You aren’t alone if you have hair that’s thinning… As hair thins, people instinctively load up on products and styling time. This not the correct thing to do, according to dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., of High Point, NC, a consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine.
She says: “A lot of people with thinning hair think, Well, now I have to do a lot to it to make it look better. So they get a bodybuilding perm, or they buy a special brush and give their hair a hundred strokes a day. But none of that is worthwhile.” What will make a difference: these seven easy hair-care changes that you can begin today.
#1 Don’t fuss
Rather than brushing hair a hundred strokes a day, aim for the opposite: Brush your hair as little as possible. And choose a brush with broad-based bristles — they don’t snag hair. The less you handle your hair, the less damage you’ll cause.
#2 Shampoo at the roots
Its main purpose is to cleanse the scalp in order to prevent dandruff and infections. Shampoo actually damages the hair shaft, roughing up the cuticle, so scrubbing your hair will make it less, not more, beautiful. Instead, gently rub shampoo into your scalp, work it into a lather, and, when you’re ready to rinse, run it through the rest of your hair with your hands.
#3 Condition after every wash
This step makes locks smooth. If conditioner turns your strands limp, apply it only on your ends. In fact, conditioner should never go near the roots, which have enough of hair’s natural conditioner (sebum).
#4 Douse with dimethicone
This wonder ingredient, a silicone, coats each shaft and acts as a lubricant. By reducing friction between strands, it minimizes tangles and damage, a great protective benefit for thinning tresses. Dimethicone adds shine and cuts down on frizz as well. Because it’s such a great smoothing agent, you’ll find it in hair products from shampoos and conditioners to masks, but the heaviest dose is in styling products and treatments, like the winning L’anza and Biolage leave-ins.
#5 Stick to a routine
Caring for your hair isn’t a one-shot deal. The dimethicone and other smoothers your conditioner, mask, and/or styler leave behind last only till your next shampoo. So with every wash, you need to repeat. And for the silkiest, shiniest hair, deposit several thin layers of smoothers by using a daily or deep conditioner and a treatment or styling product (for example, pair the Pureology conditioner with the L’anza).
#6 Don a hat in the sun
The pigment in your hair (natural or dyed) helps stop UV damage by absorbing radiation. Once you go gray, you lose that protection, and sunlight breaks down hair’s protein. UV rays also can turn gray hair a funny yellow color.
#7 Try leave-in sun protection
Your best defense against the sun, which also fades hair color, is to cover up with a hat, scarf, or umbrella. But if that’s not possible, apply a leave-in conditioner with sun protection when hair is wet — the water will help it spread evenly. Skip spray versions, which don’t distribute as well.
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