#Beauty How To Make Your Hair Thicker Naturally, According To Stylists & Nutritionists
Thick hair is a point of pride, and it's not just reserved for fairy-tale princesses like Rapunzel—or actual princesses for that matter (just look at Kate's and Meghan's manes). It's totally achievable for us common folk, too. Sure, you can fake the fullness (cough, clip-in extensions) or you can get it the natural way. We vote the latter.
But first, "It's important to know that most people lose up to 100hairs per day. If you don't regularly brush your hair, this can feel very dramatic in the shower," says Andi Scarborough, stylist and co-owner of Framed salon in Santa Monica, California.
Beyond the usual shedding, there are reasons for hair loss. "When I see clients who come to me with hair concerns, most often it's caused by high stress levels, hormonal issues, and/or a combination of lack of nutrients or not eating enough food," says McKel Hill, registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition Stripped. Other culprits include aging, thyroid problems, some prescription drugs, smoking, and genetics.
Of course, how you treat your tresses matters too, from washing your hair with more natural products to how you style it. But as complicated as the causes may be, thicker hair solutions can be simple and even better for your hair and overall health.
Note: Contact your health care provider if you have sudden hair loss. This can be a symptom of a health problem.
Thicker hair doesn't have to be a pipe dream. Here's how to add va-va-volume:
1. Skip the sulfate shampoos.
When it comes to thicker hair, sulfates are not your friend. These potentially toxic chemicals might give shampoos that sudsy quality, but they can also strip hair of volume. "Staying clear of sulfates in a shampoo is always a good call," says Scarbrough. "These aggressive lathering agents can dry the hair out and strip color and natural oils." Luckily, there are sulfate-free options for every budget, from Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo ($7.59) to Neuma Neuvolume Shampoo ($26).
2. Don't overdo dry shampoo.
Not washing your hair every day can increase hair thickness (hello, natural oils!); however, always reaching for the dry shampoo can do the opposite. "Overuse of dry shampoo is not only cheating your scalp out of the TLC it needs, but it can also cause detrimental buildup on the scalp and suffocate follicles, which can lead to thinning hair and hair loss," warns Scarbrough. "If you love a good second- (or third- or fourth-) day refresh, as I know I do, opt for a mineral-, oat-, or rice-protein-based dry shampoo like R+CO Death Valley ($32)." When it's time to wash, don't skip on that second shampoo, and scrub it like you mean it!
3. Give your scalp some love.
When it comes to thicker hair, it's not just your locks that need attention. "Dry skin on your scalp or product buildup can choke out the follicle, reducing the diameter of the hair growing out, and in some cases reducing the follicle's ability to produce hair at all," says Scarbrough, who suggests a scalp scrub or shampoo brush to help turn over dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow to the hair follicle. Another proven way to increase hair thickness: Give yourself a relaxing scalp massage (just four minutes a day has been shown to increase hair thickness). Even better, add peppermint oil to the mix—animal research has found that this essential oil can actually increase the number of hair follicles when applied topically. For a DIY scalp massage oil, simply combine a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil with argan oil.
4. Put the heat styling on low.
Are you guilty of blasting your hair with hot hair dryers, curling wands, and straightening tools? "High-heat styling habits are another major culprit, and can essentially strip away the outside cuticle layer of the hair, or burn it, rendering it incapable of holding body or wave," warns Scarbrough, who suggests running your iron at medium heat and taking smaller sections. Another defense: Safeguard hair before you straighten it with a nourishing heat protection spray such as the Beautycounter Smooth & Control Hair Oil ($32), or even a bit of plain old argan oil. Even better, skip the tools altogether and go au naturel with this beachy wave technique.