Is Volumizing Shampoo Good for Thin Hair?


Hair density is one of the most important standards women use to determine how they feel about themselves. It profoundly affects their self-esteem because thick, lustrous hair is so strongly identified with a woman's idea of femininity. 

Yet this beauty challenge is not uncommon. Hair loss in women occurs in an estimated 50% of U.S. women, and about 30 million will experience female pattern hair loss (FPHL). This form of hair loss can escalate during menopause due to decreased estrogen. Making matters worse, menopause shrinks our follicles, causing wispy hairs to replace thicker strands. 

To address this beauty challenge, many of us turn to hair thickening products or volumizing shampoos; however, not every product meshes well with our hair's underlying biology. Is volumizing shampoo bad for thin hair? Continue reading to find out. 

Thin Hair and Aging 

Thin hair denotes the number of individual strands you have. The more skin you see during your daily styling routine, the thinner your hair. We lose around 100 hairs per day through natural hair shedding.  

When it comes to aging hair, most women start recognizing pronounced changes in their 40s. Hair gets drier, more brittle, and thins out. Scalp skin dries out and becomes susceptible to inflammation. All of these are mainly due to nutritional deficiencies and inevitable hormonal changes. 

How Hormones Cause Thin Hair 

During perimenopause, your progesterone and estrogen levels decline, causing irregular periods that eventually stop. Low levels of these hormones are blamed for skinnier ponytails and less coverage along the part. 

Reduced progesterone and estrogen levels also lead to a testosterone imbalance. Typically, your body's testosterone is at a level below progesterone and estrogen and also declines with age; however, sometimes, progesterone and estrogen drop quickly enough to cause testosterone to be dominant in your body.  

When progesterone and estrogen aren’t able to keep testosterone in check, testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High DHT levels shrink your hair follicles, so they create strands that are brittle and smaller in diameter. 

Volumizing Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid for Thin Hair 

When we start losing our hair, we also lose volume. Many of us then turn to the multitude of products out there promising to help us reclaim the fullness we once had. Unfortunately, not every shampoo formulated to add volume should be used on aging hair. 

Some solutions include harsh, irritating ingredients like sulfates or parabens that can damage your hair and scalp and lead to further hair loss. 

How Sulfates Damage Your Aging Hair 

“Sulfates” is the general term for inexpensive but powerful surfactants produced from mineral salts and include sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). 

They create the foaming bubbles that marketing executives convinced us meant good hygiene. SLS and SLES are commonly produced from petroleum and plant sources and can cause scalp and problems including: 

  • Scalp inflammation — Sulfates penetrate your water barrier and strip away your skin’s natural fatty acids to allow shampoo chemicals to reach your scalp’s top layers. This can cause your scalp to become inflamed. With your skin unprotected, it can now be exposed to disease-causing viruses or bacteria.
  • Damaged cuticles — Your cuticles are a mesh of overlapping cells on the outside layer of your hair. When your cuticles are closed, they can protect your strands from damage. As part of their heavy-handed cleaning ability, sulfates force their way under your cuticles, exposing your cortex to heat or moisture damage — which is how you get brittle or frizzy hair. When your cuticles are damaged, and your cortex is compromised, your thinning, delicate hair becomes prone to breakage and split ends.
  • Reduced sebum levels —At the base of each of your hair follicles is a sebaceous gland that produces sebum. Sebum is an oil that moisturizes and protects your scalp and hair. As we age, our sebum production tapers off, creating an itchy scalp and hair that is dryer than it once was. The sulfates found in many volumizing shampoos can interfere with your sebum production leading to redness and irritation on your scalp. 


Since the 1950s, parabens have been used as preservatives in foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben are the ones you may identify most frequently on shampoo labels. 

Cosmetic companies love to use parabens because they are cheap and effective at prolonging shelf life by preventing bacteria and mold development. 

Paraben Risks to Your Hair and Scalp 

Parabens in shampoos can cause issues for your hair and scalp, including: 

  • Hair loss
  • Color fading
  • Scalp irritation
  • Dryness
  • Allergic reactions 

Paraben Risks to Your Health 

The downside for your health is that researchers have found that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties and are known to play an indirect part in estrogen-dependent breast cancer development. 

Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to review published studies of parabens, they state they currently have no information demonstrating they are dangerous to human health. 

Turn to BNY’s Volumizing Shampoo 

To protect your thinning locks, avoid sulfates and parabens altogether and try a volumizing shampoo created for your aging hair. Better Not Younger’s Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo is lightweight and sulfate- and paraben-free. 

sulfate free wake up call volumizing shampoo by better not younger

It was developed by MIT chemists, based on their thorough understanding of aging hair biology — and the proven potential of a combination of healthy ingredients, including: 

  • Bamboo— Bamboo is a fast-growing perennial evergreen that has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. It is made of 70% silica, a compound present in our bones, skin, and hair. Bamboo silica has been shown to stimulate blood flow, improve hair growth and density, and improve moisture retention.
  • Decyl glucoside — Decyl glucoside is a natural surfactant (surface-active agent) derived from coconuts and corn. It helps create a mild lather that is non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-irritating, and non-carcinogenic. Decyl glucoside is a nonionic surfactant meaning it is gentler on your skin than anionic surfactants (including SLS and SLES).
  • DL-panthenol — DL-panthenol is a plant-based micronutrient derived from vitamin B5. It is used in Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo as a moisturizing conditioner that penetrates your hair shaft, leaving you with silky, smooth hair. 

Use BNY’s Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo for Your Thin Hair 

Better Not Younger hair care products, including Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo, were created to address the internal and external changes women experience as they age. Every ingredient was chosen to treat those physiological changes and is backed by extensive scientific research. 

Sulfate free hair care products for the thinning hair by better not younger

Please visit our Better Not Younger Shop page to view our full line of hair care solutions.