Diagnosing your thinning hair can be a tricky process, as there are many things that can impact density. Some contributing factors, such as the status of your general health and certain medications, can impact the wellbeing of your hair follicles, forcing them to produce thinner strands, or none at all (this can only be diagnosed with a blood test). What’s more, gaps in your diet can leave follicles lacking in the nutrients they need to produce healthy hair. On the flip side, how you treat the growth that you do have can determine whether you have an abundant head of hair or not, as regular heat styling, dyeing, bleaching – and even excessive brushing – can result in hair breakage. Here’s what you can do to keep your hair thick and healthy…
Start with your scalp
Spending countless hours treating your hair is a waste of time if you are not showing your scalp similar attention. Think of scalp care as an extension of your daily skincare regimen: for it to produce good-quality hair, you want to ensure it’s balanced, clean, hydrated and protected. Using a daily serum, such as Philip Kingsley’s Density Preserving Scalp Drops, will take care of much of this for you by dosing the skin with antioxidants to protect it from UV and pollution, and calming inflammation with soothing ingredients. If your scalp tends to get a little red and angry, keep your scalp serum in the refrigerator so it instantly takes the heat out of skin.
Tweak your lifestyle
Your lifestyle can significantly impact the amount of hair you have and the diameter of your hair’s strands. “Don’t underestimate the impact nutrition has on hair growth,” warns trichologist Anabel Kingsley. “Hair is non-essential tissue; it’s not necessary for life, yet hair cells are the second-fastest-growing cells your body makes. Basically, your hair’s nutrient requirements are high.” This means restricted eating, low-calorie diets and extended periods of fasting can accelerate hair loss. “Even a small deficiency can cause shedding, but it’s difficult to give your hair everything it needs through diet alone, so I recommend bolstering a healthy diet with a food supplement.” Look for a good-quality daily supplement containing amino acids and proteins to promote growth.
According to Kingsley, stress is particularly unkind to hair. “It causes telogen effluvium, which means increased hair shedding. You won’t see the impact of stress on your hair immediately – it will take about three months for it be visible – but you’ll likely see more hair fall than usual.”
Prevent hair breakage
Bleaching, braiding, excessive heat-styling and even tight ponytails can cause your hair to snap along its length, giving the impression of a thinner head of hair. Thankfully, unlike thinning caused by genetics (which can be tricky to diagnose and even more difficult to treat), there is hope for breakage. “It absolutely can be reversed,” says Kingsley.
Second-best to forgoing dyeing and styling (it’s never going to happen for many of us) is a regimen that looks to rebuild broken protein structures in your hair. Leave-in treatments, such as Augustinus Bader The Leave-in Hair Treatment, will reinforce your hair’s defenses and ward off further damage, while styling serums, repairing conditioners and masks will help to plug the gaps in the hair that would otherwise result in breakage. Act + Acre Restorative Hair Mask is great for all hair types, but particularly excellent for bleached hair. It rebuilds with protein and restores lost moisture with castor oil and glycerin. Use it weekly but dial up the frequency before and after seeing your colorist.
If you like to wear your hair up, the single best thing you can do is swap your usual hair tie for a silk one. We love Slip silk hair ties because they hold hair firmly without snagging.
Style it out
If you’re serious about restoring density to thinning hair, you must play the long game and expect results over months, not weeks. In the meantime, fake it. When it comes to creating volume, more important than the products you use is how you use them. Don’t be afraid to spray a volumizer, such as Philip Kingsley Maximizer Root Boosting Spray, close to your roots. Massage some of it in so it gets right to the base of the hair, and then tease and lift the hair away from your scalp with your fingers as you rough-dry your hair. The effect is instant, and just as impressive if you are wearing your hair up. For long fine hair, a weightless texturizer will be your new go-to styling product. Spray R+Co Zig Zag Root Teasing + Texture Spray through dry hair and work it in with your fingertips. The spray bulks out each strand while encouraging a natural-looking wave, making hair appear fuller.
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