So this is an embarrassing topic, but we are going there today because it’s something we women face as we get older. If we don’t talk about it, how are we going to know how to deal with it?! A good friend recently took a few photographs of me and my fiance and because I am my own worst critic, all I could focus on in these amazing shots was a patch of thinning hair above my right temple where my part begins. “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!,” I screamed when I first saw the picture. I immediately sprang into action to learn what I could and then do something about it.
From my (brief) days as a hair stylist, I remembered a couple things. The first is that many women begin to experience thinning hair in their thirties – especially in this side area above your temples where your part usually is. It can be caused by a number of things but the easiest one to swallow is years and years of exposing that part of your scalp to the world and wearing ponytails that can pull hair out of these sensitive points. The second thing is that there are steps you can take to combat thinning hair and to encourage hair growth.
So, rather than continue freaking out, here’s what I did and recommend to you.
SWITCH YOUR PART AND GET A HAIRCUT
Switching my part gave me automatic volume. Since the hair is not used to lying flat in this new direction, you get lift at the root, making your hair look fuller right away. The area of my scalp above the temple on the left side is also less thinned given it hasn’t had so much stress on it over the years. It did take a week or so for my hair to lie more naturally on this new side, but now, several weeks later, it is accustomed to the new part.
I also got a haircut. My new style is a bit more drastic than I’d recommend to everyone, but I was ready for a major chop. What I’m suggesting for you is just an inch or so to cut off the dead ends. If hair goes too long without a cut, the ends will inevitably split from dehydration and it may not grow as quickly or at all. Think of it as when you dead-head a plant. You wonder why it’s not flowering anymore, then you get rid of all the dead leaves and branches, and within a short while, it’s blooming again. Your hair and scalp environment are the same!
Also – stop with the tight ponytails, or at least cut back on the amount of pulling you do on your scalp. Any reduction in stress on the root and the follicle can help keep hair from falling out.
BUY PRODUCTS TO TREAT THE PROBLEM
When I went for the above-mentioned haircut, I told my stylist about my concerns, and she let me know there were products out there to help. I didn’t immediately buy what was in her salon, though. I did some research and made an informed choice. There are three lines I recommend:
- Surface – I chose the Surface Awaken line for myself because it has won awards. There is a shampoo to clear debris from your scalp that may be blocking the follicle, a conditioner to fortify the hair already on your head, and a solution to encourage growth. They’ve also just released a new masque that I will try.
- Phyto – When I worked in an upscale salon in New York, we carried and recommended the Phyto line of thinning hair solutions. We could hardly keep it on the shelves, including the vitamins that encouraged hair and nail growth.
- Kerastase – I trust any product they make, so the Specifique line is another place I’d turn for scalp exfoliation, stimulation and to foster density.
Unfortunately, these products are on the pricey side, and while I usually try to include cost-efficient options when I recommend products, I don’t have a low-cost alternative in this case (though I guess you could do some of your own research on whether a change in diet can encourage growth). That said, it’s been worth the money to know I’m doing what I can to attend to a major insecurity and source of anxiety.
And because this photoshoot with our friend Nathan Baerreis was certainly fun and memorable and had NOTHING to do with my thinning hair, here’s another of his amazing shots. Check out his website here!