Suffering from thin and brittle winter hair? Pump up the volume—naturally!
Thick, shiny hair isn’t just a mark of beauty; it’s a sign of good health. And in the winter, it has the added benefit of giving your pretty head some extra warmth. But those of us who haven’t been blessed with a voluminous mane may only dream of the shiny thick waves we see on TV commercials (and TV shows for that matter). How can you have hair like that if you don’t, well, have hair like that?
Luckily, there are several natural, low-risk, and relatively inexpensive ways to thicken (and strengthen!) your locks.
A healthy hair diet
The first and most effective fix? Improving not so much what you put on your hair as what you put in your mouth.
To get thick and beautiful hair, Denise Hewitt, a certified trichologist, recommends eating right—and paying special attention to meeting your daily protein requirements (getting enough protein is a particular concern in the winter).
“Your diet should be made up of whole foods,” Hewitt, tells For Her. “Hair grows from the inside out, our hair is made up of protein. Any source of protein is essential to the growth of our hair. Diets should be rich in red meats, poultry, beans, tofu, eggs, etc.”
And, yes, you can supplement your diet with vitamins, as long as you still make a concerted effort to eat well. Don’t expect vitamins to work right away, though.
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“In our practices, we find that much of thinning hair is related to certain key vitamin deficiencies,” says Arielle Levitan, M.D. and co-founder of Vous Vitamin. “Taking a personalized multivitamin geared toward hair growth is a great way to start. Certain nutrients such as iron, vitamin D and biotin can be very helpful in appropriate doses. However, it can take many months to see the effects.”
In addition to eating a well-rounded diet and taking your vitamins, you can try these natural home remedies and products (because falling prey to gimmicks is never fun.)
A home remedy recipe
You probably have at least one of these ingredients in your kitchen already!
Eggs, castor oil & olive oil
Eggs aren’t just good for omelettes; they’re good for your hair, too. You’ve likely heard of using eggs as a hair thickening treatment before, but have you actually tried this home remedy? There’s science to back it up. Unsurprisingly, it goes back to nutrients.
“Topically, a masque made up of eggs for strength [works well] because it is rich in protein,” says Hewitt.
You can use eggs alone for a bit of a volume boost or go all-out by combing them with castor oil and olive oil.
“Castor oil for conditioning [works great] because it is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids,” says Hewitt. “Vitamin E along with fatty acids nourishes and softens the hair and scalp.”
MORE TO READ: Healthy hair strategies that won’t break the bank
Olive oil, meanwhile, makes your hair shiny. Because you don’t just want your hair to be thick; you want it to catch those elusive winter sunbeams, too.
Depending on the length of your hair, mix at least one egg yolk with castor and oil oil and apply the masque to your scalp and the ends of your hair. Let the masque sit for about half an hour before rinsing it. Do this once or twice a week and start seeing results in about two months. Start now, and you’ll have a voluptuous locks by the new year.
Shampoos to try
Don’t have time to whip up the egg masque every week? You can get a little help from the pros in your quest for thicker hair. Try rinsing with a shampoo that has natural ingredients you can actually pronounce. These shampoos won’t significantly thicken your hair for the long term (whereas natural masques and diet changes usually will), but they will saturate your hair shaft temporarily. Which means your hair will appear thicker until your next wash. Here are four products that are chemical free, and will help keep your head healthy:
1. Desert Essence Organics Hair Care Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo
This standout ingredient in this shampoo is organic maca root. This root will work its thickening magic, while the organic apple in it will make your hair shiny. Organic kelp and nettle extracts will provide other essential vitamins and minerals to make your hair stronger.
2. Kiehl’s Ultimate Thickening Shampoo
Remember how we said protein was a biggie in this whole hair thickening equation? Kiehl’s agrees! That’s why this shampoo has wheat protein for thicker, stronger hair. This is particularly recommended for women who are experiencing thinning scalps.
3. Arrojo Gentle Shampoo
Sulfate free, sodium-chloride free, and not tested on animals, this shampoo uses natural hair-thickening and strengthening agent ingredients like coconut, avocado, and sesame seed oil. (Can’t you just taste this?) Another benefit: you can even use it on keratin treated hair.
4. Thickening Biotin B-Complex Shampoo
A vegan shampoo is about as natural as it gets. This thickening shampoo is biodegradable, is not tested on animals, and pretty recognizable ingredients (lots of nice plant oils in here), so you can feel good about choosing something that’s natural and cruelty-free.
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