Solutions for Thinning Hair
A Stronger Rogaine
Rogaine, a topical treatment for hair loss, is hardly new (it's been around for 25 years!), but until recently, women could only get the active ingredient minoxidil in a two percent formulation, while men could use the stronger, more effective five percent version. Now women can get the higher dose, too, in the foam formula. "It stabilizes hair loss progression in about 70 percent of women and regrows hair about 50 percent of the time," says Robert Leonard, M.D., founder and chief surgeon of Leonard Transplant Associates in Boston. Leonard is quick to point out that while the five percent foam might work better, it's not faster than the two percent version. It will still take about six months to see results.
Try: Women's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol ($33.53 for a 2-month supply; drugstore.com)
More minoxidil news: Hair care brands like Pantene and Redken have started adding the active ingredient (previously only found in Rogaine) to their formulations for fine, thinning hair (so far just in the two percent concentration for women).
Try: Pantene Expert Collection Minoxidil Topical Solution Hair Regrowth for Women ($29 for a 3 month supply; target.com)
Remember that toy that let you create various funny hairstyles for a bald man using magnetic fibers? This solution works a little like that. The tiny, statically charged keratin fibers adhere to your natural strands creating the illusion of a denser head of hair, at least until your next shampoo.
Try: Toppik Hair Building Fibers ($24.95; toppik.com)
Good Hair Vitamins
So here's the thing about supplements for thinning hair: There's no scientific proof that they actually work. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from dermatologists and hairstylists who have witnessed their patients and clients get fuller, thicker, healthier hair from popping a daily pill. One of the most recommended is Viviscal, a supplement that contains healthy hair essentials silicia, vitamin C, and protein.
Try: Viviscal Extra Strength Tablets ($46; walgreens.com)
With age, our hair follicles shrink a bit, producing finer strands. Plumping up the diameter of each strand, even temporarily, can give the appearance of a thicker head of hair. The newest filler, Filloxane, borrows technology silica gel used to repair cracks in car windshields. It plumps up the hair strand from within.
Try: L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hair Care Volume Filler Fiber Amplifying Concentrate ($7; lorealparisusa.com)
You can get a body boost from the right styling products. Look for those that contain polymers, which bond to hair, giving each strand a thicker appearance, albeit temporarily.
Try: Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Densifying Foam ($36; sephora.com)
A Scalp Scrub
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, which is the idea behind new scalp exfoliating treatments. They won’t have any direct effect on hair growth, but by removing product buildup and dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your scalp, you’re clearing the way for healthier strands.
Try: Carita Revitalising Scrub for the Scalp ($45; caritadirect.com)
Similar to scalp scrubs, these treatments can't reverse hair loss, but by nourishing and energizing hair follicles with amino acids, peptides, and botanicals, they create an optimal environment for hair growth.
Try: Keranique Follicle Boosting Serum ($28; ulta.com)
An Intensive Program
Like boot camp for your shrinking strands, a multistep intensive program can put you on the path to healthier, stronger hair. Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy Regime contains Tricho Pro, a detangling and densifying spray with instant results; Tricho 7, a daily hair and scalp treatment that increases blood circulation and reduces DHT buildup (a hormone that interferes with hair growth); and Tricho Complex, a vitamin and mineral supplement with iron, biotin, and L-lysine, an amino acid essential for healthy hair.
Try: Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy Regime ($215; philipkingsley.com)