Everyone’s talking about their hair these days: Are my eyelashes shorter? Why does more hair seem to end up on my brush than on my head? Is that (god forbid) a bald spot? And it makes sense: I’m 51 and like most of my friends, hormonal changes have changed pretty much everything about my body. I recently wrote about how to manage night sweats and hot flashes, as well as the CBD supplement-and-soak package that is my secret weapon against sleeplessness. But hair loss hasn’t really affected me, so far. I think this is because I have very thin hair and for years I’ve been fighting to hold onto each and every strand. Recently, I discovered some amazing products from Vegamour, which sponsored this post, that really help. Want to learn more? Read on!
THIS. IS. HAPPENING.
Normally, humans shed as many as 100 hairs each day. Hair loss occurs when more hair falls out than grows in, a condition technically known as alopecia. This affects as many as 50% of women — 30 million in the United States alone — and more often than not, they’re older than 40. Yup, it’s happening.
SMART GIRLS DON’T LOSE MORE
But before we get to my strategies for fighting hair loss, let’s dispel some myths. You don’t gain thicker hair because you:
stand on your head (been there, done that)
brush 100 strokes a day
Similarly, you don’t have hair loss because you:
color (although here are some ways to do it better)
wear a hat
wear a wig
are smart (yes, this is a thing and wrong on so many levels)
STOP IT WITH THE EYE-WATERING PONYTAILS
However, you can lose hair because you:
wear your hair in a tight style like a ponytail or braid
experience rapid weight loss
over-process your hair to the point that it breaks
are being medically treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or other medications
experience extreme emotional or physical stress — which includes having a baby
are genetically predisposed to hair loss
are experiencing the normal hormonal changes associated with aging and menopause
HAIR LOSS IS NORMAL…
Yes, normal — especially as a result of the hormonal shifts associated with aging. When estrogen and progesterone levels fall, the effects of androgens (male hormones) increase: Your hair follicles shrink so your hair grows more slowly and falls out easier. If you are over 40 and are beginning to find more hair than usual — on your brush or pillow and in the shower — and notice that your ponytail is getting smaller, you’re probably experiencing menopause-related hair loss.
…BUT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
But you know what else is normal? Doing whatever you can — naturally — to prevent it. That’s my strategy and my hair, lashes, and brows are actually thicker now than they were a decade ago. It’s true — ask my hairdresser!
SIX STEPS TO GET THICK
1. Take biotin.
You know that I’m not a doctor — obvi — so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I’ve found that biotin is the SHIZZLE when it comes to fighting hair loss. If you’re not taking biotin, you are missing out — not just on thicker hair, but also stronger nails.
2. Don’t wash so much.
I used to wash my hair every day. Now I use a natural dry shampoo so that I can skip as many as four days between washing. Yes, I wear a hat or pin my hair back on day four — but since I stopped washing daily my hair is much less oily.
3. Wash better.
Avoid shampoos made with harsh detergents that suds up great but strip your hair. These include 1.4-Dioxane and Sodium Lauryl or Laureate Sulfate.
4. Brush less.
I used to believe in the 100 strokes and followed the practice religiously. Now, I brush my hair gently at night and once before washing or after I sprinkle in my dry shampoo. I start with the ends (so I don’t break them) and then flip my hair over and brush down from the roots. After washing, I blow dry on low with with my hot air brush — which is like a hair dryer stuffed into a roller brush. (Do you have one of these yet? OMG game changer!)
In between washings, I massage my scalp for a few minutes every morning. I flip my head over and use my fingers to increase circulation from the back of my neck to the crown. In addition to stimulating growth, it really helps to reduce stress-related headaches like migraines, which I suffer from.
6. Slip and slide.
Slippery bamboo, silk or satin pillowcases can reduce hair tanging and breakage. I sleep on one every night and bring the case with me when I travel.
I like many of the hair-growth products from Vegamour, which sponsored this post. They formulate their plant-based products without parabens or synthetic hormones and maintain a robust sin list. They are also all vegan all the time, cruelty free, and ethically produced. And they test their products with real humans who report real results: 76% of users surveyed in a blind clinical trial said they lost less hair and 52% said their hair appeared thicker. Sold!
MOMMY GREENEST + VEGAMOUR THICK HAIR PICKS
I’m a big fan of Vegamour’s best-selling GRO Hair Serum ($44) and Biotin Gummies ($24) — both packaged in perpetually recyclable glass, natch — plus the Good Nights and Hair Days Pillowcase ($28) made from organic bamboo, which comes in a travel bag.
What’s your favorite hair thickening trick? Tell me about it by leaving a comment below!