the best product for hair growth?

However, Kingsley does highlight several ingredients contained in some hair growth products, that can help to optimise the health of your scalp, which can in turn support healthy hair growth.

These include:

  • menthol (a stimulant)
  • piroctone olamine: an antimicrobial that helps to clear flaking and itching.
  • caffeine and peppermint oil can help boost circulation at the scalp
  • amino acids and proteins can strengthen the hair strands

Effectively, the most effective ‘hair-growth’ shampoos don’t actually give your hair a growth spurt, but rather play a supporting role in ensuring your lengths reach their natural full potential.

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So, there you have it: nothing on the shelves will give you hip-skimming hair in a fortnight, but you can ensure your strands are growing at optimal natural rate. Scroll down to discover the best ‘hair-growth’ shampoos for the job.

How we test

Every product awarded a Women's Health lab logo has been tested by a panel of 700 testers, all with self-diagnosed mild to extreme hair loss or thinning.

Each tester tried a targeted shampoo and conditioner set for one to two months. The products all aimed to correct one of the three main causes of hair loss: breakage, thinning, and lack of root or scalp stimulation.

Testers made a note of any changes to their scalp or hair’s condition, as well as how their hair felt after each wash. The panel included women with a range of hair types, from straight to afro hair.

In the Women’s Health Lab, our experts tested anti-breakage shampoos by combing through hair switches treated with the product(s) and comparing them to untreated switches. The easier the treated switches were to comb, the lower the risk of hair breakages and fallout in real life.

For those shampoos with thickening and root-stimulating claims, our in-house testers used a HairMetrix machine to analyse the effect each set had on hair thickness and density.

But that’s not all! Our Women’s Health beauty editors have also suggested some hard-working products that get results – find them under Editors' Picks.

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14 of the best hair growth shampoos

1.Monpure London Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo

Best anti-breakage shampoo

Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo © Hearst Owned Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo

£36.00

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A fan of chucking hair in a top knot when you're at the gym? Chances are you’ve caused a bit of breakage. Wrapping hair too tightly leads to damage, but there’s no need to panic - we found this aced our tests when it came to preventing breakages, to leave hair noticeably stronger and softer.

Key specificationsVolume: 200ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: Yes

2. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Lengths Renewing Shampoo

Best for dry hair

Serié Expert Pro Longer Shampoo © lookfantastic.com Serié Expert Pro Longer Shampoo

£12.62

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There’s nothing like that squeaky-clean feeling after a hot and sweaty workout. We found this lathered up nicely, to leave scalps feeling refreshed, without dehydrating frayed ends. The final result? Hair looked volumised and we spotted less fall out.

Key specificationsVolume: 300mlParaben free: NoSilicone free: NoSulphate free: No

3. Percy and Reed Give Me Strength Strengthening Shampoo

Best for damaged hair

Give Me Strength Strengthening Shampoo © Hearst Owned Give Me Strength Strengthening Shampoo

£21.00

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Some damage being done to your hair isn't a disaster, but you should aim to rectify the situation before it becomes one.

Try this shampoo; mixing hydrating aloe vera with replenishing keratin, it left our entire panel with fewer split ends and most with thicker strands. One tester was in raptures over her “softer, thicker and more manageable” mane, with many others noticing less fallout and shedding.

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Key specifications

Volume: 250ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: Yes


Gallery: Thinning hair? These serums hold the key to longer, thicker hair (Prima (UK))

Seeing more of your scalp in the bathroom mirror than you’d like to? Hair thinning and getting older might go hand in hand, but there are actions you can take to minimise fallout and breakages, such as trying one of our best hair growth serums that actually work, below. Hair growth serums are formulated to tackle thinning, but increasing hair thickness and density is a big ask at any age, so our beauty panel tested 19 products to find the ones that live up to their hype. How do I choose a good hair growth serum?  It can be daunting trying to decipher which hair growth serum will deliver the results that you’re after. Consider the following before adding a product to your trolley: Ingredients: Keep an eye out for moisturising castor oil, stimulating caffeine, Biotin (a strengthening B vitamin containing fatty acids), Aminexil (a L’Oreal ingredient that improves blood flow to hair follicles) and scalp-soothing ginger. Usage: Most hair growth serums will need to be applied every time you wash your hair (or two to three times weekly). If you’re prone to oiliness, consider a pre-wash treatment to keep your scalp feeling fresher for longer. How we test  Our 285 beauty testers used 19 hair growth serums for eight weeks to judge their impact. They looked for thickening, strengthening and regrowth, as well improvements to the condition of their scalps. To determine exactly how much regrowth was occurring, our lab team used a Hair Metrix machine to analyse hair follicles after treatment with each serum.

4. Pantene Pro-V Miracles Grow Strong Shampoo

Best budget buy

Grow Strong Shampoo With Bamboo And Biotin © Hearst Owned Grow Strong Shampoo With Bamboo And Biotin

£2.49

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This bamboo-rich formula costs less than a fiver and claims to leave your strands as strong as your core post-barre.

Our testers with curly hair reported fewer breakages, tamed frizz and some added bounce. Many others praised the duo’s smoothing and nourishing powers, which left locks shinier and cleaner.

Key specifications

Volume: 400ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: No

Sulphate free: No

5. Mane 'n Tail Original Shampoo

Best for adding bounce

Original Shampoo & Conditioner Kit © Hearst Owned Original Shampoo & Conditioner Kit

£10.97

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Using a horse shampoo might sound dodgy, but many of our testers found it as great at hydrating and detangling as it claims to be.

It kept scalps feeling cleaner for longer and helped to minimise breakages, all while adding body. Hair was much easier to comb through after washing, too. It seems those ponies were onto something.

Key specifications

Volume: 355ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: No

Sulphate free: Yes

6. Redken Extreme Shampoo

Best for preventing split ends

Extreme Shampoo © Hearst Owned Extreme Shampoo

£30.00

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This popular salon brand claims to prevent breakages and strengthen fragile strands with its pH-balancing formula.

It successfully reduced split ends – our entire panel noticed the difference – and our lab test proved it helped to limit breakages. It cleaned scalps gently and added volume to roots, while those with colour-treated hair enjoyed a boost in vibrancy.

Key specifications

Volume: 300ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: No

7. Nanogen Women 7-in-1 Thickening Treatment Shampoo

Best for thickening

Nanogen Women 7 in 1 thickening treatment © . Nanogen Women 7 in 1 thickening treatment

£10.00

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We can’t all be blessed with tumbling locks like Gigi Hadid, however this shampoo did make a real difference when it came to hair appearing fuller and thicker. We spotted less fall out and it had the added bonus of leaving ends looking glossy.

Key specificationsVolume: 240ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: Yes

8. Umberto Giannini Grow Long Root Stimulating Shampoo

Best for root-stimulating

Umberto Giannini Grow Root Stimulating Shampoo © . Umberto Giannini Grow Root Stimulating Shampoo

£8.75

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Take care of the roots and the ends will take care of themselves - that’s our motto. This acts like your morning HITT class for lacklustre scalps, to give it an invigorating burst of energy. It led to some significant hair growth, with less split ends and fallout.

Key specificationsVolume: 250ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: No

9. Noughty Get Set Grow Thickening Shampoo

Best for healthier-looking hair

Get Set, Grow Thickening Shampoo © Hearst Owned Get Set, Grow Thickening Shampoo

$8.25

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Dryness getting you down? This vegan shampoo features our holy grail hydrating ingredient, hyaluronic acid, and its cute packaging will brighten up your next #shelfie.

Everyone was pleased to see fewer split ends, with many raving about how much healthier, thicker and stronger their hair felt. In fact, most agreed that it helped improve their hair loss issues altogether.

Key specifications

Volume: Both 250ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: Yes

10. Absolute Collagen Thickening Shampoo

Best for anti-breakage

 Thickening Collagen Complex Shampoo © Hearst Owned Thickening Collagen Complex Shampoo

£20.99

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We're avid supporters of squeezing in some anti-ageing collagen wherever you can (supplements, skincare – we'll take it), so we were intrigued to see if it worked on our hair, too.

It boosted hydration for most of our panel and stood out for helping to minimise shedding and breakages. The creamy lather was ace at getting scalps squeaky-clean, with many testers seeing healthier, fuller heads of hair.

Key specifications

Volume: 250ml

Paraben free: Yes

Silicone free: Yes

Sulphate free: Yes

Women's Health Editors' Picks

11. Revitalash

 Thickening Shampoo © Hearst Owned Thickening Shampoo

£31.48

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The brand behind Meghan Markle’s go-to eyelash growth serum also has a shampoo and conditioner, based on the same root-stimulating technology. This sulphate-free shampoo contains flax proteins to prevent breakage as well as stimulating ginseng to wake up your follicles.

Key specificationsVolume: 250mlParaben free: YesSilicone free: Not statedSulphate free: Yes

12. Philip Kingsley

Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo [75ml] © cultbeauty.co.uk Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo [75ml]

£12.50

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If a stressed-out scalp is the source of your hair-growth issues, Philip Kingsley’s Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo could be the answer. Especially gentle, it’s the best non-drying dandruff treatment we’ve tried.

Key specificationsVolume: 250mlParaben free: Not stated Silicone free: YesSulphate free: Yes

13. Kérastase

Resistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo © kerastase.co.uk Resistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo

£21.10

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A fan favourite and staple for the shower, Kérastase relies on amino acids in this shampoo to cleanse, fortify and protect damaged hair - promoting brighter, healthier and stronger locks.

Key specificationsVolume: 250mlParaben free: Not stated Silicone free: Not statedSulphate free: No

14. Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo

Six years in the making, this clever plant-powered shampoo instantly fortifies hair that has been dealt some serious damage. Specialist PhD chemists have harnessed three individual technologies that treat the hair on three levels meaning the formula is able to reinforce hair integrity at the core, treat the cuticle and prevent breakages. Expect fuller, longer, healthier strands.

Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo 200ml © lookfantastic.com Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo 200ml

£22.95

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Key specificationsVolume: 200mlParaben free: YesSilicone free: YesSulphate free: Yes

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Johnson's Baby launches new eco-refills on family favourites that's only 2p per wash .
JOHNSON'S BABY is helping parents save money on everyday toiletries with the launch of its newest eco baby range. Ideal for upcoming summer staycations and topping up existing bottles, find out where to buy the new affordable solutions.Johnson's is one of the UK's most well known baby care brand and a go-to for everyday products including shampoo, body wash and more.

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