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Feeling Fabulous with Thinning Hair

Feeling Fabulous with Thinning Hair
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By Naakai Addy

Hair is more than a mess of strands on top of your head; it’s the ultimate accessory. It may have taken you years to figure out the best way to style your hair in the first place, so seeing it thin over time can cause understandable panic. Not only is it normal for hair to gradually become thinner, but it is manageable.

When it comes to making the right choice for thinning hair, there are a few possible routes. Extensions, hair transplants and wigs are perfectly valid options, but they are expensive. If you want a milder approach, you can keep your current style while simply choosing healthier products or you can switch up your styling routine to create the illusion of more hair. Whichever your choice, here are three tips to keep in mind on your road to looking and feeling your best with thinning hair.

1. Don’t judge a shampoo by its packaging.

If you’ve walked into a supermarket lately, you’ve surely noticed the overwhelming selection of shampoo brands. While many of those brands have excelled at alluring packaging, not all of their products will be worth your while.

Shampoos and conditioners are now commonly advertised as “Volumizing”, but it’s worth taking a closer look at which ones are truly healthy for your hair. Steer clear of products laden with sulfates, which can actually strip your hair of healthy oils and damage color-treated hair. Excessive alcohol on the ingredients list is also a red flag, as it is likely to leave your hair brittle and dry. Products such as Pureology Pure Volume use natural ingredients to give your hair healthy volume without dehydrating it.

When it comes to specialty products for thinning hair, stylist Adelle of HairMasters in Tustin, CA recommends the award-winning brand Nioxin for her clients. While hardly organic, Nioxin is entirely dedicated to individuals with thinning hair. The focused approach means that there’s a great range of carefully developed products from which to choose. These products, popular in many salons, are formulated not as a miracle cure but to truly protect and nurture the health of thinning hair. For Adelle, choosing the right product is a more important element in crafting a robust ‘do at home than the styling itself.

Here are a few more top-rated product lines to boost your volume the healthy way:

Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume

When you’re truly ready to take that fullness to the next level, try Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume. While its effectiveness differs for every individual, it has earned high marks among customers for its ability to add impressive levels of volume to very thin hair.

James Brown Volume Boost

Volume Boost from James Brown (the London stylist, not the singer) is specially formulated for fine hair, so it’s designed to give you fullness that feels natural without weighing you down. The formula includes proteins and oat extracts to improve the health of your hair while it pumps up the volume.

Living Proof Full

A great option for people with chemically or color-treated hair, Living Proof is free of silicones, sulfates and oil. It gently cleanses your hair and boosts its fullness using a patented Healthy Hair Molecule system.

2. Embrace the blow dryer (yes, men too)

While styling may be more form than function, it can still make a huge difference in how your hair looks and feels on a daily basis.

Hair spray used to be the go-to solution for levels of volume worthy of Dynasty. Applying it with a heavy hand can look a little dated in the 21st century, however. A lot of hair sprays clump strands together, too, which is exactly the opposite of what you want when your hair is particularly thin or sparse.

Instead, blow-dry your hair while it’s damp. For the greatest volume, bend your head down a few inches and gently dry against the roots. Use a volumizing product such as Arrojo Protective Thickening Hair Lotion just before fully drying the hair to pump up the volume at your roots. Redken’s styling expert Lauren Hegen recommends using a round brush as you blow-dry and styling with a side or zig-zag part to increase the illusion of volume.

3. Healthy hair starts with a healthy body

Quick fixes are tempting, but like anything else related to your body, hair health is a long-term effort. Fortunately, the foods that keep your hair shiny and full are the same foods that benefit the rest of your body.

Your hair needs certain key vitamins to stay strong. Vitamins C and E are particularly important, so try boosting your intake of strawberries, blueberries and vitamin-rich nuts such as almonds.

Protein is also vital to hair health, and making sure you have enough of it can be instrumental in promoting strong hair growth going forward. Some healthy and delicious sources of protein include salmon, lean meats such as turkey, and various lentils.

A common nutritional pitfall for women in particular is iron, so if you’ve ever been anemic it’s especially important that you monitor your iron intake. Those avoiding red meat can get their iron fix with leafy greens such as spinach and kale.

With these three tips in mind, you can navigate thinning hair with knowledge, style and, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, confidence.

Sources:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/151270-ingredients-to-avoid-in-shampoos/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/sulfate-free-shampoo_n_1534277.html

http://www.redken.com/thinning-hair/take-control/styling-tips-for-thinning-hair/

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-healthy-hair

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Naakai Addy
Naakai Addy is a freelance writer focused on fashion, food, and lifestyle topics. Originally from California, she is now based in New York City.