Is your hair thinner than before?
You are not alone: hair loss (specifically androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness) is incredibly common among men. Typically, baldness affects about 50% men over the age of 50 and can cause varying degrees of hair loss, from some hair loss to a bare spot on your scalp.
A variety of other conditions can also cause hair loss, including prolonged stress, severe weight loss, or illness. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions available: over-the-counter treatments, surgery, nutrient-dense foods, nutritional supplements, and more.
We've put together a list of 10 tips for making your hair thicker to help you find the solution that's right for you.
Be careful when styling your hair
If your hair is thinner than usual, style it with extra care: a gentle approach can prevent hair loss. For best results, keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid pulling your hair when combing or applying products, especially when your hair is wet.
- Use a wide-toothed comb (especially on wet hair), as a fine-toothed comb can pull hair out.
- Try a new hairstyle that suits your fine hair to make it easier to get the hair you want. Your barber or stylist should be able to recommend a flattering look.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend blow drying your hair and use a low heat setting to prevent your hair from growing too dry.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend wearing your hair in tight styles such as ponytails or braids, as these can put unnecessary stress on your hair and follicles.
Changing your hair style and hair care habits may take some time, but in the long run, it can affect the health and appearance of your hair.
Quit Smoking for Thicker Hair (and a Healthier Lifestyle)
Everyone knows that smoking is extremely unhealthy. But if you want to know how to thicken your hair, breaking the habit can have positive results.
Why? Because researchers have found a link between smoking and hair loss. Cigarettes have also been shown to increase the risk of gray hair before the age of 30, so not smoking can help preserve your hair and keep your natural color longer.
Quitting smoking can also increase lung capacity by up to 10% in 9 months, improve the immune system and reduce stress levels (according to NHS).
Wash your hair less often
Your hair may look, feel and smell fantastic after washing, but you probably don't need to wash it every day. Two or three times a week should be enough to effectively cleanse your hair and scalp.
Use a mild shampoo designed to moisturize and nourish your hair to avoid drying it out. Also condition your hair after shampooing to reinforce it with a protective coating. This can reduce the chance of splitting and breaking.
Washing your hair will not cause hair loss alone, but you can help make them stronger and healthier if you take a gentler approach.
Be careful when doing home treatments
Do you like to bleach or dye your hair at home? You could make yours worse hair loss. Coloring and heat treatments can weaken the hair and cause more shedding than usual.
However, you may not want to give up hair dye or heated styling tools if the results boost your self-confidence. In that case, consult your stylist. They can recommend alternative treatments that achieve the desired look using less harmful chemicals and heat-treated instruments.
See your doctor for professional advice
When discussing how to make your hair thicker, a visit to the doctor could be the first step towards a solution. They can refer you to trichologist, who treats skin and hair conditions.
A trichologist can determine after an in-depth examination hair loss causes such as scalp infections or hereditary diseases. They can also give you tips on how to get thicker hair and help you find the right products or medications.
Consider medication (if needed)
You can try different medications prescribed for the treatment of hair loss, including the treatment of male pattern baldness (eg minoxidil or rogaine) you can buy without a prescription.
Minoxidil can stop hair thinning and promote hair regrowth over several months. A variety of products contain minoxidil, including topical foams and liquids, as well as shampoos. You will need to apply them to your scalp twice a day as consistency is very important to achieve and maintain results. It can take at least six months for the hair to start growing back.
Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe finasteride, an oral medication available as Propecia. Like minoxidil, finasteride can prevent further thinning and promote new hair growth. However, they must continue to use it to maintain results.
Before trying them, consult your doctor or dermatologist carefully about the treatment. Understand the potential side effects and risks to your peace of mind.
Get more important nutrients
A poor diet can play a major role in your hair loss. If your diet lacks important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and protein, your body will not have everything it needs to support healthy hair growth.
Iron and zinc are two important minerals responsible for hair growth, but if you're a vegetarian or vegan, or if you've drastically reduced your calorie intake, you're not getting enough of them. According to the NHS, the recommended daily amount of iron for men over 18 is 8.7mg.
Fortunately, many foods are rich in iron. Some examples:
- Leafy greens
- red meat
- Dried fruit (eg apricots)
And for zinc, try to get the recommended 9.5 mg per day with the following foods:
- Dairy products
- Red meat
You may have to make major changes to your diet to include more of these foods, but if your hair growth improves, you should feel rewarded. If you are considering a major overhaul of your diet, you may want to consult your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about nutritional supplements
Supplements can help you get the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain healthy hair, but you should talk to your doctor about possible side effects. For example, excess zinc or iron can contribute to toxicity and other problems.
In addition, biotin (part of the B vitamin family) has in some cases been linked to hair regeneration. However, people often have healthy levels of biotin and do not need to change their diet.
Also, avoid taking more than you need of vitamin A, E, and selenium—too much of a supplement can contribute hair loss.
Reduce your stress levels
According to the Society for Stress Management, stress left 74% adults in the UK feeling "overwhelmed or unable to cope" by 2020.
Too much stress can lead to a number of health problems, including telogen effusion, a condition that causes more hair to fall out than normal. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and should resolve if you can reduce your stress levels.
If you are having trouble managing stress, ask your doctor for advice. They should give advice on how to grow thicker hair and may recommend medication.
Learn more about hair transplantation
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