Everyone wants healthy thick hair. From trying every hair mask known to man to seriously considering taking hair supplements, most of us are willing to do or buy anything that will help us achieve that beauty goal.
While we could – and would always love to – play around with hair products all day, we know there must be a definitive fool-proof guide to getting strong and shiny strands. We spoke with a trichologist and hair stylists to break down everything we need to know about getting thick hair. Scroll down to see what advice they had to say.
According to Michelle Blaisure, product and technical specialist and certified trichologist for Bosley Professional Strength, diet is the most important thing to consider if you want thick and healthy hair. “While genetics determines hair texture and curl, our diet plays a role in how genes can get expressed,” Blaisure says. “Be sure to get plenty of good quality protein and good fats like olive oil and Omega 3.” She recommends foods such as salmon, avocados, nuts, vegetables, and fruit to get the nutrients and fibers needed.
Start With Your Scalp
If there’s any major hair lesson to take away from 2018, it’s that we must take care of our scalps if we want the stands on our heads to be strong and thick. Blaisure explains the scalp has a rich microbiome of bacteria and fungus necessary to keep the skin healthy. When we don’t shampoo enough or use harsh chemicals on it, it leads to scalp problems that negatively affect hair growth. You have to take care of your scalp because it is an extension of your skin. “The skin has immunity functions and is our first line of defense against toxins and environment aggressors. When the scalp is compromised, the scalp cannot defend itself,” she says. “Keeping a healthy balance of moisture and natural oils is important on scalp just as it is on your face.”
She blames overuse of hair chemicals and harsh cleaning agents, like baking soda, of stripping the hair and disrupting the scalp skin pH balance. She says to avoid using thickening products that leave behind a heavy residue and make hair look dull and avoid anything with a high pH level.
Linda de Zeeuw, master stylist at Rob Peetoom, suggests massaging your scalp to activate the bloodstream and to avoid washing your hair more than three times a week to keep your scalp healthy. Zeeuw also warns against overusing dry shampoo as it can build a dust layer on your scalp and clog hair follicles, preventing new healthy hair to grow in.
Use The Right Shampoo & Conditioner
Different hair types require specific products that cater to different needs. Cutler salon senior stylist Jenny Balding says those with fine hair should look for building shampoo and conditioners, such as the Redken High Rise Volume, to create thickness and shine. For those with coarse hair, Balding suggests products that tame frizz, enhance shine, and moisturize, like Ouai’s Smooth Conditioner.
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Pop The Right Pills
Balding believes that taking a multivitamin along with a hair supplement can make a big difference. Blaisure agrees, adding that we are deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are necessary for healthy hair follicle function and growth. “These need to be added for many people along with a healthy diet,” she says.
Choose something like the Bosley Professional Strength Healthy Hair Vitality Supplements, which are high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 and horsetail and pumpkin seed extract, or like the Hair La Vie Rx Blend: Clinical Strength Hair Vitamins, which contains powerhouse ingredients such as a bioavailable of keratin to improve hair growth.
Make Air Drying Your Friend
We know it can be hard to break up with your hair dryer or flat iron. But if you want thicker, shinier hair, you might have to. “Keeping hot tool use at a minimum will lessen hair damage,” says Balding. “It will make a huge difference.”
She says that if you cannot stay away from your favorite hot tools, she says it’s an absolute must to use a heat protectant spray, like the Cutler Protectant Treatment Spray, and a high-quality hot tool brand, like the T3 Single Pass Straight Iron.
Brush, Brush, Brush
Yes, even brushing can affect your hair’s thickness. According to Blaisure, brushing your hair helps distribute the natural oils that will help protect it from damage and add shine. Balding agrees and adds that regardless of hair texture, brushing everyday will exfoliate the scalp and remove dead hair.
But it’s only helpful if you’re using the right brush. Zeeuw suggests using a boar brush, like this Mason Pearson one. “You will polish the hair and it gets its natural glow because you are dividing the natural oils from the scalp into the hair,” she says. As for the biggest hair brush faux pas? Using a plastic one. “Don’t use a plastic brush,” she says. “That will damage the hair and make it static.”