Hair Care for Thinning Hair: Separate Fact from Fiction

7 July; Author: Hair Extensions Australia

Hair Care for Thinning Hair: Separate Fact from Fiction

Smart Hair Care to Prevent Hair Loss

Changing some of your styling and grooming routines can go a long way toward improving the look and health of your hair and helping to prevent hair loss. When it comes to caring for thinning hair, as it often turns out, less is more.

“Every day my clients come to talk to me about their thinning hair and hair loss issues, and I find that they really have some major misconceptions on how they should be caring for their hair; once they know better, their situation ultimately improves,” says Shelly Beatty, owner and master stylist at Stylemakers Salon in Fort Worth, Texas. How does she know? She is a hair loss treatment specialist who has also suffered hair loss and thinning following thyroid surgery. In this article Beatty sets the record straight on many hair care myths.

MYTH: You have to use a lot of mousse to make thinning hair look thicker.

FACT: “Mousse is made up of primarily alcohol, which will coat each hair strand with its drying effects, and in fragile, thinning hair, that is just asking for breakage! It’s a commonplace product, but it’s not meant for those with thinning hair. The best solution is to work with your hairstylist to switch to a hairstyle that does not require so much volume. If the long-term goal is healthier hair, then you need to move away from styling products containing alcohol.”

MYTH: Regular drugstore hair care products are just fine for my thinning hair.

FACT: “Products made specifically for thinning hair, regardless of the reason for the thinning, will be formulated in a specialized way to exclude certain harsh and drying ingredients that can damage the hair. One component called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common, cheap detergent ingredient in drugstore shampoo; it will strip fragile hair of its only support system — the hair’s own natural oils. SLS will degrade even a strong cuticle, or outer layer of the hair shaft, which thinning hair does not even have. Ditto for alcohol in hairstyling products from the drugstore. Look for salon brands, recommended by your stylist, that have product lines for thinning hair and are sulfate free and alcohol free.”

MYTH: If my shampoo is not sudsy, it’s not working.

FACT: “The suds come from the SLS, the harsh, drying detergent in the shampoo that moves the dirt away from the scalp and hair via the bubbles. There are many other, gentler ways to remove the dirt that do not require this harsh chemical and will still work just as well, as long as you are also not using stiff, sticky styling products.”

MYTH: Wearing a hair system is bad for what hair I have left and for my scalp.

FACT: “A hair system can be beneficial because it sits on top and allows hair and scalp to recover if the hair loss was the result of a trauma such as hormonal issues, surgery, medications, childbirth, over processing, and so forth. It also protects fragile areas from overexposure to the sun.”

MYTH: Brushing will damage my thinning hair or make me lose more hair.

FACT: “Brushing is great for you but only with a very soft, natural-bristle hairbrush. It will glide easily through the hair, distributing the hairs’ natural oils down the hair shaft while stimulating blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. Beware of hard nylon bristle brushes with ball-tips, which can tangle and pull fragile hair, and never brush hair that is stiff or sticky from styling products (which you should not be using).”

MYTH: Thinning hair needs to grow to look healthier.

FACT: “You must get hair trimmed on a regular basis, every four to six weeks, because it’s more susceptible to breakage and split ends. A split end will continue splitting up the hair strand, further weakening it and adding to its frizzy look.”

MYTH: Conditioner and conditioning treatments will weigh down my hair and make it greasy.

FACT: “You simply have to choose the right type of hair conditioner. Ask your stylist about a reparative treatment, not a moisturizing or oily one. And if you’re not using shampoo with SLS, you’ll notice fewer problems with dryness and tangling. Definitely treat thinning hair to a deep conditioning reparative treatment once a week.”

MYTH: Heated tools work best on the highest setting.

FACT: “Not for people with thinning hair! The highest heat setting will fry and burn off your fragile hair strands. The high settings are for the coarsest hair types and the healthiest hair. You should be using these devices minimally and at the lowest setting.”

MYTH: I can achieve some volume by getting a perm.

FACT: “You may get some volume or curls, or your hair may break off from the harsh solution. Perms chemically open the outside layer of hair, which causes hair to swell — and snap midshaft because it’s weak already. Try Velcro rollers for volume and fullness without long-term damage, or, better yet, if that’s the hairstyle you’re set on, get a high-end wig!”

MYTH: Coloring is a no-no for thinning hair.

FACT: “Usually. But shine or gloss treatments that contain no peroxide actually coat and protect hair strands without entering and chemically changing the hair structure, so hair is not weakened by the process. Instead they seal down the hair shaft and add shine. But do not use bleach or permanent or semi permanent hair colors, because they do use penetrating chemicals and will weaken fragile hair.”

MYTH: Sunscreen is not necessary for hair.

FACT: “Sunscreen is very necessary for hair and the scalp, too, especially when hair is thinning and weak. The sun actually lightens hair because the ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays penetrate the hair shaft, so you need to protect your hair from this damage. And don’t forget your scalp — because hair is thinner, not shielding it from the sun’s burning rays doesn’t help. Always spray on a sunscreen and keep hair loosely braided, in a bun or under a hat when outdoors or at the beach.”

MYTH: If I brush and style my shorter hair upward, it will have more volume.

FACT: “That’s the classic mistake that can really date a woman. If you brush it straight up, you can see just how thin it is, as the scalp now shows through. Instead, go with a flatter, shorter, choppy fringe cut that covers the scalp and looks fresh.”

MYTH: More styling product means more hold.

FACT: “You may get more hold, but you’ll get more breakage, too! Hair should never have that crispy feel to it. Less is more.”

Naomi Mannino is a freelance writer who writes about health, beauty, and fashion, with a specialty in writing about hair extensions and hair loss prevention.  She is a contributing writer for HairLoss.Com who writes about hair loss condition and hair loss solutions. For more information please visit:

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