Because long, luscious locks are what dreams are made of

Shampoo is an essential beauty product that forms the basis of most of our haircare routines. Its main function is to cleanse the scalp and hair, removing product build-up, pollutants and daily grime. But shampoo can also help hydrate and optimise scalp health to encourage healthy hair growth.

"Hair growth is reliant on scalp health," says Anabel Kingsley, brand president and consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley. "After all, your scalp is your hair’s support system." And in order to maintain a healthy scalp, regular shampooing is key. "Your scalp is simply an extension of the skin on your forehead and benefits from similar care to the skin on your face," continues Anabel. So, think of shampoo as the hair equivalent of your facial cleanser.

As with cleansers, not all shampoos are created equal, especially if your aim is hair growth. You need a shampoo that effectively cleanses your scalp and hair to help promote stronger, longer locks.

How often should you wash your hair?

It’s important to shampoo regularly. If your hair’s fine, Anabel suggests you may benefit from daily shampoos as your hair may be more prone to getting greasy more quickly. Why? Because those with fine hair tend to have more strands per square centimetre on their scalp than other hair types and, as each hair has its own oil gland, the greater the amount of oil that’s produced.

Those with medium-textured or coarser and curly hair may find they prefer to leave a longer gap between hair washes. The important thing is to find what works best for your scalp needs and your lifestyle. 

Can shampoo promote hair growth?

"No particular shampoo is going to stimulate growth," says Anabel. However, frequent shampooing is important for hair growth. "This is because it helps keep the scalp environment clean and in good condition – and a healthy scalp encourages the growth of healthy strands," explains Anabel. "A flaky scalp may cause hair thinning, so it is important to keep your scalp clear."

What should you look out for?

"Volumising shampoos can be very beneficial for people with fine or thinning hair as they add immediate volume – and this, very importantly, can give a psychological boost," says Anabel. Look for ingredients such as thickening proteins, which can add bulk to strands.

"Sometimes, your hair is unable to grow simply because it’s breaking off at the ends," notes Anabel. In this case, look for shampoos formulated to help condition damaged hair. Plus, seek out hydrating ingredients that will nourish your tresses.   

7 of the best shampoos for hair growth & thickness

From formulations to help stimulate the scalp to those designed to support and nourish, here are seven of our top shampoo picks for promoting hair growth.

Shop more shampoos for a clean and healthy scalp in our full range

Best for: overall

Try: Philip Kingsley Density Thickening Shampoo

• Size: 200ml

• Sulphate-free

• Vegan-friendly

• Contains BHAs and pea peptides

This hard-working shampoo gently foams up into a light lather to deeply cleanse the scalp with build-up busting beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). It also contains hydrolysed pea peptides and thickening polymers to deliver instant volume to fine hair. After a few uses, your scalp will feel refreshed and your hair will look fuller. A win-win!

Best for: fine, flat hair

Try: Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Shampoo

• Size: 250ml

• Sulphate-free

• Vegan-friendly

• Contains niacinamide and rice proteins

The hair equivalent of a cleanser for your face, this revitalising shampoo is powered by a cocktail of strand-savvy ingredients. Niacinamide supports the scalp’s protective barrier, reducing water loss, rice protein bolsters shine and makes hair appear fuller, while amino acids promote healthier-looking hair.

Best for: scalp stimulation

Try: Plantur 21 #Longhair Nutri-Caffeine Shampoo

• Size: 200ml

• Contains caffeine

The clever formula in this shampoo combines scalp-stimulating caffeine with strengthening micronutrients, including biotin, zinc and magnesium, to encourage healthy hair growth.

Best for: helping hair feel stronger

Try: The Hair Lab by Mark Hill Strengthening Shampoo

• Size: 300ml

• Sulphate-free

• Artificial fragrance-free

• Vegan-friendly

• Contains caffeine, biotin and provitamin B5

Give fragile hair a helping hand with this shampoo. The formula is laced with scalp-stimulating ingredients, such as caffeine, as well as plant extracts and essential oils to really nourish strands. Hair looks shinier and feels stronger in just a few uses. 

Best for: hydrating

Try: Boots Ingredients Moisture Shampoo with Hyaluronic Acid

• Size: 250ml

• Great value

• Contains hyaluronic acid

Hair looking a little lacklustre? Revitalise dry, brittle strands with this moisture-boosting shampoo. Powered by hydrating hyaluronic acid and cold-pressed extra virgin chai seed oil, the lightweight yet deeply moisturising shampoo delivers shinier, smoother-looking strands on a shoestring. We’re hooked!

Best for: damaged hair

Try: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Shampoo

• Size: 200ml

• Sulphate-free

• Contains citric acid 

• Contains caffeine, biotin and provitamin B5

A total mane-changer, this shampoo aims to get right to the heart of the hair cortex to help rebuild broken bonds. How, we hear you ask? Citric acid, the star ingredient, is small enough to penetrate the hair cortex to target the mineral ions responsible for breakage. Clever, huh? If that all sounds a bit too science-y, just know that this shampoo helps get to the root of the damage to deliver healthier-looking hair.

Best for: smoother-looking hair

Try: Herbal Essences Love Me Longer Shampoo

• Size: 400ml

• 100% recyclable bottle

• Cruelty-free

Infused with pomegranate essence and a red berry scent, this shampoo will leave you with not only sleeker, stronger-feeling hair but a mane that’s beautifully scented, too. Apply this fruity number while in the shower for a great start to your mornings.