Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Although having the same general effect, thickening and volume shampoos have different components. Thickening shampoos help give thickness to hair strands, while volume or volumizing shampoos make hair more bouncy and give it more body. A person who wants to use either of the two should understand the differences so she can make the right choice related to her desired effect.

Main Effect

Thickening shampoos, which contain various nutrients and minerals, mainly thicken each hair strand by infusing it with these nutrients. On the other hand, volumizing shampoos remove all dirt and other unnecessary particles on your hair to make it more bouncy and lighter; thus giving it more body. Using volumizing shampoo also lets you have a more manageable hair, as it can remove the usual tangles and keeps hair strands smooth.


People who want thicker hair strands need to use thickening shampoos, while people who want their hair to be smooth and easier to manage need to use volumizing shampoos. Thickening shampoos can add more body to your hair, but it mainly does this by thickening each strand. Volumizing shampoos do not thicken hair, but it makes your hair lighter, thus giving it more volume and body. People who experience dry and tangled hair should use volumizing shampoos instead of thickening shampoos if they want their hair to be more manageable.

Main Ingredients

A volume shampoo contains several vitamins and ingredients, such as panthenol and Vitamin B5, ingredients that are good for the hair because they prevent brittleness and breakage. This kind of shampoo also makes the hair more manageable and prepares the hair for the use of other volume products such as mousse or serums. On the other hand, special formulations of thickening shampoo can actually alter the hair by opening up the cuticle and changing the hair’s physical properties to make it thicker. Common ingredients include keratin, wheat, panthenol, collagen and protein.

Effects on Balding

Both types of shampoo, although useful in managing thin hair and adding volume and body, cannot necessarily solve the problem of thinning or balding hair. Some products claim that it can help in resolving these hair problems, but most scientists believe that thinning and balding hair, especially in men, are biological and genetic problems. According to Bernsteinmedical.com, a study conducted in Japan in 2009 shows that a particular gene known as “Sox21” plays a role in regulating hair growth in mice, which is also present in humans. The website adds that “The same Sox21 gene causing this cyclical hair loss in mice was also found in human hair shafts, so it is hypothesized that his gene might possibly be related to baldness in humans.” As the study suggests, genetic issues cannot be easily solved even if a person uses both shampoos.

About the Author

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson is an avid and passionate writer with more than five years of experience. He's written for several industries, including health, dating and Internet marketing, as well as for various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.