A shampoo for thinning hair may claim to either:
- add fullness and body to your hair, or
- perform a deep cleansing action to halt hair loss
Shampoos That Add Body
In considering the first category, caution is needed to avoid choosing a shampoo for thinning hair that may end up doing more damage than good. How can you identify these shampoos? An understanding of the pH factor will help.
The pH Factor
The abbreviation pH stands for “potential hydrogen” and refers to the level of acidity or alkalinity. An imbalance in pH in the human body can have profound effects on the health of an individual.
pH number guide:
- Acidic: 1.0 to 6.9
- Neutral: 7.0
- Alkaline: 7.1 to 14.0
When it comes to hair, a shampoo that is too alkaline can have damaging effects. Here are some pH levels which help us understand:
- Water: 7
- Skin: 5 to 6.5
- Hair: 4.5 to 5.5
Conclusion: Choose a shampoo with a pH factor close to the pH level of hair. Avoid shampoos where the pH factor is outside the 4.5 to 5.5 range.
Why could an alkaline based shampoo damage hair?
From the information above we can see that a good shampoo is slightly acidic with a pH between 4.5 to 5.5 which is mild to the skin and hair.
An alkaline based shampoo can dry out the hair and cause it to become stiff and brittle. The manufacturer utilizes this effect by claiming the shampoo adds volume and body to thinning hair. This is actually a misconception.
A shampoo with the proper pH balance smooths the surface of the hair and makes it lie down. An alkaline based shampoo can rough up the surface of the hair making it appear stiffer. Some alkaline based shampoos can even remove some color from the hair.
Shampoos That Perform Deep Cleansing
A shampoo for thinning hair may claim to perform a deep cleansing action that can help reduce and stop hair loss. How believable are such claims?
It must be stated that no solution yet discovered can halt hair loss with 100% effectiveness. Some treatments have a measure of success but they do not work for everyone. Each individual can respond differently to medications and herbal preparations.
That said, there are some shampoos for thinning hair that contain ingredients that not only cleanse the hair of dirt and grime but also neutralize the effects of DHT. DHT is a main contributor to hair loss in men and women.
Here is how scientists explain it: DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone, is a product of direct contact between the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, found in the skin and the scalp, with the hormone testosterone.
DHT interferes with the normal functioning of the hair follicle causing a false signal to be sent to the cells responsible for hair growth. To put it another way, DHT can cause the hair follicle to shut down.
So if a shampoo is advertised as a hair shampoo for thinning hair, it should contain ingredients and enzymes that neutralize the effect of DHT.
If you are tempted to purchase such a shampoo be sure the company that manufactures it provides a money back guarantee so you can try it without financial risk. (See resource box below) The results cannot be guaranteed as what works for one may not work for another but at least the company can guarantee your money back if you are not satisfied with the way the product works for you.
In conclusion it must be stated that a shampoo for thinning hair can only do so much. Hair loss may be an indicator of a deeper health problem. Or thinning hair may be simply a result of the aging process.
A high percentage of men and women over 50 years of age experience some kind of hair loss or hair thinning.
Living a healthy lifestyle, paying attention to what we eat, and making sure we get enough exercise can not only contribute to good general health but also keep our scalp in good condition as the blood supply provides hair follicles with what they need for healthy hair growth.
Choosing the right shampoo for thinning hair that is properly pH balanced can support the more significant effects a healthy lifestyle can have on hair growth.