Let’s face it, thick hair is sexy! It makes you feel pretty and vibrant and when you feel that way you are just a better person! But unless you hit the lucky gene lottery, thick hair may be more of a fantasy than a reality for you. The good news is, all of us can adopt changes that will help us achieve our thickest, healthiest hair, (and even fake it!), by following these simple steps:
1. Create a healthy environment for your hair to grow. This includes eating a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, choosing healthy fats like walnuts, avocados and olives, and getting plenty of exercise and rest. The healthier your body – the foundation for your hair – the healthier and many times fuller, your hair will actually be.
2. Choose your shampoo wisely. Over cleansing your hair and using shampoos with sulfates or other harsh detergents, can strip your hair of natural oils, making it brittle and more prone to breakage. Choosing a sulfate free shampoo and shampooing less often, are two steps that go a long way in helping your hair maintain its natural oils, which in turn, makes it look richer and healthier.
3. Condition your hair after every shampoo. And even on the days you don’t shampoo, try a no-poo shampoo. Massage your scalp in the shower, this will still clean away some oil and debris, then add conditioner as usual. Conditioner helps nourish your hair and keeps it well hydrated, which can give it volume and fullness. Also consider a deep conditioning treatment once a week to infuse your hair with moisture and hair friendly nutrients.
4. Wash and rinse your hair with warm, not hot water. Hot water is harsh on hair, just as it is on the skin. It causes the scalp and hair to dry out and colored hair will fade more quickly. Again, dry hair is more susceptible to breakage, which means less hair overall.
5. Brush with care. If you’re not mindful when brushing your hair, you can actually do more harm than good. Ripping through wet tangles is one sure way of having less hair when your done. Use a wide tooth comb on wet hair to reduce the chances of breakage, and use a natural bristle brush for best results brushing through dry hair.
6. Don’t over-style. Heat from dryers, irons, curlers and other gadgets may give you the short term look you crave, but long term they can kill, an otherwise great head of hair. Learn to love what you’ve got naturally – be it curls or matchstick hair – and over time your healthy hair will be naturally thicker and fuller and more rewarding.
7. Check your medications. Some medications are a direct cause of hair loss. Stress, illness, diet changes and hormonal changes can also be attributed to hair thinning and hair loss. Check with your doctor if you’re concerned.
8. Avoid sun, wind and chlorine or salt water to minimize damage to your hair. Wear a hat or scarf in the sun, and if you swim for exercise, run a handful of conditioner through your hair before tucking your locks into a swim cap. This will help prevent the chlorine from soaking into you hair and wreaking havoc! If you swim in a pool, use a shampoo afterwards, one that’s formulated to rid the chlorine from your hair, it’s well worth the time and investment.
9. Manage your stress. Stress takes a toll on your body in general and your hair in particular. Stress can cause the release of cortisol and other hormones that can contribute to hair loss. The good news is you can reverse the problem by getting your stress under control.
10. Clip It In. If all the best intentions and good habits still aren’t getting you the thick mane you want, try extensions or clip in pieces to add a bit of volume. Beauty supply stores and most major drug store chains typically offer a good selection of clip-in extensions that can boost and there is a variety of buns and ponytails.