Around age 40, women (and men) notice the hair brush has more loose hairs in it, the pony tail isn’t quite as thick as it used to be and you occasionally catch a glimpse of scalp while styling your hair. Hair fibers do get thinner around age 40 and some hair shedding is normal, and there is help for thinning hair that will strengthen and thicken those sparse locks.
Use Hair Thickening Shampoos and Conditioners
Switch to a hair thickening shampoo and conditioner that contains oat protein and panthenol (vitamin B2), both of which will strengthen and thicken hair strands. Don’t skip the conditioner, even if conditioner usually leaves hair feeling greasy, try one of these tricks- apply conditioner before shampooing or just apply conditioner to the ends of hair. Without the use of conditioner, the hair is subjected to more friction through everyday styling, which in turn stresses hair and weakens it.
Style Thinning Hair as Little as Possible
Avoid using heated hair styling tools on thinning hair whenever possible. Heat, over-styling and tight ponytails pull on already weakened hair follicles and cause even more hair loss.
Allow thinning hair to air dry and when using heated styling tools (blow dryer, curling iron, etc.) protect sparse locks by applying a heat protective hair primer product first.
Hair Stylists Can Make Thinning Hair Look Thicker
The right hair cut can make thinning hair look thicker. Talk to the hair stylist about a new hair cut to camouflage the sparse areas. Bangs can camouflage thinning hair around the temples and a layered hair cut can take weight off longer hair and give it more volume.
Avoid extremely dark or light shades of hair color when hair is thinning, both colors will make the scalp more noticeable. Light hair color with a few highlights or lowlights will make hair look thicker.
Hair Re-Growth Products
Currently there is still only one FDA approved hair re-growth product for women (and men) and that is Rogaine. Rogaine contains minoxidil which stimulates dormant hair follicles into re-growing hair.
Other hair re-growth cosmetic products are on the market, without FDA approval and without claims of hair re-growth. Latisse, a product that re-grows eyelashes, contains an ingredient called prostaglandin analog that is found in cosmetic products for hair re-growth and offers help for thinning hair.
Expert Medical Help for Thinning Hair
If hair is shedding at an alarming rate, it could indicate an underlying health problem and a visit to a dermatologist that specializes in treating hair loss can provide the diagnosis and treatment plan for both the health problem (which may be a thyroid condition, iron deficiency, etc.) and the hair thinning issue.
When a underlying medical problem is not the cause of sparse locks, hair transplant surgery is an option that helps some people with thinning hair. Healthy hair follicles are transplanted from one section of the scalp where hair growth is thick to another section of the scalp where hair growth is thinning and sparse.
There is help for thinning hair. The help to strengthen and thicken sparse locks ranges from simple hair thickening shampoos to surgical hair transplants.