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“Too many of us brush our hair less and less the finer it gets — and that’s the worst thing you could do,” says women's hair restoration specialist Lucinda Ellery. Some experts think that the gentle use of a soft-bristle brush might encourage hair growth by increasing oxygen through improved blood flow to the area.
Massage Your Scalp
Many women in India believe that scalp massage with a regional oil will encourage hair growth. “Neem oil and peppermint or tea tree oil are amazing for the scalp and hair," confirms celebrity makeup artist Amanda Shackleton. She recommends mixing neem with one or both of the other oils and massaging the concoction into the scalp for five to 10 minutes, once a week. "The [neem] oil moisturizes and the peppermint and tea tree oils invigorate." Leave on overnight if possible or wash and style as usual.
Try Hair Makeup
“Nanogen fibers can be sprinkled amongst hair to add volume and density,” says Ellery of the temporary thickening product, which features tiny particles that bond to strands and create the illusion of a larger shaft. "This is especially great for female pattern hair loss," she says, but cautions that individual results vary. "Ultimately it is a question of trial and error and finding the right product for your hair and skin type, [and then] practicing and learning to apply it with care."
Backcomb Like the Pros
When your hair is especially fine, backcombing with a brush rather than a comb is a surefire way to fake volume. “Use a good bristle brush and begin at the tip, brushing down toward the root. This spreads out the hair without clumping it at the roots and can double the appearance of your hair,” says Ellery. What’s especially great about this method is that it’s easy to brush out and less likely to cause breakage than a comb would.
Spray Upside Down
Turn your newly backcombed head upside-down and mist hair spray in and around strands. Use your fingers — not a brush — to put it back into position, then scrunch the ends to encourage a wavy, beachy look that will further increase the illusion of volume.
Make Your Cut Work for You
“In general, shorter or medium length hairstyles are better suited for thin hair and provide more bounce. Pixie or bob haircuts tend to look more voluminous. For a long look consider a layered cut. Layers help shape and boost hair,” says Nevio Persia, hairstylist and educator for SureThik hair thickening products.
“Velcro rollers are a great way to add lift to the roots. This, along with a gentle tease, will do wonders,” says Shackleton. Tackle a section at a time using small Velcro rollers, starting at the crown. Comb a roller through hair until you reach the tip, then bring the section down and forward at a 45 degree angle. Roll the roller up and secure with a clip, if needed.
Skip Standard Extensions
Sew-in and clip-in extensions can be too heavy for very fine hair. Instead, seek out a stylist who is skilled at adding micro-bonded extensions. "Each individual [extension] is much lighter in weight and can be removed without damaging your existing hair," explains Shackleton. "You can also add a few pieces where needed."
Put Your Hair on Time-Out
Year upon year of vigorous styling and harsh treatments can cause hair to break or simply fall out. The usual suspects include tight braids, hair weaves, extensions, relaxers or any other harsh chemical or high heat. “The American Academy of Dermatology recommends [applying] conditioner after shampooing and only using hot styling tools one a week,” says hair restoration specialist Dr. James Marotta. If this seems like an impossible task, "Just remember to give your hair a break every once and a while," he says.
Take Your Vitamins
Some specialists feel that coenzyme B vitamin biotin supplements can increase hair health. “It's been my experience that [it] revs up the production of dormant hair follicles, thereby creating fuller hair,” says Sylvia Vaught, co-founder of door-to-door blow-out service Blow Me. "I've recommended it over the years to clients and have seen a difference. Be patient, as it actually takes about six months for it to work."
To get your biotin the all-natural way dig out your juicer. “Juicing vegetables such as Swiss chard, carrots and cucumbers is a great way to give your body the biotin needed. I suggest juicing first thing in the morning and two hours before you go to bed,” says Shackleton.