Curly girls have a lot to discuss when it comes to their hair and some topics are more trendy than others, but one topic that raises a fair amount of concern and anxiety among curlies is thinning hair. Yes, it not only robs us of the dream of having a big mane but it also has a negative effect on our self-esteem pushing us look for solutions to fix thin curly hair ’cause we all like to look our best, right?! So come along while I share a few tips to help you turn things around.
Getting It Clear – Thinning, Shedding & Hair Loss
Okay! So first things first, let’s get some things clear. Thinning hair, shedding and hair loss are issues that are often connected, however, there is some confusion among some of them. Thinning hair happens as a result of hair loss – as you lose hair your hair density decreases and your hair appears thinner because you effectively have less hair. (Read more about 7 Causes of Thinning Hair Edges)
However, having hair loss is different from having hair breakage in the sense that hair breakage happens when the hair brakes somewhere along its length due to bad hair care practices that affect hair health. Hair loss, on the other hand, is hair that sheds from your scalp, inside the hair follicle with the hair bulb still attached to it. (Read more about 5 Hair Loss Conditions You can Stop Today)
Tough hair shedding can happen for natural reasons (i.e. hair that has reached the end of its growth cycle) when linked to hair thinning there are normally other reasons behind it. They can be related to hormones, stress, postpartum, medication, diet, autoimmune disease or stress caused directly to the hair follicles (e.g. tight hairstyles and use of chemical relaxers) which then stop producing new hair and end the cycle of hair growth. This can be permanent (male baldness, scalp scarring, some forms of alopecia) or not and in the last case there are a few things you can do. (Read more about The Difference Between Hair Shedding & Hair Breakage)
Uff! Glad we got this out of the way. Now off to the real solutions.
SOLUTIONS TO FIX THINNING HAIR
Before I spill the deeds I’d like to make clear that these ‘solutions’ do not represent a substitute for seeking professional help. While hair thinning can be greatly improved and even fixed with simple at-home solutions without the need of professional help for some the same is not true for others.
Therefore, don’t sit around waiting for things to improve if your hair shedding becomes increasingly alarming. Having said this here are some things you can try to help improve your hair shedding.
#1| Look At Your Hair Routine
If you (1) like to frequently rub your scalp with oils, (2) are a fierce supporter of only co-washing to clean your curly hair and/or (3) you don’t ever clarify your hair to remove build up the root of your problem can be here. If you’re engaging in one or more of these behaviours your hair follicles can be clogged and unable to receive enough nutrition. With time they shed and new hair stops growing.
The solution is simple. Reduce scalp greasing to a few days a week, invest in a sulphate-free shampoo capable of removing oils and butter and schedule a clarifying hair session to remove hard water minerals and other hard to remove product build-up. Clean scalp means healthy hair!
Sometimes this is all it takes, a multivitamin supplement to make up for the shortcomings in our diet or a stressful lifestyle. Even though we quickly forget, these two factors impact our health in many ways. One way our body sends a signal that something is wrong and needs attention is through our hair. It can start shedding, become brittle or lose sheen. It’s no wonder a simple hair strand analysis can tell a lot about our health (hands up to all the CSI episodes I watched! 😉 😀 ).
I know it sounds weird and you’re probably already thinking about all the reasons why this is not a good idea (e.g. smell), but some homemade recipes are truly effective. I promise you this is not my wishful thinking or some folk’s medicine, studies have found that onion really stimulates hair growth.
You can simply blend an onion in your food processor or hand blender, massage the pulp/juice on your scalp, leave it on 20 – 60 mn and then wash your hair. You can read here to know more about the science behind the benefits of onion and for a few more recipes you can make with onion.
However, a better solution is to look for a product that has this ingredient in it. It will be formulated in a way to benefit your hair and scalp. Who has the time for all these concoctions, right?! 😉
MSN stands for Methyl Sulfonyl Methane and it’s an organic compound of sulphur which is needed by amino acids so they can perform their function. Amino acids are present in our cells, muscle, hair, skin, nails and they are the smallest constituent of protein. Knowing that our hair is basically made out of protein (i.e. keratin), sulphur can be an important ally when combatting hair thinning.
Moreover, even though MSN supplements are normally taken to treat muscle pains, improve the immune system, arthritis and more many people actually report increased hair growth as a side effect. So there you have it, it’s not only good as a simple supplement to boost your health, but it can also help your hair grow. You can take it in the form of pills or powder.
#5| Ayurvedic Solution
Ayurvedic medicine has been around for thousands of years and their holistic approach to health care and use of plants and herbs has shown results. Different studies have proven the medicinal uses of herbal remedies in hair care as is the case of ginseng (hair strengthening), amla (hair growth promotion), fenugreek (hair growth promotion and hair loss prevention).
An easy way to use these is to make an oil infusion and then gently massage the oil on the scalp. Take your chosen herb, seed or powder (you can choose more than one), place it in a container, pour your favourite vegetable oil(s) over it, let the mixture sit for two weeks and use it (you can also use the oil infusion as your pre-poo).
If you use this blend frequently make sure you also clean your scalp and hair accordingly. Oiling your scalp attracts more dirt and holds on to it more tightly. You can be clogging your hair follicles and worsen your hair condition or trigger new ones. Remember your scalp needs to ‘breathe’ after all it is an extension of your skin. 😉
Whatever you do make sure you wash all the oils out as they will prevent hair water from getting into your hair and hydrating it. Make sure you use a shampoo that is capable of doing this.