Mane Root Activator Review: Best Thickening Shampoo?

Mane Root Activator Review: Best Thickening Shampoo?

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Root Activator Shampoo is a shampoo used to thicken hair, sold by a company called Mane. The brand claims that their shampoo “was designed by hair loss experts to activate your roots with every shower.”

But does Root Activator Shampoo contain research-backed ingredients for hair growth, or is this just a marketing claim? Does the shampoo contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe its effects? And why is it potentially unsafe to purchase this shampoo from Amazon?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Mane Root Activator Shampoo based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s likely to be effective for stimulating hair growth.

We’ll feature unsponsored user reviews of the product, and explain why we think it’s risky to purchase this product on Amazon or Walmart.

Ingredient Analysis

Mane Root Activator Shampoo ingredients

The ingredients in Mane Root Activator Shampoo are shown above.

The good news is that this shampoo contains a number of research-backed active ingredients for supporting hair growth and enhancing hair quality.

Licorice extract was shown to reduce scalp irritation and dandruff in a 2018 clinical trial.

Polygonum cuspidatum root extract was studied for its ability to promote hair growth in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The study authors concluded the following:

“These results suggest that Polygonum multiflorum extract promotes hair growth by inducing anagen phase in resting hair follicles.”

Ginger is a strange choice for a hair loss shampoo in our opinion, given that one of its chemical compounds “was found to significantly inhibit hair growth” in a 2013 meta-study.

Scutellaria baicalensis is clinically shown to support hair growth, at least in animal studies.

Artemisia argyi is an herb that was shown to promote hair growth in a medical review published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies journal.

There is only one ingredient in this formulation that we consider questionable from a health perspective.

Methylparaben is a synthetic preservative that may have hormone-disrupting effects, as we documented in our does Nioxin work article, on another shampoo brand that uses this ingredient.

Overall, we consider Mane Root Activator likely to promote hair growth given the multiple active ingredients shown to have that effect in clinical research. From an efficacy perspective, this is one of the more impressive hair loss shampoo formulations that we’ve reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.

We don’t currently recommend this product due to the use of methylparaben.

How a Doctor Naturally Regrew His Hair

A doctor and YouTube creator named “Doctor Youn” has a video with over 450,000 views where he documents how he regrew his hair:

Why to Avoid Mane on Amazon

For consumers interested in purchasing Mane Root Activating Shampoo, we recommend doing so only on the brand's website, which can be accessed here.

There are a number of shampoo products on third-party retailers like Amazon and Walmart that are branded very similarly to Mane, but are not the official product, as shown in the screenshot below:

Mane Root Activator Amazon knockoffs

As you can see in the screenshot above, some of the knock-off brands even use the "MANE" trade name.

The same issue is occurring on Walmart at the time of publishing this article.

We recommend that consumers exercise extreme caution when purchasing from brands appearing to impersonate other brands. Doing so is a sign of a low-quality company, and may increase the risk of receiving a counterfeit or harmful product in our opinion.

Real People Try Mane

A TikTok creator named Nonnag Cram shares his experience after a month of using Mane's shampoo bar:

@lil_ginger_snaps #mane #maneshampoo #maneshampoobar #reversegreyhair #greyreverse #fyp #foryourpage #foryoupage ♬ original sound - Nonnag Cram

A TikTok creator named "4kings4men" has a video with a before-and-after image claiming that Mane's activator shampoo caused hair growth:

@4kings4men The Mane Activator has 22 plants, herbs, and essential oils designed to block DHT, extend the Anagen Phase (growth phase) Tighten the pores on your scalp preventing hair loss, encourages growth and stimulate circulation. It’s light weight and can be used on all hair types 😊#CapCut #Fyp #MensGrooming #thinninghair #hairgrowth #hairloss #ayurveda ♬ original sound - Caché

Our Clean Hair Growth Picks

Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.

This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.

The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.

Interested consumers can check out Happy Head Topical Finasteride & Minoxidil at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

Nutrafol Hair Serum is our top over-the-counter (OTC) hair growth and hair quality promoter.

This product contains Lactobacillus probiotics which were shown to promote hair growth in a medical review published in the Molecules journal.

Niacinamide is included, and a 2021 clinical trial concluded that "Our data demonstrate that niacinamide could enhance hair growth."

Interested consumers can check out Nutrafol Hair Serum at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

Pros and Cons of Mane

Here are the pros and cons of Mane Root Activator in our opinion:


  • Many research-backed hair growth botanicals
  • Should support hair growth
  • Many have anti-dandruff effect
  • Fragrance-free
  • Aesthetic packaging/branding


  • Contains a paraben
  • Expensive
  • Not available on Amazon
  • Challenging to find unsponsored customer reviews
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Mane Root Activator is an impressive hair loss shampoo formulation, and contains several botanical compounds that we hadn't previously come across in a shampoo analysis, but are shown in at least one clinical trial to promote hair growth.

From an effectiveness perspective, we consider this to be a high-quality hair loss shampoo formulation.

We don't currently recommend Mane's shampoo because it contains a paraben, and some clinical studies suggest that parabens can have hormone-disrupting effects.

This is one of the more expensive shampoos on the market, at $49.99 per bottle.

For consumers interested in purchasing Mane's shampoo, we strongly suggest purchasing directly from the manufacturer and not on Amazon or Walmart, where brands seem to be selling different, unauthorized products under the "Mane" trade name.

It's a good thing from a health perspective that this shampoo is fragrance-free, and if the brand replaced methylparaben with a different preservative, we'd consider recommending this product.