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How to thicken hair in six easy steps

Siski Green / 20 July 2015 ( 10 January 2020 )

Thinning hair? Find out which styles will boost your thickness, foods you should eat and how to take care of your hair to keep it healthy and strong.

Mature lady thickening hair with rollers and hairdyer
Use these tips to boost thinning hair

While there are some aspects of getting older that get better than when you were  young – fewer emotional ups and downs, clearer priorities, no  more acne! – hair is one of the things that definitely doesn’t improve. 

Most women experience thinning hair and this is largely down to the simple fact of ageing – your body is producing fewer hairs then before (the bonus: this also means less armpit and leg hair!) and the hair itself becomes finer. 

Here are six ways to maximise what you have. 

Colour your hair to boost thickness

It doesn’t just cover those greys, hair dye also increases the thickness of each hair strand as the colour swells the hair cuticle.  

Avoid going too dark which may contrast dramatically with your exposed scalp making it even more visible. 

Instead, opt for a shade or two lighter than your natural one so that your visible scalp patches become less obvious. 

Going grey: To dye or not to dye?

Gloss it up

When your hair is thinning, it’s tempting to avoid conditioners or glossing products for fear of weighing it down and making it look even  thinner.

However, if you look at other women, you’ll notice that thin hair looks far more attractive when it’s shiny and glossy than thin hair that’s dull and fluffy. 

Opt for lightweight shining mousse or mist, keep hair short so the products you use don’t pull hair down, or use curlers to smooth out the hair cuticle and give your hair some fullness with shine.

Thinning hair? Ways to prevent hair loss

Cut it

Some haircuts are better than others at creating an illusion of fullness. 

Ask for layers around your face to create a sense of fullness, while leaving the back full (fewer or no layers) to give your hair some body there. 

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Choose your shampoo

It really is worth buying a different shampoo than you’re used to. That’s because a lot of shampoos contain sulphates, which are harsh on hair  making it more prone to damage. As your scalp, just like your skin, doesn’t produce the same amount of oils as it used to, you no longer need these harsh de-greasing chemicals. 

Could saying goodbye to the shampoo bottle help with thinning hair?

Stem the breakage

If your hair breaks easily, that will exacerbate the thinning effect, so look after your hair to prevent this. 

While products can help, you also need to treat the breakage from within. Eat strawberries or kiwis to up your vitamin C intake. The C Vit is used by your body to create the protein for your hair and nails, so without it, your hair will suffer. 

10 foods to boost thinning hair

Up your iron intake

Ask a doctor about significant hair loss and it’s likely they’ll suggest iron deficiency as a potential cause. That’s because if you’re not getting enough iron in your diet you’ll start to lose hair by the handful. 

Red meat is a good source of iron but many of us don’t eat red meat that often, so ensure you get your 8mg per day (recommended for women 50 and older) via beans or a supplement. 

If that doesn’t work or you know your iron levels are fine, see your GP to check your thyroids which can also trigger hair loss if they’re not functioning correctly. 

Next article: More help for thinning hair >>>


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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