Along with glowing skin, long lashes, a pearly-white smile and a trim figure, a head of full, lush hair is on every woman’s beauty wish list. And while we’re prepared to wage war against wobby bits, thinning lips, laugh lines and crow’s feet, there’s another beauty battle many women are shocked to face as they age: thinning hair and a loss of hair density.
Most of us assume the issue belongs in the basket labelled ‘men’s problems,’ but it turns out that thinning hair is actually a major dilemma for women, too. “It’s the number one hair concern for Australian women,” says Bridget Noonan, national education manager for Kérastase. “Thinning hair and loss of density tends to become a concern for women around age 30, but can occur earlier or later.”
While hair thinning tends to occur naturally as we age, it can also be brought on by a host of other factors. “Major triggers of hair thinning and hair loss can be attributed to damaged scalp skin, hormones, diet, medications and genetic factors,” says Bridget. And while some of these contributing factors are out of your hands, you can reduce mechanical (i.e. physical) damage to your scalp and help boost your hair’s density and thickness by following these easy tips:
Avoid crash diets.
Sure, it’s great that you’re tying to cut back on sugar and alcohol, but a highly restrictive diet that robs your body of the essential nutrients it needs doesn’t just wreak havoc on your metabolism – it’s bad news for your hair as well, as your body will focus all it’s energy on essential functions only, not hair nourishment and growth. Make sure you’re getting plenty of lean protein (think fish, chicken, beans and lentils) and eat plenty of veggies and nutrient-rich foods to help support healthy hair growth.
Be gentle to your strands.
Your hair is at it’s most fragile when it’s wet, so instead of roughing it up with a towel after shampooing, just gently blot it dry before wrapping it up. Avoid brushing or combing your hair when it’s wet as well, as this can lead to breakage and can also damaged the hair follicles. Even something as simple as tying up your hair in a super tight bun or ponytail could be causing you to lose hair density; these styles actually put a lot of tension on the hair follicles around your hairline, and can lead to permanent damage that makes it impossible for hair to grow in that area, and can ultimately lead to a condition known as traction alopecia.
Use high-tech hair products created specifically for thinning hair.
Hair product formulations have improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and now consumers have easy access to seriously effective products that have been scientifically proven to help boost hair density and help you win the battle against thinning hair (without resorting the that company Warnie’s so fond of). Kérastase’s new Densifique range is one of the most impressive at-home options on the market, and has been shown to deliver a significant improvement in hair mass with continued use. Try: Kérastase Densifique Activateur De Densité, $150.
Fake it til you make it.
While it can take a while to counteract the effects of hair thinning with treatments, dietary changes and a new hair care routine; you can boost hair volume immediately (albeit temporarily!) with a few clever products. Try applying dry shampoo and volumising dust to dry roots for added fullness, and wash your hair with thickening shampoo and conditioner for a thicker, lusher mane. Try: Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash, $36.95.