Hair Care

Summer says fabulous hair. Actually, I’ll just settle for a good hair day. What if your hair is fine, limp, thinning, or even all three (as mine is)? I’ve been looking at ways to give my hair more oomph.

Fine hair

Hairdressers often would remark on what seemed to me to be a paradox—that I had very fine hair and a lot of it. It turns out that this isn't unusual. People with fine hair actually have more hairs per square centimeter than other hair types. Each hair takes up less space so there is room for more of them (source).

Limp hair

If you have limp hair, you probably have fine hair. Each hair has its own oil gland, so the more hairs you have, the more oil your scalp produces and in a smaller area.

Ingredients to look for
Ceramides are lipids that fill gaps in the outer hair cuticle. Added to hair products, they can repair hair breakage. Ginseng root extract strengthens the hair, thus aiding in the prevention of hair breakage and split ends. Sesame oil contains linoleic acid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effect.

Thinning hair as we age

As people age, the hair cycle can become shorter (this isn't true for everyone and depends on your genes). The follicles gradually give up producing long, strong hair, and the hairs become thinner and shorter. This can happen to lashes, brows, leg and arm fuzz and so on.

Postpartum thinning hair

One of the more distressing postpartum symptoms is hair loss caused by extreme hormonal change. Between one to five months after delivery, telogen effluvium—the excessive shedding of hair—may occur. Actually this is not uncommon, afflicting 40 percent to 50 percent of new mothers. Generally, postpartum hair loss is short-lived. (Read more on postpartum hair loss.)

Ingredients to look for
Caffeine increases the activity of the hair roots and may even promote hair growth. Carnitine strengthens thinning hair and protects against hair loss. Researchers found that methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) grew hair as well as or even better than minoxidil.

Follicle friendly

For thinning hair, follicle care is critical. Each individual hair is formed inside a hair bulb deep in a hair follicle. The follicle is a tiny but powerful factory. Although some male balding is due to testosterone, there is a growing understanding of the role the follicle plays in other kinds of hair loss (female hair thinning, sparse lashes and brows). A healthy follicle produces nice strong hair.

Ingredients to look for
Copper peptides work on follicles in three ways: increasing follicle cell proliferation, decreasing programmed follicle cell death, and increasing in follicle size.