How to Get Thicker Hair, According to Hairstylists
On the list of hair wishes, it's safe to say thicker hair ranks right up there with scoring Blake Lively's no-matter-the-season-beach-ready waves. But in a sea of products, tonics, potions, and vitamins, it can be tough to know what actually works.
For starters, it's important to know why you may have thin or thinning hair, says Flora Fuentes, a certified hair restoration specialist and owner of Unique Hair Concepts.
"The primary reason men and women experience thinning hair or hair loss is due to heredity," she says. "This is commonly known as male pattern or female pattern hair loss. This type of thinning hair or hair loss is primarily noticeable along the hairline, top of the head, or crown."
Fuentes says other causes of thinning hair and hair loss are the result of hormonal changes, poor diet, stress, aging, vitamin deficiencies, and certain hairstyles and treatments. Certain health conditions, such as an autoimmune disorder, may also cause thinning hair.
So while some types of hair loss can't be prevented, nourishing hair from the inside out is key in the quest for thicker hair, Fuentes says.
"Antioxidants help protect hair follicles against damage from harmful free radicals," she says. "Eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, turmeric, avocados and green vegetables, is not only good for your health but promotes healthy hair growth." Supplements that include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, green tea, and vitamin D3 may also help with hair growth.
And according to hairstylists, there are also certain products you can use that will help hair to grow thicker or, at the very least, appear fuller. Curious about the approach that might work best for you? Here are 10 products you'll want to check out for thicker hair.
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Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin & Nails
You've probably heard of biotin before and it's for good reason: It's known for helping hair and nails grow longer and stronger.
That's why Lucy Garcia Planck, a hairstylist at the John Barrett Salon in New York, says she always recommends her clients take a daily biotin supplement. Her favorite? The Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin and Nails gummy multivitamin that, in addition to biotin, contains other key nutrients, like vitamins C and E to help nourish hair.
Rene Furterer's Complete Reactional Thinning Hair Regimen
Patrice Vinci of Patrice Vinci Salon in Boston says she has carried this Rene Furterer regimen at her salon for 10 years because of its all-encompassing approach to hair care, including the scalp. “The idea is to treat the scalp first because if that isn't healthy, your hair won't be healthy,” she says.
Plus, Vinci says the shampoo and serums include hydrogenated castor oil and essential oils like orange peel oil, both of which are known to stimulate hair growth: “The Triphasic Serum also contains lavandula hybrida oil (a hybrid class of lavender) which has properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress."
Grow Girl’s These Roots Are Made for Washing Hair Regrowth Scalp Detox
Sometimes growing thicker hair requires beginning with a clean slate, and that's where Grow Girl's detox formula steps in. Made with apple cider vinegar — which has been shown to help restore pH of the hair and scalp — and witch hazel, the product not only promotes regrowth but also replenishes hair's natural moisture and shine, which is a win-win if there ever was one.
Kerastase Masque Extentioniste Hair Mask
Planck says she uses this mask every other week to help strengthen her hair — it's the hair equivalent of hitting the gym. After all, it's made with creatine, which works to "reinforce the internal structure of the hair fiber."
On the weeks Planck isn't using this mask, she says she heads to her refrigerator to whip up a mask using everyday food items. Her go-to is one egg mixed with a bit of coconut or avocado oil. “Leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes with a shower cap,” she says. “These oils have a ton of omega-3s which will help your hair grow in thicker.”
NUTRAFOL Core for Women Plus
Want to nurture thicker hair from the inside out? Husband and wife duo Robin and Jaime Capili, founders of The Kin Room highly recommend Nutrafo (which happens to be one of the best hair vitamins out there, according to thousands of customer reviews).
"It's the only thing either of us have ever used that actually works,” the couple says, explaining that the supplement works to block the stress hormone that can lead to hair thinning. “We've seen our clients have stronger and faster healthy hair growth results within three to four months of consistent use.”
Perhaps that's because collagen-infused Nutrafol includes some key ingredients that are aimed at hair health, including stress adaptogens like ashwagandha. The plant has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone that can lead to hair damage and loss.
BigTYME Root Lift Powder
"The more damaged hair is — as a result of heat styling, UV rays, coloring, etc. — the more brittle it becomes," she says. "This impacts breakage, which causes hair to look and feel thinner."
Smith says she also likes to start at the root of the problem — literally: "To give the illusion of thick hair, we recommend spraying a volumizing powder like BigTYME into your roots and massaging into the scalp."
Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Regimen Kit
Eliut Rivera, a hairstylist and the owner of Eliut Salon in New York, says if you want to score thicker hair, then you'll want to avoid harsh additives, like parabens and sulfates, which can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to grow healthfully. Instead, opt for something that gently (and naturally) nourishes hair. Rivera swears by this ant-thinning kit by Paul Mitchell, which he says "helps create an optimal scalp environment to encourage healthy, thicker hair.”
MISSIO Styling Spray
Want the look of thicker hair without the long waiting process? It's all in the products you choose, says Lorin Van Zandt, founder of MISSIO Hair.
"Because healthy hair will always appear fuller, you want to use hair care products that contain ingredients with nourishing, strengthening, and reparative properties," she says. Try the MISSIO Styling Spray which helps add volume, shine, and thermal protection without feeling sticky. Perhaps it's the magic of baobab seed protein, a botanical protein that is known to strengthen hair and lock in moisture.
Youtheory Collagen Powder
ICYMI, collagen is kind of a big deal right now, especially when it comes to its benefits for your skin and hair. Curious why? Here's a quick science lesson: Collagen (and other proteins) contains amino acids that, in turn, help to build keratin, which is essential to hair growth.
Planck says she’s a fan of this powder, which she mixes straight into water. Speaking of water — Planck says it’s a good habit to drink lots of water to keep skin and hair hydrated (and healthy).
Michael Canalé NOURISH
You've probably received the memo on biotin by now — which this foam also contains — but what about castor oil? The vegetable oil has been shown to reduce dandruff-causing yeast on the scalp and even make hair shinier by coating the hair shaft. It makes sense then that celebrity hairstylist and master colorist, Michael Canalé says he developed this topical vitamin as a method for nourishing hair "through the scalp and from root to end."
Apply the product to a clean scalp once or twice a week after shampooing and allow your hair to soak in vitamins and nutrients that will help to improve overall hair fullness and strength.