Reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Whether you’re starting to notice more hair in your sink or less hair on your head, hair loss is a worrying proposition for most men.
A full head of hair is something many of us take for granted throughout our youth, only to watch it slide (quite literally) down the drain as we age.
But your hair doesn’t have to be a lost cause. These days, there are numerous products on the market today that help you retain and thicken your coif, even if you’re genetically prone to male pattern baldness.
Some of these products are available over the counter, while others require a quick consultation with your primary care provider or a dermatologist.
Below, we’ve discussed what hair thickening products are, as well as how they work to improve your hair volume and promote stronger, more consistent hair growth.
We’ve also explained what you can do if you’re starting to notice the early signs of hair loss and want to take action to maintain your hair density as you age.
Before we get into specific products for strengthening your hair strands and providing you with fuller hair, let’s briefly go over what hair thickening products actually are.
Hair thickening products are exactly what they sound like -- hair products that stimulate growth and thicken your head of hair.
A large and diverse variety of different hair thickening products are available these days, from FDA-approved medications that stimulate growth and protect your hair from hormonal damage to hair thickening shampoos, conditioners and supplements.
Some of these products are only used to treat androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, while others are all-purpose hair growth agents that improve growth and strengthen your hair to reduce hair breakage.
One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to hair growth products is that the scientific evidence can vary hugely from one product to another.
Some, such as FDA-approved hair loss medications, are backed up by large amounts of reliable scientific evidence showing that they improve hair growth. Others look promising, but don’t quite have quite the same amount of research to support their use just yet.
We’ve made a note of highlighting scientific research wherever possible in our list of hair growth and thickening products below.
So, let’s get down to business. Which products are worth using to thicken your hair, and which aren’t quite worth the price tag?
Currently, the most reliable hair growth products are the medications minoxidil and finasteride, both of which are approved by the FDA for treating male-pattern hair loss. These medications should form the basis of your growth-promoting toolkit if you’re starting to develop hair loss.
Other hair thickening products that can also provide value include shampoos, conditioners and thickening sprays, which can help to promote optimal hair thickness and, in some cases, add to your perceived hair thickness.
Minoxidil is a topical hair loss medication. It works by moving your hairs into the anagen phase, or growth phase, of the hair growth cycle. It also stimulates blood flow to your scalp, ensuring your hair follicles have access to the nutrients required for optimal hair health.
Along with finasteride -- a second hair growth medication we’ve discussed below -- minoxidil is one of the most effective products available for promoting thicker hair.
Minoxidil is available as a liquid solution and as a foam. It’s applied directly to the areas of your scalp affected by hair loss, usually twice a day. Most people who use minoxidil notice its effects after two to four months of consistent use.
As an FDA-approved medication, minoxidil is backed up by a large amount of research showing not just that it’s safe, but also that it’s effective at making your head of hair thicker.
For example, one 2004 study of minoxidil published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that more than 84 percent of men affected by hair loss rated it as either very effective, effective or moderately effective at stimulating hair regrowth.
Minoxidil can cause side effects, but these are typically mild and rarely cause men to stop using it as a hair loss treatment.
Finasteride is an oral medication for hair loss. Unlike minoxidil, which works by stimulating hair growth at the scalp level, finasteride works by stopping your body from converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes male pattern baldness.
If you’re genetically predisposed to baldness, DHT can cause your hair follicles to slowly shrink in diameter (a process referred to as hair miniaturization), affecting your ability to properly grow thick and healthy hair.
Our guide to DHT and male hair loss explains the relationship between DHT and damaged hair in more detail.
Enter finasteride. By stopping your body from producing DHT, finasteride shields your hair from its effects, preventing male pattern baldness from getting worse. It can also stimulate regrowth, giving you some extra hair thickness while protecting you from further baldness.
Like minoxidil, finasteride is backed up by a lot of scientific research showing that it works, and works well.
For example, one study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy found that more than 80 percent of balding men treated with finasteride showed improvements after one year.
The same study also found that finasteride works even better when it’s used with minoxidil, with 94.1 percent of men who used both medications showing improvements during the same period of time.
Finasteride can cause side effects, including issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED). However, these only occur in a small percentage of men who use this medication, with the vast majority of men reporting positive results and few issues from finasteride.
We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
“I tried several different options before but Hims combined approach of all four methods by far created the best results.”
“Hims has been the greatest confidence boost, no more bald jokes! I look and feel so much younger!”
“When I show my barber my progress, he is always in disbelief. I have to recommend Hims to any guy who’s experiencing thinning.”
“Cost effective and affordable. My hair keeps growing thicker, fuller, and at a fast rate.”
“I noticed a huge change in the overall health and fullness of my hairline.”
“Now after 5 months I’m able to style waves first time in 10 years!”
“I decided to jump right in and I'm so glad I did. I definitely feel ten years younger!”
“In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.”
“4-months strong and my confidence boosted back up to 100% using Hims, future me really does thank me.”
“I’m a 34-year-old father of two and have been using Hims for over a year now. My hair is back to what it was in my mid-twenties.”
Growing a thicker head of hair isn’t just about using medication to stop hair loss -- it’s also about supporting your hair type and promoting scalp health with the right type of shampoo, conditioner and other hair care products.
Many shampoos contain ingredients that target DHT at the scalp level, helping to slow down or prevent hair loss. For example, our Hair Thickening Shampoo contains saw palmetto to reduce DHT-related damage, all while preventing dry hair and providing weightless volume.
Similarly, our Thick Fix Conditioner is formulated with niacinamide to promote healthy hair and add much-needed moisture to worn, flat hair.
Shampoo ingredients can vary greatly in effectiveness when it comes to promoting healthy hair and stimulating growth. As such, it’s always best to check ingredients carefully, especially if you have artificially colored or chemically-treated hair.
Our guide to what to look for in a men’s hair loss shampoo highlights active ingredients that are worth your attention, from saw palmetto to ketoconazole, salicylic acid and more.
If you’ve ever searched for natural hair thickening products, you’ve likely seen various hair oils recommended as options for stimulating growth, providing UV protection and helping your hair stay dense, thick and healthy.
Popular oils used in hair care products include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, argan oil, jojoba seed oil, castor oil, pumpkin seed oil and others. Lots of these ingredients are promoted for their fatty acid content, which may help to protect hair and prevent issues such as dry scalp.
While hair oils can seem promising, scientific evidence on their effectiveness is limited right now, with most studies small in size.
However, some hair care products that contain oils and other natural ingredients may be helpful as part of your general hair care routine, especially if they’re used alongside science-based hair thickening products such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Our list of natural oils for hair growth covers the latest scientific research on using natural oils to improve your hair health and explains which ingredients are worth looking for.
Dry shampoo is a multi-purpose hair care product that you can use to wash away excess scalp oil, add volume to your hair, freshen up after a day without a shower or enhance the texture of your hair. It’s applied directly to dry or damp hair, without any need for lots of moisture.
While dry shampoo doesn’t physically make your hair thicker, it can give your hair a thicker look by improving its texture, shine and scalp coverage.
This makes it a great tool for enhancing the appearance of second-day hair after a late night or while you’re on vacation.
Similarly, hair thickening sprays can create the appearance of thicker hair by coating your hairs and providing additional volume.
For the best possible results, try using these products on an as-needed basis while you promote stronger, better hair growth using minoxidil and finasteride.
Generic for Rogaine®, this FDA-approved over-the-counter version of topical minoxidil is used for regrowth on the crown of the head.
This is the FDA-approved dynamic duo. When used together, men saw better results in clinical trials compared to using either alone.
If you’re looking for something effective but don’t want too many steps in your routine, this once-a-day pill could be right for you.
Clinically proven to regrow hair in 3-6 months, no pills required.
When it comes to stimulating growth, preventing hair loss and maximizing your hair’s potential, the best hair thickening products on the market are minoxidil and finasteride. Both are easy to use and, most importantly, highly effective at promoting thicker, healthier hair growth.
Other products, such as a good quality hair loss prevention shampoo and conditioner, can also enhance your hair’s appearance and keep it in an optimal state for sustained growth.
Used effectively, these products can keep your hair healthy and looking its best, all while limiting damage from DHT.
Not sure where or how to get started? Take part in an online hair loss consultation or learn more about your options for promoting hair growth and thickness using our detailed guide to the most effective treatments for thinning hair.