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WebMD health-e head2toe: skin care today

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Thinning Hair Treatments and Solutions

Has your hair gotten finer in recent years? Innovative shampoos, conditioners, and other products can help.
By Karen Bruno
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD

Hair care seems like it should be simple. Over time, though, your hair becomes less dense. Individual strands get thinner and break more easily.

Sunlight, climate, and pollution also take a toll. And typical hairstyling techniques -- blow drying, coloring, over using gels -- can further damage your hair.

So what’s a normally gorgeously-coiffed woman to do? Sometimes the only way to repair the damage is to cut the hair off and wait for healthy hair to grow back. But if the damage hasn’t progressed too far, there are hair care products that may restore glossy, full-bodied hair. Many of these products may work for at least a short time and provide subtle benefits.

Shampoos With Surfactants and Silicones

Shampoos are not what they used to be. In the past, the cleansing agent was soap, which could dry out your scalp and leave a scum that doesn’t rinse away.

Modern shampoos, though, use synthetic detergents known as surfactants as the cleansing agent. Surfactants lather well in all types of water, and the lather lifts dirt and excess oil from your hair and holds it until it’s rinsed away.

Modern shampoos also contain silicones that give hair a soft feel, help it retain moisture, and make it easier to comb and manage. Many shampoos contain ingredients that condition the hair as well and repair damage.

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