If you weren’t genetically born with super thick hair, you’ll be quite aware that having locks that run on the thinner side has both its pros and cons. On one hand, you have less hair to style, shorter drying times and a naturally silky texture, but on the other hand your hair may struggle to hold a curl and lack volume. Luckily there are a few strategies that you can take to hide thin hair, but ultimately caring for your hair and making diet and lifestyle changes is the best way to learn to fall in love with your thin hair and make the most of what you’ve got!
What’s Actually Causing’ Your Thinning Hair?
The first thing to know about hair loss is that it’s actually a bit complex. Your hair grows in three stages. These include a growth phase from a root in the hair follicle, a transitional phase when the growing stops, and a resting phase, after which the hair falls out and the follicle takes a break before growing another hair.
It’s totally normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), which you might notice on your pillow in the morning, on your hairbrush, or in the shower. If you go a few days without showering, you might notice more than a single day’s worth of hair in the shower, which may be a little disconcerting, but is still totally normal.
You’re born with about 100,000 follicles on your scalp, and you’ll never gain or lose any, the AAD says. However, as you age, some follicles may stop growing hair and you may experience hair loss (also called anagen effluvium). When and how this happens is influenced by a bunch of factors including our genetics and the natural hormonal changes we experience as we age.
But you might also experience hair shedding at certain points in your life, a process that’s separate from hair loss. Hair shedding (also called telogen effluvium) is more often caused by temporary changes in hormones, like giving birth, stopping hormonal birth control, or experiencing life stressors, like undergoing chemotherapy or recovering from a serious illness. Nutritional deficiencies, harsh hair products, and certain hair styles can also cause hair shedding, the AAD says.
If your hair is shedding, that means it’s falling out more quickly than it should be because it’s being shoved into the resting phase too early. But if you’re experiencing hair loss, that means there’s something stopping the hair from growing in the first place. And, because hair loss can be caused by different factors, it’s important to figure out which one you’re dealing with before trying to treat it.
Healthy Hair Habits & Lifestyle Changes
In addition to the food you consume, the lifestyle decisions you make also play a direct role in the appearance and thickness of your hair. Follow along for some of our favourite go-to lifestyle hacks to ensure your fine locks are as thick and voluminous as possible.
Stress is one of the biggest and most surprising culprits behind thinning hair and hair loss. If you find that you get overwhelmed easily and feel stressed often, this could be a major factor contributing to the appearance of your hair.
2. DON’T OVERDO THE HEAT
If you already have relatively thin hair, the last thing you want to do is add damage to your hair! One of the quickest ways to damage your hair is by overusing heat products. Be sure to limit your use of heat products and when you do use them, use a heat protectant product, or a few of our favourite natural heat protectants, to avoid damage and split ends.
3. MASSAGE YOUR SCALP
A great life hack to promoting hair growth is to take time to give yourself an indulgent scalp massage for a few minutes everyday.
4. ONLY USE CONDITIONER ON THE ENDS OF YOUR HAIR
5. BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR UPSIDE DOWN
6. DON’T GROW YOUR HAIR TOO LONG
Eat a Complete, Protein-rich Diet
A lack of protein has been linked to hair loss. Dr Bergfeld suggests women eat a little bit of low-fat, red meat a couple times a week. “This captures your protein and other vital nutrients.” What’s more, she says with age, your thyroid slows down. “Patients get a little tired and think it’s old age, but they have mild iron storage anemia.” Eating low-fat red meat alleviates this iron shortage.
Other nutrient-rich foods for lush locks include:
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables. These are packed with nutrients healthy hair needs, like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C.
- Eggs. These contain biotin, which is essential for hair protein.
- Omega-3’s. Fatty fish like salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which may promote hair growth.
- Berries. Strawberries, raspberries and other fruits are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, which are not only good for your hair but also help promote a healthy immune system. Your body also uses vitamin C to produce collagen, a strength-building hair protein.
- Avocados. These delicious green foods are loaded with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids necessary to promote hair health.
- Add a multi-vitamin. Once-a-day multi-vitamins can replenish nutrients not fulfilled by the foods you eat.