Nature vs. nurture could be used to describe the differences between fine and thinning hair. One you are born with and the other is a disorder and can be a symptom of lifestyle. However, both are common hair conditions and both can be manageable.
Fine hair refers to the diameter of each hair strand. It’s really just genetics as to whether you are born with fine, medium or thick hair, and each (in its own way) can lead to challenges. With fine hair, the natural diameter of a hair strand is around 40-50 microns, compared to medium hair at 80-85 microns and thicker hair closer to 120 microns.
Thinning hair, on the other hand, refers to the density of the follicles and strands per square cm or inch on your head. The concentration of strands in some people can reduce over time, sometimes accompanied by a disorder known as hair miniaturisation. Miniaturisation is where individual follicles and strands shrink over time, potentially becoming dormant if left untreated.
Genetics, certain medical conditions, having a baby, diet, your lifestyle, hair routine habits, and most commonly, stress, are some of the causes of thinning hair.
Q What are the common misconceptions around fine/thinning hair or common mistakes people may make?
One of the most common misconceptions is whether hair fall means hair on the scalp is thinning. It’s common to lose 50-100 hairs per day. Losing this amount is normal and does not mean your hair is thinning. If you’re losing more than 100 hairs per day, however, and it’s been shedding at a greater rate for a while, then it’s time to find out why. It’s important to note that hair thinning does not necessarily translate to baldness, but it does give the appearance of sparser hair.
Q Can you give us some daily/top care tips for women with fine/thinning hair?
Fine hair is your genetic hair type, so embrace it and find hair styles that you like and products that work to create the look you’re after. Choose natural hair products that create root lift, volume, and texture.
With fine hair, the natural oils from the follicle travel faster down the strands, requiring more frequent shampooing. Stay on top of this by using a shampoo that cleanses effectively but is still gentle on the scalp. Use a hair conditioner that won’t weigh the hair down and keep it away from your roots.
With both types of hair conditions, the best thing is to let your hair dry naturally instead of using a hairdryer or heat styling tools that can cause damage over time.
There is some evidence that scalp massage can encourage blood circulation to the follicles. When you wash your hair, gently apply pressure with your fingertips around your scalp or use a handheld scalp massager to encourage blood flow. Using a scalp treatment oil once a week to remove dead skin cells and nourish the scalp can be beneficial.
Q How important are products and ingredients for those with fine/thinning hair?
Hair products and your hair care routine do play a part in helping to manage both fine and thinning hair. If you stress the scalp and hair with harsh products, the wrong ingredients, and overuse of heat-styling tools, it’s only going to exasperate the specific issues you are trying to rectify. Take the time to understand your scalp and hair type and research the products that have some real evidence to support the benefits you are looking for.
Q Treatments/products to avoid if you have fine or thinning hair?
In general, don’t sign up for treatments that offer solutions for thinning hair that are not backed by a professional in the fields of dermatology or trichology. Look for testimonials from people who have received the treatment or used the products and can testify that they work. For fine hair, don’t go for products with ingredients that are too heavy; oils, waxes, butters, and pomades generally won’t work and will leave the hair limp. Of course, everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Q Other advice relevant to managing this type of hair?
If you think you are experiencing thinning hair, which is a disorder, seek professional help to find out the cause. Once you understand the cause, you are better equipped to take the necessary steps to reinstate healthy hair growth and minimise further hair thinning or hair loss. Tip - don’t tie your hair up too tightly as this can cause traction alopecia and thin spots.
Q Some info around nutrition for healthy hair, what can we do to help promote hair health, thickness and growth?
With both fine and thinning hair, paying attention to your diet is critical. Hair is essentially keratin, a fibrous protein. The follicles and vessels (blood supply) responsible for hair development rely on nutrients from your food to maintain your hair growth cycle. Consuming a well-balanced diet of protein, dark green leafy vegetables, and foods high in omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals will help maintain scalp and hair wellbeing.
Q Some background info on Co-Owners of Holistic Hair (Nicky & Jodene) and why they are so passionate about hair, quality ingredients and the holistic concept of hair care?
Nicky James-Baird and Jodene Fendall are the co-owners of Holistic Hair. Nicky and Jodene both hold Diplomas of Higher Associate Trichologist from the World Trichology Society in New York.
Trichology is the branch of Dermatology that deals with the scientific study of the health of the scalp and hair. Trichologists take a holistic approach to helping people with scalp and hair disorders.
Having previously worked together in the health and beauty industry, Nicky and Jodene discovered a passion for natural products, creating a shared vision to build a natural hair care brand with a sustainable environmental and social purpose. Understanding the physiology of the scalp and hair has enabled Holistic Hair to deliver solutions-based hair care along with supporting help and advice.
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