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It goes without saying that female hair loss can be extremely upsetting, whether it’s due to stress, chemotherapy, illness or plain and simple genetics. It’s common – 40% of women will have had thinning hair by the time they are 40 – so how do we start to rebuild our follicles and increase the fullness of strands?
As well as seeking expert advice (you’ll find a list of trichologists registered with the Institute of Trichologists here), you can begin to thicken and enhance the hair you have by opting for products and haircuts that plump and hair colours that appear to lend texture to strands. Find out what these styling tricks are, whether dye is safe on delicate locks if layers can truly lift as we get your top thinning hair questions answered…
1. What are some of the key causes of thinning hair?
“Hair can become thinner for a number of reasons,” Micheal Lendon, Aveda’s Advanced Master Creative Director explains. “Hormone imbalances, poor diet and genetics can all play a part. Ageing is sometimes also a factor; the scalp becomes tighter and drier through the years, which can affect the blood circulation to the scalp and the growth of the hair.”
2. Can I use home haircare for thin hair?
The first step to combat hair thinning is using the right products. Pick a
specialist shampoo and conditioner plus styling products that not only
create a healthy scalp environment for hair, but boost hair’s
Out top pick is Plantur 39, a haircare range including Shampoo,
rrp£9.75, Conditioner, rrp£7.99, and Tonic, rrp£10.49. Each designed
with a Phyto-Caffeine Complex that includes caffeine, zinc and niacin, a
combination that supports scalp health, and keeps hair strong and healthy.
There are two versions of the shampoo and conditioner – one for fine hair, one for coloured – while the hero tonic can be rubbed
into the scalp and roots after washing (or if you don’t fancy washing
that day, dry hair) for an extra boost.
3. What is the biggest mistake we can make with thin hair?
For Michael, this is keeping their hair long in a bid to hold on to their tresses. He notes that, while some might think more length = apearring to have thicker hair, “in fact, growing hair out can make it look even thinner”. Which leads us to our next question…
4. Is there a cut that will make hair look thicker?
There are many, says Michael, so it’s always important to consult your hairdresser before choosing a cut. They can take any concerns you have, your natural growth pattern and natural movement into account before suggesting a style that will best flatter you.
In general, the most thickening styles are “short and medium cuts that can be explored further with fringes and layering”, putting the lob (long bob) at the top of the agenda. This shoulder-skimming style pairs well with side fringes, feathery, textured layers and a side parting – all of which are great for adding some welcome body.
Michael adds: “Attention needs to be paid to the front hairline and crown as these areas are typically finer and cause the hair to appear thinner.”
5. So, clear this up for us: can layers really give hair a volume boost?
They can. Michael suggests asking for round layers to be cut into the hair, “as these help to create lift when brushed back off the face, while length around the shoulders allows the hair to keep its shape”.
6. Is it safe to colour thinning hair?
You might think thinning hair is too delicate to handle colouring, but Michael says, “as long as the hair is healthy, there is no reason not to dye it”. Just be sure to have a thorough consultation with a professional first.
7. Is there a colour that will make hair look thicker?
It is possible that the right colour can make your hair look thicker, as it “has the unique ability to create a plumping optical illusion,” Michael says. Try a blend of highlights against thickening shadows to give your locks dimension, and remember: “the dye itself will also roughen the cuticle, which helps to enhance hair’s fullness”.
8. And what colours should we avoid?
The big no-no is making your hair colour much too dark. “This can cause the scalp to show through and make hair appear even thinner,” says Michael.