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Caring for Your Thinning Hair

Shampoo, styling, and hair care tips for women with thinning hair.

Shampoo, Cosmetic Concealers, and Other Products

One of the first steps to improving the look of thinning hair is to experiment with styling products.

Most women start with shampoo, and volumizing products do a good job of giving the appearance of fuller hair, Barbosa says. She tells WebMD that there are too many ingredients to list, but looking for one with some sort of protein is a good place to start. Kutcher recommends looking for words like “body,” “volume,” “texture” or “thickness.”

It is also a good idea to avoid products with a lot of moisture, which only weighs the hair down. Barbosa recommends focusing conditioner on the ends of the hair, not at the roots. Shampoo and conditioners combined often have too much moisture.

“I think that, for a lot of women, there is unfortunately a lot of trial and error involved (in finding the right products),” says Barbosa, who used to work for L'Oreal. “I would also say that women should not expect superior results just from a shampoo system alone - it’s like step one and best for people with little loss.”

A second group of products are mousses, gels, and sprays. Kutcher says mousses and sprays are the best bet because they tend to add texture, but are lighter than gels.

Two other options are cosmetic enhancements -- powder and scalp concealer. 

The powder made up of keratin fibers that matches one’s hair color and is sprinkled on the hair and scalp. The products (such as HairMax Hair Fibers, Super Million Hair Enhancement Fibres, Toppik Hair Building Fibers, and XFusion Keratin Hair Fibers) adhere by static electricity and create volume.

Another option is a scalp concealer, a loose powder that is close to the color of the hair, that is applied directly to the scalp. It works to reduce the visibility of skin under thinning hair. These products can’t always be found in drug stores, but are readily available online.

Color, Styling

There are also some styling tips that can be performed in a salon or at home, that can thicken and bulk up the hair’s texture.

One is a good haircut. Although many women may be tempted to grow their hair out to have more of it, they should keep it relatively short, so it weighs less, says Kristopher Kutcher, owner of Kristopher’s Hair Studio, Inc. in Quincy, Ill. If it’s not too thin, layers can also give lift, he says.

When done well, chemical treatments won’t damage the hair and can also help add texture, Kutcher says. Perms change the hair’s physical texture and make each strand fuller.

“It is all about taking that hair strand and bulking it up or causing the cuticle to swell or be rougher to add texture,” he says.

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