How Can I Make My Hair Thicker?

We went to the experts to find out.

Is There a Way to Make My Hair Thicker?
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Not all of us are born with thick hair, but if it's what you desire, there are a ton of products on the market that promise to give thicker, bouncier strands. The only question is, do they actually work?

To figure out if we can transform our thin strands, we spoke with Dr. Hope Mitchell, Founder and Medical Director of Mitchell Dermatology with locations in Perrysburg and Fremont, Ohio, Dr. Karyn Grossman, MD, board-certified Cosmetic Dermatologist and Consultant on Raf Five Skincare, as well as Dr. Aimee Paik, MD, DVP of Dermatology for Hims & Hers to find out more.

Is it actually possible to get thicker hair?

"Hair strands [and your] texture are primarily a genetic thing," explains Dr. Mitchell. "But there are ways to get thicker-looking hair with proper hairstyles, haircare products, and lifestyle, while avoiding breakage, hair damage, and hair loss."

But if you're going to product route, it's best to skip anything that goes directly on the scalp. Instead, opt for a scalp massage.

"Over time, hair products leave residue and clog the hair roots — exfoliating removes this build-up to allow hair growth and promote a natural lift on the strand of the hair and nutrient absorption," the MD continues. "Scalp massage and scalp exfoliation promotes blood circulation, oxygenation, and stimulates the natural oil that strengthens the roots of the hair."

Why has my hair gotten thinner overtime?

Hair habits and lifestyle choices can cause hair loss. "It's best not to over process hair since this can lead to thin, brittle hair that easily breaks," says Dr. Paik. So if you notice any thinning, it may be best to pause on chemical treatments for the time being. "Bleaching or coloring hair, chemical perms or straighteners, or the use of heat products can all weaken hair."

Also, wearing tight or heavy styles can cause traction alopecia, which thankfully can be reversed in its early stages.

What are the best products and ingredients to use to get thicker hair?

When it comes to shampoos and conditioners that claim to thicken hair, make sure you do your research and pay attention to the ingredient label before use. Also, if you have a scalp condition, it's always a good idea to contact your dermatologist before putting a new product to the test.

"Volumizing shampoo acts by dissolving the product build-up or clogs in the roots to allow hair growth as well as absorption of volumizing ingredients such as caffeine, biotin, and meadowfoam seed oil," says Dr. Mitchell. "Thickening shampoo makes the hair strands plump up by infusing them with proteins, vitamins, polymers, and moisturizers." The derm suggests using Avalon's Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. She adds that Bumble and bumble's Prêt-à-Powder Dry Shampoo Powder is also a great option if you're in a rush or in between washes.

But if those products don't work for you, just keep this in mind: "Use products that are free of alcohol due to its drying effect; look for products with hydrolyzed oat protein and fatty alcohols like cetyl or cetearyl," Dr. Mitchell continues. "[I recommend products] that reduce hair breakage and strengthen the hair strands and roots."

That said, be on the lookout for products containing argan oil, aloe vera, biotin, and coconut oil or milk to fortify your hair. Dr. Grossman also suggests saw palmetto, maca, and keratin.

"Saw palmetto helps reduce DHT, a hormone contributing to hair follicle shrinkage, maca provides hormonal support for peri/post-menopausal women, helping to block DHT, and keratin is a protein that mimics the keratin in our hair. It provides essential building blocks for growth."

She's also a fan of horsetail. "[It's] a natural source of silica that promotes hair strength."

VIDEO: The Best Hot Oil Treatments You Didn't Know Your Natural Hair Needed

Can diet or supplements me get thicker hair?

In addition to cleansing and conditioning products, there are other ways to help you achieve thicker hair. It's not just about what you are putting on your scalp and strands; it's also what you are putting in your body. "Watch your diet," warms Dr. Mitchell, "A diet rich in proteins, fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E can help people experiencing hair loss."

Dr. Grossman recommends supplements for those looking for the easiest way to increase density and texture in hair and encourages consumers to pay attention to the ingredients. "While there are many products available on the market, some have done more testing than others," she admits. "My two favorites are Viviscal Pro and Nutrafol. Viviscal Pro contains several ingredients that help to thicken and improve growth. The Nutrafol line contains ingredients to help hair grow — and also adds hormone balancing herbals to help ease thinning and loss due to age and genetics."

However, if you have a condition like androgenetic alopecia, it's best to speak with a dermatologist.

What professional treatments can help to make my hair thicker?

In-office microneedling treatments can help to promote hair growth. "Combined with topical minoxidil treatment, [microneedling] will stimulate hair regrowth and thickness." Hers offers a Minoxidil 2% Solution that promotes hair growth by shedding old hairs and replacing them with new, stronger strands. But just be mindful that once you stop using the medication, your hair will go back to its original state.

"There can be various reasons for hair loss, including genetic causes, thyroid problems, or vitamin deficiencies, and helpful medical treatment may be available," states Dr. Paik.

That said, if you notice any hair thinning, always go to see a doctor before trying any at-home treatments.

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