When finding online advice for getting thicker hair, steering clear of the many tall tales can be a tall order.
Spam emails. Uninformed message board posts. Poorly-researched blog articles. They all contribute to the confusion, offering miracle tips and old wives’ tales for conquering thin hair.
But fear not. Help is at hand. Because we’ve heard all the myths too - and it’s time to put the record straight.
We’ve assembled a shortlist of the most common myths around thin hair and hair loss - as well as a rundown of the best hair-thickening remedies that actually work:
The myths - what doesn’t work
Cut your hair
Everyone knows hair grows back quicker and thicker once you’ve cut it, right?
Well, “everyone” is wrong.
While getting a new ‘do may make you look more in-vogue, chopping your locks does nothing to change the speed or thickness at which it grows back.
As Paradi Mirmirani, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco told CNN: “Cutting the ends of your hair doesn't affect the follicles in your scalp, which determine how fast and how much your hair grows.
“Hair grows an average of a quarter-inch every month - whether or not you cut it.”
However, a trim every eight to 12 weeks does promote healthy hair, as it removes the dead ends and prevents exposing the stem of the hair to damage.
Shave your head
This is a real head-scratcher. Where on earth did this myth come from?
In all probability, it’s a matting together of two different urban hair myths...
As any adolescent boy will confidently (but erroneously) tell you, shaving facial hair causes it to grow back thicker and darker. And at some point, this urban legend has become intertwined with the “cut your hair and it will grow back quicker” fallacy, birthing an entirely new non-truth - that shaving your head will cause the hair to grow back thicker and darker.
Unsurprisingly, there’s no basis in science for this ludicrous claim. So unless you’re ready to give up on having hair full stop, you can back away from the razor.
Wash your hair less often
According to internet folklore, washing your hair less frequently is supposed to prevent your hair from falling out. This pervasive myth probably stems from the fact most people notice hairs falling out in the shower.
In truth, the hairs you see circling the drain are already long dead, and the act of showering has simply washed them from your scalp. For the same reason, the shower is one of the places many people first realise their hair is starting to fall out.
In reality, washing your hair has the opposite effect on growth; massaging your scalp while washing your hair increases blood flow to the area, which helps stimulate hair growth.
Don’t wear hats
Some people insist the friction from frequently putting on and taking off a hat causes hairs to fall out. In actuality, healthy human hairs are more than able to withstand the rigours of being frequently hatted.
This is another misunderstanding that arises from circumstance - when you take off your hat, loose hairs quite often come with it. You can be assured it’s not the hat that’s causing them to fall out, however!
The truth - how to get thicker hair for real
Use the right shampoo
Once upon a time, shampoo had one job - to get your hair as clean as possible. Now, the marketplace is full of specialised shampoos that offer all kinds of additional jobs - including “kertainising” your hair.
Keratin is the natural substance your hair is made from, which (as the name suggests), is an ingredient in keratinised shampoo. As you massage the shampoo and conditioner into your scalp, the shampoo dilates every hair shaft to deliver maximum penetration of micronised keratin - making your hair look thicker.
These shampoos and conditioners include a number of other nourishing nutrients that reduce the strain on your hair follicles - and they exclude harmful chemicals like parabens that can harm your hair and skin.
There are also products like Nizoral anti dandruff shampoo that remove the hormones responsible for some types of hair loss from the scalp's surface. It's available without prescription from chemists, as well as from all good supermarkets.
Add some fibre
While eating more fibre aids digestive health, introducing some fibre to your hair’s life will also help it look much fuller and healthier.
Toppik hair building fibres bind to your hair, making it appear thicker and more plentiful. Like your hair itself, the fibres are made from keratin, so they are undetectable to the naked eye.
Available in nine different colours to match your hair tones, the keratin fibres use a static charge to bind to your hair. And the results lasts through rain, wind, or whatever else life throws at it.
Cut your hair
Hang on, wasn’t this one of the myths we just dispelled?
While it’s true that cutting your hair won’t make it grow any differently, the right haircut can certainly make thin hair look much fuller.
Take the blue pill
Finasteride (also known as Propecia) hit the market as a hair loss wonder drug after trials showed hair regrowth in 48% of participants. It limits the production of the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness, but is not suitable for treating other types of hair loss.
Finasteride is available to men only as it is known to cause birth defects and other reproductive issues in women. And as with any prescription drug, there are side effects, so consider whether the medical route is the right one for you before commencing treatment.
If you're looking for a similar treatment that's available without prescription, Toppik Men's Hair Regrowth Treatment is a clinically tested and proven hair loss treatment. It's active ingredient is Minoxidil, which has been tested and proven to stop hair loss and even regrow new hair.
For more information about hair thickening products and hair loss treatments, call Toppik’s hair loss experts on 1300 867 745.