My thinning hair has been a continuous challenge for me ever since I started styling my hair myself in my early teen years. I have learned a thing or two when it comes to various ways to manage very thin, stringy, and even sparse thinning tresses! Keep reading if you have similar problems and want to achieve your hair goals!
My Story of Hair Loss
As a child, I most definitely had quite feathery, baby fine hair that grew very slowly. I didn’t notice it much because Mom did my hair! I was too busy playing with my Barbies and dolls’ hair to worry about how much hair was on my own head. It wasn’t until I reached my early teen years, when I wanted to achieve certain styles, that I realized doing that proved quite difficult. I didn’t have a lot to work with, even before I started dealing with my thinning and shedding hair later on in my adult years.
Through my younger teen years, I experimented with many hair additions: ponytails, extensions of every kind; then I graduated into other pieces, such and bangs and clip-ins.
Once I had my first child, I experienced Telogen Effluvium and then eventually, gradual female-pattern hair loss.
Telogen Effluvium, or temporary hair loss,is a common type of diffuse hair loss. With telogen effluvium, thinning hair or hair shedding is caused when a large percentage of scalp hairs are shifted into the Telogen phase (also known as the resting phase) of the hair-growth cycle. This means that more hair roots are in the resting stage than usual. In addition, in the Anagen (growing) phase, fewer hair follicles are available to grow new hair. This slows down the hair-growth cycle and results in a gradual thinning or shedding of hair.
Some factors that can contribute to telogen effluvium range from hormonal changes (particularly after the birth of a child or around the time of menopause), periods of high stress and anxiety, poor diet, excessive heat styling and overstyling of your hair, illness, medication, etc.
Since I already-genetically-did not have a lot of hair to start out with, something as common as postpartum shedding caused a dramatic noticeable difference in the quality and density of my hair. I had to learn other ways of styling, had to find products, and experiment with other forms of alternative hair in order to achieve my desired look and feel better about my hair situation.
If you have dealt with any type of hair loss … don’t worry. It is very common. I have Androgenic Alopecia, which is the most common type of hair loss in women. It’s also known as female pattern hair loss. Alopecia means baldness, but just as in men, it is usually not complete hair loss. One in three women deal with thinning hair in some way.
I was determined to find ways of making sure that I had the kind of hairstyle that I loved … because hair was a passion of mine. I decided to go to beauty school during high school, and there were difficult times, because my very thin fragile hair could not handle too much coloring or excessive styling. It didn’t stop me from experimenting, which resulted in hair breakage and, of course, even more thinning of my hair.
5 Thin Hair Solutions, Tried and Tested
While experiencing this journey of thin, shedding/sparse hair, I had my moments of discouragement. But don’t be discouraged. There are so many options available to help and assist with thin hair and hair loss. You can love your hair, regardless of your hair situation!
#1: Dry Shampoo/Thickening Products
These products will add thickness and bulk to your hair, creating the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. If your hair has a tendency to get oily, which can make already thin hair appear thinner, these products can absorb oils and help you go a day without washing your hair. Some dry shampoos are tinted, which can add color to overgrown roots, as well as add slight color to a bare scalp where hair looks sparse. This will instantly make your hair appear fuller.
#2: Hair-Building Fibers
There are many brands and formulations of hair fibers out on the market. A popular brand is Toppik. I have tried Boost N Blend, along with Thick Fiber, and Top Secret. Each one is created to attach and build on to your existing strands of hair, instantly filling in sparse areas and making thinning, balding areas look thicker. In most cases, these fibers are sprinkled on, but many brands offer a spray/pump applicator for more precise areas around the hairline. Typically, hair fibers are resistant to sweat and will wash out with shampoo.
#3: Hair Extensions
Hair extensions aren’t new, and many many people use them whether they deal with thin hair or not. You can add length, bulk and color, and also have that beautiful, long mermaid hair you’ve always dreamed of. There are a whole slew of hair-extension applications and techniques. It all depends on what look you want to achieve. In my experience, and with my type of very fine, thin and fragile hair, I found that having tape, glue, beads, or any type of extension installed long-term would create what is referred to as “traction alopecia”. I would lose a LOT of hair due to the extension’s weight, pull, and tension on my own hair. I started using clip-in extensions, so I could remove them at the end of the day. These are a fantastic option, but if you have a sensitive scalp, with fragile hair, clips may also cause traction alopecia over time. The halo extension is the least damaging option, in my opinion. It’s basically hair on a clear wire that is worn over your head like a headband. Whatever you use, extensions are an excellent option to add length and bulk to thin, stringy hair.
#4: Hair Pieces
Hair additions are all the rage. Whether you want to add a temporary bang, pull your hair up in a top knot, and make that tiny, bitty, baby bun into a FULL and fluffy bun, or create a long sleek beautiful ponytail, you’d better believe there are pieces for that! You can also instantly cover a thinning hairline or crown or add volume with what many refer to as a “Hair Topper”. Some people call them a “Volume Extension” or “Root Extension”, but if you talk to someone in the wig industry, back in the day, they were commonly referred to as a wiglet. For someone who is experiencing thinning hair on the crown of her head, or at the part or hairline, these pieces are fun, easy to use, and can add beautiful highlights, color, length, volume and bulk to thinning hair. Many people wear pieces and you wouldn’t even know it! Oftentimes, these pieces have realistic parting areas, and can be styled just like your own hair. For more budget-friendly options, there are a variety of options available in synthetic hair that will blend wonderfully with your own hair.
Wigs have come a long way, and they are HOT right now. Whether you are dealing with hair loss or not, wigs not only add coverage for those who need it, but for anyone who wants it, you can instantly change your color, style, length, and not even worry about damage that those color changes would do on your natural hair! Wigs are convenient when you don’t have time to style your own hair, and there are so many options—whether you’re going for something subtle or something edgy and wild—there is a style and color for everyone!
If you have dealt with, or are dealing with any type or form of hair loss, don’t be afraid to experiment, and try something different and new! You don’t have to be ashamed of your thin, fine, or thinning hair… you can create the hair that you want, you can WEAR the hair that you want. There are more people experiencing hair loss than you know. There are choices and options available. As long as you remain open minded, you’ll find out what may work for you and your hair.
Follow my Instagram account, Fabricating Fringe, for more ideas, inspiration, tips, tricks, and thin hair solutions!