What are the best hair care products for thinning hair?
Have you noticed that there seems to be a lot more hair in your brush or on the floor of the shower lately? When you put your hair up, does there seem to be less of it? If so, you could be suffering from thinning hair. Losing your hair isn't just an issue for men. By the age of 50, nearly half of men and women have experienced some level of hair thinning.
What can cause hair to thin? What can I do about hair loss?
What can cause hair to thin?
70% of hair thinning is hereditary and can be passed down from either a mother or father. Over 30 million women in the US suffer with it! The medical name is androgenetic alopecia (which just means genetic hair loss) and it's distinctive because the hair loss is very gradual and is on the top of the head. You may notice your part getting wider.
My hair's coming out in clumps!
This is common following pregnancy and should settle down in a few months.
Stress, illness or a disorder of the immune system can all cause sudden patches of hair loss. If this is happening to you, pay a visit to your Doctor.
I had hair extensions and now I have bald patches!
This is a very common problem. Constantly pulling the hair back puts a strain on the follicle of the hair and can cause it to fall out. The medical name for this is traction or friction alopecia.
Can hair products make my hair fall out?
No – perms and over-use of color can cause breakage to the hair or irritate the scalp but they don't make your hair fall out.
What can I do about hair loss?
There are three main ways of helping this condition:
- Slowing or preventing further loss and helping new hair to grow
- Treating and thickening the hair that you already have
- Adding hair to mask the loss
Let's look at them one by one...
Minoxidil helps new hair to grow
There are hundreds of hair products that claim to stop hair loss but the most reliable is anything containing the drug Minoxidil. This was originally used to treat high blood pressure but was found to have the side effect of making hair grow!
In the 1980's, a solution containing 2% of minoxidil came onto the market. The brand name is Rogaine in the US and Regaine elsewhere in the world. Rogaine has been approved by the FDA as slowing the rate of hair loss. It also grows new hair on previously bald patches.
Be careful to buy the right type of Rogaine for your gender! The solution for men usually contains 5% of minoxidil while the woman's has 2%.
Rogaine needs to be applied twice daily to prevent hair loss continuing. Be prepared to use it for at least 4 months to start seeing a difference. After 8 months a visible growth should have appeared.
Minoxidil is a treatment for life. If you stop using it, the hair will probably start thinning again.
After you have read this information, consult a doctor (preferable skin doctor) before taking or applying any medication.
The only other hair loss treatment with FDA approval
...is Finasteride. The brand name for this is Propecia. I'm mentioning it here because if you're a lady with thinning hair and your man is taking these tablets for his thinning, don't be tempted to steal a few!
Propecia is not recommended for pre-menopausal women and it can be highly dangerous if you're pregnant, as it may cause serious birth defects.
Thicken the hair that you have
Nioxin have a 3 step system to help thicken hair that has been 'chemically enhanced'. By this, they mean thinning due to damage by perms, color or over-use of heat on the hair.
Their System 3 is a kit for fine hair and contains cleanser, scalp therapy and scalp treatment. BioAMP plumps up the hair cuticle, improving condition and appearance.
System 7 contains the same three products but is designed especially for medium to coarse hair.
proTHIK is a best-selling Hair Volumizer. It's a fine, spray-on polymer to give the appearance of thicker hair and can cosmetically hide bald spots.
COUVRe Alopecia Masking lotion is applied onto the scalp with a small sponge or your fingers to eliminate the contrast between your hair and your scalp.
Toppik Hair Fiber is thousands of tiny 'hairs' made from keratin, just like real hair. It comes in a shaker container and you just shake it over your hair. The fibers are charged with static electricity which makes them bond securely to your own hair – even in wind and rain!
Add hair to mask the loss
The quickest and easiest way to hide hair loss is to invest in a wig. Wigs are so much better than they used to be! A good, human hair wig looks as good as your natural hair. See our article on Human hair wigs!
You could also consider hair extensions but it very much depends on the reason for your initial hair loss. If it was due to extensions, then getting more probably isn't a great idea! If it's hereditary, then consult a good stylist who will evaluate the condition of your hair and see if extensions can help.
Help is available!
Hair loss and thinning can be very distressing and embarrassing. But it is a very common problem and you're not alone! The first step is to get a full professional evaluation of what is causing your hair loss or thinning and then take it from there. We hope that these suggestions will help you.