Struggling With Fine Hair?
It’s fine. We got you.
We know from experience that having fine hair can be both a blessing on a good hair day and a curse on those other not-so-good days. When your hair is as fine as a newborn babe’s, good hair days are all about shining locks that are deliciously soft to the touch and fall beautifully into place like a magazine cover. On the flip side, bad hair days can be really bad, with loads of breakage, unruly style, and tangles that look more like bird’s nests that styled hairdos. Ugh!
And though there is plenty of upside to having fine locks, there are unfortunately a diversity of issues and eternal struggles that all of the fine-haired face. You may suffer from a falling flat lack of volume, and conversely, you may succumb to frizz if your hair isn’t hydrated enough. You may also experience floppy, weighed down hair when it’s hydrated too much. It’s almost like there is truly no winning.
But worry not, our fine-haired friends. Fine hair can look absolutely amazing when properly cared for, but getting into the right care routine and finding the right products is a delicate balance to strike. As with any hair care routine for any kind of hair, one of the most important aspects of caring for your hair is the cleansing step, but to maximize the benefits of cleansing, you have to find the right shampoo that works specifically for you.
So, let’s get right to it. What is the best shampoo for your baby fine hair? What shampoo will help you fight those many fine-haired issues you’re struggling with? Well, that’s why we’re here.
After much research and testing, here are our top recommendations for the best shampoo for your fine hair:
The Best Shampoos For Fine Hair
For Fine, Thin Hair
We’ve heard from many of our readers that not only do they suffer from fine hair, but also have very little of it. If this is something you’re struggling with, your biggest enemy will most likely be flat, thin hairdos that are hard to make look and feel the way you’d like them to. But don’t worry – help is on its way.
With fine, thin hair, you’ll want to cleanse your hair without stripping much from it, but you’ll also want to ensure that your scalp and the roots of your hair are as oil-free as possible. This will help not only clean your hair properly, but will allow you to gain as much volume as you can.
Along with the right choice of shampoo, one major way you can achieve this balance is to strictly shampoo only your scalp when you’re in the shower. Keep shampoo away from the middle and ends of your thin locks. This will ensure that most of the cleansing happens at the scalp and roots, giving you the lift that you need and the volume that you really want. The rest of your hair doesn’t need as much cleansing; as you’ll want to keep it from becoming too dried out.
Enter Nexxus’ Diametress Volume shampoo. If you’re looking for a shampoo that will cleanse your fine hair, increasing your volume from zero up to eleven and won’t weigh your hair down with unnecessary silicones and other nasty things, then look no further than the Diametress Shampoo. Enriched with Green Tea Extract and Concentrated Elastin Protein, this shampoo’s formula promises to pump up and increase the diameter of each strand of hair, increasing lift at the roots and preventing an unsightly flat head – just what flat hair needs to look its best.
The only thing to watch out for in this shampoo is that it does contain sulfates. Sulfates are common in many shampoos, but are harsh cleansing agents which can dry out your hair if not used sparingly. Remember to apply your shampoo just to your scalp and roots just like we described above, and the sulfates in this shampoo shouldn’t cause you any issues. However, if you have particularly dry, brittle hair, you may want to check out our recommendations for dry hair below as they will be better suited for your locks.
Speaking of scalps, if you’re finding yourself with a dry scalp and you’re looking for a shampoo to help you battle that desert atop your head, check out our list of best shampoo for dry scalps.
For Fine, Dry Hair
If you have fine hair but it tends to be dry or damaged, you’ll be no stranger to excessive molting, breakage, and tangles in your daily life. It’s a tricky combo when you’re dealing with hair that is both fine and dry – as the results are increased fragility and loss of healthy volume and body.
If this not-so-desirable combination is what you’re struggling with on a daily basis, then what you need to add to your daily routine is a shampoo that’s gentle, sulfate-free, conditioning, and lightweight. If that sounds like an impossible formula to find, then let us enlighten you to one of our fav products:
Your fine but damaged hair needs a shampoo that gently cleanses while delivering lightweight hydration – and that’s exactly what OGX’s Coconut Water Shampoo promises to do. With coconut water, rich in electrolytes, and coconut oil, a miracle moisturizer that is now used in many different products, this shampoo will keep your hair clean, refreshed, silky, and above all: looking and feeling good. If you’re a fan of coconut water, this product smells exactly like it – and although it’s lightweight and moisturizing, it lathers up into a thick creamy foam perfect for massaging into your scalp. It’s like a trip down to the tropics every time you shampoo!
It’s important to note that when it comes to dry, damaged hair, it’s really hydrating treatments that are going to do the most repair for you, especially in the short term. While shampoos are an important part of your routine, you should also be conditioning with a hair mask before you cleanse which will help to intensely re-hydrate your damaged hair before it goes through a wash. Try our article on hair masks to find the right treatment for you, and we promise, you’ll see a big difference in your dryness right away.
If you’re more concerned about your damage than your fineness, we also have a great guide on the best shampoo choices for damaged hair. Check it out!
For Fine, Curly Hair
Managing hair that’s both fine and curly is all about avoiding harsh sulfates and silicones that will weigh your fine curls down and not let you live your best ‘do. So, to take advantage of all that Mother Nature gave you, your shampoo will have to be gentle, so as not to dry out your fine, and fragile hair, and it should also be moisturizing while using a lightweight formula.
Whatever you use as a shampoo for your curly fineness, make sure you follow up with a conditioner that’s not too heavy either, and that you rinse off with cold water to lock all that moisture in (a very important step that is often forgotten). To dry, scrunch your hair dry using a microfiber towel or a T-shirt to avoid disrupting your curl pattern and giving you the best natural look!
As for the best shampoo to use on your fine curls, try:
“What’s a low-poo?” You may be asking. Well, we’re ready for that question because, hey, we just wrote it!
Low-poos are perfect for the curly amongst us, as they don’t use any harsh emulsifiers that cleanse too deeply and have a tendency to dry you out. Curly hair is naturally more dry and fragile than its straight hair cousin, so using a low-poo formula, which is gentle and moisturizing is a great way to protect your locks.
Deva Curl’s Delight range is specifically designed for hair that’s easily weighed down by hydrating products and uses a lightweight formula that will cleanse, and moisturize without dragging your fine curls out – truly a win-win for the curly and fine-haired among us. It’s made with rice protein for full-bodied results, and lotus flower, combined with chia-flaxseed for extra bounce, and defined texture, respectively. And though that sounds like a recipe for a delicious smoothie, it’s actually a recipe for a fantastic shampoo that you’ll want to try.
Does your curly hair qualify as 4B? Find out in our 4b Hair Care Guide.
For Fine, Oily Hair
Just because your hair is baby fine, doesn’t mean you want it to feel like it’s slick with baby oil. If your hair is both fine and oily, boy, do we feel your pain. Fine hair can make struggles with volume an everyday torment – but add enough sebum to cause an oil slick into the mix and you’re stuck with dull, wet-looking, flat hair that looks more like something you’d find under a tire than you would atop a head. Yuck!
To find the right shampoo for this nightmare combination, you’ll want a formula that provides volume without creating build-up and cuts through grease without drying you out. Does such a miracle product exist? It sure does!
This awesome volume-enhancing shampoo from Neutrogena will work wonders on your oily, fine hair as no other product will. This shampoo works to remove your sebum build up like a professional and will rinse clean when your cleansing is all said and done. In order to make the most of the fine hair you have, it doesn’t have any ingredients that will weigh it down, yet it also promises to not dry you out. If the good folks at Neutrogena have proven anything with this product, it’s that you can truly have your cake and eat it too!
Before we move on to our next featured shampoo for fine hair, we’ve got a cleansing tip for you. Although this is by no means the most common best practice tip, why not try shampooing after you condition? We get it, that sounds positively topsy-turvy – and it is! But, the point of trying it is to provide the moisture your fine hair needs without weighing it down. If you condition first, then follow it up with a shampoo, you’re bound to rid your scalp and roots of any unnecessary creaminess and, hey, you just may have found your next big beauty secret!
Looking for a shampoo that will focus only on draining the oil? We’ve got another list just like this one that goes over all of the best shampoos for oily hair.
For Fine, Short Hair
If you’re sporting hair that is both fine and short, you’ll want to pump up the volume so that your scalp doesn’t make an obvious appearance thanks to your abbreviated locks. You can do this by using a volumizing shampoo, and avoiding heavy conditioners (or any conditioner at all) which may weigh down the small amount of hair you’re working with.
When it comes to styling your short and fine hair, avoid using large amounts of product, heavy waxes, or easily-built up gels. Instead, try natural flaxseed or aloe gels, and apply them in tiny amounts to wet freshly showered hair. Otherwise, if using a creme, or wax, use very sparingly on the tips of your hair, and apply when dry with only your fingertips. As for the perfect volumizing shampoo for your fine, short hair:
This hair-thickening shampoo is salon professional recommended and promises to not only add volume to your thin hair, but also thicken every individual strand on your noggin. This biotin-infused formula contains natural active ingredients which absorb into the shaft of your hairs, thickening them after every wash. The minerals and nutrients in this shampoo will also encourage extra hair growth, helping to provide more volume and prevent further hair loss with active ingredients such as aloe and rosemary. Paraben, alcohol, and sulfate-free, this shampoo is as effective as it is natural and gentle – so you don’t have to worry about straw-like, dry results or any nasty ingredients in your shampoo.
We have more good news! This shampoo should help you more and more over time the more you use it, leaving you with more hair, thicker hair, and less viewing access to your scalp – which is very important for those with both fine and short hair.
For Fine, Thick Hair
Was that a typo? Did we just say the totally oxymoronic combo of fine, yet thick hair? Yes, that’s exactly what we said and it wasn’t a mistake.
Hair amateurs, or hamatuers, often get thickness mixed up with the thickness of individual strands. But in the world of hair, thickness can also refer to volume, and it’s not unusual for people with baby fine hair to also have a lot of it – a combo which comes with its own set of unique problems. When you’re dealing with a high volume of fine hair, you’ll often suffer from frizz, untameable flyaways, and tangles – just to name a few issues. Fine hair is very fragile, and as such, can be difficult to detangle, or tame, due to unwanted breakage.
When searching for the perfect shampoo for your fine, voluminous hair, you’ll need to find a shampoo that is both conditioning (to tame your flyaways, tangles, and frizz) and far gentler than normal, purifying shampoos. For this reason, we actually recommend using a co-wash.
First of all, you’re probably wondering what a co-wash even is. No, co-washing doesn’t have anything to do with sharing a shower routine, co-washing refers to skipping harsh shampoos completely, and cleansing your hair with something which more closely resembles a conditioner. There are plenty of conditioning cleansers on the market that are specifically formulated for use as a co-washing product; and they are generously conditioning, without compromising completely on the cleansing aspect – so as to rid you of unnecessary product (or sebum) buildup.
We’ve raved about SheaMoisture in other product recommendation posts, and we’re happy to include them in this list. This co-wash conditioning cleanser is perfect for those with thick hair (and especially those with thick, textured hair) as its active ingredients, coconut and hibiscus, will hydrate, and clarify, respectively. Neem oil and silk protein are added ingredients that will further tame and refresh your fine, yet voluminous hair.
We do have to add a warning though about co-washes in general: if you are already weighed down with sebum, or easily weighed down in general, a co-wash may not be the best choice for you. Wondering whether it might be right for you? Why not give it a try and see if it helps to detangle and de-stress your fine, thick mane? Chances are you might find some great results!
From Fine Hair to Fabulous Hair
Well, there you have it. Our list of awesome shampoos to help out with your fine hair. We’re guessing (and hoping) that if you were seeking information about the best shampoo for you, that you’ve found it here.
And hey, we know that fine hair can be a total bummer on bad hair days, and at times it can feel impossible to find the right routine which will tame, and hydrate, whilst not weighing down your baby fine locks. Fine hair is more prone to breakage and fragility in general, making it a less than ideal contender for styling, coloring, and heaps of product. If you’re tying back or blowing out your fine hair to try to hide or change it, know that over time such styling can do more damage than good. But don’t worry: we’ve got you covered here too. Check out our great article on styling tips for fine hair to find strategies and ways to make your fine hair look its best.
But let’s end on a positive note instead of a negative. Despite its limitations and challenges, fine hair can be fresh and beautiful if given a bit of TLC, and if taken care of properly with the proper cleansing routine, you can bring out its natural sheen, and softness.
Your first step to healthy hair is finding an appropriate shampoo for your unique hair profile, and any of the choices present on this list may do the trick for you. We hope our recommendations have helped you figure which shampoo is best for your fine hair, and that you sport your fine ‘do as fine as ever moving forward!