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Beauty ads would have us believe we should all have thick, luscious locks well into our golden years. In reality, hair loss with age is incredibly common in both men and women.
Unlike men, however, women tend to experience hair loss in the middle of the scalp. A widening part is a common first symptom of hair thinning or loss. However, the quicker you implement a new haircare regime, the better your chances of slowing or stopping the hair loss process.
And, depending on your lifestyle, these changes could be minute or a major shift.
1. Try Rx Products And Vitamin Supplements
Not all hair loss is created equal. Trichologist Penny James told MarthaStewart.com the first step is identifying the root cause. “A wider part can be the result of pattern hair loss, chronic diffuse telogen hair loss, diffuse or androgenic alopecia, thyroid issues, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).”
Treating those problems specifically can produce better results. A multivitamin or hair-focused nutrient supplement, like Nutrafol, can help push hair back into a growth phase for generalized hair loss and thinning.
Additionally, you can get a prescription topical solution called minoxidil from a dermatologist or general practitioner.
2. Massage Your Scalp Daily
A daily scalp massage is another way to boost hair growth. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?
As trichologist Kerry Yates explained to MarthaStewart.com, “massaging the scalp a minimum of four minutes every day will relieve tension and tightness while improving blood circulation. Several studies have shown that a simple scalp massage can improve scalp health and decrease hair fall.”
Soft silicone massagers are easy to use and are safe to keep in the shower. If you really want to treat yourself and your locks, invest in an electric massager.
3. Stay Away From Heavy Products And Heat
The urge to compensate with heavy products or styling tools can be tempting, but try to avoid it. It’s important to note that heavy products won’t yank strands from the root. If your hair is going to fall out, then it will—products or not.
However, they can damage the remaining hair and new growth. That’s why it’s so important to find the right hair care products that will be gentle on your scalp. Brand new hairs are extra sensitive to sulfates, so choosing a sulfate-free product regimen is critical.
And yes, I know you’ve been hearing this for years now, but lay off the heat. Excess heat styling and chemicals will fry, split, and break your strands. At that point, you’re just speeding up hair loss.
4. Lower That High Pony
Similarly, high and voluminous hairstyles can give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair. But just like with products and heat tools, these “tricks” for making hair look fuller might be the reason why it’s so thin.
One of the worst offenders is a daily go-to for many of us: a ponytail. “Constant pulling will result in permanent follicle damage and prevent them from operating normally,” Yates explained.
“If you like to wear your hair in a tight ponytail, try one a bit lower, towards the nape of the neck, to limit the strain on your hairline.” Other gentle hair tie options include claws, spiral hair rings, and satin scrunchies.
5. Stop Washing Your Hair Every Day
Thin hair is prone to greasiness, which is why many fine-haired folks opt to shower every day. Otherwise, their roots are liable to clump into one giant oil slick. Ironically, this could be the cause of your thin hair—not a symptom of it.
The act of shampooing doesn’t necessarily cause hair loss. For the most part, it’s normal to lose strands while you scrub and rinse. But overwashing your hair can strip the strands of their natural oils and protective barriers, making them susceptible to breakage and hair fallout.
Try washing every other day, then every two days, then twice a week. Use a natural dry shampoo in between washes to keep roots looking fresh.
6. Use Camouflaging Products
If you must use products on thinning hair, then try one that camouflages. Hair camouflage products increase the visual density of hair. These products come in many forms.
Some products, like Toppik, are made of fibers that attach magnetically to the hair, creating more fullness. Others, like DermMatch, are powders that you apply with a wet applicator directly to the scalp.
Both Penny and Yates recommend a powder touch-up formula like Madison Reed Root Touch Up Powder. The powder is easier to control, and “the squared-off brush helps create the perfect line instantly,” Yates said.
7. Quit Smoking
We often hear about how smoking cigarettes affects our heart and lung health. But did you know that it also affects your scalp health? Tobacco smoke causes hair loss in several ways—just in case you needed another reason to quit.
According to several studies, the chemicals in cigarette smoke reduce blood circulation, cutting off your hair follicles’ blood supply. This interrupts the hair growth cycle. Cigarette smoke also increases inflammation throughout the body, which also causes hair fall.
Finally, smoking cigarettes damages the immune system, making you susceptible to diseases and infections that cause hair loss. So, quitting smoking might be the best thing you could do for your widening part.