If you’re nearly bald the choice is simple – you need to shave it or keep it very short, a sweep-over simply isn’t an option – but when your hair is thinning it’s different. It can be tempting to grow it longer in an attempt to cover up scalp where it’s showing through, but that just makes it look as though you’re hiding something.
Instead keep hair very short and have the parts that are thinning cut a little shorter, which will help disguise them a little.
Heavy, limp and oily-looking hair feels horrible and looks dirty. It’s usually caused by an overproduction of oils by the scalp, a response to overly dry conditions. So avoid the sun and drying chlorine in pools, as well as hair dryers, all of which dry out your scalp.
Instead, use a shampoo designed for greasy hair, and don’t forget to condition – it may seem counterintuitive to condition when your hair is greasy, but by adding good moisture your scalp may stop overproducing oils which will lead you to healthier, shiny hair.
Men tend to suffer more with dandruff than women and it might be because they hurry through the shampooing and rinsing process. If you don’t rinse properly, the shampoo residue can irritate your skin leading to flakes and itchiness.
However, a lot of cases of dandruff are also caused by a fungus called pityrosporum. One way to address this, is to give your hair a vinegar rinse. Use one cup of water with a tablespoon of vinegar and pour it over your head after washing it. Leave it on your head as long as possible (overnight if you can) to ensure the fungus is killed.
Rosemary can also help relieve the itching – make up a tea with hot water and rosemary (the herb is available in supermarkets) and pour the water over your head, massaging it into the scalp. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse. And use an anti-dandruff shampoo regularly too.
If you shower every day and use a cheap shampoo, that might be causing your hair and scalp to dry out. Cheap shampoos tend to strip the hair of healthy oils which leads to an imbalance and potentially dry and brittle hair shafts. Make sure the water you rinse your hair with isn’t too hot too – hot water is incredibly drying for your scalp and hair.
Dull hair can be a result of dry hair (see above) as when hair gets dry it becomes more porous, allowing more pollutants such as smoke particles, for example, to attach to the hair making it lose its sheen.
Make sure you’re conditioning your hair regularly and consider using a shine serum to add extra gloss.
Finally, check your diet. Healthy hair needs healthy unsaturated fats, so it might be time to increase your intake of foods such as olive oil, avocados, cold-water fish (salmon, for example) and nuts.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try applying some of those foods straight to your hair – olive oil or avocado, for example, will help smooth hair follicles and bring back that shine.