If there is one natural attribute that is on most people’s wish list, it is thicker looking hair. And this is just as common a wish across the genders.
Fortunately, there are thickening shampoos for thicker looking hair and serums that do a good job in getting a thicker looking hair. However, when you start to notice a problem with thinning hair, it’s likely you’ll need more than a shampoo.
So how do you know if you have a problem with thinning hair?
On average, we lose around 50 to 150 hairs every day. This is considered to be normal hair loss. It is when we lose more than this average amount that we start to enter into the realm of abnormal hair loss.
What causes hair loss?
Hereditary – Most people tend to think that worry and stress is the major cause of thinning hair, but it is actually hereditary, with an estimated 95% of all thinning due to our genes. This accounts for typical loss in the centre and along the crown, known as male pattern baldness.
Stress – High stress levels produce increased levels of testosterone, which then convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and interrupt the hair growth cycle. Stress and trauma can also cause a lack of oxygen to the blood capillaries that supply the hair follicles.
Poor diet – Eating large amounts of fat and sugar and not enough vegetables or fruit can lead to deficiencies in biotin, iron, protein and zinc. These are all essential for healthy hair growth.
Thyroid – Having an underactive thyroid can lead to thin or sparse hair growth. As well as this, the side effects for the treatment for thyroid diseases can often lead to hair thinning.
Medication – The most common medication that causes hair loss are certain chemotherapy drugs, but anything from contraceptives to acne medicine can cause the hair to thin.
Hormones – Unfortunately for women, life changes such as pregnancy and the menopause can cause havoc with our hair.
How to treat hair loss:
- Topical treatments
- Laser therapy
- Oral supplements
- Thickening products
1] Topical Treatments
For anyone with a family background of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, choose a topical treatment with the ingredient minoxidil.
This is the only FDA approved topical hair-growth treatment available for the scalp.
Minoxidil was first bought to market by Regaine, and works by increasing the blood supply to hair follicles, thereby promoting their size and growth and help to stimulate regrowth.
Regaine Foam – $24.99 which contains 5% minoxidil concentration, Pantene Pro-V Expert Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women – $23.99 and Cerafill Retaliate Hair Regrowth Treatment – $30, each which contain 2% minoxidil.
Clinical trials conducted by Regaine showed a 48% increase in hair growth, after around four months of using the product.
2] Laser Therapy
Studies have shown that by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles can sometimes be enough to jumpstart their growth.
Scientists have been researching techniques using low-intensity laser therapy and found that this does in fact increase blood supply.
The Theradome LH80 Pro Laser Helmet is an FDA approved device that costs $895 but promotes blood supply to areas where hair loss has occurred.
“While the mechanism is not totally clear, it is thought to be due to increasing blood flow around the hairs themselves,” says Josh Zeichner, a New York dermatologist.
The helmet needs to be worn for at least 20 minutes twice a week, but after four to five months you should see more volume and less hair loss. Experts say that it can take a whole year for the best results to be seen.
3] Oral Supplements
There are vitamins and minerals that promise better hair and nails, but these should really be taken with a topical treatment, such as minoxidil or laser therapy, for the best results.
If you do want to take a hair supplement, the key ingredients to look out for are biotin, which helps to improve the thickness of the hair, particularly in people suffering from alopecia areata, and silica, which strengthens individual strands.
4] Thickening Products
Sometimes all we need is a product to add a little thickness to our locks, one that does not weigh down our fine hair, but maximises it for its full potential.
These days, there are many exciting products to try, which use different techniques and chemicals to boost our tresses.
Nioxin Diamax Advanced Serum – $38.50 works by costing each strand for up to 8 hours., Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Densifying Foam – $36 works by using polymers to add instant body and Philip B Russian Amber Imperial Insta-Thick Hair & Finishing Spray – $38 is used after blow-drying to spritz on where it plumps and boosts volume.