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Best Hair Dye for Thinning Hair

by Madison Reed March 12, 2024

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Best Hair Dye for Thinning Hair

What is the best hair dye for thinning hair? The ideal choice for thinning hair is always one made with ingredients you can feel good about. At Madison Reed, our products are free of harsh ingredients such as ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide. Instead, they're enriched with nourishing ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract. We’ll chat a bit more about these ingredients and show you some great colors that mask thinning hair perfectly. Intrigued? Great, then read on!

What Are the Best Hair Dye Ingredients for Thinning Hair?

While the following ingredients may not directly address thinning hair or scalp concerns, their presence helps nourish the hair. 

  • Keratin is a naturally occurring protein that composes the structure of hair. We add additional keratin to strengthen and fortify hair. Keratin infuses hair with additional protein to restore elasticity and help prevent breakage.

  • Argan oil is a multitasking ingredient that nourishes hair from root to tip. It contains vitamin E which can help repair damaged ends and protect hair from future breakage. It restores shine and adds natural smoothness, while hydrating and softening to leave hair feeling silky and healthy.

  • Ginseng root extract is a unique fortifying ingredient, and is able to penetrate into the hair to improve individual strand strength, soften hair, and alleviate split ends.


Alternatively, the following ingredients should be avoided:

  • Ammonia: Ammonia is an ingredient commonly used in hair color. It has a strong odor, and exposure to ammonia fumes can irritate skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, causing watery eyes, itchy scalps, coughing, or burning.

  • PPD: Short for para-phenylenediamine, PPD is a hair dye traditionally used to create darker shades of hair color. It is known to be an allergen and skin sensitizer. Contact with the skin can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.

  • Resorcinol: Although it’s used in most permanent hair colors due to its efficacy in coloring hair, we never use resorcinol in our formulas as it is classified as a hazardous chemical and can be toxic to the immune system. In fact, resorcinol has been formally classified as an irritant by the European Union (EU), and has been prohibited in cosmetic products in several countries. Resorcinol is a skin sensitizer and can be one of the ingredients that users are allergic to in hair dye.

  • Parabens: Widely used in beauty products as a cosmetic preservative to promote longer shelf life, there is concern that parabens may interfere with the endocrine system.

  • Phthalates: Phthalates are often used as solvents and plasticizers in shampoo and styling products, and many are banned in the EU. Some studies have found that phthalates might have some effects on reproductive hormones.

  • Gluten: Gluten is sometimes found in wheat proteins and used to preserve the structure of the hair. However, for those who are sensitive to gluten, we decided to err on the side of caution, and have removed it from all of our formulas.

  • SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: SLS is a surfactant, meaning it lowers the surface tension between ingredients and creates the lather often associated with shampoo and other hair products. However, SLS is also known to strip the protein from hair, depleting the hair and scalp of beneficial protective oils. Products containing harsh surfactants like SLS are also known to contribute to color fade. In severe instances, SLS can also irritate the scalp, causing redness, dryness, and itching. Read more about SLS.

  • Titanium Dioxide: Some evidence shows that in high concentrations, pigment-grade (powdered) and ultra-fine titanium dioxide dust may be linked to cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity, and organ system toxicity, among other problems.

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Best Hair Dyes for Thinning Hair

Ingredients are one thing, but what about hair color? You won’t free yourself of thinning hair in a day or two, but you can still look beautiful if you choose the right color for your hair. So, what are the best options for thinning hair?

  • Shades close to your current color: Going extremely light or noticeably darker from your natural color might help you achieve a more revolutionary look, but it can also lead to a more prominent-looking regrowth line and therefore enhance the look of thinning hair, which you don’t want. So, when looking for the best hair dyes for thinning hair, be sure to check out our hair color chart and choose a shade that is between two levels below and two levels above your current color.

  • Highlights: Adding highlights gives the hair dimension and adds a look of volume to your hair. You can opt for subtle balayage highlights which are focused mainly on the ends, or you can go with highlights closer to the root in foil, which will give you more of a voluminous look towards the root area. Just remember not to overdo it with the highlights. Too much processing and lightening can lead to breakage, especially if the hair is already in a fragile state.

Fill in a thinning scalp or hairline with a colored hair powder: The Great Cover Up™ is a multitasking marvel. Not only can you use it to touch up your gray roots as they start to come in, you can also use it to fill in any thinning areas at the scalp and hairline. You can even use it to fill in your brows. It is temporary, so it will wash off the next time you shampoo, but it is sweat- and pillow- proof which means you don't need to be too nervous about it rubbing off between shampoos.
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Remember Your Hair Care

Even the best dye for thinning hair won’t help if you don’t use other measures to improve the condition of your hair. Shampoos, conditioners, and even hair masksl can do wonders when it comes to making your hair feel healthier and look fuller, while minimizing breakage.


When selecting the products for your hair care routine, remember to go for ones that are made with ingredients you can feel good about. Madison Reed makes hair color and care products that are free of harsh ingredients including ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide and full of nourishing ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract.

The Takeaway

So, what are the best hair dyes for thinning hair? Look for products that are made with ingredients you can feel good about. Madison Reed hair color and care products are full of nourishing ingredients such as ginseng root extract, keratin, and argan oil and free of ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide. Also, remember not to change your hair color drastically – stick to colors that are two levels above/below your current shade and avoid over-processing your hair with bleach or lighteners.


Did you like this post? Then check out: Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: What's the Difference?