What is Volumizing Shampoo?

Kerrie Main

Many people suffer from thinning hair and hair loss because of a number of reasons, such as poor nutrition, genetics and stress. Some people desire thick, luscious locks but want to obtain them naturally rather than with hair extensions or wigs. Many people change their hairstyles and add layers to create the illusion of fuller hair, and others opt for volumizing shampoo to attain this sought-after look. There are many brands and products that claim to help with the problem of thin, lifeless heads of hair by lifting up fine hair and filling it out. The majority of these products feature protein as a staple ingredient.

Wheat protein is a common ingredient found in volumizing shampoo.
Wheat protein is a common ingredient found in volumizing shampoo.

Human hair is made of keratin, a strong fibrous scleroprotein found in the outer layers of hair, skin, nails, hooves and teeth. Naturally occurring thin hair, or fine hair, typically has less amino acids than thick hair naturally does. When a person regularly uses hair products, the amino acids usually are stripped from the hair, leaving it lifeless, flat and dull. Volumizing shampoo works to add humectants, which are non-oily substances that attract and pull in moisture from the surrounding environment. These humectants help to swell a person’s hair shafts to create the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.

Each of the major ingredients used in volumizing shampoo work to treat different parts of the hair.
Each of the major ingredients used in volumizing shampoo work to treat different parts of the hair.

The major ingredients found in volumizing shampoo include panthenol, wheat protein, rice protein, silk protein and witch hazel. Each ingredient works to treat different components of thin hair. Panthenol has humectant properties, is usually made from plant extracts and is a non-irritating form of pro-vitamin B5. It also is used to treat skin disorders because it has incredible absorption properties. In a volumizing shampoo, it works to increase the intake of moisture around the hair shafts and plump up the hair roots.

A volumizing shampoo may help prevent curly hair from becoming lank and lifeless.
A volumizing shampoo may help prevent curly hair from becoming lank and lifeless.

Wheat protein is another common ingredient found in volumizing shampoo, and it works to repair damaged hair with its natural properties of moisture retention and film forming. This assists hair in several areas, including overall body; elasticity, which results in less hair breakage; smoothness; and shine. Rice protein helps strengthen and expand the hair shaft diameter to achieve a thicker appearance. It also can give the hair more volume, lift and bounce.

Silk protein is found in more expensive lines of volumizing shampoo, and it works to restore and rebalance the hair’s natural pH levels. This typically prevents brittleness and adds moisture to hair without adding weight to the surface, which can make hair look thicker. Witch hazel extract is also used to add moisture to hair, provide hair resiliency and prevent hair loss.

Silk protein is found in more expensive lines of volumizing shampoo.
Silk protein is found in more expensive lines of volumizing shampoo.

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Discussion Comments


@turkay1-- Just curious, do you have dry or oily hair?

Volumizing shampoo works better on oily hair in my opinion because most formulas dry out hair somewhat in order to give it volume. Oily hair tends to droop down and straighten, so a volumizing shampoo will counter that nicely. If you already have dry hair, you might not get as much benefit from a volumizing shampoo which will just dry out your hair further.

But wheat protein is the best ingredient a volumizing shampoo can have. Pro-Vitamin B5 is also really good. It volumizes hair without damaging it.


@turquoise-- I haven't tried too many volume creating shampoos but the last one I tried had wheat protein and keratin amino acids in it. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as I though it would. When I used a small amount to wash my hair, I did notice a little bit of volume after blow drying. But considering the price and the claims made by the product, the results should have been a lot better.

I think when it comes to volumizing shampoos, you might have to try several different ones until you find one that works well for you. I'm not sure how much you're willing to spend. But if you are planning to get salon brands, you can probably get sample sizes to try first before paying for the full sized product.

And I hope your thyroid goes back to normal so that you can have healthy hair again!


@Perdido-- What other ingredients does that volumizing shampoo contain?

I want to try volumizing shampoo but there are so many different types that I'm completely confused which one is best. Am I supposed to be looking for a shampoo that has multiple volumizing ingredients that the article mentioned?

My hair used to be thick and healthy before. So I never needed volumizing shampoo or conditioner then. Ever since I was diagnosed with hypothyroid, I've been losing hair and my hair has thinned so much. I just feel so bad about it, especially because I'm used to thick, beautiful hair.

If volumizing shampoo can help my hair look fuller and healthier, it will do a lot for my self confidence.


Volumizing shampoo has always made my hair a little frizzy. I didn't even know that it had humectants in it, because my hair always seemed dry after using one.

My friend told me a few years ago that she had found the best volumizing shampoo ever, and even though I was skeptical, she convinced me to try it. It contained silk protein, and it made my hair so shiny and smooth without weighing it down.

I've been using it ever since. It costs more than regular volumizing shampoos, but the results are worth the price.


@giddion – I know what you mean. I stopped using combination shampoo and conditioners years ago because of this.

My hair gets oily rather quickly, so I have started using a volumizing dry shampoo in between washings. If I need to go out and I don't have time to wash my hair, I just spray this product on my roots and brush through it.

It soaks up the oil, and at the same time, it adds volume to my roots. This is where I need it most.


My mother uses volumizing shampoo and conditioner in one. It seems to me that having the conditioner combined with the cleanser makes the product ineffective.

Conditioner naturally adds moisture to the hair, and I usually avoid putting any on my roots. However, if a product is a combination, you can't avoid it, because you have to wash the oil out of your roots with the shampoo, but the conditioner gets on them, making them appear oily faster.


I used some hair volumizing shampoo when I was a teenager. My hair was very straight, and I thought that the shampoo might pump up my strands a little.

My hair did feel thicker after I used it. The result wasn't as dramatic as I would have liked it to be, but it was definitely better than my regular shampoo.

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