Ladies, Let's be Real.
I just went on Facebook and on my feed I see an ad for a shampoo (won't name any names) that claims that it can turn thin hair into thick and full hair. It goes on saying that the ingredients are hormone-derived and the formula is based on science and nature.
Fair enough, (I have fine hair and I'm gullible after-all). I look on the back panel at the ingredients (have to squint a little - isn't there a rule about the font-size ingredients should be listed in?!) and there you have it: a list of unpronounceable sulfate-rich detergents, intertwined with the deceptive addition of what we call "fairy dust" - a speckling of essential oils, and natural food-grade oils that make things sound clean, pure and botanical.
Oh, the hormone by the way, may change the health of your hair if taken internally but there is absolutely no study I can find showing it does anything when placed topically and washed off.
So, let's be real ladies.
As much I am the first to dream of lusciously thick locks that are full of body and that bounce up and down in the wind, I have come to acknowledge that there is a difference between my fantasy-hair and my reality-hair. But there is also a difference between thin (or fine) hair and thinning hair:
The diameter of a hair cuticle determines how thick or fine your hair is. It's genetic. This, coupled with the amount of hairs you have per square inch determines if you have thick hair, fine hair, or fine but in larger quantities.
Fine hair is what you're born with and what you need to figure out how to wear gracefully via a good hair-cut, great nutrition and a lifestyle that doesn't consume you with stress.
Thinning hair on the other hand, is something that you can address and care for by a change in diet, lifestyle, a good regimen of "good hair habits", and by healing the hair and scalp from inside and out.
If you have thinning hair there can be a number of factors, which cause the miniaturisation of hairs which lead to hair loss and thinning. Here are a few tips for you:
- Don’t use harsh chemicals: Because of the thinner diameter of the hair chemicals can damage fine hair much more.
- Avoid heat as much as possible. Blow-drying and straightening with high temperatures can add stress to the follicle and damage the hair.
- Coloring with hair-dyes should be avoided: Especially if you have dark hair. The chemicals in hair dye can cause excessive dryness and damage the scalp.
- Use shampoos and conditioners that don't contain sulfates or other harsh detergents or preservatives. Use ingredients that wash gently and do not cause excessive sebum production or dryness.
- Avoid silicones: This one is important because even though silicones will make your hair look shiny and healthy at first, they will also block the hair from breathing thus accelerating the fall-out and thinning problem.
- Eat a diet rich in iron and protein, biotin and phytonutrient rich.
There you have it, and for any of you ladies like me, that have thin/fine hair, I'll be posting an article on my best practices and tips for making hair appear thicker and fuller very soon. Stay-tuned!