Let’s get one thing straight: not everyone is blessed with a full head of thick, flowy locks. For some, having thin, fine hair is a simple fact of life (which your thicker-haired friends may envy for the quick showers and 5-minute hairstyling). But silver linings aside, a shrinking ponytail or widening part is not an easy sight to shrug off—whether you’re in your roaring twenties or encroaching your silver years. Hair is, after all, an abstract measure of beauty and thus works its way into how we view ourselves.
If you’re a full-time member of the thin and fine hair clan, perhaps the worry of losing more strands than normal is more pronounced. So, what can we do? Before you chuck up the sponge, you should know there are options and ways to give your strands the volume of your dreams and delay or prevent excessive hair thinning—which is a sign of hair loss. Besides offering our favourite picks, we speak to two trichologists on their recommendations for the best hair care products that fortify and strengthen your strands—giving you an instant lift while combating hair loss.
Meet the experts:
Shermaine Chong, trichology expert with over a decade of scalp and hair expertise, Tricholab
Yvonne Png, Head of Retail Education at PHS HAIRSCIENCE
Root of the problem
Before getting excited about which hair product you’re adding to your next haul, Yvonne Png, head of retail education at PHS HAIRSCIENCE reminds us that, “knowing the needs of your scalp and hair based on lifestyle is important”. For example, if you work outdoors and are constantly exposed to environmental toxins, you would need to use products that provide strong antioxidant protection. Or say, you work in an industry where you’re heavy-handed with styling products, your focus should be on cleansing and exfoliation to remove build-ups that can, “potentially cause scalp disorder, which can lead to hair loss if left untreated”.
Fine hair vs thin hair
When it comes to hair types, ‘thin’ and ‘fine’ hair are often conflated with each other. Referring to the thickness and thus the diameter of your hair strands, ‘fine’ hair is characterised by its smaller diameter and silky, satin feel. Such hair textures typically have fewer cuticle layers, contain less protein, and tend to be more fragile.
Thin hair, on the other hand, refers to hair follicle density—the number of strands per square inch of your scalp. A tip to easily identify if you have this hair type is to look at your parting—people with thin hair will most likely have a lot more scalp showing— a sign of hair loss. The reason behind thinning hair is multifactorial, and each elicits a different type of treatment.
How to care for fine and thin hair
This seems like a no-brainer but healthy hair begins with a clean scalp. Yvonne Png recommends a three-step hair care routine: cleansing to break down the build-up of oil and dirt, correcting to further remove excess oil to allow the shampoo to target specific concerns, and lastly exfoliating on a weekly basis.
Besides avoiding these ingredients that may be lurking in your hair care products, Tricholab’s trichology expert Shermaine Chong offers her best tips when caring for such hair types: combing your hair from root to tip to detangle your strands before shampooing and using lukewarm water to rinse your hair as it, “helps open the hair cuticles to allow the shampoo to penetrate deeper and clarify the scalp”.
When it comes to styling, Yvonne Png cautions against using heavy-weight products that will further weigh down your hair and instead reach for products with a volumising and plumping ability, in moderate amounts. Though chic and sleek, try to avoid tight buns or braiding as they can, “cause breakage and pull-out hair at the root”.
For an instant, fuss-free lift
This featherlight, leave-in hair mist instantly adds volume at the roots for a fuller ‘do that lasts up to 48 hours. Containing hydrolysed keratin to reduce hair breakage and 11 amino acids that penetrate deep into the cortex to strengthen hair from within, your limp, flat locks can show themselves out.
While you definitely shouldn’t be using dry shampoo as your shampoo alternative (even if it’s a day or two!), this can be a life-saver if you’re in dire need of an on-the-go freshened-up look. This gentle, plant-based dry shampoo is formulated with organically harvested oat milk that soothes the scalp and rids hair of excess dirt, oil, and odour. Free from parabens, preservatives and silicone, this is one of the best dry shampoos we’ve tried for achieving a refreshed, bouncy-blowout that doesn’t leave our scalp irritated. Just be sure to wash it all out before you retire for the day.
Strengthen and fortify your strands
Shermaine Chong exerts that the foundational principle in accelerating hair growth in reactive hair loss is to first nourish and strengthen the hair roots and then stimulate the scalp to facilitate faster and healthier hair growth.
Whether you’re experiencing mild hair loss and thinning, or looking for ways to future-proof your tresses, PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s preventive Fem Fortify Shampoo delivers an energising and rehabilitating mix of essential ingredients: Rice Stem Cells to promote scalp circulation, patented 5 Complex to purify and deeply clarify your scalp and Walnut extract to accelerate hair growth by strengthening your hair follicles—without stripping off your scalp’s natural moisture.
Tricholab’s anti-hair loss shampoo double-action shampoo breaks down unwanted pore accumulation and dead skin cells while promoting hair growth. Containing gingko leaf and peppermint extracts, blood circulation to the scalp is greatly improved, strengthening the roots of your hair. Pair this with the weightless, nourishing anti-hair loss ampoule that is concentrated with vitamin B5, salicylic acids, and yeast compound (including ginkgo leaf and peppermint extracts) to promote blood circulation and strengthened hair roots—conditions necessary for an optimal hair growth environment.
The new frontier in the field of hair science, PHS HAIRSCIENCE trailblazes with patented cell signaling technology to trigger restoration and rejuvenation processes on a cellular level, enabling collagen synthesis. Together with a blend of growth factors and Biotin which inhibit DHT formation (the sex hormone responsible for hair loss), the Stem C Growth Activator kicks start and most importantly, sustains your hair growth.
If you’re suffering from reactional hair loss, i.e due to pregnancy, stress, or fatigue. Klorane’s Keratin Strength serum gets your hair back in shape. With a formula based on Quinine-Caffeine, B vitamins, and Keratin-containing amino acids that closely resemble those found in your hair strands, this anti-hair loss serum stimulates the growth of healthier hair.
For thinning, weak hair, proper scalp care should be your first line of defense. Packaged in a stately gradient-white bottle, Goldwell’s Kerasilk Revitalize Redensifying Serum is formulated with the trademarked ingredient Ecotoin, protecting the scalp from oxidative stress while helping to hydrate and retain its moisture. The serum is supplemented with ginseng—well known for its stimulative effect on natural metabolism, and Keratin for your strand’s structural support. But, perhaps our favourite part is the mild accents of sage and thyme that make for an ultra-calming post-shower treat.
These perfectly dosed capsules prolong the hair growing phase by 32% by stimulating, firming, and nourishing your hair bulbs for stronger and more structured hair. Formulated with the complex “Tricobema Hair Growing”, Bema’s anti-hair loss lotion consists of seaweed glycogen, rosemary, horseradish seed, and bloodwood bark extracts.
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