Whether you’ve always battled thin hair or started to notice your hair getting finer with age, the question of how to give our hair a little more oomph is one that many of us want the answer to – and fast!
We asked Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, to give us the low down on the tricks the experts use, from quick fixes for volume in an instant to long-term solutions that are well worth the investment.
How to thicken hair: Short-term
Blow-dry for body
Apply a heat activated volumizing spray to your roots, and thickening protein spray (Anabel recommends Philip Kingsley Tricho Pro Volumizing Protein Spray) to your mid-lengths and ends, and gently blow-dry your hair in the opposite direction to which it grows. ‘This creates really stellar root lift, but without the need for fiddly rollers, traction heavy, cuticle scratching boar bristle brushes, or, the biggest no-no – the hair-raisingly horrendous practice of backcombing – which is exceedingly damaging to strands.’
Use a pre-shampoo conditioner
‘Pre-shampoo conditioners, such as Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer, add instant body as they draw water into the hair shaft, leaving strands plump, bouncy and packed full of moisture,’ says Anabel. ‘They also strengthen the hair, meaning you’ll have less breakage – and less breakage equates to fuller hair in the long term.’
She suggests this as a pre-exercise solution: ‘To use, simply dampen your hair before you work out, apply the treatments in sections, and gently tie your hair back with a soft scrunchie. Afterwards, shampoo and condition as usual.’ However, if you aren’t a gym goer, you can simply leave it on while you sleep.
‘Yes, bleach is damaging,’ Anabel admits, ‘but it also swells the hair shaft, giving strands texture and a thicker look and feel. As long as you have highlights applied by a trusted colourist, you don’t overdo it, and you take steps to repair your hair afterwards, it’s a great way to give your style some oomph.’
How to thicken hair: Long-term
Snack every four hours
‘Having a healthy snack between meals boosts energy available to form long, strong and healthy strands,’ Anabel says. ‘Being the second fastest growing cells the body produces, hair cells are very hungry. Great nutrient dense snacks include fresh fruit, chopped veggies and hummus, almonds, and nut butter on whole wheat toast.’
Walk to work
Annabel notes that taking steps to reduce stress levels can help your hair long-term. ‘Stress can, and often does, negatively impact hair growth as it can upset hormone levels, exacerbate scalp problems, and make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients. To relax your mind, try taking a leisurely stroll to or from work – download a podcast or listen to your favourite music to make it more appealing.’
We all know it’s important to start the day with a healthy breakfast for our energy levels – but we never realised until now that it was equally beneficial for our hair! Why? ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your hair as its when energy levels available to form all cells, such as hair cells, are lowest,’ explains Anabel. Try protein-rich options like greek yoghurt or eggs to keep you satisfied until snack time.