Do hair thickening products work?

Omgaya3 asks…I have seen a leading shampoo brand claiming that it can make hair 2 times thicker. Is it actually possible to make hair that very thick? I cannot imagine making each strand of one’s hair grow twice in thickness! Can you kindly enlighten as to how such claims have been made?

The Left Brain responds:

They don’t actually make the strands two times thicker. Not having seen the specific claim (the wording matters) it’s difficult to say how they are justifying it. But here is a strategy companies generally use.

1. Consumer perception – They ask consumers how much thicker they think their hair is after using the product.

2. Photo measurements – They take a before picture and an after picture and measure how much more volumized the person’s hair style is. Not a measure of thickness of individual hairs but one of volume of the entire style. (Again, you have to look at the exact wording on the claim.)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

There are other tricks you can do (for example, as Dreniva pointed out in the Forum, you can swell hair using high pH but this is very damaging. You can also coat the hair with a styling polymer to make it thicker. Or you can make it look thicker with a powder like Toppik Hair Building Fibers.) But the bottom line is that there are no hair products that will actually make a hair strand two times thicker without harming it.

What do YOU think? Have you used any hair thickening products that you’ve liked? Leave a comment for the rest of the Beauty Brains community.