If lush, thriving hair is your priority, a good shampoo needs to be at the top of your list: Healthy hair starts in the shower, and a good cleanser is the foundation of every routine. And for growth in particular it has an even more important function. A clean, refreshed scalp is vital to keep the hair follicle in good condition—and by allowing buildup to accumulate, you risk the the chance of increased shedding. On the flip side, however, you want to make sure the hair fiber isn’t stripped in the process: Dry, brittle hair leads to breakage—putting a halt to any lengthening or fullness goals.
It’s a tall order, finding a shampoo that meets those requirements. Additionally, everyone has their own unique hair types and quirks—like if you highlight your hair, you’ll want something that can tend to the color as well.
But you’ve come to the right place: Here, our favorite shampoos for hair growth, broken down by individualized categories.
Hair growth is influenced by many factors, from your genes, stress, environment, nutrition, scalp health, and the products you use. It’s always best to approach any beauty goal from a holistic perspective—so we encourage you to think about all of these variables when crafting your hair care routine. There’s no one, single magic elixir that will do it all for you.
However, as part of that well-rounded routine, a shampoo that encourages hair growth is a wonderful addition. Shampoos play a very important role in hair growth as they are your primary scalp products, and having a clean scalp is high on the list of priorities.
When you neglect washing the scalp, it can lead to oxidative stress. “This oxidative stress will affect the quality of your hair growth. It happens when you have product, dirt, and oil building up around your follicle opening—which is where your hair grows out of—and that buildup starts to slowly suffocate your hair root,” says trained trichologist and hairstylist Shab Reslan.
So at the very least shampoos can encourage a healthy environment for hair by making sure the follicles are free of debris. Many shampoos go a step further by adding in ingredients that strengthen or hydrate the hair fiber, which won’t actively stimulate growth but will care for the strands you do have (and then limit breakage down the line). You can look for things like humectants, proteins, lipids (like from plant oils), castor oil, and antioxidants.
Finally, shampoos can also infuse ingredients to stimulate growth itself: There’s growing research that some plant-based actives (like peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and peptides) may improve growth rate and thickness.
In short: Shampoos can play a role in hair growth, among many other things. So if growth is your primary goal, absolutely look into one of these options below—but you should also address other factors like nutrition, stress, sleep, etcetera.
At mbg, high standards are earned—and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It’s a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it’s important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).
Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don’t simply rave about products we’ve slathered on the back of our hand. We endorse products we’ve tried and loved.
Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here.