Women all around the world have felt the fear of thinning hair. It hits us when we see clumps of hair clogging the drain, or when we see half the volume of our hair in our hairbrush. Advertisements that don’t deliver on their promise of thick and strong hair only make it worse. If you’ve gone through products after products only to be disappointed, here are a few solutions to thinning hair.
1. Eat Right
Nutrition plays a huge role in determining how dense and strong your hair will be. Often, thinning hair is the product of deficiency in protein, essential fatty acids, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B 12. Studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies can cause structural abnormalities and pigmentation changes, along with hair loss in women.1
While supplementation is popular for hair health, research states that some supplements might be toxic or worsen hair fall.2 Instead, opt for food rich in all of the above nutrients and minerals such as eggs, tofu beans, nuts, and dairy products.3
2. Cut Down On Styling
Do you find yourself relying on your blow dryer, curler, or straightener a lot? There’s no denying that it makes you look good, but the long term effects are far from positive. Studies show that excessive use of styling causes damage to the hair shaft.4
If you wish to continue using them, you could reduce the damage caused to your hair by using a heat protection spray.5 When it comes to blow drying your hair, make sure to keep the dryer 13 cms from your hair. Also, move the blow dryer in a continuous motion instead of focusing on one part of your hair.6 Following these simple steps can help make a significant difference to your hair’s volume.
3. Manage Your Stress
Here’s another reason why stress is bad for you. Physical and emotional stress leads to the loss of one-half to three-quarters of hair. This condition is called telogen effluvium. It usually occurs a few months after a period of stress. If your hair comes out in handfuls when you shower, comb your hair, or run your hands through your hair, then you might be suffering from this condition.
Some causes of this condition include a crash diet, major surgery, illness, severe emotional stress, childbirth, and certain kind of drugs. Although the shedding decreases over a period of 6–8 months, if you have the symptoms of telogen effluvium, consult a medical professional immediately.7
4. Get Cortisone Shots
Cortisone shots are used to treat a condition called alopecia areata, an auto immune disease that leads to circular bald patches. Once injected, cortisone blocks the hormones that cause hair loss. However, they need to be repeated every 4–6 weeks. You might also experience temporary depressions in your scalp due to the injection.8 Check with your dermatologist about the effectiveness of the procedure for your particular condition before you opt for it.
5. Massage Regularly
This one’s a step that you can sneak in to your daily routine, at any time. Massage stimulates blood circulation and blood flow to the scalp. Studies have shown that regular scalp massage leads to increased hair thickness.9 You could massage your hair in the shower or in addition to an oil treatment.
6. Try A Laser Procedure
For almost every dermatological problem, there’s a laser procedure. This holds true for hair loss as well. In fact, a low-level laser light therapy might reduce inflammation of the scalp. The intensity and the duration of the procedure will be decided by your dermatologist. Although the long term effects of this treatment aren’t known, there aren’t any serious side effects either.10 Check with your dermatologist to see if you can undergo this procedure.
7. Try Acupuncture
If conventional medicines don’t go your way, there’s always alternative therapy. Studies state that acupuncture could successfully treat baldness. The treatment is usually 15–20 minutes long and involves 12 needles being inserted at 12 key acupuncture points. This is repeated across several sessions over a few months to see results.11 Ensure that you find a reputed practitioner before you try this form of therapy.
8. Try Minoxidil
Often, hair loss is the result of hormone imbalance. Most people believe that oral contraceptives and other hormone inhibiting drugs can stop hair loss. However, there isn’t enough research to back this claim. Instead, try FDA approved topical minoxidil 5% since it’s effectiveness is backed by research. However, it’s important to remember that this treatment takes time, sometimes as long as 6 months to show signs.12
Hair loss can be frustrating, especially since any treatment for it takes months to show its effectiveness. However, with persistence and the right kind of guidance, you are sure to have thicker hair in no time.
|↑1||Finner, Andreas M. “Nutrition and Hair.” Dermatologic clinics 31, no. 1 (2013): 167-172.|
|↑2||Guo, Emily L., and Rajani Katta. “Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use.” Dermatology practical & conceptual 7, no. 1 (2017): 1.|
|↑3||Healthy Eating Guidelines For Your Vegetarian Toddler. British Columbia.|
|↑4||Wickett, R. R. “Permanent waving and straightening of hair.” Cutis 39, no. 6 (1987): 496-497.|
|↑5||Christian, Paul, Nigel Winsey, Marie Whatmough, and Paul A. Cornwell. “The effects of water on heat-styling damage.” Journal of cosmetic science 62, no. 1 (2011): 15.|
|↑6||Lee, Yoonhee, Youn-Duk Kim, Hye-Jin Hyun, Long-quan Pi, Xinghai Jin, and Won-Soo Lee. “Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer.” Annals of dermatology 23, no. 4 (2011): 455-462.|
|↑7||Hair loss. US National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑8||Kumaresan, M. “Intralesional steroids for alopecia areata.” International journal of trichology 2, no. 1 (2010): 63.|
|↑9||Koyama, Taro, Kazuhiro Kobayashi, Takanori Hama, Kasumi Murakami, and Rei Ogawa. “Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue.” Eplasty 16 (2016).|
|↑10||Jimenez, Joaquin J., Tongyu C. Wikramanayake, Wilma Bergfeld, Maria Hordinsky, Janet G. Hickman, Michael R. Hamblin, and Lawrence A. Schachner. “Efficacy and safety of a low-level laser device in the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss: a multicenter, randomized, sham device-controlled, double-blind study.” American journal of clinical dermatology 15, no. 2 (2014): 115-127.|
|↑11||Chun, Pil H. “Acupuncture treatment of common baldness.” U.S. Patent 5,417,706, issued May 23, 1995.|
|↑12||Brough, Kevin R., and Rochelle R. Torgerson. “Hormonal therapy in female pattern hair loss.” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology (2017).|