Here’s the truth: You can't change the size of your hair follicles. If you were born with thin hair, it’s genetics, and no product will completely alter that. Of course, there are ways to maintain your hair health, add volume, and keep it from thinning. First, though, you have to better understand what’s going on in your body. There are tons of causes for thinning hair—stress, hormones, thyroid issues, diet, etc.—but if those things aren’t an issue, there are innovative products that can help. All you need is some research and education. And guess what? We did the heavy lifting for you there.
Below, find a few ways to help thicken your hair, from shampoos to supplements and nutrition. Keep scrolling for all the answers you need, and let us know on The British Beauty Line what works for you. If, like many, you’re asking how to get thicker-looking hair, keep reading.
Address a Stress and/or Hormone Imbalance
Off-kilter hormones can affect the thickness of your hair. In fact, women with thyroid imbalances, new mothers, and menopausal women in particular may experience hair loss due to a drop in levels of oestrogen.
“Optimal levels of oestrogen help to grow full thick hair while low oestrogen levels lead to thin and stalled hair growth, which eventually leads to hair loss,” says Kristin Dahl, a Los Angeles–based nutritionist and women’s wellness educator. “Oestrogen is secreted through the ovaries and adrenal glands, however, as the adrenals are typically overburdened due to stress, symptoms of menopauses like hair loss and hot flushes occur prematurely and excessively for some.”
So while some things are out of your control (with or without medication), there are ways to help lower your stress hormone production and keep your hair healthier, shinier, and therefore thicker. Consult your doctor about supplements with adaptogenic herbs, like Ashwagandha root and leaf extract, and amino acids to support keratin productions.
Nix Poor Nutrition
Nutrition has so much to do with the health of your hair. “Our bodies are so mysterious and telling at the same time,” a friend recently told me, and she couldn’t be more right. Your diet dictates so much of how you feel, what you look like, and what goes on inside your brain, and no one understands this better than our wellness editor, Victoria Hoff. She even convinced me to eat two avocados a day to see if it improved my hair health. (And guess what—it did.)
In fact, a 2013 study concluded that in the context of a healthy diet, avocado consumption can fit into a full range of healthy eating plans, as it houses significant levels of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and vitamin B6. Plus, a healthy diet rich in fatty acids works to aid in hair growth as it not only prevent hair loss and breakage but also encourages new hair growth and reduces scalp inflammation. So, go for avocados, salmon, and whole eggs as well as any others that offer up healthy fats and omega-3s. Brunch, here we come.
Opt Out of Heat Styling
Heat styling inevitably irritates dry and breakage-prone hair. If you find your hair is thinning or you’d like it to look thicker, try air-drying your hair for a while and seeing what happens. Chances are it’ll grow more than it has in years and look far healthier. Your natural texture doesn’t have to scare you, regardless of what it is. Just invest in a few really helpful leave-in products to apply post-shower, and you’ll find you have an entirely new lease on the hair you were born with.
Use Sulphate-Free Shampoo
“Sulphates are the detergents responsible for the super-sudsy lather you get out of most shampoos,” explains celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland. However, they are so effective at removing the dirt from your hair that they can also strip it of its natural oils and the proteins that make it look shiny and healthy. That will end up messing with its thickness. Plus, drying out your hair can lead to breakage, which makes thin hair look even thinner. Instead, opt for a shampoo without sulphates, one that is chock-full of real, good ingredients that’ll nourish your hair instead of taking things away. You’ll have to get used to the fact that it won’t be as sudsy when you wash, but it’s worth it for the added thickness you’ll start to notice.
Use Gentle Brushes
So much damage and breakage have happened at the fault of my former hairbrushes. I never realised that when I brushed my hair, I was actually breaking it with every swipe. Make sure each time you brush to use the “bottoms-up” method and tools that are gentle on your hair.
FYI: These are the autumn hair colours every It girl will be wearing this year.